Aubergine katsu and miso crunch bao buns

Aubergine katsu and miso crunch bao buns makes 4 buns; vegetarian 

tackling this Taiwanese dish; they’re a worthwhile challenge. Here I combine the pillow soft buns with classic Asian flavours. 

Ingredients:

For the dough:

  • 130g strong white bread flour
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • ¼ tsp instant dried yeast
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 30ml whole milk
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil

Method:bao making.jpg

  1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, caster sugar, yeast and baking powder. Pour in the milk and sunflower oil; mix well until a smooth and stretchy dough is formed. Knead the dough for 10 minutes.
  2. Shape into a ball and wrap in clingfilm. Place in a bowl, cover with a damp tea towel and leave in a warm place to rise for approximately 2 hours.
  3. Once the dough has doubled in size, separate into 4 equal-sized balls, weighing approximately 80g each.
  4. On a lightly floured surface, roll the balls into flat oval shapes. Brush the dough with little sunflower oil. Fold over, placing a chopstick where the crease in the bun will be, so it can be filled with tasty ingredients.
  5. Prepare the steamer (this can be bamboo or stainless steel), and steam the buns in batches for 8 minutes each.

Processed with VSCO with c1 presetAubergine katsu bao:

  • 1 small aubergine, sliced into 1cm discs
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp plain flour
  • 2 tbsp panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp katsu curry paste
  • 5g fresh coriander, chopped

Method:

  1. Lightly dust the aubergine discs, then coat in beaten egg and panko breadcrumbs. Fry the coated aubergine in 1 tbsp sunflower oil, for 3 minutes on each side until cooked through andgolden brown.
  2. Gently warm the katsu curry paste, adding the fresh coriander. Fill the steamed buns up with the aubergine discs and curry paste.

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Miso crunch bao:

  • 70g cabbage, roughly shredded
  • 4 spring onions, sliced
  • 4 radishes, sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 small red chilli, sliced
  • 1 tbsp miso paste
  • 1tsp dark soy sauce

Method:

  1. Fry the cabbage, spring onions, radishes, garlic, ginger, chilli in miso paste and soy sauce.
  2. Load up the steamed buns with the stir fry.

Salad to serve:

  • Spinach
  • Radishes
  • Fresh red chilli
  • Cucumber
  • Spring onions
  • A sprinkling of sesame seeds
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce

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Miso steak

Japanese-style seared steak with sticky sushi rice serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 2 lean steaks
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp miso paste
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp sugar, 1 tsp salt
  • Spinach salad with spring onions, radishes, cucumber and sesame seeds
  • 2 portions of sticky sushi rice
  • 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar

Method:

  1. Start by marinating the steak. Crush the garlic and mix together the soy sauce, miso paste and sugar. Using a spoon, rub this paste onto the steaks. Put the steaks into a sealable food bag and leave to marinate for at least two hours.
  2. While this is marinating, cook the sushi rice. Coat this in rice wine vinegar and leave to the side.
  3. Make a simple salad consisting of sliced spring onions, radishes and cucumber. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  4. Heat a non-stick frying pan until very hot. Sear the steak for 3-5 minutes on each side (depending on how you prefer the meat cooked). Set aside to cool a little, then carve the steaks into thick slices. Serve with the salad and sushi rice.

Shimeji, shiitake, eryngii and enoki ramen

All-the-mushrooms ramen serves 1; vegetarian 

ramens are messy, playful, and they sparkle with nutrition.  I’ve used egg-based noodles, but this can easily be replaced with vegan, rice-based udon or soba noodles.

Ingredients:

  • Fresh shimeji, eryngii, and enoki mushrooms, available from Asian supermarkets
  • 5 dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 90g ramen noodles
  • 2 spring onions, sliced
  • Half a clove of garlic, crushed
  • 1 tbsp sesame seed oil
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce

Method:

  1. Start by soaking the dried shiitake mushrooms in 100ml boiled water. This will serve as the broth.
  2. Very lightly fry the Asian speciality mushrooms and the spring onions in garlic and sesame seed oil. Take care to not damage the delicate mushrooms.
  3. Cook the noodles according to the packet instructions. Drain, and place in a deep bowl. Add the shiitake broth with a tbsp of dark soy sauce.
  4. Remove the mushrooms from the frying pan and neatly arrange on top of you noodle broth. Serve immediately.