Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri (shoujin ryouri) for the home

the_enlightened_kitchen.jpg

The Enlightened Kitchen: Fresh Vegetable Dishes from the Temples of Japan by Mari Fujii is a beautifully presented, easy introduction to the world of shojin ryori (or shoujin ryouri 精進料理), the highly refined vegan cuisine developed by Buddhist monks in Japan. I’ve often been asked by readers of this site and other people to recommend a good shojin ryori book: While there are many such books in Japanese, I haven’t really been comfortable recommending a book in English so far. Shojin ryori tends to use a lot of ingredients that are only available in Japan - even more so than ‘regular’ Japanese cooking - and it is a haute cuisine that requires a lot of skill.

The Enlightened Kitchen, on the other hand, is filled with nonintimidating recipes, that any amateur cook with decent access to Japanese ingredients could tackle. Some of the vegetables and dried ingredients may trip you up, but it’s easy to think up suitable substitions. The author, Mari Fujii, is married to a Buddhist monk, and has been teaching, speaking and writing about shojin ryori and other types of Buddhist vegetarian cuisines for 2 decades in Japan.

The book is divided into six sections: Soup; Salads; Tofu and Beans; Vegetables; Potato, Rice and Grains; and Desserts. There’s a small but essential Basic Techniques section, and a useful glossary. Most of the recipes are vegan, following shojin ryori teachings, but a few do use dairy products, which are used in Chinese Buddhist temple food for example. It’s a really beautiful book, with gorgeous photos and layout. It’s a pleasure to hold and just flip through.

You may have read my rave reviews of the Japanese vegan cookbooks by Yumiko Kano here before. The recipes in The Enlightened Kitchen are more straightforwardly traditional than those of Yumiko Kano, but are still very accessible and modern. And of course, this one is in well-translated English! I’ve tried a few of the recipes already, and they’ve all turned out very well with minimum fuss, even in my current tiny holiday home kitchen. Some of our favorites so far are the eggplant dishes, since eggplants (aubergines) are abundant here in southern France: Sesame-Flavored Eggplant (miso) Soup is rich and toasty, and Eggplant Salad with Lemon-Flavored Plum Dressing is a great side dish or starter. Even the resident dedicted omnivore approves heartily. (Check out the bento-friendly lentil salad inspired by a recipe in this book over on Just Bento.)

The Enlightened Kitchen: Fresh Vegetable Dishes from the Temples of Japan
Author: Mari Fujii
Translated by: Richard Jeffery
Photography: Tae Hamamura
Published by: Kodansha International
Amazon link (Amazonk UK link; Amazon.de link)

And now the part you’ve been waiting for (or skipped forward to): The Giveaway!

I have one copy of The Enlightened Kitchen to give away, courtesy of the publisher, Kodansha International. Just leave a comment to this article, making sure that you put a valid email in the email box (don’t worry, no one but I will see it). To make it a bit more fun, tell us what your favorite vegan dish is, linking to the recipe if possible. Your comment must be posted before 23:59:59 CET (Central European Time) on Sunday, June 7th. One winner will be selected at random, and announced sometime next week. Good luck!

The giveaway is now closed. The winner will be announced later this week!

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Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

mmmm, non-intimidating recipes, this sounds key! :) I wish i lived closer to an asian-foods store...the only place to get good Japanese ingredients is an hour away. It's well worth the trip, though! The health benefits themselves are a payoff!

A good version of one of my favorite vegan recipe, vegan fajitas, can be found at http://www.theppk.com/recipes/dbrecipes/index.php?RecipeID=286

Darcy Stone | 1 June, 2009 - 22:07
avlor | 1 June, 2009 - 22:21

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

I'd love to enter. My favorite vegan recipe is actually a Mayo Clinic recipe for creamed chard (omitting the sprinkled Parmesan cheese as a finishing touch):

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/healthy-recipes/RE00006

I cannot begin to describe how delicious this dish is!

Thanks for the review and the contest. :)

hypothermya | 1 June, 2009 - 22:22

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

Argh - forgot to mention fave vegan dish. We don't get to eat many vegan dishes (thus my curiosity in the book). On occasion I can get by with stir fry with tofu or fried tofu.

avlor | 1 June, 2009 - 22:23

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

That sounds wounderful! I would love a japanese vegan cookbook! Its pretty hard to find vegan cookbooks that dont have the same recipes as everyone else or lists of insane ingrediants that I can almost never find.

My favorite vegan recipe...that would be between Black bean burger (from the book veganomicon by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero) I think this recipe if fairly close to it though: http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=show_mesg&fo...

Ashlie | 1 June, 2009 - 22:24

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

My favorite vegan dish would probably be either koyadofu (cooked in kelp dashi) or hiyayakko (with chopped zassai on top).

And I would love this book!

momotaro | 1 June, 2009 - 22:27

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

I'm not a vegan, by any means, but a book with some interesting, tasty and not too madly fussy vegan recipes sounds excellent.

Perhaps there might even be a recipe that will inspire my children to eat tofu. They'll eat pretty much anything else, but the younger one in particular can smell the stuff a mile off!

sushidushi | 1 June, 2009 - 22:52

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

New to your site and am enjoying both sites. These "Barbecued Seitan Ribz" recipe is wonderful and is good for bento.

http://blog.fatfreevegan.com/2007/05/barbecued-seitan-ribz.html

Am vegetarian but starting to cook more vegan.

Keep up the great work!

Kim Coleman | 1 June, 2009 - 22:52

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

This cookbook sounds intriguing, and I'd love to own a copy! My favorite Japanese vegan dish is Kinpira Gobo. I've tried the recipe from one of my favorite food blogs: http://katnsatoshiinjapan.blogspot.com/search?q=kinpira+gobo

Caroline | 1 June, 2009 - 22:55

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

This one looks great! I love tofu in all forms so this book is extra exciting!

Johan | 1 June, 2009 - 22:59

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

I would absolutely LOVE to have this book :) And red beans and brown rice is up there on the vegan list, though I don't follow a vegan lifestyle.

Ian | 1 June, 2009 - 23:07

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

I'd have to say my favorite vegan dish varies according to season. In the late fall and winter, I like to make a dish of mushrooms braised in red wine with thyme, and a warm lentil salad. In the early spring, when it can still get a little chilly, I often make a simple ragu of spring vegetables like peas, asparagus, radishes, and green garlic. Once summer takes hold, it barely takes any effort at all - beautiful tomatoes and basil with a simple vinaigrette and some toasted walnuts, or chilled soba with dipping sauce are probably the most common.

Nick | 1 June, 2009 - 23:17

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

I'm a vegetarian who comes very close to veganism, so I would love this book. As far as my fav recipe goes, I love this recipe for sausage-style tempeh crumbles. So much flavor while still being fairly virtuous. I use it in pasta, on toast with wilted spinach or for biscuits and gravy. Yum!

Lorena | 1 June, 2009 - 23:25

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

Favorite would be curried lentils. Enjoy your site!

Anne | 1 June, 2009 - 23:34

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

Sounds fantastic! My favorite vegan recipe is tofu mini-quiche, which are perfect for packing in a bento: http://blog.fatfreevegan.com/2006/12/mini-crustless-tofu-quiches.html

Becky | 1 June, 2009 - 23:46

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

Hi Maki

This recipe is a new one for me, I only made it on the weekend, but it is awesome!

Vegetarian/Vegan chilli - http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/pierce-street-vegetarian-chili-reci...

Jackie | 1 June, 2009 - 23:46

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

Oh a totally vegan book, this sounds great, just a lovely item to add to 'bulging' book shelves and to further stretch my cooking imagination

Scherie | 1 June, 2009 - 23:51

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

Sounds interesting! I've been trying to incorporate more meatless dishes into my diet, this book would be an excellent source from the sounds of it.

Christine Barrett | 1 June, 2009 - 23:54

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

I love this dish as it contains some of my favorite foods.
Coconut, mangoes and tofu.

Mango, Tofu and Herb Salad with Toasted Coconut and Sweet Chile-Lime Dressing

http://www.pccnaturalmarkets.com/cgi/recipeget.cgi?id=615

Note: PCC Markets is a wonderful shopping and eating experience. I luckily have one right in my area. They have many yummy healthy foods. Organic, vegan, you name it.

(Maki- can you see my email address?)

hapabento | 2 June, 2009 - 00:03

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

Sounds wonderful! My first introduction to Shoin Ryori was by Soei Yoneda's Heart of Zen Cooking.
My favourite recipe - simple and flavourful Shungiku no Norimaki - Chrysanthemum Leaf Nori roll, delicious!

Terry Stone | 2 June, 2009 - 00:12

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

I would love to have a copy of the book - I love vegetables and the simple and clean style of the recipies sounds very appealing to me.

My favorite vegetable recipie is a simple green bean dish that my mother makes with crunchy sliced beans with a seasoning of mustard seeds, nuts, ginger and fresh grated coconut that my mother makes.

Varsha | 2 June, 2009 - 00:26

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

Sounds intriguing, and the library doesn't have it - count me in!

Nathan | 2 June, 2009 - 00:38
rebecca | 2 June, 2009 - 00:40

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

Although I'm an omnivore, I cook mostly vegan dinners at home. One of my favorite vegan dishes is bread. Yep, bread. Just plain water, salt, yeast (or starter), and flour. It's so good right out of the oven, all warm and flavorful.

One way I like it is just with a little white bean dip, good tomatoes, and slices of ripe avocado.

Some pics here:
http://www.nakedsushi.net/2008/10/bread-baking-begins/

NakedSushi | 2 June, 2009 - 00:45

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

I'm excited to check this book out. I am not a vegetarian, but I loved the shojin-ryori meals I've had in Japan. The creativity was stunning.

daisy | 2 June, 2009 - 01:08

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

I would love to win this. I like to eat vegan dishes, but I don't have a favorite recipe of my own.

Therese | 2 June, 2009 - 01:15

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

Mmmm. Personally, I love legumes, all of them (Even natto). I'm a big fan of an impromtu beans tossed in herbs and quickly cooked - a great example of this is from another favourite food blogger, Stonesoup.

Stealthflower | 2 June, 2009 - 01:30

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

Temple food IS enlightenment.. when you do a temple stay program at a Japanese or Korean temple (I did this one.. http://eng.templestay.com/), stiff from sleeping on the floor, sore but relaxed from a few hours of meditation, enjoying the smell of pine and magnolia, but somehow inexplicably ravenous despite sitting on a cushion all day... really the food is as close to heaven as I have ever been.

I am never disappointed by Robin Robertson's Vegan Planet and Quick Fix Vegetarian. I modified her Split Pea Soup recipe and ended up with a really satisfying result.
http://ilovealbertabeets.blogspot.com/2009/03/split-pea-soup.html

ilovealbertabeets | 2 June, 2009 - 01:33

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

I own that book. It's great! I bought it at the kinkakuji!!

kanmuri | 2 June, 2009 - 01:46

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

My favorite changes by the week, but socca is pretty great. Totally worth the pain of finding imported chickpea flour. http://www.nytimes.com/2005/10/19/dining/191mrex.html?_r=1

And for sweets, these cookies are simple and fabulous - fluffy and soft just out of the oven, turning shortbread-like when they cool. The recipe is in Japanese, but basically just mix 100g flour, 30g sugar, 8g sesame seeds, a little salt and 30g vegetable oil. http://cookpad.com/recipe/216364

AWO | 2 June, 2009 - 01:54

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

AWO wrote:

.....And for sweets, these cookies are simple and fabulous - fluffy and soft just out of the oven, turning shortbread-like when they cool. The recipe is in Japanese, but basically just mix 100g flour, 30g sugar, 8g sesame seeds, a little salt and 30g vegetable oil. http://cookpad.com/recipe/216364

Since I don't read Japanese either: at what temperature and for how long do you bake them?

djheydt | 3 June, 2009 - 02:26

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

I already have one terrific Shojin Ryori book, Zen Vegetarian Cooking by Soei Yoneda. I would love to have a different perspective on this cuisine.

Depending on the season, I have different favorite vegan recipes. In cold weather I love Myra Kornfeld's Onion Sonata, a luxurious, slow soup made with six different kinds of onions, from her book the Voluptuous Vegan. During summer I frequently make fresh Vietnamese-style spring rolls from Vegetarian Times magazine. You wrap rice vermicelli noodles, sauteed tofu, avocado, pickled ginger, cilantro, mint, and parsley in rice paper. I like them even without dipping sauce!

Sarah Denes | 2 June, 2009 - 01:58

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

My favorite dish is a stir fry of egpplant and tofu in a sesame ginger sauce.

Thank you for the giveaway.

Tamar Erlich | 2 June, 2009 - 02:20

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

I don't think in terms of vegetarian/vegan/carnivore/omnivore so I don't have specific recipes. Fried rice though is a favorite, whether asian or hispanic version. Also, rice, black beans, lettuce, guacamole, tortilla, and salsa combined into a lovely salad is one of my favorites.

Chris Hansen | 2 June, 2009 - 02:23

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

My favourite vegan recipe is an almond cream from The Schumacher College cookbook Gaia's Kitchen (see http://www.schumachercollege.org.uk/news/previously-sold-out-new-_gaias-... ). When I was completely vegan, this recipe seemed miraculously rich: it uses the protein in blended, blanched almonds to emulsify a fine stream of oil, following same principle as mayonnaise. With plenty of honey, it is quite transformative for vegan deserts. It's not quite healthy, but in an all-vegan meal there is room for treats.

Very excited about the Shojin Ryori book....

emalie | 2 June, 2009 - 02:45

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

It's hard to choose one favorite vegan recipe. I really like Susan V's golden potato and tempeh casserole from the Fatfree Vegan Kitchen blog -- but made with sweet potatoes instead. Mmmm:

http://blog.fatfreevegan.com/2008/07/golden-potato-and-tempeh-casserole....

veganinnc | 2 June, 2009 - 03:09

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

It's so hard to pick just one dish, but vegetable sushi is one of my all-time favorites, especially since there are so many different variations you can make.

This book sounds wonderful, thanks for the giveaway and review!

Hannah | 2 June, 2009 - 03:42

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

1/2 cup Chinese sesame paste or tahini (stir before measuring)
6 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons minced ginger
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 teaspoons sugar
4 tablespoons dark sesame oil
1 teaspoon hot chili oil (amount to taste)

with grilled eggplant (or any other grilled vegetable) is my current favorite vegetarian recipe.

I'd love this book!

tami | 2 June, 2009 - 04:01

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

Not actually vegan, but I do heart me my vegetables. And I can't limit it to just one dish that I love.

Mango salsa with chilli - sweet, sour and spicy all at once. Eggplant everything and any way - curried, fried, steamed... with chilli, garlic, miso, nattou (not all at the same time). Or substitute eggplant with tofu or just add tofu to the eggplant... And now I'm hungry. :(

ecaloshay | 2 June, 2009 - 04:12

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

Wow, this sounds really interesting. I'd love to win this book!

My favorite vegan meal is stir fry with tempeh. I make a nice sauce and include pineapple in it too. It is so good! I learned this dish while working at a restaurant.

Stacy | 2 June, 2009 - 04:25

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

My favorite vegan dish would probably be claypot mushrooms and tofu. The best version of the dish I've ever had was in a little restaurant in Vietnam. It was so yummy I am still trying to recreate it.

zara | 2 June, 2009 - 04:44

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

If this means I can replicate some of the dishes I ate while staying in a temple on Koya-san, then I need this book! :)

Amy | 2 June, 2009 - 04:45

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

Thanks Maki for the review! I am looking for a good shojin ryori cookbook ever since I went to Japan and tasted that exquisite cuisine. I documented my experience at Izusen, a restaurant at Daitokuji temple in Kyoto, with loads of pictures, so if you want to see beautiful food, head over to my blog:
http://www.theknittingphysicist.com/2008/07/shojin-ryori.html

I love vegan and vegetarian food, so it's hard to say which is my favorite vegan dish, but let's say it is spring rolls with ripe mango, rice noodles, crispy cucumber, matchstick carrots and crumbled "sa shi su se sho" tofu.

Dextery | 2 June, 2009 - 05:08

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

cookbook! cookbook! Thanks in advance for the lovely giveaway!!

ha1ku | 2 June, 2009 - 05:37

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

I saw this book at Borders th other day! I really liked it. Didn't buy it though, so thanks for the giveaway! Count me in ;D haha

Wing Chun | 2 June, 2009 - 05:52

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

This cookie recipe is hands down the best cookie recipe I've ever found. You won't believe they're vegan, and healthy!

Regina | 2 June, 2009 - 06:02

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

Clotilde's recipe @ChocolateAndZucchini for raw cashew cheese is my favorite vegan recipe. IT's this awesome stuff that I use in all types of sweet and savory dishes. I turn it into dips. Use it for ricotta in lasagna. Sweeten it with maple syrup and serve with fruit. Pipe it into the deep fryer for felafel-like goodness. Use it with a béchamel in vegan gratins. Very versatile.

http://chocolateandzucchini.com/archives/2008/11/raw_cashew_cheese.php

Addi | 2 June, 2009 - 06:05

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

Maki - thanks for your outstanding work on Just Hungry and Just Bento. I've been lurking mostly on Just Bento (thanks to being pointed towards it a couple of times by my sister) and skip over to Just Hungry from time to time.

Your lastest reviewed book looks great. I'd love to be in the competition.

My favourite vegan recipe that comes to mind is Chickpea Curry - www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/database/chickpeacurry_2213.shtml
It's simple and delicious and easy to adjust the amount of herbs/spices to make it as spicy or as mild as you like.

Keep up the good work.

Craving food in Tokyo | 2 June, 2009 - 06:38

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

Thanks for posting about this book. When I was in Japan, I really wanted to try a shōjin ryōri meal, but it was out of my budget. I've heard that preparing food in this style is like a meditative art form, so I'd really love to learn.

My absolute favorite vegan dish is vegan potato salad from a local (Los Angeles) vegan restaurant called Real Food Daily. Here's a link to the restaurant's cookbook:
http://www.amazon.com/Real-Food-Daily-Cookbook-Vegetarian/dp/1580086187/...

(Btw it is a really terrific cookbook, in general, especially their simple homemade seitan recipe)

anon. | 2 June, 2009 - 06:50

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

Oooh, interesting book.

My favourite vegan dish would probably be an assortment of any cooked vegetables, steamed or dressed up.

Or anything with tofu!

Chao | 2 June, 2009 - 06:58

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

This book would make a fabulous addition to my already large collection of Japanese cookbooks!

Cathy K. | 2 June, 2009 - 07:32

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

Thanks for the review, Maki! The books great and I'd love to have it on my shelf.

I find it tough to nominate my favorite vegan recipe because there are so many but one dish wins out thanks to its all round versatility - miso soup! It appears on my dinner table in some form or another at least once a week, more so in winter.

Chinebee | 2 June, 2009 - 07:50

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

Great book review! Sounds like it's chalk-full of great recipes.

My favourite recipe so far has been the carrot kinpira over on justbento.com! I plan my meals around what's available...bless everyone for such brilliant ideas!

Elspeth | 2 June, 2009 - 07:56

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

This book sounds amazing!

My absolute favorite vegan dish is vegan crepes! The best thing about them is that they're just as delicious as regular crepes and 10x easier to make. This is the recipe I always use: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Vegan-Crepes/Detail.aspx

lekha | 2 June, 2009 - 08:26

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

i came across this recipe for a spicy green bean and tofu salad at Eric Gower's Breakaway blog a while back. ginger, green garlic, and habanero ftw! so good.

or when i'm lazy, homemade miso soup is perfect comfort food.

Bryan | 2 June, 2009 - 08:32

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

My favorite vegan dish is yellow rice with beans. The ingredients include onions, garlic, cilantro, cilantro, saffron, tomato sauce, pigeon peas, and rice. It's so good; I'm honestly not sure why I don't make it more often. My second favorite dish is much simpler; it's just fried tofu and green string beans over white rice.

bin | 2 June, 2009 - 08:37

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

I don't eat a lot of vegan recipes, but as my apartment mates are all vegy, I'm going to be joining them next semester. It'd be sweet to have some recipes to wow them with. :D

The best vegan dish I've had was from a cafe a few states south; an organic panini with apple slices, lettuce, tomato, avocado, and their home-made dressing. It was awesome, and I haven't been able to remake it yet.

Amara | 2 June, 2009 - 08:43

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

I love anything tofu except the stinky kind.

Kyle | 2 June, 2009 - 09:40

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

Wow, that would be fab...I totally fell in love with this cooking style when living in japan so would love to be entered for the cookbook draw... one of my favourite vegan dish is this dessert...also works great in a pie crust. it proved to me that you can make delicious food the vegan way
http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/000310.html

eva | 2 June, 2009 - 10:19

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

Yum! Looks delicious!

My favourite vegan dish is a simple dish of braised tofu with woodear fungus, bell peppers and zucchini in a simple braising sauce made from ginger, garlic, soy sauce, rice wine and sugar. It's very comforting. :)

anon. | 2 June, 2009 - 10:40

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

My favorite vegan dishes are vegetable stir-fries with tofu and my own "macaroni and not-cheese" which has the same comfort-food feel as mac and cheese but with a different flavor and without the dairy. And Chinese scallion pancakes for snacks. Yum!

Macaroni and Not-cheese (apologies for US measure)
8 oz. pasta, cooked: elbow macaroni, penne, ziti, rotini, and similar shapes all do well.
fresh or granulated dry garlic (I usually use granulated as this is my alternative to Kraft Dinner)
3-4 Tbsp nutritional yeast flakes (autolyzed yeast extract)
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp unswetened soy milk or other non-dairy "milk"
pinch of salt

If using fresh garlic, saute briefly to flavor the oil. Keep or toss the sauteed bits as you prefer. In the case of granulated garlic, add with everything else. Toss pasta with oil, non-dairy milk, and nutritional yeast until well-blended. If it tastes a bit like mustard, add more garlic to balance the flavor of the yeast.

DC | 2 June, 2009 - 10:44

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

Just found your site today and what luck — wonderful recipes AND a contest! I recently arrived in Japan and have been feeling overwhelmed by the supermarket and cooking in general. as (after many years of learning French and German) I never thought I would end up here.

"nonintimidating recipes, that any amateur cook with decent access to Japanese ingredients could tackle"... sounds just about right!

tundrapunk | 2 June, 2009 - 11:39

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

finally! a promising shoujin ryouri book in English :D my Japanese isn't good enough to read Kano Yumiko's books, so I would love to get my hands on this.
hmm my favorite vegan dish...inarizushi :D
Thank you Maki for posting about this book, and for your awesome website!

mmmmmint | 2 June, 2009 - 12:09

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

'Lo, Always enjoy your articles Maki!

If i'm to be honest, i am a die hard meat eater so i don't really have any vegan recipiec i know off heart. But i do enjoy looking up vegan/vegitarian recipies as i find they have a bit more variety then a lot of meat dishes (and they are a lot cheaper)

Gail | 2 June, 2009 - 13:01

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

Believe it or not, my favorite vegan dish is plain ole' fruit salad. Yep, that's right -- just cut up fruit! I can hardly wait to get my hands on this book one way or another!

Sherri | 2 June, 2009 - 13:43

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

This book looks amazing!

I am struggling to think of a recipe of the top of my head... I'm big on vegan cupcakes, though! I have a recipe for awesome green tea cupcakes on my blog, but one would need to change the frosting around to make it vegan because it has dairy.
http://annesbento.wordpress.com/2009/05/24/green-tea-white-chocolate-cup...
I would suggest making a vegan buttercream with something like passionfruit, raspberry or pomegranate flavor.

I also love the spinach chickpea curry from Vegan with a Vengeance by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. Not sure if the recipe is online, considering copyright etc.

astaver | 2 June, 2009 - 14:00

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

I'm very intrigued with the concept. I grew up in the southern us, and ate everything that came along with it. Over the past few months, I've started learning to cook and eat better, and am interested in doing more vegetarian/vegan dishes for my husband and myself to enjoy. That being said, I don't have a favorite recipe yet, but am presently looking for one:)

Kirsten Pilkerton | 2 June, 2009 - 14:23

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

Ooooh. That cookbook sounds lovely.

Fave vegan dish, huh? I don't know that I have one right away, as every vegetarian dish I've tried still seems to have cheese on it. The closest I think I've come is a local Thai restaurant makes a cashew tofu dish that's really tasty. That's most likely vegan, unless there's something hiding in the sauce.

Shayna | 2 June, 2009 - 14:52

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

I go vegetarian for lunch so this book wiill come in handy!

My favourite vegetarian dish? Chai choy, it's a Chinese vegetarian staple dish for the 1st day of Chinese New Year. I haven't been able to cook it myself as I have a problem finding the right flavourings in Australia but my grandmother will always have this (or pig trotters in black vinegar) waiting on the table for me whenever I step off the plane in Malaysia. The recipe is here: http://babeinthecitykl.blogspot.com/2007/01/tzai-choy-vegetarian-dish-ve...

Eli | 2 June, 2009 - 14:58

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

My favorite vegan dish is a little boring I'm afraid! It's lentils! I'm not sure why but when I'm over-tired or had a stressful day I love eating a warm bowl of lentils. I've prepared them many ways over time, but I almost always put cumin in them to make them taste "meatier."

scwkitty | 2 June, 2009 - 15:07

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

One of my favorite vegan recipes that I make at least once a week is goma-ae. I use this basic recipe. It's so simple and so satisfying!

http://www.bob-an.com/recipe/dailyjc/basic/gomae/gomae.html

As far as sweets go, nothing beats kushi dango. :)

http://www.recipezaar.com/Kushi-Dango-304747

~kai | 2 June, 2009 - 15:25

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

YOU have already enlightened me beyond anything I ever could have imagined, but to have a chance for more via a copy of THE ENLIGHTENED KITCHEN: almost beyond consideration. Thank you for all that you write and share and encourage. eh438

eh438 | 2 June, 2009 - 15:36

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

My favorite vegan recipe so far is a simple zucchini crumble. With "herbes de provence" (i live in Southern France) and a little grated parmesan cheese on top. I need nothing more.

Kara | 2 June, 2009 - 15:53

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

I'm not a vegan, but I do have friends who don't eat meat so I find myself looking into a lot of vegan and vegetarian recipes. I will also find that exploring these recipes are a great way to eat healthier.

Here is one of my favorite vegan recipes:

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Miso-Glazed-Eggplant-109748

And for good measure, here is a vegetarian one as well. I LOVE this one so much that I encourage vegans to cut out the cheese and give this one a try:

http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Addictive-Sweet-Potato-Burritos/Detail.aspx

Smalerie | 2 June, 2009 - 16:05

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

my favorite vegan recipe has been on my mind lately as the weather warms up. i love making tabouli.

things that make my tabouli different are that i make it with quinoa (my husband can't eat cous cous due to a gluten allergy) and i add a little bit of minced raw garlic. i also mince up some preserved lemon and add some of the goo from the jar (i make my own, but you can buy it as well- the preserved lemon, not just the goo!). i love the extra lemony kick that it adds.

sgraham | 2 June, 2009 - 16:08

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

My favorite Japanese vegan dish is tofu dengaku. I've only made it once, but it's a fun treat, and I may have the chance to make it again soon over a wood fire.

katie | 2 June, 2009 - 16:22

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

My fav vegan dish is the knishes from Vegan with a Vengance.

eden | 2 June, 2009 - 16:25

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

I love shojin ryori! I have a book I bought in Japan about 10 years ago that is quite intimidating, so this sounds like it'd be right up my alley. It hopped into my Amazon cart, but maybe I'll wait and see if I get lucky?
I just made these vegan Jamaican Veggie Patties from Vegan Soul Kitchen (recipe was featured on 101 cookbooks recently) and they are so good! I'm definitely going to be making them again. The filling is even yummy all by itself. Here's the link: http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/jamaican-veggie-patties-recipe.html

jirud2003 | 2 June, 2009 - 16:36

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

The book looks great!
My all-time favorite vegan dish is something I've always called Zimbabwe kale. This is the closest thing I can find to the recipe, but I add some soy sauce, Sriracha sauce, & lime juice or tamarind paste. http://www.recipezaar.com/Zimbabwe-Greens-200972

amyk | 2 June, 2009 - 16:46

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

I don't cook vegan food often, but I do have many vegan friends (or other special diets like gluten-free or vegetarian). I think vegan food is something great to do for lunches or dinner, one meal a day or for those that have a dairy intolerance (myself included). I am also specifically interested in this book since it has a spiritual aspect behind it, being linked to Buddhism. In my experience, often times the best food is found at temples around the world!

I don't have a recipe I can link to that is vegan, but I do have a recipe from my own private stash on how to make home-made seitan (which is great because it's not readily available in most areas).
---------------------------------------
- - - - Home-made Seitan Recipe - - - -
---------------------------------------
Dry ingredients:
1 1/2 cups instant gluten flour (vital wheat gluten)
1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
½ tsp garlic granules
½ tsp onion granules

Wet ingredients:
1 cup water/vegetable broth/tomato juice (tomato juice makes it taste beefier – it’s what I always use)
3 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp olive oil (optional)

Simmering broth:
10 cups water or vegetable broth
½ cup soy sauce

Place gluten lour, nutritional yeast flakes, garlic and onion granules in a medium mixing bowl and stir them together.

Measure out the liquid ingredients and place them in a small mixing bowl. Stir them together and pour this liquid into the dry ingredients. Mix well. If there is still flour around the edges, add a small amount of water (1 to 2 Tbsp only!). You should now have a large, firm, spongy mass in the bowl. This is called gluten.

Knead the gluten directly in the mixing bowl for a minute just to blend. Do not add any more flour. Then slice the gluten into three relatively equal pieces and set aside.

Place the ingredients for simmering broth in a 4 ½ quart saucepan or Dutch over, add the gluten pieces and bring to gentle boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer the gluten partially covered for one hour. Maintain the heat so that the liquid barely simmers, and turn the gluten over several times during cooking.

Remove the saucepan from the heat and let the seitan cool in the broth uncovered.

Transfer the seitan to storage containers and add enough broth to keel it covered. Cover tightly with lid. Can store in refrigerator for up to ten days or freeze up to six months. To extend the life of seitan indefinitely, boil it in its broth for ten minutes two times a week.

discojing | 2 June, 2009 - 16:53

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

The cookbook sounds delicious! After living in Japan for a few years, I've been missing Japanese food ever since, especially the amazing variety of tofu available there!

My current favorite vegan recipe, for Thai-style Basil Tofu Stirfry (is also excellent -- and less greasy -- made with tofu that's been frozen and then thawed):

http://shiokfood.com/notes/archives/000015.html

Monica | 2 June, 2009 - 16:55

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

My favourite vegan recipe is far from complicated (or original, to be honest):

For two (scale up or down, depending on whether it's a main or side dish):

4 baby bok choi
2 garlic cloves
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 slice of tofu (making a dozen or so small cubes)

Warm the sesame oil in a pan or wok, throw in the chopped up bok choi. Stir until tender, add tofu.
Crush (or cut up) the garlic and add.
Serve hot (with chili/soy/sesame seeds to taste)

Mademoiselle à Paris | 2 June, 2009 - 16:59

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

Sounds like a good book, I'm going to recommend it to my friend ... unless I get a free copy, in which case I'll just give it to her.

My favorite vegan (and raw) dish is from a restaurant: Leaf in L.A., where they make collard green wraps with tons of veggies and bean & nut-based croquettes.

Michael | 2 June, 2009 - 17:01

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

This book sounds really interesting! I'm also looking forward to all the vegan recipes people will post or link to in the comments here.

My personal vegan favorite is not a complete meal, but a recipe for marinated tofu. It's originally vegetarian, but can very easily be veganized by subtituting the honey:

Honey-Mustard-Tofu:
(for 450g/16 ounces Tofu)

3 tbs honey or maple sirup
1 tbs sugar beet molasses
1 tbs peanut oil
1 ts soy sauce
3 ½ tbs mustard
2 ts curry powder
salt, pepper

The amounts of honey/sirup and mustard can be adjusted to taste. Personally, I use more than the recipe here requires. Just taste the marinade until you like it!

Drain Tofu and cut into 1/2 inch cubes, then put in a casserole dish. Mix the ingredients for the marinade and pour marinade over the tofu. Let the tofu marinade like this for at least 20 min or up to a day (1 day will yield the best result). Put the casserole in the fridge if you let it marinade for more than a few hours. Preheat oven to 200°C/392 F and bake for about 20 minutes until golden brown. Serve with rice and vegetables!

Stefanie | 2 June, 2009 - 17:08

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

Hey Everyone! If you live in NYC or plan to visit, there's a new Shojin restaurant that opened called "Kajitsu." Check it out on yelp.com or visit www.kajitsunyc.com. It's gotten great reviews.

anon. | 2 June, 2009 - 17:09

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

Thanks for featuring this book! If I don't win, I'll certainly need to buy a copy. My husband is Japanese and has introduced me to many, many wonderful foods. Nothing makes me happier than simple yudofu with ginger and green onions.

Megan | 2 June, 2009 - 17:25

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

Any veggie dish in Chinese cuisine, especially tofu and eggplant!

Eleana | 2 June, 2009 - 17:29
tiptup | 2 June, 2009 - 17:31

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

Love it! The book looks great, and the idea to include recipe links in the comments was brilliant! I need all the good vegan recipes I can get.

My favourite is the luscious vegan mac and cheez over at vegan yum yum

http://veganyumyum.com/2007/10/mac-and-cheese-cheeze-yeast/

Rich, creamy, savoury and no creepy vegan 'cheese' involved.

Iron Kate | 2 June, 2009 - 17:43

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

I love vegan cookbooks! My husband can't eat eggs, so my favourite recipe for him is the eggless "crazy" cake, which people made during the Depression and is conveniently vegan :)

Christine W | 2 June, 2009 - 18:27

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

I love vegan cookbooks! My husband can't eat eggs, so my favourite recipe for him is the eggless "crazy" cake, which people made during the Depression and is conveniently vegan :)

Christine W | 2 June, 2009 - 18:27

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

This is my favorite vegan recipe:

http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/garlicky-greens-recipe.html

I love all kinds of greens! This light cooking method is quick garlicky and has loads of flavor (especially if you add a little fresh nutmeg!).

I would love to have this book. Thoughtfully prepared meals are the best to feed our soul.

Barb | 2 June, 2009 - 18:30

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

I also would love to enter, I was lucky enough to sample shojinryori when I lived in Japan. A far cry from what the normal food I learned to cook there, but fun nonetheless.
As for great vegan recipes, what a good idea!
I can't tell you a favorite, since I love them all, but since we're cold down here sub-equator, I am making Japanese curry and rice- for tonight's dinner- boil up carrots, potatoes, onions, maybe some TVP and shiitake, boil til almost tender, drain. Make a roux of oil and flour, cook over low heat til browned, add about 1t curry powder and 1T sugar, then add back the drained water to make your sauce. Whisk til it's smooth, a few lumps are OK. Add the cooked veggies back to the sauce, add extra salt to taste, slice up a tomato and throw in (my host-mother's secret curry ingredient), cook another 10 min or so, if the sauce is not thick enough for you add 1T arrowroot in 2T water and mix in. Check salt and sugar and voila! Eat with rice and benishoga. Vegan curry is simple.
Also- Mari- love your blogs.

torque threehouse | 2 June, 2009 - 18:34

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

I don't have my favorite vegan recipe online. It is a toasted quinoa salad with carrots and cashews. I don't have too difficult of a time finding Japanese ingredients, thanks to living in Greater Seattle. I'll look to see if the public library has this book available. If not, I'll make a request for them to order it.

Gwen

Gwen | 2 June, 2009 - 18:47

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

My favorite vegan dish is an indian one, aloo gobi. It is made with potatos and cauliflower and cooked in a spicy tomato sauce. I usually buy a kit for it in a local indian store, but Recipezaar seems to have a nice recipe, http://www.recipezaar.com/Aloo-Gobi-84324

Tanya | 2 June, 2009 - 18:47

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

That book sounds wonderful. I remember when the temple chef appeared on Iron Chef. Everything looked so light and fresh that he made.

Anyway, my favorite vegan recipe that I can think of off hand is an old staple of mine which I make whenever I'll have a busy week ahead and will want plenty of leftovers. I make Middle Eastern lentils and rice with onions. There's a recipe at the following link, even though I use the one out of Madhur Jaffrey's "World Vegetarian": http://www.dianaskitchen.com/page/beans/mujader.htm

With some steamed veggies or a salad on the side, you've got a complete meal!

Nathaniel | 2 June, 2009 - 18:49

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

Hi, Maki~
In a week I'll be leaving to spend the summer with my vegan girlfriend, while I have only been edging toward vegetarianism-- so I'll definitely be looking to learn some new foodways : ) Thanks for the opportunity!

Though I always thought I disliked coconut, hot sticky rice with coconut milk and cold mango has won me over. The contrast in temperature and texture is stunning.

Jenny | 2 June, 2009 - 19:06

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

Sounds like an interesting book, I am always trying to add my vegan recipes. My personal favorite is collection of recipes, adapted from family recipes, resulting in a vegan Mexican feast (Spanish Rice, salsas in all forms, enchiladas, tacos, potato tacitos, etc.)

Stephanie | 2 June, 2009 - 20:09

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

I would love to win your copy of The Enlightened Kitchen! And my favorite vegan recipe is Lemon-Scented Quinoa Salad from 101 Cookbooks. I have made it many times for vegan and non-vegans alike and everyone just loves it.

http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/001493.html

Trixie | 2 June, 2009 - 20:34

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

I don't purposefully eat vegan but this book might be a change agent to get me to try more vegan meals.

My favorite vegan recipe is a Black bean and Corn salad with a Southwestern vinagrette. Although I don't have the vinagrette recipe handy -- I usually make it up as I go along -- this dressing incorporates the major items: cilantro, cumin, and cayenne.

http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Black-Bean-And-Corn-Salad-I/Detail.aspx

edna lewis | 2 June, 2009 - 20:55

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

Would love, love, love to have a copy! I have no favorite vegan dish as there're so many delicious ones, to choose one over others would be unfair--although miso soup with silken tofu and vegetables of the season seems to be the one I eat most often. I love food infused with Japanese accents, & always turn to this page for inspiration for simple , delish, quick-to-prepare dishes.

dedicated eater | 2 June, 2009 - 20:55

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

I don't really have a favorite vegan recipe. I have spent a bit of time in Japan working for an NTT company, and am trying to learn some good healthy recipes. I enjoy the recipes on your site and have had good success with all that I have tried.

Thomas | 2 June, 2009 - 20:56

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

The book sounds wonderful!

My favorite vegan food would have to be tabbouleh -- specifically my mom's version. I'm afraid I can't link to any recipe in particular since whenever it gets made at my house, we really just throw in whatever fresh vegetables we have on hand. Always present are chickpeas, cucumbers, red peppers, and parsley.

Hannah | 2 June, 2009 - 22:05

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

Looks like a great book! I'd love to get it in my kitchen!
My favorite vegan recipe is one I've worked out myself, trying to copy a dish at Laughing Seed Cafe in Asheville, NC. (http://www.laughingseed.com/index.php?page=1) The Harmony Bowl as they serve it is layered with brown rice, pintos, tofu, steamed veggies and a delicious dressing/sauce (the closest I've come to it is the Ginger Soy dressing in the Joy of cooking). You can also add the sea vegetable of the day is you like. It's warm, tasty and oh so filling!
Ann

Ann - If It's Fiber | 2 June, 2009 - 22:32

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

IT sounds like an interesting book and timely for me, I've been trying to get more vegetable stuff into my diet. Please do sign me up for the contest! As for favorite vegan dish it would be a toss up between the kirapara recipe I found here(part of how I found your site was looking for vegetable recipes) or a vegetable frittata dish I through together on my own (if you are allowing eggs and cheese into it. If you are going strictly vegetarian...hmmmmm....)

drat...for some reason my putting links in is triggering the spam filter. I have a recipe for mango (or other fruit) with stick rice that is a wonderful breakfast or dessert dish, and another for Dan Dan noodles.

Rhiannon | 2 June, 2009 - 22:47

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

Ratatouille is love. <3 It's so versatile: you can put it with anything, or serve it on its own. You can even swap ingredients and add extras to make it more interesting. :D

I use the recipe from Cooking for Engineers, which while it calls for chicken stock, is easily editable to use vegetable stock: http://www.cookingforengineers.com/recipe/227/Ratatouille

Fiona | 3 June, 2009 - 00:48

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

Mmmmm this books looks awesome! I love the simple vegan stuff, like rice and veggies w/ vegan kimchee. I've tried fancier things, but I always come back to simple basic things.

danielo | 3 June, 2009 - 01:09

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

My favorite vegan dish is zaru soba. It's so nice to eat something cold when it's hot outside.

Kasumi | 3 June, 2009 - 01:20

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

That's really neat! I have been intrigued by shojin ryouri, but I've always been too intimidated by the ingredients and equipment to try. Maybe reading this book will change things...

I am a vegetarian and my sister is vegan, so we both spend a lot of time cooking. One of our favorite recipes is vegan apple pancakes with chopped fresh fruit and homemade maple syrup on top. Delicious.

Leaf | 3 June, 2009 - 01:54

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

My favorite vegan recipes come from Moosewood (okay, they're mostly pescetarian recipes). Now that it's summer, I love their chilled avocado grapefruit soup. And Martha Stewart's broiled tofu with soy-lemon sauce and minty soba: (hmm it says I've triggered the spam filter. Go to her site and search for "lemon tofu" and it's 4th down)

Lillian | 3 June, 2009 - 02:44

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

Sounds intriguing! I have been trying to incorporate more vegan and vegetarian dishes into my life. I love tofu in all forms, especially the seasoned, dried squares of spiced tofu that I slice and stir-fry with green beans, garlic, and a splash of soy sauce.

Kairu Yao | 3 June, 2009 - 03:01

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

This books sounds great. I'm not vegan but would love to try and move in that direction a little more than I am.

My favourite vegan recipe (with milk substituted for soy milk obviously) is Chocolate Polenta pudding
http://www.recipezaar.com/Chocolate-Polenta-Pudding-190956

moonshae | 3 June, 2009 - 04:09

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

From reading the review on The Enlightened Kitchen, it appears that this is the perfect cook book for preparing vegetables with zen appeal. And the fact that an amateur cook can follow these recipes with ease is a definite bonus. I’m no professional in the kitchen, but I love experimenting with creative/healthy ways to prepare veggies for my family.

eatinggreen | 3 June, 2009 - 06:00

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

Well, regardless of the contest, I'm really happy you reviewed this, because otherwise I would have assumed the recipes would be too difficult. We stayed on Koyasan for one night during our honeymoon and the food at the monastery where we stayed was some of the best anywhere during the whole trip (even though we ate kaiseki ryori for most of our dinners). I'd love to win it anyway, of course, but either way, thanks for reviewing it.

My favorite vegan dish is probably the one I made tonight:
http://wintersweet.livejournal.com/1407001.html
It doesn't have a name so we just call it Cauliflower Nom (we are silly people).

--
http://www.readableblog.com (for English learners)
http://www.talktotheclouds.com (for teachers)

wintersweet | 3 June, 2009 - 06:10

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

I'm no way near eating like a vegetarian. In summary i love to eat meat, veg... whatever taste good. But on many occasion i have craved a meat free meal. One of my favorite and easy go to soup is a "Mulit-Beans Minestrone" recipe by Lorna Sass, made with meat free stock. Wholesome and satifying... and I loved it how it so convenient made in a pressure cooker too!

Cake | 3 June, 2009 - 06:31

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

Ooh... and falafel too! However, i buy these at the local lebanese/Egyptian takeaway ; )

And when i'm in Paris, L'A Falafel in Marais... my favorite!

Cake | 3 June, 2009 - 06:35

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

MMMM... The eggplant soup sounds very good! Man, now I'm hungry. This blog often has that effect.

abbicus | 3 June, 2009 - 07:08

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

this book sounds really good! i've always wanted a japanese cookbook with vegan foods and this one sounds like the recipes aren't too complicated or difficult, which is great for me since my family isn't vegan so i cook mostly for myself. I'll still try looking for this book too- i'm really curious.

I don't have a favorite recipe, but my first cookbook Vegan Express by Nava Atlas has one of the first recipes i ever used: seitan gyros.
that's basically saute garlic and onions then add seitan, oregano, and cumin until the seitan is golden. then place the seasoned seitan in pita bread with a cucumber and vegan ranch/creamy dill dressing with tomato slices and lettuce.
it's really simple, but also really good and quick to make :)

foodlover | 3 June, 2009 - 07:09

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

Hi Maki,
Im not a vegetarian but I really do enjoy Vegetarian food.

My favourite vegetarian recipe is an older type of recipe.

Mushroom and Barley Soup
I love this in winter time because its so filling and tasty.
We actually use a vegetable based chicken flavoured stock in house as well.

I often use swiss brown mushrooms in this instead of plain ones as well for the stronger flavour.

Mushroom and Barley Soup

I am a memeber so I am hoping that is why I can not see an email box...

MissB | 3 June, 2009 - 07:49

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

This book was probably the first Japanese cookbook I cooked from, and has some of my absolute favourite recipes which I still use today. I'm glad to see it getting an airing here. A must! Whoever wins is in for a treat.

pii_bii | 3 June, 2009 - 10:01

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

Its nice to have lots of veggie recepies! specialy with the summer coming... looks great!

Kayleigh Sparks | 3 June, 2009 - 11:30

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

No matter how many food blogs I read, I find myself returning to your's (both Just Hungry and Just Bento) when I'm looking for dinner inspiration. I was a die hard omnivore until the doctor told me my cholesterol was way too high for someone in their twenties, so I've been trying to eat vegetarian more often.

My favorite vegan recipe is an almond basil pesto potato pea pasta salad (I don't know what exactly to call it since it's just some of my favorite things thrown together, so there's no exact recipe anywhere). Here's how I make it for parties since it makes a ton:

2 + cups of basil almond pesto- [basil, chopped almonds, olive oil, several chopped garlic cloves, pinch of chili flakes, plenty of salt, black pepper: whiz all dry ingredients in food processor and stream in olive oil until everything is mixed and the almonds look like grated parmesan but are still big enough chunks to retain crunch]
10 small new potatoes, peeled
1.5 cups peas
1 lb. bite size pasta
2 cups baby spinach
handful of grape tomatoes
1 scallion/green onion stalk, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 TB capers
1/3 cup pinenuts, toasted
olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste

Bring large pot of salted water to boil. Cook potatoes until tender (~12 minutes), rinse under cold water, dump on cutting board and cut into chunks. Boil peas for 1 minute, rinse under cold water in colander. Return water to boil, add pasta, cook until al dente, reserving 1/2 cup cooking water.

Heat a bit of olive oil in a large pan over medium heat, and sauté the scallions and the garlic about 1 minute. Add crushed red pepper and capers, and then stir in the potatoes and spinach. Turn off heat. Add tomatoes, pasta, pine nuts, peas, and pesto. Mix, using reserved cooking water to moisten as necessary. Season with salt and pepper. Chill until use, and serve at room temperature. (though it tastes good at any temperature, really)

I'm also really fond of this fruit salsa (best tasting fruit salad I've ever had)- http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Annies-Fruit-Salsa-and-Cinnamon-Chips/Detai...
I like to add mangoes to the fruit mix.

Whew, that was long for a comment. Sorry about that. =3

spring_rain | 3 June, 2009 - 11:55

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

Think I'll have to get a hold of this book if I don't win it ;)
Regarding my favorite recipe, I really don't have one, but I'm hoping that this book will spark an interest to actually start following some of these delicious recipes, instead of just reading about it and dreaming.

XezzeX | 3 June, 2009 - 12:30

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

Oh, after having Shyojin Ryori food when visiting Koyasan little more than a week ago this review really made me want this book. Too bad I hadn't read it yet when I ordered books two days ago, but now I hope for luck instead. It also made it very hard to think of my favourite vegetarian food - I just remember the wonderful tofu and lotus root tempura we had for dinner at the temple we stayed with. No recipes :/

lina | 3 June, 2009 - 16:11

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

Not really a dish per se, but i could eat plain chickpeas for every meal!

rachael | 3 June, 2009 - 17:33

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

Noddle soup with vegan dashi/ shoyu broth, shirataki noodles, tofu cubes, bamboo shoots, baby bok choi and shiitake.

YUM!

Emily Walter | 3 June, 2009 - 17:36

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

My favorite vegan recipe is actually Maki's tofu pudding. This book sounds really intriguing, as non-intimidating recipes are important to this klutzy cook!

Leendats | 3 June, 2009 - 17:58

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

I NEED this book! I've wanted to taste this cuisine and have had problems finding decent recipes, just like you said.
I am a vegan, so asking me to choose a favorite vegan meal is hard, but when I want to impress people and prove that vegan = edible, I make a curry or a soup.

Diana | 3 June, 2009 - 17:58

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

I have three roommates, one of whom is vegetarian. I like to cook large meals for the whole house in order to get feedback on the recipes, so I've started exploring the world of vegetarian cusine. Thus far, my absolute favorite recipe is one for Veggie Couscous from a one-dish meal cookbook. Combine cooked couscous with yellow squash, zucchini, chickpeas, red bell pepper, season with cumin/curry/garlic/pepper, and bake until warm in a 9"x13" baking dish. For the non-vegan version, drizzle with a few tablespoons melted butter. Simple, quick, and delicious!

Jenae | 3 June, 2009 - 19:33

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

Unfortunately, I do not come bearing recipes. But I will say that few things beat asparagus roasted in a super-hot skillet, with sea salt baked into the surface. Or cannellini salad, with red onions, lemon, good olive oil, parsley & tomatoes.

Jane G. | 3 June, 2009 - 20:10

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

Falafel is easily my favorite vegan dish, hands down. I want for nothing after a face full of falafel :) I've yet to try to make it on my own, so I haven't hunted down a recipe, but I still feel a little virtuous for BUYING delicious vegan food!

anon. | 3 June, 2009 - 21:38

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

cool give-away (again).
My favorite vegan dish would be some sort of vegetarian south indian snack....but I can't decide. Let's just say Dosa with Sambar and coconut chutney....
if I want to be lazy about a recipe, I might suggest Inari sushi, because you've given us recipe(s)....
Anyway, thanks for the review too because I am always a skeptic but would like a book like this.

Anna | 3 June, 2009 - 22:46

If I don't win it, I'm buying it!

I would like to enter the giveaway. I can't choose only one favorite vegan dish so I'm sharing two.

First up, mac and faux cheese - serious American comfort food. Cashews, soy milk, and roasted red peppers make the creamiest and most convincing faux cheese. Recipe here: http://seesawfodder.blogspot.com/2009/02/our-favorite-mac-and-faux-chees...

The second dish is so delicious that I often eat it as is, drinking the juices that remain in the bowl. Spaghetti squash is combined with tomatoes, garlic, bok choy, and chili peppers for a flavor explosion! It is especially yummy served with rice or cracked wheat. Recipe here: http://seesawfodder.blogspot.com/2009/02/spicy-garlic-spaghetti-squash-v...

bonbon | 3 June, 2009 - 22:52

A vegetarian who loves vegan.

I am fortunate enough to live in the bay area where shojin ryori cuisine is available at the amazing Cha-Ya restaurant. I eat there whenever possible.

As far as non-Japanese vegan food, VeganYumYum has nothing but amazing vegan recipes, my very favorite of which is http://veganyumyum.com/2009/01/eggplant-and-pine-nut-rolled-lasagna/

my omnivorous friend told me it was the best lasagna she'd ever eaten.

SeanMichael | 4 June, 2009 - 01:33

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

Oh! What a lovely book! My favorite vegan recipe is a twist on this korma recipe: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Navratan-Korma/Detail.aspx
I just sub coconut milk in for the heavy cream, and omit the paneer. For protein, add chickpeas or kidney beans at the end.

Elisabeth Yazdzik | 4 June, 2009 - 01:35

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

"the author, Mari Fujii, married to Buddhist monk" Buddhist monk in Japan can get married? o_O??
I think it's an interesting book.
I'm truly carnivore, I can't eat vegan nor vegetarian food although I tried, Fails!! I don't know why but i feel lack of something or probably they just not tasty enough.

diana | 4 June, 2009 - 02:38

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

diana wrote:

"the author, Mari Fujii, married to Buddhist monk" Buddhist monk in Japan can get married? o_O??

Depending on the kind of monk they are, they can get married. Just like Protestant church officials can get married (but not Catholics).

maki | 10 June, 2009 - 21:32

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

I don't know how to link. But my favorite vegan recipe is warm lentil salad; lentils cooked with onions, celery, carrots and mushrooms. With a finishing squeeze of lemon juice.

BethF | 4 June, 2009 - 04:15

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

My favorite vegan dish is in fact one of your recipes: Vegan Turnip Cake or Daikon Radish Cake.
Been a follower of your websites, and whipping up dishes using your recipes. My family loves your noodles recipe especially.

Soo | 4 June, 2009 - 07:23

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

Sounds like an awesome book! I certainly do want to know more about shojin ryori. Incidentally, my favorite vegan recipe is the vegan version of "Japanese Potato Salad" on your site. ^^

Tieng | 4 June, 2009 - 09:12

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

What an awesome-looking book!

My fave vegan recipe is probably this made with non-dairy fat rather than butter (I like throwing in a bit of sesame oil or other interesting oil to vary the tastes a little). It makes a good bento side dish for protein.

I'm vegetarian, but often end up cooking vegan a lot as my bf won't eat cooked cheese :)

Ally | 4 June, 2009 - 09:41

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

Hm...vegan dish huh? The only thing on my mind right now is Aburaage nigiri. Mmmm...I love aburaage. =]

KayDat | 4 June, 2009 - 09:48

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

Ohh this cookbook sounds awesome! My favourite vegetable is eggplant, & esp when it's cooked with this recipe:

http://www.deliciousasianfood.com/2007/06/22/sweet-spicy-brinjal/

But this is also one of the rare few eggplant recipes that I know of, so I'd love to know more eggplant recipes, especially if the ones in this book are your personal favourites :D

I'm smitten with tofu too. I simply cannot live without it, basically XD

jia | 4 June, 2009 - 09:48

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

I'd love to have this! My favorite vegan meal? Not so much of a meal as a happy memory...

We had a huge garden when I was growing up, and as soon as the squash (white UFO-shaped things) was ready, once a week, Dad would pick a couple nice ones and send us into the garden for orange tomatoes and he would slice them up and some onions and we would have a vege-fry. He would fry and fry and fry (and sometimes send us up to the garden again) and my brothers and I would eat and eat and eat!

I finally found the seeds for those squash this year, and I have some growing in MY garden now too! I even bought a couple of tomato plants so MY boys can have a squash-tomato fry like I remember! (and I'll even remember to sprinkle some sugar on top of the frying tomatoes!) Yum!!!!!!

AmyB | 4 June, 2009 - 14:43

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

i love making guacamole a lot but i also love cooking jpn foods!

Alison | 4 June, 2009 - 19:37

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

My favorite vegan recipe is a dish I don't really have a recipe for, since I made it up -- stir fry tofu, kale, sesame seeds, maybe some mushrooms and a bit of onion in a wok, and make a sauce by mixing red miso paste, water, sri racha hot sauce, and a little mirin (a touch of honey can be nice, too). Serve with rice, of course!

RC | 4 June, 2009 - 23:48

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

Kimchi without the oysters/anchovies during the pickling is my favourite vegan good I think! I'd loove to get that book! :)

scottie | 5 June, 2009 - 03:10

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

This book looks fantastic, and I'm crossing all my fingers :-)

mosaica | 5 June, 2009 - 04:07

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

My favourite recipe at the moment is a slight adaptation of Maki's Tori Nabe. I omit the chicken obviously, and use vegetable stock. And I add some wakame because I love it and it sort of makes up for not using the konbu. But I still call it Tori Nabe! ;-) I have a habit of using the original recipe name even after I have veganised a recipe.

webgeekgirl | 5 June, 2009 - 23:29

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

This book looks wonderful...being a vegan I'm always interested in learning new vegan cooking techniques, especially when they're related to an authentic part of a culture.
There are so many really great vegan dishes to choose from, though one of my all time favorites is really simple: sticky white rice, toasted sesame seeds, tamari, and avocado sliced or cubed. It is my comfort food.

ginger clark | 6 June, 2009 - 03:26

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

I love reading about different Japanese dishes here; my boyfriend spent a year in Tokyo for his study-abroad trip and we love making Japanese food! Thanks for the awesome recipes! :)

lhinelle | 6 June, 2009 - 17:00

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

I'm not a vegan, but I do love vegan food for healthy snacks. Edamame + a bit of water for a five minute spin in the microwave. That's it. Salt if you really want it. Maybe not quite a "dish" per se, but it's tasty.

BeeP | 6 June, 2009 - 21:02

Not a Vegan, but...

...I'm always looking for great vegetable recipes!

Nicole M | 6 June, 2009 - 21:44

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

Interesting. I am having trouble finding new ways to cook vegetable at home. So I will definitely give it a try.

Khanh Duong | 6 June, 2009 - 23:50

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

I would love this book! It looks fantastic!

Honestly, one of my favourite meals is just a gigantic salad.

But I always go to vegan dad for his seitan dishes. http://vegandad.blogspot.com/2008/03/homemade-sausages.html

krista jade | 7 June, 2009 - 00:58

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

While I love 精進料理, especially Koya-dofu, I don't actually make a point of cooking explicitly vegan recipes myself--with the exception of Maki's Zucchini & Chickpea Pancakes. I'm usually rather skittish about trying recipes that I haven't tasted before, but I took a chance on this one and it's become one of my favorites!

homodachi | 7 June, 2009 - 01:00

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

That books looks fun! Right now, I love salad. I am not sure what is going on but I can not get enough of it, just plain salad. At least it is easy!!
Shorty

shorty | 7 June, 2009 - 07:04

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

I love pretty much all vegetables, especially simple edamame and rice.

penguinspy | 7 June, 2009 - 08:08

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

My favorite vegan recipe is Creamy (Dairy-Free) Mashed Potatoes by Rebecca Wood (http://www.rwood.com/Recipes/Creamy_Dairy_Free_Mashed_Potatoes.htm:

For rich and delicious mashed potatoes, add avocado. Just imagine, in a bite of already creamy potatoes, you teeth slipping thru a nibble of avocado...what a lovely texture and flavor contrast. My daughter and grandchildren recently visited and she rolled her eyes imagining the combination—but she and the kids cleaned up every last dab.

Commercial potatoes are one of the four vegetables highest in pesticide residues; if at all possible buy organic potatoes. The other three most chemically contaminated vegetables are celery, spinach and sweet peppers. For more details see When Not to Buy Organic.

You may peel the potatoes if you wish, but I prefer keeping them intact for the extra nutrients.

Serves 2

2 to 3 fist size yellow potatoes, quartered
1 tablespoon salt
1 small avocado, diced
¼ cup extra virgin olive or hemp oil
1 tablespoons dried dill or 2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
Freshly ground black pepper
Squeeze lemon juice

Place the potatoes in a medium sized pot and add cold water to cover. Add salt and bring to a boil. Cook at a steady simmer until the potatoes are very tender and easily pierced with a fork, about 15-20 minutes.

Drain the potatoes but reserve the liquid. Pass through a ricer or mash with a potato masher or fork. Fold in the avocado, oil, dill, pepper, lemon juice and adjust salt. If necessary, gently mix in 1 to 2 tablespoons reserved potato cooking water for desired consistency. Serve immediately.

Thank you!

Michel | 7 June, 2009 - 10:46

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

Wow this looks fantastic!
I'm amazed by all those vegan cookbooks that suddenly pop up :D

One of my fave recipes at the moment is this:
http://www.katu.com/amnw/recipes/41748467.html
It has it all you need, it's delicious and very fresh due to the mango. And the cilantro really adds something to the excitement of this dish, haha!
Sometimes I use black lentils instead of black beans, depending what I have at hand.
Enjoy and no matter whether I win or not, TRY THIS!!

Elisabeth | 7 June, 2009 - 12:05

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

My favourite vegan recipe varies, but I love the Ginger-Macadamia-Coconut Carrot Cake from Vegan with a Vengeance. It's really good, and I don't have a sweet tooth.

Or for something savoury, an Asparagus Quiche with Tomato and Tarragon, from Veganomicon. Both books are by Isa Chandra Moskowitz.

Chely | 7 June, 2009 - 13:01

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

Hmm, your mention of aubergine reminded me of the Spicy Chilli Eggplant I made last week. The recipe came from a book called "The Asian Vegan Kitchen" by Hema Parekh, which I picked up at Maruzen near Tokyo station. Usually my adventures with eggplant turn out below average but this one was so good I made it two weeks in a row.

blacklilly | 7 June, 2009 - 17:37

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

I'm an Indian woman living in Basel and my very favorite vegan food item is a masala dosa with all its fixings The very best dosas are not served at home (hence no link to recipe) but at eateries.

Niney | 7 June, 2009 - 19:03

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

Sigh, I missed the giveaway. I love goma-tofu and am saving up my pennies to experience shojin ryori here in NYC (Kajitsu).

Marie | 10 June, 2009 - 16:16

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

Hi Maki,
I've been enjoying your sites for some time now and just discovered this review of the Enlightened Kitchen. Earlier in the week I atteneded one of the author's cooking classes and had a wonderful time - she is a lovely lady with a real knack for sharing her love of food.

Anyhow, the only downside to the food was the amount of deep-frying involved... have you found this with the book as well? If so, can you suggest any alternatives? I'm interested to know before I buy the book online.

Thank you!

lizu | 11 November, 2009 - 21:54

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

Hi lizu, the book is in storage right now so I can't take a look at it, but if i recall there are a lot of not-fried recipes in there. Keep in mind that it's not a dieting book per se, and there is quite a lot of deep frying in Japanese cooking (you just don't eat a lot of it at one time). HTH!

maki | 12 November, 2009 - 05:51

Re: Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri ...

Thanks Maki-san, I think I'll order a copy & see how I go. I'm not so much interested in the dieting aspect, moreso the fuss of preparing/storing so much oil. Thanks again,

Liz

lizu | 13 November, 2009 - 13:42

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maki Just Hungry is a site about food. There are lots of recipes and much more. You may want to read about Just Hungry, or contact the site owner, Makiko Itoh. To dive in real deep, try the site map.

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