Hint of Cherry Blossom - Vegan Lunch Course by Jin

On a beautiful Wednesday afternoon, I prepared a simple vegan lunch course to 3 guests. In my country, this is the season for cherry blossom, and we gather with friends & family with great foods, drink, even karaoke, under cherry trees to celebrate this short-lasting period.

The first course was "miso shot", made with vegan dashi stock (kombu seaweed and shiitake mushroom soaked in water overnight), cooked with variety of vegetables, and seasoned with dark, long aged home made miso. It's more concentrated than usual, so I served in a small tea cup to harmonize and stimulate your digestion. 

The next course is spring kale salad with pink wheat noodle (somen), lightly dressed with ume vinegar & lemon juice, and creamy tahini-ume dressing on top. 

Steamed tofu cake with shiitake mushroom gravy sauce was the next. This is a very common food in Shojin cuisine, a type of Buddhist dish. Tofu was mixed with onion, carrot and hijiki seaweed.

The main course is shio koji (fermented sea salt) marinated tempeh, fried and served with teriyaki sauce. In my cooking, no refined sugar is used, so I sweetened the teriyaki sauce with only sake and cooking rice wine (mirin). 

Now the dessert. Amazake pudding with strawberry, nuts and coconuts. The taste might have surprised the guests at first, because of this "unidentifiable" or "distinctive" flavor" from fermented brown rice (amazake). No sweeteners added, only from this amazake. 

We Japanese love cherry blossom so much that we even salt-pickled them so we can enjoy it for long. And this is used for variety of cookings. But most commonly used is for tea. It's so beautiful and celebratory that this tea is often served at wedding to the guests. 

Thank you for coming, and I really had a wonderful time.

For more information on my lunch course, please contact me.