Veganismul – felul nobil de a trăi / Bucătăria vegană

Traditional Japanese Street Food, Part 1 of 2 – Vegan Takoyaki (Vegan Octopus Balls) with Vegan Mayonnaise

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Food culture in the land of the rising sun, Japan, is unique, and every process is a work of art from the preparation, the cooking; to the final dish presented on the dining table. Takoyaki is a round fried savory snack made from batter and filled with other ingredients such as vegan seafood, vegetables, tempura bits (tenkasu), and pickled ginger. They are a popular street food in Japan and are also found in restaurants, shops, supermarkets and convenience stores.

First, we will prepare the fillings, starting with the Shredded Red Ginger Pickle. Slice 50 grams of young ginger into thin pieces and then cut into thin strips. The Red Ginger Pickle is also called Beni Shoga, a refreshing palate cleanser.

We use konjac jelly to produce the texture of octopus. Cut four vegan shrimps into one-centimeter cubes. Peel off the skin of the Chinese yam. Grate the yam into a gluey blob. The stickiness of the grated yam serves as a binder, helping the takoyaki keep its shape and fluffy texture. Let’s now make the takoyaki batter. Into a large mixing bowl, add 100 grams of cake flour, 20 grams of rice flour, half a teaspoon of baking flour, 10 grams of the natural flavor enhancer we just made, and 180 grams of grated yam. Gradually add 300 grams of water and keep stirring till the ingredients are well incorporated into a smooth and lump-free batter.

We will now prepare the two sauces for garnishing our Vegan Takoyaki. First is the Vegan Mayonnaise. Into the blender jar, put 250 grams of vegetable oil, 200 grams of unsweetened soy milk, one tablespoon of vegan sugar, two tablespoons of lemon juice or white vinegar, and one teaspoon of salt. Blend for approximately 10 seconds and you will have a healthy, tasty, and creamy plant-based mayonnaise. To make the Takoyaki Sauce, we will mix together two tablespoons of vegan oyster sauce and one tablespoon of pomelo jam.

The last filling we will make is the Tempura Bits (Tenkasu) which provides a crispy texture in our Vegan Takoyaki.

Now that we have prepared all the ingredients for our Vegan Takoyaki− let’s assemble and fry them in a takoyaki pan that has half-sphere molds in it. Garnish by brushing the Takoyaki Sauce onto the top of each ball. Then drizzle the Vegan Mayonnaise to form a criss-cross pattern, and finish with a sprinkle of seaweed powder on the top. This is our delicious, hot, crispy, and freshly fried Vegan Takoyaki or Vegan Octopus Balls.
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