Thursday, April 22, 2010

Japanese Inspired Dinner

I was chatting with Brandi yesterday and we were discussing my favorite topic, food. When we got to our favorite cuisines Japanese was on both of our lists. Of course this meant that I need to make Japanese food tonight. I love it so, I really don’t know why I don’t cook it more. It is naturally healthy so it is great for anyone that is concerned about health.

For dinner tonight I made three easy quick and dishes, a soba noodle soup, wilted spinach with peanut sauce and a crab and vinegar salad that I made with jackfruit. Here is what I did:

Japanese Inspired Noodle Soup
Serves 2


1 onion, peeled, sliced in half and then thinly sliced into half moons
4 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
1 inch ginger, finely julienned
6 cups water
½ zucchini, thinly julienned
4 inch square kombu cut into ¼ to ½ inch squares
3 tablespoons liquid aminos
4 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 pinches red pepper flakes
1 bundle soba noodles
3 spring onions, thinly sliced (whites and greens)


Combine the onions, garlic, ginger, water, zucchini kombu, liquid aminos, rice wine vinegar and red pepper flakes and cook until the onions are tender. Now add the soba noodles and cook for 6 minutes.

To served top with green onions.

Nutritional Information:

Amount Per Serving
Calories 167.14
Calories From Fat (5%) - 8.94

Total Fat - 1.31g
Saturated Fat - 0.08g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 987.37mg
Potassium - 580.19mg
Total Carbohydrates - 45.24g
Fiber - 2.56g
Sugar - 4.28g
Protein - 7.31g


This is a filling soup. The flavor is sour from the vinegar and a little salty from the liquid aminos. If you like sweet and sour soup I think you will enjoy this one.

Next Recipe:

To go with the soup we had a vegan variation of crab and bell pepper in vinegar. I used jack fruit instead of crab and added additional dressing to make up for the blandness of the jackfruit. Here is what I did:

“Crab” and Red Bell Pepper in Vinegar
Serves 2


½ red bell pepper, very finely slivered
1 cup of jackfruit, finely slivered
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
½ tablespoon liquid aminos
Stevia, to taste
1 tablespoon quick cucumber pickles for garnish


Combine the bell pepper and jackfruit. Add the rice wine vinegar and liquid aminos and toss to coat. Add stevia to taste. I probably used 1/16 of a scoop. Toss the salad to coat with dressing.  Refrigerate until needed.

To serve plate the salad and top with julienned cucumber pickles.

Nutritional Information:

Amount Per Serving
Calories - 92.41
Calories From Fat (3%) - 2.82

Total Fat - 0.37g
Saturated Fat - 0.07g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 245.08mg
Potassium - 404.83mg
Total Carbohydrates - 25.9g
Fiber - 2.16g
Sugar-  1.74g
Protein - 1.66g


I am still getting used to jackfruit as a stand in for crab. This recipe was very light but had nice flavor from the dressing and pickles. The flavor of this salad was overshadowed by the next dish I am about to post. In the future I will not serve them today. I think this would have been good on top of greens as a main dish salad. Some sesame seeds would have been wonderful on this.

Next recipe:

This may not seem like a Japanese recipe but I found a variation of this in one of my Japanese cookbooks. This was probably the best dish of the evening. We both loved the warm spinach dressed with the peanut sauce. Here is what I did:

Wilted Spinach with Peanut Sauce
Serves 2


½ pound baby spinach
3 tablespoons peanut butter
1 tablespoon liquid aminos
Stevia, to taste
2 teaspoons of warm water, or enough to create a sauce


Wash and spin the spinach. Add the spinach to a hot pan and wilt.

While the spinach is wilted combine the dressing ingredients.

To serve, top the warm wilted spinach with the sauce.

Nutritional Information:

Amount Per Serving
Calories - 168.26
Calories From Fat (63%) - 105.5

Total Fat - 12.63g
Saturated Fat - 2.61g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 680.75mg
Potassium - 789.75mg
Total Carbohydrates - 8.88g
Fiber - 3.95g
Sugar - 2.71g
Protein - 9.31g


If you were going to make dish from our dinner tonight make it this spinach dish. The flavor is rich and the dish is very satisfying. I can definitely see this showing up on our table again. Next time I may add few chopped peanuts for texture. But overall this was very good.

Unrelated notes:

Tomorrow is going to be a busy day for me. I need to run my usual Friday errands and check on my parents. I also have a little e-Cornell coursework to do. I will be around later in the day with an update. Until then I hope you are all having a great Thursday. Talk to you soon.


  1. I love everything! I can almost taste it!!!!!!
    I especially loved the soup! The look of it reminds me of hot and sour soup which is my favorite!!!
    Did the crab salad have an authentic taste??? I have eaten jackfruit raw, but never as a stand in...Thank you Thank you!!!

  2. Brandi,

    Glad you liked it. The soup was good. But the spinach was my favorite.

    Jackfruit has a much more mild taste than than crab. The texture is similar but the flavor isn't really. Next time I may add some finely slivered nori to give it a "fishy" taste.

    talk to you later,

  3. It all looks very enticing. I can imagine the spinach salad is extra delicious.

    I really appreciate the vegan food blog's so wonderful to see/share all these recipes...

    Thanks Ali!

  4. i have been wanting to try soba noodles. i have been trying to find some, ill keep on lookin. i like vinager in soup, it adds so much, hope you have a nice night over there.

  5. Rose,

    I agree the vegan food blog community really does make a huge impact in my life too. I learn things or get ideas from other blogs everyday.

    I think you will really like the spinach.


    Soba noodles are Dan's favorite. Have you looked for soba noodles online? Amazon has almost everything these days.

    Thank you both for always reading and commenting! It means more than you know. ;-)

  6. That soup looks so light and fresh. I love soba noodles too. Ok, gotta ask - what is jackfruit? I haven't had crab in so long I wouldn't have any idea if it compared or not so that probably works in my favor. As always, thank you for sharing!

  7. Heather,

    Jackfruit is apparently Asian in origin. I have purchased it at both our local Asian and Indian markets. It comes either frozen or brined in jars. I find the brined has a slightly better texture. Check Amazon, I bet they sell it. I will see if I can find a source to link to that I can add that to the post.


  8. Hi, Alicia, it all looks yummy, but I think I am going to try the spinach dish! Thanks for sharing!


  9. Lolly,

    I hope you do try the spinach. It was our favorite, hands down. There is something very rich and satisfying about it. If you want to make it a main dish it would be great over brown rice. ;-)


  10. Oh, my goodness, they all look so good. Now, I've seen so many recipes for jackfruit. I have no idea what it looks like whole, or where to find it. Do you get it in Asian stores, or can you find it in mainstream ones, as well?

  11. Blessed Mama,

    I have only found Jackfruit at our local Asian and Indian markets. It seems to come either brined in a jar, or frozen. I prefer the brined since it has more flavor. I hope you can find some too.



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