Vegan Braised Shiitake (Vegetarian)

Many people told us during Food Fairs, they preferred the Vegan Dashi rather than the traditional Japanese Dashi! We have created this delicious dish using a plant-based only, Shojin (Japanese Zen Temple Cuisine) Dashi especially for the enjoyment of vegans. The recipe for this braise features a delicious preparation method for dried Shiitake mushrooms, which are among the most umami-packed vegan ingredients. The leftover dashi stock ingredients of kombu (kelp), soybeans, and kanpyo (gourd strips) give wonderful flavors by stir-frying and simmering them with mirin and soy sauce. Give this recipe a try and enjoy the flavors of Shiitake mushroom dashi. If you use too many high-quality Shiitake mushrooms in the soup, the Umami flavor might become too strong and result in a bitter taste. If that happens, reduce the amount of Shiitake Dashi and increase the amount of kombu/soybean Dashi. Guanylate, an Umami component unique to dried Shiitake, gives rise to a bitter taste if its concentration is too high. You can simply dilute it to solve the problem.

Ingredients (5 people) (30 minutes, plus overnight rehydration)

  • 10 pieces (dried weight: 60g) Dried Shiitake mushrooms
  • 12 g Kombu
  • 20 g Soybeans
  • 8 cm (2 g) Kanpyo(dried gourd strip)
  • 30 ml Mirin
  • 30 ml Soy sauce
  • 1 tsp Grain vinegar or black vinegar

Steps

1

Dry fry the soybeans (i.e., do not use oil) on low heat until they are light brown. Soak the kombu in water for around 30 minutes and slice it thinly with a kitchen knife.
2

Soak the kombu and soybeans in water overnight. In a separate bowl, soak the dried Shiitake mushrooms in water overnight. (Remove the Shiitake stems during the soaking process so the rehydrated Shiitake will become plump.)
3

Add water to the kombu/soybean Dashi until there is 300ml of liquid, and add 300ml of Shiitake dashi.
4

Add the kanpyo to (3) and simmer it together with the kombu and soybeans for 2 minutes, removing the scum. Remove mixture from heat and let cool.
5

Strain the liquid from (4) (300 ml) into a pot together with the Shiitake with their stems removed, and add mirin, soy sauce, and vinegar. Bring to a boil and remove the scum.
6

Simmer on low heat for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Taste the soup and either return it to the heat to evaporate more liquid and concentrate the flavors or add soy sauce to taste.

Point

Stewed dishes made with pure natural Dashi broth are very tasty with a unique, comfortable Umami taste. However, because it is natural, it is essential to make fine adjustments while tasting. Shiitake Dashi is particularly difficult to cook because it can easily be perceived as a bitter taste if it is too thick. This is because the Guanylic acid peculiar to Shiitake is a nucleic acid-based Umami ingredient, so if the Dashi is too thick, it is perceived as a bitter taste.
Therefore, to make the Umami of simmered dishes as rich as possible, the trick is to keep the Shiitake Dashi separate and mix it while tasting. Our company's vegan Dashi has many cooking steps to make it easier to taste and adjust to concentrate the Umami to the ultimate level. This is a professional way for us to make the most delicious stew that buyers have ever tasted at a business meeting without fail. Please try it when you have time.

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