Vegan Braised Shiitake (Vegetarian)

Vegan Braised Shiitake (Vegetarian)

We have created this delicious braised dish using only plant-based ingredients for the enjoyment of vegans, Shojin (Japanese Zen Temple Cuisine) Dashi.

The recipe for this braised 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) are given 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.

(Serves 5 people)

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

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.