When it comes to vegan recipes, most of us (who are not vegan) have the impression of the food being - bland, tasteless, lack of protein etc. But the truth - some of the best food I've ever tasted are actually VEGAN! Yes don't be surprised, even on the latest Netflix Chef's Table Season 3, featuring Jung Sikk, a nun from South Korea managed to impress the Chef's Table team w/ her cooking - worthy enough to put her on the show! Her way of handling the food is so simple yet highly respectable! Very inspiring - please go catch the episode if you haven't yet!
So this week, continue on with my third recipe crafted for Harvey Norman Singapore - 'Discover Cooking' Campaign. To complement the curry porridge, I may have developed the best pesto or should I say 'Vegan' Pesto which I've ever tasted on earth.
Instead of using Parmesan to make the pesto (which vegan can't take), I replaced the umami flavor from the cheese with fermented tofu! & it's easily one of the best pesto out there! That intense savory taste from the fermented tofu is the essence of this vegan pesto & you don't even need any additional salt to flavor the pesto at all! p/s: Fermented Tofu is widely used in Asian families & commonly found in Asian market/groceries. They are super savory (high in sodium) & often used to stir fried w/ dishes or have it as an accompaniment w/ plain porridge.
The classic pesto recipe calls for pine nuts, but it can be really pricey to purchase those in Singapore. Hence I've replaced it with a cheaper alternative - a mix of cashews & macadamia nuts. You can also use all (either) depending on your taste.
For the curry multigrain porridge - I used a mixture of 10 different types of grains & it's really easy to find those in a pack from the supermarket nowadays.
If you think that you have to stand hours in front of the stove cooking the porridge away, then you're wrong! There's a shortcut to it! So fast & effective & it helps to cut the cooking time down to 2- 3 times faster! & the secret? - You food process it into finer pieces.
Q: 'What about the end results? Does it affect the taste?'
A: It'd probably taste the same even if you spent hours waiting for it to reach that state.
INGREDIENTS - 2 SERVINGS - 1 HOUR 30 MINUTES
Curry Multigrain Porridge
- 200 g of multigrain
- 8 whole shallots
- 3 pieces of kale leaf, tear into small pieces
- 1 tbs of curry paste (vegan)
- 1 tsp of turmeric powder
- 2 tsp of garam marsala powder
- 800ml to 1 litre of vegetable stock (or water)
- 1 pack of firm tofu, cut into pieces
- 4 whole shiitake, cut into slices
- salt & pepper to taste
- enough oil for sauteing
- 2 egg yolk
- chives (chopped) & sesame seeds for garnishing
- 150 g of basil leaves
- 7 tbs of olive oil
- 1 cube of fermented tofu - about 15-20 g
- 180 g of cashew + macadamia nuts
- 1 tbs of lemon juice
Curry Multigrain Porridge
With a food processor, processed whole shallots into smaller pieces. Next, process multigrains into finer grains. In a saute pan, add in a tbs of vegetable oil, saute shallots on medium heat till light golden brown. Adjust the heat to small, add in curry paste, garam marsala, turmeric powder & saute for a minute. Add in a few tbs of broth to get a thick like curry mixture. Add in the processed grains, adjust the heat to medium again & mix it well.
Add in the broth by batches till you're satisfied with the consistency of the porridge & cook it for an additional 15 minutes or so to make sure the grains are fully cooked through. If it gets too thick, you can always add in more broth. Salt to taste & the porridge is done.
Next, in a pan, saute shiitake & tofu on medium heat, salt & pepper to taste - then set aside.
In a food processor, add in basil, fermented tofu, the nuts, lemon juice, sugar & a few tbs of oil just enough to let it run. While processing, add in the remaining olive oil in batches. Do checkout on the consistency & adjust accordingly.
Serve the curry multigrain porridge in a bowl, topped wih tofu & shiitake. 1 or 2 tbs of pesto on the side, & garnish with chives & sesame seeds.
You're ready to serve!
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