Wagamama in Glasgow
While I don't miss the chaotic flight attendant life I lead for almost 2 years, I do however miss much of what the UK has to offer. If any of you ever go to the UK I can definately suggest a plethora of must-visit places to eat. Pret a manger, Itsu, Tiffinbites, MAOZ, and the list goes on and on. One of my favorite places to visit in the UK (they're everywhere in the UK!) was Wagamama's. Wagamama is an amazing take on Japanese cooking. They focus on flavours such as miso, coconut, ginger, lemongrass and lime... to name a few. I recently purchased a copy of the wagamama cookbook. While Wagamama isn't vegetarian at all; it does cater to vegetarians and vegans; many of their dishes are vegetarian, a few are vegan... and the waiters know how to veganise the vegetarian ones (usually swapping one noodle for another). Oh yea... it's really a noodle bar kinda place.
I was inspired today to create my own take on a wagamama dish. I didn't have a plethora of ingredients tonight but I saw how in this one recipe they stir fry the veggies in miso soup and that got the wheels turning. I wanted to try something where I'd rely more on steam and would end up with mostly veggies and a bit of miso broth; much like a red curry recipe for example. Anyway enough talking... here it is!
Ben's wagamama inspired recipe
1 cup water
1 tablespoon barley miso (or whatever miso)
1/4 of a Kabocha or buttercup squash, peel sliced off, cubed
1/3 block of extra firm tofu, cubed into 1" cubes
1 small red onions, cut into half rings
8 small to medium shitake mushrooms, some sliced, some quartered
1 cup small broccoli florets
10-16 sugar snap peas, whole
1 small carrot, thinly sliced into a ribbon with a mandolin
Place the water into a wok and turn on high/medium heat. When water starts to get hot, add miso and mix well to combine. Add onions, tofu and squash to form an even layer at the bottom of the wok. Add the mushrooms, sugar snap peas and broccoli on top of the first layer. Drizzle on a bit of agave. Cover the wok and allow to simmer. Check back every 5 minutes and give it a bit of a stir; try not to lose all the steam. When you start to notice that the squash starts to "mash" easily when poked with your spatula, it's time to serve the dish. Spoon into two bowls, being careful to leave the squash cubes intact. Evenly distribute liquid left over. Top with carrot ribbon. Easy schmeazy! Oil free and full of nutrients!
[Update: 11/27/2006] This recipe is very adaptable and I wanted to let you know I made the same recipe last night using different ingredients. Instead of red onions I used 1 tablespoon grated ginger. First layer consisted again of Kabocha squash and cubed tofu. Layer two was broccoli and baby bok choi (sliced). I added a third layer of chopped kale. Topped with agave nectar and this time a squirt or two of low sodium Tamari and followed the same directions. Also, check out Candi's blog where she tailored this recipe based on the ingredients she had around.