Saturday, August 7, 2010

Masterchef Mini Potluck

We asked Lisa if we could watch the masterchef finale at her house because our reception (even with a digital set-top box) is not reliable. We decided to have a mini potluck, making masterchef inspired recipes.

She made japanese style pumpkin from the asian vegan kitchen cookbook, it was slightly sweet toast pumpkin and so delicious and Toby was jumping up and down in excitement about having a dish he hasn't had since his pre-vegan days. If anyone else has this recipe please share, we would love to re-create it this week.

She also made this Fried tofu with mushroom and ginger broth- which didn't even need veganising. Lisa served it with rice, it was delicious and nourishing.

Peanut oil, for deep frying
200g firm tofu, cut into 3cm dice
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
5cm piece ginger, thinly sliced
1 bird’s eye chilli, whole
8 shiitake mushrooms, sliced
2 coriander roots, reserve leaves to serve
2 green onions, cut into 5cm pieces
2 tbs soy (she used tamari to make it g/f)
3 tbs Chinese rice wine
6 Szechuan peppercorns
2 star anise
300ml water
2 baby bok choy
Sesame oil

1. Fill a saucepan two thirds full with peanut oil and place over a high heat until hot enough to deep fry. Fry the tofu in batches for 4-6 minutes or until golden. Drain on paper towel.
2. For the broth: combine the garlic, ginger, chilli, mushrooms, coriander root, green onions, soy, rice wine, peppercorns and star anise in a saucepan with the water and bring to a simmer over a medium heat. Allow to simmer for 8-10 minutes, add more water if required.
3. Fill a saucepan a third full of water, bring to the boil over a high heat, place a bamboo steamer over the saucepan, place the bok choy in the steamer and place the lid on, steam for 5-8 minutes or until cooked. Then drizzle with sesame oil.
4. Strain the broth, reserving the mushrooms.
5. To serve, place the bok choy in the centre of a serving bowl, pour over the broth, top with the tofu, mushrooms and coriander leaves to serve. Here is with the rice and pumpkin:

We made this rice pudding with orange jewels, tarragon and puffed rice minus the taragon. The recipe was pretty easy although did require multiple parts. It was easily vegansied too by replacing the milk with soy milk. The vanilla bean really did result in a superior taste and I love the texture and taste of the orange 'jewels'.

260g caster sugar
1 orange, peeled zest, pith removed, julienned, flesh segmented
700ml milk
135g Arborio rice, rinsed and drained
1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped
tarragon leaves, to serve
1/4 cup puffed rice, toasted

190ml freshly squeezed orange juice, strained
15g caster sugar
1 ½ tsp agar agar powder

Step 1: For the candied orange peel, place 1 cup of the sugar and 1 cup of water in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Increase the heat to medium, add orange peel and simmer gently for 45 minutes until syrupy.
Step 2: For the orange jelly, line a 500ml plastic container with cling film. Add ¼ cup water, orange juice and sugar to a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Sprinkle in agar agar and whisk for about 5 minutes until dissolved. Remove from the heat. Pour the mixture through a fine sieve into the lined container. Refrigerate for about 25 minutes or until set. Invert jelly from container onto a board and cut into 1cm cubes.
Step 3: For the rice pudding, add the milk, rice, vanilla bean and seeds to a non-stick saucepan. Bring to the boil and simmer uncovered for 30-35 minutes, or until creamy and the rice is tender, stirring regularly. Add the remaining sugar and stir for about 2 minutes until dissolved.
Step 4: To serve, divide rice pudding between serving bowls. Arrange the jelly jewels on top, along with the orange segments, tarragon leaves, candied orange peel, a spoonful of syrup and some puffed rice. Serve immediately.

Serves 4 (but very small bowls)

Sorry for the bad photos! If you want more vegan masterchef recipes, I've also found this salt and pepper tofu and glutenous rice dumplings with coconut pandan stuffing which look pretty good.


  1. Oh those dumplings sound awesome! I love pandan and coconut together.
    That pumpkin dish looks delicious too, pumpkin has to be my all time favourite vegetablew :)


  2. Even though I'm not a fan of orange, that rice pudding looks delicious! I love the idea of a Masterchef potluck... although I notice no one offered to veganize the V8 cake? :P

  3. What a great theme for a potluck. There are some recipes from Masterchef that I definitely want to make, and others that make me wonder who would eat them (that eggs benedict they made almost entirely out of butter, for instance).

  4. Rose, I know that combination is perfect.

    Hannah, I wonder how it would work with a different type of fruit? And yes the v8 is so out of our league.

    Theresa, I agree some are just gross.

  5. It was fantastic feasting! Next time, vegan snow egg...