Another cookbook recently landed in my kitchen for review, Ani’s Raw Food Asia by Ani Phyo. While excited, I admit I also had doubts. I’m most familiar with Chinese food and it’s usually cooked (some dishes are even cooked a couple of different ways before it’s finally served), there’s not much that’s uncooked. But if anybody can pull off Asian raw food, it’s Ani.
The nicely designed cookbook is jam packed with Asian-American fusion raw food and drink recipes, along with cooking and lifestyle tips. The style of writing is light and conversational in tone, resulting in an easy and inspirational read.
As soon as I saw the recipe for vegetarian pho, I knew what I was going to try first. What a delight! The flavors are spot-on, satisfying savory – you don’t even notice it’s raw. Served at room temperature, it’s perfect for those super hot days.
The recipe calls for kelp noodles which I’ve never tried before. Made from a sea vegetable, kelp noodles are rich in minerals, fat-free, gluten-free, low in carbs and only 6 calories per serving. They’re clear and surprisingly crisp. Straight out of the fridge, the neutral-tasting noodles are crunchy. Left to warm to room temperature, the noodles become softer.
Vegetarian Pho with Vegetables and Hoisin Sauce
Makes 4 servings
1/4 cup diced yellow onion
1/2 cup sliced button mushrooms
1/4 cup Nama Shoyu or Bragg Liquid Aminos
1 tablespoon grated ginger
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 bay leaf
4 cups filtered water
4 cups kelp noodles (about 1 pound of noodles)
1/2 cup shredded napa cabbage
1/2 cup tender greens like mustard, Bibb, red leaf, mache, or spinach
1/3 cup basil leaves
1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons thinly sliced scallions
1 cup bean sprouts
1 lime, cut into wedges
1 fresh red or green chile pepper, sliced
1 batch Hoisin Sauce
Marinate onion and mushrooms by tossing in a bowl with Nama Shoyu. Set aside for 20 minutes to marinate and soften.
Make broth by placing ginger, garlic, bay leaf, and 1 cup water in blender. Blend smooth. Add remaining water and the onion marinade mixture. Pulse lightly to mix.
Place noodles into four serving bowls. Put vegetables on top of noodles in each bowl. Pour broth into each bowl.
Place vegetable garnish onto one plate. Serve as a side along with Hoisin Sauce.
Makes 1/2 cup
1/4 cup Nama Shoyu
2 tablespoons almond butter
2 to 3 tablespoons yacon syrup, to taste
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
Pinch cayenne powder, to taste
Place all ingredients into a small bowl. Whisk until mixed well.
Will keep a week or longer in the fridge.
From the book Ani’s Raw Food Asia by Ani Phyo. Excerpted by arrangement with Da Capo Lifelong, a member of the Perseus Books Group. Copyright (c) 2011.
Disclosure: I received the book free of charge from the publisher to review. The opinions and experience with the book expressed herein are my own. There was no pay to say.
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