Japanese share platter for family movie night


We love Japanese food. It’s delicious!  I made this for our family movie night at home. There are a few components, but they are all easy to prepare. Stacked together on a big board looks very nice too.

So basically, you make the sushi rice first, then the accompaniments, then pile it on a board for serving. Note: this recipe will feed a family of four with leftovers to go into lunchboxes.

Sushi rice
To make sushi rice add 2 cups of sushi rice and 3 cups of boiled water to medium saucepan. Bring to the boil. Boil for 3 to 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes or so. Turn off heat, keeping the lid on. Let rest for 5 minutes. Sprinkle in about 4 tbsp of mirin. Fluff with a fork to combine.

Edamame (on inari)
I buy these beans frozen. Boil one cup of frozen, shelled edamame  (soy beans) in salted water for up to 4 minutes. Drain, rinse under cold tap water and set aside.


Tofu strips
For the next three components, just use the same large non-stick frypan. Cut about 250 gm tofu into long strips. Add to large frypan on medium high heat in 1 or 2 tbsp vegetable oil. Drizzle generous amount of premade Japanese sauce over tofu. This time I used tonkatsu sauce (available in Asian section of supermarket). Rotate until most sides are browned. Set aside.

Slice/dice 3 cups of mushrooms and fry in large saucepan with vegan margarine and soy sauce. Fry until lightly browned. Set aside in a bowl.

Saute 3 cups of sliced cabbage in 1/2 tbsp of vegetable oil, drizzle of sesame oil and sprinklle of salt. Pile onto serving board.


Fill inari pockets
Fill desired number of pockets 2/3 to 3/4 full with rice. Top with edamame, then mushrooms. Place on board. Press down so these stay upright.

Make sushi
Sushi is very easy to prepare once you get the hang of it. You need a bamboo rolling mat (from supermarket).


Strips of cucumber, red capsicum, prepared tofu, pre-purchased seaweed salad, 2 inari pockets, vegan Japanese mayonnaise. You can use whatever salad vegetables you have. I have made 2 versions in this meal, but many variations come out of our kitchen!

Lay a seaweed wrap on the roling mat. Press a thin layer (less than a cm) of rice on the seaweed wrap. Note. The thicker the rice layer, the more filling needed and larger diameter the sushi roll will be. Go easy on the rice (ideally 5mm) but ensure it is even to the edges. Leave a 2 cm strip of seaweed at the far side of wrap. This you will spread with water and will form the seal.

Across the centre line add your fillings fairly evenly. One version has 2 inari pockets oened up and filled with seaweed salad. Roll firmly, cover 2 cm strip with water and roll to close. The second version repeat rice method then lay tofu and vegetables across, squeeze vegan mayo along mixture, then roll as before.

Slice rolls in half, then repeat cutting in half until you have 8 pieces. Place on serving board.


Pile extra vegetables, seaweed salad, tofu strips and any pickled cabbage you might have.

Serve with soy sauce. I hope you like this. We demolished this platter with just enough left over for snacking and lunches 🙂



Toffee shards to make you famous


OK, maybe they won’t make you famous, but these toffee shards will turn a pretty cake into a beautiful cake.

I’m working with a lovely woman at work. I really like her approach. She’s very practical and everything she says is well considered. Plus she is a really nice person. She had a birthday recently and so i made her a cake. This cake is made from caramel cake, chocolate cake, vanilla cream in between cake layers, then dressed in vanilla buttercream, dark chocolate ganache and toffee shards.

I was a bit nervous because I’m in recipe testing mode and the cakes weren’t perfected.  Everyone still liked it and it was completely vegan, like all of my baking. Phew!


So toffee is really easy to make, I just ensure that i stay with the stove the entire time and don’t have my children in the vicinity.

1 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup water

Line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper.

Add sugar and water to medium saucepan over low heat and stir for about 3 – 5 minutes until sugar is completely disolved.

Bring sugar syrup to the boil. Keep temperature on high and boil without stirring for around 10 – 12 minutes. Regularly brush down the side of the saucepan with a silicon pastry brush dipped in water. Do NOT change the temperature of the stove as the mixture gradually thickens

Mixture will turn golden. Turn off heat and rest mixture until it stops bubbling.

Pour toffee onto tray and slowly tilt tray from side to side to spread toffee into an even layer.

Let tray sit for about 15 minutes until completely cold and hard. Break into long shards and decorate your cake. Yay!


The warm weather lunch


Hi 🙂 its still really warm in Queensland (Australia) so our lunches are still pretty light.

Mine is top. Cherubs have the bottom ones.


I have a garden salad with macadamias and balsamic dressing.


Vegetarian luncheon  (tofurky) and cheese sandwiches printed with a dolphin love heart shaped sandwich cutter 🙂


Zucchini and sweet potato slice based on this recipe


Finishing off with a blueberry muffin 🙂