Those of you that follow A Vegan Obsession regulary will know that I recently had the opportunity to attend Vegan Iron Chef San Francisco 2013. So much fun. Well the fun kind of mushroomed. I was so excited to then be invited by the chef who gained 2nd place, Philip Gelb, to his ‘Cooking With Tea’ workshop. It was to be an afternoon of discovery, and hands on experience of the dishes he prepared for the judges at Iron Chef.
Radiccio Salad with Tea Dressing and Tea roasted nuts
Smoked Tofu Wrapped in Yuba
Waffles with Strawberry & Orange Compote
I took the BART (San Francisco’s metro system) over the bay to Oakland and Chef Philip’s live/work kitchen studio. Six keen cooks gathered to learn the tricks and tips to Philip’s Tea Menu.
A talented musician too, Philip has spent a lot of time in Japan playing music. Whilst there, he spent a great deal of time picking the brains of Japanese chefs, and friends, to discover their culinary techniques. The menu was heavily influenced by his knowledge of Japanese cooking. We learnt about using a strange Japanese mountain potato (nagaimo) that, when grated, kind of exlopded into a gelatinous gloop (great also for using as a binder in gluten free cooking). We also got to sample a ‘milky’ green tea, the same used in the competition from …. We smoked tofu. We used tofu skin (yuba) to make ‘tofu in a blanket’ and nestled in a single mange tout pod to add colour. The tofu had been marinated and then we watched as Philip showed us how to smoke the tofu.
All of us got the chance to prepare parts of each dish. We made soba noodles from scratch! It was so much fun producing beautiful flat noodles from a ball of dough! Unfortunately, they were not gluten free so I didn’t get to taste them. The others murmured their approval so I guess they were good. I had the broth from the soup the noodles were to swim in (the one with the mountain potato grated into) and it was delicious.
Philip told us all about the infusion of tea into his dishes, and regaled us of the fun he had competing in Vegan Iron Chef. The tea we used was by Chadoen
Once all the dishes were complete we got to sit and eat/slurp together. It was a fun day. Rounded off with vegan buckwheat waffles (had wheat in too…argh! not gluten free). My body isn’t real compatible with gluten so I just had lashings of the strawberry and orange compote. Sweetened with coconut sugar and nothing else to set my body twitching I could have happily sat with a ladle and cradled the pan of compote and devoured it all. Sadly, I had to share!
Check out Philip’s website. He regulary runs events in between his catering and private parties.
I created a little montage of the day…check it out.
Philip kindly shared his waffle recipe, especially for you! To make the recipe gluten free..sub the plain flour for a gluten free flour. I’d try a garbanzo and quinoa mix . If you are soy-free then you can use coconut milk or almond milk.
1 cup buckwheat flour
1 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 packets powdered sencha or 1 tbsp matcha
1 tbsp palm sugar
1 tbsp grapeseed oil
place the following in a saucepan.
2 tangerine quartered
2 pints strawbrries, halved
1 vanilla bean, split
1/2 cup maple
Have you any great recipes with tea you’d like to share? Let us know about them in the comments box below.
India Leigh xx
p.s The video has cool tunes by Luc & The Lovingtons. A band out of Oakland, where Philip has his live/work kitchen studio