DESSERTS & DRINKS - Vegetarian Sushi Secrets: 101 Healthy and Delicious Recipes - Marisa Baggett

Vegetarian Sushi Secrets: 101 Healthy and Delicious Recipes - Marisa Baggett (2016)


Though dessert is the ending of a meal, I often think of it first when planning a menu. A meal well done deserves a sweet reward, and a sushi meal is no different. You’ll find that while most of these desserts are not typical Japanese sweets, their flavors pair quite well with ingredients used throughout other chapters. Some of the pantry staples used—such as Japanese breadcrumbs—do double duty, both as reference to relevant flavors and as practical shortcuts that lead to a delicious end.

What to drink with sushi is a question that often yields the same answers: beer and sake. Both, of course, are great sidekicks, but even those standards can use a little upgrade to enhance the overall sushi experience. Using the same approach as for the desserts, drinks can be tailored to suit the flavors of what is being served. Chilled Sake with Vegetable-Flavored Salts is a refreshing way to enjoy sake that isn’t sweet. If a non-alcoholic drink suits your mood, try Iced Green Tea or Pomegranate Ginger Fizzy.

Almond Crème Brownies

The aroma of almonds fills these brownies. If you can, avoid cutting them until they are completely cool, or they will fall apart. If the temptation is too much to resist, serve them warm in a bowl with a spoon. They will still be a bit gooey, albeit delicious.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Makes about 8 servings

½ cup (250 g) butter, plus more for greasing pan

2 oz (60 g) semisweet chocolate chips

¾ cup (150 g) sugar

2 eggs plus one egg yolk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ teaspoon almond extract

¾ cup (100 g) all-purpose flour

½ cup (40 g) slivered almonds

Almond Crème

1 cup (125 g) confectioners’ sugar

1 cup (125 g) almond flour

1 egg white

1 teaspoon almond extract

1 tablespoon heavy cream

Pinch of salt

Grease an 8-in (20-cm) square baking pan with butter. Heat oven to 350°F (175°C).

Place the butter in a saucepan over medium heat and stir until melted. Remove from heat and stir in the chocolate chips. Set aside to cool.

In a medium bowl, lightly beat the sugar, eggs, egg yolk, vanilla extract and almond extract. Add the melted chocolate mixture and the flour. Stir until mixture is consistent. Pour batter into the greased baking pan.

Prepare the Almond Crème: Place the confectioners’ sugar, almond flour, egg white, almond extract, heavy cream and salt in a food processor. Process for several seconds, or until mixture is combined.

Spoon the Almond Crème over the batter and swirl it into the batter with a spatula or spoon. Sprinkle the slivered almonds over the top.

Bake for 25 minutes, or until brownies are set in the middle. Cool completely before cutting.


Chilled Sake with Vegetable-Flavored Salts

Working with fresh vegetable peels will yield great results, but peels that have been in the refrigerator overnight yield even better results. The refrigerator starts the process of dehydrating the peels and decreases oven time. Serving premium chilled sake with these salts brings out the natural sweetness of the sake. Try using them as finishing salt for cold dishes, too.

Cook Time: 45 minutes to 1 hour

Prep Time: 10 minutes, plus sake chilling time

Red Bell Pepper Salt

Peel of 1 red bell pepper

1 cup (290 g) coarse salt

Cucumber Salt

Peel of 1 cucumber

1 cup (290 g) coarse salt

Butternut Squash Salt

3 oz (85 g) butternut squash, peeled and shaved thin

1 cup (290 g) coarse salt

Premium sake, to taste

Place individual vegetable peels in separate bowls. Cover each type of peel with 1 cup of salt. Keeping types separate, place the peel and salt in a food processor. Pulse to break up.

Prepare separate lined baking sheets. Spread one type of vegetable salt in a very thin layer on each. Preheat oven to 200°F (95°C). Bake salts for 45 minutes to an hour, or until very dry. Allow to cool completely before using.

To serve, pour the sake into a ceramic serving pitcher and nestle it into a bowl of ice. Provide vegetable salts on the side. Take a sip of sake and follow it with a small pinch of flavored salt.



Set peels in bowls and cover with salt.


Process peels and salt into small bits.


Toss mixture several times to combine.


Spread salt onto lined baking sheet.

Fruit-Filled Mochi Balls

Strawberries are a simple choice for this fun dessert, but many other types of fruits will yield delicious results. Berries and stone fruits such as peaches, plums and apricots work nicely. For the best-looking end result, select berries that are similar in size or use a melon baller to create uniform portions of fruit.

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 3 minutes

Makes 12 pieces

¾ cup (100 g) glutinous rice flour (mochiko)

¾ cup (185 ml) water

1 drop yellow, green or red food coloring (optional)

4 tablespoons sugar

Confectioners’ sugar for dusting

3 oz (85 g) red bean paste (anko)

12 pieces of fruit such as strawberries, peaches, plums or apricots

In a microwave-safe bowl, mix the rice flour, water, food coloring (if using) and sugar. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and microwave on high for 2 minutes. Stir again with a whisk and return to the microwave for 2 minutes more. Handle carefully—the mochi will be extremely hot.

Dust your work surface generously with confectioners’ sugar. Place the cooked mochi dough on top and allow to sit until cool enough to handle.

Roll the dough to about ¼ in (.75 cm) thick. Dust the rolling pin with additional confectioners’ sugar to prevent sticking.

Cut 12 circles out of the dough using a 3-in (7.5-cm) round cookie cutter. (If needed, pinch together dough scraps and re-roll.) Wipe excess confectioners’ sugar from one side of the mochi using a pastry brush or clean towel.

Roll a piece of fruit in about 1 tablespoon of the red bean paste, working to cover it completely. Place the bean-paste-covered fruit inside the mochi dough and pinch closed. Place pinched side down on the dusted work surface and twist several times to shape. Repeat with remaining mochi and fillings.


Cherry Almond Mochi

Remove the pits and stems from 12 cherries. Place in a small bowl with 4 tablespoons of sake. Cook, roll and cut the dough as directed. Substitute almond paste for the red bean paste. Drain cherries and pat dry. Use 1 cherry per mochi circle. Wrap and shape as directed.



Stir dough ingredients in a microwave-safe bowl.


Drop the dough onto a sugar-dusted surface.


Roll dough into a thin sheet.


Cut dough into 3-in (7.5-cm) circles.


Wrap paste-covered fruit balls in dough circles.


Roll the mochi ball to seal edges.


Iced Green Tea

Good iced green tea starts with a good green tea bag. A bold variety such as sencha produces the best result. If you like a stronger flavor, gently squeeze the tea bags over the pitcher before discarding them.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Makes about 6 servings

4 cups (1 liter) warm water

10 green tea bags

Lemon-Ginger Syrup

½ cup (125 ml) water

One ½-in (13-mm) length fresh ginger root, peeled and roughly chopped

½ cup (100 g) sugar

Juice of 1 lemon

Lemon slices, for garnish

Place the 4 cups warm water in a non-metal serving pitcher. Wrap the strings of the tea bags around a chopstick and suspend them over the pitcher. Dunk the tea bags a few times to “activate” them. Allow to steep for 15 minutes. Remove the tea bags and squeeze the liquid from them into the pitcher before discarding. Chill tea before serving.

Make the Lemon-Ginger Syrup: Bring the ½ cup water and fresh ginger root to a boil. Remove from heat, cover and steep for 5 minutes. Remove ginger root. Return water to heat and add sugar, stirring well to dissolve. Simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in lemon juice and cool completely before using.

To serve the tea, fill a glass with ice cubes and add desired amount of tea. Sweeten to taste with Lemon-Ginger Syrup. Garnish with a lemon slice.


Green Tea Ice Cream

Sweetened condensed milk doesn’t get the credit it deserves. Thanks to its fat content, using it in ice cream makes for speedy, no-fuss deliciousness. Be sure that the heavy cream is very cold for best results.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Freezing Time: 2 to 6 hours

Makes about 1 pint (475 ml)

2 tablespoons matcha (green tea powder)

2 cups (500 ml) heavy cream

One 14-oz (415-ml) can sweetened condensed milk

1-2 drops green food coloring, optional

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

In a large bowl, whisk the matcha powder into the heavy cream. Get rid of as many lumps as possible. Using a mixer on high speed, beat the heavy cream until stiff peaks begin to form, about 2-3 minutes.

In a separate bowl, stir together the sweetened condensed milk, food coloring (if using) and vanilla extract. Gently fold into the whipped cream mixture. Continue folding until the mixture is combined, being careful not to completely deflate the whipped cream.

Pour the mixture into the reservoir of an ice-cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer’s directions. Once finished, the ice cream will be very soft. Transfer to a freezer-safe container and freeze for another 2 hours before serving.

To freeze without an ice cream maker, line a metal loaf pan with plastic wrap. Spread mixture into the pan and lay a piece of plastic wrap directly on top. Freeze for at least 6 hours before enjoying.


Fruit Tartlets

True to its name, the puff pastry will rise to several times its original thickness during the cooking process. This is okay, as it can be poked and deflated. One bite into the creamy center down through the flaky, crunchy crust, though, and you won’t mind the minor inconvenience.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Makes 12 tartlets

Butter for greasing pan

2 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed

One 14-oz (415-ml) can sweetened condensed milk

3 egg yolks

4 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 teaspoon lime zest

½ cup (125 g) apricot jam

1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

2 cups (350 g) assorted fresh fruit

Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Butter a standard 12-cup muffin tin. Set aside.

Using a 3-in (8-cm) round cutter, cut 12 rounds out of the puff pastry. Prick each round several times with a fork. Press the rounds into the cavities of the muffin tin.

Bake for 15 minutes or until the puff pastry begins to turn golden brown.

Remove from oven and use the back of a large spoon to deflate the centers of the puff pastry. Allow to cool.

In a medium bowl, mix the sweetened condensed milk, egg yolks, lime juice and lime zest. Pour into the cooled pastry shells and bake for 10 minutes, or until filling is set.

Remove tarts from the muffin tin and cool completely. Heat the apricot jam in a microwave-safe bowl for 15 seconds. Stir in the grated ginger. Spoon the apricot jam mixture over the tops of the tarts, reserving some for the final presentation.

Distribute the fresh fruit equally among the tarts. Use a pastry brush to brush the remaining apricot jam mixture on top.

Keep refrigerated until ready to serve. Before serving, add a dollop of Ginger Whipped Cream, to taste.

Ginger Whipped Cream

1 cup (250 ml) chilled heavy cream

3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon powdered ginger

Place heavy cream, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla extract, and powdered ginger in a medium bowl. Beat until soft peaks form. Serve immediately.


Pomegranate Ginger Fizzy

I like to have a little something fizzy when enjoying sushi. This drink is like a fruity soda, but isn’t overly sweet. The addition of sake and bitters can easily transform it into a cocktail.

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Makes 4 servings

½ cup (125 ml) Lemon-Ginger Syrup (page 122)

½ cup (125 ml) pomegranate juice

½ cup (125 ml) mango nectar

Club soda, to taste

Combine the Lemon-Ginger Syrup, pomegranate juice, and mango nectar in a pitcher. Chill.

To serve, fill four glasses with ice. Fill each glass ¾ full of pomegranate mixture, then top off with club soda. Stir well and serve.


Sake Pomegranate Ginger Fizzy

Prepare the Lemon-Ginger Syrup and pomegranate mixture. To serve, place 1 sugar cube and 1 dash of orange-flavored bitters in a glass. Combine 1½ oz (45 ml) sake and 3 oz (90 ml) of the pomegranite-ginger mixture with ice in a cocktail shaker. Shake well and strain into glass. Top with a splash of club soda.


Sake Salty Dog

The addition of yuzu juice, from a Japanese citrus fruit with a distinctive flavor, and sake makes this cocktail something special. If yuzu juice is not available, use all grapefruit juice. If you’re feeling brave, use Cucumber Salt, Butternut Squash Salt or Red Bell Pepper Salt (page 119) instead of kosher salt to rim each glass.

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Makes 2 cocktails

2 slices grapefruit

Kosher salt, for rims of glasses

2 teaspoons sugar

½ cup (125 ml) sake

4 tablespoons yuzu juice

½ cup (125 ml) grapefruit juice

Run a grapefruit slice around the rim of a highball glass. Repeat on a second glass with a second grapefruit slice. Dip rims into kosher salt. If desired, reserve the grapefruit slices as garnish.

Place 1 teaspoon of sugar in the bottom of each glass. Add 4 tablespoons of sake to each glass and muddle. Fill each glass with ice. Add 2 tablespoons yuzu juice and 4 tablespoons grapefruit juice to each glass. Stir well before serving.

Panko Fruit Crisp

Mix and match your favorite fruits for this simple dessert. For best results, use stone fruits such as cherries, peaches, nectarines and plums; berries, apples or pears are also great. If desired, serve warm with a scoop of good vanilla ice cream or Ginger Whipped Cream (page 123).

Cook Time: 35-40 minutes

Makes 6-8 servings

4 cups (700 g) sliced fruit of your choice, peeled, cored or pitted, and sliced

Juice of 1 lemon

1 cup (200 g) sugar

3 tablespoons potato starch or cornstarch (corn flour)

1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger root

1 cup (65 g) panko breadcrumbs

½ cup (65 g) all-purpose flour

½ cup (100 g) brown sugar

½ cup unsalted butter, melted

Pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).

Lightly butter a 9-in (23-cm) square glass or ceramic baking dish. Pour in the prepared fruit and add the lemon juice, sugar, potato starch and grated ginger. Toss to mix well.

In a bowl, combine the panko, all-purpose flour, brown sugar, melted butter and salt. The mixture should be crumbly. Distribute evenly over top of the fruit.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the fruit begins to visibly bubble.

Serve hot or warm. Leftovers may be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.