I love kimchi so much, it’s one of the first things I learned to ferment quite a few years ago. I always have a jar (or 3) in my fridge. It makes for a great special present and it’s a great way of adding a big punch of umami to your vegetarian or vegan dishes. And so are mushrooms… especially, shiitake mushrooms.
The mustard and thyme addition may seem a bit odd, but actually, these flavours go really well in many asian dishes. I’m a fan of fusion cooking, but fusion in moderation – I like infusion rather than confusion. I think some get carried away with this idea and end up creating new dishes altogether which completely misses the point of the whole fusioning-balancing thing, right?
Going back to intuitive cooking, once you’ve mastered the recipe, you can always change ingredients if you can’t find or don’t like the ones from the original recipe – like using leek instead of spring onion or button mushroom instead of shiitake (or not using them at all!). Don’t be afraid about adding different types of non-asian herbs or spices too, balance in fusion is much easier to achieve than you think. Embrace the meatless rolls, because they have nothing to envy to the porky fatty ones (and they taste SO good cold the next day).
MUSHROOM AND KIMCHI ‘NO-SAUSAGE’ ROLLS
500g Good meaty mushrooms, finely chopped. Shiitake, portobello or a mixture of both work well 1 Cup kimchi 1/2 Cup panko breadcrumbs 1 Cup grated mature cheddar 2-3 Spring onions, finely chopped (you can also use leek, white part only) 3 Thyme sprigs, leaves picked 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard Canola oil or olive oil 3 × 24 cm square sheets ready-rolled puff pastry, thawed 1 large egg, beaten 3 Tsp sesame seeds (white, black or a combination) Sea salt and black pepper Tomato sauce, to serve
1 – Preheat the oven to 200C (180C fan). Line a large baking tray with baking paper. Heat some oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat, then add the mushroom and thyme and cook for 6-8 minutes, until the mushroom is soft and starting to caramelise. Add the spring onions, cook for an extra minute then season with sea salt and black pepper and put into a large mixing bowl.
2 – Squeeze out all the moisture from the kimchi and finely chop. Add the kimchi, breadcrumbs, cheddar and mustard to the mushroom mixture and stir to combine. Taste, and season with sea salt and black pepper if needed. Set aside to cool slightly.
3 – Take one sheet of pastry and cut it in half to make two rectangles. Spoon one-third of the mushroom mixture along the middle of one length of pastry, moulding it into a sausage shape. Brush the beaten egg along one pastry edge, then fold the pastry over to enclose the filling, pressing it into the egg-washed edge. Turn it over so that the seam is on the bottom.
4 – Repeat with the remaining pastry and filling, until you have six long rolls. Cut each roll into seven bite-sized pieces or make 6 giant rolls. If you do this, make sure you make a few incisions on the top to let the steam escape.
5 – Place the rolls on the prepared baking tray, brush with the eggwash (1 egg + 1 tablespoon water) and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until golden.
Serve with tomato sauce. Store leftover rolls in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months, although I doubt it they’ll last that long.
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