Inspiration is where you find it. I make no secret of my love for food-centric media, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Netflix, Amazon Prime, magazines and books feed my habit. If it has pretty pictures, and recipes, I’m interested.
Obsessed? Well…. of course I ‘m obsessed!
One of the recent things I’ve been watching is Netflix’s Chef’s Table. Currently in its third season, it’s a glimpse behind the curtain of talented chefs from around the world. What made them what they are, their philosophy, their struggles and how this is expressed in food. If you’re not watching it, and have Netflix and an interest in food, you ARE missing out. It is outstanding. ****This is a wholly uncompensated endorsement.****
The first episode of Season three focuses on a Korean monk (she refers to herself as a monk not a nun) Jeon Kwan. She cooks for the monastery and the other monks where she lives. One dish that was shown was called Fresh Ginseng Jujube Rolls with Cucumber, Chestnuts and Ginger.
Simple but elegant, and beautiful. Very beautiful.
I had no fresh Ginseng, nor Jujube (like a date) but I did have cucumber, ginger, enoki mushrooms and some broiled asparagus already on hand. So here is what I did. As always use what you have on hand. Dates would be good, as would slivers of fig, and scallion and julienned carrots would all be at home here.
Cucumber Roll with Ginger, Tomato, Asparagus and Enoki Mushroom (vegan)
this made 5 pieces – scale up as you wish
1 small Persian cucumber – about 4 inches long, sliced lengthwise into thin “planks” – I used a mandoline
1/2 plum tomato seeded and cut into thin julienne
2 tablespoons julienne of fresh ginger
5 charred asparagus tips
2 ounces – 50 grams Enoki mushrooms trimmed to about 2.5 inches long
Tamari for dipping – Wheat free soy sauce
roasted red pepper strips, rolled (for garnish – optional)
- Stack the cucumber planks and cut off one long edge to create a straight edge
- One plank at a time, place plank with straight edge towards you. Put an asparagus tip at one end, then some ginger, tomato slices, then enoki mushrooms, it’s OK to line them up and trim off extra off the bottom
- Carefully roll up starting at the asparagus end. If not serving immediately, lay the rolls on the end bit of the cucumber to encourage it to stay flat.
Arrange on a plate or platter. Serve with Tamari for dipping.
Crunchy, smokey, sweet, spicy, salty. A perfect bite!