Ceviche is cold dish, perfect for hot summer nights. Although typically made with fish or seafood, this citrus-spiked vegan ceviche is fish-free, flavorful and refreshing.
Nobu Masuhisa is best known and beloved as a sushi chef. It’s been his passion since his first meal in a sushi restaurant as a child. He began cheffing in the opulent eighties and was named one of America’s 10 best new chefs by Food & Wine in 1989. Now chef and owner of more than 25 restaurants around the world, Nobu brings the same skill and respect to vegetables he gives to sushi. “Many people prefer eating vegetable dishes,” he says.
He finds diners today show a greater interest in what they eat than when he first began cooking. They care about how it’s sourced, what ingredients a dish comprises. So does Nobu.
His food is elegant, exquisite to the eye, with vegetables sliced with the surgical precision of kaiseki ryori, Japan’s haute cuisine, but he’s no snob. Nobu has a wistful fondness for the homely turnip. “I remember the Japanese turnips made by my mother,” he says. He also remembers the intense salty kick of pickled vegetables, served at most Japanese meals.
Nobu’s food combines the clean, spare flavors of his birthplace, Japan, with a Latin influence gleaned from his time in Peru (not to mention South Florida). He is open to all the flavors of the world, influenced by “my international staff — chefs from Italy, France, Latin and other Asian countries. I learned a lot from them.” His restaurants serve a perfect example of fusion cuisine, mozzarella cheese tofu. Nobu grew up eating tofu and loves it, but he realizes it can still be a hard sell for Americans. Cooking tofu “with other ingredients — tomato or miso,” makes it delicious and more familiar for Western diners, something even tofu newbies can wrap their mouths around.
He couples a refined style with a simple culinary philosophy. “If you are not happy, the food tastes bad. I always put my heart into my food. I hope people eat my food and be happy.”
With much restaurant dining on hold for now, Nobu imparts this lesson for home cooks — “Try to cook with all the different ingredients.” In other words, approach food the way Nobu does. Bring everything to the table. Except meat.
Enjoy this colorful vegan ceviche from Nobu’s Vegetarian Cookbook.
Colorful Vegan Ceviche
- 8 ounces fresh vegetables such as tomatoes, bell pepper, cucumber, purple or sweets onion, red turnip, and myoga ginger buds. Persimmon can be added when available.
- 1/3 ounce cilantro leaves 2/3 of leaves roughly chopped, and the rest finely minced
- 2 tablespoons ceviche sauce recipe below
- Micro greens for topping
- Cut the vegetables into bite-size pieces. Some vegetables need to be blanched until tender but crisp, such as asparagus, okra, and cauliflower.
- Combine minced cilantro leaves with the ceviche sauce (recipe below) in a large bowl, add chopped cilantro and vegetable pieces, and toss.
- Arrange on plate and top with the micro greens.
- 4 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons yuzu juice *
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspooon finely grated garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon aji Amarillo paste **
- Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until well combined.
Enjoy these other no-cook recipes:
- No Power? No Problem. Conscious Cookery for Hurricane Season | Bulgur with Kale and Spiced Chickpeas
- Fireworks Black Bean and Mango Salad
- Moroccan Carrot Salad