Your munchkin absolutely hates veggies? No worries, he’ll scarf down these savoury veggie bites!

SmartParents scanned the bookshelves and found Danny Chu’s Shojin Ryori: The Art of Japanese Vegetarian Cuisine, $46.68 (before GST), to pull out these three peewee-pleasing recipes for you. We have more great ideas on coaxing junior to down his greens.


Daikon Rolls

(Serves 4)

Raw daikon, used in Japan to counter the taste of oily food, contains enzymes that aid digestion. To make the roll prettier, make sure the coriander peeks out at one end, while the other end is coated with the toasted sesame seeds (use some of the dressing or a toothpick to secure the roll).

  • 120g daikon
  • Watermelon, as needed
  • Cucumber, as needed
  • 8 sprigs coriander leaves (cilantro)
  • 4 tbsps sesame seeds, toasted and ground

Citrus Dressing

  • 4 tbsps orange juice
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsps mirin
  • 2 tbsps rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp raw sugar
  • ⅓ tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp cornflour, mixed with 2 tbsps water
  1. Peel daikon, then halve lengthwise. Using a vegetable slicer, slice daikon thinly, about 10cm long each. Make eight such slices.
  2. Cut watermelon into sticks, each about 5cm long and 1cm thick. Make eight.
  3. Cut cucumber into sticks, each about 5cm long and 0.5cm thick. Prepare 16.
  4. Toast, then grind sesame seeds. Set aside.
  5. To make citrus dressing, combine all ingredients, except the cornflour slurry, in a saucepan and place on low heat. When the mixture starts to boil, stir the cornflour slurry, then add to saucepan. Whisk to thicken dressing.
  6. To assemble, place a watermelon stick, two cucumber sticks and a sprig of coriander on each daikon slice.
  7. Roll up and squeeze gently to help the roll hold its shape. Dip one end of the roll in the ground toasted sesame seeds.
  8. Arrange two daikon rolls on each dish and serve with citrus dressing.

Turn the page to find out how to make kid's fave croquettes!.


Carrot Croquettes

(Serves 4)

These croquettes are made with tofu for a light and refreshing texture. Add peanuts for additional bite and flavour. Remember: wet your hands when shaping the patties to keep the mixture from sticking to them.

  • 320g momen (firm) tofu
  • 300g carrots
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 40g peanuts, roasted and chopped
  • 2 tbsps cornflour
  • Plain (all-purpose) flour, for dusting
  • 120g breadcrumbs
  • Vegetable oil for deep-frying
  • 4 lemon wedges


  • 120g plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 130ml water
  1. Wrap momen tofu with paper towels and place on a plate. Place another plate on top of the tofu — to act as a weight — and refrigerate for 30 minutes. This will remove excess water from the tofu.
  2. Peel and cut carrots into chunks. Boil a pot of water and cook carrots for 20 minutes, or until tender. Transfer to a colander and drain well.
  3. Remove tofu from the refrigerator. Peel off paper towels and set aside.
  4. Heat a pan over low heat. Mash carrots in the pan to remove excess liquid from the carrots. Turn off heat and add the momen tofu. Mash the tofu, then add salt, peanuts and cornflour. Mix well.
  5. Divide mixture into eight portions, then shape into oval patties. Dust patties with some flour.
  6. Make a batter with the flour and water. Coat carrot patties with batter, then roll in breadcrumbs.
  7. Heat oil and deep-fry patties for about 1 minute or until light brown. Remove and drain well on absorbent paper.
  8. Arrange on individual serving plates with a wedge of lemon before serving.

Soft, silky savoury custard is always a winner, so flip over to learn how to make your own version...


Millet Chawan Mushi

(Serves 4)

Millet is nutritious and has a sweet nutty flavour. The lily-bulb petals, mushrooms and gingko nuts add depth to this simple dish. If desired, add other vegetables such as gingko nuts and carrot to the chawan mushi.

  • 1 fresh yurine (lily bulb)
  • 120g millet
  • 500ml water
  • ½ tsp sea salt

Simmering Stock

  • 6 tbsps mushroom dashi (made by soaking 8 dried shiitake mushrooms in
  • 1.25 litres water for about 3 hours — reserve two of the mushrooms)
  • 2 tbsps Japanese soy sauce
  • 2 tbsps mirin
  • 1 tbsp raw sugar

Chawan Mushi Sauce

  • 250 ml mushroom dashi
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp Japanese soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sake
  • 2 tbsps kuzu (similar to arrowroot)
  1. Prepare mushroom dashi. Reserve two mushrooms and cut into quarters.
  2. Place ingredients for simmering stock in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower heat and add mushroom quarters. Simmer for at least 10 minutes.
  3. Cut base of lily bulb and remove any black spots. Break bulb into petals. Set aside.
  4. Rinse millet briefly and place in a pot with the water and salt. Simmer over low heat for 25 minutes. Turn off heat and let stand for 5 minutes.
  5. Fluff millet with a fork and spoon into 4 teacups. Top with mushroom quarters and lily bulb petals. Set aside.
  6. Prepare chawan mushi sauce. Combine mushroom dashi, salt, soy sauce and sake in a pot and bring to a boil over medium heat. Lower heat to a simmer. Mix kuzu with just enough water to form a paste. Add to sauce and whisk to thicken. Spoon sauce into teacups over millet and serve.

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