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At their Philadelphia restaurant, VEDGE, Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby are redefining the concept of a vegan restaurant. This week, they'll be sharing recipes from their latest cookbook, giving away copies, and providing insight on how to make vegan cooking feel exciting and new.
When we visited Kyoto, a few hours’ ride from Tokyo on the famous Bullet train, we found a little restaurant in the heart of town that won us over with the names of dishes listed on the menu: Firecracker Tofu, Pickled Mixed Radish Salad, and the mysterious sounding Okonomiyaki. The chefs were clearly having fun at this place, and we were blown away by the depth of flavor they achieved with such simple preparations. We threw back some sake and tore through plate after plate of food.
This salad is inspired by that meal, featuring quirky sea beans (a seaweed-like swamp/beach vegetable) and the haunting flavor of shiso (Japanese mint). You should be able to find fresh sea beans at a gourmet market; if they’re not available, substitute pencil-thin asparagus. Look for shiso in Asian markets, but substitute fresh cilantro if you can’t find it.
2 large cucumbers, peeled (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1 large daikon radish, peeled
1/2 pound sea beans, ends trimmed
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons tamari
2 teaspoons black sesame seeds
2 teaspoons white sesame seeds
1 teaspoon sugar
2 fresh shiso leaves, finely chopped