I’m allergic to malls. Time served in the conspicuous-consumer thunder domes was completed in my twenties, while working in the retail fashion industry. Since my escape, there aren’t too many occasions I find myself saying “Let’s go have lunch at the mall” but those are exactly the words that came outta my very own mouth as we headed to M.A.K.E. in Santa Monica Place,CA.
We passed the exhibition window showcasing the emerging talent from the Matthew Kenney Culinary Academy and I had a feeling we were in for a special gastronomic experience.
James Beard award winning chef and best-selling cookbook author Matthew Kenney’s raw cuisine elevates plant-based food to another level. I wanted to try as much of the menu as possible.The intelligent foodie’s approach would have to come in after 5:30pm when the market tasting menu is available. A well thought out menu teases, excites and calms the palette to best experience the next wave of flavor. Since I was on an abbreviated trip to CA,my schedule only allowed for a mid-day visit. I ordered six dishes during the lunch service and got down to business.
My inner cocktail dragon was calmed with this Lemon Kefir Bellini before we started on the first course.
A trio of tree nut cheeses, sweet & spicy mustard seeds with fennel crisps.
Kimchi Dumplings.Ginger foam.Coriander. Best.Dish.Ever.The filling is savory with a slight kick from the kimchi. Plated to perfection like the work of art these scrumptious parcels are. I was so obsessed with these dumplings, I had to create my own recipe here. My version is a fusion of M.A.K.E.’s dish and the Edamame Dumplings I had at True Food Kitchen in AZ.
Wild Arugula. Herb-Caper Cream. Sweet Potato Chip. Malted Vinegar Powder. The sweet potato chips with malted vinegar powder were the standout elements in this dish. I’ve had dreams about this salad since I’ve been back home.
Wild Mushroom Taco. Mole. Almond Crema. Red Chili Avocado.
Market Tomato Lasagna. Zucchini. Macadamia. Santa Barbara Pistachio. Basil. Yes, this dish appears often at raw eateries. Don’t let that dissuade you. This version has a deep tangy tomato sauce and the “ricotta” was light and creamy.
White Chocolate. Grapefruit Glass. Ginger Crumble. Tarragon. This was the only dish that didn’t thrill me, mostly due to the texture. I imagined it being creamy like a cheesecake, but it was rock hard and had to be chipped away at with a knife. Our severer removed it from the bill when she asked us how it was and we said it wasn’t our favorite.
Chocolate Walnut Cake. Licorice Pear. Fennel. Sassafras. This tasted like a delicious brownie to me. I’ll be honest, I ordered this dessert just because I enjoy the word Sassafras. The cost: Two starters, one salad, two mains, two desserts, one cocktail, one coconut water- $120+tip
- 3 sheets rice paper,cut into 4 quarters
- 1 cup cooked edamame
- 3 cloves garlic,minced
- 1 tablespoon ginger,minced
- 3 tablespoons green onions,chopped
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce (or coconut aminos for GF)
- 2 tablespoons mirin
- 1 tablespoon white or yellow miso
- ¼ cup napa cababge kimchi
- gochujang or sriracha as a dipping sauce
- optional- cilantro,micro greens or edible flowers for garnish
- Heat sesame oil in over med-high heat in a large pan.
- Add garlic, ginger and green onions.
- Sauté until fragrant, about one minute.
- Add cooked edamame and soy sauce,stir for one minute.
- De-glaze the pan with mirin, scraping any brown bit off the pan.
- Pour edamame mixture into food processor and pulse until a rough chop is achieved.There will still be some big chunks, that's fine.
- Add miso and kimchi and pulse the food processor until everything is minced and mixed.
- Pour hot water(not boiling,you should be able to stick your finger in it without screaming out in pain) into a shallow bowl.
- Place one piece of rice paper at a time into the hot water to soften, about 10-15 seconds.
- The rice paper should be flexible.
- Spread the rice paper onto a flat working surface and fill with edamame mixture.
- Take your presentation up a notch and place an herb leaf or edible flowers onto the rice paper before adding the filling.
- Pull the corners up and pinch the edges together to seal the dumpling.
- Twist to secure. (see video for technique)
- Serve with sriracha or gochujang.
- Best when eaten the same day the dumplings are made,as the rice paper starts to dry out and get tough.
© 2013 – 2014, Veggietorials. All rights reserved.Use of any content or image requires a link back to the original post