Vegan recipes from Scotland
Japanese Vegan in Scotland

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UK Spouse Visa Information Vol.1


  • 2011/11/28

If you are looking for more information to get a UK's spouse visa yourself, I'm going to add some information which might help you.
(This information was valid for October 2011).

This is a list of everything that we gave to the UK Border Agency.

- My passport photograph
- Printout of our online visa application
- My current passport
- My old passport
- Copy of her passport
- Sponsorship letter from her
- My family register and translation
- 22 pictures of us (to prove our relationship history)
- Receipt of registration of marriage and translation
- My bank statement
- Her Japanese bank book and translation
- Her bank statement ( to prove her savings in UK)
- Her invoice for her cellphone and translation (to prove that she is living at current address)
- My Certificate of Employment and translation
- My Score report of Pearson Test of English Academic
- Her Certificate of Alien Registration and translation (to prove that she was living at previous address)
- My Gas Bill and translation (to prove that I was living at previous address)
- Customer's copy of Tenant's Insurance and translation (to prove that we were living together in previous address)
- Letter from her parents (to confirm accommodation in UK)
- Copy of her parents' passports.
- Annual mortgage statement of her parents
- Notice of council tax and Scottish water charges of her parents
- My CV

All of these papers need photocopies except my passport photograph and the printout of online visa application. Usually applicants for a UK visa can't translate the papers by themselves, but it's allowed for the spouse visa. If I start to write about all of the small things we did, like the way to write each letter, I think I would have to make new blog, so I won't do it! But if you have some questions, you can ask me in the comment section of this post.
(This information was valid for October 2011).

Vegan Steamed Meat Bun


  • 2011/11/28

'Vegan steamed meat bun' -- 4 servings (8 pieces)

DSC_0503.jpg



INGREDIENTS


The dough:

150g plain flour

2 Tbls baking powder

80ml soy milk

2 Tbls sugar

1 Tbls sesame oil

Salt to taste



The filling:

2 Tbs sesame oil
1 clove garlic

4 leaves cabbage

Half medium onion
Half medium carrot

1/3 cup TVP (before you soak it.)
(If you can't get TVP, you can use 100g firm tofu.)

2 Tsp grated ginger

1 Tbls soy sauce

1/2 Tbls vegan Worcester sauce

1 Tbls sake or wine

1 cube vegetable stock

Salt and pepper to taste

1 Tbls potato flour (or cornstarch)



Directions:

1. Place the ingredients for the dough into a mixing bowl, and mix until combined. Cover bowl with cling film, and wait for 1 hour.

2. While you are waiting, make the filling. Heat sesame oil in a frying pan, add minced garlic and ginger. After it start smells nice, add minced vegetables.

3. After those vegetable became soft, add soaked TVP (or pressed firm tofu), soy sauce, worcester sauce, sake and vegetable stock, mix and continue to fry. Add salt and pepper to taste.

4. Add the potato flour or cornstarch to the mince, mix well. Turn off the heat and allow to cool slightly (if the mixture is too hot you will burn your fingers when filling the buns!).
5. Separate dough into 8 equal pieces, roll each in to a ball, and roll out flat with a rolling pin (or heavy bottle, jar etc.). Place the filling into the centre of each dough circle and begin forming the bun shape.

6. Place buns in a steamer basket or bamboo steamer. To prevent the buns from sticking to your steaming apparatus, place a cabbage leaf or square of greaseproof paper under each bun. Steam buns for 13 minutes. Eat!



I decided to make this because I wanted to use the bamboo steamer I got from the chinese supermarket we went to last week.

When I lived in Japan, fake meat was too expensive to buy, so I just made steamed vegetable buns. But now, finally, I could upgrade to vegan steamed meat bun! Now I can buy TVP 10 mins walk from my house, so I can use it whenever I want. And it's cheap. It was £1.70 for 500g. In Japan, it would be around £15…

Usually people use a mixture of strong flour and usual plain flour to make the dough, but before we moved to Scotland I didn't want to buy the strong kind since I don't use it that much. And I'm too lazy to wait for the dough to rise. These two bad personality traits lead me to making dough which is only using plain flour and a lot of baking powder, haha.

Vegan Memo:
- If you can't get fake meat, you can also use momen tofu or just use more vegetables.
- If you are living in Japan, you can use takana for a more authentic steamed bun taste.
- On step 6, you can use flour on your hands and the table/worktop surface if it's too sticky.
- The dough will be so big, so you should try to make it as thin as you can.
- The easiest way to form the bun's shape is by working your way around the circle of dough, pulling up a piece at a time and pinching it at the top.This is the method I use but really, as long as it's closed, you can make the bun whatever shape you like!

Before steaming:
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Vegan Doughnuts


  • 2011/11/26

Sweets that we were always looking for in Japan: Doughnuts!

Now I think Doughnut Plant and some vegetarian restaurants are the only shops we can get vegan doughnuts, so it's still very rare in Japan. When we wanted to eat doughnuts, we had to make them by ourselves. It was yummy though. (I'll put the address of vegan sweets blog at the end of this article, but it's all Japanese...)

My dream: vegan doughnuts... We found it so easily In the 2nd super market we went to around our house. And they were custard-filled....

doughnuts.png

It was so cheap too!! Maybe just for me?? Under £1 for 5 doughnutsssss!! I think vegan is not part of usual culture here yet, but still in this culture people don't put anything in the food that they don't need.
The taste was good too; not too sweet like Japanese doughnuts, just a good level of sweetness.

Are you a Vegan sweets geek?? Go to Co-op.

My favorite vegan sweets blog (Only in Japanese)
http://ameblo.jp/ryoya1983/theme-10003957394.html

Japanese foods in Scotland Vol.1


  • 2011/11/25

We went to the largest chinese supermarket named 'Pat's Chung Ying Chinese supermarket'.

Pat's Chung Ying Chinese supermarket
http://www.patschungying.co.uk/

I think I don't need to talk about this in here,,, but it's too windy... I don't know if it's because of this wind or just because it's too much of a bother for them, but nobody is using a umbrella.
It took 20 mins by bus to get to this supermarket. We could find them easily because of the big sign outside and inside is the same size as small supermarket. Inside the store looks very simple.

At first, here is the food we got today!
-Natto 2 set (8 packs)
-Rice noodles
-bamboo steamer
-Maitake mushrooms
-Dried seaweed (konbu)
-Toasted nori sheets
-Miso
-Kinugoshi (silken) tofu
-Breadcrumbs (Japanese style panko)
-Fried Tofu
Total was around £27. Of course, everything was vegan.

Natto and maitake were two things that I thought I couldn't buy in Scotland. The price was double that of Japan, but I'm so glad I could find them. Even if it was four times the price, I think I would have bought them.
And I almost shouted when we found the breadcrumbs because we couldn't find them anywhere after 4 days of searching.

Also today, we didn't buy it, but we found frozen Udon and Ramen which looks yummy. And also It was vegan! I heard that imported japanese foods sometime can be vegan because of some import/export laws (e.g. Japanese curry, shin-ramen and so on...).

It's not so close from our house, so maybe we can't go that much. But still It's so helpful. If there is somebody who want to eat real Japanese food around there, I would totally recommend it to them!

Immigration


  • 2011/11/25

It's the 4th day after I moved from Japan to Scotland.
I decided to start this blog.
Now I think I'm going to write about living here as a vegan, vegan recipes, information about immigration, complaints about Scotland and so on...