Bang Bang Cauliflower


This week I’ve been experimenting with cauliflower, AKA Broccolis albino cousin. I’d heard of people making a vegan version of Bang Bang Shrimp with it, and had to see if it loved up to the name. I grew up a stones throw from bonefish grill. My brother used to work there. I can’t remember the first time I had Bang Bang Shrimp, but I remember the last time. A friend/coworker and I used to go almost every Wednesday after work. We’d grab some bang bang, complain about the crazy people who yelled at us on the phone, and talk about our favorite moments of the day. All while enjoying an ingenious dish that will never really be 100% duplicated vegan-style. Now we are both vegan, and Bang Bang cauliflower is as close to the real deal as we get. And it is darn good! So, in her honor, here is the recipe.


Fried Cauliflower:
4 tablespoons arrowroot starch (or cornstarch)
1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 flax “eggs” (2 TBS flax meal, 6 TBS water)
1/2 head cauliflower

Coconut oil, for frying

1/4 cup vegan mayo or cashew cream
1/4 cup Thai sweet chili sauce
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 tablespoon rice vinegar
2 tablespoons diced green onion

Cut cauliflower into bite sized florets.

Set up your dipping system. One bowl with the flax egg, one bowl with the starch, then the last bowl containing the Panko mixed with the rest of the dry ingredients.

Roll each piece in corn starch, then shake off the excess. Dip each piece in the flax egg. Then in the Panko mixture. Make sure all the pieces are evenly coated with each mixture.

Fry two pieces at a time in a small pot of coconut oil on medium heat.

Mix all sauce ingredients together. You can either toss the cauliflower in the sauce immediately before serving or leave it on the side. Either way it’s darn good! Enjoy!



Spicy yellow veggie curry


Happy Monday from Japan! Today I have a curry recipe for you that stems from the woman who makes the best curry on the island, Kiwa from dechibica. Kiwa and I have become friends in my time here. I often bring her baked goods from home and she gives me gifts as well. One of her gifts that she gave me is a bottle of vegan curry paste, and a recipe of how to use it. She is truly the kindest, most generous person I have met here in Okinawa. I cherish her friendship and every gift she gives me.


My husband LOVES when I make this recipe. It’s his new favorite. I make a delicious curried sweet potato soup, and it’s delicious. But this is his new favorite. And I think it’s mine too. He’s thankful for Kiwa as well, since it’s really her recipe. She’s like the culinary Dumbledore. One of her curries takes TWO DAYS to make. She impresses me with her skill and the depth of flavor her food has. So I was pleasantly surprised when I tasted this curry I made at home and was just as taken back by the deliciousness. Isn’t it fun being in awe of your own food?

Since I don’t always have a jar of the curry paste she buys on hand, I’ve learned to make my own in a pinch that mimics the one Kiwa gave me. I don’t even know the name of the one she gave me, honestly.

If you haven’t tried curry, today is a great time to start! Mondays are usually everyone’s least favorite day of the week, so I recommend making this your Monday meal. That way you have something delicious and comforting to look forward to.

Spicy yellow curry
Serves 2-4, depending on how hungry you are. We always have leftovers.

Curry paste ingredients
1 tablespoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon ginger powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon tamarind paste
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander

Curried potato ingredients
1 large white potato, peeled and diced
2 tablespoons oil
1 & 1/2 tablespoons curry powder
1 & 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 teaspoons onion powder

Everything else
1 yellow onion, peeled and diced
5 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup mushrooms of choice, I use Enoki mushrooms
1 carrot, sliced thinly
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 cup veggie broth
1 cup full fat canned coconut milk
Soy sauce, to taste

Brown or white rice, or quinoa, for serving

In a small bowl, mix curry paste ingredients until smooth. Set aside.

Mix together the ingredients for the curried potatoes. Bake at 450 on a greased baking sheet for 40 minutes.

Sauté the veggies in the coconut oil on medium heat. Sauté until they are cooked through but still have a bit of a bite to them, you don’t want mushy veggies. That’s sissy stuff. Add the rest of the ingredients and turn the heat to medium high. Once it’s bubbling rapidly, remove from the heat and stir continuously with a wooden spoon.

Serve the curry on top of your grain (or pseudo-grain) of choice, and top with the curried potatoes.

The next day take the left overs to work and watch your coworkers stare at your food in envy.


My friend Carola

Funny story. I already wrote this entire post once before. But I decided to write it and then neglected to save it. So I was slightly peeved.

I want to tell you about another vegan chick who has a blog much more well rounded than mine. I do restaurant reviews and I do recipes, and I love it. But I’m moving away from Okinawa in eight weeks. My vegan roots are here. My foundation for the lifestyle I now lead was laid here. And the person I made that foundation with was Carola.


Carola (sounds like care-ole-uh) and I started our vegan journey together. We were inspired by another vegan Chica who lived here, Yesenia. I remember our first vegan meal together- vegan sloppy joes and sweet potato fries. Holy yum.

After watching documentaries together like fat sick& nearly dead, food matters, earthlings and vegucated, we decided to do the six week vegan challenge by vegucated ( We had great success, but afterwards both became pescetarian. The vegan lifestyle, however, had already taken hold in our hearts and a few months later we both jumped in 100%.


There were a few factors that allowed me to have great success in going vegan. 1) A plethora of vegan food options in okinawa. 2) Pinterest 3) Carola’s endless support and friendship. Thanks to her and I taking on the vegan lifestyle using the “buddy system”, we have both had great success. We now both have a passion for this lifestyle, which shows in our blogs. Mine through mostly recipes and restaurant reviews, and Carola’s being full of fun posts from okinawa living, to recipes, to yoga, and everything in between.


She’s fabulous, am I right? I’ll never be able to express the depth of my gratitude for her friendship. Because of her, I was able to take a journey that’s changed my life forever. And the best part was that I didn’t have to do it alone. If you’re considering going vegan, I highly recommend two things. The first is doing the vegucated challenge. The second is having a friend do it with you to keep you accountable.


If you are to visit her blog, which I recommend, you might stumble upon some recipes and consider trying them. Don’t just consider it. Get in your kitchen. Do it. I highly recommend her chipotle tofu scramble recipe. It is the bomb diggity.


So as I am in my last few weeks of living here, I’m reflecting on my time here and I look back with thankfulness. Thankful for the opportunity to live in a different country. Thankful for my husband and the fact that we got married here. Thankful for the job I’ve had which has allowed me so much freedom. Thankful for the people I work for. Thankful for the blessings God has given us in the form of people. And among them, I count Carola as one of the biggest blessings I’ve received. With out her, there would be no Rachel Cooks Vegan. And I am forever grateful for her doing that challenge with me.

Check out Carola’s blog!

Thank you for reading!