How to Make the Ultimate Umami-Bomb Vegetarian Demi-Glace
2 medium beets (3 ounces each) stem end trimmed
1 small cucumber, cut into 1-by-1/4-inch sticks
Pinch of salt
Pinch of sugar
3 ounces pickled herring, cut into 1-by-1/4-inch strips (1/2 cup)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons minced red onion
2 teaspoons wasabi powder whisked with 2 tablespoons hot water
In a medium saucepan, cover the beets with water and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderate heat until tender, about 45 minutes. Peel the beets and cut them into 1-inch-by-1/4-inch strips.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, toss the cucumber with the salt and sugar and let stand for 10 minutes. Squeeze out the excess moisture.
In a large bowl, toss the beets with the herring, mayonnaise and onion. Spoon 2 rounded teaspoons of the herring salad onto Chinese soup spoons. Garnish with a few cucumber sticks and a dollop of wasabi paste and serve.