Monday, December 27, 2010
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Time really flies! It's the end of the year now, and there are only a couple of weeks left for 2010!
Kanten is made without any sweetness or flavor just as it is, and I sprinkled KINAKO powder and drizzled maple syrup from the top, that's it. And it's made in 30 min.(easy!)
KINAKO also have a great nutrient, Fiber.
Monday, November 1, 2010
And acidity=sourness is one of the basic taste that human tongue can detect.
I will introduce to you - 3 different ideas to flavor up your Sumomono.
Shiso leaves are very popular here now, they can give a great flavor and a clean taste to any dish. I would say this is the most used and favored herb among Japanese people.
I love to add Shiso leaves to Sumomono, but at the very end, right before you eat. If you want to use Shiso leaves for vinegared and hot (temperature) dish,
please add at the end in order to keep their nice green and purple color.
I used a unfamiliar ingredient for Japanese Sunomono - Kohlrabi and Zucchini.
But both have a great taste as Sunomono. It's sliced very thin with a peeler so you can eat it fresh and the vinegar is soaked up and marinated quickly.
To use these unfamiliar ingredients this dish worked out pretty good.
This one, cucumber, wakame seaweed, tomato, sakura-ebi (dried-shrimp), and shio-kombu (salted, shredded-kelp).
AMAZU (sweetened vinegar)
Rice Vinegar 1/3 cup
Cane Sugar 5 tbsp.
Vegetables(sliced or cut) about 2 cups
Salt 1/2 tsp.
1) Mix vinegar and sugar well until sugar is dissolved.(you can heat the vinegar, but just a little, never boiled!)
2) Slice or cut vegetables and sprinkle salt and toss. Let it sit for 30 min.
3) Squeeze water from the vegetables and add the vinegar mixture to marinate.
4) Keep marinated it inside of the fridge at least 2-3 hours.
*You can keep it in an air-tight container for few days.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
I don't write about baking so often, but I love baking. However, I am not good at it as much as I love it, even though I do know my oven's habits pretty good by now. As often as I have baked and used not just this oven, but other ovens as well, I am still not as happy with my level of baking compared to what I think it should be.
I always try to create my own version with a healthier twist; using canola oil instead of butter, wheat flour or other milled-grains instead of breached all-purpose flour...It comes out great sometimes, but not all the time. Some ingredients are supposed to be prepared a certain way, but I try to omit or add those steps and this causes a huge mess sometimes.
Anyway, I made a strawberry and peach crumbles as my husband's request the other day. I made from scratch; panko, brown sugar, Cinnamon, graham cracker, and butter. All ingredients are left-over or always in the pantry as staples. This is a typical pattern of failure, making things like this...
But, it came out pretty well this time!
The sweetness was not too heavy, lighter crumbles, and juicy tender strawberries and yellow peaches were cooked just right.
Monday, October 11, 2010
At the end of a big pot of ratatouille, I finished with omelet for lunch.
There is nothing need to be added, and just crusty bread made the meal perfect.
By the way, have you watched movie "Ratatouille"? I don't want to think the story in a realistic way, but it's a heart warming story, simply the love for food. I like the detail of the ratatouille coming up at the end of the movie; the mean food critic gets flash back of his mother's ratatouille once he puts Ratatouille's ratatouille in his mouth :)
Monday, September 27, 2010
When I make ratatouille, I always make curry using from the same big pot.
I just add some sweet curry powder (I got this from Penzeys Spices store), and if I feel like more it more meat, vegetables, or beans, I saute it all and mix together.
This time I added boiled lentil to increase the volume.
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
This gets along with anything; rice, bread, pasta, etc. I love to make ratatouille, because I can make a lot at one time in a big pot, I can use any vegetables and cleanse fridge, it's so versatile, and I can make a few different dishes from it. (This helps a lot to make sure my husband gets his right amount of veggies!)
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Last month, my co-worker gave me a couple of kohlrabi. I have never used that vegetable before, but the texture was so familiar. I first made some pickles, sliced thin with a peeler and marinaded in rice vinegar based marinade.
That taste and texture remind me of a Japanese turnip and daikon radish, and I really liked it. It is such a fun thing to try a new food, both cooking and tasting it.
Next thing I did was...
I added a thinly sliced zucchini too, and made two types of vegetable sushi with those pickled vegetables.
Monday, September 6, 2010
When I was working for re-sizing this picture with my lap-top, my husband was sitting right next to me and said,
"Wow! Is that TUNA? That's nice, babes!"
"That's strawberry kanten jelly cut in cubes!"
I used fresh strawberry puree 1/2 cup and water 1/2 cup (1:1), and 1 package kanten powder
(2 grams), that's it. It only took 30-40 min. to mold.
There were a lots of strawberry seeds you can taste and that's very comfortable crunch!
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Making Kanten Jelly is still going on...This time, I used pureed kiwi fruits and some diced strawberry with it.
The idea was pretty good I guess, but I have made a big mistake while I was making the jelly...
The package of Kanten powder which I have been using contains 2 grams. And you can use 1 cup of water per package. So, I could've measure the kiwi puree and add some water until 1 cup, and use the kanten powder.
But, I use a whole cup water and add the kiwi puree to the water, which makes jelly more softer and watery.
Monday, August 16, 2010
Do you like beans?
I love to eat beans especially the sweet type!
Eating beans in salad, curry, soup... I love them anyway, but sweet simmered Japanese style beans, that's my best of best! That is Ni-Mame, which means "cooked beans" in English.
Cooking beans takes little longer time, but it's worth the wait.
Some people may consider eating beans as a comfort food, but for myself I also enjoy the time preparing the beans just as much as eating them.
You need to be careful with the heat so you do not burn the flavor of the distinct beans while it's cooking,
All those cooking elements are part of healing process, if I may say.
The first bite of the sweet taste...including all the prep time is comforting to me, every time I cook beans.
I got about 1 lb. of mixed beans at Whole Foods Market the other day, and cooked everything at one time. After I cooked the beans without any extra ingredients, I divided in 3 parts, 1 for Ni-Mame and other 2 Parts for freezing.
Then, I made a thin syrup with brown sugar and water, and pinch of sea salt. After it's started to boil in a pan I add all the beans and turn the heat down very, very, low and cooked for 30min. Turn the heat off and let the taste all come together as it's cooling down.
In my home back in Japan, Ni-Mame is one of the best Ocha-Uke (お茶受け/ little snack or condiment for break with green tea. And I believe my mother and grand mother are having it right now.
Monday, August 9, 2010
I love to eat rice, as well as my husband. Since, I started to want to shift more to a whole grain or brown rice more often for our diet, I do sometimes use as a side dish or salad for us both. But still we love to eat white rice. I just realized I can not eliminate white rice from our diet completely, but we can eat a bit less.
Instead of just a simple steamed (cooked) rice, I often make this rice. It's so easy to make because I can put any veggie, meat...aay ingredients I wish to use into the rice cooker together and press the start button. That's it. After 40min, it's all done and ready to eat.
This is called "Takikomi-Gohan". Soy sauce, sake,(yes, sake!) and salt are usually used to make this dish and added to one's taste. And for the ingredients, Gobo(burdock root), carrots, shiitake mushroom, Abura-age(fried tofu), chicken, those are commonly used, but can vary at each house with a variety of ingredients which is used. It's like a Japanese style paella.
For my version, I always add Hijiki Seaweed and Kiriboshi Daikon(Dried Shredded Daikon). Both great source for fiber and calcium.
I would like to create a good alternative recipe with more of these great Japanese ingredients and introduce it western kitchens. Finally my cooking class is coming up in September, and I definitely will use these ingredients in the class, too.
Monday, August 2, 2010
Now, I think I've finally made the perfect Kanten Jelly that I wanted!
I laid soft wax paper inside a small cup, and tied top of the paper after I poured Kanten liquid and placed a strawberry in the center. It was a small bite size, so it finished molding in the fridge within 3o min.
Doesn't it look nice? .It still isn't as clear as I wanted it to be, but it turned out OK, for Kanten Jelly.
My husband describes this as " Strawberry Crystals"
I used 1 Cup of water per 1 package's Kanten Powder (2 grams), and I could make almost 10 little pieces (little smaller than ping pong boll) of this little Kanten jelly with small strawberry in it.
Kanten jelly does not melted soon in a room temperature like gelatin jelly, so it's very easy to handle and make it. Like this shinny little dessert, I hope to see more summer like sunshine in here too!
Monday, July 26, 2010
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
I've been trying to change my blog's template, color and font etc...
but I can't decide which one I really really like. So, I have been changing it around, trying to find a new one that i like :)
The other day, I was making Kanten Jelly with flaked Kanten for my next cooking class, coming end of this month. (whoo whoo) I found these flakes at Whole Foods Market. I have never used the flaked type before, so I just wanted to try it out.
It took a little longer than I expected to melt all those flakes into the hot water, so it is difficult to put on my recipe because it's going to vary for the amount of evaporated water until all flakes melt. And also you don't want to keep boiling Kanten liquid for a long time. (This makes the Kanten jelly a more unclear color) In order to make easier and clear recipe, I am going to decide to use powdered Kanten.
I added brown sugar to taste, and put strawberries in it. I put plastic wrap inside of small bowl and pour the Kanten liquid and twisted the top of plastic and tied.
One of the great things about using Kanten is it's fast and the time it takes to turn to gel and be able to mold within 40-45min. You can use any kind of fresh fruits, (some can't be used in gelatin jelly because of the enzyme they contain) and they are almost non calories, (because it's seaweed) but it's great source of fiber!
But the texture is totally different from gelatin jelly. I love the texture, but people who never had this texture might not like it at all. So, I need to try making Kanten jelly's texture little closer to gelatin more westernized. At the same time, I need to test again and make more clear.
Good thing I have my husband who never had Kanten jelly before, right? :)
Monday, June 14, 2010
Here I made a Walnut-Miso Paste, just like I made that Sesame Sauce the other day. It turned out with a miso like paste. And I created a few different ways to use it.
This is the paste, doesn't it look like miso paste? I mixed in a little miso paste in order to give the sauce more flavor and richness. I also used a food processor to mix it all together, and it turned pasty like this quickly. I touched the paste and felt all the fat from the nuts. (a lot, but good fat! if you take with proper portion)
And, the ways I created to use were.....
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Lately, I've seen a Yakisoba commercial on TV a few times.
I can say... Yakisoba is one of my favorite dishes to eat, and I always remember the summer time when I was a kid when I eat Yakisoba.....
(imagine if you will)
..... Our family used to go to the beach often during our summer vacation when my sister and I were in grade school. In Japan, there are always some beach house by the ocean, it's called "Umi-No-Ie"( 海の家 ), they have a rest room, shower, changing room, souvenir shop, and cafe and restaurant. In the restaurant, they sell grilled squid or clam, curry and rice, saved ice, corn dog...etc., and there is always Yakisoba in the menu. I don't think I never missed a day when i would ask my parents to have Yakisoba.
When I ate Yakisoba right after getting out from the ocean, I always could taste the sea water with the noodle, because of the sea water dripped from my hair to face and mixed together in my mouth. I still can remember that exact taste :)
I wish I had some Beni-Shoga! ( pickled ginger/ you will be surprised by it's bright red color )
Monday, May 17, 2010
I am now placing Goma-Ae's sauce recipe up online today.
Toasted Sesame Seed (white or black) 1/3 cup
Soy Sauce 1 tbsp.
Brown Sugar 1 tbsp.
Mirin 1 tbsp.
Salt 1/4 tsp.
Dashi 3~4 tbsp.
1) In a Suribachi (Japanese mortar), put sesame seeds and grind untill their oil comes out.
2) Add all the other ingredients and mix well untill sugar is disolved and looks pasty.
* You can make the sauce with a food processor too. When you use a food processor, put sesame seeds in and pulse a few times and then add all other ingredients and blend it till pasty.
You can use this sauce with vegetables, but you also can dress up some noodles and seaweed with some veggies like this...
I tossed the sauce with Soba noodle, carrots, spinach, and Hijiki Seaweed. Make sure the creamy sesame sauce covered all ingredients evenly to be able to enjoy the full flavor in every bite.
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Friday, April 23, 2010
Friday, April 16, 2010
1 tea spoon salt = about 1.5 table spoons of soy sauce or about 2 - 2.5 tablespoons of Miso paste.
Monday, April 12, 2010
Canned Corn・・・・・・・・・ 1 lb. each of whole and cream style.
Sweet Onion・・・・・・・・・ 1 cup
1.) Cook bacon until it gets crispy, add onion and saute for 5 min. with medium-low heat.
* If you don't want to use all the bacon oil, you can take it out and add 4 tbsp. of Canola Oil instead.
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
There are lot of cabbages out there lately, those spring cabbages are tender and yummy especially when in season. I use cabbage often, for soups, salads, to saute and steam, to make a Japanese style pan cake ( Okonomi-Yaki ), rolled cabbage...etc.
I created a strawberry dressing and tossed with steamed cabbage. The dressing was so delicious it gives you that fresh spring feeling.
I have tried this dressing with broccoli, celery, and carrots and it was good, too. The consistency of the sauce is pretty thick, so it's good as a dipping sauce also.
Spring Strawberry Dressing:
Makes about 1/3 - 1/2 cup
Strawberry 3 medium
Red Onion 1.5 oz
Red Wine Vinegar 1 tbsp.
Olive Oil 2 tbsp.
Salt and Pepper for taste
Pinch of Sugar
Direction: Put all ingredients into a food processor and mix until combined well, that's it!
Monday, March 15, 2010
Monday, March 8, 2010
Then I simmered the rolls in Dashi (Japanese broth), Soy sauce, Sugar mixture for 30min.
This is a popular New Year's dish. Because Kom-Bu, it is the same pronunciation as "Yo-Ro-Ko-Bu" = to be glad in Japanese (English translation), it is said that kom-bu is considered to be a good luck type of food ingredients in Japan. That's why this dish is recognized as a New Years Dish.
Inside ingredients are vary including the following; burdock root, carrots, other root vegetables, cured or smoked fish...
I only had carrots and mushroom that day, but I wish I had Gobo and Nishin ( Herring ) or so.
I love to make it again soon, and next time I will offer to my husband...
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Saturday, February 6, 2010
It's been a while I posted the last one, and it's already February!
Unfortunately, I still haven't had much time to try some new recipes as much as I would like too. :(
I just got my favorite magazine ( Clean Eating Magazine ), so I want to try some recipe from that.
Well, this morning, I made a SHIRA-AE, meaning "tossed in white ( TOFU ) sauce" in Japanese. This is a pretty popular dish in Japan, compared to here in the U.S. where a "Sesame Sauce" ( GOMA-AE ) is a more common flavor.
I would like to develop this recipe for cooking class.
For a more rich flavor and creaminess, I add a white sesame paste ( Tahini ) to mashed tofu, and mixed it together so it would blend nicely with a savory sesame flavor. For the vegetables to mix with, I used sliced carrots, shiitake-mushroom, daikon leaf, and I added some walnuts for accent.
Traditionally, the tofu sauce is made in a Japanese Mortar ( SURIBACHI ) to achieve a creamier sauce, but, I don't have a Mortar, I really want to get one though. So, I improvised and made a similar version using the utensils that I have in my kitchen. It turned out, OK, and I was pleased with it and it's flavor. :)
This is a very healthy side dish you can try.
Monday, January 18, 2010
This is my husband's favorite oatmeal bowl lately. Cook buckwheat and rolled oats in the water first, and then add some milk, fruits, and brown suger. This is great easy breakfast.
But! I love to eat oatmeal little Japanese style :) I cooked rolled oats and buckwheat in Japanese "DASHI" broth, and add cooked salmon, little salt, bonito flakes, and sesame seeds. Here you go! "Japanese style oatmeal"
Monday, January 11, 2010
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
When I cooked brown rice the other day, I remembered that I had some buckwheat and added it to the brown rice. Cooking brown rice needs more soaking time than white rice does, so I usually soak in over night, or soak in warm to hot water before I cook it.