Month: January 2015

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Japanese side dishes series | おかず ②

Introducing some more ‘home made okazu (side dishes)’ for dinner. Thin pancakes with scallions (ネギのお好み焼き) Pancakes made with scallions – more or less scallions made into pancakes – which means, there are more leaks than the flour mixture. The Koreans also have a similar dish called ‘Pajun (Pajeon)’, loaded with vegetables, served with a spicy soy dipping sauce. We call it ‘Okonomiyaki’.  Tender Boiled Chicken(若鶏の水煮・棒々鶏) Sometimes this is called ‘Hainanese Chicken’ (Singaporean food) which is a very tender chicken boiled with ginger, leaks and garlic. It is quite easy to prepare but difficult to perfect (for real tender chicken). Spicy Konyaku (ピリ辛コンニャク) It’s sort of like a jelly-like (rubbery) texture made from Konnyaku yam (potato). It is sold in a solid rectangular forms such as below, which I’ve simply sautéed the Konnyaku in sesame oil with dried red pepper , soy sauce and mirin. If you would like to know more about ‘Konnyaku’ here is good English page to browse. Thin seaweeds with dried herring(身欠きニシンと昆布の煮物) Konbu, seaweeds provides lot of umami . Umami is a …

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It snows in Tokyo, too | 東京。初雪。

It rarely snows in Tokyo. Last year was exceptional having had heave snowfall in Tokyo but like any other metropolitan city,  life in Tokyo gets barred when it snows. Ah, well….it’s Friday so I would imagine people may take a day off or even take off early from work. Here are some close to live…. snow photos of our garden. Our flowers and spring (to) blossom trees seem enduring the severe cold to bloom beautifully in few months to come. 毎年この季節に必ず数日は雪が降る、、『東京』。 今日は金曜日。週末を迎える前で今日は欠勤をした方もいたのではないかしら? 我家のお庭のお花群。 寒さがこないと春に花は色鮮やかに咲かないといいますが、、 今年の『ミモザ』は満開になってくれるでしょうか? 既に淡く色づいています。       Didn’t get out for a walk this morning….. ……it was already snowing when I woke up. Ah, well…..it’s better to stay out of the cold.

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Japanese side dishes series | おかず ①

I’ve been working on my new blog theme (zuki) for a couple of days and boy….it’s a lot of work trying to analyse what it will do and what I want to do. I truly must admit, the hours are more disappointing than rewarding.  I’m aiming to list all my recipes for easier search by viewers…but gee…it will probably take me days before it is up on my WASHOKU@KITCHEN site.  Patience…..patience…. (inner voice) Here are some Japanese side dishes which we simply and quickly make at home. Our Japanese food culture favors to serve small dishes rather than big one plates. Recipes are not up but I hope to familiarize you with some the side dishes we (I) make before I start racking up the recipes and how to makes. Kiriboshi Daiko with seaweeds, carrots and shitake mushrooms Kiriboshi Daikon is a sun-dried radish, combined with combu – seaweed and carrots and mushrooms. It is braised with a soy sauce broth. Ito-Konyaku with dried tofu Konyaku (wikipedia says it is sometimes called Elephant Foot) is …

Apple Squares

Apple Crumble Squares | アップル・クランブル・スクエア

Here is something ‘simple’ but nice to have in your cake/cookie jar. The apples come abundant during the winter time and having lived in Ireland during a child, apples tend definitely one of my favorite fruits for baking. The Bramley Apples came in handy when in Ireland, so did the Granny Smith when in Los Angeles, no two come available here in Japan so I use the Kogyku/Jonathan (紅玉)which is the closest I can get. The sweetness can vary to each tongue and individuals. I like the natural  sweetness in any ingredients I use, which to me means….less use of sugar and slow cooking of fruit and vegetables – i.e. a more or less healthy, more or less a fattening dessert? 林檎の季節に最適で簡単なケーキです。 上下にグランブル生地を利用して林檎から出る酸味で構成する『林檎のクランブル・スクエア』。アイルランドに住んでいた頃はブラムリーアップル(クッキングアップル)。ロサンゼルとに住んでいた頃はグラニースミス アップル。日本ではやはり紅玉(ジョナサンアップル)が程よい酸味があって美味しいのではないでしょうか? それでも、もっと酸味が好きという方はレモン汁を多めに足すといいですよ。 小さいスクエアに切って、クッキー・ケーキジャーに入っているとコーヒータイムに最適なスィーツですよ〜。 Apple Crumble Squares Recipe – 20cm x 20cm square pan For the Apple Filling – 3 thinly sliced apples (Kogyoku) 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice 50g Flour Sprinkle of brown sugar 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice Pour lilikoi butter (passionfruit …

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Egg Custard with Cod Milt & Tuna Sashimi Bowl | 白子入り茶碗蒸し、マグロ漬け丼

A glimpse of our dinner table. Some homemade foods on a Japanese dinner table may seem like slightly ‘exotic?’  delicacies to some but this is a seasonal easy Washoku dish. Egg Custard Bowl with Cod Milt Egg custard bowl which is called ‘chawan(bowl) mushi(steam)’ is an easy dish which is similar to making a egg custard pudding but the washoku makes this as an appetizer and seasonal foods are incorporated inside the custard. I’ve used …… ‘COD MILT’. What’s ‘COD MILT’ ? Cod milt is a ‘sperm’ of a cod; snow white, soft, rich in taste similar to a Foie gras or even pork liver. Incorporating this cod milt into the egg custard bowl (chawan mushi) made with dashi (see my July 1st 2014 blog post) . You will find various recipes on Chawan Mushi if you are a egg lover which can be combined with any seasonal foods, seafood or vegetables. Since ‘cod milt’ comes quite abundant during the winter months, it is one of my husband’s favorite food – the cold milt and …

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Carrot Cake | キャロットケーキ

One of my favorite breakfast breads, ‘carrot cake’. Carrot cakes seem to have a global fan from the US to England, but I often wonder why? The carrot really does not stand-out like a prominent fruit or vegetable and sometimes if you do not reveal that it’s a carrot cake….few people do not realize what it is but comes back with a nice complement ‘thank you! what a lovely cake’ not being able to exactly depict what the orange chunks are. My recipe uses rapeseed oil and sugar proportions are relatively low. If you are used to American recipes, my sugar values are cut down to less than 30 percent so some may feel ‘where’s the sugar?’ . I like to keep my recipes rather subtle in sweetness, low in fat and organically healthy, so let me know what you think if you ever decide to make one. 定番の『キャロット・ケーキ』です。 甘さも控えめ、バターも使用せず、卵とキャロットと胡桃でしっとりと構成しているケーキなので私は朝食のパン代わりに食べる事もあります。冬に季節は常温で長持ちをしながらも日々たつとしっとりと熟成する特徴がありますので常備食としては重宝するケーキなのです。 菜種油はなるべくいい油を使って作ってくださいね。 人参は泥付きの甘い人参なら一層甘みがでて、、グ〜ですよ。 甘さはとっても控えめにしてありますがお好みで糖分は調整してくださいませ。 人参が入っているだけで、、、『健康的』と思うだけで健康になるもんです。実は食べたときの幸せ感が人を健康にしてくれている気がしますが。何あれ、、美味しい〜ですのでお試しあ〜れ💓 Carrot Cake Recipe – 【Dry Ingredients】 150g Flour 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder 1/4 Teaspoon Baking Soda 1/4 Teaspoon Nutmeg 1/4 Teaspoon …

Christmas Stollen

Stollen | シュトーレン

I’ve managed to bake my annual (supposed to be Chirstmas) ‘Stollen’, really late. I mean really late but hey….I made it by New Years; and thanks to my dear friends who await for my Stollen even past the season. My friends often ask me whether I’m back baking on a regular basis. Yes and no. I’m not baking like a ‘baking freak’ hindered by unexpected commitments  but I hope to be. Stollen uses a lot of dry fruits – aging the raisins, sultanas, currants, cranberry, apricots, figs, orange and lemon all soaked in rum and brandy for over a year before using. It’s way past festivity time but I hope you enjoy at least the photos. 去年のクリスマスに間に合わず、、お正月間際に作った『シュトーレン』。 毎年数人の方が待ちわている季節のお菓子で今年はいろいろな事があった為、とてもクリスマスには間に合わずでした。でも、この為に熟成させていたフルーツ。レーズン、サルタナ、カレンツ、クランベリー、アプリコット、フィグ、オレンジやレモン。濃厚なラム酒やブランデーに一年間漬け込み出番を待ったいました。 今年はバター不足でちょっとこまりましたが何とか発酵バターを入手することが出来、『シュトーレン』が嫌いな方もこの『シュトーレン』の概念を変えましたと御礼の言葉を頂いきました(自画自賛、、ですネ)。

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Fresh Mochi (Sticky Rice) Event | 餅つき

New Years festivities in Japan are over, more so by January 15th. Mochitsuki (Pounding of fresh sticky rice) is an gathering event which take place in various parts of the community; schools, living communities, temples, associations. Mochi pounded from steam glutinous rice is a traditional food eaten in New Years. The glutinous rice is steamed and pounded in a oval shape wooden bowl. Fresh mochi is a ‘one of kind’ food (I think…) similar to eating bread right out from the oven. Since it has no preservatives, it becomes stale and hard more quickly than other processed mochi sold in supermarkets. Fresh mochi can be eaten many ways but the most popular being…(such as in street events) – Sweet aduki with rounded fresh mochi – Kinako powder with rounded fresh mochi –  Daikon Oroshi Mochi, which is grounded radish with soy sauce. (Sorry no photos) 今年のお正月の楽しみの一つ、、『餅つき大会』。 さすがに家では臼もないので餅つきはなかなかできません。昨年は餅米を蒸して、自力で餅を作ってみましたが、、さすがにこの餅つきの味とはかけ離れた出来でややガッカリ。餅つきはこうやって大量の餅を蒸して、男手でついた餅が最高ですね。我家の周辺では学校、お寺、郷土館、商店街で餅つきを多々やっているのでこうしていい日和を選んでいく楽しみがあります。 今回は『小豆』と『きなこ』餅しかありませんでしたが、、『大根おろし』もなかなかの美味で最高です。 Fresh Mochi Kinako powder with rounded fresh mochi Sweet aduki with rounded fresh mochi This is a typical traditional New Years dish ‘Ozouni’, which is mochi in …

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my homemade Granola Bars | グラノーラ・フェア

Granola bars are one of many favorite snacks. Somehow the idea of using multiple and variety of grains, fibers, fruit and nuts instantly makes me less guilty to eat as a snack. I can’t figure out why (health freak?) but I tend to instantly react to any kind of photos of granola bars or natural all-grain and fruit bars or even vegetarian muffins or cakes. I still have few recipes to be tested but to reveal few of my recipes which have been branded ‘SAVE RECIPE’ . Some recipe tend to be loose (breakable and less flour), some are more packed with fruit, some are ginger based to warm the body. All have a purpose in my own lifestyle but hey! no excuses, I am just a natural food lover, ‘granola’ addict. Granola lovers, give it a try and let me know how some turns out. 私のグラノーラ・レシピを公開します。 『カントリー・グラノーラ』は標準タイプで粉をあまり使わずに使っているのでやや、もろく割れ易いタイプです。 『グラノーラ・ラーラバー』はソフトタイプでフルーツをベースに作り上げていくタイプ。 『生姜入りグラノーラ・バー』は文字通り、生姜をたっぷり入れたグラノーラ・バーです。 やや、固めでシロップ漬けの生姜をたっぷり使って、体を温める効果を期待しているレシピです。 どれも、同じ様な雑穀を使って作り方も決して難しくはありません。 自然派にはたまらないレシピだと思います、、是非試して感想を頂けると幸いです。 Country Granola Bar Country Granola Bar Recipe – 2 cups Rolled oats 3/4 cup Bran 1/2 cup Black sesame Kinako 1/2 cup …