It’s already July, unexpected early arrival of summer (over 2~3 weeks) and departure of a short ‘rainy season’ which depicts an reflection in change climate. Temperatures are soaring to a level beyond body temperature of 36 degrees celsius (all over Japan) and the trend is an annual recurring tendency. Consequently, the harvest of fruits and my jamming works has been bumped up, at least over 2~3 weeks. Nevertheless, June and July being one of busiest jamming season, on being the use of Japanese plums, which we call ‘ume’. It is a sour plum which is used in numerous washoku dishes and no doubt ‘ume’ comprises our basis of our history, culture and Japanese nationality, our identity. Sa-Shi-Su Umeboshi ｜さしす梅干 ’Umeboshi’ is an authentic Japanese pickles which I am most certain you have encountered at Japanese restaurants or peeking out from the rice balls, ‘onigiri’, a extremely sour pickle made from the Japanese plum called the ‘ume’. The Sa-Shi-Su Umeboshi is not a traditional process but a easy short cut cooking which I’ve made this year and …
“Aralia Sprouts” and “Okogi“. These spring (wild) vegetables are not so much the common Spring vegetables; ‘Aralia sprouts‘ has a little bit more recognition than the Okogi, the Aralia sprouts being new buds from the Arilia tree. The buds have a rose-like thorn along the stem, so extra care is necessary during preparation. The most common style of cooking ‘tempura’.
Spring, a fresh new start, new buds sprout to live the next four seasons. Spring vegetables, vivid and lively, bursting with energy awaken from hibernation and power from mother earth.
A simple and really quick to make ‘Banana Choco Chunk Muffin’, makes a nice gift for Valentines Day. Banana + Chocolate is a super combination, never goes wrong.
White rice is an obvious to most everyone…but perhaps the ‘red’ nor ‘black’ rice may be of such. Both the ‘red and black’ rice look similar to the ‘brown rice’ but with the red rice is red (obviously!) and common to both, produced only in small quantities,
New Years Day, dinner. For us Japanese, New Year’s celebration is a traditional event, most likely THE important day of the year in which we celebrate the day with ‘traditional Japanese osechi’. If anyone of the readers are curious of what ‘osechi is?’, many sites will explain the meaning of some of the osechi dishes. This year I decided to venture out from the tradition to a somewhat non-tradtional ‘washoku cuisine’ to something which I call it ‘multi-cultured washoku’.
秋の一品、「柿の白和え」。 冬になる前、秋最後の柿。 菜の花と合えるとなんともいえなくキレイな彩りです。和の優しい一品です。 ‘Shiroae‘ is a cooking terminology used in meaning of ‘blending tofu’ or ‘tofu dressing’. Using “smoothend tofu” is an authentic washoku (Japanese) dish in which the ingredients could seasonally vary. Approaching winter and coming to an end of autumn, persimmons come in abundance and blending with boiled field mustard and smoothened tofu makes this osozai, the persimmon shiroae. Recipe is consists of the following, all blended together. 1/2 block of Tofu (dry off the tofu with a paper towel and let is sit under a relatively light weight to ooze off the water inside the tofu) Boiled field mustard (boil the field mustard in boiling hot water) 1 persimmon (peel and cut into 1/8 pieces) 2 tablespoon of white sesame 1 tablespoon of mirin Salt