All posts filed under: Vegetables

Bamboo cooking galore|筍料理の備忘録 I

Just after the cherry blossoms, at the end of March, the bamboo shoots start sprouting in April; first along the southern part of Japan, slowly trailing north chasing the signs of summer. I must be honest and admit… I am a bamboo fanatic, not just zest but more in close lines to be called ‘an addict’. The blog which will follow in a couple of series will be about ‘bamboo (shoot) cooking’ which I, personally would like to preserve in my own cooking and blog records, as to also refresh my memory come very vague and fuzzy come next season, one year from now. Fresh bamboo shoots are in season from April to May in Japan. For viewers who have not prepared fresh bamboo, the most common method of when preparing fresh bamboo is : Washed and peel the coarse outer skin In a large pan, boil for approximately 40~50 minutes adding ‘nuka’ – rice bran to remove the bitterness in the vegetable Let it simmer down to cool Next day….peel the outer skin and …

Pumpkin Twist Loaf & Apple Roll Bread

Making simple bread loafs are not quite easy when pursued perfection but ‘pre-made sheets‘ integrated into a basic bread loaf can be a quite fun and rather impressive. These ‘pre-made sheets’ can be made with many other ingredients, although my all time favorite tends to be the ‘pumpkin sheet’. Looking back at my baking archive, I’ve made this loaf with my nieces as a baking lesson, goes back already 3 years from now. Click the link to see my adoring nieces having lots of ‘baking fun’. RECIPE link to : Pumpkin Twist Loaf Pumpkin Twist Loaf Bread Recipe –  Bread Flour (100%) 175g Cake Flour (100%) 175g Salt (1.6%) 5.6g Sugar (10%) 35g Dry Yeast (0.85%) 3g Unsalted Butter (5.7%) 49g – mix in with the dough Cream (8%) 28g Egg Yolk (6%) 21g Milk (56%) 196g Pumpkin Sheet <Pumpkin Sheet> Recipe –  Cake Flour 10g Mashed Pumpkin 120g Corn Starch 5g Sugar 30g Milk    1 Tbsp Rum 1 Tsp Cinnamon Powder 1/4 Tsp Unsalted Butter 5g < Pumpkin Sheet > Mix the flour, pumpkin, …

Japanese Foods to go…

Foods prepared to go…are not easy. Perhaps I am over-sensitive and particular as to making and serving food; but not in this case as my daughter has been suffering from severe ‘migraine headache’, since late fall-early winter. The progressive winter cold certainly does not help alleviate her headache, daily housework and mothering a 3 year old child has become quite difficult for the past few months. To help her, I’ve been catering some ‘most common washoku foods-to-go’, sustaining a healthy balance diet for a 3 year old growing child. Although the prepared foods are far from being photogenic, ready to go in microwave proof Tupperware but hope will provide some insight to our (common) daily Japanese foods. Stewed potatoes with beef and konjac (Niku Jyaga), is a very common Japanese side dish, which we call ‘osozai’. All the ingredients are simmered in soy sauce flavored dashi. Konjac is probably an typical Japanese ingredient-a rubbery noodle like food made from Konjac yam, very low calorie known to cleanse the stomach and intestines. Stewed satuma age and …

Welcome 2019

  I often wonder why we love to organize our time into segments; minutes, hours, weeks, months and then years. Every moment of our lives must be just as precious as any but the accomplishment of completion, achievement bringing satisfaction quite often is measured by time, I the same. Year 2018 had been quite a turbulent year to our family, not as gentle as we hoped and expected it to be. My husband underwent surgery after cancer test claimed in doubt, my daughter is suffering from serious migraine attacks unfortunately with no successful remedy disabling her daily life. Unfortunately we do not live in a world of fantasies, miracles and abracadabras, nor do I have a magic wand to let troubles and worries go away. But this is the start of a brand new year 2019. Letting our worries aside, January 1st which we call ‘gantan‘ in Japan, calls for a day to celebrate with gratitude from our hearts. Although we have our own traditional ritual food for New Years Day, ‘osechi’ ; I’ve decided …

jamming season…ume works

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 …

Bread series | White Bread |食パン生地でお楽しみパン

The regular sandwich loaf, it’s dough can be reshaped into many different type of tasty breads. This white bread dough, the British Loaf dough can is an egg free ingredient which suits well with ‘egg allergy’ toddlers. Indeed… these breads were made for my little munchkins (grandchildren), two among three still struggling to overcome  ‘egg’ allergy. 食パン生地は食パンだけではなく、いろいろな形や味のパンに変身させることが可能です。特に「卵アレルギー」を持つお子様には適している生地。我が家も3人の内、2人の孫が「卵アレルギー」を克服中。年と共に改善されているみたいですが、、たくさん食べる場合はやはりエッグフリーが安心ですよね。 Gobo (Burdock) and Carrot Epi | ごぼうと人参のエピ Burdock and carrots integrated into the dough to make the typical French ‘epi’. The small pieces, easy to divide makes it a perfect for children or even picnic outings. The fillings can be anything of your children’s favorites, staying away from too watery ingredients, which makes it difficult to shape the bread.   Sweet Potato Twist Bread |サツマイモのツイストパン Steamed sweet potatoes integrated into the dough and twisted. The sweeter the potatoes, the better the taste. Sweet, yet the child stays healthy from natural food.                               保存保存 保存保存 保存保存

Okogi & Aralia Sprouts | 春の食材 おこぎ・たらの芽

“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’.

New Year’s multi-culture washoku | 2018年に願う「彩り」元旦

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’.