Blog, Winter Food

Hachinohe Senbei-Jiru & Suiton

As we dive deeper into colder days the winter micro season on the 7th of December with Sora samuku fuyu to naru meaning “cold sets in winter begins” starts. This is a time to start thinking of cosy home cooked meals with seasonal ingredients to feed the soul and warm the body.
Have you heard of a dish called Senbei-Jiru? It’s a country-style rice cracker stew sometimes known as wafer soup, from the northern prefecture of Aomori in the city of Hachinohe.

This dish dating back to the Edo period uses something called Nambu-senbei crackers. They are made from wheat and salt and are formed  into thin round shapes before toasting.

They can be eaten on their own or as a snack or in this case they are dropped into a soup before serving. The soup varies but always has seasonal vegetables and mushrooms in either a soy sauce or miso broth. The wafers absorb the flavour and when In the soup take on a dumpling like texture. This is how the soup known as “Suiton” evolved from this to Senbei-Jiru, as the crackers can be stored dry for a long time.  Suiton is a soup commonly known as Hitsumi is an earthy vegetable soup with dumplings made from rice or wheat flour sometimes known as Hatto-Jiru or Dango-Jiru.

I decided to make one base miso vegetable soup and try it three ways.

The soup can be any seasonal vegetables with a kombu dashi, like potato, daikon,carrot and kabocha then mushrooms I used shiitake. The soup normally has some meat so I used strips of aburaage instead ( deep fried tofu ) I love this in broth as it soaks up all the lovely flavours. I then added some miso. I used a combination of organic Japanese brown rice miso and white miso paste by Clearspring.
For the Suiton you need dumplings 1/2 cup of all purpose flour mixed with 1/4 cup of water and a little salt. Mix into a dough and form into balls. Drop the balls into the cooked soup when they float to the top they are ready. Serve with some chopped green onions or chopped greens like komatsuna.

I was lucky enough to be sent some nambu-senbei from Japan so in my second dish I added these just before serving.

However like many of you who can’t get the authentic thing why not just try using wheat crackers the type you would use for cheese. I tried these ones.

The second part of the winter micro season starts on the 12th of December and is Kuma ana ni komoru meaning bears start hibernating in their dens.  Maybe that’s something we also do in away. We stay inside on cold dark days. It’s a time to cosy up under a blanket or in Japan something called a kotatsu which is a low level table draped with a thick blanket with a heater underneath. The perfect place to eat your nourishing soup which ever way you choose to prepare it.

Autumn Food, Blog, Winter Food

Japanese Thanksgiving & Kondate-Zukushi Meal

Niinamesai 新嘗祭 is a Shinto celebration held on the 23rd of November, nowadays it has been rebranded as Labour Thanksgiving Day. It is a very important day in Shinto religion as it is the annual day to give thanks for the newly harvested rice. This is known as the celebration of first taste.In Buddhist temples it is known as The Autumn Festival and is normally a ceremony of the gratitude for everything nature provides. It is also a time to pray for a prosperous and fruitful New Year.

I decided to make a temple style meal to celebrate doing something a little different. These days due to modern cultivation methods, vegetables are grown all year round and no one seams to know a vegetables true season. In temple cuisine it is believed to be important to follow the flow of nature and eat foods provided by the season. This makes sense as each season provides us with the nourishment we need, consider summer vegetables tomatoes, cucumber and melon all have a cooling effect on the body. Autumn and winter root vegetables give us warmth and nourishment to warm the body with soups and nabes.

I had just received a box of kabu from an organic Japanese vegetable farm. Robin & Ikuko run Nama Yasai farm in East Sussex.

Kabu かふis a type of Japanese turnip, it has an effective digestive aid and is rich in vitamin C, iron and fibre. The leaves are nutrient rich in vitamin A and Calcium.
As the whole part of the vegetable is good in so many dishes from soups and simmered dishes to salad and pickles, I decided to prepare a meal using two Japanese principles. The first is called Ichi Motsu Zen Shoku, which is the use of using a vegetable in it’s entirety. The second approach is called Kondate-Zukushi a culinary practice of making an entire meal from one single ingredient (in this case kabu).

This is my Teishoku meal

Kabu & Soymilk Soup

Chopped Kabu, simmered in vegetable stock until tender adding some greens at the last minute, then add a dash of soymilk and white miso before blending.

Gohan & Kabu greens

cooked Japanese rice with chopped Kabu greens mixed in after cooking.

Simmered whole Kabu with Yuzu miso

Miso roasted Kabu with sautéed greens and baked tofu

Finally what no Japanese meal should be without Tsukemono or pickles. This pickle is known as Asazuke or quick pickle.

Slice a medium Kabu and place in a ziplock bag, add to this some chopped greens, some sliced kombu kelp, 1/3 chopped red chilli a teaspoon of Yuzu zest and a teaspoon of Yuzu juice, a table spoon each of brown rice vinegar and mirin and a tablespoon of salt. Press the air out of the bag and seal it then massage the Kabu so all the flavours are immersed. Then leave in the fridge at least four hours or overnight.

I hope this can inspire you to make your own meal around the Kondate-Zukushi principle.

 

 

Autumn Food

Kaki crumble

Persimmons or kaki 柿 as they are known in Japan are popular autumn fruit often seen hanging in the trees of the Japanese countryside long after the leaves have fallen. Packed full of nutrients just one of these orange fruits contains over half your recommend daily amount of vitamin A critical for your immunity. Each fruit also contains 22% of your recommended daily amount of vitamin C amongst other vitamins and minerals.

The weather is turning cooler now so I decided  to make a warm dessert that was comforting and nothing says comforting dessert more than crumble. As I had quite a few kaki I decided to use some to try out a crumble recipe. It’s really simple to make and I think you could have this for tea or even for breakfast with some almond milk.


I chose an oven proof flan dish to make my crumble in.

Peel the skin off around 3-4 kaki with a knife and chop into large chunks. There are mainly two types of kaki Fuyuu are round and Hachiya are longer.

If your using Hachiya make sure they yield when you press them never eat these not ripe as they are high in astringency.
Put the chunks in your dish and sprinkle with some spices you could use what ever you have like cinnamon or nutmeg, I actually had this apple pie mixed spice so I decided to use this. Then I drizzled in about a tablespoon of maple syrup and a tablespoon of Yuzu juice. The Yuzu juice is optional. Give this a mix.

Now for your topping

To a bowl add one cup of flour of choice I used chestnut flour but something like oat flour would be good, add 1/2 cup almond flour, 1/2 cup hazelnut flour (basically finely ground almonds and hazelnuts) Also 1/2 cup of rolled oats.

Give it a mix and add to your flours 1/3 cup of melted coconut butter give this a good stir and make sure the coconut butter is mixed in to make your crumble a bit like bread crumbs. Tip this on top of your kaki. I like to sprinkle a little coconut palm sugar on top but again this is optional.

Bake in a moderate oven for around 30 mins until you can see the kaki bubbling and the topping is golden. Serve straight away warm with soy cream.

 

Autumn Food, Blog

Fukuyama Uzumi-Gohan うずみご飯

A traditional dish from Fukuyama is Uzumi cuisine.

Fukuyama is near the centre of Seto inland sea which has developed as a main port for the eastern area of Hiroshima prefecture, this dish began in the Edo period 1603-1868. It was created at this time due to frugal politics who’s government forbid luxury items. Uzumi means to bury, people used to hide luxury food items like rare mushrooms or fish under rice.
Now this dish is considered good fortune and people in Fukuyama even have an Uzumi festival to celebrate food from the mountains and sea.
I thought what a nice idea this was to have almost a surprise of food buried under rice . Also now people do not have to hide their food in fear of frugality and it made me feel lucky to have such choice in the foods we now consume. Why not try this meal for yourself using seasonal ingredients. Think of it as a reverse donburi instead of the rice being underneath it’s now on top.

I made two Uzumi the first was soboro style. Soboro is normally minced chicken  and egg ( you can see another post for this on my recipe pages. I made my vegan version and put the rice on top.


The second was a mixture of autumn Japanese mushrooms shimeji, shiitake, maitake and enoki. Sautéed in a teriyaki sauce then placed in the bottom of a bowl and topped with rice. It’s as simple as that .


You could make all kinds of your own variations. What joy to be given an Uzumi rice bowl, digging out delicious seasonal foods, not knowing what lies beneath the rice.

Autumn Food, Blog, Winter Food

Candied Sweet Potatoes Daigaku Imo 大学芋 with a Yuzu syrup

Have you heard the Japanese word Natsukashii ? It’s a word meaning a small thing that brings back fond memories of the past. When I posted my candied Japanese sweet potato on my Instagram account I had so many messages from either people from Japan now not living in Japan or people with memories of Japan. One japanese lady said it reminded her of her grandmother. How lovely I thought that these small things can bring back such sweet memories maybe of your childhood or a visit to a certain place.
I decided to make these when I was lucky enough to get hold of some Japanese sweet potato (Satsumaimo) さつまいも. These sweet potato are great for desserts as they are very sweet. Often used as an ingredient for kuri kinton part of a New Years Osechi Ryori.

When autumn rolls around in Japan you may hear the sound of the autumns equivalent to a summers ice cream truck it’s the Yaki-Imo truck. Baked satsumaimo warm the hands on a cold day. Tear them open to reveal the orange flesh.

Daigaku-imo actually means university potatoes, maybe because of the story of someone selling these to help pay for their university tuition or another story is there was a potato shop near Tokyo university which became a hit with the student’s.
These snacks are normally deep fried and then coated in a sweet caramelised syrup. I decided to make a snack that you could eat without frying but then afterwards I decided to sauté them and they were both delicious so you can decide to do it either way. Because they are so sweet Japanese people like to eat them as an accompaniment to green tea.

You will need a Japanese sweet potato I got a Miyazaki Beni which is the original brand type of Japanese sweet potato.


Purple on the outside and a cream flesh that turns orange when cooked. You don’t have to but I took off some of the outer skin to make it look interesting. Slice into rounds and put in a bowl of cold water for 15 mins to remove any starch.

Add to a pan one cup of water, two tablespoons of granulated sugar and two tablespoons of yuzu juice. The yuzu  juice is optional but it gives the syrup a lovely citrus flavour which I think goes well with the potatoes. Give it a stir then drain your potatoes and add them to your pan. Simmer on a low heat with a dropped lid or otoshibuta, if you don’t have one just use tin foil with a few holes pushed in and rest it on top. This will perfectly simmer your potatoes and stop them them breaking as you won’t need to stir them. Simmer for around 20 mins. Your syrup will start to thicken, test your potatoes are done with a toothpick and leave to cool in the syrup.


You can then eat them as they are or add the potatoes to a pan without the syrup with a little oil and sauté them until crispy on the outside.


Then serve them warm adding a drizzle of the syrup and a sprinkle of sesame seeds.


Either way I hope you will enjoy this traditional Japanese treat.

 

 

 

Autumn Food

Kabocha & Chestnut Cookies

I have been loving using Kabocha pumpkin in sweet recipes, it has a lovely nutty flavour and a great consistency that yields well to baked goods. When I saw this chestnut flour I knew I wanted to try it to make cookies. If you can’t get hold of this other flours will be fine to use like oat or rice.


First steam 1/2 a Kabocha pumpkin and let it cool. Scoop out the flesh, you need enough for 1 cup of pumpkin. Add this into a food processor and add to it 1/3 cup of maple syrup, one teaspoon of almond essence or you could use vanilla essence and two tablespoons of melted coconut butter.
Add to a bowl 1 cup of chestnut flour and 1/2 cup almond flour to that add 1 teaspoon of baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda, add to this either pumpkin spice powder or a mix of cinnamon and nutmeg. Give this a mix and then add your wet ingredients to your dry. Cream it together to form a dough add a little water a few teaspoons a little at a time if your dough is too dry but do not make it too wet.

Form a ball and place it in the fridge to chill for around 30 mins.


Take out your dough and roll it on some parchment paper, use a cookie cutter to cut out any shapes you like. If you have a pumpkin cookie cutter I think this would be a great time to use it. As I didn’t I just cut mine into rounds. I then placed each cookie on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and added a few pumpkin seeds for decoration.
Bake in a moderate oven, these cookies are quite soft not crispy.



They would also work well crumbled onto porridge or use as I did as a crust for pumpkin pie using mini tartlet cases.


Just grease the cases before adding your biscuit base and bake. After you can add your pie filling. I love the pumpkin custard pie filling from the vegan pudding company. Originally from Japan they are now based in Canada but they ship world wide. Or just use my tofu pumpkin pie recipe. This company do three filling favours the vanilla is the pumpkin but they also do a chocolate and a matcha.

Happy Halloween Happy Fall

Autumn Food

Chestnut truffles

Chestnuts or Kuri as they are known in Japan are very popular in autumn. Japanese people like to cook them with rice and you will also find them in many desserts.

This is a quick recipe to make your own chocolate truffles. Perfect as a wagashi with a matcha tea.

You will need a pack of already cooked roasted chestnuts. Tip them out into a bowl and start to mash them.


Add two tablespoons of coconut palm sugar and start to cream the chestnuts with the sugar. This can take a little time. Add to this one heaped tablespoon of cacao powder and one tablespoon of melted coconut butter and again start to cream it altogether. Add a teaspoon of water at a time to make a dough. Do not add to much water you do not want a wet dough. Roll into balls and then roll the truffles in cacao powder.

You can also dip them in melted chocolate like my pumpkin Halloween truffles on another recipe on this website or why not add a centre of your choice it could be a nut or nut butter maybe even marzipan. You could even add chopped fruit to the dough or roll the dough in chopped nuts.
Why not experiment and give them a try. I would love to see anything you make so please tag me on Instagram and I will feature what you make.
Have fun in the kitchen.

 

Autumn Food, Blog

Basque Style Cheese Cake

A dessert that’s very trendy in Japan at the moment is the basque style cheese cake. A crust less cheese cake with almost a burnt surface and a golden centre using eggs, milk and cream cheese. This is my vegan version. It tastes a cross between a cheese cake and an egg custard but no eggs or dairy !
What is my egg replacement ? Many people thought it was tofu but the wait is over I can reveal its Kabocha pumpkin !
There is a variation on the basque cheese cake called a Far Breton, many have prunes or raisins at the bottom so you could add this too to the recipe if you like. They are both perfect served warm with some soy cream. I have recipe tested this many times with different variations and I have found it best made in a lined loaf tin .
So for all of you that were waiting for this recipe here you are and I would love to see any of you that recreate this on Instagram. Remember to tag me in and I will repost.
You will need:

x1 carton or soft vegan cream cheese

this is the one I used.


200 ml of soy milk I recommend BonSoy as it’s nice and creamy

x1 and 1/2 heaped tablespoon of steamed and mashed Kabocha pumpkin

1/2 cup of granulated unrefined sugar

x3 tablespoons of plain flour

a tablespoon of maple syrup and a teaspoon of vanilla essence

And that’s it !

Slightly soften your cream cheese ( I added mine to the microwave for 30 sec) then add this to a food processor

Process everything together cream cheese, sugar, maple syrup, soy milk, vanilla, and pumpkin then add your flour last.  Then pour into a lined loaf pan.

Bake on a high preheated oven around 200 degrees for a fan oven  for 30-40 mins and then chill over night in the fridge before removing and cutting.

 

Blog

Autumn has arrived Aki Kinu

When the cicadas can be heard no more, the leaves start to turn and the temperatures cool, we know Aki Kinu ( Autumn has arrived in Japan ! ) This is known as Kigo a word or phrase that is used in Japanese poetry to associate with Japanese seasons.

In Japan people are very much in touch with the changing of the seasons. Aki 秋 is the word for autumn/fall in Japan and after the hot humid heat of the Japanese summer people look forward to the cooling breezes and clear blue skies that the new season brings.
During the heat of the summer people loose their appetites so when autumn comes people refer to it as   Shokuyoku no Aki ( Autumn the season of Appetites).
Autumn is the season of the rice harvest and there is an abundance of delicious produce to have at this time from, matsutake mushrooms, persimmons (kaki), chestnuts known as Kuri or marron when it is in a sweet or dessert and sweet potato.



Even the Starbucks gets on board with seasonal flavours and where we have a pumpkin spice latte the drink of the season at the moment maybe a sweet potato or chocolate marron flavour. Japan sometimes also refer to autumn also as Aki no Mikaku ( autumn the season of flavours ).
You may like to try making some simple rice dishes with mushrooms or chestnuts that are popular at this time.


Another thing that people anticipate with the changing seasons is Momiji, this refers to the Japanese maple tree. As well as viewing the cherry blossoms in spring people in Japan are also excited about the turning of the maple leaves from green to bright vivid red and orange, this is known as kouyou or autumn colours.

There is a word in Japanese Fuubutsushi this refers to the little things that signal a change in the seasons, the feelings, scents, images and sounds that might evoke memories or anticipation of the coming season. I think when we become more aware of this it helps us to centre ourselves and celebrate the passing of time.

As well as viewing the beautiful leaves and partaking in eating delicious food. Japan has other sayings for autumn.
Dokusho no Aki ( Fall the season of reading ) with the nights drawing in people find it easier to sit and read.

Also Koraku no Aki ( Fall the season of athletics, or activities outdoors). I guess this is why on the second Monday in October Japan have a national holiday known as sports day. This year it was brought forward to coincide with the Olympics 2020 and will be again next year in 2021.
Maybe it’s time to get out those winter blankets that you have put away over the summer, in Japan they have something called a kotatsu a table with a blanket and a heater underneath, doesn’t that sound cosy.
What ever way you choose to enjoy autumn I hope you all stay safe and well. Why not take some inspiration from my autumn recipe food section and cook up something to celebrate the season with what ever seasonal produce you can find.

 

 

Blog

Moon viewing and celebrating autumn

As the shades of autumn are becoming even more apparent now with fields turning as golden as the evening light. It is an important time in Japan for the rice harvest. The first of October is known as world sake day “Nihonshu no Hi” and is the New Year’s Day of  Sake. It marks the first day of the sake making season as it is a time when the rice is gathered from the fields to start the production into sake.
The morning sky is laced with the fish scale cirrocumulus clouds and I can understand why the Japanese call them Uroko gumo (uroko meaning scale)

There is a bountiful harvest of foods the most popular in Japan at this time being sweet potato, chestnut, mushrooms, pumpkin and edamame. Mixing some of these with rice is one way to enjoy both at the same time, also using seasonings like soy sauce and mirin.

As the evenings darken we draw our attention to the moon. One such event in Japan is known as Tsukimi or Jugoya  which is a moon viewing festival that dates back over a thousand years.

This year it falls on October 1st to coincide with the sake new year. It is custom to drink sake at tsukimi and eat the foods of the season. Another food that is popular to eat is Dango. Round rice dumplings in the shape of the full moon. Piled into a pyramid shape they are made as offerings at this time.

People may decorate their houses with susuki ススキ (pampas grass) . Pampas grass symbolises the coming of autumn and was once used to thatch roofs and feed animals.

Near the well known Heian shrine in Kyoto tucked away is the Shinto shrine Okazaki, dedicated to childbirth and conceiving, the symbol of the shrine is a rabbit and you will find many statues and images of rabbits there.

Another symbol of Tuskimi is the rabbit, this is because unlike some people who see a face in the moon the Japanese see an image of a rabbit in the moon pounding Mochi with a huge mallet.

You can find more information on previous posts I have made  by searching Otsukimi or microseason posts 15 or why not take a look at my autumn recipe section there you will find takikomi gohan a mixed rice dish, or lots of ways to enjoy Kabocha.

With many festivities cancelled this year this is one that you can definitely enjoy either on your own or with family.
Happy moon viewing.

Autumn Food, Blog, Spring Food, Summer Food, Winter Food

Crispy Aburaage Tofu Spring Rolls

These are my crispy aburaage fried tofu spring rolls, they are super delicious straight out of the oven but just as perfect for a bento . Why not try to make them for yourself.


First you will need to make your filling I used a mixture of julienned carrots finely sliced, finely sliced spring onion, red pepper,  hakusai ( Chinese cabbage ) and bean sprouts to that mix in some schichimi pepper and a dash of tamari or soy sauce and a little finely grated ginger. Sauté this in a pan in a little sesame oil until tender then  put aside.
Now prepare your aburaage, I used the kind you can find already made  frozen like these ones, defrost them and do not wash off the oil that they were fried in.

Take your aburaage and cut off three sides leaving one of the longer sides.
Then carefully pull apart to make a square sheet and tip sideways to make a diamond shape.

Get your Prepared filling and put a line of filling across your aburaage then fold in the sides and the bottom like an envelope and then roll.

After you have finished all three you can either put them in a pan with no oil ( there is enough oil already on the aburaage when it was fried this is why we didn’t wash it off )

Or what I like to do is put them in the oven until they are nice and crispy on the outside ( around 15-20 minutes)

Take out the oven and serve with something like a chilli dip or soy sauce.

Blog

How to season a new Donabe pot


I just recently bought a new Donabe pot. They are one of Japanese oldest cooking vessel’s. An earthenware pot glazed on the outside, and looks a bit like a casserole dish you would put in the oven. However the Japanese cook with them on a stove top. They are used for making many popular one pot dishes, or nabemono as they are known. Many regions in Japan have their own speciality nabe dish featuring their own regional ingredients from tofu to noodles and various meat and fish dishes. Hokkaido being known for its fish nabe, Akita prefecture for a rice dish called kiritanpo, Kyoto for yudofu,tofu simmered in a kombu dashi. You can find some recipes using Donabe on my recipe pages, like Tonyu & Miso nabe, Fermented cabbage nabe, Domako ( rice ball hot pot), and my winter favourite Oden.
Oden is a popular winter comforting meal which you will often see in convenience stores in Japan like Family Mart or 7-Eleven, simmering away, people choose what they want and make up their own meal to take home.  As a Japanese home cooked meal it’s various items that you simmer in a soy sauce dashi broth from an assortment of vegetables, tofu, konnyaku and non vegan items like fish cakes,hard boiled eggs. I definitely recommend trying to make this in the winter months and is even more delicious the next day.

The earthenware clay from Iga is porous, because of this when you first buy a new pot you must season it first, this process is called Medome. There are a few ways you can do this but the simplest way I’ve found is to simmer with rice water.

The first water that you wash your rice with is the one you use. Just wash your rice as you normally would, but do not throw away the water, just tip it 3/4 full into your pot and heat on a low heat to a simmer for 10-15 minutes. Let the water then cool to cold and then tip out the water. Rinse with clean water and air dry.

You are now ready to start cooking delicious one pot meals.

How to care for you new Donabe pot.

1: Make sure the bottom of your pot is dry before you start cooking.    2: Do not high heat when you first start to cook, gradually turn up the heat through the cooking process.
3: Do not heat when empty.
4: Do not wash or scrub your pot with soap only warm water and air dry if you need to get off anything stuck soak the pot.
5: If you see a small crack,season your pot again.

I’m really looking forward to cooking with my new pot and the day after I seasoned it I  made a delicious nabe served with rice, and as the weather had turned colder it was greatly received.

 

 

 

Summer Food

Hiyajiru ( cold summer soup ) & Kohaku-Kan ( Brown Sugar kanten jelly )

Even though there is still ranging heat in Japan I am beginning to see a shift in the seasons here in the UK. The nights are getting shorter and the weather cooler. The swallows are getting ready to migrate and the fields are being harvested. With that said I wanted to make one final summer Japanese dish before I start to think about heading over to making autumn meals.
This is something I have tried making in the past but it didn’t turn out to my liking but when I saw an NHK programme dining with the chef I knew I could try to make a vegan version.

Hiyajiru is a Japanese cold summer soup with rice. Traditionally with flaked mackerel and miso. Instead of the mackerel I decided to use flakes of jackfruit with aonori seaweed mixed in.

First you need to make a dashi, soak a small piece of kombu kelp for a few hours in 150ml of cold water, after bring the water to a simmer over a medium heat for ten minutes ( do not boil) then remove the kombu.

Add to the water, 1 tablespoon each of soy sauce or tamari and mirin then chill in the fridge.

Make some Japanese rice in advance and tip out into a bowl and allow to cool. I used 1 rice cooker cup – 2 rice cooker cups of water.

Emty the contents out of a tin of jackfruit rinse and drain, you will only need to use half a tin so transfer the other half to a container to use in something else ( you could try one of my other recipes like vegan crab sushi). To the other half of the drained jackfruit add a teaspoon of aonori.

Finely grate a 1 inch piece of peeled ginger.
Slice in half a bulb of myoga ginger and finely slice.                            Slice into rounds a two inch piece of Japanese cucumber, or similar.  Half a lemon length ways and remove the skin and any seeds and dice into small cubes.
Chop half a green onion.

You will also need miso around one tablespoon, about a heaped teaspoon of vegan butter and a tablespoon of ground sesame.

Melt the butter in a pan and add the grated ginger and green onion and sauté, then add the jackfruit and miso keep stirring as it burns easily, add the ground sesame and stir in. Sauté for a few minutes then transfer to a dish, add your cubes of lemon and put in the fridge to cool.

Make a ball with your rice ( to fit in the middle of your bowl ) press the rice so it doesn’t fall apart. Pour around the rice your chilled dashi and then add around your rice slices of cucumber and myoga ginger. Finally top the rice with your jackfruit miso mixture, and maybe some sliced shiso leaves. Then add any remaining dashi over the rice. Eat by taking a little rice, mixture and dashi in each spoonful.


Hiyajiru is the signature dish from Miyazaki in southern Japan and  has been selected as one of the top 100 countryside recipes making it the perfect summer meal as temperatures rise.

For dessert why not make Kohaku-kan brown sugar jelly.

Kohaku-kan mean amber relating to the colour of the jelly.

For the jelly we use Kanten which is made from seaweed and traditionally you would use raw cane sugar but I am using coconut palm sugar. This dessert is so easy and quick to make.

Depending on how many people you are making it for just double the recipe. This makes two servings if you decide to put the jelly with other things like sweet red beans and fruit.

For the jelly
125ml cold water

1.5 gram of powdered kanten

30 grams of coconut palm sugar
Plus a small container to pour the jelly into around 3×3 inch

You will also need to make kuromitsu which is a brown sugar syrup, simply made with brown sugar and a little water heated in a pan until it thickens and if you wish some sweet azuki beans to add over your jelly plus any fruit of choice. I added a few pomegranate seeds.

Add kanten to a pan with the cold water and stir to dissolve. Turn on the heat and bring to a boil then turn the heat to a simmer until the liquid looks clearer, then add your sugar and mix in. Turn up the heat and wait until your mixture starts to bubble then turn off the heat.

To a large bowl add some iced water then fit a small bowl inside. Pour your sugar jelly Into the empty bowl this will help to cool it down. Keep stirring this will stop the sugar sinking, when it starts to set at the edges pour into your mould. Allow to cool at room temperature then set in the fridge for a few hours.

Loosen the edges and tip out onto a plate and cut into squares.

Serve in a glass dish or bowl, with sweet azuki beans and pour over kuromitsu.

There you have it Hiyajiru cold summer soup and Kohaku-kan sugar jelly dessert

Let’s say goodbye to the summer and welcome in the new season.