Tag

Ginger

Autumn Food, Winter Food

Soy Milk Miso Ramen

This creamy ramen dish feels so decadent but is so quick and simple to make. First you will need dashi stock . Soak a piece of kombu and one dried shiitake in water over night then remove . Now prep your vegetables you can use what ever you like. I also pan seared some tofu and mushrooms . Now add some grated ginger to a pan with some toasted sesame oil and fry for a minute then add Kombu Dashi about 1 cup heat on a low heat. Now add 1 tablespoon each of mirin and soy sauce or tamari if gluten free and two heaped teaspoons of white miso paste and 1 cup of soy milk. Stir on a low heat to dissolve the miso.

Cook your ramen noodles these take just a few mins . Add these to a bowl and pour over your miso soy milk broth. I topped mine with pan seared tofu and maitake mushrooms, steamed komatsuna,baby corn,red onion and bean sprouts. Drizzle with some chilli oil for extra spice and add some toasted sesame seeds.

Perfect when you don’t have much time to cook but want a satisfying meal .

 

Autumn Food, Blog

Takikomi Gohan

It’s starting to feel like a touch of autumn here in the UK. Berries on the trees are already ripe and the birds are loving it. Everything is starting to turn a gold hue and the mornings are a little cooler.

With that said I know Japan is still very hot but I wanted to make a traditional autumn dish called takikomi gohan as I had a lovely mixed punnet of Japanese mushrooms I wanted to use up. The rice dish is about the seasoning in the rice. You can use what ever you like in this dish traditionally it would be meat or fish but I am obviously making this vegan. If you use five ingredients in this dish it would be known as Gomoku Gohan. A similar dish called Maze Gohan does not have the vegetables cooked with the rice they are simply mixed in after the rice is cooked. This mixed rice recipe starts with making the dashi stock. I soaked two dried shiitake and some kombu in water over night. Then took out the mushrooms and sliced them to add to the rice ingredients. I washed one cup of Japanese rice and put this in my rice cooker. (when I say one cup it is the cup that comes with your rice cooker)To this I added 1 1/2 cups of dashi and 1/2 cup water. Then I added 11/2 tablespoons of Mirin and the same in tamari. Tamari is gluten free but you can add soy sauce if you wish. I also added about 1 inch of grated ginger. Also I like to use the small packets of mixed grains you can buy they have a mixture of brown,red,green and black rice,millet and Job’s tears. Add this if you have some .

I let the rice soak while I prepared my mushrooms. I used a mixture of shiitake,shimeji,enoki,maitake and eryngii. I also sliced thinly some carrot and aburaage. Gobo ( burdock root ) sliced thinly is also a traditional ingredient in this dish. Now place your ingredients on top of the rice but do not mix in. Now put your rice on cook.

When it is done mix the vegetables and rice together and serve. It makes a lovely dish just on its own or it can accompany any meal.

Cooking the rice and vegetables together gives the rice a lovely rich flavour. If you want something more delicate then remember to add vegetables that have been cooked separate to the rice and mix them after.

 

Blog

Tanabata Summer Somen

Chilled Somen noodles with a dipping sauce is one of the most enjoyed foods on the Japanese holiday of Tanabata,which is on the 7th day of the 7th month. Tanabata is the star festival reuniting of the lovers Orihime and Hikoboshi or the stars Vega and Altair. Separated by the Milky Way all but for one night each year.

The Somen noodles are supposed to signify the Milky Way. On this day people write wishes on coloured strips of paper known as tanzaku and hang them on bamboo. See my  other Tanabata post on the blog for more pictures.

Somen noodles are made from wheat flour,salt and water and are very fine and delicate . Mostly white but you can get ones in green tea,Ume plum and egg variety. I have even been lucky to have yuzu ones before also. The coloured ones are said to represent the threads from which Orihime weaved her cloth as she was a weaver.

These noodles are normally served chilled sometimes with ice to keep them super cold,served hot in winter they are called new men. Because they are so fine and delicate they are normally sold in dried bundles but only take a few minutes to cook. Plunge straight away in cold water to avoid over cooking. Serve with condiments like chopped green onion,sesame seeds,ginger and grated daikon.

Or why not make a refreshing Somen salad like the one in my previous Tanabata post with cut cucumber stars .

What will you be wishing for this Tanabata?

Blog, Summer Food

Sweet Potato,Ginger & Tofu Patties

These patties are so simple to make and with only a few ingredients.They are perfect as an accompaniment to any meal and are great for bento too!

Start by peeling one small sweet potato and chopping it into large chunks, steam the chunks until tender and then leave to cool.

Mash 1/2 a block of firm tofu and mix in a tablespoon of ginger juice. I get the juice by grating ginger very finely with a Japanese grater and squeezing out the juice. Be sure to use fresh ginger.

Add a little salt and pepper to your tofu and then add your sweet potato and mash this into the tofu try to leave some bigger chunks of tofu.

Then add 1/2 cup of panko breadcrumbs and mix in. Let this sit for a while so the panko breadcrumbs absorb moisture.

Scoop a few tablespoons of mixture into some plastic wrap and mould into patty shapes and remove from the wrap.

In a shallow bowl add toasted black and white sesame seeds and roll your patties into the seeds and make sure they are well coated.

Heat up some coconut butter in a skillet and shallow fry the patties until golden.

 

Blog, Spring Food

Teriyaki Shiitake Sushi Burgers

I decided to make these delicious sushi burgers I made them quite small so they were almost like sliders. The difference between these and my rice burgers is that you use seasoned sushi rice and do not cook the rice on top in a pan.

First make your sushi rice and season the rice ( I like to use the Clearspring brand sushi seasoning it makes things really easy.)

Then decide how big you want to make them and choose a small bowl and place clingfilm wrap inside. Then put some rice into the bowl and press down making burger buns.

Then make your teriyaki shiitake. Slice up some shiitake mushrooms and sauté in a little toasted sesame oil. Make your teriyaki sauce I used tamari,mirin and maple syrup. Add this to your mushrooms and reduce down.

After you have made all your tops and bottoms you can fill your sushi burgers. I first spread some vegan kewpie mayo on the bottom of the rice then added sliced cucumber then lettuce,red pickled cabbage,sliced avocado and a square of toasted nori, then I added the teriyaki shiitake mushrooms. Topping it with another burger rice bun a sprinkle of black sesame seeds and some dried kombu. I served these with soy sauce,pickled ginger and wasabi.

Perfect for a Hanami picnic or for entertaining guests.

Continue reading…

Blog, Winter Food

Ganmodoki

Ganmodoki or Hiryouzu are tofu fritters or balls with vegetables often found as one of the ingredients for oden Japanese hotpot dish.

They are crispy on the outside and soft inside. They are mostly bound with egg but I’m going to let you into a Japanese secret to help you bind them together.

First you will need a block of firm tofu mashed with something like a rolling pin or pestle. Then for the secret ingredient. In japan they normally use a Japanese yam but I could not find this in the UK so I used something else that had just as a sticky texture ( taro potato ). As it’s a starch it will help to bind all your ingredients together. Chop off the outer skin and grate three small taro with a Japanese ginger grater.

Add this to your mashed tofu,then add your vegetables. I used grated carrot,chopped green onion,diced shiitake,chopped hijiki and some grated ginger.

See below ( the white in the middle is the taro )

Mix together

Then to a bowl add some starch (I use potato starch from Hokkaido)

Take a heaped tablespoon of the mixture and form into a ball in some plastic wrap then add this to your bowl with the starch and roll it around until covered. Do this until all the mixture has gone.

Heat some oil and a few at a time fry your tofu balls until golden on the outside. And they are done. These balls are sometimes referred to as flying dragons head.

You can then add them to a hot Dashi Stock with sautéed mushrooms like I have done below and serve with rice.

Or as part of a meal below I have added some hot chilli sauce.

I think you will find these quite versatile.

 

 

Winter Food

Steamfried Brussels Sprouts with miso

Brussels sprouts are the perfect winter seasonal vegetable.

These panfried ones have lots of flavour start by cutting each Brussels sprout in half . Add a little oil to a hot pan and sear the flat side . Meanwhile make a sauce with 240ml of veg stock,1/2 tablespoon of grated ginger,2 tablespoon of mirin,1tablespoon soy sauce and four tablespoon of white miso paste and whisk.

The amount of sauce you need depends of how many Brussels you have so use your judgement.

Pour the sauce into the pan and cover to steam the Brussels sprouts. Then add shimeji mushrooms and crumbled yuba ( if you can’t get yuba you could maybe add some crumbled tofu)

Finally before serving add some yuzu rind (or lemon) and a sprinkle of sesame seeds.

Lovely served on rice .

 

Blog, Winter Food

Bifun Soup

As the weather is turning considerably colder I find myself craving soups, stews and nabe ( hot pots ). This one is especially good for keeping those colds at bay with warming ginger and spices.

First I made a stock I used one litre of vegetable stock in a pan and I added to that a tablespoon of tamari,some sliced ginger,half an onion cut into four large pieces,a star anise and half a stick of cinnamon. I put this on a gentle simmmer for about 20mins.

In the mean time I pan seared some tofu and sautéed some shiitake mushrooms. I steamed some broccoli,komatsuna,baby corn,snap peas and bean sprouts. Chopped some mint,coriander basil and sliced a red chilli pepper.

I then cooked my bifun ( rice vermicelli noodles) for a few mins and then drained them in cold water to stop them from cooking further.

Then I drained the liquid on the broth and discarded the rest.

I placed the noodles in a bowl added my stock and the rest of the toppings. Finally I added a wedge of lime,chilli oil,a teaspoon of smooth peanut butter and a sprinkle of sesame seeds.

 

Autumn Food, Blog

Okayu Japanese Rice Porridge

This comforting healing dish is easy to digest,simple and filling. In Japan it is often made if you are recovering from an illness or not feeling well.

I have made two types of Okayu one for breakfast and one a little more savoury which you could have for dinner.

Both use a 1-5 ratio using one rice measuring cup of rice to five cups water or liquid.

There are lots of toppings you can use like Umeboshi,sweet potato,chopped green onion and nori.

I used my rice cooker to make these but you can just as easily use a pan if you don’t have a rice cooker.

Breakfast Okayu

Wash one rice measuring cup of rice and place this in your rice cooker or pan with five cups of water . Then add about one tablespoon of ginger juice . I use a Japanese ginger grater to finely grate the ginger and then squeeze out the juice. Let this sit to soak for about 30 mins.

Add a little salt and start to cook your rice it normally takes about 30mins.

I topped mine with grated ginger, rice malt syrup and some sesame seeds. I also added a splash of soy milk for extra creaminess.

Savoury Okayu

Wash the rice and then add 5 cups of hot water ( not boiling) to a jug with one tablespoon of white miso paste and dissolve. ( if you like instead of miso you can use vegetable stock ). Pour this onto the rice in your pan or rice cooker and let sit for 30 mins. After this time start to cook your rice.

While your rice is cooking prepare your toppings . I pan seared some maitake mushrooms  roasted some Hokkaido pumpkin and chopped some green onion.

When your rice is done spoon into a bowl and add your toppings and maybe a sprinkle of schichimi and sesame seeds.

There is also a special Okayu that people have in Japan on the 7th of January for health for the coming year ( see my winter post Nanakusa-Gayu ( seven herb soup).

Autumn Food, Blog

Ginger & Pumpkin Bread

I love to make pumpkin bread in the fall and this one has added spice and ginger so it makes for a warming tasty tea time treat or why not crumble some onto yogurt or have it toasted in the morning for breakfast.

First steam half a kabocha pumpkin or similar kuri are nice also.

Add a cup of pitted medjool dates to a food process and pulse til blended.

When tender scoop the flesh from the skin of your pumpkin and add to the dates. To this add one tablespoon of maple syrup,one cup of almond milk and one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar process this til well mixed.

In a bowl add two cups of gluten free oat flour,one teaspoon of baking powder and half a teaspoon of baking soda,half a teaspoon of pink salt,then a teaspoon each of cinnamon,nutmeg,allspice and pumpkin spice. Chop up a half cup of crystallised  ginger and mix this all together. Then take your pumpkin mixture and add this to your flour to make a batter. If you think it is to dry add a little more milk or to runny add a little more flour. It should be a thick batter consistency.

Spoon this into a lined loaf pan or silicon loaf pan  top with pumpkin seeds and bake in a moderate oven til golden . ( you could use the batter to make separate pumpkin muffins if you wish)

Take out the oven and let it cool a little before turning it out onto a wire rack. Let the pumpkin bread cool completely before slicing.

 

Autumn Food, Blog

Pumpkin & Chestnut Soup

Today is the Autumn equinox, the first day of autumn. Don’t see the last day of Summer as a negative but embrace the change of the seasons and celebrate autumn with optimism. It is time to reflect on the year so far and set new goals going into winter. For me this is very appropriate as my retail shop which I’ve had for over 18 years is closing in October. I am not seeing this as a negative thing I have had some wonderful years but it’s now time to move on. Like the seasons nothing stays the same and change is good. So it’s time to start looking ahead and start afresh with new ventures. It’s time to appreciate the changing season the turning leaves and the wonderful  harvest of food that autumn has to offer. Nothing says autumn to me more than pumpkins and chestnuts so with that I decided to make pumpkin soup to celebrate the equinox .

I just love pumpkin in the Autumn don’t you ? Especially the nutty flavours of Japanese pumpkins. Kabocha and Hokkaido ( Kuri ) are my absolute favourite!

There is nothing better than curling up with a meal made with pumpkins in the Autumn and there are so many things you can make .

The easiest is pumpkin soup. Thick creamy and comforting .

Start by steaming half of a pumpkin seeds removed. When it’s soft scoop out the flesh and add to a food processor. I then added some finely grated ginger ( I like to use a Japanese ginger grater for this )

Then add about two cups of vegetable stock depending on how thick you want your soup and a splash of almond milk add some whole cooked chestnuts ( about six should do ) a dash of coriander or any spice you like ( Paprika or cayenne work well also or even cinnamon, give the whole thing a process.

If your eating it straight away transfer to a bowl and add a few more chestnuts and some pumpkin seeds for topping.

Enjoy Happy Autumn

Blog, Summer Food

Agedashi tofu

Hot crispy golden tofu which makes a delicious appetiser . Normally deep fried but I shallow fry mine and it works well.

I use firm tofu as it doesn’t fall apart so easily.  Drain your tofu and I wrap mine in a cloth to soak up excess liquid .  Cut your tofu into cubes add some add some plain flour or potato starch into a bowl.  Roll your tofu in the flour and coat well .

Then make your sauce 1 cup of dashi 2 tablespoon of tamari and 2 mirin and 1 teaspoon of sugar.  Combine these in a pan and heat until boiling .  Add a slurry of kuzu liquid 1 teaspoon kuzu to 1/4 teaspoon of water to the boiling sauce and stir until thickened turn the heat down  and leave on low to keep warm.

Heat a tablespoon of coconut butter in a frying pan until hot and place your tofu into the hot oil turned and each side goes nice and crispy .

Add a little of your sauce to a shallow bowl and place your tofu on top. Add grated daikon and chopped green onion and grated ginger to garnish . If you like it a bit spicy add some schichimi spice

I recommend using a Japanese ginger grater to grate your daikon and ginger .

Blog

Ginger Flower Cookies

In Japan before Sakura comes the plum blossom (ume)
People in Japan highly value this blossom and this weekend at
Kitano Tenmangu shrine they have their plum blossom festival with over 2000 plum trees what a wonderful site . This is called Ume Matsuri and they hold out door tea ceremonies .
To celebrate in my own way I made some ginger flower cookies ( kind of plum blossom shaped )
I dipped them in chocolate and coated them with chopped pistachio. Enjoying one with a matcha latte.
If you are lucky enough to visit Kyoto for plum blossom season there are other places like the Kyoto imperial palace and Nijo castle that are also worth a visit .
Happy plum blossom viewing .
梅の祭りを祝うために
私はショウガの花の形のクッキーをチョコレートとピスタチオで作った.
幸せな梅の花見!