Tag

Kombu

Autumn Food, Blog

Tonyu & Miso Nabe

Tonyu means soy milk in Japanese and nabe is a kind of one pot dish.

This thick and creamy nabe is full of vegetables and tofu it is comforting and filling but also healthy.

Its so quick to make all you need to do is prepare what vegetables you want to use.

I used napa cabbage,kale,leek,broccoli,carrot,pumpkin,tofu and a selection of Japanese mushrooms.

Start by steaming the vegetables first that take the longest so the carrot and the pumpkin and leave things like the kale and broccoli until the last minute.

In a pan add two cups of kombu dashi (leave a piece of kombu submerged in water over night or simmer for 15 mins) and two cups of soy milk,add one tablespoon of mirin and bring to a gentle simmer. Add your miso about two tablespoons and gently stir in.

Pour your broth into a large pot and add your vegetables and tofu. Serve with rice. (If you have a donabe pot like this one you can cook them all together in the same pot, just add your broth and vegetables pop on the lid and simmer )

A perfect meal for a cold day but so easy to make.

Autumn Food, Blog

Chard & Tofu Rolls With Roast Vegetables

This colourful dish is created using rainbow chard but you could just as easily use cabbage. First roast some vegetables i used fennel,carrot,beetroot and tofu. Add these to some foil with some bay leaves and make a parcel and roast until tender. Steam some leaves and they them out flat. Fill with your roasted vegetables and tofu and roll them up and secure with a tooth pick . Make a broth of tamari,kombu dashi and mirin and warm in a pan. Arrange your filled chard in a bowl and pour over your broth. Why not decorate with some steamed carrot that has been cut into leaf shapes.

Perfect served with rice and a soup on a cold day.

 

Autumn Food, Blog

Simmered Kabocha (Kabocha no Nimono)

This meal was so flavourful and it made me feel like autumn had truly arrived . Using Kabocha (Japanese pumpkin) this is a typical simple seasonal dish in Japan.

Make some kombu dashi by soaking a piece of kombu in water over night. Then the  next day discard the kombu.

First cut a large wedge ( around a quarter of a large pumpkin ) and take out the seeds,place on a plate in the microwave for a few minutes to soften (this will make it easier to cut and also cut down your cooking time). Take out your pumpkin from the microwave and cut into equal wedges and lie skin side down in a pan. Add enough kombu dashi to cover along with 1 teaspoon of sugar,1 teaspoon of mirin and 1 teaspoon of tamari or soy sauce. Give the pan a swirl and cover with a low drop lid or otoshibuta if you have one. Simmer the pumpkin until tender. Place a few pieces of pumpkin in a dish and ladle over your sweet dashi broth.

I served this with Nasu Dengaku. I cut a whole eggplant in half length ways and then scored a deep grid pattern into the flesh. Get a pan with hot oil and pan sear on both sides. I mixed two miso pastes together a sweet white miso and a more rustic brown rice miso with a little mirin. Then I added this to the top of the eggplant and placed it in the oven. It turned out so delicious. The flesh was so tender but the miso was slightly crispy .

It made for a perfect Teishoku meal with miso soup,yaki onigiri and a persimmon tofu mousse for dessert.

Autumn Food, Blog

Tofu Baked With Kabocha & Miso And A Simple Oden

This was a perfect autumn Teishoku meal.

First cut a piece of firm tofu in half and wrap in a paper towel to soak up any moisture. In a bowl add two tablespoons of steamed and mashed kabocha then add a tablespoon of sweet white miso and mix together. Remove the towel from the tofu and place on some parchment paper on a baking sheet. Coat all sides with the pumpkin mash except the bottom. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and bake until the coating is crispy. This will be crispy on the top but fluffy inside.

I served the tofu with sautéed purple sweet potato pieces and steamed kale in a sesame sauce. The sauce was white sesame paste,mirin and tamari.

With this I also made an oden style one pot soup. You can read more about this in one of my winter recipes just search Oden.

This one was made by soaking kombu and a shiitake to make a dashi,for a few hours. I then removed and discarded the kombu and sliced the shiitake. Added the shiitake back into the pot along with tamari,mirin,shimeji,aburaage,chunks of daikon and leaf shape carrots .I also added a few pieces of Yuzu rind I think this makes such a difference to the flavour. Yuzu is hard to come by in the UK. If we manage to ever get it it’s imported over from Japan and is very expensive. Normally sold at the Japan centre in London. If I’m lucky enough I buy one and take off the rind and slice the rind into pieces,I then freeze it to be dropped into stews when ever I choose. So because it’s frozen it’s well worth the investment. Everything is then simmered on a low heat until the daikon is tender,and everything and soaked up the lovely favours.

Serve with mixed grain rice and salad . There was also a warm amazake and roasted tiny satsuma orange. I had never thought of roasting an orange until I was watching a program about fire festivals in Japan at which they roast Mikan in the fires. I just popped mine in the oven with the skin still on and then peeled it after. The orange was small just enough for one mouthful but how sweet and warm the orange became . Give it a try.

Now the weather is getting colder why not make a Japanese oden to warm you up on an evening. Just simple ingredients but you will be surprised how flavoursome this dish is.

Blog

Yudofu

Yudofu is hot water tofu. Quick and simple to make often found in Buddhist temples like Ryoanji in Kyoto. The simple kombu dashi brings out the subtle flavour of the tofu. I simmered my tofu in the kombu water that I had steeped for a few hours then simmered gently first for about 20 mins, adding some komatsuna and watercress at the last minute just to wilt it. Served with rice and condiments of grated daikon and ginger,sesame seeds,ponzu sauce,chopped green onion and shichimi togarashi.

 

Blog, Winter Food

Damako Nabe ( Rice ball Hot Pot )

From the mountainous  region of Tohoku comes this local dish which is perfect for cold winter days.

After cooking your rice mash it and then sprinkle with potato starch and roll into balls then set aside.

Use a dashi stock for the broth I always like to make one in advance with kombu kelp and dried shiitake. Just place them in water for a few hours then take them out and add mirin and tamari.

The vegetables I used were leek,taro,carrot,mixed mushrooms spring onion,nappa cabbage,komatsuna and daikon radish.

Place your vegetables in your donabe pot with your dashi stock except the leafy greens.

Then simmer your vegetables and add your rice balls the rice balls soak up all the lovely juices.

You could also add tofu or yuba if you wanted.

If you do not have a donabe pot you could steam your vegetables or add them to a cooking pot.

Finely add your leafy greens when everything else is tender and a sprinkle of shichimi pepper.

A hot, healthy,cosy dish for a cold winter evening.

 

Blog, Summer Food

Goya Chanpuru

The fruit known as bitter melon or Goya in Okinawa or Nigauri in the rest of Japan looks a bit like a cucumber but with lots of bumps. It has many medicinal properties used in Ayurvedic medicine for over 3,000 years helping to maintain blood sugar,lower cholesterol and helping fight viruses and bacteria it helps in strengthening immunity it is also high in vitamins B,C,E and K .This fruit is very popular in Okinawa the southern most prefecture of japan and one of the worlds five blue zones ( where people live the longest) It must be an important fruit over there as they even have a day spent honouring it. People seam to use it in Japan to fight off summer heat fatigue and build up immunity for Autumn.  Goya is a very aquired taste it  didnt get its name bitter melon for nothing. After slicing it in half and scooping out the seeds and slicing some people soak the Goya in salted water or steam it. I have found it most palatable when soaked in hot water with a little mirin . So this is what I do to prepare it.

I wanted to make a classic favourite summer  Okinawan dish called Chanpuru a stirfry that normally contains egg,tofu,Goya and pork or spam. Chanpuru means mixed . You could use a vegan meat substitute for this but after considering this I went for the whole vegetable option as most contain wheat .

I made an easy tofu scramble with mashed tofu and a little turmeric and nutritional yeast and set to one side. I used about 1/4 block then used the rest cut up into cubes and baked them in the oven ( you could stirfry these on fry them if you like but I wanted a healthy option.

I then sliced some oyster mushrooms and stir fried these in a little toasted sesame oil ( this was to be my pork substitute). Then I threw in my tofu scramble and drained sliced Goya but I didn’t rinse off the mirin as it adds a little sweetness I think. Stirfry this and then add your baked tofu.

Then add a teaspoon of miso paste to a bowl with a cup of kombu dashi stock and dissolve then pour this over your stirfry. Mix and your done. I served mine with simple Japanese rice.

An alternative recipe to this would be to make my tofu omelette recipe and cut into strips and use this as your egg substitute maybe with vegan bacon.

 

 

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, Spring Food

Takenoko Gohan

Takenoko Gohan
Takenoko Gohan
Takenoko Gohan

Spring time in the countryside of Japan you can see bamboo shoots starting to grow .
This is Takenoko Gohan (bamboo rice ) (竹の子ご飯)
Takenoko means bamboo child and is a perfect Japanese spring dish. Have you seen Princess Kaguya? It’s a Studio Ghibli animated film about a child found in a bamboo shoot . They called her Takenoko

Unfortunately I cannot get fresh bamboo in the UK but I was able to get the boiled vacuum packed kind from the Japan centre in London. This is far better than the canned variety as they have lots of preservatives.

Slice some of your bamboo into thin slices if when you cut it you find little white gritty bits it’s totally fine it’s just rice bran that they cook the bamboo shoots with just rinse them off with water.

I had already had some kombu kelp stock in the fridge so after washing a Japanese measuring cup of rice I added two cups of kombu stock to my rice cooker with the rice. I then added a teaspoon of mirin and a teaspoon of tamari . I put the sliced bamboo shoots on top of the rice and cooked the rice and bamboo shoots together in the rice cooker.

As simple as that.

 

Blog

Nabe (Hot Pot)

To night I made a nabe ( hot pot ) I was so cold at work to day it felt like it got right into my bones so needed a hot broth to warm me up .
I used a shiitake kombu broth with a little mirin tamari and a little ginger and yuzu juice .
The vegetables I used were carrot,napa cabbage,burdock root,daikon radish,shiitake mushroom,aburaage,
yaki fu,bean sprouts and some lovely tofu. I’ve been using some great organic tofu just recently by @tofooco available at Tesco . I topped it with a little chicory . It felt like I was having a lovely Japanese style dish

Blog, Winter Food

Nanakusa-Gayu ( seven herb soup)

Nanakusa-Gayu ( seven herb soup)
Nanakusa-Gayu ( seven herb soup)

On the 7th of January (Jinjitsu) this is the day that in Japan it is tradition to eat (Nanakusa-gayu) 七草粥
Seven herb rice porridge soup. To help the stomach after Osechi Ryori / Christmas and new year and bring health to the coming year.
I do not have all the traditional herbs from Japan so I used a mix of daikon and turnip leaf, ( which I had been growing in preparation) parsley,Basil, mizuna and rocket leaf and watercress.

The tradition herbs are nipplewort,chickweed,cud weed,shepherds purse and water drop wort.

I made a kombu and shiitake stock to give it flavour and rich minerals and cooked up the already cooked rice in it with some sautéed daikon radish . Add your greens into the rice when cooking or cook separately and top onto the rice when your porridge is done .

It can take a while for your rice to cook down and you may need to keep adding stock until you get the correct consistency

You can top your rice porridge with maybe a grilled mochi rice cake or sliced shiitake that you used to make your stock with.

 

 

Blog, Winter Food

Kenchinjiru

This is a traditional Zen Buddhist shojin Ryori cuisine which originates from the Kencho-ji Temple in Kamakura .  Jiru means soup and Kenchin is derived from the temple name.

This soup is full of umami flavour using kombu,shiitake mushroom,toasted sesame oil and tamari ( or soy sauce )

The soup consists of root vegetables in a shiitake kombu stock ( you can also add miso if you wish .) This soup also has tofu it is said that you tear the tofu into the soup instead of cutting the tofu as it is supposed to be divided equally between the residents of the temple regardless of status.  This dish contains no onion,devout Buddhists believe that onion is not good for your peace of mind so not good for meditation.

First make you stock

I normally leave a piece of konbu to soak over night in water the konbu comes with a white powder on its surface do not wash this off as this adds to the flavour just simply wipe with a cloth.  ( for this recipe I used 3 cups of  konbu stock and 1 cup of shiitake stock .

After you have soaked your konbu place the water and konbu in a pan and turn on the heat remove the konbu just before the water starts to boil.  Make shiitake stock by soaking a few dried shiitake in one cup of water for around 20 mins ( place a small bowl over to submerge the shittake to stop them from floating.  After 20 mins take out the shiitake and slice them and add the stock to the konbu soaked water .

Now you need to prepare your vegetables

You can use a variety for vegetables Burdock root,daikon radish,carrot,lotus root,taro komatsuna  or any leafy green vegetable,you can also add konnyaku (konjac) but I just used tofu in this recipe . I didn’t use burdock root as I couldn’t find any and I didn’t use taro .

chop your vegetables and add about a tablespoon of toasted sesame oil to a deep pan sauté your root vegetables for a few minutes then add your stock  but do not add your leafy greens until the soup is nearly ready to serve.  Simmer until the vegetables are tender then add 1 tablespoon of tamari or soy sauce and one tablespoon of mirin .

take a block of drained tofu and crumble it into the soup in large pieces  and finally add your chopped leafy greens .

Now your soup is ready

 

 

 

 

 

Blog, Winter Food

Oden (winter stew)

In the winter in Japan you can often walk in to stores and find lots of things simmering in piping hot stock for you to choose and have a hot meal . This is called Oden . I made my own oden winter stew.

It is traditional to use a donabe pot but if you don’t have one you can use what ever you have .

First make your broth to simmer your vegetables in I used water that had been soaked over night with a piece of kombu kelp about 1 litre add to this some mirin and tamari ( or soy sauce) about one tablespoon .

In your donabe set out your veggies I used sliced daikon ,tofu,bamboo shoots,lotus root,tofu sausage,shiitake mushroom and aburaage parcels filled with cabbage bean sprouts and vegetables. These pouches are called kinchaku or fukuro.

If you do not have a donabe you can use another pot or even a steamer and arrange them after.  If you decide to use a steamer steam your vegetables and make a separate broth to add your vegetables to after . I prefer to cook the vegetables in the broth as they soak up the flavour.

Pour in your stock and simmer your pot on low with the lid on if it looks like the water is running low add a little more stock.

When your vegetables are tender take a little stock and in a bowl add a little miso . Dissolve the miso and then pour this over your vegetables to finish.

I would of liked to of added a few other things that I didn’t have but I’m glad with how it turned out.

Served with rice it was a delicious filling meal for a cold winter evening