Tag

Noodles

Autumn Food, Blog

Vegan Nikujaga ( meat & potatoes )

Niku Jaga, is a home style cooked dish made from beef and potatoes. Niku is meat in Japanese and Jaga is short for jagaimo which means potato. The meat and potatoes are stewed in a soy sauce broth with mirin and sugar with onion, carrot and green beans or snow peas. Konnyaku ( konjac ) noodles known as Shirataki  which means white waterfall and refers to how the noodles look are also added as part of this meal. They are thin translucent noodles made from the konjac yam and have almost zero calories made up of water and fiber. Don’t be put off by the smell when you open them just drain the liquid and wash the noodles well under cold water then blanch for a few minutes in boiling water this will get rid of the fishy smell. Drain and leave while you prepare the rest of the items you need.

You will need dashi not the kind made from bonito flakes but a vegan dashi made with a piece of kombu soaked in water over night. Around 2-3 cups.

For the meat substitute I have chosen gorgeous maitake mushrooms. They have a meaty texture and  give the soup the most amazing flavour .

Then you will need potato ( I used taro and normal potato ) peel and cut into large wedges use what is called the mentori technique by rounding off any sharp corners. This will stop the potatoes from bumping into each other and breaking up. Put the potatoes in some cold water to remove the starch while you peel and chop one large carrot into rolling wedges. Cut one small white onion into large wedges. Then heat some toasted sesame oil in a large pan and add your onions and maitake, if your maitake come in large clusters just break them up into smaller pieces. Sauté the onion and maitake until the onion is tender then place on top ( do not mix in ) your potato, carrot and Shirataki group them together so all the carrots together all the potato together etc and make sure they are flat Then mix into your dashi 4 tsps of mirin 4 tbsps tamari or soy sauce and 1 tbsp of sugar . Pour this over your vegetables until they are covered. Place a otoshibuta on top this can be in the form of a smaller lid that sits inside your pan or you can use foil with a hole. This will stop the vegetables moving while they simmer but help the flavour . Simmer until tender then leave to stand so the flavours really soak in. Heat to serve adding your snow peas or green beans. I can’t tell you how delicious this was and I can recommend having a chunk of nice rustic bread with it to soak up that lovely broth. Perfect for a cold day it’s hearty, comforting and filling and the maitake are rich in vitamin D which is great for the winter months .

Autumn Food, Blog

Houtou (Hōtō) ほうとう

It has been a typical autumn day today. The wind has nearly blown all the leaves off the cherry tree. The seasons go by so fast. No sooner am I enjoying the beautiful Sakura blossom than it quickly falls to make way for bright green summer leaves which then turn all to soon yellow and orange. Today they have nearly all dropped to reveal the dark naked branches.

I wanted to make a cosy autumn dish so I chose Hōtō . A comforting miso noodle soup originating from Yamanashi in Japan. This is normally made with large flat udon style noodles but without making some or having any in my store cupboard I decided to use a gluten-free alternative made by Clearspring, brown rice wide noodles. They worked a treat.

I first simmered a selection of winter vegetables daikon,carrot,parsnip,brussels sprouts,napa cabbage,kabocha,maitake and kale,with enough water to cover and a drop lid or otoshibuta. Add leafy greens at the end of simmering the vegetables.

When the vegetables are tender and you have added your greens mix one tablespoon each of Hatcho miso and white miso paste in a bowl with a little cooking liquid to dissolve,then add to your pot . The hatcho miso gives the soup a nice earthy rich flavour .

Soak your rice noodles for 10 mins in a bowl of hot water to soften and then add them to the gently simmering pot for a further 10 mins.

Or if you are using fresh udon add them directly to the pot.

Now cosy up on a dark autumn evening and enjoy.

Blog, Summer Food

Soba Noodles With Crunchy Vegetables & a Spicy Peanut & Miso Dip

Noodles and stir fried veggies always make a quick meal. So are great to make in the week when you don’t have much time to cook.
First make your dip,in a bowl mix together one tablespoon of peanut butter a teaspoon each of mirin,brown rice vinegar,maple syrup,miso and tamari add 1/4 teaspoon each of hot chilli pepper and paprika and a tablespoon of water. (If you prefer it more citrus you could add lime instead)

Cook your soba noodles as the packet instructs drain and rinse I keep mine in a sieve with a bowl of cold water under until I’m ready to stirfry them.

Chop up your veggies I used a mix of bell peppers,snow peas,sliced shiitake mushrooms and shimeji mushrooms,sliced asparagus,chopped komatsuna,asparagus,broccoli,carrot and bean sprouts.
(You can use what ever veggies you want)
Add a little toasted sesame oil into a hot pan and throw in your veggies and stirfry them quickly then drain your noodles well and throw them in and make sure you stir the veggies in well . If you do not want to add more oil and you find the noodles sticking just add a little water.
Throw in some crunchy tamari roasted soy beans last minute before plating .
I like to dip my noodles but if you prefer you can mix in the sauce when your stirfrying.

Blog

Somen Inari

Somen are very thin noodles and I always think these delicate noodles are at their best served cold.
Instead of stuffing my Inari pouches with rice I decided to stuff them with somen noodles and add a light no oil dressing .
The dressing was really simple just yuzu juice,mirin and brown rice vinegar.
This makes a really refreshing summer dish
Why not give it a try.

Blog

Sakura soba noodles

I wanted to use the last of my Sakura soba noodles as it’s cherry blossom season .
I chose to make a simple kitsune soba.
Kitsune means fox in Japanese and it is said that the fox spirits are very fond of fried tofu so hence the name kitsune soba as I added aburaage to my soba noodles. The broth was just a simple tamari and mirin.
I added a few toppings of carrot flowers,furikake,sesame seeds,diced green onion and komatsuna.
It makes a really satisfying meal so quick and easy .
Now I’m off to watch ghost in the shell.
狐そば
さくらおはぎ

Blog

Udon Hot Pot

A lovely udon hot pot to night in a miso broth with vegetables and tofu . Also a few onigiri with hijiki.

うどんと野菜と豆腐と味噌汁鍋物.
おにぎりとひじき

Blog, Winter Food

Tomato Ramen

Nothing better than a  hot comforting bowl of tomato ramen for dinner to night on a cold night and so simple to make .

All I use is a tomato soup . ( I like to use an organic one from Abel & Cole ) be careful when buying tomato soups check the ingredients as many contain milk.

cook your ramen and soup in separate pans choose your choice of topping here you can see I used sweet corn,bean sprouts,chopped onion and  (bok choy,pak choi ) .

Add your soup to the bowl and top with ramen and vegetables

super easy .
トマトラーメンのホットボウル

Blog, Winter Food

New Years Eve Soba

It’s nearly New Years in Japan and to celebrate I’m having for lunch a hot bowl of soba noodles which is a traditional New Year’s Eve meal called toshikoshi soba.
Meaning end of old year and beginning of the next.
The noodles symbolise the bridge from the old to the new year and bring long life, strength and good fortune.
I made this really simple with a tamari and mirin soup stock some lovely soba noodles I bought in Kyoto and topped it with chopped green onion,aburaage and a little fresh yuzu peel .
Eating this meal took me back to the lovely setting at kiyo mizu in Kyoto where I had simple soba noodles.
I want to wish everyone in Japan a happy new year and health and good fortune .
年越し蕎麦
明けましておめでとうございます??????

Blog, Winter Food

Hoto “Houtou” thick noodle soup

Hoto or Houtou is a miso soup with thick flat noodles which is a speciality of Yamanashi prefecture Japan.

It can made made in a pan or donabe pot .

To make the noodles you will need

160g of all purpose flour

70 mil of tepid water

salt

Put your flour in a bowl with a pinch of salt add your water little by little until you get a dough. Knead well and spread out your dough to a few mm thickness on a flour surface or parchment paper.  Cut out long thick noodles .

In a large pot / pan add your vegetables I used

daikon,carrot,kabocha,taro,shiitake add enough water to cover and simmer vegetables until tender.

Then add any leafy greens like cabbage or komatsuna .

ladel a little of the liquid and add a heap teaspoon of your choice of miso a miso with a nice earthy flavour is good like barley or brown rice or a Hatcho miso.  Dissolve the miso and add it to your pot of vegetables

Finally if needed add a little more hot water and add your noodles . I found that it’s good to lay your noodles on the top of your vegetables and pop on a lid to steam them for 5 mins .

If you have made this in a donabe pot you can simply eat it straight from the pot or ladle out into bowls .

This nabe miso hot pot dish makes a great winter warmer.

 

Blog, Summer Food

Cold summer noodles With miso

A bed of cold noodles is a perfect meal to beat the hot humid heat in Japan’s summer . Weather you living in Japan or not if it’s a hot summers day this might be a good dish to try and make .

First make a sauce from simple miso and water just add a a heaped teaspoon of miso ( you can use any miso you like )
to a half a cup of not quite boiled water in a jug stir well making sure the miso is dissolved and put this in the fridge to chill . I like to make this in the morning and leave all  day.

Then make your noodles as instructions I used udon but you could use any noodles you like.  When cooked run them under cold water . Add them to a bowl and pour over some of your miso broth ( if you like add a few ice cubes to make it extra cold) .  Then add your topping I like to use cooling vegetables like cucumber and tomato maybe some sweetcorn and top with sliced avocado and a sprinkle of sesame seeds.

 

Blog, Summer Food

Summer somen noodles

Light Somen noodles make a lovely cold salad

Just cook your somen as instructions and then let cold water run over them after draining adding a few ice cubes to make them nice and chilled .

I like to add a selection of salad with mine and maybe some cold silken tofu like in the photo .

make a light sauce to pour over

mix one tablespoon each of mirin,toasted sesame oil,brown rice vinegar and tamari in a small jar . Add also 1 teaspoon of yuzu juice . Put the lid on and give the jar a shake .

Pour over your somen and sprinkle with sesame seeds and chopped green onion .