Tag

Sesame

Summer Food

Gomadofu & Nut Butter Dofu

Gomadofu or sesame tofu is in fact not tofu at all. Often served in Shōjin Ryori cuisine it is made from kuzu powder .

Kuzu root is a gluten free thickening starch made from the Japanese vine. It has been used as an ancient health food remedy for over 2,000 years. The root can be used to help the digestion and calm the nerves,relieving muscular tension and migraine. Studies have shown it helps to reduce high blood pressure and regulate blood sugar.

I recall having gomadofu as an appetiser at Brown Rice Cafe in Tokyo and I actually thought it was a form of tofu.

There are a few different ingredients you can use the traditional one is sesame paste. To make this easy you can use Japanese sesame paste or tahini,you can also like the one I made use smooth peanut butter or you can make it with almond or cashew butter.

You can also use plain water to make this or kombu steeped water with a little mirin or sake.

To make these chilled squares all you need to do is as follows:

You will need 25grm of kuzu starch

250ml of plain water or kombu water

35g of nut butter of choice

First add a little of the water to the kuzu starch to make a paste then add the rest of the water and mix well.

Add this to a pan and add your nut butter then give it a whisk to combine.

Start to heat this gently and continue stirring. Turn up the heat a little and keep stirring until the mixture thickens until it looks like a thick pudding a bit like custard .

Wet the inside of a plastic container and pour in the mixture. Give the container a tap down on the work surface to eliminate any bubbles and leave to cool.

Then place in the fridge to harden and chill.

Turn out and cut into four equal portions. As my container gave my dofu slightly rounded edges I sliced these off.

As for your serving condiments here are a few ideas of what you could use. Yuzu Kosho,wasabi,soy sauce or ponzu,green onion,sesame seeds,sliced cucumber,grated ginger or maybe evenchilli oil.

I decided this would also make a nice dessert so I topped mine with sweet red beans and a dusting of kinako.

美味しい!

 

 

 

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).

Blog

Tsukemen (Dipping Noodles) With A Spicy Tomato & Miso Soup

Do you know Tsukemen?

This is a popular summer dish in Japan when the weather gets hot and humid. Cold soba noodles are served separately with a hot dipping soup. Pick up a few noodles and dip. You can use ramen if you like or even spaghetti. I did a really quick and easy dipping soup using a can of organic tomato soup and to make it more tasty I added a spoon of miso paste and chilli oil while cooking up the soup in a pan.

Serve with sesame seeds, chopped green onion and shichimi spice.

 

Blog, Summer Food

Vegan Kabayaki Bowl (mock eel)

Around this time of year in July there is a tradition in  Japan called Doyo-no-Ushi-no-hi. It falls this year on the 25th of July 2017. This is a day when some people eat eel . (Unagi) It is said that eel helps with the summer heat. Well I don’t know about that but I thought I would make a vegan version of this dish using eggplant . This mock eel dish doesn’t look particularly pretty but then neither does a dead eel and I’d much rather eat an eggplant .

First of all prick your eggplant with a toothpick to stop it exploding in the oven when baking and score around the top of the egg plant this will help when peeling off the skin.

Bake in the oven until tender. Take out the oven and when it’s cool enough to handles strip off the skin. Cut down the eggplant but leave a little bit attached at the top so it fans out into two halves.

Then make your kabayaki sauce using two tablespoons of  tamari or soy sauce two tablespoons of mirin  and a teaspoon of unrefined sugar.

Add this to a pan and put the egg plant into the pan cook and then flip over to coat both sides and let the eggplant soak up the sauce. Then cut some nori and add this to one side of your egg plant and place under the grill to make a crispy skin.

Serve this on rice mixed with gomashio ( a dry condiment like furikake made of sesame seeds and salt) topped with a sprinkle of sesame seeds,sansho pepper and chopped onion or chives.

I think you will agree it may not be eel but a lot more ethically friendly.

Blog, Summer Food

Vegan Tekka Don (tuna bowl)

Tekka don is a rice bowl dish topped with raw marinated tuna sashimi.

I wanted to make a refreshing but vegan friendly version of this dish and this is what I came up with.

You will need three large firm tomatoes cut a small cross section on the bottom of each tomato and drop into a pan of boiling water. To cook the tomato doesn’t take long you will know they are done when the skin starts to peel. Plunge the tomato into cold water to cool and then peel off the skin from the cross section you cut into the tomato.

When the tomatoes are peeled cut them into quarters discarding the seed part.

Make a marinade of tamari,lime juice and mirin ( around two tablespoons of each ) you can add some shichimi spice pepper if you like. Coat the tomatoes in the marinade and chill in the fridge

when you want to serve your Tekka Don wash and cook some sushi rice in your rice cooker and when your rice is done place into the bottom of a bowl.

Top the warm rice with the marinated tomato chopped green onion a sprinkle of sesame seeds sliced lettuce  kizaminori ( shredded nori) and angel hair chilli threads if you can get them they are called Ito togarashi if you live in the U.K. You can get them from www.souschef.co.uk

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, Spring Food

Botamochi

The bi-annual days of the vernal equinox are nearly upon us. In Japan it is a Buddhist festival known as higan. In the spring it is known as haru no higan . To celebrate I made Botamochi. This is a traditional confectionery made of sweet mochi rice pounded and shaped with a red bean centre . It is traditional to take these with flowers and incense to the graves of ancestors at this time. In the spring the sweets are called Botamochi named after the tree peony botan . In the fall the same sweets are called ohagi named after the clover bush hagi. I covered mine with different toppings matcha,kinako and black sesame . I also made a reverse one with the rice on the inside . Spring is nearly here . ぼたもち (牡丹餅) (おはぎ) 私は春分点のために作った ほぼ春です!

This is how to make your very own ( it takes a little time but is well worth the effort !)

1 cup of Japanese rice

1 cup of mochi rice

plastic wrap

tsubu-an ( bean paste )

toppings  matcha powder,kinako ground black sesame powder

first wash your rice together really well changing the water a few times

place in your rice cooker with water up to level 2 and cook until done

then pound your rice I use the end of a rolling pin until some it’s mashed but still has some grain don’t over pound or it will be to sticky mix it as your pounding in between with your rice paddle so it’s even.

take about 70g of rice if your having rice on the outside and make balls of these in plastic wrap . Flatten each one spreading it out. Measure out balls of bean paste 30g and place in the middle of each flattened out ball ( mould  the rice around the bean paste .

If you want to do a reverse 40g rice and 60g red bean paste .

when they are all done roll them in your chosen topping .

I like to then wrap each one in plastic wrap and freeze them and defrost over night ( great for a bento dessert ) .

 

Blog

Yaki Onigiri

Using some of the @clearspringuk organic Japanese
brown rice miso to night to make yaki onigiri with extra ao-nori and a sprinkle of sesame seeds . All crispy on the out side and warm,and the miso gives the onigiri some lovely flavour .
So yummy.
味噌焼きおにぎり

Blog

Furikake Onigiri

Furikake onigiri wrapped in nori with a @clearspringuk organic Umeboshi (salt pickled plum with shiso )
These plums have remarkable medicinal qualities. There acidity has an alkaline effect on the body and helps digestion. So many Japanese foods have healing qualities I’m having my onigiri with another a miso soup .
There is so much to be said about miso with its fermentation process promoting a healthy PH in the digestion. A good source of iron,calcium,potassium,protein and some B vitamins.
I have been aiming to have more miso in my diet since I returned from Japan .
This one has daikon leaf,bean sprouts and shimeji mushrooms .
Makes a delicious and satisfying lunch.
ふりかけおにぎりと梅干し
シメジと大根の味噌汁と豆の芽

Blog

Inari Sushi

Inari sushi
いなり寿司
Seasoned Japanese rice with @clearspringuk sushi seasoning then filled pockets of aburaage topped with :
1:Hijiki and furikake
2:Cucumber and pickled ginger
3:Clearspring Umeboshi
4:Black sesame seeds and sliced shiitake
5:Avocado and ginger

Some edamame on the side.

I picked the little fox up at the Inari shrine in Kyoto .

Autumn Food, Blog

Kabocha ( pumpkin) curry

A super delicious filling curry using pumpkin to thicken the sauce .

you will need a quarter of kabocha squash ( Japanese pumpkin) this has a lovely nutty flavour steam the kabocha until tender scoop out the flesh and discard the skin.

Cook your Japanese rice and leave on warm in your rice cooker or pan with lid.

In a pan add the kabocha and some of the cooking liquid from steaming  about one and a half cups , add to this one tablespoon of S&B Japanese curry spice mix or any Japanese curry spice you can find ( I get mine from the Japan centre in London ) and simmer the kabocha down . If you need to thicken it you can add a 1/2 teaspoon slurry of kuzu powder.

Steam some lovely vegetables until tender I cut the vegetables nice and chunky to really get the flavour I used zucchini,peppers,daikon,carrot,lotusroot and more kabocha.

Add some rice to a plate or bowl and laden your curry sauce around and top with steamed vegetables and a sprinkle of sesame seeds.

 

 

Autumn Food, Blog

Mitarashi tofu dango

Tsukimi is the start of Autumn with the festival of viewing the harvest moon on the 15th of September.
Pampas grass is displayed and dango balls to mimic the full moon are eaten.
In Japanese folklore it is said the rabbit lives on the moon making Mochi and there is a story and even a children’s song.
Bunny Bunny what are you looking for as you hop?
The moon on the 15th night I’m viewing as I hop.

How to make #dango for Japanese moon viewing festival .
月見 だんご
Moon viewing dumplings are traditionally eaten on this festival and they are so yummy and easy to make. These ones are made with silken tofu .
1. Mix mochi rice flour with silken tofu . (I don’t really measure ) just keep adding until a dough forms .
2. Make your dough into little moon balls .
3. Boil them until they float .
4. Pat them dry with a paper towel

You can then eat them as they are and roll them in kinako powder or sesame powder.
Or you can grill them.  I love this because they are all warm and crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside .

Place  them under a heated grill turning as they brown

To make your sauce use  2 tablespoons of tamari mixed with two tablespoons of syrup ( you can use rice syrup or maple syrup ) then put this in a small pan and heat .

make a slurry of 1 teaspoon kuzu powder and 1/4 teaspoon water and mix into your heated sauce to thicken it.

Take your dango from off the grill and either push on to skewers and spread with your hot sauce and maybe alternate with some anko  red bean paste and kinako Or you could have them like little individual sweets topped with a brush of sauce and a squeeze of anko and a dusting of kinako .

maybe serve with a warm kinako latte and look up at the moon .