Friday, April 30, 2010

April, we hardly knew ya...

Here, have some udon. This was from a while ago. The pink swirl kamaboko (fish cake) is called naruto.

udon fish cakes 2

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Shiro Miso Soup with Daikon

Here we go with number six!

miso daikon

I thought I'd write a little as to what goes into this soup.  For this one I started with some water and added a piece of kombu.  Kombu is a dried sea vegetable or sea weed.  It adds that extra taste, that umami.  I sprinkle in dried bonita flakes.  Bonita is a fish which is smoked and dried.  It comes in different forms, which you can get whole pieces or already shaved into flakes.

After that simmers for a time (you can smell the changes that occur), I strain out the kombu and bonita.  This is now dashi.  There are lots of recipes on the internet for dashi.  To be honest, I don't even measure any more.  I have an idea as to how much to put in.  That's why I don't have recipes here.

So above is fresh daikon sliced and simmering in dashi.  Daikon is a type of radish but is much bigger than the red and white ones normally found in American gardens.  As you can see, it becomes translucent as it cooks.  I think it looks pretty nice!

miso daikon3

So I use most of the dashi to cook whatever I am adding to the soup, unless there is something that needs to be cooked separately.  The rest I heat separately and mix in whatever miso I am using.  I do this to taste, remembering it will thin a little when added to the main pot.  So the dashi is heated and I add in miso and stir.  This lets the miso dissolve so you don't have clumps of it at the bottom of your soup!

Once this is done you can pour it into the main pot of dashi, once that is cooked.  I wait till everything is almost cooked before making the miso mix.

miso daikon5

All that is left is to ladle it into bowls and eat! 

I have to say I am really growing found of shiro miso.  I love the creamy taste it adds to miso soup.  This with the nice fresh daikon was just right.

Monday, April 26, 2010

I ate this

montblanc

Mont Blanc from Italian Tomato. First time trying this. Not bad, a bit sweet. There was a large chestnut on top and bits in-between. I liked the whipped cream frosting.

montblanc 2

Sorry about the weird angle and lighting. Took this at the place that the bakery is at.

montblac 3

They do know how to make their pastry look nice.

Just to note, this was from a bakery, I don't have a recipe for it. Thanks for looking!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Had the urge to cook something

So decided to try one of the Washoku Warrior challenges and use a bit of fish I have in the freezer. The stores around me offer really great fish at some pretty decent prices so my freezer is a bit stocked up. I decided to go with Citrus and Soy Glazed Swordfish (Kajiki Maguro no Yuan Yaki). Since I'm not a fan of the swordfish around here, I went with Yellowtail (buri). This recipe is from Elizabeth Andoh's "Washoku" cook book.

citrusfish skillet

So here is the yellowtail grilling up in a glaze which includes lime juice, soy sauce, sugar and a bit of dashi. Prior to this the fish marinates in sake, lime juice, soy sauce and mirin. The lime replaces yuzu, which is a bit expensive where I live so lime it was with lemon zest for garnish.

lime3

Here is the fish plated up with the lemon zest. This was a very nice way to cook it. I could even see using this recipe to make grilled fish for tacos. Yup, I am totally into working out some Mexican dishes with a Japanese flair.

hijiki

Since I was making this for lunch, I decided to go with Hijiki no ni Mono or Braised Sea Vegetable as one of the side dishes. I used a recipe from Elizabeth Andoh's "At Home with Japanese Cooking" which I got from the library. I hope I can try a few more out before returning it. Hijiki is a very dark sea vegetable which goes well with carrots. It is sauteed with soy sauce, sugar, sake and dashi. The taste ends up being a little salty and sweet. I like this as it is here or cold in bento.

citrusfish

Here is the finished product! I also made Shiro Miso Soup with Daikon. That I will post about later. If I was to add anything to this meal it would be a small plate of pickles and a bowl of rice. Possibly a salad too. But I wanted something simple yet tasty and this worked out quite well. It was so good!

The Washoku Warriors' Challenge post for this month is here: washoku-warriors-challenge-9-spring-fever

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Miso Soup with Tokyo Negi and Wakame

I do like putting together food posts. So here going another one of the miso soups.

tokyo negi

This is my cooking helper, Hatsune Miku. She is an expert on Tokyo Negi, or better known as mutant green onions. That is one in front of her. It's actually smaller than most.

tokyo negi 2

Miku did a great job of chopping the Tokyo Negi up. It's rather pungent, almost as strong as a white or brown onion. Very tasty and if I make okonomiyaki, I'm definitely adding some to it!

tokyo negi 3

I thought I would show part of the process of cooking my miso soup. Here I am simmering wakame (a sea vegetable) with the Tokyo Negi in the dashi. I heated the miso in a little water separately to get it mixed in nicely.

tokyo negi 4

And here is the finished product. Miso soup with Tokyo Negi and wakame. I think Miku approves. I know it was delicious. Oh yeah, I guess this was number five.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

While I don't endorse fast food

Tomorrow. Friday the 14th is free french fry day at Jack in the Box

yummy bento

bento1

Just a nice bento I got about a week ago from Mitsuwa.  Everything was fresh and I liked how it had beans. 
(I think I nibbled a few before taking the photo)

bento2

The best part was the chestnut rice in the middle.  I'm not sure if it's kurigohan or kurugohan, I see both spellings out there.  It was nice to have the three different types.  Usually a bento like this lasts me a couple meals.  It's great having a nice variety in the dishes.  Would take a lot to cook all of them.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Not been feeling well

so I'm just going to post this extremely delicious chocolate tart from Patisserie Chantilly.

chantilly chocolate tart

Saturday, April 3, 2010

pretties!

pretties

Since I am too tired to post what I want to thanks to my "neighbors" last night, I will post these instead.
Macarons from Chantilly's. Chocolate, moca and passion fruit. Nice, light and crispy with a slightly chewy center. So good. Sorry no Easter Bunnies.

Happy Eostre everyone!