Sakura musubi

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Musubi mean making a knot. They are also packages of rice, to take with you as lunch pack. The plastic film gives the shape to the ball.

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A mix of genmai (brown rice), mochigome (sticky rice), kurogome (black rice, sticky too) and takakibi (sorghum).

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Pickled sakura leaves, rinsed.

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Wrap. Keep a few hours, or better the next day. The leaves are not very tasty but give a sakura flavors and saltiness to the rice.

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Sukiyaki, Japanese big dinner

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As Christmas is approaching, I wish you a nice holiday season. So let’s have a sukiyaki party !
It’s a party meal designed to showcase delicious premium Japanese beef and season produce. A hot pot to cook and share on the table.

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The ingredients are cut, cleaned, prepared and presented on big trays on the table.
First tray : fungi, konnyaku noodles and grilled tofu.
There were 4 types of mushrooms : shimeji, enoki, dry and soaked maitake and fresh kikurage.

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Second tray : negi leeks, onions, soaked yakifu (gluten croutons) and kikuna (chrysanthemum greens).

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Third tray : the beef. Wagyu, Japanese traditionally raised cows. Beside you can see cubes of beef fat.

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Each eater is given a bowl with a good fresh egg. Whisk your egg with the chopsticks and get ready to dip you ingredients in this sauce.

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First step : greasing the pot with fat and roasting the first slices. They can be enjoyed this way as the beef is delicious, just on its own.

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That’s the technique : melt some fat, add some meat, pour a little sugar, then a little shoyu (sauce sauce), a little sake. Mix and cook.

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All the other ingredients are added in small batches…

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For dessert… well, there are no desserts for Japanese meal. So that’s a French tarte Tatin, made with Japanese apples.

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Walnut crust blue sweet potato pie

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It’s very a simple and delicious coffee cake. Few ingredients, little process and full flavor.

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Purple satsuma imo sweet potato. The potato has already a flavor of almond cream cake, so not much is needed.

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I took the flesh of a baked potato, and smashed it with a little coconut cream, a little Grand Marnier liquor and very little sugar. Just mixed.

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The crust is walnut, oatmeal, a little sugar, a pinch of salt and very little water, together in the blender. Then put in molds and dried in the oven. Well I should have taken it out before filling…
The taste is really pure walnut

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So just fill the crust.

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Serve chilled or warm. And enjoy with your coffee.

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Emi’s okonomiyaki

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Each family of Osaka has its secret recipe of okonomiyaki. This post is pure spying. I am going to reveal you how my friend Emi makes hers. It’s a delicious simple version very rich in eggs. Before you start, make you sure you have tasty farm eggs.

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Then, you need thinly shredded cabbage. She cuts it with her big knife. The flavors are tenkasu (tempura crumbs) and thin slices of pork breast.

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The batter : It’s about a tbs of grated yama imo (Japanese yam), water and flour. Whip.
In a bowl, mix batter, cabbage, some tempura crumbs and an egg.

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To be always ready, Emi has a reserve of servings of grated yama imo in her freezer.

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On the oiled hot plate, first some batter-cabbage mix. Then slices of pork. Then more batter. Then flip.

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Then… Why that ? The goal is to make the surface uneven so the sauces will stay on top.

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Garnishing : the sauces are poured on top and layered with a brush. Then she puts fish flakes.
So the sauce are :
-okonomiyaki sauce (a mix of the thick sauce and of the more liquid Worcester sauce)
-mayonnaise
And in between ?

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Do you recognized ? It’s mustard that gives a spicy tone to the sauces.

So you know all the tricks, you can enjoy it at home too.

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Zu zu zu lemon tartelette : yuzu, kuzu, anzu

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A delicious fresh dessert for all the lovers of sour sweetness.

Why zu zu zu ?

Zu or su, is sourness. Many acidic ingredients have this sound in Japanese. Today :
Anzu : Apricot.
Yuzu : yuzu citrus.
Kuzu : kudzu is a root resembling arrow-root and similarly used as a jelly starch.

About 1 volume of dry apricot for two of oat meal in the blender, then just a little water. Put in the mold, dried in the oven.

Yuzu. I’ve really discovered something here : yuzu and apricot are one of those rare matches made in even. Paired they become something else, a richer fruit flavor.

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Kudzu as it is sold. It is 本葛 Honkuzu, pure kuzu. There exist others (explanation here).

For more : kudzu recipes.

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I mixed the kuzu powder with the juice and zest of a yuzu, a little yellow cane sugar, enough water (as suggested on the package of kuzu) and cooked while stirring, till it became transparent.

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Filled the crust. Let cool a few hours. Garnished with whipped coconut cream, toasted sesame seeds and yellow cane sugar.

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Aka kabu tsukemono, red turnip

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A quick veggie side for Japanese meals.

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You already saw this red Kyoto turnip. I used one there. The other, I cleaned well, sliced the root, picked the leaves.

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In salted water. I keep it covered, in the fridge. Good from the next day, for a few days.

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After 3 days, the leaves.

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The root.

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Bochan kabocha cocotte eggs and Autumn turmeric side

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Oeufs cocotte are French baked eggs. They are baked in a dish that is called in French, guess what ? A ramequin, a bol, etc. It’s never called a cocotte. Because a cocotte, it’s hen, it’s a woman sometimes, well in the kitchen, it’s a big stew pot. So baking eggs in that over-sized pot, that’s like quail eggs inside a pumpkin. Well, today exceptionally we’ll do that.

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Botchan kabocha (little boy pumpkin) is the smaller Japanese pumpkin. It’s perfect to make individual stuffed pumpkin dishes. For instance :

okowa sticky rice kabocha

Thai steamed custard

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Open and empty the kabocha, steam it till the flesh is soft. Fill with quail eggs and a mix of soy milk, argan oil, salt and pepper. Bake till the egg whites are stuck and the yolks still soft.

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Served with toasted home-made whole-wheat bread.

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Turmeric. In Japan, they cultivate a few types. Autumn turmeric is the most common. Spring turmeric (in English “wild turmeric” ) is the second most common. This plant is believed to have great medicinal properties.
This one is only a little bitter, perfect for cooking.

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Stir-fried gently a few slices of turmeric and of dry apricot. On low heat, added in daikon radish leaves, stirring till they get wilted. Added salt, walnuts and chrysanthemum flower.

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A nice Autumn brunch.

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