Island fish, somen chilled vermicelli and rape blossoms…


A slice of tai (seabream)cooked nearly like a dessert, with warm cake flavors : vanilla, almond… Chilled noodles. Greens. Natto. That makes a hot day lunch.


I first stir-fried the renkon (lotus root, sliced) and onion (sliced), put them aside. Then in the same pan, the fish with a little bit of star anise, salted. In a cup, I mixed saffron, vanilla powder, water, a pinch of sugar. 1/4 ts of potato starch. I’ve added to the fish when it was cooked, turned 2 or 3 times while reheating on low heat. I finished with a few drop of almond oil.



Steamed na-no-hana (rape blossoms) with sesame seeds.


Somen : thin wheat vermicelli. It’s boiled, refreshed in fresh water and served in a bowl of iced water. Next to it a dipping sauce : dashi (fish broth), black rice vinegar, onion et soy sauce.


Another little side, natto with nira (garlic chives) and onion.


Red light delight : lampion apple

Chinese New Year is next week. If you are looking for decoration ideas, here is a baked apple cut like a paper lantern.


The idea came when I saw Angela from the blog OhSheGlows had problems with hasselback apples. The concept looked great, but baked apples become softer when they are well cooked, and if they are not well cooked, that’s not great.
To prevent the slices from falling, I’ve used the dish as a support and I’ve cut vertically.

I was always told that you had apples to bake and apples to munch. Usually the old ones are the best for baking as they have lost a lot of water. This one has not got botox. Then I’ve cheated as I steamed the apple first, to be sure it was evenly cooked. On top, I’ve poured honey (a syrup could work) and a little almond oil. I’ve painted it all over with the oil. Then I roasted it in the oven-toaster, 10 minutes. Put more oil and honey, roasted again 10 minutes.


I’ve toasted the crispy topping separately : oats, kurozato black sugar and sesame.

Well that’s a kind of apple crisp, with a sweet almond flavor. The shape is funny.

Bayonesa, angels’ hair and almond fragrance…

After the fish empanada, here is a sweet one.
This one is popular in Catalonia and from there ? It’s called a bayonesa. So that could be from Bayonne in French Basque region. It doesn’t seem so.

The particularity is the filling of cabello de ángel, a typical sweet. Normally the dough would be classic butter feuilletage pastry, but I’ve used an almond oil base dough instead. It’s too hot for working butter.

Angels hair jam, a Spanish sweet. Maybe you can buy it ready, I don’t find it here. Go to a past post (click here) to see how I make it with Japan’s ingredients.

I filled the dough with the jam, decorated, painted with olive oil, sprinkled sugar, added almonds…

My dough is a mix of bread dough and pastry. The result is a slightly flaky crust.

Almond dough :
Mix 1 cup of cake flour with 1/4 ts of powdered instant yeast, wet with water at about 60 degrees C. (mix 1/3 boiling water, 2/3 tap water).
After 15 minutes kneed 5 minutes.
After 25 minutes, take a ping-pong ball, spread finely, paint with sweet almond oil, roll thinly. Do the rest.
Join the rolls in a rectangle, flatten them, fold in 3, flatten.
After 15 minutes, cut in 2. Fold in 3 each square, spread not too finely. Make the pie.

More sugar, marasquino cherries (soaked with a little bitter almond essence), raisins. That looks like some Spanish celebration cake and surely not for this season. I wanted it pretty.

If you don’t eat it whole… No, be reasonable : share. Well, cut stripes in the width so each serving has some deco.

Papillote de crystal, saumon et pomélo

Let’s make a transparent papillote now…
You can see now many chefs presenting their papillote in a special transparent film. It’s only available in shops for pros. Ordinary micro-wave film can be used if you don’t heat too much over 100 degree C. No problem for steaming.

Thinly sliced zucchini with salt and mace. The salmon rubbed with black pepper and a little salt. A slice of pomelo. Bits of young onion.

Last touch : sweet almond oil.

You can see when the fish changes of color. Stop cooking just at that point. It will keep cooking slightly and it will be perfect when you unfold.

A side of nagaimo (raw potato) with negi and onion.

That makes a delicate and delicious Summer lunch.

Let’s swim : pétoncles à la nage amandine

This misty-rious dish is called Nage de pétoncles amandine.

I caugh a bargain of queen scallops, today.

Swimming in their indoor pool…
For dishes “la nage”, which means “swimming” is a soup. But who is Amandine ?

Shallots, red bell pepper and shimeji mushroom for the aromatic base. A little white wine. The shells. A broth of saffron.

Et voilà !

So who is Amandine ? Well, an adjective meaning “with almond”.
The secret almond touch is this fragrant oil. Just a few drops like pearls on my nage :

Mmmmm…. The broth is not light and sweet, the touch of sweet almond matches the shellfish’s sweetness. Perfect harmony !

Sides are steamed mizuna green and rice (red and white) with goji berries and broken almond topping. I placed the mizuna leaves on top of the shellfish to steam it. Convenient !