Soba no mi, buckwheat as rice

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Buckwheat groats (sometimes called buckwheat berries) are called 蕎麦の実 soba no mi in Japanese. Mi means fruit/nut, and maybe that’s not too far from the botanical reality as that’s not really a grain. They are often added to cook together with rice. And they can simply replace rice.

Raw.

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Cooked in the rice cooker on brown rice program.

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I’ve added a few drops of sesame oil and black sesame for even more nutty flavor. No salt because I add it with :

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Umeboshi natto.

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Satsuma imo (sweet potato) and mizu nasu.

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Platter of steamed veggies : suguna kabocha, satsuma imo, bok choi and chestnuts.

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Not a pretty dish… This type of aubergine mizu nasu is usually served raw. I’ve sliced (I did) and cut in ribbons (roughly) the flesh. Salted. Rinsed after 19 minutes and sprinkles shikwasa lime juice.

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A nice old fashioned meal.

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Ika to ikashiokara no nimono (calamari with calamari)

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The photos don’t always reveal the truth about the taste but that was particularly delicious today. That’s a simmered seafood dish a little unusual. I have used calamari in two states, fresh and as shiokarai.
Well how can I explain all the poetry of shiokarai seafood on a blog ? You should see it, smell it, try it. It has a very strong fermented iodine flavor. I am not sure most people would like it.

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イカの塩辛ika no shiokarai is the complete name, often shortenened in ikashiokara‎ too. “shiokarai” calamari. Shiokarai means salty, very salty, too salty. So it’s raw calamari, salted and fermented in its brine with its ink. Here is an example of how it is made (click). I buy it if possible, because I tend to fail when I make it… and it’s cheap and sold everywhere in Osaka. Someday we’ll even have vending machines.
The only problem of this food is it’s extremely salty, so you eat it in very small amount, a teaspoon maximum on the side of your meal or on your bowl of rice. That’s why I wanted to add more volume to it.

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A fresh calamar that has released its ink. No problem, I didn’t need it. I simply cleaned and cut it.

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First, I cooked in a little oil, onion, garlic, ginger, the calamari. Then I’ve added 1 tbs of ikashiokara and 2 glasses of white wine (rather sweet, otherwise a little sugar would be welcome).Let simmer and reduce. Added more fresh ginger after 30 minutes.

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It’s ready when the calamari is tender (that takes about 40 minutes). The red color comes naturally.

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Small aubergines, steamed then grilled. No seasoning is needed because they are excellent just grilled and the dish is still very salty.

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A side of kuri gohan (chestnut rice).

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Kikuna chrysanthemum greens and shikwasa island lime to refresh the plate.

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Putting wine in my ratatouille…

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OK, not really what the title says. That’s a fish and veggie lunch.

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I did have some ratatouille veggies as a base : aubergine, bell pepper, onion.

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I had some lesser cuts of mackerel, what is left with the spine after they take the sushi blocks. There is still something to eat on the frame. I put them in a pan with a cut onion, 3 glasses of red wine, a little soy sauce and kurozato (black sugar). Let reduce.
Added steamed aubergine and cut bell pepper. Simmered a few minutes :

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Done !

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Served. It’s very juice, so that goes well with potatoes.

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Boiled, then mashed, flavored with salt, pepper, chili and olive oil.

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Provence fragrances escaping from the oven

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A South French Sunday lunch. Think about a dinner, enjoyed slowly between noon and 5 p.m., talking and eating food cooked by the grandma.

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The roast : A chicken baked inside a salty crust, with lots of perfumed herbs.

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It gets very tender.

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The zucchini that believed they were bananas.

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Colorful Mediterranean Summer vegetables. They must be full of vitamins.

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Layered, then baked. Tian is also the name of the pottery in which this dish is baked.

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Teaser about the dessert (to be posted soon) :

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Tarte automne-été aux trois fruits (Summer-Fall triple pie).

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Mushroom ratatouille and mozuku

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An autumnal ratatouille and a Japanese sea weed. モズクmozuku is a sea weed from Okinawa that looks like small leaves in a jelly. They are sold already prepared or with a sauce aside like here.

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I had veggies to finish : onion, white aubergine, purple aubergine, sweet green peppers.

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Mixed dry Italian mushrooms including porcini.

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I soaked and stir-fried the mushrooms with garlic. Then cooked my veggies in the same oil.

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I completed with tomato paste, thyme.

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I mixed the mozuku sea weed with its sauce (sweet vinegar) and added a few pieces of ginger. That can be drunk like a little soup.

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Cabbage, konnyaku and natto.

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Brown rice.

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My lunch.

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Mabo fair : aubergine and tofu

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There exist mabo tofu and mabo aubergine, two sister Chinese dishes widely adopted in Japan. Today they are on the the same meal.

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My lunch tray. Yes, that was delicious and filling.

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The base is the same : onion, garlic, ginger, Sichuan pepper and azuki beans. After simmering, I add miso, paprika and I pass the mixer. I’ve added slices of green hot chili.

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Aubergines steamed, then stir-fried with garlic. I’ve added the sauce and more paprika, water and reheated. On the finished, a tbs of fragrant sesame oil and a few roasted sesame seeds.

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To the rest of the sauce, I’ve added green sweet chilis, a little more Sichuan pepper, then cubed silky tofu.

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Served with rice of course. It’s Thai jasmine rice with a little sticky black rice.

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Veggie side : okra sprouts, topped with zucchini (grated, mixed with salt and turmeric, let 1 hour).

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Skillet pizza, plant based

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When it’s hot, you don’t want to heat more the kitchen by boosting the oven in pizza mode… plus you’re too lazy to knead the dough. So that’s how you can make a pizza :

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1. Quick dough : flour, baking powder, salt, olive oil and water.
2. The dough can be cooked immediately in a skillet (no oil, a wet lid on top to create steam).
3. Tomato paste and olive oil on the dough…

That really “grills” the dough and brings a pizza flavor.

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Summer produce.

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I’ve steamed the aubergine and the onion. The sweet corn and the peppers are raw.

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Veg’ cheese : sakekasu (sake lees), miso and olive oil

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Passed under the grill 3 minutes to color the sauce. That step could be skipped and the garnished pizza could be fully cooked in the skillet.

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