Pesto and chirimen-jako

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Pesto spaghetti with a Japanese twist.

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A base of spaghetti in a basil sesame pesto I had as a leftover of the day before.

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ちりめんじゃこ chirimen-jako are fish bait of the anchovy and sardine family. They are dried under the sun and can be kept a few days. That’s salty and tasting of fish of course.

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The other topping : boiled and skinned favas (broad beans). And a few ribbons of basil leaves.

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Side dish : ginger cukes.
A quick tsukemono : Sliced, cut, rinsed white cucumber. Added sea salt and minced ginger. Mixed well. Let one hour in the fridge.

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Chilled shirataki noodles with black gomadare sauce

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And advantage of shirataki (konnyaku noodles) is unlike other noodles, you don’t need to boil them again then chill. All you need is rinsing them in clear water.

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The 4 elements of my dish.

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A : rinse the shirataki noodles.

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B : cut cubes of fresh tofu.

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C : prepare veggies like bell pepper, red chili, goya, onion and coriander.

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D : make the dressing.
Gomadare is the classic sesame dressing. Today it’s black as I’ve used black sesame and the black douchi :

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Douchi, Chinese fermented black soy beans.

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Petite soupe de poisson (fish soup 2.0)

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Adaptation of the fish soup from Provence that often served with bread croutons, rouille sauce and grated cheese.

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I had the fish soup base (explanation here), reheated with saffron, turmeric, red bell pepper, hot chili.

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Prepared croutons, then rubbed them with raw garlic.

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Rouille (garlic sauce).

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That should be cheese, it’s my beloved sake kasu + miso.. (read here).

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Side one : Raw veggies.Thinly cut goya (bitter squash) and red bell pepper.

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Side two : steamed veggie. Sweet corn and romanesco.
All that makes a meal !

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Peanut red bean burgers, with fruity sauce

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I really like peanuts, I often eat them just like that. Today, I’ve included them in some spicy bean patties to bring nuttiness and crunchiness.

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I broke the peanuts in the mortar. I keep the red skin, it’s full of nutrient. Added in : Taisho kintoki red beans (boiled), onion, ginger, garlic and stalks of nira. It’s flavored with an Indian spice mix containing mango powder. A little potato starch for binding. Pan-fried.

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The fruity sauce is made by blending carrot, 1/2 konatsu pomelo, a piece of onion, chili pepper and a pinch of salt.

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Sides : salad with goya (bitter squash) and yamaimo simply diced.

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Aonori kibinago no kara-age

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kibinago (silver stripe round herring) are these small mini-fish, often to small to cut them. So frying is the way to go. I’ve seen addition of aonori seaweed for frying and retained the idea.

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Kara-age :
Rinse the fish. Sprinkle salt and pepper. Heat frying oil. Mix flour, potato starch and aonori (seaweed flakes).
Pass the fish in the mix of flours and fry. Add a little more aonori on top.

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Eat them whole, so you intake all the calcium in the bones.

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Sides : lettuce with black rice vinegar, sesame carrots, salted goya (bitter squash) and polished germinated rice.

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3 simple sushi


A sushi lunch. Whole and basic.

The rice is genmai (brown rice), simply flavored. This first is a makizushi filled with goya bitter squash, wrapped in nori.

Ginnan (ginkgo nut) and natto.

They are the fruits of ginkgo tree, that I always mispell. They are gathered and cleaned Autumn (the outer part stinks, really).

I broke the shell, took it away, boiled the nuts and took out the little skin. It’s also possible to slightly break the shell and then roast them. They have to be eaten in small amounts to avoid toxicity. Well 4 is OK.

Natto sesame. It’s an uramaki, with the rice rolled around.

With wasabi and pickled ginger. Soy sauce too. Served with sencha green tea.

Go go-ya ! an Okinawan super food

That’s the beast. Goya. Say go-ya. It’s the infamous bitter cucumber. I didn’t like it much the first time… That really depends how it’s prepared. Now it’s one of my favorites.

What is great about it ? Well, it has all the antioxidants of dark greens, watery texture and hydrating property of cucumbers, fiber and also thanks to bitterness it’s great to eat in hot weather.

A few years ago, that was not common in Osaka. That’s known as an Okinawan vegetable. But people got hooked to it, and more was proposed on markets, then they tried to grow it even in “continental” Japan. So we get it cheaply in season, available all year. The hot season is ending now… but I still get it a couple of times.

Red seeds indicate extreme maturation in sunlight. They are good, just eat them at once.

There are white ones too, with similar taste.

You simply need to discard seeds and scrub the white part.

Often sliced that way.

Preparation tips :

1. eat it raw, or only slightly cooked before it loses vivid colors : salads, steamed, stir-fry, etc
2. you can reduce bitterness by scrubbing well, slicing finely and salting then letting 20 minutes and rinsing

What to do with it ?

kefta spag’
tofu chigae
pasta avocanaise

colorslaw
panda salad

As a drink :
Shiri-shiri with goya
Another goya shiri shiri

dashi’t pickles
Go~ya champloo~ and Okinawan soba
white bean goya
chakin egg sushi and natsu chirashi
white goya in pesto rice