With Chinese miso, and why the pattzukis…

I’m trying a new condiment. Well, it’s new for me. I’ve used it to give a Chinese flavor the patties of azuki beans.

Yes, again, those patties. I really love them. I should give them a name. pattzukis ? Why the obsession ? Oh, you don’t know who is posting. The truth I am an American teen, in someone else’s body, and I eat burgers all the time. And I’ve found I like liked the azuki ones better than the those made of beef ? dog ? donkey ? Well what do they give us in fast-food ? We prefer not knowing. And azuki beans are ideal for me. I get them dry cheaply since they are local. Prices really depend on geography. Exotic beans are overpriced. For instance, I buy kidney beans for occasions as they are about 10 times the price of my azuki beans.
They are not soy, so no overdose of phyto hormones. Bonus : azuki means “small beans” as they are tiny like lentils. They cook quicker that most others, in about 20 minutes (after 24 hours of soaking).

click for other posts with pattzukis

Chinese miso made with soybeans. The color of miso depends on the ingredients to make it, that goes from nearly white (rice), to nearly black (soy beans) with all shades of brown (mix of rice, soy, wheat, other grains). This one is a cousin of Japanese hatcho miso, that is also very dark, but usually firmer and not so sweet, by it’s related.

The batter (azuki, ground sesame, potato starch) is flavored with the Chinese miso, grated garlic, ginger, chili pepper and cumin. I added the minced feet of the shrooms.

Stir-fried shiitake mushrooms.

Edamame and sesame mushipan steamed bread complete the meal.

Eating out of the box – Indoor picnic

It’s still too cold to eat a bento box under the cherry blossoms… that are not yet opened here.

Top floor : hot silky tofu with borstch. Garnished by shiso leaves.

Haccho miso and green chili soup.

Base : rice and kinpira.

Making kinpira

Brown rice with a umeboshi (pickled plum).

Left-over of carrot and hijiki kinpira.

Leftover of a stir-fry kinpira : spinach renkon (lotus root) cut in big chunks, garlic, chili pepper, soy sauce.

As a dessert : a few litchis (frozen).

Dengaku tofu, veggies, a white soup.

田楽豆腐 dengaku tofu. It’s a nice name. “den” is a rice paddy, and “gaku” is bliss…
It’s tofu skewers.

There exist flat 2-stick fork shaped bamboo skewers that you find easily in Japan… or not easily, or not yesterday. So 2 regular skewers are OK.
Use the firmest momen (cotton) or yaki (roast) tofu you can find.
First, you need to “squeeze” your tofu. Simply place the block on a plate, cover by something flat on it (another plate, I use the mini cutting sheet) and something heavy on that (my kettle). Forget it 10 minutes, discard excess water. You can cut bands of tofu with a large knife and do the skewers. If it’s yaki, cut out the colored skin. Spread dengaku miso on them, broil.

The spread is made of hatcho miso, red miso, it’s actually a black paste. It is diluted in sake, mirin, and sugar. The proportion is… as you like. If you want little sweetness, only sake. Very sweet, only mirin. Extremely sweet, mirin + sugar. Balance is about (in volume) : 1 miso – 2 sake – 2 mirin

I broil them in the oven-toaster, about 15 minutes. I added toppings after 10 minutes.

One is white poppy seed (keshi no mi). The other, can you tell ?

Saveur boisee – Wood flavor

I also roasted kabocha and sweet potato. I steamed them to half-cook point previously, otherwise they would take longer than the tofu. And I roasted them without spread.
I added chili pepper flakes and sesame to the rest of dengaku miso, heated it and added the hot mix on veggies on the plate.

With veggie left-over, dashi (made quickly from powdered fish flakes), wakame seaweed and sake kasu, I made a soup.

More about sake kasu soup here.

This is sake kasu. Rice fermented, on the way to become sake. It’s a little sweet, no alcohol yet. It’s added to the soup like miso : when the broth and toppings are cooked, on lower heat. Put some paste in a a small mesh strainer (or equivalent), dip in the soup and stir the paste till it becomes liquid. Serve. It’s a body-warming soup, good for Winter.

Bite the tofu directly on the skewer. The contrast of the neutrality of tofu, and the strength of the sauce is very pleasant.

Aka-dashi… a mega red miso soup

Red miso soup, with lots of shimeji mushrooms, iriko (dried fish), stalks of shungiku (chrysanthemum), cubes of momen-tofu.
Leaves of shungiku as a salad.
Seki-han, red rice, made with brown rice and azuki beans.

Soup made with the black miso paste is called “aka-dashi” (red broth). That’s synonym with miso-soup as Japan is a very conformist country and during many years, many restaurants all over the country have presented an invariable set of “standard dishes” and the standard miso soup was red… Now if you look at specialties of different places, familial habits, it’s very different and miso soup is made in all shades.

The shungiku (chrysanthemum) leaves have fresh and slightly bitter taste. A bit like ruccola (rocket salad), but less pronounced.

They “cook” very quickly, so they are often used for hot pots. I have added the dressing (spicy fragrant sesame oil, black rice vinegar, shichimi 7 spices) after taking the first photos. Because that imediatly becomes this :

Cal432.9 F12.8g C69.2g P33.3g