Sakura musubi


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.


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


Pickled sakura leaves, rinsed.


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.


Mabo fair : aubergine and tofu


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


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


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.


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.


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


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


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



Cheese and flowers : Sakura from Hokkaido

Sakura, a cherry blossom cheese. It’s a delight.
A special offer at the local shop. It’s as costly as imported cheese, as it has no relation with the mass produced standard “Japanese cheese”.

The packaging is nice too. It’s a cow milk cheese, with the addition of a salt pickled cherry blossom and leaf.

It got a prize in Switzerland as you can see.
It is made in this farm in Hokkaido. They have cows from Switzerland. I see that they even make raclette. It’s tempting. Maybe you’ll see some here…

It’s a strong cheese, and yes, it clearly tastes of cherry blossom.

I bought the bread too. It’s a black rice bread. It’s a bit different from mine.

So now, we can have a nice tray of Japanese cheese and bread.

Arròs negre, black is the new rice…

That’s another style, the black paella. But it’s called arròs negre meaning black rice. The color is of course calamari ink.

other paella posts

I’ve used brown rice and made it small size in a pie dish. That dish was too thin to go directly on my induction stove, it was starting to melt… so I have placed it on the cast iron plancha.

That’s how I made it. I used a dose of nero di sepia (bought) and the juice that got out of the seafood as broth.
That’s slow food… like 3 hours of cooking on low heat.

The rice is cooked. It didn’t take the color as much as polished rice would.

I added the topping put on high heat to get the bottom crust.

Sweet red pepper to contrast the color.

The seafood is nothing great, a frozen mix (shrimp, clams, calamari) so I’ve stir-fried in olive oil with paprika and turmeric till crispy.


Coconut black rice doria

Coconut power !
A light summer version of the doria gratin, with very sweet coconut and cinnamon flavors. The black rice is a sticky rice that naturally brings a sweet texture and flavor. It’s nearly a dessert. I could have eaten 2 or 3.

what is a doria ?

Black rice, young onion and carrot, stir-fried in coconut cream.

Layer 1 : cooked chick peas.

Layer 2 : the rice

Layer 3 : white sauce
It’s a leftover of millet white sauce. I have added more coconut cream. Reheated. Just poured on the rice.

Yummy !

Rice salad for a panda

White and black like a panda. It’s a Chinese style “salad” plus rice.

Shiny details. The goya (bitter squash) is salted and rinsed. The other veggies cooked and “pickled” in rice vinegar : bell peppers and lotus root.

Usually, it’s only the vinegared renkon (lotus root). But I had black rice. So it’s like sushi.

The other dish will be in another post. Soon !

It’s a refreshing and colorful side dish.

Black rice bread

Bread with black rice.
Where does this idea come from ? Daring Bakers. But not only.
Well, that’s floating in the air. Now in Japan, there is a real craze (orchestrated by marketing wizards) around the Home Bakery machines that make bread from rice. Well, that’s not really possible to make bread with only rice as it lacks gluten. There are various *tricks*, but here I simply added the rice to bread flour, inspired by Daring Baker’s brown rice bread recipe.

I was experimenting the Dutch crunch for the “tiger bread” of the challenge. I had the “plain rice flour” called by the recipe. So I tried 2 substitutes here and I didn’t get the expected tiger effect, but those funny rolls.

That’s Chinese black rice. Is it sticky rice ? Maybe. I don’t know what I buy ? Hey, no. That’s the charm of shopping in Chinatown. That’s not that they can’t speak Japanese, that’s they are friendly like jail doors. They don’t talk to you. They write minimal information on packages. Like for rice, they put in a transparent bag : you can see what it is. The label has only origin and date, as that’s compulsory. So, it seems semi-sticky. I wish I could tell you…

I cooked it normally in the rice cooker and I put one cup in the blender with 3 cups of water to get a thick sauce. I made a normal bread dough with this addition, in Kiki (my home-bakery).

Surprise : the dough went very high (3 to 4 times the initial volume) and it was VERY sticky and when I tried to take it with a spoon it made bubbles ! I think that’s the effect of the stickiness of the rice.

First experiment : Corn starch coating. It never became a paste, it leaked around.

Second experiment : Joshinko coating. Joshinko is a rice *processed flour* used to make Japanese sweets.

The bread was as you see pink inside, very soft and fluffy. Well perfect toast bread.

The corn starch coating, that looks like plaster. That tastes… not. Nothing. That’s decorative, if you like white…

Joshinko coating gave a tastier crust, but no tiger skin effect. The bun didn’t raise as much as it should.

Well interesting. I’ll make more breads with rice.