Aka kabu tsukemono, red turnip

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A quick veggie side for Japanese meals.

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You already saw this red Kyoto turnip. I used one there. The other, I cleaned well, sliced the root, picked the leaves.

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In salted water. I keep it covered, in the fridge. Good from the next day, for a few days.

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After 3 days, the leaves.

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The root.

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Poulet de rôtisserie (using a brine)

There are now some rôtisseries all over in Japan and they make the grilled chicken, but this time I’ve made mine.

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Audax of Audax Artifax was our November 2012 Daring Cooks’ challenge‘s host. Audax has brought us into the world of brining and roasting, where we brined meat and vegetables and roasted them afterwards for a delicious meal!

Go to see the site for many detailed recipes.
I’ve also made roasted veggies :
roasted oyaimo (soon)

I’ve used pieces. Whole chickens are not sold commonly here. Well, they exist, but I’d have to go and get one in a department store in city center. And well, that’s a lot for me.

The flavors are olive oil and honey.

One hour in a honey brine, one hour drying then grilling in the oven-toaster… I turned them by hand, regularly.

Et Voilà !

They are grilled and golden on all size, the meat is firm and juicy. Perfect.

Then veggies sides :

Steamed green peas with shiso.

Red skin yellow potatoes for a rustic mash.

Then a little salad.

Japanese New-Year count down (-7)

Let’s continue our walk to the Japanese New Year meal…
Preparing fish eggs.

Osechi symbolic meaning :

kazu no ko, means “babies in numbers…” , lots of babies, incredible fertility. A natural wish for the next year. Other eggs and fish roe/eggs are eaten as osechi, but this one is said to be the “most fertile” type of fish.

I used a wet kombu seaweed sheet to place them in the lacquer box….

Read more.

Quail eggs in brine

I tried to make brine salted eggs. You can see the recipe at the end. It’s an old way to preserve duck eggs in the Philippines. And now that the preservation is no longer necessary, they do it for the taste and texture.
I’m a small player, so I’ve used quail eggs.

They were a necessary ingredient for :

the bibingka (click here)

After 2 weeks in the jar, they became yellow outside.

When I prepared the brine, I simmered it, but the salt didn’t want to dissolve. It’s still here with the Sichuan peppercorns. That was smelling bad, the hot brine. I worried about the result.

But no problem ! I boiled the eggs… and they were delicious. Nicely spiced and salted.

The texture differs. The yellow is slightly creamy. And the white too. I’m not so clumsy to the point I can’t peel boiled eggs properly… I mean I’d have done one neat for the photo. It’s not smooth because the egg is not normally hardened, surely due to the picking.

Great ! I’ll make more.

(recipe from DB challenge)

Salted Eggs

Ingredients
1 part salt
4 parts water
sichuan pepper corns
1 tablespoon brandy or whiskey
Eggs, duck or chicken (duck is traditional)

Directions:

1. Boil all ingredients except eggs on the stove until the salt is dissolved. Let the liquid cool.
2. Place eggs in a clean mason jar, pour in the salt water, seal.
3. Place in your pantry for 2-3 weeks. To check if they are done, remove an egg, cook it, and taste it. You may decide that the rest of the eggs need a few more days.

Osechi 1 : kazu no ko

Maybe you have already seen that on your sushi.

“Produce of Alaska” is written on the label. Japan has some, but not enough for everybody in this season, and I don’t think Americans would eat them anyway. They are eggs of Pacific herring.

Osechi symbolic meaning :

kazu no ko, means “babies in numbers…” , lots of babies, incredible fertility. A natural wish for the next year. Other eggs and fish roe/eggs are eaten as osechi, but this one is said to be the “most fertile” type of fish.

Here they are raw and unprepared. They also sell them ready to eat.

Preparation in sake brine :

It’s quite similar to the preparation of ikura (salmon roe/eggs) and other species.

Place the pockets of eggs in salted cold water. After about 20 minutes :

Post-scriptum : It seems the pockets we buy are salted for preservation. So a Japanese reader explained me I need a longer unsalting time. I had to soak the fish in “slightly salted” water, and change the water a few times. The final result would have been less salty.

You can see the white skin. I scraped it away gently with a table knife -the kind that doesn’t cut. Then I rinsed them in fresh water.

My brine was made of 1 cup of sake, 1/4 cup of nama shoyu (soy sauce), and 2 cups of kombu dashi (seaweed broth). I brought it to a boil and poured on the fish.

Kombu dashi seaweed broth : I put a few leaves of dry kombu seaweed in water, brought to a boil and let a few hours.

I’ve let it 12 hours. Then I was disappointed, as that was too salty when I placed them in the box. But the next day, that was better and taste of sake less dominant, more refined. It is salty food anyway. Serve small amounts with less salty item on the side. With this recipe, they can be kept a few days in the fridge.

I used a wet kombu seaweed sheet to place them in the lacquer box.

On the guest plate with other osechi items (my brunch today) :

They are not only served at New Year, but they are less common in other times. They can be a sushi topping. Or separated eggs are mixed to seaweed salad, or to calamari sashimi.

Osechi ryori compilation