Tai no kabuto-ni. A helmet of sea bream.

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A Japanese meal with tai no kabuto ni as a main.
Yes, kabuto means helmet, and the resemblance is clear. Well think about those samurai helmets that everybody wears to ride a bicycle in Japan… er, no, but that’s this type with 2 ear flaps :

kabuto source :blog from the place where they make them (click here) . Visit the page for more details. They are display models for Little Boy Festival in May.

コラージュ

That’s an economical dish as they sell fish heads cheaply. And they sell them ready for this dish. I mean the scales are grated (roughly), and it is split in two. Well veggie readers (I doubt you’re still here) sorry for the view. But for us that eat animals, it’s better to avoid wastes. That said I would eat fish heads anyway. Because there is a lot of flesh in it, and it is of finer texture and tastier.

Recipe :

-Rinse the fish. What you can do is put it on a grill and pour boiling water on it, just once. It makes the fish white and the scales very easy to notice, so you can finish the fismonger’s work. For myself I don’t care if I have scales in my plate, anyway, you need to pick the bones and bits.
-Then it’s a classic nitsuke sauce 1:1:1 , sake, mirin, shoyu soy sauce. And a small piece of kombu seaweed. Put these in a pan with a little water, bring slowly to a boil.
Add the fish. Make a foil cover. Pass to moderate heat. Cook about 15 minutes.

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The veggies are steamed separately. Here 2 colors of carrots. And I had frozen garlic stalks. Let’s get the sides :

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I had kintoki red beans, and kimchi ready.

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A grated veggie salad. A soup, a drink-soup. It’s really water, veggies and black pepper. No salt as there is enough for the meal.

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Genmai, brown rice.

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A la recherche du pain perdu. A Frenchy’s take on French toast


Pain perdu means lost bread. It’s about recycling stale bread. It’s poor people’s food. End of the month family meals.

But the world is getting so snob. People go to restaurants to have lost bread.So they eat what when they are at home ?

There are discussion about another overrated American food chain (pleonasm) that opened recently an ambitious (pretentious) breakfast joint in Shinjuku, Tokyo’s business district. The story is they ask 1200 to 1400 yen just for French toasts… that are totally ordinary. Usually, you’d get that for 350 yen. So what’s special ?
And some idiots have paid to go and check that only the price was special. Bravo ! Their reviews are fun to read.

Shokupan, Japanese bread. It’s very industrial stuff. It was on sale, stale. Perfect. A slice = 10 yen.

An egg, a little cream and a little vanilla sugar. Plus 10 yen.

Cooked.

After making this cake, I scrapped the pan of dried ganache with a wooden spoon.

Took out the home-made spicy marmelade and some fresh mikan mandarin oranges (click here).

Let’s enjoy all that with a coffee.
You’d love that for 1400 yen ? I want to open an overrated shop, me too…

Lackered

Little fun party today : Peking duck.
Am I fooling you ? I wish it was it, but well…
Correction :
Pekinfied duck skins
But that did it for me. That was delicious.

And that’s really recycling, rock bottom level budget cooking. I kept skins in the freezer when I used duck breasts in other recipes.

Made them sweat their fat with star anise to flavor. Discarded fat.

Added soy sauce, spices and sugar. Discarded the fat.

Dried excess fat with kitchen towel. Grilled them on slow heat in oven-toaster.

Lackered skins.

Sauce made with dochi, banana, chili pepper, oil.
I served with negi leaks, cucumbers and some fresh steamed crepes.

Take a crepe, fill, roll… Verdict : hao chi le !


Dissection of a Summer kabocha, no waste

Kabocha, the sweet Japanese pumpkin are ripe in this season. There are several types. This one is the very common Nankin. So buy one, and have fun.

Everything is edible : flesh, rind and seeds.

It can be sliced and cooked very simply.

with soba (poached)
roast (chick sand)

Purée is very easy to make, just steam and mash with a fork. It’s very versatile :

New dishes 2012-13 :

spicy savory pumpkin tart

pumpkin potato samosa

raw pumpkin pie

pumpkin bread and waffle

kabocha pizza

kabocha biryani

Holiday spicy kabocha potage

Summer kabocha stir-fry, Indian style

kabocha chilled creamy soup

kabocha egg rolls

kabocha salad
millas (cake)
chana dal chilled soup
kabocha yokan (Japanese sweet)

The grated raw flesh of the fresh Summer Nankin kabocha is excellent too.

August veg’
color slaw
shred veggies

Often, you have cooked skin unused because it would have messed the orange color of the dish. It is excellent, use it.

miso soup
salad with fried tofu
mabo tofu

One kabocha is filled with a good cup of seeds. Take them, rinse and grill in the oven-toaster or in a skillet.

grilled
opened with the teeth
the green seed, to enjoy with a little salt

Do you need more ideas to cook a pumpkin :
Compil’ for Cinderella

Happy rice to empty the fridge

A healthy stir-fry with left-overs of germinated rice :

hatsuga genmai

taasai greens
coleslaw (without sauce)
feet of enoki mushrooms

Fresh jelly ear mushrooms. That’s not a left-over. I bought them on purpose. They have little taste but a refreshing crunchiness.

Stir-fried with garlic, ginger and oyster sauce.

Save my skin !

Steamed kabocha skin. All that !
Throw away ? No way !
It is edible, super healthy. Even better, it’s very tasty.

I’ve used a lot of kabocha pumpkin flesh. I took away the green skin as the color is not so bright.

The skin is cut and sprinkled with lemon juice. Let overnight in the fridge.

With lettuce, cucumber and fried tofu.

DIY fried tofu