The ozone layer of the New Year…

This is a bowl of O-zoni.
First soupe du jour, well soupe de l’an of the year. First lame pun of the year. Yes, Miss 49th, you were right to expect it.

Ozoni is a New-Year soup that is eaten…. half of the year in Kansai. Clearly, when you empty your fridge in a pot of broth, you get one. No, no, I don’t want to break the romantic image. Today’s zoni is the first of 2012. This year’s first time. The maiden soup.

The recipe of ozoni is totally defined by the name. BTW, this year. you are all reading nihongo.
So お雑煮 means literally “da n’importe quoi stew“. And n’importe quoi can be anything. Like here :

Japan having 30 millions of families, I have in my data base 30 millions version the true and unique zoni recipe. Plus one per year, for myself.

The soup is either water or broth (usually fish, many variations) :
-salt
-shoyu soy sauce (many types)
-miso (many types)
-azuki beans
-natto (fermented beans)

Gourmande’s 2012 zoni : duck broth and standard beige miso. I’m not the only crazy ozonist. You can read about curry soup ones on the big internet…

Then, you can put meat, seafood, fish, kamaboko fish cakes, meat bowls… I had tofu.

And veggies. These blue things are kuwai (arrow-heads, read more here), I peeled them. Flower yaki fu (gluten croutons). A ring of negi leeks. Bits of rind of a yuzu for the citrus fragrance.
Carrot.
Also threw in chrysanthemums, wasabi leaves, small green asparagus.

And MOCHI. Unless, you are really poor and no rice is produced in your mountain village, so you use a taro instead. That’s unlikely in 2012.

I cut a mochi and I keep one whole.

The melting mochi…

And lots of surprises… hopefully, 2012 will be as sweet and colorful as this soup.

A tray of ingredients to hot pot… (mini sukiyaki dinner) (via Gourmande in Osaka)

Last year…

A tray of ingredients to hot pot… (mini sukiyaki dinner) Evening is fresher… nothing better than a small informal sukiyaki to warm up the night. Here you have carrots, konnyaku noddles, green leeks, fine slices of lean beef, shiitake mushrooms, "fu" (gluten croutons) shaped in balls and flowers, small brown "enokidake mushrooms" (their name is "yamacha" mountain brown) and a sudachi (forrest fragrant small green lemon) that I don't add into the pot but as a final seasoning for the mushrooms. For the … Read More

via Gourmande in Osaka

Dry soba for rainy season

And now it rains, rains, rains… Soba served *dry*, no sauce, no tsuyu, no soup. And big aka-dashi (red miso soup).

Black hattcho miso soup, mizuna leaves, yaki-fu (gluten croutons), green sansho peppercorn.

There 3 main sorts of miso for soup.
The nearly white one made mostly with rice, it’s “Kyoto miso”. Taste is sweet and creamy.
The common beige one is made with rice, soy, other cereals. Average taste.
The black one is “hattcho miso” (haccho miso) and contains little or no rice to sweeten it. Taste is stronger. It gives a red miso soup called “aka-dashi”.

The soba, topped with myoga (baby ginger), sesame, and seasoned by a little amount of black miso and black vinegar.

Cal 346.3 F2.4g C65.3g P17.7g

Second half of June 2010 : Illustrated Menu

First half of June 2010 : Illustrated Menu

A tray of ingredients to hot pot… (mini sukiyaki dinner)

Evening is fresher… nothing better than a small informal sukiyaki to warm up the night.

Here you have carrots, konnyaku noddles, green leeks, fine slices of lean beef, shiitake mushrooms, “fu” (gluten croutons) shaped in balls and flowers, small brown “enokidake mushrooms” (their name is “yamacha” mountain brown) and a sudachi (forrest fragrant small green lemon) that I don’t add into the pot but as a final seasoning for the mushrooms.

For the sauce ( equal amounts, I used a cup in total)
-light-salt soy sauce,
– sake,
– mirin,
– fish broth (water + fish powder).
Plus some water. I like it much less salty and less sweet than the Japanese average.

Heat a cast iron sukiyaki pot (mine is huge…I took my mini “cocotte en fonte”). Pass a cube of beef grease if you have…I hadn’t, so a little neutral oil was OK. Grill a little piece of meat, add 1/2 of the sauce, let it bubble, slow down and add progressively 1/2 of ingredients.
Serve with hot rice (a random mix here) and wedges of lemon.
Eat.
Then in the rest of sauce, cook the second part of ingredients… If some sauce is left (I talk of a theory I didn’t test…), you can cook noddles or veggies for the next day.

Cal 559 F11.1g C88.8g P24.5g

Torimune chirashi-zushi – Bird sushi

This a very classical example… of a totally invented dish : “the white chicken party sushi ”

Sekihan rice “red-rice” sushi bed (brown rice, azuki beans, rice vinegar, salt, sugar), topped with slow-boiled chicken breast, umeboshi (pickled plum), pickled shiso, wasabi, goma seeds.
The soup is simply the chicken and ginger broth, lots of celery leaves, more slices of ginger and kobana-fu ( flower gluten-croutons).

Cal 533.2 F11.1g C85.3g P36.0g

The “fu” or gluten croutons exist in many shapes and colors, matching the seasons. These are called kobana-fu (small flower croutons).

They expand in the soup :

Umeboshi, the pickled plums owe their pink color to red shiso (perilla). The pickled red shiso is sometimes left in the box, like here. I have used it for my “sushi”.

chirashizushi chirashi-sushi (spreaded over sushi) that I’ve called “party sushi” is convenient for parties, as you can make it as large as you wish, for many guests.
There is always a layer of sushi-meshi (sushi rice). Heat slightly your rice vinegar, add salt and sugar as you wish and pour on rice (still a little hot), mix well while ventilating with a fan to get shiny rice. I have added white sesame to the rice.
Then display toppings.
Raw chicken meat sushi exist, I’m not a big fan. My chicken was boiled slowly with a little ginger, and I’ve let it cool overnight in its broth. You can see grated wasabi, umeboshi, and pickled shiso. Black sesame on the meat.