Hokkaido red peas

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赤えんどう豆 aka endo mame. Red peas, from Hokkaido.
I’ve found these in a depachika. It’s the under-ground flour of a department store where there are many specialty shops of food, ready to eat, fresh and ingredients. I had never used these peas.

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After soaking a few hours.

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And boiling 45 minutes. I could then use them for 3 dishes.

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Japanese style : reheated on low heat, 15 minutes, with enough broth to cover, a piece of kombu seaweed, soy sauce and kurozato black sugar. Let cool. They can be kept about a week in the fridge and served as side dish for Japanese meals.

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Aka endo mame okayu (more here)

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Indian-Japanese fusion style : stir-fried with onion, garlic, ginger and chana dal massala powder. Plus a few shishito peppers.


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Served on reheated shirataki noodles.

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Willow leaf fish

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Komochi shishamo. Shishamo smelts with their kids. The body is full of roes.

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柳葉魚shishamo means literally “willow leaf fish”. That’s when they hang them for drying after salting that the image takes its sense. An Ainu legend says a man was complaining near the river that his daughter was suffering from hunger, and the water’s Gods heard him. They grabbed the branch of a willow, so a few leaves fell into the water and transformed themselves in fish.

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I simply grilled them.

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Konnyaku sashimi, with sweet chili sauce and sesame. Goya around.

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Myoga. Other sides are mesclun salad and grated daikon radish.

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Ume by Botticelli. Rain plums in a shell.

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This shellfish looks beautiful and make beautiful dishes. Hotate (scallops) from Hokkaido. I’ve associated them with ume, the sour green plums of rainy season

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Well, they were very full. I discard the black part, clean well and keep the strings and bits for a soup.
I just cut the “nut” , painted with olive oil and grilled.

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Served with ume pesto :

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Paste a raw ume plum, fresh oregano, roast sesame seed, a little salt. Add olive oil and cane sugar.

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Then enjoy a sip of broth. Mmmmm…

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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.

Cassoulet de la mer. Fish and beans.


Diet today ! This is the “fasting day” cassoulet. Oh, I can explain :
Cassoulet du vendredi

The dose of tomato was generous.

After a long while, these white beans get soft…

3 types of fish. Raw cod fish. Slightly salted salmon…

… and shishamo (Hokkaido eperlan) that are also salted and with eggs inside.

The fish and beans layered in the big cassoule (cassoulet pot)

Hot from the oven…

Shishamo en Provence

These very Japanese fish are prepared like in Provence, in a flat skillet, with olive oil, garlic, herbs.

Shishamo, those small Hokkaido smelts. This preparation changes from :

classic baked shishamo

They contain eggs. So they are called komochi shishamo. I buy them salted and half-dry.

Fava beans, with slices of garlic, also pan-fried in olive oil.

A few leaves : a handful of fresh basil and a steamed bok choy.

Komochi shishamo, fertile Hokkaido fish

Shishamo, the little Hokkaido smelts were a stapple of Ainu people. They are now a popular item of izakaya restaurants.

They are slightly salted and hung by the mouth to dry. We buy them like that, semi-dry.

About a dozen per link.

At home, I put a grill on a dish, the fish on it. I roast them 2-3 minutes each side under the grill (broiler). Then serve hot…
Izakaya and bars grill them on braseros. They can be cooked on any type of barbecue quickly.

Oh, it’s full of eggs… komochi means “having kids”. The kid-less shishamo are sold cheaper.

The full meal is next post (here).