Autumn leaf daigaku imo

DSC01269-001DSC01247-001

大学芋 Daigaku imo, literally “the university’s potato”, is a street stall sweet. It’s certainly of Chinese origin, but theses sticky potatoes have become part of the furniture in Japan. Osaka has a famous shop that makes some special ones, dipped in crack maybe, as you can’t stop if you start eaten one. I don’t know their secret. Maybe there is none. You take good satsuma imo (Japanese sweet potato), you fry them and coat in a syrup.
And the results depends on the quality of your ingredients and how you master the process.

DSC01229-001
DSC01232-001

Flat and small is easier, so I cut shapes of 5 mm of thickness.

DSC01233-001

I cook them in 3 steps : steaming till they are half-cooked, then I stir-fry them at 160 degrees C till they soften. I put them aside and bring the oil at 180 degrees, to cook them a little more and get crispiness. I put on oil absorbing paper 2 minutes.

DSC01235-001

Syrup : 1 tbs of sugar + 1 tbs of honey or mizuame (glucose jelly) + 2 tbs of water. Simmer till it starts getting thicker. Add a few drops of fragrant sesame oil. Pass the freshly fried potatoes (still hot) in this hot syrup.
Decorate with black sesame.

NB : I fry them in normal neutral frying oil, not the dark sesame oil for seasoning. It’s possible to fry in sesame oil but only if you have a different white frying sesame oil.

DSC01265-001

They have to be soft inside crispy around. They are better if you eat them warm, just after making them.

DSC01239-001

DSC01262-001

Red light delight : lampion apple

Chinese New Year is next week. If you are looking for decoration ideas, here is a baked apple cut like a paper lantern.

lampionsource

The idea came when I saw Angela from the blog OhSheGlows had problems with hasselback apples. The concept looked great, but baked apples become softer when they are well cooked, and if they are not well cooked, that’s not great.
To prevent the slices from falling, I’ve used the dish as a support and I’ve cut vertically.

I was always told that you had apples to bake and apples to munch. Usually the old ones are the best for baking as they have lost a lot of water. This one has not got botox. Then I’ve cheated as I steamed the apple first, to be sure it was evenly cooked. On top, I’ve poured honey (a syrup could work) and a little almond oil. I’ve painted it all over with the oil. Then I roasted it in the oven-toaster, 10 minutes. Put more oil and honey, roasted again 10 minutes.

Baked.

I’ve toasted the crispy topping separately : oats, kurozato black sugar and sesame.

Well that’s a kind of apple crisp, with a sweet almond flavor. The shape is funny.

Poulet frites, a basic French meal

There are people that eat always the same things in France too. The poulet-frite people are many. Roasted chicken and fries. Most chicken love it. Grown-up kids too. So me too !

Honey chicken (recipe here) flavored with fresh thyme and laurel, fresh from a friend’s garden.

Golden and sweet.

Home-made fries are the best.

Golden and crispy.

Mesclun (baby leaves) with a tarragon vinaigrette. So we’ve eaten our greens.

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.

logo

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.

Purple hana mame, sweet giant beans


That’s the season for new dry beans. So here are the first hanamame (flower beans ) of the season.

They are that big. They need long soaking time in spite of freshness.

After 24 hours.

Boiled till they get tender.

Then I soaked them one night in a syrup (honey plus a litte mirin and soy sauce). And I get those delicious dessert beans.

Like a strawberry daifuku

That takes 5 minutes to make this delight.

Azuki beans, boiled. Plus honey (or syrup).

Tsubuan.

Wrapped in mochi (sticky rice paste).

ichigo daifuku

Wagashi Saga : Photo-menu of all Japanese sweet posts, and recipe posts.