Black natto brunch

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Tororo on my bowl of natto

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A nagaimo, a long yamaimo or Japanese yam. Naga means long. We often buy only a cut, but the root is 60 cm long or more.

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Grated. Tororo tuto.

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Like an apple or an avocado, grated yamaimo tends to oxidate and darken in color. Or not, and that’s not previsible. But that was the case with this one so I’ve added juice of sudachi lime to keep it relatively creamy in color. That’s also a nice flavor addition.

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Black natto (fermented soy beans). It’s often paired with grated wasabi.

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Natto with rice is a regular breakfast item in Japan. So just that with tororo and green tea. A nice simple brunch.

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Tofu lasagna and farm fruits

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Not the Italian lasagne. 豆腐ラザニア tofu rasaniya It’s a Japanese comfort dish. Not an homonym, it’s really inspired by the pasta dish but without the pasta. You are left with very soft tofu in Italian style sauces. Warm and tender. It’s usually served with rice.

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Fruits like those you pick in the backyard. I went to the countryside. I have some from a farm, others from farmer’s market. They are the fruits you can see in local woods right now, kaki persimmons, mikan oranges, yuzu citrus. You can see two types of kaki, some rounds and some ogive ones. The latter may be shibui (tart) and the farm lady said we should guess… A bit of branch is left and if they are tart, we can do that.

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That’s a quickly thrown casual meal. I had tomato sauce, silky tofu and these blanched veggies : bell peppers and ninniku no me (garlic stalks).

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For the cheezy sauce as usual sake kasu, miso and this time the oil was sesame oil. I have added grated ukon (turmeric).

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Alternate and bake. I topped with toasted bread crumbs.

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Genmai, brown rice. I was given good farm rice too.

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Serve very hot. Mmmm…

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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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Mini pumpkin patch and crunchy kabocha salad

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I have a little collection of mini-pumpkin. So I made a kabocha sarada, a pumpkin salad. That’s a healthier alternative to potato salad.
It’s the ideal way to get a refill of vitamins in the darker season.

First, this is my basket :

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4 minis. There don’t all have names. Well all pumpkins are called kabocha in Japanese.

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A baby butternut.

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The smallest is called a botchan kabocha. Botchan, it’s the last youngest son of a family, the spoiled brat.

If you want ideas to use pumpkins, browse :
my pinterest selection
and
Dissection of a Summer kabocha, no waste
and
Cinderella gourmande, recipes of golden carriage
and
kabocha keyword

So take any sweet pumpkin, steam it and take the flesh. Add the white part of negi leeks, a small onion thinly sliced, a little fresh ginger thinly minced. Season with salt and pepper. Mix well.

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Add the juice and grated zest of 2 sudachi limes.

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Renkon, lotus root. I buy them already peeled, sliced, cleaned and blanched, but you can do it yourself

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Small cucumbers, cut in sticks. Add the cucumber and lotus into the kabocha mix. You may need to add water. Cover and let a few hours in the fridge.

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The next day, flavors have mixed harmoniously.

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I eat it over 2 or 3 days as a side dish, or as an item to fill a lunch box.

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Warm mushroom soba soup

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The weather is getting a little chilly. The time of warm soup is back. The official season of sake kasu is open, even if I didn’t wait.

Asian cuisines are very careful about seasons of dishes. You’ll say that’s everywhere that wise people try to eat season produce. True, but they have kept a concern that was important in European Medieval cuisines and has since been neglected, which is the effect of food, whether they are cooling or warming. So these are two food said to be “warming” :

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Sake kasu (sake lees). The soup made with it, kasujiru, is present all along the cold season in Kansai.

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Buckwheat, here in soba noodles. It’s also seen in sobagaki.

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I soaked a good handful of mixed dry mushrooms, then added onion, frozen and thawed tofu, garlic, soy sauce. Simmered.

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For the sides, I’ve steamed kabocha and reheated hana mame (flower beans) with soy sauce and a little sugar.

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I’ve added the soba and sake kasu in the soup, more soy sauce to make it saltier.

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And to spice it up a tonic mix : diced ginger, garlic, negi leeks, and chili pepper. Just mixed in, reheated and served.

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Kimchi in the kabocha.

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A flower on the beans. Lunch is ready.

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