Champilège final : genmai ‘shroom risotto

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Let’s make a creamy brown rice risotto. You need a little more time, but at some point, the broth thickens just as much as with white rice.

That’s the last dish made with this basket of assorted mushrooms :
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The series :
Champilège 1 : Paris in salad.
Champilège 2 : shiitake in amuse-gueule
Champilège 3 : awabitake, bunapi, in pie soup
Champilège 4 : maitake, eringi, in quiche

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shiitake,awabitake, bunapi, champignon de Paris, maitake, eringi…

I had a few of each left, plus a few feet :

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Minced the feet, red onion, lots of garlic…

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New crop rice of this year. Tsuyahime, Princess Tsuya.
From Yamagata Prefecture, well the only problem is it’s a bit close to Fukushima. It’s a cultivar close to Koshihikari.
That’s a good risotto rice.

2013-10-28

That’s a Japanese risotto. A fusion if you prefer. I’ve used kombu seaweed to make dashi stock. There is wine. The main seasoning is miso. Salt, pepper, olive oil, and thyme on the top :

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One more kuri gohan (chestnut rice)

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Kuri gohan is one of the many classic Japanese rices, and well there are different versions.

Kuri is Japanese chestnut, slightly different from the European one (see here).
Sometimes it’s called gohan, as it’s standard rice. Other times, it’s okowa, which means it’s steamed sticky rice.

yaki kuri gohan (grilled)

kuri okowa

A more common style (from a commercial site I am not related to, I just needed to borrow a photo for a while) :
kuri source
That’s white rice cooked with chestnuts in syrup. That’s more like a dessert version. I like it too that’s I also… no, I’ve never cooked it so far. I eat it with pleasure when it’s served but I always end up with a grilled version.

The list is open… Add your oen version.

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This time, it’s yaki (grilled), of course.

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I have soaked the rice (half brown, half white) in water 24 hours, then added the grilled chestnuts with their inner skin, a glass of white wine, a dry chili pepper and a pinch of salt, and let one more night. Before starting the rice cooker, I’ve added goji berries.

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Moonlight fish and sky bean rice : shio-yaki saba and sora-mame gohan

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The moon is announcing rain ?
Let’s grill moon colored fish…
Soramame (sky bean) is the Japanese name of broad beans (favas).

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In the rice cooker : soaked rice, a 1 tbs of mirin and the skins of the beans. So the rice is nicely flavored. Then I take away the skins and replaces with the green inside, add a pinch of salt, and let a few minutes in the steam.
My rice looks… dirty ? Well, it’s not white, it’s polished germinated rice, a healthier version of white rice.

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The flavor + the color !

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Shio-yaki is so simple : salt and grill. It’s saba (mackerel) and its precious healthy omega.

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Of course, 2 items for a Japanese dinner, that would be too sad.
The rest of the menu is in next post.

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Royal elegance of a simple radicchio risotto.

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My version of the beautiful and tasty Italian dish. Only rice and veggies, another weekday lunch.
Actually that was delicious and so luxurious that I regretted having it for a casual lunch. I mean, for a rice like that, you should throw a party, a royal wedding or something like that.

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I had a radicchio (Trevise salad) waiting to be cooked. Why not a risotto ? I have cut the leaves in thin ribbons, and mixed them with good Japanese rice (polished hatsuga mai germinated rice).

I made a few risotti before with step-by-step photos

risotto compil’

2013-04-25

I use my rice-cooker pot on the stove, then I can put it back mid-way into the cooker and use the stay-warm function.
Olive oil, garlic, a few red raisins, red wine and a broth of (edible) beer yeast and salt. Flavored with thyme.

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The velvety rice !

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A piccata of parsley, olive oil, lemon zest and a few spices.

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Toasted almond slices.

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Perfect Japanese rice in your cast iron pot

Rice is a food you can completely waste if you don’t cook it properly. It can become a lump, stay like raw starch, half-lump and half-starch. It can taste watery. Or you can get it just great : fluffy, each grain cooked at the same level, neither hard nor smashed, and full of its flavors.

It is not particularly difficult.
To obtain perfectly cooked rice like in the good Asian restaurants, you don’t need a rice-cooker. This method works with any type of stoves (or campfire) and a cast-iron pot.

EXPLANATION :

That takes about 50 minutes, but you will be busy less 5~10 minutes.
The first time, stay around all the time, observe everything. Write memos. You may have to slightly adjust the time and heat as conditions very from kitchen to kitchen. But after that will become automatic. I know “step 1” takes 3 minutes on my stove, just the time to drink my coffee. Then I set the stove timer on 8 minutes and I come back half an hour later.

It is important to wash your rice not only to get rid of the excess of starch (and coating additives in certain countries) but also to wet it. You can see on the photo below that after washing, the rice is already a little more voluminous than when it was dry.

Rice cooks in 25 minutes (or more), but this is not a continuous process :
Step 1 : reaching the heat, getting fully wet.
Step 2 : cooking while absorbing the water.
Step 3 : cooking while absorbing the steam.
Salt would prevent the water from properly wetting the grain. Don’t add any.

That also works with a thick terracotta stove-top pot, of a very thick steel pot like a pressure-cooker. These thick pot have the property of retaining the heat for a long time.
IMPORTANT : SIZE MATTERS.
Look at this photo. In this pot, I can cook from 1 to 2 cups of rice. Roughly the dry rice should be from 1/5th to 2/5th of the volume of your pot.
More rice, it would overflow.
Less rice, there wouldn’t be enough concentration of steam.

This is a Japanese rice cup : 180 milliliter. That doesn’t matter if you use a different measuring cup. Measure the dry rice and the water with the same cup.
So let’s go :

******** RECIPE **********

MEASURE THE DRY RICE :

WASHING AND WETTING THE RICE :

Easy technique :

-Place a vegetable colander in a salad bowl. Put your measured dry rice and plenty of water.
-With your hand, rub the rice over the walls of the colander during 2 minutes. Don’t be lazy, do that with energy. The water will become white like milk. Discard water, rinse. -Repeat 1 or 2 times.
-Then you should get clear water.
-Take away the bowl, and let rest 5 minutes (or more).

Transfer the rice into the pot. Add 1 cup plus 20% of of a cup of water. For “sushi rice”, as you will add more liquid later, you need 1 cup plus 10% of cup. The water is cold or room temperature.
Do NOT add salt now.

COOKING :



Put the lid on your pot.
STEP 1 :
Place it on the stove, on high heat (start medium if it’s a terracotta pot). After 2~3 minutes, check the lid with your finger. When it gets very hot, you know the steam is filling the pot. Pass to step 2.
STEP 2 :
Pass on low heat. Start a timer for 8 minutes. Then cut the heat. Do NOT open the lid.
STEP 3 :
Let the rice absorb the heat during about 20 minutes (12 is a minimum).


After step 2, the rice should have absorbed the water. The first time, check briefly. If some water is left, cook 2 minutes more, check again… The next times, you’ll know it takes a little longer in your kitchen.
When you check, do it very quickly, then shut back the lid and put 30 seconds more on heat to recreate some steam for “step 3”.

Perfectly cooked rice.
You can salt it now if you want.

For a few more tips click here (I’ll post this soon)

Nuka Rice Bran (via Gourmande in Osaka)

Last year

Nuka Rice Bran Nuka is the Japanese term for rice bran. The Japanese people that particularly care for their rice buy it from a producer, in a rice shop where they display several sorts of brown rice. Then, they pass it in a polishing mill and they obtain rice that is more or less polished (you choose the degree). Certain families even have a polishing mill at home. And the bran ? It's gomi (garbage). Sometimes, it serves to flavor the water while boiling bambo … Read More

via Gourmande in Osaka

Mabo Tofu, azuki variation

I replaced the meat by azuki beans in the classic tofu dish. That makes a purely plant based meal.

You can see the beans between big chunks of onions. Lots of garlic, ginger… even more grated ginger on top of the plate.
My genmai (brown rice) looks fluffier than usual. It’s because it’s Milky Queen rice that I have now. It’s the first time I see it in brown rice version. I should write a post about the different Japanese rices. I usually prefer Akita-Komachi and Koshi-Hikari, both type cultivated in the North of Honshu island. They are the “hardest”, the most “al dente” you can find among Japanese rices. It’s like Arborio and Carnaroli. The comparion makes sense. Arborio is a “Japanese rice” brought to Italy, and if you can’t get Japanese rice for sushi, it’s a good substitute.
The Milky Queen is a new one, that has been put on the market maybe 10 yrs ago. I bought it white only one, and I found it extremely soft. Way too “mushy” for me, but I guess that’s the taste of many toothless aged Japanese. In brown version, on the contrary, it’s very pleasant, light and textured.

Hakusai, Chinese napa cabbage, in “instant pickle” with yuzu juice and peel.

A basic recipe of mabo tofu

(the meal, with 1 serving of rice)
Cal 530.5 F17.4g C77.9g P27.2g