Random soup

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A soup made of all the leftovers :
-purple sweet potato
-cod fish
-jelly fish (preserved in salt, soaked)
-chick peas
-capers
-onion
-red wine
Simmer, then add Kintoki red carrot and turmeric.

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And it’s… delicious indeed.

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Steamed kabocha with sesame oil and sesame seeds.

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Steamed okra and sudachi lime.

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A yummy Winter lunch.

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Sashimi lunch

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A classic Japanese meal around a dish of sashimi. I prepared the sides.

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Steamed kabocha pumpkin and ninniku no me garlic stalks. With soy sauce.

**I simply place the veggies in a steaming basket on top of a boiling water pot, or in the steaming mode of the microwave. Thin kabocha slices take 8 to 10 minutes. Garlic stalks only need 3 o 4 minutes to be at my taste. I add sesame seeds and soy sauce when I serve them.

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The sashimi : ika (calamari), buri (yellow tail) and ama ebi (nordic shrimps).

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An umeboshi (salted plum).

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Tofu with oboro kombu (seaweed), seasoned with the soy sauce left after the sashimi dipping.

**How to choose or make tofu.

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The miso soup with hijiki seaweed, shimeji mushrooms and kintoki red carrots.

Making miso soup

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Add rice. That’s a complete Japanese menu.

**Cooking Japanese rice

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Bochan kabocha cocotte eggs and Autumn turmeric side

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Oeufs cocotte are French baked eggs. They are baked in a dish that is called in French, guess what ? A ramequin, a bol, etc. It’s never called a cocotte. Because a cocotte, it’s hen, it’s a woman sometimes, well in the kitchen, it’s a big stew pot. So baking eggs in that over-sized pot, that’s like quail eggs inside a pumpkin. Well, today exceptionally we’ll do that.

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Botchan kabocha (little boy pumpkin) is the smaller Japanese pumpkin. It’s perfect to make individual stuffed pumpkin dishes. For instance :

okowa sticky rice kabocha

Thai steamed custard

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Open and empty the kabocha, steam it till the flesh is soft. Fill with quail eggs and a mix of soy milk, argan oil, salt and pepper. Bake till the egg whites are stuck and the yolks still soft.

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Served with toasted home-made whole-wheat bread.

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Turmeric. In Japan, they cultivate a few types. Autumn turmeric is the most common. Spring turmeric (in English “wild turmeric” ) is the second most common. This plant is believed to have great medicinal properties.
This one is only a little bitter, perfect for cooking.

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Stir-fried gently a few slices of turmeric and of dry apricot. On low heat, added in daikon radish leaves, stirring till they get wilted. Added salt, walnuts and chrysanthemum flower.

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A nice Autumn brunch.

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Rice-lentils and baked spicy azuki lunch

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Another nutritious and delicious plant-based lunch, doubly boosted in plant proteins with two types of pulses : beans and lentils. And a dynamic salad.
That’s ready very quickly if you plan a little. As faithful readers know, I cook beans in big batches and freeze in small portions, in muffin molds. Then you have to think about soaking the rice and lentils the night before (you can do without in case you forgot, but that’s better to do it right most of the time).

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Azuki beans (boiled, I had them frozen), with gochujang and kimchi, two Korean products. I mixed, covered with bread crumbs.

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Baked and sprinkled a little fragrant sesame oil and chili flakes on top.

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Brown rice and lentils, soaked overnight and cooked in the rice-cooker together.

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I stir-fried an onion, a little garlic, ginger slices, added the rice, turmeric, a little garam masala spice mix.

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Kabocha salad made in last post.

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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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Fish, pumpkin and cornichon soup

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A colorful fish soup that makes a whole meal. Freely inspired by Slavic gherkin soups. It’s quick and easy.

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Suguna kabocha pumpkin. I boiled the pieces in water till soft.

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The head of tai (sea bream). Fish head is cheap, flavorful and there is plenty to eat. It’s ideal for a soup.

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Cornichons à l’estragon.
Gherkins with tarragon. I made when ? Last May :


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I thinly sliced them.

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Put the fish in the pot, add half of the gherkins, the kabocha and cooking broth. Simmer 20 minutes.

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Near the end, take out 1/2 cup of broth, add cream, salt, pepper, fresh thyme, the rest of pickles. On the table, mix into the soup, put back the lid and wait a few minutes.

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Serve with croutons.

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Open and enjoy while it’s hot.

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