Sukiyaki, Japanese big dinner

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As Christmas is approaching, I wish you a nice holiday season. So let’s have a sukiyaki party !
It’s a party meal designed to showcase delicious premium Japanese beef and season produce. A hot pot to cook and share on the table.

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The ingredients are cut, cleaned, prepared and presented on big trays on the table.
First tray : fungi, konnyaku noodles and grilled tofu.
There were 4 types of mushrooms : shimeji, enoki, dry and soaked maitake and fresh kikurage.

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Second tray : negi leeks, onions, soaked yakifu (gluten croutons) and kikuna (chrysanthemum greens).

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Third tray : the beef. Wagyu, Japanese traditionally raised cows. Beside you can see cubes of beef fat.

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Each eater is given a bowl with a good fresh egg. Whisk your egg with the chopsticks and get ready to dip you ingredients in this sauce.

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First step : greasing the pot with fat and roasting the first slices. They can be enjoyed this way as the beef is delicious, just on its own.

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That’s the technique : melt some fat, add some meat, pour a little sugar, then a little shoyu (sauce sauce), a little sake. Mix and cook.

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All the other ingredients are added in small batches…

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For dessert… well, there are no desserts for Japanese meal. So that’s a French tarte Tatin, made with Japanese apples.

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Hot purple marron pie

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That’s a Japanese meal. Yes, you can see natto. That’s not the criteria as I’d fusion natto into any cuisine style. Well, I have rice, a soup, okazu dish, sides. The rice is part of the pie, which is a azuki bean and chestnut toasted rice tart, with hidden fire. That’s a long title but that was really yummy.

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These are sorts of hot Habanero hot peppers cultivated in Kyoto and they are hot. Yes, I’m repeating because they are made of fire. I used 2 mm of one and I like my food spicy. I really wish I could use more as they have a really charming flavor.

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The base of the pie is freshly cooked brown rice. I’ve added a little potato starch, a little water, squeezed between 2 molds to shape and toasted with the molds, then without.
The filling is made in the mortar : a little dry garlic, miso, very small bits of hot chili, azuki beans (boiled)…

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And wined chestnuts.

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You could see on the tray a bowl of greens, it’s kikuna, chrysanthemum greens. I have slightly steamed them, just to warm. On the plate, you can see natto, with shiso, ika shiokarai, walnuts. All this is mixed and eaten with the greens. This salad is not plant-based as it contains seafood.

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The rest is salty, I wanted a neutral soup. I’ve put dry mushroom (mix) in lukewarm water with a pinch of sugar, let 30 minutes. Then reheated and added sesame seeds.
Oboro kombu seaweed ribons completes it. It’s on the side :

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As soon as you put the oboro kombu into the soup, it softens and becomes like this.

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Ika to ikashiokara no nimono (calamari with calamari)

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The photos don’t always reveal the truth about the taste but that was particularly delicious today. That’s a simmered seafood dish a little unusual. I have used calamari in two states, fresh and as shiokarai.
Well how can I explain all the poetry of shiokarai seafood on a blog ? You should see it, smell it, try it. It has a very strong fermented iodine flavor. I am not sure most people would like it.

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イカの塩辛ika no shiokarai is the complete name, often shortenened in ikashiokara‎ too. “shiokarai” calamari. Shiokarai means salty, very salty, too salty. So it’s raw calamari, salted and fermented in its brine with its ink. Here is an example of how it is made (click). I buy it if possible, because I tend to fail when I make it… and it’s cheap and sold everywhere in Osaka. Someday we’ll even have vending machines.
The only problem of this food is it’s extremely salty, so you eat it in very small amount, a teaspoon maximum on the side of your meal or on your bowl of rice. That’s why I wanted to add more volume to it.

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A fresh calamar that has released its ink. No problem, I didn’t need it. I simply cleaned and cut it.

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First, I cooked in a little oil, onion, garlic, ginger, the calamari. Then I’ve added 1 tbs of ikashiokara and 2 glasses of white wine (rather sweet, otherwise a little sugar would be welcome).Let simmer and reduce. Added more fresh ginger after 30 minutes.

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It’s ready when the calamari is tender (that takes about 40 minutes). The red color comes naturally.

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Small aubergines, steamed then grilled. No seasoning is needed because they are excellent just grilled and the dish is still very salty.

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A side of kuri gohan (chestnut rice).

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Kikuna chrysanthemum greens and shikwasa island lime to refresh the plate.

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A moon filled of greens

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It’s shaped like a pupusa, but I think normally they are made of corn masa and filled with cheese. So this is a free style re-interpretation, I’ve just taken the shape. It’s very tasty, crispy and filling.

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The filling : miso + sakekasu (sake lees) and a little water to get a cream texture. Then minced onion, garlic and ginger. The greens are stalks of romanesco (diced) and cut kikuna (chrysanthemum greens)
The crust is likely to break a little, so the filling shouldn’t be too liquid.

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The dough is like for tortilla. Today : a mix of white and whole flour, chili flakes, black pepper, a little olive oil, hot water. I didn’t add salt as the filling is very salty already due to the miso. I cooked it in a frying pan without fat.

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Garnished with sauce for okonomiyaki (a veggie Worcester sauce).

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The nicest leaves of kikuna as a side salad with black rice vinegar and sesame oil.

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Then cut and eat while hot.

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Indian green curry as a perk of juicing

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Palak saag, the Indian spinach curry is an excellent way to enjoy your greens. Today, I made it to recycle.

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I had 4 days of this ! The grounds that stay in the filter when I make green juice:

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I had 4 days : 1 of spinach, 1 of kikuna (chrysanthemum leaves) and 2 of komatsuna. A full cup.

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Onion, garlic, ginger, whole spices…

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The grounds and a powder mix for chana masala that contains mango and I find excellent. I also added 1 ts of black sugar.

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That gives that mud. I’ve added silky tofu. On top, a tbs of olive oil, fresh veggies.
Mmmmm….

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Blue fish for blue Japanese lunch

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Today, I’m eating イワシの塩焼き iwashi no shioyaki , salt grilled sardines. It’s a cheap local fish that brings a good amount of healthy fats. And it’s very tasty.

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Simple : clean the fish. Sprinkle a little sea salt. Place on a grill and grill.

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Rice of course.

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Natto, today with mustard and a few flowers.

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A stir-fry of bean sprouts and kikuna greens.

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Miso soup. On the side, it’s oboro kombu, it’s made of seaweeds.

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When you put it in the soup it becomes like that in a few seconds.

It is also used to wrap sushi.

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Well that was another tasty Japanese lunch.

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Caramelised veggies on Thai noodles

You’re in fusion-city. Noodle-mania ward. Abebia street, near Natto square.

Thai rice noodles, seasoned with nam pla fish sauce, a little black sugar, coriander leaves (frozen), chili… finished with a little Chinese black vinegar and sesame oil.

The carrots and akebi were pan fried together and caramelised a little (it’s not burnt, it’s sweet).



Natto
, a scrambled egg, steamed shungiku leaves.

Lunch tray to eat on the balcony.