A lunch of seven sides, with triple kinpira

Ooops, I forgot to make a main dish for that Japanese lunch. That really doesn’t matter actually. What I love in Asian cuisines is the abundance of small side dishes.
That doesn’t take hours to prepare. I didn’t even need the whole 25 minutes the rice needed to be done in the rice-cooker.
I found 2 ways to make it quicker :
Tip 1 : make some for several meals, store left-overs (fridge, freezer) and rotate
Tip 2 : use the most efficient tool. I used those cheap graters for the daikon, the carrot, the ginger and the lotus root. I used scissor for slicing dry chilis. The set is hanging over my sink, I use, brush and rinse and hang again. Another day, knife may be faster, for small quantities it is not as you need to clean it and the board so many times.
Tip 3 : make variations of one dish. The same frying pan served for carrots, lotus roots, then fish bait.

Today, 3 variations of kinpira. It’s way to prepare vegetables. They are sliced, julienned or at least cut in small bits. Then stir-fry them a few minutes, pass on low heat, add a little water, a little soy sauce, simmer a little.
Average preparation time : 5 minutes.
Variations :

With kintoki ninjin, Kintoki carrot, the red Japanese carrot.

It’s ninjin no kinpira. No fuss. The carrots are sweet and tasty.

With renkon (lotus root).

It’s renkon no kinpira. Sir-fried with sliced dry hot chili.

With seaweeds, it’s hijiki no kinpira. A little sugar was needed in the water. I had made it the other day.
I only added a few drops of fragrant sesame oil, a few sesame seeds.

A white miso soup, with a dry shiitake mushroom and the unused bits of daikon and of spinach (stalks).

Koshihikari genmai, brown rice. I like it a little al dente.

Shirasu (white bait, salted) reheated with ginger, on spinach salad.

A serving of natto (fermented soy beans), with grated daikon radish and a few points of wasabi.

That was a delicious meal.

Cal :471.0 F16.6g C66.1g P25.3g

21th century potaye – La potaye du 21e siècle

La potée lorraine is a very famous as a dish. From the past…
Potée should be written “potaye” in old Lorraine language (that is now spoken in Heaven and Hell, exclusively). I still say potay’. It means “pot stew”.

Well, pottery pots were the thing in Middle-Age, later cast iron was more popular… but it doesn’t go in the micro-wave. So we’re back to origines.

That was a ton of over-boiled cabbage, Winter veggies, beans to make it nutritive and very little amounts of bacon, sausages, salted meats…in my grand-parents’ youth. Now you will be served little to no beans, and tons of the meat in the folkloric version, as they know their veggies are not good they stuff you with the salted meats. At that point, you’ve got that I didn’t enjoy the original version. So it’s largely updated.

Kintoki carrots. Yes, they are really red. They were cooked in water with Hokkaido potatoes and white beans (that I had cooked before and kept frozen). 1/2 clove, laurel, pepper. A few minutes in the micro-wave.
If you don’t invite me, you can even add a spice I don’t like : juniper berry, genièvre.

Wiener sausages make the trip too. Only that. For a big potaye. of course, it’s nice to have several meat, a dry sausage, a big chunk of smoked bacon, cuts of salted meat. Add salt only after the meats are cooked, you may not want any.

Local cabbage. This week’s promo at the market. It’s added later, so it’s cooked al dente.

Modern luxury : cherry tomatoes. Added at the last minute, to give a hint of acidity. It’s on the table in 20 minutes.

It’s really pleasant, comforting, balanced, tasty. I’ll make some again.

(one pot, 2 plates)
Cal 627 F16.9g C98.4g P29.7g

Osechi 6 : the vegetable box

That’s the top floor of the 3-tier Osechi New Year dinner… A mix of braised Japanese vegetables.

Osechi ryori compilation

Are introductions still necessary ? Well, it never hurts…

Kintoki carrots.

Shiitake mushrooms.

Sato imo (taro).

Konnyaku. Konnyaku is also a root vegetable. I have never seen it “whole”, maybe there is no way to keep it. They prepare it at the farm. They grate and cook, and it becomes those blocks. They can be cut the way you like.

I like cubes. The texture is a very firm jelly. The taste… is neutral, inexistant. It takes the taste of the sauce. It has nearly no calories. Pure fibers. It favors digestion.

Recipe :

I rinsed the konnyaku. Cut the carrot in slices and gave flower shape to the larger ones. I peeled, cut and boiled the taro. I cut the mushrooms top.
In a mix of kombu dashi (seaweed stock), low sodium soy sauce am mirin, I simmered the 3 first ingredients till carrots were tender. I added the mushrooms and simmered a little more. I let the veggies cool in the reduced sauce.
The leaves are decorative.

Osechi 2 : kintoki ninjin and daikon for namasu

These carrots are really as red as tomatoes. They are also longer and more slender. I have red they were brought from China in Edo Era. They are now one of the Kyoto vegetables used for kaiseki ryori, and of course, they are ideal for Osechi Ryori
There name is kintoki ninjin 金時人参.

Daikon radishes.

Kohaku namasu

紅白なます, kohaku namasu is a standard of Osechi Ryori, simply because it is red (ko) and white (haku). The red and white association of color is considered auspicious for New Year in many Asian countries. Add to that they are the color of Japan, like in the flag with the red sun on a white surrounding.

Recipe :

It’s easy. Of course, you can use an ordinary carrot. Grate carrot and daikon (more daikon than carrot). Sprinkle a little seasalt, toss well. Let 30 minutes. With you hands squeeze well the water out of the veggies, discard it.
Add a seasoning of rice vinegar plus sugar (1 ts of sugar per cup of vinegar). The normal recipe is white vinegar and white sugar. I don’t have that in stock. So I used black rice vinegar and yellow cane sugar.
No so nice.. but it’s good.
Let the seasoned veggies one day in the fridge before serving. You can keep them about 3 days. Seal well the container as the smell is strong.

I squeezed it again and placed it on a sheet of baking paper inside the box.

Osechi ryori compilation