Green asparagus. Pickle sauce beans.

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This is food for hot days. Green asparagus with cheezinaise. Pickles and tomato sauce white beans. It’s spicy, refreshing, plant-based and easy to digest.

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Beans in tomato sauce are usually something to warm you up in Winter, but adding the tartness and sourness of pickles totally refreshes the dish.

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Boiled daifuku mame white beans, reheated in tomato sauce. I have then added capers, home-made tarragon pickles, some steamed stalks of green asparagus…

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… a minced small red onion. I’ve let that 3 hours at room temperature, so flavors mixed well.

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Served with mizuna leaves.

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Cheezinaise
It’s similar to this one. Sakekasu brings a cheesy flavor. It is made of miso, sakekasu (sake lees), chili pepper and turmeric. After pasting and adding water, I cooked it a few minutes and let cool, and later completed with olive oil.

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I’ve boiled very briefly the thin green asparagus spears and refreshed them in iced water. I’ve eaten them with the sauce.

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4 sides : onion salad, mitsuba suimono…

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That’s the second part of this meal. Here are the small plates that make the charm of the Japanese table and nicely balance the diet.

More about Japanese style meals and recipe list

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Suimono is the soup-drink you find in any Japanese meal. A very simple Spring time version :
In a bowl, put thin carrot slices, stalks of mitsuba, shavings of dry fish (kezuribushi), a few drops of soy sauce, hot water.
You can replace the fish with a few seaweeds (dry wakame).

Garnish with a few leaves of aromatic :
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Japanese onion. A country of rice is a country of onion as they are cultivated in the rice paddies to rest the soil. Let’s make a salad.

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If you don’t want a pungent onion salad that gives you a breath able to kills flies, mosquitoes, wasps, hornets… well, cut them thin, add salt, mix well, let one hour and rinse well.

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My fix of natto, with baby leaf mizuna.

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Kabu tsukemono. Pickled Japanese turnip. I grated turnip, cut some leaves, added salt. That’s after 24 hours.

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Pomelo and sea grape temaki-zushi (green sushi cones)

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Temaki means hand-roll. Temaki-zushi are casual, and ideal for sushi party at home. You put the ingredients on the table :

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And guests make a cone pocket with nori seaweed sheet, and fill it with rice and whatever they like. That’s like when you fill your newspaper cone with hot chestnuts, anybody can do it.

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Easy no ?

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Today, the sushi-meshi (flavored rice) is a little special. The classic version is white rice with a vinegar/sugar/salt seasoning. My rice is polished hatsuga (germinated rice). My seasoning is pomelo juice + kurozato (Okinawan black sugar) and very very little salt. Because this is a salty filling :

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Umi-budo, ‘sea grapes’ seaweeds (more about it here)

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More veggies.

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And you get a sushi that tastes like a tropical sea breeze…

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Sage pesto and coconut cream ballerina pasta

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Ballerina pasta dancing in coconut with sweet onions, mushrooms and fresh green pesto. The color of this humble pesto is light but the taste of sage is very present.

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I had a few leaves of fresh sage, so that I immediately thought about pasta.

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I simply stir-fried new onion and maitake mushrooms in coconut cream, added pepper, the al-dente pasta.

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For the pesto, I pounded sage leaves in a mortar, added salt and some coconut sauce from the pan to make it liquid.

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The pasta, served with the pesto in its mortar.

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The side dish is natto, mizuna greens with bough soy bean sprout kimchi.

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Last golds of November, deconstructed fried rice

Full bloom of orange fruits, on the trees : kaki, mikan, karin

That could have been rice stir-fried with meat, egg and vegetables, all mixed in. But I have let them apart.
The big paradox is I lack appetite these days, I eat little and at the same time I crave for rich food. So overall, it’s the same.

In a pan, let’s roast sesame seed, add oil, fry garlic, chili and ginger. Then add slices of beef marinated in sweet chili sauce. Reserve.

In the same pan, lots of veggies. Carrot and mizuna stalks.

Then, brown rice, fried with carrot, turmeric and egg yolk. Plus a fresh egg yolk on top.

To dip in the meat. Mmm….


Tofu quiche-gratin

A good warm gratin. It’s not so cold here, and some would even think it’s hardly cool but we get used to so hot in Summer. So I crave food that warms me up.

It’s a “crustless quiche”, well not a quiche then, with tofu. Filled with veggies.

The ingredients : tofu, egg, mizuna leaves and nameko mushrooms.

Miso and sake kasu for flavoring.

Baked. It looks naked, no ?

I added a little olive oil, black pepper,nutmeg…

…powdered roast sesame and sweet chili sauce.

Mmmm… all that is delicious together.

Shioyaki aji, simple grilled fish

Shioyaki, salt-grilled. It’s the basic Japanese grilled fish. I’ve got a good refill of the precious omegas.

Aji, chinchard, Japanese horse mackerel. It’s very close to sardine. They are getting very fat, thus delicious in this season.
Clean, empty, slash, sprinkle coarse sea salt. Let 5 to 10 minutes. Grill.

Served with yuzu citrus.

A creamy spicy polenta, and tomato sauce.

Shishito peppers grilled with the fish.

Mizuna leaves.

A yummy dinner !