Kuromame no shiso-ni : black beans, shiso and rice

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Rice and beans, Japanese style. I think the shiso flavor is a nice companion for black beans and I had already paired them :

shiso bean empanadas

Kuromame, black soy beans. Soaked and boiled. They take lots of time to cook… depending on size and how old they are. Hard to predict, but don’t start now and expect serving them for next meal. Cook them the day before.

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So I recooked the boiled beans in an oiled pan with onion, garlic, cumin seeds, a little paprika, salt. When the onions were cooked I’ve covered with bean cooking broth, let simmer. At the end, added cut shiso leaves in the beans, and some on top.

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It’s a mix of genmai (brown rice) and akamai (red rice).

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A simple soup : nameko mushrooms, hijiki seaweeds (dried), water. Then a little soy sauce when it’s cooked.

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Steamed mizunasu aubergines and shiitake mushrooms.

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Komatsuna no ohitashi (boiled and refreshed) with gomadare sesame dressing.

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Mushroom duet creamy sauce for one-bite steaks and soba

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Maybe that’s too classic for this blog : a meal of steak, pasta and sauce. Why not ? It’s based on local produce. This sauce is ideal to serve with pasta, or with meat, or with both.
The fungi are available year round but they evoke Autumn because they have a wet forest smell.

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Shiitake.

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Nameko (sticky mushroom).

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Stir-fried with onion, a little garlic.

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Creamed with coconut cream and milk and 1 tbs of potato starch. Salt. Pepper. You don’t need much as the mushrooms are very flavorful.

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Wagyu Japanese beef steaks, grilled on the plancha.
Medium rare was the less I could do with this thickness.

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With home-made matcha soba noodles, and the sauce.

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Sansai. Japanese mountain vegetables in a meal

Here is the meal that completes the black tofu and agedashi taro in the previous post.

Let’s talk a little about 山菜 sansai mean litterally mountain vegetables. That’s a generic name for many plants wild or cultivated in small amounts that are used in Japan, but also in Korea and China. The hermit Buddhist monks were counting on them to diversify their dishes, and they are often used in the shojin ryori (monk fasting meals) and kaiseki ryori (refined meal before tea ceremony). You can go and gather yours if you live in the countryside. I’m not sure that what I’d pick up near Osaka would be edible particularly with the current level of air pollution. So I usually find mines in the store, and they are cultivated.
There is no complete list of the varieties of sansai. It’s whatever you can eat.  

I had a mix containing nameko (orange mushrooms), enoki (white long mushrooms), warabi (in green, it’s fern sprouts), zenmai (in brown), small takenoko (bamboo sprouts, slices), kikurage (in dark brown, wood ear mushrooms). And I had renkon (lotus root).

They were boiled. So I rinsed and reheated them with dashi (fish broth), a little mirin and soy sauce.

Grilled komochi shishamo fish, with yuzu-kosho citrus pepper condiment.

Pastel salad : cabbage, kabu turnip and vinegar pickled ginger.

And genmai (brown rice). Well, that makes a nice Japanese meal. That’s not so long to prepare as the tofu was made in advance, the rice is done in the cooker, the veggies were pre-cooked.

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.

Rice and beans. And nameko.

You don’t need much food : rice and beans. And you’re good to go. With a few veggies it’s even better. In many countries over the world, generations of people have lived eating this roughly at every meal. I like more variety, but once in a while, that’s great.

Hatsuga genmai germinated brown rice (read more).

Kuromame, black soy beans.
They are hard cookies… Well, you need time. With a good long soaking 2 or 3 hours. Without, some say 8 hours. So make a big batch and you can freeze what you don’t use.

Cooking black soy beans (kuromame) :

-Rinse the beans. Place them 24 hours in cool water (in the fridge if it’s hot)
-Bring to boil, skim the foam.
-Cook on moderate heat till tender.
-Add seasonings, sauces… and simmer till very tender, or as you like.

Japanese trick : to get a nicer color, some add a few rusty nails (in a tea pouch) to soak and cook with the beans.

Kuromame beans, simmered with red onion, garlic, tomato paste, chili, olive oil.

Sticky mushrooms called nameko.

Blanched and refreshed with komatsuna greens. The seasoning is soy sauce, black vinegar and sansho pepper.

That makes a solid delicious vegan meal.

Refreshing cold miso soup with somen noodles and nameko sticky mushroom

This is really delicious and that makes you forget the heat and humidity. What is left ? Superb blue sky and great weather.
Nameko are those orange sticky mushrooms. I already showed you some :

Nameko the sticky/jelly mushroom

This time I have huge ones :

And you can see that “glue”. When they are boiled that becomes a jelly :

Serve them very cold !

About mushrooms… This is vegan dashi. Dashi is the Japanese all-purpose stock, made from dry fish and seaweeds. You can make a plant based version with shiitake mushrooms. I keep the feet (too fibery to eat) of fresh mushrooms and let them dry. You can also buy dried feets here.
Vegan stock :
Take 2 medium size dry shiitake, or 5 feet. Break them a little. Put in a pan with 1 liter of water. Bring to a boil. Let cool.
You can re-use the mushrooms for a second infusion. And then eat them.

Then I prepared the soup in a mortar. Sesame seeds, crushed, grated fresh ginger, grated fresh wasabi, white miso, a little black rice vinegar and vegan dashi (very cold).

A root of wasabi.

Somen and other veggies that need it are boiled, rinsed in cold water and soaked with ice-cubes.

I added raw veggies too. This is myoga . A cousin of ginger.

As you can see : okra, goya (bitter squash), fava beans, tomato…

Present the soup on the side. Pour it on the noddles, stir and enjoy.
That’s really delicious season food.