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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Japanese aubergines, moros and Moorish spices

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We have lots of nasu or nasubi (aubergine or eggplant) in Summer here, many types and sizes. These small ones, I think are those known in the US as Japanese eggplants.
Moros, the Moors. Or black beans. And Moorish spices, that seem to be red pepper, cumin, cinnamon, nutmeg, pimentón
This is a free adaptation of these stuffed aubergines by Rick Stein. The main change is it’s plant-based. I have not eaten the original but this version is delicious and perfect for the season.

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So let’s use today’s market basket…

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The kuromame (boiled black soy beans) as the meat.

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The cheese-tasting sauce is sake kasu (sake lees) + miso, that I cooked a little, then I’ve added a lot of olive oil.

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Baked !

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Served with greens.

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Okra.

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Na no hana (rape blossoms)

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Nasubi curry on the beach, with… guess what ?

The beach is under the flooring !
Nasubi kare is a popular Japanese curry with nasu AKA nasubi (aubergine, eggplant) and beef.

Plated version, with the *rice*.

Rice ? No, riced cauliflower.

This is the second round for this month Daring Cook’s Challenge. See the first recipe here.
The game was to use at least one item from each list :

List 1: Parsnips, Eggplant (aubergine), Cauliflower
List 2: Balsamic Vinegar, Goat Cheese, Chipotle peppers
List 3: Maple Syrup, Instant Coffee, Bananas

My pick :

List 1: Eggplant (aubergine), Cauliflower
List 2: Chipotle peppers (powdered)
List 3: GUESS WHAT !

Do you have an idea about the mysterious ingredient from the third list ? What would you try ?
Answer at the end of the post.

It’s slow-cooker art… I made the beef curry from scratch, it’s so much better than using “roux” and just throw in aubergines and meat.
Japanese curry mix, whole sweet spices, the hot chipotle powder, coconut butter, onions, veggie. Then, hours later, the aubergines, more garam masala to balance the taste.

Tadada !!! That was a delicious sweet curry.

Riced cauliflower is raw cauliflower cut like rice. You can’t make easier. I slightly steamed it after.

That makes you a tasty low-carb side for a dish with sauce.
So have you found the secret ingredient ? That’s really something I recommend as the effect is surprising. Before simmering, I added a banana in the sauce. It longly melted and caramelized. The banana taste become unidentifiable but you have a fruity feel. Try it someday.

Raw-bergine on Korean soba (via Gourmande in Osaka)

LY (to close this aubergine triology)

Raw-bergine on Korean soba This plump aubergine (eggplant) is a mizu-nasu, water aubergine. It is cultivated to be eaten raw. Today, it will be eaten with cooled Korean buckwheat noodles. Here they are not topped with raspberry jelly but kochijan (gochuchang). Nameko, the funny mushroom and Seoul Summer noodles Korean-Osakan Bibin’men (cooled noodles) The mizu-nasu aubergines are simply cut and immediately bathed about 30 seconds in salted water till they slightly turn gre … Read More

via Gourmande in Osaka

Raw-bergine on Korean soba

This plump aubergine (eggplant) is a mizu-nasu, water aubergine. It is cultivated to be eaten raw.

Today, it will be eaten with cooled Korean buckwheat noodles. Here they are not topped with raspberry jelly but kochijan (gochuchang).

Nameko, the funny mushroom and Seoul Summer noodles

Korean-Osakan Bibin’men (cooled noodles)

The mizu-nasu aubergines are simply cut and immediately bathed about 30 seconds in salted water till they slightly turn green. Then rinsed in fresh water.

I prefered blanching the zucchini slices, 30 seconds too but in boiling water.

The fruit touch is sliced nashi pear.

Also added a little hot chili, kochijan sauce, sesame, the broth (given with the noddles), a few drops of fragrant sesame oil.

Tofu, kimchi, to eat as a side or add in…


Kabocha yokan, more nashi. Not to add in. It’s dessert.

Kabocha yokan

(double serving of noodles and vegetables)
Cal : 571 F11.7g C95.2g P27.0g