Ume by Botticelli. Rain plums in a shell.

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This shellfish looks beautiful and make beautiful dishes. Hotate (scallops) from Hokkaido. I’ve associated them with ume, the sour green plums of rainy season

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Well, they were very full. I discard the black part, clean well and keep the strings and bits for a soup.
I just cut the “nut” , painted with olive oil and grilled.

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Served with ume pesto :

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Paste a raw ume plum, fresh oregano, roast sesame seed, a little salt. Add olive oil and cane sugar.

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Then enjoy a sip of broth. Mmmmm…

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Greens for the heat

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We are having a dry or a late rainy season. It’s getting hot. We have to get used to it. Adapting the menu is very important.

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This natto is from a village called Tamba, famous for its soy bean. It’s a little more hand-made than the ordinary one.

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I’ve added negi leeks, nira garlic chives and green sansho peppercorns that are now in season, with dashi broth and a little soy sauce, mixed and let a few hours.

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Very large long beans. I’ve just cut them in 2 and blanched.

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Blanched ninniku no me (garlic stalks) and boiled tokk (Korean mochi rice cakes)

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The beans, stalks and tokk reheated in tomato sauce with lots of cut fresh oregano.

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To add a little sourness : tarragon pickles (made here).

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Table tricolore. Three taboulés.

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Too hot to cook… Let’s just mix, wait and eat.
Taboulé is the king of Summer.

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Or couscous ? Both.
To make bulgur green tabouleh (click here).
For the couscous, I simply mix all the veggies, dressing (lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper, minced onion and garlic) to the dry grain. I complete liquid with water (for 1 cup of grain, 2 of liquid). I let at least 2 hours in the fridge.

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Yellow.

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Turmeric, raisins, red bell pepper, chick peas, herbs.

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Red.

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Tomato paste, chick peas, sweet corn, green bell peppers, herbs.

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Green.

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Lots of fresh herbs. All the herbs I had that day (parsley, oregano, mint and a little lemon balm).

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Italian bean-ball pasta lunch

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That’s the follow-up of the previous post about the bean ball. Add pasta and salad and that makes a delicious Summer lunch.

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Home-made matcha (green tea) pasta.

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Creamy cheezy pesto dressing.
That’s made with the leftover of this :

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The filling of the balls : sakekasu (sake lees), tofu, salt, olive oil. I’ve added more olive oil, lots of basil, a little garlic, a little vinegar and some water.

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That makes a perfect dressing for a mix of baby leaves.

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Meatballs or not…

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So that’s this month’s Daring Cook’s challenge.

The June Daring Cooks’ challenge sure kept us rolling – meatballs, that is! Shelley from C Mom Cook and Ruth from The Crafts of Mommyhood challenged us to try meatballs from around the world and to create our own meatball meal celebrating a culture or cuisine of our own choice.

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Meatballs !

There will be several posts that will appear in the next days on this topic with Japanese chicken meat balls (tsukune) :
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So let’s start with this “Italian” version.

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Yes, no meat in sight… and well bean versions are allowed.

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Taisho kintoki red beans (boiled), garlic, onion, black miso, herbs (oregano and basil), paprika, hot chili and a little potato starch for the binding.

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Chinese black miso is the main flavoring.
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The cheezy filling is sakekasu (sake lees), tofu, olive oil and salt.

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Then they can be steamed in a steamer or in a micro-wave (200 watts). Served in tomato sauce. They are equally good hot and cold.

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DSC03792-001 the whole meal (click here)

Not your usual vodka sauce pasta (veg’, fun and GF revamping)

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Well, I was thinking about finishing old bottles I’ve add since forever in a closet and I thought that was vodka in the dark corner there, so the plan was to do that famous creamy vodka sauce. But, that was tequila. So why not ? I had tokk, the Korean rice cake-pasta-mochi and coconut cream. At the end there is nothing left of the original recipe, but miraculously I got that luscious sauce effect… Finger-licking good !

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That starts with flavors of three fresh herbs in a tomato sauce with onion, garlic and olive oil. Plus a cup of vo.. er, tequila.

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Then pas… er, Korean tokk are added. Then, when they become soft coconut cream.

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The tok’ in sauce.

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A crown of steamed romanesco.

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Aburi and amaguri, oregano seafood pasta

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Seafood pasta. I could eat some everyday. I know there are no pasta on this photo. I have not eaten them before shooting. They are under :

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Ballerina pasta alle vongole, bianco e oregano.
That’s the name in my kitchen. Don’t trust my skills at Italian language, but trust me to adapt the recipe to Japanese context.

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First, let’s prepare salmon. It’s salmon trout to be exact.

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Aburi sushi is midway between raw sashimi and grilled fish, so you get the great texture and the nice taste.
For more details on this technique :

aburi DIY (click here)

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hamaguri is a sort of local clam.

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First let them refresh in salty water.

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The hamaguri clams are opened in white wine with negi (green parts) and oregano. Then ballerina pasta are added and let 2 minutes with a covered lid, the time they swallow the flavors.

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The plate is crowned by bok choi, that was blanched with the pasta. I place the pasta in the middle, the seafood and more oregano on top. Black pepper and a drizzle on olive oil on top.
Mmmmm…..

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