Soba miso soup and grilled aji fish

Classic Japanese food, in a not so classic meal presentation. There would be rice normally. That doesn’t matter, as long as it’s colorful and good.

Shioyaki aji. The aji are Japanese jack mackerels. They look like sardines but you can recognize them by the “zip” on their side. I’ve simply cleaned and emptied them them, sprinkled salt and grilled a few minutes under the broiler.

Some vitamins to fight the Winter plagues. The greens are sanchu Korean lettuce. Then some pickled young ginger.


Blanched fresh soba with nanohana (rape greens). On that, a classic miso soup. The red bits are a dry togarashi chili.

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 !

Shio-yaki iwashi. With 2 sardines…

Sardine is an ordinary fish, but it’s very tasty. We get fresh ones easily and cheaply.

Shio-yaki iwashi. Salt grilled sardines, the Japanese style. I just empty them, clean, sprinkle salt and grill 5 minutes. Served with greens.
5 minutes for the sides :

Reheated Hatsuga genmai, sprouted rice.

Veggie stir-fry… all what I had left.

A quick soup : togan (Winter melon) cooked with carrot and seasoned with soy sauce.

The meal !

The head up toward Spring. Rishun, the day after Setsubun, old Japanese Spring day

Setsubun iwashi. Spring sardine.

I said I had holly in the post about Setsubun Spring Festival tradition… well, it’s not normal Xmas holly.
hiiragi is a sort of osmanthus.
I showed you the fragrant flowers before. That was not exactly the same tree.

post about osmanthus

So it seems the belief is this branch (with its cutting leaves) and the head of a sardine (for the smell) can scare away the oni (devils) that visit on Setsubun (Feb 3rd).

Also the fish head is leaning up to the rising Spring…
That was salted sardine that I simply grilled. Oh, they had not emptied before salting it, so yep, that smelled seriously. Devils all left my flat, my building, the street…

To “rinse” the mouth romanesco cauliflower and some sprouts.

Silver skin in 5 minutes

A simple no fuss meal : pasta and salmon trout.

The fish is sprinkle with natural sea salt, grilled with the skin up. It is a thin skin, that quickly becomes pleasantly crispy.

In addition of crispiness and taste, you may want to eat the skin because of the fat under it. The salmon trout is much leaner than a salmon, so you don’t get much from the flesh. This fish fat is said to be very good for our health, and particularly our skin. And it’s tasty !

The pink flesh, just cooked, for the lean proteins.

Very al dente pasta, with a little butter and melt on them. And dill. The dill was frozen. Some herbs are not too good when frozen, but I find that dill maintains very well as long as I don’t try to thaw it. I take a frozen branch, cut on top of the dish with scissor and serve… Taste is really nice.

Okra. A freshly milled mix of 5 peppers : pink, green, black, white, pink… yess ! double dose of pink, it’s my prefered color today.