Today’s bibinbap

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Korean lunch : bibinbap, the colorful rice bowl.
Put rice to cook in the cooker and let’s go :

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Namul veggies (preparation here)

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Azuki-natto : I heated onion and cooked azuki beans with a little oil. When the onions were cooked, added a little miso and natto and mashed roughly.

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The soup is soaking water of shiitake mushrooms (those used for the namul), in it, I cooked mini-radish and added cubes of silky tofu.
Also get some kimchi, a egg yolk and fragrant sesame oil.

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Put all the garnishing veggies on very hot rice, add a egg yolk, a drizzle of sesame oil. Serve with the hot soup.

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Add a little broth in the bowl, mix and enjoy :

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Autumn namul

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Namul is the name of Korean style blanched veggies.

The boring supermarket version, all year round the same :
namul set
Boiled spinach, soy bean sprouts, zenmai fern and daikon radish.

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Home-made version, in Spring.
So this time with Autumn produce :

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I had suguna kabocha. I grated and steamed it, added only sesame oil and garlic.

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Soy bean sprouts, steamed, with soy sauce, a little hot chili, garlic, sesame oil.

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Konnyaku. I’ve added re-hydrated shiitake mushrooms. with soy sauce, a little hot chili, garlic, sesame oil. Let overnight.

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Leafy radish. Blanched and refreshed the greens in cold water. Added garlic and sesame oil.

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The 4 dishes :

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Mouth refreshing “pickles”

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They are not really pickles… but how to say ? Small bits siding a dish.

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Eringi tsukemono.

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Spicy tomato agar.

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スダチ sudachi is a small green citrus from the area of Tokushima. It is thought to have lots of medicinal properties to fight diabetes and allergies. And it’s fragrant, fresh, delicious too.

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Eringi mushroom.

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Eringi tsukemono :
I’ve used only the stalks for this recipe. I sliced them thinly, mixed with the juice of a sudachi, its cut peel and a pinch of sea salt. Cover. Let 1 or 2 days in the fridge, mixing twice a day.

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Tomato juice, salt, powdered jalapeno chili and agar. I have not used enough agar for a solid result (you have to follow the proportions on the package). It’s still good and refreshing, but I need a spoon to eat it. Ideally, you want to make cubes that can be grabbed with chopsticks or a fork.

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Cilantro marinated cucumber, served 2 ways

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Two version for a fresh veggie side. Lunch and dinner.

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There were leftovers to use or lose. I’ve mixed these 3 and added a little Jalapeno Tabasco sauce. Let marinate in the fridge for the next day.

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That’s fresh, hot and flavorful.

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At lunch, I’ve added cherry tomatoes and…

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…chips made with a broken tortilla, that I’ve toasted in a frying pan.

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At night : added natto fermented soy beans and tenkasu (crumbs of tempura)

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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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Springtime kneppes, sweet green dumplings and sour white sauce

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A dish of contrasts. I was thinking that green kneppes would be nice. The addition of peas makes them sweet, so a sour sauce reveals them.

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Blanched peas, mashed with a fork, flour, water, salt and wuxi (5 spice mix). Boiled.

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For the sauce, salted new onions, later mixed with minced dill, sour yogurt (at room temperature), coriander seed, pepper, nutmeg. You can use a plant based yogurt.

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Coat the very hot kneppes with the sauce and serve immediately.

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Tai no kabuto-ni. A helmet of sea bream.

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A Japanese meal with tai no kabuto ni as a main.
Yes, kabuto means helmet, and the resemblance is clear. Well think about those samurai helmets that everybody wears to ride a bicycle in Japan… er, no, but that’s this type with 2 ear flaps :

kabuto source :blog from the place where they make them (click here) . Visit the page for more details. They are display models for Little Boy Festival in May.

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That’s an economical dish as they sell fish heads cheaply. And they sell them ready for this dish. I mean the scales are grated (roughly), and it is split in two. Well veggie readers (I doubt you’re still here) sorry for the view. But for us that eat animals, it’s better to avoid wastes. That said I would eat fish heads anyway. Because there is a lot of flesh in it, and it is of finer texture and tastier.

Recipe :

-Rinse the fish. What you can do is put it on a grill and pour boiling water on it, just once. It makes the fish white and the scales very easy to notice, so you can finish the fismonger’s work. For myself I don’t care if I have scales in my plate, anyway, you need to pick the bones and bits.
-Then it’s a classic nitsuke sauce 1:1:1 , sake, mirin, shoyu soy sauce. And a small piece of kombu seaweed. Put these in a pan with a little water, bring slowly to a boil.
Add the fish. Make a foil cover. Pass to moderate heat. Cook about 15 minutes.

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The veggies are steamed separately. Here 2 colors of carrots. And I had frozen garlic stalks. Let’s get the sides :

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I had kintoki red beans, and kimchi ready.

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A grated veggie salad. A soup, a drink-soup. It’s really water, veggies and black pepper. No salt as there is enough for the meal.

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Genmai, brown rice.

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