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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Putting wine in my ratatouille…

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OK, not really what the title says. That’s a fish and veggie lunch.

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I did have some ratatouille veggies as a base : aubergine, bell pepper, onion.

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I had some lesser cuts of mackerel, what is left with the spine after they take the sushi blocks. There is still something to eat on the frame. I put them in a pan with a cut onion, 3 glasses of red wine, a little soy sauce and kurozato (black sugar). Let reduce.
Added steamed aubergine and cut bell pepper. Simmered a few minutes :

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Done !

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Served. It’s very juice, so that goes well with potatoes.

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Boiled, then mashed, flavored with salt, pepper, chili and olive oil.

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Saba no misoni (miso mackerel)

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鯖の味噌煮 saba no misoni, mackerel simmered in miso.
Mackerel is a smelly fish, isn’t it ? Not in this recipe. The rich sauce perfectly show-cases this rich fish.

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I first bring to boil 1/2 cup of sake with a few slices of ginger and a piece of chili pepper. On low hear, add the fish, cover. When the fish is done, add 1 tbs of miso, 1/2 tbs of brown sugar, simmer a little.

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Serve with fresh ginger on top.

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Renkon, lotus root. It’s a common vegetable in Asia. It is sold fresh or pre-boiled. That’s very different.

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It has to be well washed, peeled. Then you can cook like a carrot, in multiple ways.

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I stir-fried it. I sprinkled on it sudachi lime juice, and cut skin of sudachi.

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4 sides : steamed green peppers,
wakame konnyaku with fresh wasabi,
suimono (soup of shiitake mushroom,
hijiki seaweed and goji berries),
silky tofu.

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A multi-dish quick lunch.

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Ginger makkoli stewed chicken

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Chicken and shiitake mushrooms cooked with makkoli, the Korean fermented rice drink. I’m probably not the only person on the planet doing it but that was an improvisation and I loved the result.

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So this is the weapon used for the crime. I’ve associated it to ginger and kuko (goji berries) to remind Korean medicinal drinks.

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Cook onion, fresh shiitake mushroom a little in oil.
Then add a chicken breast, a few slices of fresh ginger, a sip of soy sauce, cover with makkoli. Cover, let on low heat.
When the meat is tender, break it in big pieces with a fork. Add goji berries, fresh spinach and a little potato starch if you want a thicker sauce. Cook slowly 5 more minutes.

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Served on home-made tortilla colored with turmeric, with kimchi as a side.

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And a glass of chilled makkoli.

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Ryori, a Japanese classic menu… (compilation by cooking techniques)

Quick list of Japanese “classics” to help you navigate on this site. That’s not complete at all. I tried to make it representative. I often make them with a twist, but I tell you in the post.

Short memo about the Japanese meal

-all dishes are brought at the same time, ideally served in individual dishes, one plate per item.
-there is rice + soup + three items. Or more.

The items, called okazu tend to be side-dish sized. On the menu in restaurants, traditional style was to present the okazu by cooking technique.

ONE :

GOHAN, rice
rice cuisine list ***** sushi list

and ONE :

吸い物,SUIMONO
A soup to drink !

DASHI (basic stock tutorial)
vegan dashi tuto
misoshiru (miso soup, in many posts)
shijimi miso soup
clear soup
O-zoni New Year soup
sake kasu Winter white soup

And THREE, FOUR, FIVE… many :

OKAZU LIST

お造り o-tsukuri
Normally, that’s a term for seafood sashimi, raw seafood. I don’t *cook* it of course.

scallop sashimi
calamari sashimi noodles
hamo no aburi (flamed sashimi)
hiya yakko (chilled tofu cubes)
konnyaku faux-sashimi

和え物,aemono
Cold dish with sauce.

shira-ae veggies
goma-ae kogomi (sesame fiddle heads)
snappy beans and shrimps in kimizu-ae (yolk sauce)

蒸し物, mushimono
Steamed.
egg tofu
dobin mushi (steamed soup)
okowa kabocha (steamed pumpkin with rice)
steamed scallop

御浸し, o-hitashi
Blanched.
mustard green o-hitashi
green leaf maki
reishabu (poached meat)

揚げ物 agemono
Fried dishes.

tempura (tutorial)
kakiage (mixed tempura)
karaage fish
agedofu, fried tofu DIY
kaki-furai (fried oysters)

焼き物, yakimono
Grilled dishes.

shioyaki (salt grilled fish)
kabayaki conger eel
yakiniku, beef BBQ
yakitori (chicken skewers)
teriyaki chicken(the “real” thing, recipe)
teriyaki fish
miso yaki chicken
miso yaki fish
dengaku (skewers)

鉄板焼き,teppanyaki
Grilled on the hot plate.
Beef liver teppanyaki
okonomiyaki (compilation)
ika-yaki (calamari)

煮物, nimono
Simmered.

pumpkin kabocha no nitsuke
kakuni (pork)
beef shigure
buri daikon (fish and radish)

炒め物 itamemono
Stir-fried.

champuru (Okinawan scramble)
kinpira

漬物, tsukemono
pickles
wasabi leaf tsukemono
daikon radish leave tsukemono
dashi’t, Obanazawa pickle
pink lotus root tsukemono

酢の物, sunomono
Quick vinegar pickles. Salads with lots of vinegar.

potato sarada
daikon ume sarada
kabocha sarada

Soupe du jour : Composée

Challenge : renewing the soupe du jour (daily soup) with what is in the fridge. There was the simmered base of the previous soup :

Soupe du jour : vert de poireau
So simmered daikon and leek greens. That needed salt and pepper.
Let’s add the raw.

Plus mushrooms and quail eggs.
And a chunk of yellow paprika -> juiced.
A baby shiso.

Mix… and it’s yummy !

Something crunchy.

Perfect. I had more toppings…

Eeeehh…

Aaaaah…

Et hop !

Lazy girl’s moloukhia Part 2 … into vegetable magic cream

Here is the my beef moloukhia ! I know it LOOKS weird. But trust me, it tastes fabulous !

I showed you the raw molokheya leaves in the previous post.
So what happened ?
If you don’t speak French, you may have missed a part of the explanations of the video. This was Tunisian Jewish recipe that was brought to France by the family that migrated there. As fresh molokheya leaves are not available, some do the recipe with spinach (texture is different) or from powdered dry leaves.
Note : Harissa is that red chili paste you see in the spoon on the last photo. It’s very hot and tastes of chili and cumin.

His recipe :
-Simmer the rehydrated powdered leaves with the meat, garlic, onion. A little harissa. 1 hour, stir regularly.
-Add water. A little harissa. 1~2 hours, stir…
-Add more garlic and coriander seeds. A little harissa. 1 hour, stir….
And he added merguez sausages that I don’t have.
Stirring 4 hours ? ! He has nothing else to do.
A friend explained me that I could start the leaves, garlic and onion, in olive oil, without water, during 1~2 hours, till it becomes black. But you should stir. for the sake of your pot… I’m too lazy.

My recipe :
Mince the leaves, garlic, 1 onion.
Put that (olive oil, garlic, onion, leaves) 1 hour in the “jam program” of the home bakery machine.
Add meat (finely sliced Japanese beef), 2 cups of water, garlic + milled coriander seeds, a little harissa.

A second time, 1 hour of “jam program” :

Add the salt, necessary water and harissa and reheat in oven.
Served with cumin seed bread, more harissa (if you’re crazy), cherry tomato to refresh the mouth as it is spicy. Eat with the spoon or with the bread.
It can be served with couscous.

So it’s not as dark as when done from powder, or simmered 8 hours.
At the end of the video, he mentions a test. If you can push the soup with the spoon and it comes back quickly, it’s the good texture. Look :

The texture was perfect… difficult to describe, not a soup, not like mashed vegetables, not like jello… in between.

The meal :
Cal : 510 F20.8g C55.7g P24.5g