Konnyaku and eringii in ginger nikomi


An easy Japanese dish.


Konnyaku (konjac). You can use blocks too, just cut them in slices or cubes.


Eringi mushrooms, cut in cubes.


Ginger. Minced. I put a good amount.

Kombu seaweed. A small cut. Later after cooking, I cut it into ribbons.
Soy sauce and mirin (or sake + sugar), 3 tbs of each. A little red hot chili if you want. Cover with water. Let simmer. I cooked 30 minutes.


Reheat the next day. Enjoy as a rice topping, a side dish or in negiyaki.


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


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.


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.


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


I had kintoki red beans, and kimchi ready.


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.


Genmai, brown rice.


Fresh rosemary, pork filet mignon and baby favas.

Creaminess and sweetness.

The meat of this retro Summer stew is of an extreme tenderness. Slow infusion of flavors and gentle cooking are the secrets.

White meat (big cubes of pork filet), milk and Awaji Island’s mellow onion, that could even be boring if green rosemary didn’t take the lead. I threw in a few mini favas (broad beans, well not broad here). Two more items as I had started with the rosemary :

A few more févettes in olive oil for an aperitif snack.

On bread, again.

Alouettes sans tête, à la bourguignonne

Headless larks.
Alouette, alouette, gentille alouette… je te plumerai la tête, et la tête…

It’s “sans la tête”. Hey’s it’s just a name. It’s made of beef. I simmered them like for boeuf bourguignon.

My nearest 24/24 supermarket sells only thinly sliced lean Australian beef as meat. They have wines, not a big choice. I took one from Chili. Lots of tannins, very sour, it’s perfect. I marinated the meat, carrot and onions overnight.

To make an alouette, I rolled a slice of meat, with a slice of raw ham in it. I cooked them in a little butter. Then simmered with the marinade, garlic and a bouquet garni.

I smoothed the sauce, reduced it and reheated with the meat.

The alouettes !

Maitake mushrooms, sauteed in butter.

Ham, fried like “lardons“.

Glazed onion, made with a huge huge Japanese onion.

Buttered croutons.

Becoming cassoulet. From beans to bliss.

Steps to a fish cassoulet for the Daring Cook Challenge .

Serving the fish cassoulet
Definition : dry beans, slow-cooked in fat, then baked with lots of garniture in a cassole.

You need dry beans, because if they are canned, they miss a part of the cooking in the aromatic broth… and that affects the taste. I already did it, of course, with precooked beans. It didn’t have the distinctive taste of cassoulet, and the texture was not giving that velvety sauce and the crust.
The French white coco beans are nowhere around here. Sometimes I get tebo mame that are close. Sometimes I don’t get them. These are tiger beans, tora mame. They are good for Osaka as our base-ball team are Tigers too…

Rehydrated one night, boiled 10 minutes, then drained from water.

Morue, salted dried cod fish.


Rehydrated 24 hours, changing the water a few times.

Poached a few minutes in boiling water.

Dry salted shishamo (Hokkaido smelt), bought that way.

A full head of garlic, onion, clove, laurel, a chili pepper, fried slowly in olive oil. Then the aromatic veggies, tomato (puree), carrot, celery. Plus the beans, plus plenty of water. Bring to a boil. Simmer slowly all day.

The cooked beans.

Alternating the 3 fish (cod, smelts and sardines in oil) and the cooked beans in the cassole dish.

About 2 to 3 hours in oven (not too hot). A crust is formed. And broken with a spoon. Baked again till a new crust is formed. That should be 7 times ? Honestly, that was 5.