Sansai. Japanese mountain vegetables in a meal

Here is the meal that completes the black tofu and agedashi taro in the previous post.

Let’s talk a little about 山菜 sansai mean litterally mountain vegetables. That’s a generic name for many plants wild or cultivated in small amounts that are used in Japan, but also in Korea and China. The hermit Buddhist monks were counting on them to diversify their dishes, and they are often used in the shojin ryori (monk fasting meals) and kaiseki ryori (refined meal before tea ceremony). You can go and gather yours if you live in the countryside. I’m not sure that what I’d pick up near Osaka would be edible particularly with the current level of air pollution. So I usually find mines in the store, and they are cultivated.
There is no complete list of the varieties of sansai. It’s whatever you can eat.  

I had a mix containing nameko (orange mushrooms), enoki (white long mushrooms), warabi (in green, it’s fern sprouts), zenmai (in brown), small takenoko (bamboo sprouts, slices), kikurage (in dark brown, wood ear mushrooms). And I had renkon (lotus root).

They were boiled. So I rinsed and reheated them with dashi (fish broth), a little mirin and soy sauce.

Grilled komochi shishamo fish, with yuzu-kosho citrus pepper condiment.

Pastel salad : cabbage, kabu turnip and vinegar pickled ginger.

And genmai (brown rice). Well, that makes a nice Japanese meal. That’s not so long to prepare as the tofu was made in advance, the rice is done in the cooker, the veggies were pre-cooked.

Tofu chigae with goya

When the Korean hot soup meets Summer go~ya…
The bitter squash makes this Winter dish totally perfect for a hot day (yes, still f… hot here, it’s mid-summer now).

You can’t make simpler : I’ve reheated all this in dashi (fish stock). Also the egg white.

Added silky tofu.

Hot with a drizzle of fragrant sesame oil.

Served with hatsuga genmai (sprouted rice) sprinkled by black sesame powder.

The egg yolk, to be added on the table.


Fun guys those fungi : The 3 kung-fu mushrooms

3 black and grey mushrooms for a Chinese lunch. Fresh shiitake. A sort of shimeji mushrooms…

…and soaked black wood ear mushrooms.
Autumn comes with mushroom dishes, but there is no reason as we get them year round. I mean no reason to wait till Autumn… Eating some daily or nearly would be excellent for health.


+ octopus, bell peppers, onion, broad beans… oysters sauce, garlic, ginger, Sichuan pepper, hot chili.

Final dressing on the table : fragrant sesame oil and black vinegar.

On brown rice.

Pousse de bambou au beurre d’escargot… Well, OK. The butter was sesame paste, the parsley was Chinese (cilantro) and the garlic, normal. Reheated the bamboo shoots in the mix. Mmmm…

A little meal, to take with wulong cha.

L’histoire de bebe bambou -The story of baby bamboo (via Gourmande in Osaka)

Last year…

L'histoire de bebe bambou -The story of baby bamboo Au printemps, les parents bambous se reproduisent… In Spring, bamboo parents have their offspring… Me voila ! Je m'appelle TAKENOKO (bebe bambou). Here I am ! My name is TAKENOKO (baby bamboo). Les foules se precipitent pour me ceuillir. Many people come to take me. On me fait prendre le bain avec du son de riz (et parfois du piment). In my bath with rice bran (and chili peppers). Je me deshabille, et me voici, nacre et tendre. I take off my … Read More

via Gourmande in Osaka

Fresh or dry food ? The vegetables. Frais ou seches, les legumes ? (via Gourmande in Osaka)

No food supply problem here. But I always keep a stock.

Last year :

Fresh or dry food ? The vegetables.  Frais ou seches, les legumes ? Fresh and dry daikon radish leaves. Feuilles de radis daikon, fraiches et sechees. Fresh and dry daikon radish root. Racine de radis daikon. Fresh tofu, "Koya" tofu and Koya-dofu (for miso soup, etc). Koya-dofu, it is freeze-dried tofu, a process invented by the bonzes of Koya-san, a Buddhist mountain temple city near Nara, Japan. The Koya-dofu has a very different texture, more sponge-like, firmer. It absorbs the sauce you cook it in. Tofu frais … Read More

via Gourmande in Osaka