Osaka negiyaki, powered up.

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ねぎ焼き negiyaki
A fresh blog of the classic popular food of Osaka to replace or complete the old tuto.
Keep it really simple and don’t believe you need many ingredients, as it’s originally poor people cuisine, that was made with what was available that day. It’s easily made plant-based.

Here is a typical list of variations of negiyaki you can order in shops around here :

牛すじねぎ焼き gyusuji negiyaki (beef tendon)
豚ねぎ焼き buta negiyaki (pork)
イカねぎ焼き ika … (calamari)
えびねぎ焼き ebi … (shrimps)
豚キムチねぎ焼き buta kimchi … (pork kimchi)
牛すじキムチねぎ焼き gyusuji kimchi … (beef tendon kimchi)
牛すじもちねぎ焼き gyusuji mochi … (beef tendon mochi)
牛すじしょうがねぎ焼き gyusuji shoga …(beef tendon ginger)
ミックスねぎ焼き mix negiyaki …(=we’ll open the fridge and push everything there’s in into your dish)

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Check list :
negi leeks and nikomi (or any other)
-batter
-sauces and garnishing powders
-options : egg, tenkasu
-hot plate and oil

Osaka style :
Options and garnishing (negi and nikomi) are added to the batter at the last minute. Each guest chooses additions or not.

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Negi, scallions, Spring onions…. that’s the base of the dish. You need lots of negi greens. Cut thinly.

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This is konnyaku eringi ginger nikomi (recipe here).
I am probably the only person putting this in negiyaki. The classic version is : konnyaku gyusuji nikomi.
The gyusuji is beef tendon, with the meat that stays around, and that’s a very cheap cut of beef. It is prepared the same way I prepared the eringi. You can make some other meat or mushroom stew as you like.

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BATTER, gourmande style :
Grated nagaimo (about 1/2 cup), flour (1 cup), fish flakes. And enough water to get a creamy texture. Whip well.

Grating the yama imo

Veg’ version : skip the fish flakes, replace water by vegan kombu dashi (recipe here).
Gluten free version : replace flour by rice flour.
Imo free version : replace by grated potato or corn starch + a little baking powder.

Options :

They are not necessary for the classic version, but if you feel more hungry or like them, add what you want, that’s the rule of the game (okonomi = what you want). These 2, you read about on many blogs, they are often found in the rest of Japan, not so systematically here in Osaka :

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Egg. The reasons to not add to the original batter :
-some people don’t want egg (it’s the biggest allergy in Japan)
– texture, with egg, it would make it a harder pancake. In many shops, they add the egg whole egg onto the rest, already on the hotplate and break it and mix with chopsticks.

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Tenkasu. Tempura crumbles.

Others :
beni shoga pickled ginger,
kimchi,
raw meat, raw seafood,
mochi (rice cakes, use the tiny cubes arare, or thin slices),
tofu, cheese,
other veggies, sausage, ham, veggie pickles (tsukemono), salty seafood…

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Heat the hot plate (your skillet). Pass oil with a kitchen paper.

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MIXING :
In a bowl, put a cup of negi, 1/4 cup of nikomi, other options, a whole egg if you use it, a cup of batter. You can add more fish flakes if you wish. Mix roughly with chopsticks or a fork.

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COOKING
Pour everything on the plate, at middle heat. You can cover or not. When it’s all hardened, flip with 2 spatulas. (I cut it in 2 to flip with only one spatula… who cares ?).

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TOPPINGS :

All optional, as you like it, if you want some. A bare negiyaki is good too.

Sauce and mayo :

-the sauce is a thickened and sweetened worcester. The original sauce (called Ikari) was a copycat of LeaPerrins, sold to Kobe’s Brit expats.
Here I have a ready sauce, which is plant-based. If you don’t have it, LeaPerrins steak sauce is very similar. Or thicken the liquid classic worcester with corn starch (simmer a little, sweeten to taste) or by mixing with ketchup. Many shops make their sauce that way.Use a brush to paint it on the top.

-the mayonnaise. It is made more liquid by adding either milk, white wine or lemon juice. (to make easy egg mayo /// to make tofunaise).
To make nice drizzles, put the sauce and mayo in some plastic bottles with a tubular top. I don’t have that.

Variations :
-ketchup
shoyu (soy sauce, thickened)
ponzu (soy sauce + citrus juice)
-steak sauces

Powders (found in Japanese grocery stores) :
kezuribushi fish flakes, or fish powder
aonori seaweed
shichimi togarashi, 7 spice mix

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SERVING
When it’s cooked, put the heat on minimum, decorate.
Let on the plate while eating. Cut small wedges that you push toward guests that can heat directly from the plate, or on a small plate, while the rest stays hot.

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How to handle your yama imo (naga imo, Japanese yam)

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Apparently that’s not obvious when you have not seen it done. So a few photos are better than a long speech.
This veggie nagaimo is slimy and if you peel it it becomes very slippery, and you may get some skin allergy into the bargain. But that’s only after it’s peeled.

You can touch the skin without problems. So with a knife, peel a length of that long potato, or the tip if it’s the round type. Like a pencil, you sharpen it as you need.

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First way.

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Grating the in the traditional way in a suribashi (mortar). and you rub it against the lines of the pottery.

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Second way, with modern graters.

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Now you can prepare tororo, okonomiyaki, negiyaki
It can also be cubed, sliced, etc, eaten raw or cooked.

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Craditionnal trumpets. Nearly…

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Let’s make those bee wax textured British pancake. Not sure they are the real thing. That’s the easy way, but I will show you how you can fail them anyway… You need a circle (a heart, any shape) and the rest is probably in your pantry already.

Batter per crumpet :
1/2 cup (100 ml) of lukewarm coconut milk, 1/4 ts of yeast, 1/4 ts of sugar. When bubbly, 1/2 cup of flour, enough water to get a liquid cream. Blend. Cover.

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One hour later if it’s a hot day. A little salt, a few sprinkles of baking soda on top, stir slowly. Heat a pan or a hot plate.

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Grease a circle of about 8 cm wide. Grease it better than I did. Place it in the hot greased pan.

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Start on very low heat. Pour the dough till 3/4 of the mold.

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Cover. After 5 minutes, pass on low heat. Let 10 minutes.

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At this point, one side is done. Take away the circle. And flip. If you can…

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DRAMA ! Yep, the circle was not well greased.

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Rescue : I’ve saved it. Cook 2 more minutes.

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Done !

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The inside is fully crumpeted.

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Serve tea. You can do that later and toast the sliced crumpet to reheat it.

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My exps in plant based milks and yogurts

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Here is a post to make the point about my adventure in the plant-based milk and yogurt world…
That doesn’t go much out of the beaten paths, but for me there were novelties. Also these food are very different so I made my tasting files for each.
If you want wider information about dairy-free cooking, there is a compilation post about it (here).

MILKS :

DSC02677-001Soy milk (tutorial)

+Tastes good cold or hot.
++Useful to make tofu, yuba, yogurt, etc.
++ Very cheap ingredients.
-A bit long and complicated to make.

DSC04322Almond milk (tutorial)

+ Tastes great cold.
+ Useful to make blanc-manger.
– Raw almond are very expensive here.
++ The most convenient and quickest to make.

DSC00202-2Sweet corn milk (recipe)
+ Tastes fresh and original cold.
+ Quick and easy to make.
– Seasonal ingredient, no so cheap (I think frozen corn is pre-cooked, I didn’t try)

DSC07479-002 Sesame milk (tutorial)
+ Tastes great warmed.
+ Convenient and easy to make.
+ Cheap ingredient.

Recipes :
kurogoma tonyu (black sesame paste in soy milk)
DSC07532-001 hot sesame milk

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DSC07704-001 Coconut milk yogurt
+ Very tasty
+ Super easy to make
– or + It stays liquid
– A little fat (has to be drunk in small amounts)

DSC07935-001 Soy milk yogurt (thick type recipe)
+ Tasty
+ Great texture
+ Cheap ingredient
– Some prep needed to thicken it

Recipes :
DSC07709-001 coconut milk lassi

Le nouveau gâteau truffe au chocolat , with soy yogurt

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Not your grandma’s usual yogurt, not her salon de thé ‘s truffe au chocolat. I had no intention to remake them. The cake ended up similar just like that as I was improvising. Lucky !

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Freshly made soy yogurt

It’s the greatest soy yogurt for me. Commercial soy yogurt are always on the runny side of creamy, or on the jello side. And the Japanese soy yogurt, oh my, I’d never eat that, it’s over-sweetened and flavored with with stevia that I loath.
This one has a texture of… yogurt. And a taste of soy. It’s perfect.
Don’t skip the sugar, it helps maturation and the result is not sweet at all.

Easy recipe :
-make one liter of thick tonyu soy milk (tutorial)
-in a small cup mix 1 tbs of potato starch, 1/4 of agar, 1/2 cup of soy milk. Cook a few seconds in the micro-wave till its thickens. You get a mess.
-in the blender, mix the warmed soy milk, the cup of starch, 1 tbs of sugar, 2 tbs of store bough soy yogurt
-let overnight in a yogurt maker

Tip : you can take a thermos/thick pot with a lid, place glass bin in the middle, very hot water around…and you have a yogurt maker. I do that for smaller batches.

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Freshly made soy ‘Greek’ yogurt.
Drained in a cheese cloth (from the pharmacy), let overnight in the fridge. Drink the whey or use it for cooking, it’s full of healthy probiotics.

Other dairy-like ideas : my diary-free diary.

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Now, let’s make the cake : I whip all that to make a chocolate mousse.

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A nutty biscuit base (just blend all together).

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Composition : the base, a layer of mousse, slices of kumquat, more mousse, cocoa.
The result is really bluffing. That’s not exactly looking like those from the pâtissier‘s, but that’s as close as you dream of getting for some sweet you make like that in 10 minutes. Taste is divine…

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These kinkan (kumquats) are still in season and visible in the streets.

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Crème de sakura (sakura an)

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桜餡sakura an is the girlie version of anko, the classic sweet bean paste used to make Japanese sweets.

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It is traditionally flavored with pickled sakura.

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Dried daifuku mame. They are big white beans, very convenient to make Japanese sweets.

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After soaking and cooking.

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1. Paste the beans.
2. Add color (beni koji for red) and syrup or sugar. I also add a little brandy.
3. Pass the paste through a sieve.
4. Add pickled minced sakura leaves (for strong taste) and/or flowers (for lighter taste and pink bits in the mass).
5. Let a few hours, so the paste takes the full flavor.

The pickled sakura must be rinsed and soaked, otherwise they are really too salty.

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That’s the finished paste. It can be used in sweets and breads.

DSC07698-001 With the rest of paste that didn’t pass the filtering, and some leftover of anko bean paste, I made a toast.

Wagashi Saga : Japanese sweet posts and tutorials.

Recipes using sakura-an :
DSC07734-001sakura mochi
DSC08042-002double sakura waffles
DSC08359-001sakura anpan

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Kuromame bean is the new black

黒豆
This is a compilation about ideas to cook kuromame (black soy beans). First, you need to boil them, go to the end of this post for instructions.

SIDE DISH

As a side dish for :
kare raisu (Japanese curry)
Korean wind lunch
Rum vanilla apple black beans, in fragrant tortilla

WITH RICE

Rice and beans.

Black rice
Same recipe as seki-han, red rice (red rice), but with kuromame

Salade de riz Méditerranée

BEAN BALLS

A variation to burger or croquette.


Tama (green lemon big bean ball)

Swedish bean balls
Dark green curry with bean balls

OTHERS :

Marron berry chunky terrine (France)

Feijoada with pig trotter (Brazil)

Enfrijoladas frescas (Mexico)

kuromame shiso empanadas

also in :
Japanese garden creamy Winter soup
four bean gumbo
‘lumaca’ soup

SWEET :

Recooked in a syrup of sugar and grated fresh ginger.

Sweetened with syrup of kurozato (black sugar). They are floating with black sesame on top a bowl of sweet potato okayu

PREPARATION OF DRIED BEANS :

Cooking them is quite long, that can take 3 or 4 hours, after soaking them 24 hours. The time is hard to “predict” as it depends on the size of beans and their age (this year’s crop, or older…).

Process :
-Anyway, rinse them and soak them. You can add baking soda or not (I don’t but Japanese water is not harsh).
-Bring them to boil, you use the soaking water or change. In the first case, color will be more vivid. Boil them at least 10 minutes and take away the foam on surface (the toxic substance of beans).
-Continue on low heat, in a crock pot if you want. Beans are cooked when they are soft.
I cook a batch of 250g without any flavoring, and I freeze most in cups (silicone cupcake molds) for further use.

Tip (that I don’t use) : to keep the color, you can add some nails or other iron objects that are rusted.

Japan’s most common recipe is to cook them with sugar (same weight as the beans) added from the soaking water, or from the low heat simmering… or like I do later. The sweet black beans are one item of the New Year good luck dishes. For savory recipes, you can add a piece of kombu seaweed in the water.