Sesame and sesame ramen

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A warm ramen lunch to fight the chilly weather.Nothing goes better with pork broth than the nuttiness of toasted sesame.

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I bought the noddles and the soup (tonkotsu pork broth).

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The reheat noddles and toppings. Sliced ginger and kujo negi leeks. Toasted sesame and kiku chrysanthemum. And on top of that, a little mix of miso, toasted sesame and garlic, pasted together.

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A very filling side dish : veggies in gochujang Korean sauce. There are okra, kuromame black soy beans, ninniku no me garlic stalks…

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…slices of ukon turmeric.

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Warm mushroom soba soup

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The weather is getting a little chilly. The time of warm soup is back. The official season of sake kasu is open, even if I didn’t wait.

Asian cuisines are very careful about seasons of dishes. You’ll say that’s everywhere that wise people try to eat season produce. True, but they have kept a concern that was important in European Medieval cuisines and has since been neglected, which is the effect of food, whether they are cooling or warming. So these are two food said to be “warming” :

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Sake kasu (sake lees). The soup made with it, kasujiru, is present all along the cold season in Kansai.

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Buckwheat, here in soba noodles. It’s also seen in sobagaki.

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I soaked a good handful of mixed dry mushrooms, then added onion, frozen and thawed tofu, garlic, soy sauce. Simmered.

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For the sides, I’ve steamed kabocha and reheated hana mame (flower beans) with soy sauce and a little sugar.

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I’ve added the soba and sake kasu in the soup, more soy sauce to make it saltier.

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And to spice it up a tonic mix : diced ginger, garlic, negi leeks, and chili pepper. Just mixed in, reheated and served.

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Kimchi in the kabocha.

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A flower on the beans. Lunch is ready.

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Warm kintoki red bean terrine, with creamy yellow sauce

Today a red veggieful terrine served warm with a creamy sunny sauce that sparkles on the tongue. For a contrast of texture, I ate it with crunchy boiled renkon (lotus root) and a fresh quick tsukemono (grated cabbage, turnip, onion, salt, combined 30 minutes before).
You’ve seen bean terrines before on this blog and you’ll see more because they are very convenient. I can prepare several different ones, bake them together and I have a little stock.

Today’s bean, already boiled of course :

Taisho kintoki mame

This terrine is made of : mashed beans with onion, garlic, miso, paprika and oats for the binding mass.
Inside : whole beans, dices of red and yellow bell pepper, minced onions.

Then, it’s baked and let cool 48 hours before cutting thick slices. They can be reheated in a steamer or the micro-wave.

The sauce is extremely easy to prepare and surpringly refined :
Mix : 1/2 coconut cream, 1/2 coconut milk, a little potato starch, a pinch of curry spice mix (powdered), a good amount of powdered turmeric, 1/4 cup of cut yellow paprika.
Heat 2 minutes in the micro-wave.
Add very strong fine mustard to taste.

Gyoza miso nabe (relax hot pot). Step 2 : cook’n eat.

Let’s eat this miso hot pot with ginger chicken gyoza…

You have everything ready (details here).

1. fill 2/3 of the pot with hot water, add the kombu seaweed, let simmer a few minutes. You can put the lid if you want to speed up.
2. add a part of the miso, at your taste. It’s very salty. You want the water drizzle slightly, just enough to poach and cook the ingredients. The “don’t let boil” advice for miso soup can’t apply here.
3. when the level of broth goes down, complete with hot water. When you get near the end of the meal, you can let the broth thicken.
4. add small amounts of the ingredients and pick them out as soon as they are cooked. The cooking time differ slightly. Here, the kabocha is the longest, I put some in first, then gyoza, then mochi and I like my cabbage and sprouts very crunchy so they need only a quick dip.

While the kabocha cooks, you have the time to form a few gyoza dumplings :

Inside the gyoza : meat, ginger and a little miso. Wet the outer circle and fold in 2, try to push out all air from inside and shape in little bags. They cook in about 5 minutes. You can see the change of shape and color.

FINAL ROUND :

At the end, everything that is left, the rest of miso, of veggies, the unused dumpling skins and the big block of mochi. The kombu seaweed has become much softer and it can be eaten. I cut it in ribbon and let it in.
When the mochi melts, serve the soup.

Other nabe hotpots :

Japanese miso hot pot with Winter crab
Nikomi Udon, noodle nabe
Duck and veggie nabe
sukiyaki, beef , sake and soy sauce

Gyoza miso nabe (relax hot pot). Step 1 : display.


A cool… no hot nabe Japanese hotpot with ginger flavored chicken gyoza dumplings. A meal to cook directly on the table and relax longly, and enjoy season food. It’s very popular for parties and all gathering, but you can start at one. Preparing takes less time than reading this post.

gas + donabe

Material :
-a stove you can place on your table. They make convenient and cheap gas ones (in any Chinatown). I also have a small induction one. A brasero is too slow for a big pot, but for one or two, that works.
-a nabe (pot). That can be any thick bottom pot. There are beautiful ones in black cast iron (kuro tetsu), or in pottery (donabe). It’s better to use one that seems too small than too big for the number of guests. The goal is to cook progressively and eat immediately each bite, so you want to cook in many small batches.
-a pot with hot water not far away

A bit of dashi kombu, the seaweed. That’s the base for the broth.

Chunky koji miso. How much ? I’d say a good spoonful per person for a full meal. Then that depends if you like your food salty.
Some mochi. It’s the full season as we are so close to New Year. I had square kiri-mochi. We can buy any size here. They sell thinly cuts ready for hot pots, but slicing yours is not difficult. I slice some, I keep some whole for the final.
Dumpling skins that you can make yourself. I bought them this time. Well, some buy the gyoza ready, but that’s not funny.
DIY gyoza

For the filling : ground chicken meat and diced fresh ginger. That’s all. The ground meat could go bad if it stayed too long unrefrigerated, so take it from the fridge at the last minute. If you are many, bring one a bowl and refill later as you go.

Season veggies that you like.
The greens of hakusai (napa cabbage). Bean sprouts. And yukikesho kabocha, sliced finely, if possible. The rind of kabocha is edible.

That’s ready. Jump to step 2 (here).

Carrot soup chicken curry


Another little meal thrown in 5 minutes : I simmered together a broth made of grated carrot, onion and water, chicken legs, curry spices, sweet corn. Later added a green sweet pepper.Served with steamed spinach.

Easy and delicious.