Pretty barramundi

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No particular recipe here, but it’s a pretty picture! Barramundi is an Indian Ocean fish that’s often seen on menus here, but I don’t think that I’d had it before this. Very tasty. The fish was grilled with sesame oil and dressed with ponzu (citrus) sauce.

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Okonomiyaki-lite

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This was sort of okonomiyaki-lite: just simple cabbage and much less batter than the standard.

For the batter:
5-6 tbsp flour
100-200 mL of water with a pinch of dashi
3 eggs
4 tbsp of okara with enough water to moisten (or crumbled firm tofu)

To make:

  1. Dump chopped cabbage in a bowl
  2. Add the okara and stir
  3. Add the flour and stir
  4. Add the water and stir
  5. Add beaten eggs and stir

When the consistency is even, pour everything in a frying pan and cook until lightly browned.

Since there wasn’t much batter, the whole mass was rather fragile. To flip it, Yusuke used a large plate: place the plate over the cabbage, hold it and flip the pan upside down to get the cabbage onto the plate, then slide it back in.

Garnish with green onions and okonomyaki fixings (mayo, okonomi sauce, bonito flakes).

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Quick miso tip

Miso soup

 

Oh, this poor blog. I think about it a lot, but I can’t seem to wriggle in time to post. C’est la vie.

Here’s a quick tip, though, that I thought was worth noting for my own future use, at the very least.

Miso soup is foundational to Japanese cuisine, and we have it nearly everyday. We alternate between white (shiro) and red (aka) miso, usually according to which is on sale. It turns out that adding a small amount of sake—a tablespoon or so—to soup made with aka miso really boosts the taste, making it tangier and richer. I was surprised that such a small addition could make that much of a difference. Definitely recommended.

(Not sure if it works with shiro miso; will report back.)

Red and white miso

Images from Wikimedia Commons with CC BY-SA 3.0 licenses

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Hello, mackerel

Salmon

Yusuke prepared this mackerel for himself while I was elsewhere. Marinated in roughly equal parts of:

  • soy sauce (a bit more than the other two)
  • mirin
  • sake

Grilled and topped with green onions

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Leek and mushroom pasta

Leek mushroom pasta

Here is another example of わふう パスタ (wafuu pasta)—that is, Japanese-style pasta. The possibilities are endless: see some examples here from Just Hungry. (Or Google it.)

 

To make this particular version:

Lightly saute sliced leeks, chopped mushrooms (portobello here, but could be shiitake), and canned tuna with:

  • salt (tiny bit)
  • pepper
  • garlic
  • olive oil

Boil spaghetti in water with a bit of dashi and salt.

After the pasta is *mostly* cooked, add it to the skillet in which the leeks and mushrooms have been sauteing, along with some of the dashi-flavoured water from the pasta.

Cook everything a bit more and that’s it!

 

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Red quinoa delight

Red quinoa delight

I made this one, and it doesn’t look half bad.

Procedures:

  1. Cook gorgeous, jewel-like red quinoa in rice cooker (same water proportion and setting as plain white rice)
  2. Dump approx 1 tbsp each of mixed garlic and ginger in frying pan
  3. Add sliced white onions
  4. Add ‘white’ bits of chopped bok choy
  5. Add chopped carrots
  6. Add ‘green’ bits of chopped bok choy
  7. When all is cooked, add cooked quinoa
  8. Add smashed silken tofu
  9. Add a couple drops of olive oil
  10. Mix all and season to taste with soy sauce and rice wine vinegar. Sriracha or other spicy sauce is also good!

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Mabo dofu

Mabo doufu

Spicy tofu! So yummy. It’s difficult to manage the spice balance (i.e., overboard is bad), but of course Yusuke is a pro. It’s been a while since I posted this, so here is a repeat of the recipe:

Ingredients (measurements are approximate):

  • 1/4 tsp minced ginger
  • 1/4 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp chili bean sauce (a.k.a. tobanjan)
  • Broth (chicken or dashi): up to 2 cups
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil
  • 2 tbsp katakuriko (Japanese potato starch)
  • Green onions, thinly sliced or chopped
  • 1 package of silken tofu, cut into cubes
  • Lots of mushrooms, preferably shiitake or ground pork (if that’s your thing)

Procedure

Heat the oil in a frying pan and sauté the ginger and garlic

Add the green onion, chili sauce, and mushrooms. Let it cook for a few minutes

Add the broth, sugar, soy sauce and oyster sauce and stir

Add the tofu and let simmer for about 5 minutes

Reduce the heat

In a separate bowl, mix the starch with 2 tbsp water. Gradually drizzle the starch into the tofu and sauce. Add only one spoonful at a time while stirring constantly. This will thicken the sauce avoiding clumps.

My, how the photography has improved Chez Yusuke. Other mabo dofu posts here.

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