Archive for September, 2008

Chirashizushi

Chirashizushi

Chirashizushi

Chirashizushi is “scattered sushi”: the fish, vegetables, and whatnot are arranged over rice. In this instance, Yusuke combined shrimp, fresh salmon from our local poissonnerie, green onions, and a thin omelet cut into strips. Usually, the rice for this dish would be mixed with rice vinegar and sugar, but instead Yusuke used a “magic powder” that his mom sent—it’s called sushinoko. Yusuke’s mom also sent us the wonderful wooden bowl for serving the rice. The soup is traditional miso with tofu and wakame. This indeed is one of Yusuke’s restaurant-worthy creations!

Chirashizushi and soup

Chirashizushi and soup

Advertisements

Comments (1)

Jun-i Lunch

Miso soup

Sushi and sashimi: wow

Mousse

Chocolate cake

Last Friday, Yusuke and I decided to have a special lunch out. We had our hearts set on trying Mange Boire, which, despite the name, is a Japanese fusion restaurant. He had found it to be highly recommended on a Japanese social networking site. We checked the restaurant’s hours on their website and headed out. Sadly, when we got there, we found a sign on the door with their new hours—and they’re not open for lunch. Boo. We were in Little Italy, but we had had our appetites all prepared for fancy Japanese food, and Guido’s Pizza just wasn’t going to cut it. Fortunately, we had been to a similar fancy-schmancy Japanese fusion place before, and we had packed our transit system map, so after a short trip on a bus packed with rowdy middle-schoolers (whose French I could almost understand!), we arrived at Jun-i, where the chef greeted us in Japanese as we came in. Yay.

We ordered the lunch table d’hôte, which is extremely pricey, but not to the outrageous levels of the dinner menu. We started with miso soup with tiny cubes of tofu, wakame, and enoki mushrooms. Yusuke said it was perfect. Indeed, it tasted completely different from the soup in the more run of the mill restaurants. For the main course, we both chose the chef’s selection of sushi and sashimi, the fabulosity of which is reflected in the picture. I especially liked the hamachi (yellow fin tuna) sashimi and the maki (roll) with eel. Last, for dessert, I choose the cream cheese mousse with a green tea cookie, and Yusuke picked chocolate cake with orange pieces and vanilla ice cream. The ice cream was better than any I’d ever tasted. It wasn’t too sweet at all; I think they must have made their own with real vanilla beans. All in all, it was a highly enjoyable splurge.

Comments (2)

White stew

White stew

White stew

La Chamiza

La Chamiza

This creamy white stew features carrots, cabbage, potatoes, and white onions. (And chicken, which, as usual, I didn’t eat…picky, picky.) The base of the stew is very simple: just flour, milk, butter, white wine, and salt and pepper. I was surprised when Yusuke said that’s all that was in it, since the flavour is very rich. It’s filling enough that we only had some toast on the side to complete the meal. In my mind, it’s sort of a quintessential Northern/Eastern European dish, but food like this is also very popular in Japan. In fact, you can buy pre-made sauce cubes that just dissolve in boiling water. So efficient.

In addition to the wine in the stew, we had a bit more on the side. We tried something new: an Argentinian chardonnay, La Chamiza, which proved to be extremely tasty. I’m not a wine connoisseur by any means; I just like to drink things that taste good. La Chamiza has been added to our new favourites list. And incidentally, the website’s description of the “mouth” sounds exactly like a self-description: “Young and fruity with fresh and persistent finish.”

Update: Argh, good thing this isn’t a photography blog. That picture is a bit icky when you enlarge it. But the stew looked fabulous. You just have to take my word for it…

Comments (1)

Pâtisserie interlude

tiramisu

tiramisu

opera cake

opera cake

Ok, so Yusuke didn’t make these. Plus, they’re old pictures. But I felt like posting them anyway, since Yusuke took me out to a pâtisserie in honour of my birthday in March. We watched most of the St. Patrick’s Day parade, got thoroughly frozen, and thawed out over tea and pastries. I couldn’t choose just one, so we sampled a fruit tart, tiramisu, and an opera cake (chocolate, espresso, almond). Fabulous.

Comments off

Spicy cabbage stir fry

Spicy cabbage stir fry

Spicy cabbage stir fry

This dish is a Chinese-style stir fry. Sadly, the photo is truly awful. I’ll have to take another picture next Yusuke makes it. The cabbage and carrots actually retain their colour…they’re not really that weird yellowish-white. When Yusuke makes this dish, he varies the veggies that he uses with the cabbage and carrots: this time was green onions and bean sprouts. For the sauce, he uses tobanjan, which is a very spicy Chinese chili bean paste. Sometimes he adds enough to make me sweat, which is quite nice, even in hot weather. The spiciness is balanced with a Japanese sweet bean paste, along with the usual garlic and ginger. The spicy taste is kind of addictive. I always want just another taste, and then a little more rice to neutralize the spice, then just one more taste, then just a bit more rice… Yeah.

I made the soup, which came out ok, but it wasn’t quite right to go with the stir fry. I like miso soup better with spicy dishes like this. Anyway, I cooked mushrooms and white onions in white wine, garlic, and ginger, and then added vegetable broth and soy sauce, and then salt and pepper. I also used a bit of wakame (seaweed).

Comments (3)

Water chestnut stir fry times two

water chestnuts and snow peas

Stir fry: water chestnuts and snow peas

This was actually two different meals, but they were similar enough to warrant a single post. I prepared the one on top all by me onesie, and it didn’t turn out to be terrible. Because it was extremely easy! For the stir fry, I sauteed onions with lots of minced ginger, some garlic, and a splash of vegetable broth (to keep them from sticking). Then I added mushrooms, snow peas, and water chestnuts in succession. I just used soy sauce for the flavoring and a tiny bit of potato starch to thicken it. I’ve always loved water chestnuts; indeed, it has been suggested (ahem) that I have a particular propensity for bland white foods. Instead, though, I would say that I have a well-developed, sophisticated palate that can appreciate simple, subtle tastes. Anyhoo, the soup was miso with cabbage, abura-age (deep fried tofu sheets), and green onions.

Yusuke used the leftover water chestnuts to make the stir fry below. It also has bok choy, white onions, and pork. The sauce is thicker than mine, but it has similar ingredients: garlic, ginger, chicken bouillon, soy sauce, and mirin. The accompanying miso soup has eggs and green onions. Yum.

water chestnuts and bok choy

Stir fry: water chestnuts and bok choy

Comments (1)

Curry rice

Curry rice

Curry rice

Cat bowl

Cat bowl

Curry rice is a fabulous nearly-instant meal—perfect for our French class/kendo practice nights. Even better, it makes tons of food, so we have lots left for lunch/dinner the next day. To make the dish, you just boil veggies in a big pot of water and then dissolve pre-made curry sauce cubes. Then the sauce and veggies are served steaming hot (as shown in the picture!) over rice. We usually use potatoes, carrots, and white onions. Yusuke also added bok choy this time. Our soup was miso with tofu, green onions, and seaweed.

Curry dishes are extremely popular in Japan: there’s even a wikipedia article on the subject, naturally. The cubes vary in spiciness, and I think we usually have a medium one. The curry is not hot at all in the way it would be in Indian cuisine, but there’s a sweetness mixed with the spice that I find lick-the-bowl addictive.

Also, please note the cute cat bowl. Yusuke bought these (one pink, one blue) at a Korean store near our apartment, since they match dishes that his sister has in Japan. (Aww, gee.)

Comments (1)

Older Posts »