Archive for November, 2010

Moyashi domburi

A few weeks ago, Yusuke was positively salivating over pictures of food that one of his sisters had taken during a trip to Hokkaido. In particular, he really drooled over the various ramen dishes. Alas, we didn’t have any ramen on hand, but he made a substitute.

To start, he sautéed a tiny bit of spicy tobanjan sauce with sesame oil and then added asparagus, leeks, and bean sprouts. For additional seasoning, he added a tiny of bit of salt—to be precise—and 1 tbsp of soy sauce.

This mixture was dumped onto a healthy portion of rice.

Next came the broth spooned over all: made of soy sauce, water, black pepper, a tiny bit of sugar, and bonito powder. Last, strips of nori were arranged to garnish.

This is nothing like ramen at all, but for Yusuke it evoked the taste of shoyu (soy sauce) ramen and made him less jealous of his sister.

(To help with my search results: domburi is also transliterated as donburi. Easier: 丼 or どんぶり)

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Ginger tofu stew and new rice

This is a rather unattractive image of an incredibly good stew. Yusuke made it weeks ago, though, so we don’t exactly remember what was in it. The key components were chunks of firm tofu, carrots, [pork], and gigantic green onions from a farmer’s market. There was also copious amounts of ginger, which made me warm and happy.

Beautiful rice

The aesthetic appeal of this post is saved by the above image of beautiful, beautiful rice. It was the last of our more recent batch sent from Japan as a gift from my sweet mother-in-law. There is a distinct sheen to the high-quality grains, and they are almost uniform in their roundness. Even though we buy relatively good rice here, it’s a bit of let down to go back after this most excellent grade. Sigh.

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Soy milk nabe

Warming fall food.

Ingredients for soup

  • 1.5 cups of unsweetened soy milk
  • 2 cups of water
  • Chicken powdered bouillon
  • Salt (a pinch)

Bring all to a simmer (NOT boiling!).

Then add:

  • Chopped napa
  • Sliced leeks
  • Baby carrots
  • Cubes of firm tofu
  • Chunks of tilapia (defrosted, first, in our case)
  • Mushrooms would also be a possibility if you have some on hand

Serve piping hot with a sprinkling of shichimi or pepper for an added kick. Don’t forget the rice on the side!

If you have a nabe pot in which this can be made: I’m jealous!

Some notes about nabe from a previous post (and see also this one):

Nabe (short for nabemono) is central to Japanese culture and cuisine. It is essentially a hot pot dish, cooked on the dining table, in which all different types of meat, seafood, and veggies are boiled in a special broth. Everyone is served out of the communal pot on the table, so it brings a warmth and closeness when shared among family and friends. Chankonabe is special, extra-hearty nabe that is a staple in sumo wrestlers’ training diets…which is what we had in Ginza [two years ago]: a million different types of mushrooms (yay!), along with some kind of meat, napa, onions, eggs, tofu, noodles, and some other stuff that I can’t remember. At the lovely home of a friend, we had nabe chock full of succulent oysters (sooo fabulously juicy and briny), white fish, mushrooms, carrots, napa, and and other veggies. Click to see other people’s nabe pics on Google images and a nice one on Flickr:

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Brocc-squash-oli stir fry

This is a quickie quick stir fry. First, Yusuke microwaved the acorn squash for a few minutes to get it partially cooked. He also boiled the fresh broccoli separately in a saucepan. He then added the cooked veggies to sliced carrots and pork (I think) in the frying pan and sautéed everything together with minced ginger, soy sauce, dashi (a tiny bit), white wine, and mirin.

N.B. The squash was particularly good, having come from the very last farmer’s market on the McGill campus for the fall. I was late in arriving, but the seller was kind enough to unpack her car to let me peruse her wares!

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Modified wafuu quinoa

This meal was inspired from a post on the always-fabulous Just Bento blog.

We followed the principles in the original recipe:

First, a cup of quinoa was cooked in our rice cooker (normal rice setting) with a cup of water and a sprinkling of dashi.

While the quinoa was cooking, Yusuke stir fried a selection of veggies in sesame oil and ginger:

  • daikon
  • shitake
  • white onions
  • dried wakame (soaked first)
  • green onions (added very last)

He added the cooked quinoa to the frying pan, and then flavoured everything with soy sauce, dashi, sake, and sea salt.

The truly excellent results were accompanied by asparagus miso soup on the side.

Here are some choice excerpts from the original post:

…Quinoa is one of my grains (as an alternative to rice) for bentos, since it maintains its distinct, poppy texture even when cooled. As it happens, quinoa (written キヌア and pronounced as ki-nu-wa) is getting quite popular in Japan as it seems to be all over the world, and it’s sold at regular supermarkets…

…You could just pack this alone in a bento box, and you’ll get all the major nutrition groups – carbs, protein, a little fat and vegetables, plus fiber – in one go.

…“Wafuu” means “traditional Japanese style” by the way. Quinoa is not at all Japanese, but the flavors in this are.

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Riff on chipirones

October was not a big blogging month, as sickness, travel, and general busyness disrupted things. Of course, we have most certainly have been eating, but mainly variations on usual staples.

However: here is something new!

Yusuke very much appreciated the wonderful food that he had in Spain and wanted to recreate a bit of that at home.

He was excited to find some tiny squid—akin to Spanish chipirones—in our grocery store. Alas and alack, he was very disappointed to find that the ink had been removed, so the final result was not quite what he anticipated.

Anyway, this dish was composed of the following:

  • potatoes
  • squid
  • chives
  • olive oil
  • sea salt
  • lots of white wine
  • water
  • a pinch of bonito flakes

No particular measurements were used: just the right ones!

A note on the sea salt: for this dish in particular, Yusuke procured some sea salt from Portugal (via a Montreal grocery store). The brand is Bela Mandil, and it has won a “slow food award for defense of biodiversity.” In other words, it tastes better than generic salt!

Yusuke began this dish by sautéeing garlic and diced potato. Then he added the rest of the other ingredients to a frying pan. The bonito was added at the last moment since the taste wasn’t quite right. Although Yusuke said that the dish lacked the depth of taste compared to what he had in Spain, it was still quite yummy.

Pictured below is Yusuke’s meal in Spain that inspired this dish. Note the dark colour from the ink!

Delicious looking mini-squid (chiporones) in Spain. Complete with ink!

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Dessert at Jun-i

No superfluous Jun-i pics this time, as we had some of our usual stuff, but this was a new dessert: mille-feuilles style cream-layered crêpes. Wow. Very tasty and not too heavy at all. The accompanying bananas were coated in what appeared to be a coffee-caramel sauce.

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