Archive for June, 2011

Portobello rice burger

My backlog of blog fodder is piling up again, so I thought I should break the posting fast with a particularly nifty dish.

Yusuke’s fantastic work here was inspired by both fast food and fancy cookbook fare.

He began by grilling especially lovely portobello mushrooms on our George Foreman grill. Pan-toasting would also work. He sprinkled a tiny bit of sea salt on the surface of the mushrooms before cooking.

To prepare the rice buns, he made brown rice like normal in our rice cooker. When it was finished, he wrapped a bun-sized amount in plastic wrap and squished it in a little custard bowl, using a second bowl for additional smashing power. Then he flattened the mounds by hand.

Next, he brushed the rice with a very light coating of sauce: equal amounts of sake, mirin, and soy sauce, along with a bit of sesame oil and ginger.

Finally, he toasted the buns on both sides in a frying pan.

To assemble, he added a bit more of the sauce to the mushrooms and added lightly toasted sheets of nori seaweed. Mayonnaise is an optional condiment.

During our last trip to Japan, I was pleased to encounter a hamburger joint at which I could be happy: Mos Burger, a Japanese institution. [N.B. The website includes ridiculously animated hamburgers.] Although the vast majority of their offerings don’t exactly suit my tastes, I discovered the fantabulous kinpira burger on a rice bun. The veggies in that instance were carrots, mushrooms, and gobo.

At Mos Burger

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Têtes de violon

It’s fiddlehead season, and I’m happy. This kinpira dish is a Japanese preparation of the veggie (こごみ). It was fabulous for dinner and would also be great for bento, eaten cold or at room temperature. The original recipe called for burdock instead of fiddleheads, but clearly, either works.

Yusuke began by boiling the fiddleheads briefly in salted water and then drained them. Next, he heated canola oil in a frying pan and added the fiddleheads, cooking them on high heat. Then sliced carrots were thrown in.

After a few minutes, he mixed in 2 tbsp mirin and 1 tbsp soy sauce.

He then turned off the heat and added a few drops of sesame oil for aroma. Last, he sprinkled in sesame seeds and stirred everything until the veggies were coated.

The fiddleheads had a great texture, firm but not chewy. The sesame flavour definitely sets them off nicely!

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Vacation food

Here are so more pictures of food eaten in the course of travels to the Maritimes (specifically Halifax and PEI), as well as a couple snaps from Montreal. Most of this was consumed by hubby and in-laws rather than me, but I believe that it was appreciated.

For the record: The Wooden Monkey rocks my socks. Can’t wait to go again.

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England and Ireland

Argh. I’ve got a fat pile of notes to write up on this blog, but it’s low on the ol’ priority list.

In the meantime, here are some snaps of our April trip to London and Ireland.

N.B. The BEST! meal was at Itadaki Zen in London: a vegan Japanese restaurant.

Also: we encountered lots o’ Irish/English breakfast. We didn’t take any pics, though, so I’m borrowing. Fortunately, I often obtained porridge. Yum.

Full Irish Breakfast, by Flickr user Herman Horsten. (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

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