Archive for August, 2011

Lettuce soup

Our summer organic food baskets have included lots of lovely iceburg lettuce grown here in Quebec.

I had never had lettuce in soup before, to the best of my recollection, but it was fantastic: very smooth and sweet. According to Yusuke, it’s common in Chinese cuisine, at least as it’s prepared in Japan.

So here are the assembly steps:

Boil the loosely torn lettuce for about 10 seconds and then place portions in the serving bowls.

Prepare a broth:

  • chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • cooking sake
  • minced ginger
  • tiny pinch of salt

Add cubed firm tofu and shrimp and boil until cooked.

Spoon into the bowls with lettuce and eat!

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Turnip carpaccio

Our farmers’ market basket has exposed us to some stuff that usually doesn’t end up in our shopping cart at the grocery store. This time: turnips. Fortunately, they turned out to be passably similar to カブ (kabu: Japanese turnips).

Here, Yusuke turned them into a lovely carpaccio. [I learned that this signifies a marinated dish.]

First, he stir fried bean sprouts in sesame oil and set them aside.

Next, he boiled the kabu for just a few seconds (10-15) and then sliced it very thinly. In the original recipe, the kabu is raw and sliced with a special slicer gadget* for the purpose, so apparently that’s another option.

Then he chopped up the kabu leaves and stems, as small as possible, and sauteed them in sesame oil.

Last, he arranged everything on a plate and topped with ponzu sauce (the aforementioned marinade) and katsuobushi.

At this point, it’s probably superfluous to say: it was yummy.

*Re: the slicer: See Amazon.jp. Marvelous. Amazon Canada, why do you suck so bad?

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Roasted nightshades

In our weekly farmers’ market basket, we got approximately one buttload of tomatoes. Since these vegetable-ish fruits are not usually very prominent in our Japanese-based fare, we’ve been brainstorming ways to use them up. Yusuke made good progress with this dish.

First, he lightly scored a circle around the tops of the eggplants and tomatoes and then roasted them (in separate pans) in a 450 degree F oven for about 10 minutes.

When done, he immediately put them in a bowl of cold water, which allowed him to easily slide off the skin.

He chopped up everything and arranged it on plates, topped with chopped raw green onions, ginger, and soy sauce. (The original recipe that inspired this called for shisho, ginger, and myoga, but we had to make due with substitutes…)

The tomatoes were very sweet and the eggplant very juicy. Huzzah for summer.

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