Archive for February, 2012

Fish n’ onions

We hadn’t had fish in a while, so this was a nice treat. Yusuke found bass in the grocery store, and it tasted pretty similar to Japanese すずき (suzuki), although he wasn’t sure whether this specimen was from a lake or the ocean.

The fishie came whole, so the first step was to de-boned and filet. The thickest part was sliced a bit more, cut on the skin side.

Next, he sprinkled sea salt and freshly ground black pepper on the fish flesh and let it sit for a while. Later, he dried a bit of excess water off the fish and put it in a frying pan.

He added a healthy amount of white wine, followed by chopped white mushrooms, and sliced white onions. Yes, the white was appropriate for Montreal’s new-found snowy February!

He covered the pan and let the fish and veggies steam.

To eat, we simply dressed everything with balsamic vinegar, one of my new favourite substances. Like other types of vinegar, balsamic vinegar supposedly aids digestion and has good antioxidant properties. But I didn’t bother finding sources that I could cite on this blog in good conscience, so…find your own!

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Tom yum soup

This fantastic spicy soup had the nice side effect of helping with one of my migraine—perhaps sinus-clearing spice or improvement of my blood flow?

The adventure began with the chef sauteeing finely chopped leeks and cuttlefish with minced garlic and ginger. Next, he added 880 mL of water and brought it to a boil.

Next, he added a store-bought tom yum soup paste. To quote today’s Wikipedia article, “The basic broth is made of stock and fresh ingredients such as lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves, galangal, lime juice, fish sauce and crushed chili peppers.”

The recipe on the package recommended adding chicken broth, but we added vegetable bouillon instead. Next, lime juice was added, along with 1 tsp of nam pla (Thai fish sauce).

Finally, sliced mushrooms and carrots were added to the simmering broth.

A bit more lime juice was added when served.

Fantastic spice! Yusuke thought he had boiled it a bit too much, because the red spots of spice weren’t visible, but I thought that it was great.

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Nifty soba

This was an unusual soba dish that I can only describe as nifty.

The original recipe focused on a ゆず / こしょう sauce (citrus/black pepper) and included bacon. Fortunately, Yusuke made modifications.

The soba (buckwheat noodles) was boiled as usual. The toppings were:

  • sweet potatoes: cubed and steamed in the microwave
  • beet greens: chopped and boiled
  • leeks: shredded and raw

The sauce was assembled as follows:
Fresh minced garlic was sauteed with sesame oil until aromatic. Next came chopped tomatoes, cooked until heated. The liquid portion of the soba sauce was:

  • dashi
  • soy sauce
  • mirin
  • sake
  • lime juice (as a substitute for yuzu)
  • black pepper (こしょう)

N.B. Soba must be slurped, loudly. I am slowly developing the technique.

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Japan Airlines

Looks like some fancy-schmancy sushi restaurant, right? Wrong! This is what Yusuke ate in executive class on Japan Airlines. He was bumped from his flight, you see, and ended up on a later flight at the front of the plane. They took his coat and hung it up after he was settled, and then brought him champagne. In a glass. And the indulgence continued from there.

Wowie zowie.

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Cold-weather soup

Oh so warm and filling. Here are the assembly steps, imperative style:

Cut salmon into chunks and boil briefly in salted water until the colour changes. Drain.

Add water to the pot and dump in the following:

  • crimini mushrooms
  • green onions
  • white onions
  • sweet potatoes

Add vegetable bouillon and 1 tbsp of mirin.

Add the previously-boiled salmon and reduce the heat.

Add 1 cup of soy milk.

Stir in green onions and serve.

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Garlicky lettuce wrap

Neglected blogs are sad. Fortunately, food chez nous is happy.

The original recipe that inspired this dish was for pasta sauce, but Yusuke modified it quite dramatically!

The goal of this dish was to use up leftover fresh garlic, so preparations began with 4 cloves: minced. He also minced white onions and sautéed them with pork and a tiny bit of oil.

Next, he added smashed tofu to the pan. (He used Soyarie brand silken tofu which is firmer than Japanese.) He let it simmer until the water content was reduced, at which he point he added a load of leeks.

The seasoning was added next: 1-2 tbsp of soy sauce, salt, and black pepper.

The mixture was transferred to fresh lettuce and wrapped up neatly. Yum!

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