Archive for March, 2012


Exquisite chocolates, sent by my mum-in-law a while back. Too pretty to eat?

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Birthday dinner at Aux Vivres

Pics from my birthday dinner at Aux Vivres, a vegan restaurant. Very yummy; can’t wait to go back.

I’ll let the menu do the explaining:

“DRAGON BOWL: shredded beets, carrots, daikon, lettuce, sprouts, red cabbage, dulse, toasted sesame seeds, dragon sauce.” “Dragon sauce” evidently involves lots of miso.

Incredibly warming carrot and ginger soup (with black pepper).

“BURGERS AUX VIVRES: hearty garden patty served on a whole-wheat bun with mustard, tomato, lettuce, pickle & chipotle mayo”

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Revamped okonomiyaki

This was an attempt at a new okonomiyaki recipe, and it was highly successful!

The basis was medium-firm tofu. Yusuke squeezed the tofu between paper towels to draw out excess water and then smashed it with a whisk until it made a smooth paste.

He then assembled the “dough” and filling:

  • the tofu paste
  • shredded cabbage
  • chopped spinach
  • a tiny bit of bonito flakes
  • dashi
  • sea salt
  • 3 tbsp of katakuriko powder (that is, potato starch, sort of)
  • 4 eggs

He mixed everything in a large bowl and then separated it into individual pancake portions, which were grilled in a frying pan with a bit of canola oil.

We dressed them as usual with okonomi sauce, bonito flakes, and for Yusuke: mayonnaise.

So what made this different? No flour! It worked out quite well, although they were rather more fragile than the typical specimen.

The original recipe called for tiny shrimp and green onions, but as these were lacking from our fridge, Yusuke subbed in spinach.

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Matsutake risotto

Another recipe for the risotto/porridge/おかゆ file. This is an excellent choice for any not-feeling-good circumstance.

The rice was prepared in the rice cooker, on the porridge setting. Yusuke added a bit of dashi and soy sauce to the water. In addition, he added dried matsutake mushrooms and let everything soak for about 30 minutes.

I had bought the mushrooms at Montreal’s Salon des métiers d’art in December from a lovely purveyor of preserved foods called Gourmet Sauvages. Matsutake are especially prized gems of the mushroom world, often described as having a spicy undertone.

While the rice was cooking, Yusuke boiled okra and chopped it into thin pieces.

The おかゆ emerged from the rice cooker with a lovely aroma. Yusuke stirred in the okra with raw eggs—which cooked quickly in the hot porridge. To serve, we stirred in a bit of sea salt and wasabi. Very warm and soothing.

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Thai-ish stir fry

First step: boil snap peas with sea salt for about 2 minutes and then drain.

Next it was the potatoes‘ turn to be cut into strips and soaked in water for a few minutes.

In a frying pan, he sauteed ginger and fresh garlic in a bit of oil. He then added the potatoes, followed by the snap peas, and finally defrosted frozen shrimp.

He then turned off the heat and added 1/2 tsp of nam pla and a tiny bit of maple syrup. The sweetness very nicely balanced the salty taste.

The unique flavour of nam pla (Thai fish sauce) comes from fermentation, which brings out a richer taste in the food to which it is added—the famous concept of umami.

I must note, though, that nam pla made our apartment stink, especially in combination with the fresh garlic. However, the smell disappears as soon as the sauce is heated and mixes with other flavours. The food itself was delicious, with no trace of fishiness.

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Garlic bok choy

I’m prone to spoonerisms today; this post was originally going to be titled boy chock.

I didn’t actually partake of this dish, as Yusuke made it for himself while I was at a meeting. He stir fried chopped chok boy and mhite wushrooms, later adding a dressing comprised of sauteed garlic (in oil) and oyster sauce.

Tooks lasty!

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