Archive for salad

Pretty barramundi

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No particular recipe here, but it’s a pretty picture! Barramundi is an Indian Ocean fish that’s often seen on menus here, but I don’t think that I’d had it before this. Very tasty. The fish was grilled with sesame oil and dressed with ponzu (citrus) sauce.

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Squash salad and more

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I don’t have notes for this tasty meal, but it can be approximated as follows:

Squash salad:

  • Steamed butternut or acorn squash (cubed)
  • White onions (sliced, raw)
  • Plain yogurt
  • Mayonnaise
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Combine all and mix.

It would be tasty to add slivered almonds and raisins (or similar) as well.

We also had summer gazpacho, like this recipe (only sans bell pepper).

Plus a plain fluffy omelette and green salad!

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Cucumbers

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Yusuke frequently makes this fast, fresh, tasty dish—especially in summer.

This iteration uses farm-fresh local organic cukes, which is a rare treat for us. Very crunchy.

The preparation steps proceed thusly:

  1. Wash cucumbers and slice off the ends
  2. Bash the cucumbers with a blunt instrument, e.g., the handle of a large knife (carefully!), so as to “bruise” them
  3. Slice open the cucumbers lengthwise, then cut them into smaller pieces (2-3 inches long)
  4. Put them into a large mixing bowl
  5. Pour in the following and mix well to coat the cukes:
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp minced ginger
  • pinch of sugar

That’s it. You can also add a sprinkle of shichimi togarashi (Japanese chili powder mix) when served.

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Eggplant salad with wasabi dressing

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This is a super-simple salad with just mixed greens and steamed eggplant. But I wanted to blog about the dressing. I usually don’t really like salad dressing (why ruin the veggies’ own flavours?), but this one is quite tasty. It’s special, too; apparently only available for purchase from a town called Odawara, near where my grandmother-in-law lived. Yusuke’s mom gave us a couple of bottles during a recent trip.

It’s very slightly creamy, but much less so than a ranch dressing. Other items on the ingredient list include: vinegar, sugar, oil, egg yolk, soy, green and white onions, spices, garlic, salt. Most importantly, though, the wasabi kick is delightful with raw greens—only a few drops are needed.

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Avocado/tomato/onion salad

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This was a lovely raw salad.

The first step was to soak sliced white onions in water to make them a bit less pungent. After a while, the onions were drained and mixed with chopped tomatoes and avocado.

The mixture was marinated in the following:

  • olive oil
  • lemon juice
  • rice vinegar
  • salt
  • pepper

You could also put a bit of sugar or honey if desired, but Yusuke opted out.

Yusuke noted that (as he learned from my mom), soaking avocado in lemon juice and/or vinegar helps it keep its colour and last longer.

He let the flavours percolate for about 30 minutes, but it could’ve gone longer (we were hungry). Very tangy, great with a meal of soup and fried rice (coming soon).

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Harusame salad

Perfect salad for summer. The base is lettuce, although I’m not sure of the variety. Is it just “leaf lettuce”?

The salad also includes fresh tomatoes and cucumbers. The star of the night, though, was harusame. I blogged about these lovely noodles before. And for your convenience, I’ve copied over my past description!

So what are harusame noodles, one might ask?

The wikipedia article offers the translation “cellophane noodles,” which sounds pretty much unappetizing to me. But other descriptions are better: glass noodles, bean thread noodles, or vermicelli.

According to Wise Geek, they’re Japanese noodles made from potatoes, sweet potatoes, rice, or mung bean starch.

The noodles are extremely thin and become translucent when cooked. Since they’re less dense or “doughy” than other types of noodles, they’re delightful in soup!

Harusame (春雨) means spring rain, and you can google for more pics.

Harusame can be found in most Japanese or Korean grocery stories, but my mum-in-law sent our stock. Very light to ship!

The dressing for the salad was sesame oil, soy sauce, and vinegar (well, possibly…notes lost). Yusuke also mixed mayonnaise into his serving.

Definitely a CSA basket highlight.

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Summer salads

I didn’t write down all the details of these salads, but they sure were pretty. Here’s what I remember, although I might be wrong:

Above is a melange of lettuces with mushrooms and onions, topped with silken tofu and vinegar, over a bed of cold udon noodles.

Below is romaine lettuce with fresh tomatoes and slabs of tofu, topped with shredded nori seaweed. Yusuke mixed sesame oil and mayonnaise for his, while I opted for soy sauce.

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