Posts Tagged bell pepper


Cooking and eating still happen chez Yusuke, just not much blogging.

Our stovetop was out of commission for a while, so a new grill/griddle was acquired.

Here are some action shots.


Okonomyaki  Raw vegGrilled veg

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Spanish omelette 2

While we were visiting my parents, Yusuke whipped up this very lovely iteration of his Spanish omelette recipe (aka tortilla espanola or tortilla de patata). The veggies were:

  • Potatoes (pre-cooked a bit in the microwave)
  • Bell peppers (green and red)
  • White onions

The veggies were sauteed first. Next came the eggs poured in, which had been beaten with a bit of soy milk.

Yusuke prepared other delicious meals during our sojourn, but this dish was particularly blog-worthy in its crispy golden veggie goodness.

Spanish omelette

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Spicy harusame

Now this was a good one. I’m totally a fan of harusame, with its noodley lightness. Here, Yusuke incorporated it in a stir fry.

The veggies were cooked first, sautéed in with ginger, fresh garlic, and canola oil:

  • string beans (rather more yellow than green
  • carrots
  • green peppers

All from the CSA basket, naturally.

The pre-boiled harusame was added next, plus a “soup” of:

  • 1 cup of (weak) chicken broth
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp tenmenjan (sweet bean paste)
  • 1 tsp tobanjan (spicy chili paste)

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A summer classic, great for using the contents of a CSA basket. It’s also super-simple.

Dump for following in a blender:

  • Tomatoes (either fresh, or canned + drained)
  • Red bell pepper
  • Chopped white onions
  • Cucumbers
  • Fresh garlic
  • Olive oil
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • A pinch of sea salt
  • A pinch of black pepper
  • Cumin
  • 1 piece of multigrain bread (no crust)
  • Water: a fair amount, but not too much!

After the mixture is smooth, chill…then eat!

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Soy supreme: natto tofu

This dish is waaaay Japanese. Only those who can appreciate soft subtle tastes need apply.

First, Yusuke thinly sliced white onions and soaked them in water to lessen their strong taste. Next, he prepared a sauce with 1 tsp mirin, 1 tbsp soy sauce, a pinch of dashi, and the tiny packet of “mustard” that comes in a package of natto.

He mixed the sauce into natto and then piled it over blocks of silken tofu, which were also topped with the drained raw onions.

Yum, yummy.

Alas, the tofu was firmer than we prefer due to a recent tofu tragedy. We used to buy “president’s choice/ménu bleu” silken tofu, a store brand at Provigo (aka Atlantic Superstore aka Loblaws). But they haven’t had it for weeks and weeks. We even tried another store, but now hope has faded. Sniff. Japanese-style tofu is incredibly hard to come by in this part of the world…

We also had an unusual miso soup with this meal, with green peppers, potatoes, and cherry tomatoes. Yusuke used a bit of chicken broth, salt, and sugar (a tiny bit) instead of dashi powder.

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Black sesame stir fry

We had this stir fry several days ago, and we don’t quite remember what was in it. It was rather exceptionally good, and therefore worthy of a blog post, but you’ll just have to take my word for it.

As far as Yusuke recalls, the bean sprouts, sliced green pepper, and chopped okra were stir fried with oyster sauce, spicy tobanjan, and a bit of salt.

The tobanjan offered quite a kick, but it was given depth by the final, all-important ingredient: sweet ground black sesame seeds.

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Chickpea lentil salad + squash soup


Here are some stuffs I made.

First was a lentil-chickpea salad.

1/2 c dry lentils
1 1/2 c water
1/2 can (15 oz) chickpeas
2 medium ripe tomatoes
4-6 green onion stalks
1 green bell pepper
1 red bell pepper
1 lime or 3-ish tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 c chopped cilantro
Sprinkling of dried hot red pepper flakes
salt to taste

Boil the lentils in the water until tender (about 30 minutes)
Drain the lentils and mix in a large bowl with all other ingredients

N.B. I didn’t have the fresh hot chili peppers called for in the original recipe, so I used dried flakes instead


Looks lumpy, but not so bad

Next is a modification of a squash soup that I’ve made in the past.


8 ounces soft (silken) tofu
1/4 c dry lentils
1 large onion, chopped
1 large butternut squash, cut in half
2 tsp curry powder
3 cups vegetable broth (from bouillon cubes, powder, or can)
1/8 tsp of minced garlic
splash of white wine
salt & pepper to taste

Bake squash (face down) on a cookie sheet for 45 minutes at 350 degrees.

In the meantime, sauté the onions in a frying pan with a bit of minced garlic and a splash of white wine.

At the same time, boil the lentils with 3/4 c water. Cook until mushy (about 40 minutes)

Scrap out the squash and combine in a blender or food processor with the lentils and tofu, one cup at time. Puree until creamy.

Put the purée in a large soup pot and add the broth and the cooked onions. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 5-10 minutes.

Add curry powder and cook for 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper.

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Eggplant and bell pepper soup

Colourful soup

This soup’s colour combination was beautiful, with the translucent white onions, deep purple eggplant, and bright red bell pepper. Yusuke didn’t really think it was worth writing home about, as it were, but I found it too aesthetically pleasing to pass up.

The broth is vegetable stock, seasoned with salt and pepper. And possibly parsley? We can’t quite remember.

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Octopus, zucchini, and tomatoes

Chopped tako

Chopped tako

Ah, octopus. A nice grocery store near us often has a decent array of fish, and lately they’ve had succulent-looking packages of thick octopus tentacles. So we bought some. And in the interest of typing efficiency, I will henceforth use the Japanese word for octopus: tako.

Sometimes less-than-fresh tako is awfully chewy or tough, but this wasn’t bad.

Tako salad

Tako salad

For this lovely salad-like stir-fry, Yusuke first chopped the tako and spread salt on the surface. Then he boiled it in salty water until tenderish and drained off the water.

Next, he sautéd minced garlic in olive oil until the aroma was released. Then he added de-seeded and chopped tomato and zucchini. After the veggies were nearly done, he added the tako. Last was a pinch of salt, and voilà! Done.

Yusuke described it as totally garlicy and “pretty much Italian.” I described it as yum.

Modified miso soup

Modified miso soup

We also had this miso soup, which was a little different from the norm. Instead of dashi, Yusuke used powdered chicken bouillon. The veggies are green pepper, carrots, and white onions. A bit of soy milk was added at the last second before serving.

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Miso stir fry

Miso stir fry

Miso stir fry

I already wrote about a miso-based stir fry, but this iteration was slightly different. The veggies are some of our favourite staples: eggplant, carrots, green pepper, and white onions, seasoned with garlic, ginger, miso (paste dissolved in water), sake, sugar, and soy sauce. The miso sauce is particularly good with eggplant, as the saltiness really clings to the flesh and balances against its juiciness.

Miso is of course most famous as a soup, but it is widely used in other types of dishes, including stir fries, marinades, sauces, stews, pickled vegetables, and even sweets. There are also many different types of miso. We buy a standard “multipurpose” white miso paste (shiromiso). Yusuke somewhat disdainfully says that the cuisine in the city of Nagoya is particularly famous for having miso in everything. The other day I was trying to explain the taste of miso to my lunchtime French conversation group, but I failed miserably. “C’est une pâte salée” doesn’t quite cover it.

Since the stir fry had miso already, Yusuke made a soup with a chicken broth base, with eggs, mushrooms (yay!), and green onions. I think I’ve finally mastered the technique of adding eggs to soup. You need to have a steady hand while drizzling the beaten eggs slowly in a circular pattern around the pot. Then you let the egg sink for a just a couple seconds before stirring the soup. If your hand is steady while pouring, there’s no egg clumps…



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