Posts Tagged bok choy

Nabe with special dashi

dashi_package

Dashi package

Yusuke made this hot pot or nabe dish using some very special dashi that was given to us by a Japanese classmate in my French class. Dashi as a general category is a soup stock around which much of Japanese cuisine is based. This particular batch consists of dried shitake, katsuo (bonito in English, aka skipjack tuna, or so Wikipedia tells me), kombu (a type of seaweed), and tiny little fishies called niboshi (baby sardines: see below!). Dashi is generally made from boiling these items and draining off the resulting broth, but sometimes we eat it with whole pieces of the ingredients as well.

Niboshi

For this dish, Yusuke boiled fresh nappa, generous chunks of tilapia, bean sprouts, and big green onions in the dashi broth and added soy sauce, salt, and mirin to taste. I’m still not entirely clear on the distinguishing characteristics of nabe, but you can read more here.

nabe_bowl

I had my second portion of this lovely dish for lunch at work, and I added some of the fresh mochi that we had picked up from the Montreal mochitsuki (mochi-making festival). You can just lay the mochi on a plate, add a few drops of water, and microwave it for 30 seconds to make it good and sticky for adding to a soup. But I have to be careful about over-microwaving: it undergoes a similar expansion phenomenon to marshmallows. Very fun, but potentially very messy!

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Shrimp-veggies stir fry-stew

shrimps_vegs

I don’t remember the details of this dish, but I do recall that it was very tasty, so I didn’t want the photo to go to waste. It’s a sorta stir-fry, sorta stew. The body has soy sauce, sake…and the other usual stuff. The veggies, as you can see, are asparagus, bean sprouts, bok choy, carrots, and mushrooms, along with shrimp.

random_soup

And this is really more of a nice idea than a good photo: miso soup with asparagus and abura-age. Lovely.

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Sesame stir fry

Sesame stir fry

Sesame stir fry

Another simple stir fry. Yusuke used sesame oil, garlic, ginger, and chicken bouillon (powder) for this mélange of napa (a type of Chinese cabbage), bok choy, carrots, and shrimp. Since sesame oil is so strong, the dish was very flavourful.

Napa tofu soup

Napa tofu soup

We also had this clear soup with the remainder of the napa, cubes of firm tofu, green onions, and chicken broth.

The picture also shows a glimpse of our new rice: gen-ji-mai brand brown rice. Yusuke found that this was much cheaper than our usual white rice, so he decided to give it a try. The grains are about the same size as white rice, though not quite as sticky when cooked. It is must less “grainy” in texture than I expected. And it’s healthy, too, at least according to the package… To be precise, brown rice has 64% more fibre, 286% more potassium, 582% more magnesium, 161% more vitamin B6, 1021% more vitamin E, and 400% more antioxidants than “ordinary milled white rice.” Impressive. But mostly, I think it tastes good. Recommended.

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Bok choy and pork

Bok choy and pork

Bok choy and pork

This stir fry, wonder of wonders, doesn’t have soy sauce. The seasoning is just garlic, chicken broth, and potato starch. I stuck with just the bok choy and onions, but Yusuke does enjoy meat from time to time, so I let him cook it! And of course, we also had miso soup with meal, the “hearty” version with carrots, potatoes, and white onions.

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Shrimp and bok choy

Shrimp and bok choy stir fry

Shrimp and bok choy stir fry

This dish pairs mild, crunchy bok choy with succulent shrimp (ok, well, the shrimp was frozen, so not optimally succulent, but still tasty). Yusuke experimented with a new sauce for the stir fry, with sesame oil, salt, sugar, and potato starch to thicken it. The sesame oil adds a nice depth to the taste, and only a small amount is needed to give the flavour. On the side, we had an exceptionally tasty miso soup with green onions, wakame, and egg—perfect egg consistency!

Shrimp and bok choy

Shrimp and bok choy

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Water chestnut stir fry times two

water chestnuts and snow peas

Stir fry: water chestnuts and snow peas

This was actually two different meals, but they were similar enough to warrant a single post. I prepared the one on top all by me onesie, and it didn’t turn out to be terrible. Because it was extremely easy! For the stir fry, I sauteed onions with lots of minced ginger, some garlic, and a splash of vegetable broth (to keep them from sticking). Then I added mushrooms, snow peas, and water chestnuts in succession. I just used soy sauce for the flavoring and a tiny bit of potato starch to thicken it. I’ve always loved water chestnuts; indeed, it has been suggested (ahem) that I have a particular propensity for bland white foods. Instead, though, I would say that I have a well-developed, sophisticated palate that can appreciate simple, subtle tastes. Anyhoo, the soup was miso with cabbage, abura-age (deep fried tofu sheets), and green onions.

Yusuke used the leftover water chestnuts to make the stir fry below. It also has bok choy, white onions, and pork. The sauce is thicker than mine, but it has similar ingredients: garlic, ginger, chicken bouillon, soy sauce, and mirin. The accompanying miso soup has eggs and green onions. Yum.

water chestnuts and bok choy

Stir fry: water chestnuts and bok choy

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Curry rice

Curry rice

Curry rice

Cat bowl

Cat bowl

Curry rice is a fabulous nearly-instant meal—perfect for our French class/kendo practice nights. Even better, it makes tons of food, so we have lots left for lunch/dinner the next day. To make the dish, you just boil veggies in a big pot of water and then dissolve pre-made curry sauce cubes. Then the sauce and veggies are served steaming hot (as shown in the picture!) over rice. We usually use potatoes, carrots, and white onions. Yusuke also added bok choy this time. Our soup was miso with tofu, green onions, and seaweed.

Curry dishes are extremely popular in Japan: there’s even a wikipedia article on the subject, naturally. The cubes vary in spiciness, and I think we usually have a medium one. The curry is not hot at all in the way it would be in Indian cuisine, but there’s a sweetness mixed with the spice that I find lick-the-bowl addictive.

Also, please note the cute cat bowl. Yusuke bought these (one pink, one blue) at a Korean store near our apartment, since they match dishes that his sister has in Japan. (Aww, gee.)

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