Posts Tagged lettuce

Squash salad

Here we have かぼちゃサラダ, or squash salad. Well, it’s not really Japanese kabocha, but rather soft, flavourful acorn squash from our CSA basket.

For efficiency’s sake, Yusuke began by microwaving the squash for about 2 minutes. He then cut it into smaller cubes, which were microwaved for another 4-5 minutes. After that, he “smashed it a bit.”

Meanwhile, he thinly sliced a white onions and chopped some tomatoes, removing the seeds since they were too watery.

He also boiled edamame for about 5 minutes, until soft.

When everything was prepared, he mixed it all together in a large bowl.

Next, he poured in 1 tsp of almond milk, 1 tsp of mayonnaise, and a tiny bit of sea salt and pepper and mixed it all well.

The mixture was served over lettuce. (And Yusuke added more mayonnaise to his portion.) Sweet and creamy!

On the side, we had harusame soup. He first soaked the harusame in warm water to soften it. In a frying pan, he sauteed napa with sesame oil and ginger and then added water and chicken broth, along with salt, pepper, and sesame seeds.

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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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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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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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Lettuce wrap-ish

This recipe made use of the delectable romaine lettuce in our weekly organic food basket. Though tasty, however, iceberg lettuce probably would have been more suitable, purely in terms of physics. In other words, the “wrap” part of this didn’t work out so well.

BUT! It was delicious.

The wrap filling consisted of organic veggies freshly grown in Quebec:

  • juicy eggplants
  • carrots
  • tiny bok choy
  • firm tofu (もめんどうふ)

The first step was to chop everything into tiny pieces.

The cooking began with the eggplant sauteed in canola oil. The other veggies were added next and allowed to steam with a lid covering the pan. This procedure made the eggplant particularly melty when eaten.

Next, the following was added:

  • soy sauce
  • sake
  • miso
  • mirin
  • oyster sauce (a tiny bit)

The filling was then arranged on the lettuce leaves.

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Lettuce soup

Our summer organic food baskets have included lots of lovely iceburg lettuce grown here in Quebec.

I had never had lettuce in soup before, to the best of my recollection, but it was fantastic: very smooth and sweet. According to Yusuke, it’s common in Chinese cuisine, at least as it’s prepared in Japan.

So here are the assembly steps:

Boil the loosely torn lettuce for about 10 seconds and then place portions in the serving bowls.

Prepare a broth:

  • chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • cooking sake
  • minced ginger
  • tiny pinch of salt

Add cubed firm tofu and shrimp and boil until cooked.

Spoon into the bowls with lettuce and eat!

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