Posts Tagged shrimp

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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Tofu, broccoli, shrimp stir-fry

tofu-broccoli-shrimp

This was an especially lovely stir fry with a nice colour contrast of tofu, broccoli, and shrimp. Firm tofu was used here, as silken breaks apart too easily. The fresh broccoli was especially tasty; it’s much better than frozen despite the mess the florets tend to make. The stir fry seasoning was very simple:a few tbsps of chicken broth, potato starch (1 tbsp dissolved in 1 tbsp water), and salt & pepper to taste.

Comme d’habitude, we also had miso soup (with more tofu and green onions).

stir-fry_soup

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Random veggies and soba

Two soba meals. (I wrote more about soba here.)

Soba bowl

Soba bowl

The first bowl shows cold soba for summer. The sauce consists of dashi, mirin, salt, soy sauce, sake, and kombu (seaweed) broth. The toppings are green beans, wakame, shrimp, bean sprouts, and green onions. Fresh and crunchy. Chili flakes are sprinkled on top for extra spice.

I’m pretty sure that both of these meals had matcha soba, which are made with green tea mixed in with the buckwheat. Yum yum.

I tried my very best to make the proper slurping noises while eating my soba, but this is difficult when quiet eating is so ingrained.

Hot soba: eating in progress

Hot soba: eating in progress


And this is hot soba for the fall. The sauce is the same, but the toppings are shrimp, carrots, egg, white onions, green onions, and pork (for Yusuke).

Note: the ingredients always begin in a tidy arrangement on top of the noodles, but I took this picture after Yusuke had mixed it up and begun to dig in.

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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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Seafood pasta

Seafood pasta

Seafood pasta

This dish wouldn’t be out of place in a fancy-schmancy Montreal restaurant…only it was much cheaper! We managed to find decent squid in a nearby grocery store (PA on du Fort). Yusuke says that fresh squid in Japan is translucent, rather than the opaque white that we see here, but this was probably the best we could get—not too chewy at all. You can’t quite see in the picture, but we had both the body and tentacles of the squid. (N.B. This is from the girl whose only seafood consumption for the first twenty or so years of her life was reheated frozen fish sticks. Now it feels perfectly natural to say, “mmmm, tentacles”). Yusuke stir fried the squid and shrimp before combining it with tomatoes, lots o’ garlic, and Italian spices. He boiled the spaghetti in water with olive oil before adding the noodles to the sauce and seafood in the frying pan.

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Simple soba

Toppings array

Toppings array

Soba is a thin noodle made from buckwheat. It’s often served with a variety of veggies, seafood, etc. From what I understand, the development of the perfect soba broth is indeed an art. The various regions of Japan each have unique soba specialities. Soba making is also a popular hobby as well, especially for retired men!

Wikipedia, Just Hungry, and Japan-guide all have more soba info.

Soba served

Soba served

For this meal, we opened a package of special, premium soba that was made with green tea in addition to the buckwheat. Yusuke made a hot soba broth with a package of soba sauce mix, along with soy sauce, mirin, and dashi. We topped the noodles with boiled veggies (spinach, carrots, mushrooms), cooked shrimp, and hard boiled eggs.

Gratuitous cat bowl pic

Gratuitous cat bowl pic

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Spring stir fry

okra-shrimp-mushrooms

okra-shrimp-mushrooms

We had this meal on the first hot day in Montreal: in April! I was absolutely basking in my muggy office, until they turned on the air conditioning (curses).

Anyway, this nice, light, quick meal was appropriate for the day. The shrimp, okra, and mushrooms were boiled in soy sauce, lemon juice, white wine, rice wine vinegar, and dashi. I can’t say enough how good it feels to eat natural food like this, with the flavours perfectly enhanced with simple ingredients. (As a side note, okra now has a firmly established spot on my roster of favourite foods. Despite the tendency of the seeds to stick in my teeth.)

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Creamy shrimp and avocado

Shrimp and avocado

Shrimp and avocado

This simple stir fry derives its creaminess from avocados. The shrimp, sadly, was frozen, but still tasty. After soaking and defrosting, the shrimp was stir fried with white onions, garlic, ginger, salt, and pepper. Then avocado cubes were mixed in, and the pieces naturally broke apart a bit, coating everything with creamy green goodness. Very simple, very good.

Due to geographical reasons, sometimes it’s difficult to get good avocados here, but occasionally we find good, big ones. I think we’ve had good luck with the Lamb Hass variety, which comes from California or Mexico (yup, we’re not good at being locavores). It’s definitely worth paying a few cents more for the higher quality fruits. Avocados are evidently a miracle food: see the nutrition profile at World’s Healthiest Foods.

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Ryokan meals

A highlight of our December trip to Japan was a sojourn to the mountain resort town Hakone. We stayed in a ryokan, a traditional Japanese inn. One of the best things about staying in a ryokan is that your food comes to you. Thus, we spent our time between trips down to the hot springs lounging in our room in our yukata waiting for tasty meals.

When we arrived at the ryokan, we were given slippers and escorted to our room, where the table was already set with green tea and wagashi (sweets).

Tea at the ryokan

Tea at the ryokan

Later in the evening, after a hot spring bath, the hostess arrived with our dinner. Wow. I quite like having small portions of many different dishes to try, although it was a bit overwhelming. I don’t think I could eat like this every day; it was almost too refined. But it fabulously wonderful, and a meal that I’ll never forget. Our appetizers are pictured below…can’t remember exactly what they were. I think this is Yusuke’s meal; mine didn’t include any meat (just fish).

Assorted appetizers

Assorted appetizers

Below is one of my dishes: a mound of sticky black rice with snapper, a white fish. It had a light, vaguely salty sauce. On the very top is fu, shaped like a momiji (maple) leaf and dyed with bright colours for decoration (see here and here for more about fu). The final garnish is wasabi: much smoother and purer than the kind that comes in a tube.

Black rice and snapper

Black rice and snapper

This dish is a hollowed-out baked potato stuffed with seafood (shrimp, crab, etc.) and potatoes mixed with a delicately cheesy sauce.

Seafood-potato gratin

Seafood-potato gratin

This was my absolute favourite, and no, it’s not a desert. The dish is puréed daikon (a type of radish) with crab meat. It was so smooth and melty in my mouth. Again, it’s topped with coloured fu.

Beautiful daikon

Beautiful daikon

And of course, we had miso soup with rich mountain vegetables: bamboo shoots, green onions, seaweed, and nameko mushrooms.

Miso soup

Miso soup

Finally, the dessert featured a small, sweet mochi ball with fruit: strawberry, tangerine, mango, and passion fruit, plus a chestnut and anko. Perfect.

Dessert

Dessert

In the morning, after another hot springs dip, our breakfast arrived. I eat oatmeal and a banana religiously for breakfast, or in case of need, something else that involves processed carbs and/or fruit. So I wasn’t sure how I would handle a non-sweet breakfast. I managed much better than I expected! (Although I did eat rather more than my fair share of the rice.) I was particularly surprised at my ability to eat fish for breakfast. It was simply grilled and served with soy sauce, so the flavour was mild. Less appealing was the carrot and daikon kinpira (normally I love it; just too spicy for the morning), the dish with squid, and the salty seaweed salad. However, I quite enjoyed the miso soup and the potato salad with green vegetables. I’m still sticking to oatmeal, though…doesn’t really go well with mackerel…

Breakfast: what a spread!

Breakfast: what a spread!

UPDATE: I had forgotten to add that the “squid dish” served for breakfast was shiokara, a term which I verified by googling “squid guts.” From Yusuke’s explanation, basically it’s the entire squid minced up and cooked in a salty spicy sauce. It wasn’t bad, but for breakfast? I’ll pass. Not exactly the breakfast of champions.

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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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