Posts Tagged spinach

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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Harusame + squash

squash-harusame

Another harusame creation!

Here are the component parts that Yusuke assembled:

  • Boiled harusame
  • Microwaved squash
  • Raw daikon (thinly sliced)
  • Raw baby spinach (well, I added that bit on my portion)

Chinese style dressing

  • Chicken broth
  • Nam pla (Thai fish sauce)
  • Rice wine vinegar
  • Sesame oil
  • Water

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Koyadoufu scramble

koyadoufu

I wrote about koyadofu (or koyadoufu or こうやどうふ) a while back—it’s dried tofu that can be re-hydrated.

We recently found some koyadofu at an Asian market and snatched it up.

To use this miraculous food, first soak the blocks in water for about 10-20 seconds, then gently squeeze out the water.

Here, Yusuke again combined it, cubed, with eggs.

He also included a leafy Chinese green in the scramble. I’m not 100% sure of the species, but I believe it is tsoi (or choy) sim (or sum). We frequently see it in grocery markets here, and it’s often one of the cheapest greens. The taste is similar to boy choy, but a bit heartier, like spinach. [Ergo, I tagged this post with both, because either could be substituted.]

Yusuke cooked the greens, koyadofu, and eggs in a frying pan, and then added tsuyu (soba sauce). (You can make your own tsuyu with soy sauce, mirin, and dashi.)

Typical Japanese!

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Okayu

Comfort food! Porridge/おかゆ (okayu).

The key to deliciousness with this dish is the stock. I wrote about another edition that used mushrooms as the base, while this one used seaweed.

So to make the おかゆ, Yusuke used the “porridge” setting on our rice cooker, with the appropriate amount of extra water. In addition, he added a big strip of kombu seaweed. This cooked along with the rice, giving it a rich, subtle flavour.

We ate the rice topped with chopped spinach that had been sauteed in sesame oil, along with chopped green onions, sesame seeds, and a pinch of sea salt.

Perfect for uneasy stomachs!

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Photo courtesy of Flickr user kattebelletje. License:Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC 2.0)

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Revamped okonomiyaki

This was an attempt at a new okonomiyaki recipe, and it was highly successful!

The basis was medium-firm tofu. Yusuke squeezed the tofu between paper towels to draw out excess water and then smashed it with a whisk until it made a smooth paste.

He then assembled the “dough” and filling:

  • the tofu paste
  • shredded cabbage
  • chopped spinach
  • a tiny bit of bonito flakes
  • dashi
  • sea salt
  • 3 tbsp of katakuriko powder (that is, potato starch, sort of)
  • 4 eggs

He mixed everything in a large bowl and then separated it into individual pancake portions, which were grilled in a frying pan with a bit of canola oil.

We dressed them as usual with okonomi sauce, bonito flakes, and for Yusuke: mayonnaise.

So what made this different? No flour! It worked out quite well, although they were rather more fragile than the typical specimen.

The original recipe called for tiny shrimp and green onions, but as these were lacking from our fridge, Yusuke subbed in spinach.

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New Year’s Soba

We had a nice, quiet family New Year’s Eve, made special by traditional New Year’s soba (thin buckwheat noodles).

Yusuke put together his usual soba sauce:

  • soy sauce
  • mirin
  • sake
  • sugar
  • dashi
  • water

The “toppings” were boiled daikon, spinach, and carrots, along with raw white mushrooms. We also had some leftover teriyaki chicken that my mom had prepared. Finally, we had fortuitously procured a nagaimo from a nifty Japanese grocery store in Denver.

“Nagaimo” is literally translated as “thin potato.” I watched a video once about how they are grown; their long shape and tendency to grow straight down makes them quite labour-intensive to harvest. It’s very rare to come across them in Montreal, and they’re usually from China. But we’ve found Japanese-grown specimens a few times in Colorado. Nagaimo is frequently eaten raw. When grated, it becomes incredibly sticky (ネバネバ !) and can be poured over or mixed with noodles or rice. In this state, it’s called tororo. It can also be eaten with things like tuna (check out a description mid-way down this page) or veggies.

The soba-eating procedure is to pour broth in a bowl, add noodles, pile in veggies, mix everything up, and slurp.

Apparently the long, thin shape of soba is lucky for long life, and of course, a happy new year.

Bonne Année, あけましておめでとうございます, Athbhliain faoi mhaise dhuit.

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Korean domburi

Yusuke made this dish for himself one night when I had to work. He calls it a Korean-ish domburi.

Each of the items was prepared separately and then arranged over a big bowl full of rice. The meat is chicken, stir fried with salt and pepper.

The bean sprouts are Korean-style: boiled and then dressed with sesame oil, garlic, salt, and dashi.

The baby spinach is simply boiled until wilted.

In lieu of kimchi, Yusuke stir fried napa (Chinese cabbage) with spicy tobanjan sauce.

The centerpiece is a hot spring egg.

Everything was arranged for the picture, then mixed up to eat.

(To help with my search results: domburi is also transliterated as donburi. Easier: 丼 or どんぶり)

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