French Cuisine: Salmon Parmentier and Broad Beans Hash


Salmon and broad beans can be found on the plates and tables at homes and restaurants almost everywhere in the World.
Here is an easy recipe I found in my notes. It was both inspired by Japanese and French Cuisines, but definitely with a twist of the latter:

Parmentier de Saumon et Puree de Feves/Salmon Parmentier and Broad beans Hash!

INGREDIENTS:For 4 persons

-Salmon fillet (skin peeled off): 400 g
-Broad beans (peeled): 500 g
-Unsalted Butter 50g
-Hazlenut powder: 4 tablespoons
-Seasme oil: a few drops
-Ground pepper and fine salt


-Preheat oven to 210 degrees Celsius
Put the salmon on an oven dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Cover a piece of foil paper and bake for 15 minutes

-During that time Heat a big pan full of salte water and cook the broad beans for 5~6 minutes.
Take care not to overcook!

-Drain the broad n\beans and mash them roughly witha fork inside a bowl. Add a few dops of seasme opil and a little pepper and mix.

-Fiil 4 glass cups with the broad beans has, then add the cooked salmon (after having brol\ken it into large flakes).

-Sprinkle the hazlenut powder over the top. Add a dollop of butteron top.
Grill it in the oven so as to gratine it for a few minutes.

Serve with a sprig or two of flat Italian parsley.

NOTE: Keep a few whole broad beans and mix them with the hash for better effect!

-Accompany it with a wine from my home:: Rully white (Cote Chalonnaise)!

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Ekiben/Railway Station Lunch Boxes-Bento 7


Just came back from University where I had to rush to “help” a stident re-take and pass his Summer Finals. As I had no time to stay long enough at home for the Missus to prepare a packed lunch, I just sped off (on my bicycle) to Shizuoka Station where I purchas an Ekiben/Railway Station Lunch Box.
Knowing the Missus, I suspect she gorged herself with pasta for lunch at home!


I chose that particular Ekiben because it was seasonal. You never know after all, as this could prove to be a unique occasion.
Its name was very poetic: 秋千扇/Aki Chi Sen=The One Thousands fans of Autumn!


As I mentioned before hygiene laws for bento in Japan are very strict and contents are cleraly indicated (in Jpanaese) on the box with the packaging date and time and price. This particular one cost 1,000 yen/about 11 US $ at the current rate.


As usual the food inside is protected by an sheet of hard cellophen paper.


The “gohan/rice” part was rice steamed with shiitake mushrooms slices and pieces of chestnuts, a very popular way to make “mazegohan/mixed rice” inthe Fall/Autumn. The juices of the shiitake are incoprated in the rice, making even more tasty.


The garnish consisted of boiled or simered vegetables including burdock root, carrot, shiitake mushrooms, sato-imo/tuber variety (very soft), string bean and devil’s tongue tuber/Konnyaku.


For a closer view.
Dessert consisted of goma dango, a ball of mochi containing anko and coated with white sesame, and a slice of kiwi fruit. Above the dessert a slice of fried salmon made up for the meat part.


The other half of the garnish consisted of seaweed/wakame and cucumber salad seasoned with amazu/sweet vinegar, deep-fried and sweetened sakura ebi/cherry shrimps (found only in Shizuoka).
Above them Deep-fried chicken in sweet and sour sauce with beans an a small “cup” od wasabi zuke/wasabi pickled in sake lees to season the rice with, not forgetting the small tube of soy sauce for the veg!

Not bad, not bad!LOL

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French Dessert: Apple Crumble Tiramisu


Apples are still very much in season, but contrary to here in Japan, the cold days are around the corner back home and people are expecting slightly heartier if still smaller desserts!

Here is a simple recipe marrying English, French and Italian cuisines all at the same time:
Apple Crumble Tiramisu!

INGREDIENTS: for 6 persons

-Apples: 2 (Canada, golden, …)
-Semi-salted butter: 50 g
-Sugar: 2 tablespoons
-Mascarpone: 150 g
-Egg: 1
-Flemish speculoos (French spéculoos) or shortcrust biscuit (cookies)


-Peel the apples and cut them into small pieces.

-Put them on a frypan with butter and sugar.

-Fry them slowly on a small fire for 10 minutes. Then turn fire higher and cook, stirring all the time, fro 2~3 minutes. Let them cool and pour them at the bottom of six smallindividual ramequins or cupcake cups.

-Separate the yolk and white of the egg.
Mix the mascarpone with the yolk.
Beat the white into meringue with a pinch of salt.

-Mix the meringue delicately into the mascarpone cream so as not to break the air bubbles inside the meringue. Pour over the apples.
Leave inside of the fridge for a minimum of 3 hours or up to a mximum of 12 hours.

-Just before sercing top with a thin layer of crushed speculoos cookies.

-Drink an apple wine such as pineau or pommeau with it!

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Japanese Cuisine: Yakitori/Tsukune-Recipes 1


Apparently, yakitori and especially tsukune are very popular not only in Japan but almost everywhere in the world as they share similarities with many other countries’ specialties! After all a hamburger is nothing less than a big tsukune!LOL

Here is the first of (long) series of simple recipes that I hope will stimulate into you creating more recipes!

Tsukune Recipe 1:

INGREDIENTS: For 4 people

-High quality chicken (breast or thigh): 250 g
-Leek (long narrow one): 1
-Soy sauce + Japanese sake + mirin/sweet sake: 4 tablespoons each
-Honey: 2 teaspoons
-Fresh ginger juice (also available over the counter in Asian stores): 10 ml
-Water: 2 tablespoons
-Cornstarch: 2 tablespoons
-Salad oil: 2 tablespoons


-Cut chicken and leek into rough pieces and drop them into a food processor. Add one half of the cornstarch, water, soy sauce, sake and mirin each.

-Process well until you obtain a smooth paste. Stop the food processor from time to time to move chicken from the centre with a spatula.

-Make/shape “patties”/tsukune.
Fry in oil on a frypan over a low fire on both side until you obtain a light brown colour (“foxy” in Japanese)

-Pour the rest of the soy sauce, sake, mirin, ginger juice, and cornstarch dissolved in water over the tsukune and cook until the sauce has caramelized.
Serve immediately!

By dividing the seasoning in two halves, the chicken will be thoroughly impregnated with the taste.
make sure you cook over a low fire all the time!

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Vegetarian French Cuisine: Chilled Cucumber & Yoghurt Soup


Summer is supposedly a good season for slimming and cooking healthy foods. I don’t know about the former and I totally agree with the latter!
As this is a season for vegetables, it is also a good time to eat vegetarian now and then!

Chilled Cucumber & Yoghurt Soup

INGREDIENTS: For 4 persons

-Plain yoghurt: 250 g
-Olive oil: 4 tablespoons
-Parsley or flat Italianparsley: half a bunch, fresh and washed in cold running water
-Coarse salt, salt & pepper


-Cut and keep aside a piece of cucumber 4 cm long.
Peel the cucmbers and cut in halves lengthwise. discard the pips and cut again into small pieces.. In a bowl sprinkle them with coarse salt and put them aside for 30 minutes to let lose their water.

-Drain the cucumber pieces in a sieve.
Mix/process them together with the yoghurt, lightly chopped parsley and olive oil. The soup must be homogeneous. Season with salt and pepper.

-Chill inside fridge for at least 3 hours.

-Cut the the piece of cucumber into thin slices and keep in the fridge.

-Taste the soup and rectify/season it if necessary, before serving it very cold (add a cube of ice in each bowl for decoration and temperature!). Decorate with cucumber slices and parsley leaves.

If you find the the soup to thick add some vegetable stock soup/bouillon!

-Serve with an Alsace Muscat or slightly sweet white wine!

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Japanese Cuisine: Kakuni-Recipes 3


This is the third of a series of recipes for preparing Kakuni.
This particular recipe can be considered as the basic “professional” one, altough it is open to variations as far as spices and presentations are concerned!


-Large raw pork belly lumps: 1 kg
-Fresh ginger, finely chopped, 1~2 tablespoons
-Japanese sake: 2 cups
-Soy sauce: 2 cups
-Sugar: 2 large tablespoons
-Salt: 2 pinches

One can and ought (according to prefences) to add mirin/sweet sake, star anise, lemon zest, green parts of leeks and so on!



-Get everything prepared first!


-Cut the pork into about 6cm wide slices.


-Fry pork on both sides first. This will help the meat suck in the “juices”!


-Fry until the colour above is reached.


-Scoop out the excess fat, taking care not to run it over the meat.
The picture above shows how much fat can scooped out!
If you use a non-stick frypan, there is no need to add oil before frying the pork, meaning less fat to scoop out!


-In a large and deep pan, drop in the meat. Add water just to cover meat. Switch on the fire. You can add water later litle by little to keep it above the meat.
Add ginger, leeks (green part), lemon zest (whole or minced) and star anise.
If you want to make it sweet, add a whole sliced onion!


-Make sure that all ingredients are clean. Check that the lemons are not waxed (in that case clean it out!)!


-Once brought to a boil, add soy sauce, Japanese sake, mirin/sweet sake and sugar.
Last, add salt (important!).


-Lower fire to low and continue scooping out any scum.


-When no more scum appears, cover with lid or a large piece of foil paper and simmer for a whole hour.
Check from time to time if there is enough soup in the pan. If the soup level goes under that of top of the meat, the taste will become too strong. Add water and Japanese sake until the soup reaches the meat level.


-Above picture shows starting point of the simmering process.


-Above picture shows the finished product inside the deep pan!
Check if the meat is well cooked. A pointed (Japanese-style) chopstick should easily go through the meat all the way.
But this does not mean you can eat it at once.
It is best to switch off the fire, let the cover on, and let it cool completely. Only then, the meat will be fully impregnated with the taste!
It will taste a lot better re-heated before serving it!

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Vegan Sushi at Sushi Ko (’09/08/31)


On Monday August 31st, my birthday, the Missus invited me to our favourite sushi restaurant in Shizuoka City, namely Sushi Ko!
There are many reasons for Sushi Ko to be our favourite sushi restaurant that I have mentioned many a time before: supreme fish and vegetables (and even meat), great side dishes, including cooked dishes, originality, great service and willingness to tackle customers’ challenges! On top that add a great list of sake, shochu and even wines! As for the icing the prices are more than reasonable and clearly indicated!
Omnivores should check HERE for the full article!

Although neither of us is vegan, mr. Oda and I have this little game every time of a challenge consisting of a plate featuring at least four vegan sushi.
Here is what the chef came with this time:


Himenegi/young thin leeks reminiscent of French ciboulette.


Kaiwaredaikon/Japanese radish sprout, lightly boiled and topped with some umeboshi/Japanese pickled plum.


Betarazuke/daikon lightly pickled in sweet vinegar. In this cases served with a piece of shiso/perilla leaf between the shari/sushi rice and the neta/topping. Some lime skin was grated ontop making for a sweet sophisticated taste!


Mitsuba/Trefoil: the stems and leaves were slightly boiled and sparated, making for a bicolour combination accentuated by finely cut kyuri/cucumber!

Sushi Ko
shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Ryogae-cho. 2-3-1 (Aoba Koen)
Tel.: 054-2512898
Business Hours: 17:00~25:00. 17:00~23:00 (Sundays)
Closed on Wednesdays
Reservations recommended
Credit cards OK
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)

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French Cupcakes: Lemon & Ricotta Cupcakes


I finally succumbed to the temptation of posting a cupcake recipe!
Mind you, this one is very French in spite of its name, and I7m afraid it’s a first and last!LOL

Lemon & Ricotta Cupcakes!

INGREDIENTS: for 6~9 people

-2 lemons (organic, please!)
-Ricotta Cheese: 100 g
-Eggs: 2
-Slightly salted (demi-sel) butter: 110 g (softened)
-Sugar: 110 g
-Sieved flour: 110 g
-Baking powder: 1 small packet
-Icing sugar: 4 tabespoons


-Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius

-Mix softened butter with sugar so as to obtain a creamy mixture.

-Lightly beta the 2 eggs. Mix them with the butter cream little by little.

-Add the finely chopped zest of 1 lemon, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, the sieved flour, and the baking powder.. Mix well.

-Fill one fourth of each cup with that cupcake mixture.
Add a “large” teaspoon of ricotta.
Cover the ricotta with more cupcake mixture. Make sure to fill only three fourths of each cup.

-Bake at 180 degrees Celsius for 15 minutes.

-Prepare the icing/glacage:
In a bowl pour the icing sugar with a few drops of hot water and mix. Cover with cellophane paper and keep aside (you can use it until the cakes have completely cooled down.

-Cut 6~9 slices of the second lemon. Take off the outer skin.

-As soon as the cakes have completely cooled down, Top with one teaspoon of icing. Spread to make a small circle as in picture above. Top with one slice of lemon.

As this is a cupcake designed for adults, drink a dry white wine with them!

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Japanese Cuisine: Kakuni-Recipes 2


Here the second of a series of recipes for Kakuni, a bit more sophisticated than the first one, but still very easy!

INGREDIENTS: For 4 people

-Large raw pork belly lumps: 1 kg
-Fresh ginger: choose a root (or part of), about 5cm long and 2 cm thick/Sliced
-Brown sugar: 50 g
-Honey: 50 ml (liquid)
-Japanese sake: 60 ml
-Soy sauce: 120 ml
-Water: 600 ml
-Star anise: 1



-Steam pork in steamer on a low fire for 2 hours.


-Cool down pork completely. This is important as this will help tenderize the meat!
Cut in bite size.
Put all the pork in deep pan. Add water, Japanese sake, sliced ginger, brown sugar and honey.


-Add soy sauce and star anise. Simmer on a low fire for 30 minutes. Keep taking out the foam to remove harshness.


-When ready serve with its juices/soup and strong mustard.

Do not add star anise at once as the taste might become overwhelming for some people.
Of course, this recipe is adapatble.
You may add chili pepper and other spices of your preferences, or even Chinese ingredients!

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French Cuisine: Marinated Cuttlefish


The Japanese are not the only ones to eat cuttlefis or squids raw.
In French Languedoc, especially along the coastline separating the Thau Lake from the sea, locals have an interesting, is simple, way to accommodate small “calamars” (French for calamari) very reminiscent of recipes found in Greece, Italy and Spain.

Marinated Cuttlefish:

INGREDIENTS: (this can multiplied at will, so I’ll keep to elements, instead of quantities)
-Cuttlefish: Choose them small
-Garlic, finley chopped after being crushed with a fork, spoon or heavy knife.
-Lemon juice
-Olive oil (EV)
-Green chili pepper (fresh and high quality, fresh jalapenos is fine): finely chopped (discard seeds!)
-Salt & pepper


-Peel off “skin” of calamari wherever possible. Clean them thoroughly under running cold water. Take off excess water with kitchen paper.
Cut into bite size or according to preferences.
-Let them marinate together with chopped garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, chopped green chili pepper, a little salt and pepper.
Proportions: 1 clove of garlic, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1 small green chili pepper.
-Mix well and leave in fridge for at least 1 hour.
Serve in individual pots or on good toasted bread as tidbits for aperitif before a larger meal or as a snack to go with your beer or wine!

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Japanese Cuisine: Kakuni-Recipes 1


Here the first of a series of recipes for Kakuni, that is a very basic one!

INGREDIENTS: -Large raw pork belly lumps: 1 or 2 (depending on thickness and width)
-Fresh ginger: 1 or 2 pieces (5×5 cm)
-White leek: 1
-Rice vinegar: 50 ml
-Soy sauce: 50 ml
-Sweet sake/mirin: 50 ml
-Honey: 1 tablespoon
-Water: 4–~500 ml


-Thinly slice the fresh ginger. Cut the leeks into small trunks. Punch holes in the pork with a fork to help “taste going inside”.


-Fry pork on a frypan on all sides on a strong fire until all colour has completely changed and fat has changed colour.


-In a large pot, drop/pour all ingredients, add por, cover with lid and simmer over low medium fire for 60 minutes.
If meat does not cook as quickle as wanted, raise fire after 30 minutes.
Simer until juices have reduced as low as on pic.

-Cut the pork into large size bites and simmer again for 5 minutes.

-Place on a serving meat cuts on a serveing dis. Pour juices/sauce all over and add some chopped thin leeks.

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Today’s Lunch Box/Bento (’09/59)


Today’s bento called be called “The Morning After” Bento!
Last night the Missus and I had a long celebration and we had som ediggiculty to wake uo this morning…
At first the Missus told me she would not mind if I bought and ekiben/Railway Station Bento, but she changed her mind after having a look at the fridge.


In the end, it turned out to be an easy classical bento:


The rice balls/musubi were made of rice freshly steamed together with umeboshi/Japanese pickled plum and then mixed with white sesame seeds and topped by small shiso/perilla leaves we grow on our balcony.


Simple unadorned tamgoyaki/Japanese omelette and a salad made of beans, hijiki/sweet seaweed and cucumbers/mini tomatoes.


Not “savoury” was chicken ratatouille she had prepared the morning before (not bad at all, actually!).
For dessert I had some cheese that I keep in the fridge at work.
Healthy and plenty actually!


here is another pic of my “roots”:
My 85-year old Dad cooking his favourite turkey steaks!

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