Strawberry Crumble Muffins

Still in my strawberry mode!
Here is a simple muffin recipe that will please everyone in the family (and the friend tribe!)!

Strawberry Crumble Muffins!

INGREDIENTS: For 12 muffins

-Unsalted butter: 110 g
-White sugar: 200g
-Eggs: 2 large
-Flour: 250 g
-Baking Powder: 2 teaspoons
-Salt: 1/2 teaspoon
-Strawberries: 2 cups (all cut in qaurters)
-Milk: 120 ml/cc

Crumble:
-Unsalted butter: 70 g
-White sugar: 60 g
-Flour: 100 g

RECIPE:

-Work the butter with a spatula to a creamy state. Add sugar and salt and mix well.

-Beat the eggs. Add to butter in three equal steps, mixing well every time.

-Sieve the flour and baking powder over the cream and mix well until smooth.

-Add chilled milk and mix well. Last add strawberries and delicately mix without breaking the fruit.

-Pour mixture inside 12 muffin cups

-Make the crumble:
Melt the butter. Add sugar and sieve the flour on top. Mix until it forms “blobs”

-Spread some crumble on each muffin.

-Bake in oven for 2-~25 minutes at 200 degrees Celsius.

Enjoy lukewarm or cold with some whipped cream!

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
Warren Bobrow, Bread + Butter, Zoy Zhang, Hungry Neko, Think Twice, Frank Fariello, Mangantayon, Hapabento, Elinluv Tidbit Corner, Tokyo Terrace, Maison de Christina, Chrys Niles,Lexi, Culinary Musings, Wheeling Gourmet, Comestiblog, Chronicles Of A Curious Cook, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Palate To Pen, Yellin Yakimono Gallery, Tokyo Terrace, Hilah Cooking, More than a Mount Full, Arkonite Bento, Happy Little Bento; 5 Star Foodie; Jefferson’s Table; Oyster Culture; Gourmet Fury; Island Vittles; Good Beer & Country Boys; Rubber Slippers In Italy; Color Food daidokoro/Osaka;/a; The Witchy Kitchen; Citron Et Vanille, Lunsj Med Buffet/Estonian Gastronomy (English), Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat

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Vegan Japanese Cuisine: Lotus Root and Natto Sandwiches

I still have plenty of recipes with natto to publish!
This time I would like to introduce a very simple idea for a cruchy snack (Bazooka Gourmet will certainly have a comment for that! LOL):
Lotus Root and Natto Sandwiches!

INGREDIENTS: For 4 people

-Lotus root/Renkon: 20 cm long piece or the equivalent in 2 or 3 roots
-Natto: 1 standard pack
-Ooba/large shiso leaves/perilla leaves: 1 for each sandwich!
-Leek: as appropriate (chopped)
-Cornstarch: as appropriate
-Soy sauce: as appropriate

RECIPE:

-Cut the lotus root into 5 mm/1/2 cm thick slices. Wash in clear cold water.
Mix the natto with the chopped leeks and the tare/sauce and mustard provided in usual packs (if unavailable add some soy sauce, sesame oil and mustard).
Wash the large perilla leaves in clear cold water.

-Take water off both sides of lotus root slices with kitchen paper. Do the same with perilla leaves. Sprinkle lotus root slices with cornstarch on one side only, that is the side which will come in contact with frypan and oil.
Make sandwiches with one slice of lotus root + one perilla leaf + natto mix + one more lotus root slice.
Pour a little oil of your liking in a frypan and fry snadwiches on both sides until the lotus root is cooked and has attained a nice colour.

-Serve with a light soy sauce and yuzu kosho/lime and pepper paste for extra seasoning!

-Enjoy with a beer!

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
Warren Bobrow, Bread + Butter, Zoy Zhang, Hungry Neko, Think Twice, Frank Fariello, Mangantayon, Hapabento, Elinluv Tidbit Corner, Tokyo Terrace, Maison de Christina, Chrys Niles,Lexi, Culinary Musings, Wheeling Gourmet, Comestiblog, Chronicles Of A Curious Cook, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Palate To Pen, Yellin Yakimono Gallery, Tokyo Terrace, Hilah Cooking, More than a Mount Full, Arkonite Bento, Happy Little Bento; 5 Star Foodie; Jefferson’s Table; Oyster Culture; Gourmet Fury; Island Vittles; Good Beer & Country Boys; Rubber Slippers In Italy; Color Food daidokoro/Osaka;/a; The Witchy Kitchen; Citron Et Vanille, Lunsj Med Buffet/Estonian Gastronomy (English), Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Ideal Party

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Strawberry Custard Gratin

Since I have just written about the nutritional values of strawberries, I thought that some simple strawberries recipes were in order!
Here is a simple recipe to please people of any age!

Strawberry Custard Gratin!

INGREDIENTS: 2~ people

-Srawberries: 10~
-Egg: 1 large
-Sugar: 5 tablespoons
-Cake wheat flour: 3 + 1/2 tablespoons
-Milk: 100 cc/ml/1/2 cup
-Fresh cream: 100 cc/ml/1/2 cup
-Vanilla essence: 5~6 drops

RECIPE:

-Thoroughly mix the flour and sugar in a bowl.

-Beat the egg and add to flour. Mix well. Add all the milk and half of the fresh cream. Mix well.

-Cover with cellophane paper and leave in a microwave for 2 minutes.

-Take out and add the remaining cream. Mix well. Put back into microwave oven for 2 more minutes. As it will have solidified a bit, add vanilla essence, stir and mix well until smooth.

-In an oven dish place the strawberries in a set pattern and pour in cream.

-Place some half strawberries on top for decoration. Bake in oven for 10 miutes at 200 degrees celsius.

-Eat hot or lukewarm.

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
Warren Bobrow, Bread + Butter, Zoy Zhang, Hungry Neko, Think Twice, Frank Fariello, Mangantayon, Hapabento, Elinluv Tidbit Corner, Tokyo Terrace, Maison de Christina, Chrys Niles,Lexi, Culinary Musings, Wheeling Gourmet, Comestiblog, Chronicles Of A Curious Cook, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Palate To Pen, Yellin Yakimono Gallery, Tokyo Terrace, Hilah Cooking, More than a Mount Full, Arkonite Bento, Happy Little Bento; 5 Star Foodie; Jefferson’s Table; Oyster Culture; Gourmet Fury; Island Vittles; Good Beer & Country Boys; Rubber Slippers In Italy; Color Food daidokoro/Osaka;/a; The Witchy Kitchen; Citron Et Vanille, Lunsj Med Buffet/Estonian Gastronomy (English), Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat

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Health & Nutrition Facts in Japanese Food 8: Strawberries

As demonstrated by many food bloggers, cooking and creating great foods and drinks have become incomplete and unsatisfying when not considering the benefits or adverse effects of the same foods and drinks regardless of their taste.
I do not intend to delve into counselling or consulting, but only to offer some knowledge about the good sides of Japanese foods and drinks. I will not extoll on its possible lacks and negative aspects. After all, the Japanese are not the longest-living people in the world for no reason!
I will also offr at least one nutritious or healthy recipe at the end of each posting.

Health & Nutrition Facts in Japanese Food 7: Strawberries/Ichigo/苺

The garden strawberry is a common plant of the genus Fragaria which is cultivated worldwide for its fruit, the (common) strawberry. The fruit is widely appreciated, mainly for its characteristic aroma but also for its bright red color, and it is consumed in large quantities — either fresh, or in prepared foods such as preserves, fruit juice, pies, ice creams, milk shake, etc..

The garden strawberry was first bred in Bretagne/Brittany, France in 1740 via a cross of Fragaria virginiana from eastern North America , which was noted for its flavor, and Fragaria chiloensis from Chile and Argentina brought by Amédée-François Frézier, which was noted for its large size.

Cultivars of Fragaria × ananassa have replaced, in commercial production, the woodland strawberry, which was the first strawberry species cultivated in the early 17th century.

Since then the Japanese have erased their lste arrival on the strawberry market with a vengeance!
Shizuoka Prefecture with more 1,500 strawberry commercial growers officially registered is called “Ichigo no Ookoku/Strawberry Kigdom” in Japan!
We can consider ourselves lucky here as 7 medium-sized strawberries a day will provide us with all the vItamin C required!
As for preserving the Vitamin C, never take the green leafy end part (sepals) off! That is unless you wish to lose half of them!

NOTE:
Eating strawberries after drinking, especially beer, will help prevent hangovers and strees thanks to the lucin and hespericin which help break up the alcohol quickly!

Hatsu Koi No Kaori/Frst Love Scent White Strawberries develpped in Japan!

For each 100g (edible parts) it contains:
-Energy: 34 kcal
-Water: 90.0 g
-Proteins: 0.9 g
-Ash: 8,5 g
-Natrium: 170 mg
-Calcium: 17 mg
-Magnesium: 13 mg
-Iron: 0.3 mg
-Vitamin B1: 0.03 mg
-Vitamin B2: 0.02 mg
-Vitamin B6: 0.04 mg
-Folic acid: 90 microg
-Vitamin C: 62 mg
-Dietary (roughage) fibre: 1.4 g

HEALTH FACTS & TIPS:

-Combined with yam/yamaimo, or with yoghurt, or with chickory, or with shiso/perilla leaves, will strengthen the digestive system, help prevent cancer and aging.

-Combined with broccoli, or with pink grapefruit, or with tomato, or with re carrot, will help prevent cancer, will help recover from stress, will help with skin rejuvenation and quality and increase brain activity.

-Combined with wakame seaweed, or with onion, or with Jew’s ear mushroom, or with peanuts (fresh), will help prevent high blood pressure, heart diseases and blood vessel hardening.

-Combined with oysters, or with kiwi fruit, or with lemon, will help with skin rejuvenation and recovery from stress.

RECIPE:

A simple recipe which will help you recover from stress and also help with skin rejuvenation!

Strawberries: 5
Chickory: 5 leaves
Olive oil (EVA): 2 tablespoons
White wine vinegar: 1 tablespoon
Salt & pepper: a little
Sugar: as you like

Take off sepals from the strawberries. Make a dressing with the olive oil, white wine vinegar, salt and pepper. Check the taste and add sugar if you wish.

Cut the strawberries to your preferred size. Serve them inside the chickory leaves and pour the dressing over them!

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
Warren Bobrow, Bread + Butter, Zoy Zhang, Hungry Neko, Think Twice, Frank Fariello, Mangantayon, Hapabento, Elinluv Tidbit Corner, Tokyo Terrace, Maison de Christina, Chrys Niles,Lexi, Culinary Musings, Wheeling Gourmet, Comestiblog, Chronicles Of A Curious Cook, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Palate To Pen, Yellin Yakimono Gallery, Tokyo Terrace, Hilah Cooking, More than a Mount Full, Arkonite Bento, Happy Little Bento; 5 Star Foodie; Jefferson’s Table; Oyster Culture; Gourmet Fury; Island Vittles; Good Beer & Country Boys; Rubber Slippers In Italy; Color Food daidokoro/Osaka;/a; The Witchy Kitchen; Citron Et Vanille, Lunsj Med Buffet/Estonian Gastronomy (English), Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat

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Shizuoka Hotsprings: Sumatakyo-Part 1

Suikoen Hotel entrance in Sumatakyo

The Missus and I finally found a couple of days off work to go to a favourite destination of ours: Hotsprings.
Shizuoka Prefecture is probably the most famous region in Japan for such a venue.
Hotels, Ryokans (inns) and Minshuku (Pensions) can wildly vary in prices, services and meals served, but my other half is a wizard (sorry, witch!) when it comes to find out the best deal out of the Internet.
She planned the whole trip as my experience has taught me it is better this way in spite of all the grumbling (why do I have to do everything?….).
The following three articles are a journal of the two days spent together (in bliss?) along the railway tracks and mountain lanes in search for simple pleasures!

Kanaya Railway Station, Oi River Railroad (minuscule!)

We left Shizuoka City (Higashi Shizuoka Station) at 09:56 and reached Kanaya Station at 10:34 using the Tokaido Railway Line.

Before buying our tickets, we checked with the small food stand at Kanaya Oi River Railroad Station (next to Kanaya Station) as they always sell good local ekiben/railway line bento!

Large signs across the track made sure you know your destination!

We ignored the SL train as we were planning to board it on our return and instead used the diesel-pulled train. No need to say that all trains along the Oi River Railroad track are crowded with train buffs on week-ends!

That railroad is mainly a single-track line except inside stations (and not all at that!).

My bento box!
I wrote an extensive article at Ekiben/Railway Station Lunch Boxes-Bento 8!

It even contained a postcard!

The food inside!

The bento chosen by the Missus!

The food inside!

Cute SL train-shaped soy sauce container!

Green tea rasks for dessert!

Kawane Green tea to washi it down. Don’t forget that Shizuoka Prefecture produces more than 45% of all green tea in Japan and the area we are going to cross on our way, Kawane, is the major green tea producing area!

Although the train runs along the Oi River between montains, thereis plenty of place for (tea) farming.

Tea fields everywhere!

This is the season and farmers are busy even on Sunday! You will find very few recreation spaces there as farmers are just too tired at the end of the day!

The Oi River has always been a major river in Japan! For once the weather was clement!

Wherever you go in Jpaan, you will discover ball parks where Elementary School kids are eager to show off their new uniforms!

We left Kanaya at 10:49 to reach Senzu Station, the last station for that particular train. Nice natural decoration!

A view of Senzu Station, which stands pretty high in the South Japanese Alps!

We had arrived at Senzu Station 12:04 and still had sometime before taking the bus to Sumatakyo at 13:30. We were getting a bit hungry. Luckily we noticed a gentleman grilling/bbq-ing large yamame!

Yamame (山女 or “Mountain Woman” in Japanese!) is a kind of trout, either called Japanese trout or Seema.

One can either eat wild ones or pond-raised ones. These fat samples are raised in local ponds fed with fresh mountain waters. Griiled with salt/shoyaki/塩焼き, they are succulent. You can eat the skin, too!

Almost “next door” to Senzu Station stands a very interesting museum dedicated to sound in their many form, natural or devised.
The place is called Otogi No Sato/Sound Village.
Check their (Japanese) HOMEPAGE.
I was particularly interested in the “percussion faces”.

Long teeth!

Another one for a music-loving dentist?

Another one for hard hitting!

We finally reached our destination Suikoen Spa Hotel at 14:10.
Now, who is that lady?
Check the Hotel Homepage for more information (Japanese)!

I can assure you they will never lack water to turn that wheel!

Hotel lobby sitting room.

The lobby seen from the inside courtyard.

The same from another angle.

A small but scenic courtyard, indeed, with the nearby wooded mountains.

A small carp pond, naturally!

A traditional irori/囲炉裏 with a real charcoal fire!

As we still had plenty of time until dinner (served at 18:00, a bit early by Western standards!), we took the opportunity to visit the locality!

A traditonal minshuku/民宿 or pension.

Narrow streets with plenty of verdant nature!

Rivers and waterfalls running through the village!

Traditional Houses and shops.
And then it was time for dinner, but that is for Part 2!

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
Warren Bobrow, Bread + Butter, Zoy Zhang, Hungry Neko, Think Twice, Frank Fariello, Mangantayon, Hapabento, Elinluv Tidbit Corner, Tokyo Terrace, Maison de Christina, Chrys Niles,Lexi, Culinary Musings, Wheeling Gourmet, Comestiblog, Chronicles Of A Curious Cook, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Palate To Pen, Yellin Yakimono Gallery, Tokyo Terrace, Hilah Cooking, More than a Mount Full, Arkonite Bento, Happy Little Bento; 5 Star Foodie; Jefferson’s Table; Oyster Culture; Gourmet Fury; Island Vittles; Good Beer & Country Boys; Rubber Slippers In Italy; Color Food daidokoro/Osaka;/a; The Witchy Kitchen; Citron Et Vanille, Lunsj Med Buffet/Estonian Gastronomy (English), Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Ideal Party

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Ekiben/Railway Station Lunch Boxes-Bento 8

Just came back for a tw0-day, one-night trip to Sumatakyo Hotsprings at the foot of the Southern Alps in Northern Shizuoka Prefecture.
We took our last train from Kanaya Oi River Railway Station (private railway) and bought our ekiben (railway Station Lunch boxes) there before boarding the diesel train (we took the steam locomotive on the way back).
A series of three articles are coming soon to describe that trip in detail!

The bento I chose was called “Oikawa Furusuato Bento/Oi River Hometown Bento” and was commemorating the C11 SL.
It included Sato Imo/taro on a stick with sweet miso sauce, Tamahoyaki, Takenoko/bamboo shoot, Fried and sweetened Sakura ebi/Cherry shrimps, Gobo/Burdock root, Chicken Karaage/Deep-fried Chicken, yama imo/yam seasoned with umeboshi/Japanese pickled plums and amazu/sweet rice vinegar, Yamame trout (Japanese trout) and two nigiri wrapped in seaweed.

The Yamame trout had been simmered for a long time in soy sauce, mirin and sugar. The whole was edible, head, tail and bones included!

The bento included a complimentary postcard of the SL locomotive and chopsticks in original paper wrapping.

Even the soy sauce was included inside an SL-shaped tube!

The Missus chose the “Shimada Hatsu Shizuoka Aji Monogatari Bento/Shimada Start Shizuoka Taste Story Bento”. It is the second time she had it but the contents were slightly different from last year. Th saber-dancing samurai is a figure of a very famous matsuri/festivaltaking place every 3 years in Shimada City where Kanaya is located!

It contained a Sakura ebi nigiri, Unagi Nori Maki/Ell sushi roll, Wasabituke/wasabi plants pickled in sake white lees in its little container, Tea tempura, Menchi Katsu/Minced pork croquettes, Kuro Hanpen/Sardine paste, Take no ko and sato imo (nimono/stewed, kamaboko/fish paste “flower”, lychee and mikan!

And we had cold tea from Kawane (the region covering the area between Kanay and the Southern Japanese Alps, one of the best tea areas inJapan!) to wash it down!

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
Warren Bobrow, Bread + Butter, Zoy Zhang, Hungry Neko, Think Twice, Frank Fariello, Mangantayon, Hapabento, Elinluv Tidbit Corner, Tokyo Terrace, Maison de Christina, Chrys Niles,Lexi, Culinary Musings, Wheeling Gourmet, Comestiblog, Chronicles Of A Curious Cook, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Palate To Pen, Yellin Yakimono Gallery, Tokyo Terrace, Hilah Cooking, More than a Mount Full, Arkonite Bento, Happy Little Bento; 5 Star Foodie; Jefferson’s Table; Oyster Culture; Gourmet Fury; Island Vittles; Good Beer & Country Boys; Rubber Slippers In Italy; Color Food daidokoro/Osaka;/a; The Witchy Kitchen; Citron Et Vanille, Lunsj Med Buffet/Estonian Gastronomy (English), Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Ideal Party

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi