Tag Archives: 前菜

Tofu & Cabbage Okonomiyaki

Okonomiyaki, originally a fast food from Osaka and Hiroshima has become so popular abroad that one has to try and find variants of the original recipes.
Here is a simple and healthy one:

Tofu & Cabbage Okonomiyaki!

INGREDIENTS: For 2 people

-Tofu/kinudofu/silk tofu: 1/2 block, ~200 g
-Cabbage: 1/6
-All-purpose flour: 3 tablespoons
-Thin pork slice (belly): 50 g
-Egg: 1
-Hon dashi/dashi stock soup powder (if unavailable, use bouillon powder): 10 g
-Salt & pepper: as appropriate

Sauce:
-Ponzu: as appropriate
-Chopped leeks: as appropriate

RECIPE:

-Pres water out of tofu as much as you can. Break up the tofu in a large bowl with a spatula and stir until smooth.

-Cut cabbage leaves thinly.

-Add cabbage, flour , egg, hon dashi powder, salt and pepper.
Mix well.

-In a large enough frypan, fdry-ry the pork slices. There is enough fat in the pork, no need for oil! Spread pork slices evenly.

-Pour batter all over the pork. Cook and turn over until you are satisfied with both sides of the okonomiyaki.

-Serve on a warm plate. Season with ponzu (better and healthie than sauce) and chopped leeks (for the vitamins!)

Easy, isn’t it?

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Edamame Spanish Omelette

Edamame/枝豆 seem to become evermore popular throughout the world.
It is ironic that common soy beans were not Japanese originally to later become a Japanese specialty in its unripe shape!
Everyone knows about Spanish omelettes. Her is a simple recipe combining Spanish and Japanese Cuisines that I’m sure everyone will be able to expand on:

Edamame Spanish Omelette!

INGREDIENTS: For a 20cm-diameter frypan

Potatoes: 3 medium
-Onion: half 1 medium/thinly sliced
-Eggs: 3
-Salt: 1 teaspoon or as appropriate
-Olive oil: 2 tablespoons
-Edamame: 100 g (beans only)

RECIPE:

-Boil the edamame enough to be able to peel the beans easily.

-Peel potatoes. Cut lengthwise in 4 portions and cut each portion in about 3cm thick strips. Cut strips into 3 cm long pieces. Wash rapidly and drain.

-Pour oil in a frypan. Add salt (imporatnt point) first. Throw in potatoes and fry for a short while until potato pieces are completely coated with oil.

-Reduce fire to medium low. Cover with glass lid. Cook/simmer for 10 minutes.
Turn over from time to time to evenly cook potatoes. Avoid “burning” them. Once the potatoes have become translucent (if 10 minutes have not elapsed, stop cooking!), switch fire and Pour excess oil in a small bowl.

-Beat the eggs in a bowl and season according to preference. No need for more salt!

-Throw the edamame and sliced onion into the frypan containg the potatoes. Add the oil back.

-Turn the frypan around to coat all the vegetables with the ol. Cook over a small fire for about 5 minutes. Trurn over from time to time for even cooking. Avoid “burning” the vegetables.

-Season the vegetables according to preference. No need for more salt!

-Add the beaten eggs evenly. Fry, turning from time to time.
If you want to cook only on one side keep frying until the omelette is ready.
If you want to cook on bothe sides, get a plate ready in your other hand and turn the omelette onto the plate and let it slide again into the frypan. Repeat operation 2 or 3 times if necessary.

-Check by pressing a finger on the middle of the omellette. It shouldn’t sink.

-Serve on a large plate as it is or cut to size.

-Serve with a green salad and white wine!

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, Bento Boutique, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World, Palate To Pen, Yellin Yakimono Gallery, Tokyo Terrace, Hilah Cooking, More than a Mount Full, Arkonite Bento, Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, While My Sautoir Gently Sweats

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Japanese Appetizer: Octopus & Okra Salad in Ginger Marinade

Spring and warmer days have finally come to Japan!
It is time to enjoy lighter and fresher food!
Here is a simple idea for a sanck/appetizer which can be easily prepared anywhere:

Octopus & Okra In Ginger Marinade!

INGREDIENTS: For 2~ people

-Boiled octopus: 2 tentacles (they say “foot” in Japanese!)
-Okra: 10
-Salt: as appropriate

Marinade/sauce:
-Rice vinegar: 2 tablespoons
-Light soy sauce: 2 teaspoons
-Dashi/Soup stock: 3 tablespoons
-Fresh ginger juice: 1~teaspoon(s)

RECIPE:

-Cut the octopus in thin slices and cut again across into 2~3 pieces.

-Cut the stem end off the okura. Get rid of their “hairs” by rolling them around inside a Japanese-style mortar.

-Drop the okra in warm salted water and leave them ther for a while. Scoop them out and drain well. Cut them into small squares, then chop them with a sharp knife.

-Chill the octopus and okra well before preparing them before the meal. Take them out of the refrigerator. Mount the octopus slices on a plate as shown on the picture above and top with okura. Pour the marinade over the top.

-You may mix the whole as you are eating it!

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, Bento Boutique, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World, Palate To Pen, Yellin Yakimono Gallery, Tokyo Terrace, Hilah Cooking, More than a Mount Full, Arkonite Bento, Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, While My Sautoir Gently Sweats

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Seasonal Fish: Noresore/Conger Eel Whitebait

noresore4.jpg

“Noresore” will soon appear at some select fish markets, and as it will be a very short season, you will have to keep your eyes open!
Noresore stands for very young conger eels. They are called different names depending on regions: “Berada” in Okayama Pref., “Tachikurage” in Misaki, “Nagatankurage” in Wakayama Pref.
In Shizuoka, they mainly come from Hamana Lake, a seawater lake west of the Prefecture, famous for its oysters, eels and clams.

5~6cm long, they are practically transparent, save for their eyes. They emit no smell. In our Prefecture they are available only during the first two weeks of March. They are slowly but surely becoming a rarity wherever in Japan, and people come from afar just for the experience!

Before serving them, lightly wash them in clean salted water.
They are great as they are with a little “ponzu or “yuzu” vinegar, a dash of “momijioroshi” (freshly grated daikon and chili pepper) and some chopped thin leeks for a last touch of colour!

Now as sushi they are sublime as “gunkan”, or a rice ball wrapped in seaweed if you are an expert, with freshly grated ginger and chopped thin leeks again.

They can even been cooked (very quickly!) in garlic olive oil!

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Japanese Seasonal Fish: Tai-Madai/Seabream

There are many varieties of Seabream/Snappers/Tai/鯛in Japan:
Batodai, Hanadai, Ishidai, Kinmeidai, Mekkidai, etc., but the most popular variety is called Madai/真鯛, or True Seabream.

Even Madai/True Seabream is called different names depending upon the region: Oodai or Hondai.
The best season streches from Winter to Spring.
It is extensively raised by humans in Ehime, Mie and Saga Prefectures.
Wild specimen are mainly caught off the shores of Nagasaki, Fukuok, Kumamoto, and Yamaguchi Prefectures. Not so many Madai are caught in Shizuoka but other varieties are abundant especially around Izu Penisula.

Human-raised amount to over 80,000 tonnes a year wild ones are caught at a rate inferior to 15,000 tonnes a year.
Imports are relatively and account for only about 6.500 tonnes a year.

Madai is widely appreciated raw as sashimi in the Japanese style (above),

in carpaccio, Italian-style sashimi!

The Japanese also ove them grilled or steamed.

The Japanese since immemorial times have preserved the raw fish in rice miso, mirin/sweet sake and konbu/seaweed, but this has become quite an expensive morsel these days!

(Only relatively) lesser varieties, like Kinmedai, are appreciated as Himono/naturally dried fish, a specilaty of Shizuoka Prefecture which produces no less half of all naturally dried fish in Japan! Actually they come almost as expensive!

Konbujime/marinated in seaweed nigiri sushi

As sushi, madai (and other seabreams) are very versatile.
You will encounter them, depending on the region as konbujime/marinated in seaweed (above),

simple, straight nigiri sushi,

oshizushi/pressed sushi,

or zuke/marinated in ponzu, sake, mirin, etc.,

Seabream certainly looks great as temarizushi/Kyoto-style small round sushi nigiri!

Tai Shirako

Like tara/cod, their sperm sacs of the male specimens are highly appreciated and even more expensive than those of cods.

You can have served raw/slightly boiled or grilled as above,

meuniere-style as in French or Italian cuisine,

or on gunkan sushi nigiri!

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Bread + Butter, Comestilblog, Greedy Girl, Bouchon For 2, Zoy Zhang, Hungry Neko, Mangantayon, Elinluv Tidbit Corner, Maison de Christina, Chrys Niles, Lexi, Culinary Musings, Eats and Everything, Bite Me New England, Heather Sweet, Warren Bobrow, 5 Star Foodie, Frank Fariello, Oyster Culture, Ramendo, Alchemist Chef, Ochikeron, Mrs. Lavendula, The Gipsy Chef, Spirited Miu Flavor, Wheeling Gourmet, Chef de Plunge, Sushi Nomads

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Japanese Seasonal Fish: Tara/Cod

Cod, or “Tara/鱈” in Japanese reads a the “Snow Fish”. Unlike in many countries in Europe and North America, the fish is eaten fresh, raw or cooked in Japan, but practically never salted.
Only the Norwegians can boast a difference as they eat the tongue of the fish as soon as they catch it!

As other fish in Japan, it is called different names: Ibodara, Maidara (Toyama Prefecture), Ara (Nagasaki Prefecture) as far as “Madar” or “True Cod” is concerned.
There are other varieties as is shown below in sushi pictures.

It is mainly caught in the Sea of Okhotsk in Winter.
The average total Cod catch is 437,000 tonnes, 55.000 of which is “True Cod”. Imports average annualy 152,000 tonnes mainly from the US and Russia.

Cod sashimi with its male sperm sacs/Shirako

It makes for great sashimi.

But it is also equally appreciated cooked, especially grilled or in “Nabe/Japanese-style pot au feu”.

Gintara/銀鱈 Cod variety as sushi nigiri.

Higetara/髭鱈 Cod variety as sushi nigiri.

Madara/真鱈 Cod as sushi nigiri.

As shown above, many varieties of tara are greatly appreciated as sushi, especially nigiri.

Shirako/白子, or the sperm sacs of the male fish, is an extremely popular delicay in Japan.
It is either served raw or lightly boiled as in above picture with ponzu, chopped leeks and momijioroshi/grated daikon with chili pepper.

Shirako is also very popular served as sushi in gunkan shape as above.

It becomes another delicacy when grilled.
French and Italian Restaurants in Japan also extensively use it sauteed or in gratin!

The roe sacs of the femal fish is also a very popular (and expensive) delicacy especially when preserved in chili pepper (as above) and sold as Mentaiko/明太子!

The same roe is also served as “Tarako/鱈子”, especially in the sushi gunkan form!

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
Bread + Butter, Comestilblog, Greedy Girl, Bouchon For 2, Zoy Zhang, Hungry Neko, Mangantayon, Elinluv Tidbit Corner, Maison de Christina, Chrys Niles, Lexi, Culinary Musings, Eats and Everything, Bite Me New England, Heather Sweet, Warren Bobrow, 5 Star Foodie, Frank Fariello, Oyster Culture, Ramendo, Alchemist Chef, Ochikeron, Mrs. Lavendula, The Gipsy Chef, Spirited Miu Flavor, Wheeling Gourmet, Chef de Plunge, Sushi Nomads

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Sashimi Mini-Plate at Tomii (’10/01/09)

This is the second part of my “Quick fix” last night at Tomii.
I posted this article separately as it will also go to my sushi blog page and Sushi Nomads Website.

All the fish served on this “min sashimi plate” are seasonal (as always at Tomii).

Left top: “Honmaguro Akami”, or lean part of bluefin tuna backed with various sprout vegetables.
Right top: “Hirame” or sole on a leaf of shiso/perilla.
Left bottom: “Tai”, or seabream. In thei case “Madai”, or true seabream.
Right bottom: “Aori Ika”, or bigfin reef squid.
The wasabi is naturally freshly grated wasabi from Shizuoka!

TOMII
Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Tokiwa-cho, 1-2-7, Tomii Bldg, 1F
Tel.: 054-274-0666
Business hours: 17:00~22:00
Closed on Sundays
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
Bread + Butter, Comestilblog, Greedy Girl, Bouchon For 2, Zoy Zhang, Hungry Neko, Mangantayon, Elinluv Tidbit Corner, Maison de Christina, Chrys Niles, Lexi, Culinary Musings, Eats and Everything, Bite Me New England, Heather Sweet, Warren Bobrow, 5 Star Foodie, Frank Fariello, Oyster Culture, Ramendo, Alchemist Chef, Ochikeron, Mrs. Lavendula, The Gipsy Chef, Spirited Miu Flavor, Wheeling Gourmet, Chef de Plunge

Please check the new postings at:
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