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 Post subject: (Many) Japan eats
PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2013 12:17 am 
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I am currently in Tokyo to research for my PhD thesis and I live in a place with a small kitchen. Perfect opportunity to cook a lot of Japanese food and try out new ingredients and techniques!

(I apologize in advance for the super crappy pictures. The lighting in my tiny, tiny room is a desaster at best and I don't have lots of photography skills either.)

Kitsune-Soba
Much more simple than I ever expected, even if you make the stewed tofu pouch yourself.
Image

Carrot Rice, Nanbanzuke of kabocha, eggplant and onion, cucumber quick pickles.
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Nabe seasoned with shio koji, brown rice
Image

Stewed eggplant and deep fried tofu with ginger, brown rice, store bought daikon pickles
That tofu/eggplant dish recquired just about 5 minutes hands on time!
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Homemade carrot gyoza I had in the freezer, stewed potato/tofu/carrot, miso soup with wakame and yuba, dipping sauce
If I may say so myself: I really liked my first homemade gyoza! The rest came together really quickly so this was still a 30 Minute meal.
Image

Fried lotus root with a tangy sauce, rice with roasted potatoes and shiso, store-bought pickles
The recipe for the rice is good but unfortunately I realized that I actually don't like the taste of shiso. What's wrong with me? The sauce for the lotus root thingy was delicious!
Image

Really crazy mix of dishes here: a wild but tasty 'Italian' concoction of gobo, natto and tomato; leftover potato/shiso-rice; 'fish' made from grated nagaimo; two types of storebought pickles
Especially that nagaimo-fish thingy is an idea I need to play around with more. I think it has a lot of potential.
Image

I have more but should probably split posts up a little. The recipes for most of the things here come from Japanese cookbooks or from Cookpad. If anybody is interested in details to any of the dishes, just let me know and I'll see if I can find and translate the original recipes!


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 Post subject: Re: (Many) Japan eats
PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2013 12:31 am 
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OMG this is amazing. I used to love Japanese food pregan, and have given up on it, because it all seems to have hidden animal in it. And everything here looks so good, and even more incredible for you making it in a small space in very little time! Kudos!!!

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 Post subject: Re: (Many) Japan eats
PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2013 1:52 am 
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Wow, gorgeous.

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 Post subject: Re: (Many) Japan eats
PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2013 2:26 am 
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Thank you! Actually, I don't have all that much time to be cooking long so I mostly make recipes that are quick to make and produce leftovers for future meals. To be honest, I was surprised myself with how little work and how few ingredients it is possible to cook Japanese.

Tofulish, I hear you on the hidden meat (or fish). It IS virtually in all restaurant and conveniece food. It is one of the reasons why I mostly cook myself; that way I can use e.g. seaweed dashi etc.
Otherwise I'd be eating ume-filled onigiri all day, haha.


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 Post subject: Re: (Many) Japan eats
PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2013 6:52 am 
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That all looks incredible, I LOVE gyoza.


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 Post subject: Re: (Many) Japan eats
PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2013 2:42 pm 
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Wooooow I want to eat all of that! Amazing!

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 Post subject: Re: (Many) Japan eats
PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2013 2:49 pm 
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YUM!

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 Post subject: Re: (Many) Japan eats
PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2013 4:12 pm 
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Ugh YES! I miss not-avocado-sushi Japanese food!


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 Post subject: Re: (Many) Japan eats
PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2013 5:35 pm 
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oddspongeout wrote:
Ugh YES! I miss not-avocado-sushi Japanese food!


You can make some yourself! For seasoning you really don't need much: good soy sauce, cooking sake, mirin, miso. Maybe some sesame seeds and vinegar. With those alone you can make a lot of Japanese recipes!

You should check out the english version of Cookpad. There are tons of very non-vegan recipes on there but they can give you a good idea how to season things and should be easily modfied.


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 Post subject: Re: (Many) Japan eats
PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2013 10:24 pm 
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I've got to know more about the nagaimo fish and the italian natto thing. I want to make those.


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 Post subject: Re: (Many) Japan eats
PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2013 4:23 pm 
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I really want to eat these things. Yum.

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 Post subject: Re: (Many) Japan eats
PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2013 4:51 pm 
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pretty!

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 Post subject: Re: (Many) Japan eats
PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2013 8:40 pm 
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Your food looks awesome!


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 Post subject: Re: (Many) Japan eats
PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2013 9:20 pm 
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Everything looks very delicious!


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 Post subject: Re: (Many) Japan eats
PostPosted: Wed Nov 27, 2013 6:47 pm 
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Thanks everyone!

Corrin Radd wrote:
I've got to know more about the nagaimo fish and the italian natto thing. I want to make those.


The nagaimo fish is made like this:
-grate 50-70 grams of nagaimo, mix it with 1 tbsp of starch
-take a piece of nori about the size you want your fish to be
-heat a skillet with a little oil (sesame would be lovely here but I used canola), put the nori in there and pour the nagaimo stuff on top; spread it around a little to cove the nori
-fry over low heat until the nagaimo looks mostly set then flip and fry the other side until it is golden brown
-mix 1 tbsp of sake and 1/2 tbsp of shoyu, pour into skillet and cover the fish with it by turning and frying some more. That's it!

when I next make it, I'd like to modify it a little ba maybe adding some ground kombu or other seaweed to the nagaimo for fishier taste and perhaps also some gluten flour to make it firmer and chewier. the recipe as is produces a very soft 'fish'.
Oh, and I totally eyeballed the amount of nagaimo because I don't have any measuring devices. It was maybe like 2 inches of nagaimo?

The Italian gobo goes like this:
-peel 10 inches of gobo, cut into random sized pieces
-finely chop 1/4 large onion (or half of a small one) , cut up one small-ish tomato, slice one clove of garlic thinly
-heat olive oil in a skillet, saute the garlic until fragrant then add gobo, onions and tomato and two pinches of salt (I also added oregano)
-cook until most of the liquid from the tomato has evaporated and the gobo is soft (it never becomes very soft though)
-season to taste with salt and pepper, then finish off by adding one pack of natto and heating everything through

That gobo thing sounded so weird on paper but somehow actually worked.

If you make those, please share!


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 Post subject: Re: (Many) Japan eats
PostPosted: Wed Nov 27, 2013 6:49 pm 
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Wow, tiny room or no tiny room, looks like you've been cooking up an absolutely delicious storm!

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 Post subject: Re: (Many) Japan eats
PostPosted: Wed Nov 27, 2013 10:48 pm 
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ah, beautiful!! love your nabe pot too.

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 Post subject: Re: (Many) Japan eats
PostPosted: Thu Nov 28, 2013 10:14 am 
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So much beautiful food!

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 Post subject: Re: (Many) Japan eats
PostPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2013 1:52 am 
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Wow, this is amazing, Lily!


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 Post subject: Re: (Many) Japan eats
PostPosted: Sun Dec 15, 2013 12:54 pm 
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would you share the Kitsune-Soba and the lotus root thingy sauce recipes?

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 Post subject: Re: (Many) Japan eats
PostPosted: Sun Dec 15, 2013 7:38 pm 
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jacblades wrote:
would you share the Kitsune-Soba and the lotus root thingy sauce recipes?


Sure!

Kitsune-Soba (serves 4):

1. Scald 4 pieces of abura-age with hot water to remove fat, cut in half or in 3 and stew with the following: 1c dashi, 3tbsp sugar, 2 tbsp mirin, 2 tbsp soy sauce. First, cook in saucepan with lid for a couple of minutes then remove lid and reduce until almost all liquid has evaporated.

2. Cook 4 servings of soba or udon noodles. Wash well with clear water until not starchy any more.

3. Make soup: Heat 4c dashi, 4-5 tbsp usukuchi soy sauce (or a little more of normal soy sauce which has less salt than usukuchi), 2 tbsp mirin - let everything boil up once. Adjust seasonings to taste.

4. Assemble: put noodles into bowl, on top one big piece wirth of abura-age (so, 2 or 3 smaller pieces), sliced scallion or thin leeks, top with 1c of the soup and you're done!

(Tips: I made more of the stewed abura-age than I could eat in one sitting and kept it in the fridge. With that prepared, whipping up a bowl of soup takes only as long as you need to cook the noodles. Also, I like to reheat the noodles in the soup because they are cold after washing, so I pop them into the saucepan with the soup and let boil once and then transfer to a bowl, add toppings and serve right away.)

Lotus-root thingies:

1. Wash and slice 1 smallish lotus root, dust with starch and fry or fry without starch (both is equally good).

2. In a bowl mix, 4-5 finely minced scallions (this means the Asian variety with very thin stalks not the sturdier type I have seen in Europe), 2tsp of ground sesame, 1 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tbsp rice vinegar, sugar to taste. Add a little water if mixture is too thick. Adjust seasonings to taste.

3. Arrange lotus roots on a plate, drizzle with sauce.

Enjoy!


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 Post subject: Re: (Many) Japan eats
PostPosted: Wed Dec 25, 2013 3:48 pm 
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OMG!!!

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 Post subject: Re: (Many) Japan eats
PostPosted: Thu Dec 26, 2013 1:54 pm 
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Thanks very much Lily!

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 Post subject: Re: (Many) Japan eats
PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 8:26 pm 
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Lily wrote:
Thanks everyone!

Corrin Radd wrote:
I've got to know more about the nagaimo fish and the italian natto thing. I want to make those.


The nagaimo fish is made like this:
-grate 50-70 grams of nagaimo, mix it with 1 tbsp of starch
-take a piece of nori about the size you want your fish to be
-heat a skillet with a little oil (sesame would be lovely here but I used canola), put the nori in there and pour the nagaimo stuff on top; spread it around a little to cove the nori
-fry over low heat until the nagaimo looks mostly set then flip and fry the other side until it is golden brown
-mix 1 tbsp of sake and 1/2 tbsp of shoyu, pour into skillet and cover the fish with it by turning and frying some more. That's it!

when I next make it, I'd like to modify it a little ba maybe adding some ground kombu or other seaweed to the nagaimo for fishier taste and perhaps also some gluten flour to make it firmer and chewier. the recipe as is produces a very soft 'fish'.
Oh, and I totally eyeballed the amount of nagaimo because I don't have any measuring devices. It was maybe like 2 inches of nagaimo?

The Italian gobo goes like this:
-peel 10 inches of gobo, cut into random sized pieces
-finely chop 1/4 large onion (or half of a small one) , cut up one small-ish tomato, slice one clove of garlic thinly
-heat olive oil in a skillet, saute the garlic until fragrant then add gobo, onions and tomato and two pinches of salt (I also added oregano)
-cook until most of the liquid from the tomato has evaporated and the gobo is soft (it never becomes very soft though)
-season to taste with salt and pepper, then finish off by adding one pack of natto and heating everything through

That gobo thing sounded so weird on paper but somehow actually worked.

If you make those, please share!


Thanks--I made both of those. I liked the nagaimo fish, but I loved the natto gobo. I'm going to try natto in other dishes like home fries and tofu scramble--based on this I think it will work very well. Post more photos, please!


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 Post subject: Re: (Many) Japan eats
PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2014 6:55 am 
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Corrin Radd wrote:
Thanks--I made both of those. I liked the nagaimo fish, but I loved the natto gobo. I'm going to try natto in other dishes like home fries and tofu scramble--based on this I think it will work very well. Post more photos, please!


Great, thanks for the feedback! Natto also goes well with scrambled tofu... it was my standby breakfast dish. I like that combo best with traditional Japanese seasoning of soy sauce, sake and mirin, possibly even a little sugar to give a slight sweetness to the dish. Toasted sesame oil is also great in this, as are grated carrots and ginger and/or garlic.

I'm now back in Germany and I'm afraid I've posted all of the food pics. I did bring a bunch of Japanese cookboks with me though. When I make something from them I'll sure post here, too.


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