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 Post subject: japanese food
PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2012 7:36 am 
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Drunk Dialed Ian MacKaye
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I've decided I want to learn how to cook japanese food.
i've done sushi quite a few times, and it's turned out pretty well, but i want to venture on to japanese home-style cooking - i think learning a new kitchen so fundamentally different than the kind i usually cook, it's the best place to start?

i've been reading basically all the posts at Justhungry.com and am looking into Justbento.com aswell - it seems like they're great resources when it comes to cooking techniques!

so, ppk, what I am asking you is: what are your favorite types of japanese food? tonight i am going to make japanese rice, miso soup, inarizushi, namasu and a dish with miso and leek.

what are your favorite rice toppings? mochi fillings? sauces? dipping sauces? vegetable dishes? onigiri?

thank you! (any other advise on japanese cooking would also be very much appreciated!)


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 Post subject: Re: japanese food
PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2012 7:55 am 
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Seagull of the PPK
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justhungry is great.

japanese country cooking is my bag- rice, veggies, pickles, soup. some kind of meat or fish analog occasionally but not often.

some of my favorites you should investigate, you will find good recipes everywhere. if the recipes aren't vegan, what usually needs to be subbed is just the broth, and you can easily make your own broth from dried shiitakes and konbu:
kitsune don
spinash ohitashi
oden (simmered goodies, everything from daikon and cabbage to konbu)
kinpira
simmered okara
learning to cook with miso also helps- dengaku eggplant
yaki nasu (eggplant grilled or dry fried on a pan and eaten with ginger and soy sauce)
sekihan (beans and rice together, makes great rice balls)
and of course, curry!!!! curry with rice and curry with noodles.
ETA: i am tired of mochi as we've had so much of it lately, but i eat it pan fried in sesame oil til crunchy, then wrapped in nori and dipped in soy sauce with sugar. this is the only acceptable way to eat mochi. ;-)

i don't top rice, i eat it straight. every once in a while i will make my own furikake, there is a recipe on justbento that is awesome and vegan: http://justbento.com/handbook/johbisai/ ... rry-peanut
i do always eat rice with some pickles or umeboshi.

feel free to ask questions. we make some pretty weird stuff too (miso, tofu, plum wine, all kinds of pickles) and i have some cool cookbooks.

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 Post subject: Re: japanese food
PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2012 9:52 am 
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The Real Hamburger Helper
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I was just going to post a question about onigiri so maybe I should just include it here. This will be my first time making it too. I got onigiri molds (star, bear & heart) so I can be lazy about it and hopefully my toddler will eat it.

Anyhow my question is this: what are some good vegan onigiri fillings? I love umboshi paste so I'll definitely do that for myself, but I doubt my toddler would like it. I didn't see much of anything else online but tofu or tempeh, and he is allergic to soy. Any other suggestions?

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 Post subject: Re: japanese food
PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2012 10:08 am 
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Drunk Dialed Ian MacKaye
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torque: i have been served these AMAZING japanese pickles at wagamama, which come as a mix with their miso soup - a yellow one (daikon, maybe?), a reddish one and a green one. they are super tasty, sort of tangy-sweet-salty.. do you know what kind they are?

and thank you!


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 Post subject: Re: japanese food
PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2012 10:35 am 
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Seagull of the PPK
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there are a gazillion types of pickles BUT the yellow one was almost certainly takuan. the others, no way to tell.
check out http://www.theblackmoon.com/Jfood/ftsuke.html for some pickle recipes.

a word on onigiri- i have literally made thousands and thousands of onigiri. at one volunteer gig we used the molds, at the others we used our hands. the molds can be difficult to work with so keep calm and don't get frustrated if they stick. sometimes they just don't work well.

can you get non-soy miso? because that mixed with green onion is classic. Any pickle is classic. You could sautee up anything (a favorite here is shredded carrots, garlic, and scallions with soy sauce). you could put in potato salad, corn, whatever!! any flavor he likes is a nice suprise to find inside the rice ball.

or remember yaki-onigiri! you can take a plain onigiri and put it on a frying pan and fry it. even better if you can brush it with a thin miso sauce..... droooool

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 Post subject: Re: japanese food
PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2012 11:53 am 
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torque, I would like you to be my personal chef.

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 Post subject: Re: japanese food
PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2012 11:56 am 
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Torque, you're super.

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 Post subject: Re: japanese food
PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2012 11:57 am 
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Drunk Dialed Ian MacKaye
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vegetalion wrote:
torque, I would like you to be my personal chef.

+1 yummy. You are so awesome!

ETA: Also, look up the Kansha book people have been posting about on here. It's absolutely beautiful.

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 Post subject: Re: japanese food
PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2012 12:09 pm 
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torque! You are so awesome!

Kansha is great. Another book I really love is The Enlightened Kitchen: http://www.amazon.com/The-Enlightened-K ... 4770024932

I bought it in Japan and felt so smug about the find until I realized it is available everywhere. But it's lovely!


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 Post subject: Re: japanese food
PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2012 12:22 pm 
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Drunk Dialed Ian MacKaye
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yes, the takuan looks right! thank you so much! at least now I know what I am looking for :)


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 Post subject: Re: japanese food
PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2012 12:26 pm 
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Hey torque, do you know if it's possible to make umeboshi at home? Or maybe not a traditional umeboshi, but maybe a quick and dirty, you live in Portland and are a hipster umeboshi?

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 Post subject: Re: japanese food
PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2012 12:28 pm 
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torque wrote:
can you get non-soy miso? because that mixed with green onion is classic. Any pickle is classic.

Is there a reason that you would use non-soy miso for pickling?


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 Post subject: Re: japanese food
PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2012 2:27 pm 
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Seagull of the PPK
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you all are so sweet!!! but i would like maki from just hungry to be my chef and my buddy (she is also a translator and an expat), so i encourage you to explore her sites, and leave her nice messages, as i was really, really sad to learn today that she has cancer and the treatment is really tough.

vijita wrote:
torque wrote:
can you get non-soy miso? because that mixed with green onion is classic. Any pickle is classic.

Is there a reason that you would use non-soy miso for pickling?

no, only because aubade mentioned that the kid has a soy allergy. i know you can get barley miso in some places.

RE: Umeboshi: YES! (it's a bisque). As usual, Maki's recipe (her mom's, actually) is the best: http://www.justhungry.com/homemade-umeb ... kled-plums
i would make them but could only get about a kilo of japanese plums this year and they went into umeshu making (plum wine.... i had to bribe my chatty neighbor to get them but it was worth it). it's honestly easier for me to just buy them. dirty they are, but not quick. in any sense of the word. just like miso, there are no shortcuts.
but just for fun check out the all-plum-p0rn-all-the-time site i found last year when i was making my plum wine: umeboshi, plum jam, plum paste, we gotcher plums. http://minabe.net/umelife/umebosi/index.html

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 Post subject: Re: japanese food
PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2012 3:45 pm 
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Thank you to smoothie and torque for introducing me to Just Hungry. It is amazing, and this post broke my heart: http://www.justhungry.com/sketch-diary-low-point


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 Post subject: Re: japanese food
PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2012 3:58 pm 
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Seagull of the PPK
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so thanks smoothie, you decided what we're having for dinner:

-brown rice (just me and the kid tonight and we prefer brown)
-eggplant salad (chunks steamed this morning and left to marinate in the fridge in 3T soy sauce, 1T black chinese vinegar, 1t sugar and drops of sesame oil)
-miso soup (with sliced onion and carrot and some dried wakame, tofu skins and shiitakes- but mostly just broth)
-simmered okara (leftovers from making soymilk: this recipe without the konnyaku or aburaage : http://japanesefood.about.com/od/tofu/r/okara.htm )
- whatever pickles we have floating around the fridge- we always have some
-and something green. i have a head of escarole so i think i might JUST BARELY steam it above the cooking rice and toss it with soy sauce and a little bit of the soup broth (before i put the miso in it)

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 Post subject: Re: japanese food
PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2012 4:23 pm 
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There's a kind-of soup dish called nimono (literally 'boiled stuff') that's basically various vegetables, like carrots, onions, zucchini, bok choy, etc., cooked in a broth of shiitake mushrooms, seaweed bundles, soy sauce, and sugar. You can also add age (fried tofu), but obviously that has soy so don't use it if you're avoiding that. I can post a basic recipe if you want.


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 Post subject: Re: japanese food
PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2012 7:49 pm 
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http://www.amazon.com/Japanese-Cooking- ... pd_sim_b_1

I have this book and I recommend it! There are some really simple things in there and more in depth stuff too, I haven't made anything I didn't like.

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 Post subject: Re: japanese food
PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2012 3:40 am 
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Drunk Dialed Ian MacKaye
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i made a pretty great meal yesterday: a few kinds of sushi (inarizushi, nigiri w/avocado, regular avocado roll) + namasu (daikon and carrot mixed with lemon juice, rice winegar and sugar), two kinds of furikake (one was sesame seeds and toasted nori, the other was made from green onion and a mix of mirin, dashi and miso), and of course miso soup" it was delicious.

also, now i've spent almost all of my money on japanese ingredients, so now i HAVE to learn to cook japanese food. haha.


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 Post subject: Re: japanese food
PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2012 5:46 am 
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Seagull of the PPK
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last night right before i made dinner mr T showed up with 4 green papayas and i got to make a typical Japanese Brazilian dish- you skin them, chunk them, stir fry them with onion and as soon as the onion gets golden deglaze with a bit of alcohol (we're out of sake so i used vodka) and then maybe 1/2c broth (like for soup) and cover, let it cook for a bit til they're ALMOST getting soft. then throw in maybe 2T chopped garlic and mix it up, mix up a starch slurry (assuming you still have liquid in the pot) and have it ready while you add 1-2T miso and mix it around til it falls apart. then add the slurry, mix as it thickens, and turn off heat. Throw in as much chopped green onion as you care for (i like a lot).

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 Post subject: Re: japanese food
PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2012 8:13 am 
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The Real Hamburger Helper
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Thanks torque! I have a bunch of pouches of baby food pureed veggies. Do you think it would be too watery to put a little squeeze in each onigiri and they'd fall apart?

I would like to use up the pouches, but if not I'm thinking maybe fill them with shredded carrot salad with a bit of seasame oil, orange juice and ginger.

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 Post subject: Re: japanese food
PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2012 6:31 pm 
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Drunk Dialed Ian MacKaye
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torque wrote:
so thanks smoothie, you decided what we're having for dinner:

-brown rice (just me and the kid tonight and we prefer brown)
-eggplant salad (chunks steamed this morning and left to marinate in the fridge in 3T soy sauce, 1T black chinese vinegar, 1t sugar and drops of sesame oil)
-miso soup (with sliced onion and carrot and some dried wakame, tofu skins and shiitakes- but mostly just broth)
-simmered okara (leftovers from making soymilk: this recipe without the konnyaku or aburaage : http://japanesefood.about.com/od/tofu/r/okara.htm )
- whatever pickles we have floating around the fridge- we always have some
-and something green. i have a head of escarole so i think i might JUST BARELY steam it above the cooking rice and toss it with soy sauce and a little bit of the soup broth (before i put the miso in it)


I want to come over to your house for dinner!

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 Post subject: Re: japanese food
PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2012 8:07 pm 
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Seagull of the PPK
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Aubade wrote:
Do you think it would be too watery to put a little squeeze in each onigiri and they'd fall apart?

I would like to use up the pouches, but if not I'm thinking maybe fill them with shredded carrot salad with a bit of seasame oil, orange juice and ginger.

Unfortunately, i think they would be too wet BUT could you maybe cook some quinoa in the puree, or something like that (i was thinking reconstituting TVP but that won't work, obvs, but maybe there is some other thing like that. maybe dried tomatoes or raisins? or maybe just strain it til it's not so wet?)
you COULD cook the rice with those purees in it replacing part of the liquid, that would be interesting.

birdsonawire, come on down!!!!

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 Post subject: Re: japanese food
PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2012 11:43 pm 
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sukiyaki please

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 Post subject: Re: japanese food
PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2012 11:45 pm 
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also I had japanese curry for the first time the other month and I thought it ruled

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 Post subject: Re: japanese food
PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 6:58 am 
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Seagull of the PPK
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adam, it's super easy to make.......

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