Recipes (in English)

2011年7月 9日 (土)

Star Festival "Capellini Milky Way"

Tanabata is a Japanese Star Festival which is celebrated on the 7th of July in Japan. This tradition is originated from China.

We write our wishes on the pieces of paper and hang them on bamboo on Tanabata day, and I used to do this when I was a kid. This year, I cooked the special meal for Tanabata. The legend says that the Milky Way separated Orihime (Weaving Princess) and Hikoboshi (Cow Herder Star) and they can only see each other on Tanabata day. Romantic, isn't it?

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Recipe

1. Cook capellini in hot water for about 2 minutes.

2. Drain capellini and rinse it with very cold water.

3. Add the capellini in the dressing (made of olive oil and soy sauce).  Add slices of smoked salmon and shiso (Japanese basil).

4. Dish up the pasta in "Milky Way" shape. Sprinkle star-shaped slices of ham and peppers.

Buon appetito!

Written by Keiko SASAKI

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2011年7月 3日 (日)

Japanese Breakfast with Dried Mackerel

This is typical Japanese breakfast!

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Come and visit Japan and you will enjoy this type of breakfast at a Ryokan (Japanese inn)!

Greeting from Keiko and Ryoichi

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2011年3月19日 (土)

Aburaage Pizza

Since the big Tohoku earthquake happened last week, many foods at supermarkets in my area (Kanagawa prefecture) have been sold out. There are few items left, but many preservative foods (something like instant noodles) are gone. This could be partly because of the logistic problems but not only this, I think people are eager to buy food because of the "fear". People are feeling fear and maybe tend to try to get some food stock for preparing against the next possible earthquake.

However, at the moment, it is very important for victims in Tohoku area to get enough food, so we, people who are located relatively far from the centre of earthquake have to try to maintain our lives with minimum items. I'm not sure if I am making myself understood in my poor English, but I just want to tell you that Japan is fighting against odds, but we know that we will never give in.

I found some aburaage (fried tofu) in the fridge, so this time I made "pizza" with this item.

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Recipe

1. Cut aburaage into some pieces.

2. Put sliced ham, green peppers, cherry tomatoes on "1".

3. Put cheese on "2".

4. Grill "3" in oven for a while.

Buon appetito!

Written by Keiko SASAKI

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2011年3月 7日 (月)

Aburaage Meat Sauce Gratin

"Aburaage" is made from soybeans. It’s very healthy and delicious. It is a fried tofu. In Japan, we often use aburaage as one of the ingredients to make miso soup. The other day, I used it to make "meat sauce without meat". Cooked aburaage in tomato sauce tasted like meat!

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Recipe

1. Chop aburaage finely and sauté with slices of garlic in olive oil.

2. Add chopped tomatoes into "1" and cook for a while. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Cut hanpen (fish cake) into some pieces and put them in the heat-proof dish.

4. Put "2" onto "3" and top with cheese.

5. Bake in the oven toaster until the cheese melts.

Buon appetito!

Written by Keiko SASAKI

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2011年2月27日 (日)

Aglio olio e peperoncino with SOBA (buckwheat noodles)

The below is the Italian dish with "soba" which I made the other day. In my experience, eating soba is good for avoiding constipation. I love soba and eat it nearly once a week.

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Recipe

1. Sauté slices of garlic and pepper in olive oil.

2. Cook soba in hot water for about 5 minutes.

3. Drain soba and rinse it with cold water.

4. Add the cooked soba into "1". Season with salt and pepper. Add a bit of soy sauce.

5. Sprinkle green onions.

Buon appetito!

Written by Keiko SASAKI

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2011年2月11日 (金)

Meat-free Fried Koya Tofu and Cheese-free Caprese

Recently, I feel "heavy"... In winter I tend to stay at home and don't move and just watch DVD and eat and drink... Today I introduce some "meat-free cooking".

Firstly, it's "Deep-fried Koya Tofu".

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Recipe

1. Soak Koya Tofu in chicken soup for about 10 minutes.

2. Squeeze Koya Tofu in hands.

3. Slice Koya Tofu into half (i.e. make the "thickness" into half).

4. Dip "3" into beaten egg, then bread crumbs and place it into hot oil. (Mix grated cheese into the bread crumbs, then you will enjoy the flavour more!)

As this Koya Tofu is soaked in the chicken soup, it tastes exactly like fried chicken!

Another vegetarian dish is Caprese Salad, but without using mozzarella, I used tofu.

Here is the "Tofu Caprese Salada".

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Recipe

1. Slice small tomatoes and tofu thinly. (Kinugoshi Tofu=soft tofu is good to make caprese.)

2. Put tofu on the slices of tomatoes.

3. Top with dill sprigs.

4. Pour olive oil and a bit of soy sauce over 3.

Looks kawaii, doesn't it?

Buon appetito!

Written by Keiko SASAKI

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2011年2月 6日 (日)

Hanpen (square SURIMI) Caprese

Hanpen is a kind of SURIMI. It's square and looks like TOFU. This time I used hanpen with cherry tomatoes to make "Insalata Caprese".

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Recipe

1. Cut hanpen into small pieces. Slice cherry tomatoes into half.

2. Alternate hanpen slices and tomato slices.

3. Pour olive oil and a bit of soy sauce over 2.

4. You can add a bit of mayonnaise if you like.

It's getting warmer (finally!) in Japan. I put "Nanohaha no Ohitashi" (boiled rape plant) by the caprese. Eating Nanohana in the early spring is a bliss for Japanese.

Buon appetito!

Written by Keiko SASAKI

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2011年1月29日 (土)

Vegetarian "Fu" Donburi

"Fu" is dried wheat gluten and very convenient. It's dried, so good to store for a long period. I keep this type of dried food in the kitchen just in case I suddenly become hungry in the midnight and crave for DONBURI.

You can cook DONBURI without using any meat. So, you can also enjoy your midnight DONBURI even though your refrigerator doesn't contain any chicken or beef.

By the way, DONBURI is Japanese dish with cooked food (anything! cooked meat, or sometimes "sashimi", slices of raw fish, cooked eggs ... etc.) served over cooked rice. It usually served in a rice bowl.

This morning, I cooked DONBURI with "fu".

Recipe

1. Soak "fu" in water and make it soft. When it becomes soft, squeeze excess water.

2. Cook slices of onion in broth (broth for this donburi contains: oyster soy sauce, sugar, sake and water. Since I use "Oyster Soy Sauce" produced by ASAMURASAKI, I don't normally use "dashi", which is soup stock made of kelp or dried bonito. ASAMURASAKI's oyster soy sauce is great. ASAMURASAKI is a Hiroshima company and my parents who live in Hiroshima send the bottles of this soy sauce regularly. I'm addicted...)

3. Add 1 into 2 and cook for a while.

4. Pour the beaten egg into 3 and cook for a short time. Serve it over cooked rice.

5. It looks good when it's garnished with something green. (This time I put some cooked snap peas on top.)

I use a frying pan for this cooking.

This is "Fu". This time I used "Sendai Fu". Looks like bread!

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Before soaking in water, they look exactly like slices of "baguette".

Then, cooked as DONBURI, look like this.

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Now you don't need to worry about calorie counts anymore!

Yogurt with strawberries and honey for dessert! Strawberries are in season in Japan now.

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Buon appetito!

Written by Keiko SASAKI

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2011年1月23日 (日)

Spaghetti with dried shiitake mushroom cream sauce

Hello from Japan!

I think the taste of dried shiitake mushrooms is a bit similar to that of "porcini", so this time I use them to make sauce for spaghetti. The good thing about using dried shiitake mushrooms is ... they are cheaper and more accessible for us. However, the flavour of porcini is irresistible, so it might be a good idea to mix a good amount of shiitake and a tiny bit of porcini to find the compromise between price and quantity.

Recipe

1. (One day before cooking) Soak dried shiitake mushrooms in water. It takes one night to make them soft if the type of mushrooms is "thick". The "water*" contains good flavour, so it's better not to throw away!

2. Slice the mushrooms.

3. Fry the chopped garlic and mushrooms in olive oil.

4. Add rice flour into 3 and stir fry for a minute.

5. Add milk and the "water*" into 4. Season with salt, pepper and grated cheese. You can add a bit of soy sauce if you like.

6. Mix 5 and cooked spaghetti.

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Buon appetito!

Written by Keiko SASAKI

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