This week the family and I headed up to Japan’s nothernmost island, Hokkaido for a quick trip. Hokkaido is known for fresh seafood and veggies. Here are some of our pics.
Our first meal was sushi and we were not disappointed. You can get the same quality in Tokyo but the bill is much higher.
Gorgeous shrimp sushi
This soup was amazing. I must find a way to make it.
I didn’t try this but it looked quite interesting.
Fried beef and noodles we had a the Autumn Festival.
As you can imagine, now that I’m working on a rice cooker cookbook, I have been making a lot of food in the rice cooker. I love how easy it is. With summer in full force, I don’t seem to have the usual cooking energy and five minutes of active prep works for me.
I’ve been having a harder time with cakes because I have a three cupper and cakes need a wider area like a five cupper. What a great excuse for a new rice cooker.
Here is what I’ve been working on.
Pineapple Curry Chicken
Daikon and chicken in a gochujang sauce
We had our annual Thanksgiving Dinner today. It was great spending time with the friends that have become our extended Japan family.
I did the turkey, made two pies, quick pickled beets and some stuffing. Friends brought potato salad (purple potatoes too), quiche, bread and cheese, green salad and roasted kabocha squash. Delicious.
I don’t have any new thanksgiving recipes because at Thanksgiving and Christmas I make the same thing every year. My mom perfected turkey dinner (in my opinion) and I make everything as close as I can to the way she does.
Dessert was pumpkin pie and pumpkin cake. Actually, both were made with kabocha but it doesn’t have the same ring to it. The Keitai Goddess made the cake using my recipe and it tasted better than when I make it.
My farmer’s market haul from Saturday. It was my first trip since May since I was away all of June. It feels better to be eating what’s in season here in Kanagawa instead of just what’s in the supermarket. I found a completely round zucchini the other day and on Saturday I found two new vegetables.
The first new veggie I found was foot-long beans/asparagus beans (十六ささげ). You can use them just like the shorter variety you often seen in stores.
The second is called korinkii and I can’t find an English translation for it. It is similar to a kabocha squash except that you can eat it raw. It has more of a summer squash texture when raw and tastes a little like a mild carrot. Common uses seem to be making tsukemono (pickling), adding it to salad and putting it in nimono (simmered dishes).
Look what I found at the grocery store! I see wraps or lasagna in my future.
This is a week worth of veggies. Maybe less if I get into epic salad mode. It all cost under 2000yen.
- carrots – two kinds
- kabu (like a turnip)
- tomatoes – two kinds
- broad beans
- Swiss chard
- salad spinach
- snap peas
Salad: local tomato, local spinach and black olives dressed with pesto, red wine vinegar and sunflower seeds
Soup: Bavarian sausages from Meat Deli Cowboy here in Chigasaki, millet, quinoa, red lentils, two types of local carrots in chicken consomme. Served over rice.
My favorite winter food in Japan is nabe (hotpot), especially kimchie nabe. My current favorite kitchen tool is my tajine. I decided to try a hybrid that saves time.
Kimchie Nabe Tajine
1 block tofu, cut into large pieces
1/2 carrot, sliced
3-4 Chinese cabbage leaves. cut into bite sized squares
10cm of negi, cut diagonally
10cm daikon, sliced
50-100g shaved pork
1 handful bean sprouts
1/4-1/2 cup kimchie nabe sauce (the bottles contain a concentrate, I used it straight)
Directions in picture form:
Place daikon, tofu and stalks of Chinese cabbage into the tajine and microwave for four to six minutes. My microwave took six minutes to cook the daikon. I like tofu that has lost a lot of water so I put it in from the start. If you like more watery tofu, put it in in the next step.
Add the rest of the vegetables and meat. Drizzle the kimchie nabe sauce over top. Microwave for a further 3-4 minutes.
This is what you get. Serve alongside rice or by itself.
I’ve been on vacation since the 13th and haven’t had the chance to cook anything. I thought I would post some food highlights from Hong Kong, Shenzhen and Macau.