Category Archives: Snack Food

daikon-radish-bites

From the Archives: Daikon Salmon Bites

I found this recipe on the former Japanese food blog ごはん便り from すずキッチン  now called Yunanairo.  I was really excited to make these because of the light flavor of the sauce.  I’ve renamed the recipe as well.

Daikon Salmon Bites (サーモンと大根の甘酢漬け)

ごはん便り from すずキッチン

2cm of daikon sliced 1-2mm thin
75 grams
sashimi grade salmon
1-3 green onions (this depends on your tying prowess – I needed more than three)
dash of salt
4 tablespoons vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1
togarashi (dried hot pepper)
a little more salt

Sprinkle the daikon slices with salt and let sit until limp enough to wrap around salmon.  I was multitasking at the time and left them for about twenty minutes.  Wash off the daikon.  Cut the salmon into as many pieces as you have daikon slices.  Place each piece of salmon in the center of a slice of daikon, wrap the daikon around the salmon and tie with a piece of green onion.  I sadly have no tips for not breaking the green onions mid-tie.  When you have finished all of the tying, put the rest of the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil.  Turn off the heat once the sugar has dissolved.  Place the daikon salmon bites on a plate that can hold at least 5 tablespoons of liquid and pour the contents of the sauce pan evenly over the bites.  The outside of the salmon may cook slightly and it gives a good flavor.  The original recipe appears to cool the sauce first but I wanted the slightly cooked salmon flavor.  Serve when ready.  The salmon needs to be eaten that day and should not be left out for any given time.

If you haven’t signed up yet, head here to join my email newsletter. You will get recipes I haven’t shared here on the blog and advanced notice about upcoming cooking classes.

crispy parmesan edamame

To Cook List: Crispy Parmesan Edamame

crispy parmesan edamame

I found this beauty on my Pinterest feed and had to share. I can tell by looking at it that it will be delicious. Edamame are beautiful alone but parmesan can only make them better. Head on over to Gastromony for the recipe.

Image: this is a screenshot from Pinterest. The photo is the one from Gastromony.

 

If you haven’t signed up yet, head here to join my email newsletter. You will get recipes I haven’t shared here on the blog and advanced notice about upcoming cooking classes.

japanese-sweet-potato-rice-cooker

Perfect Japanese Sweet Potatoes in a Rice Cooker

japanese-sweet-potato-rice-cookerJapanese sweet potatoes can be dry. They are sometimes even dry when they are in soup. I discovered a good way to cook Japanese sweet potatoes so that they are always moist and soft. This way is also really easy and convenient. I used the rice cooker. You can do this with regular sweet potatoes (さつまいも), the golden flesh kintoki imo (金時芋) and the orange flesh annou imo (安納芋).

How to cook Japanese sweet potatoes in a rice cooker

Wash and trim the ends (if necessary) of the sweet potatoes. Put 1-2 cm of water in the bottom of the rice cooker. Poke the sweet potatoes with a fork a few times just to make sure they don’t explode. Cook small or medium sized potatoes in a quick cycle (早炊き or 白米急速). Larger potatoes should be done with a full cycle. That is all.

Note: You can wrap the potatoes in foil, if you prefer. The ones I cooked while wrapped still had a soft skin so I am not sure you can get a crunchy skin in the rice cooker with water.

quinoa bread

Quinoa Flat Bread (Gluten Free)

quinoa bread

I came across this recipe on Pinterest a week or so ago and thought one of my gluten-free friends would like it. I didn’t actually intend to make it myself but she happened to come over later that week so we tried it out. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. We didn’t follow the suggestion of putting the pan in the oven and subsequently it wasn’t crispy on the bottom.  The top was delightfully crispy and the Parmesan cheese I sprinkled over the top was great. I wanted to try it again pan fried. I made it twice because I wanted to try a couple of tweaks. I am teaching a hummus class at a local cafe in June and am making pan fried flat bread at the same time. I thought could be a great addition to the lineup as it would taste superb with hummus. Sadly, it didn’t turn out that well panfried. So baked it will remain.

I made a couple small changes to the original recipe.

  • used rice flour instead of quinoa flour (you can make your own by grinding quinoa in a food processor or coffee grinder)
  • baked it for 30 minutes (mine was about twice the thickness of the picture in the original recipe)
  • added a bit of salt, pepper and garlic powder to the dough before baking
  • used olive oil

Where to get quinoa キヌア kinua in Japan

  • supermarkets – some supermarkets carry small bags of quinoa in the rice section. This quinoa is meant to be added a tablespoon at a time to rice as an add-in. The brand I most often see is this one (be careful as they also sell millet in bags that look exactly the same) and it is a perfect size for a couple of batches of quinoa bread. 
  • import shops – you will likely find bigger bags here but still possibly only 400g or so. I often see this bag. You sometimes also find Alishan Organics quinoa in import shops.
  • Health food stores will have medium sized bags.
  • Amazon – here is a link to a search for キヌア
  • Rakuten – here is a link to a search for キヌア
  • Yoyo Market – they carry Alishan Organics quinoa

If you haven’t signed up yet, head here to join my email newsletter. You will get recipes I haven’t shared here on the blog and advanced notice about upcoming cooking classes.

fried rice balls yakionigiri

Freezing Yakionigiri

fried rice balls yakionigiri

I think one of the first frozen foods I had in Japan was frozen onigiri. The hubby bought them one evening and I was skeptical. I don’t really like frozen food and these seemed to simple to be good. I loved them. Haven’t bought them since but they did inspire me to explore the world of yakionigiri. There have been terrible results in the past but now all is good. I haven’t perfected them but they are pretty good. I usually use the frying pan but I tried them in the riceball plates of my waffle iron and was pleased. It’s so easy. Since I need to have some food prepped in the freezer for work day breakfasts, lunches and dinners, freezing riceballs seemed to be perfect. You can just reheat with miso soup for a quick meal. They are best heated in a toaster oven so they don’t get too soggy. I use the grill setting in my microwave but keep the pan on a lower level than when actually grilling.

Basically, lightly salt the rice and make riceballs. If you need a tutorial, check out this one on Just Hungry. In a small bowl mix a bit of soy sauce and grated ginger. Lightly oil a frying pan and heat up the pan on medium. When the frying pan has heated up, place the rice balls and fry until they are just starting to turn golden. Turn over and either brush or sprinkle with a spoon the ginger soy sauce mixture on the cooked side. Just a little at a time so the riceball doesn’t fall apart. When the other side has started to change color turn over again and repeat with the sauce. Now you can fry them until they turn a deeper color. If you are freezing them, cool them completely before putting them in the freezer. Either thaw at room temperature or microwave for about 30 seconds and then put them in the toaster oven until they look nice and toasty.

kabocha coconut curry dip

Kabocha Coconut Curry Dip

kabocha coconut curry dip

I made this for a little while ago and it was a hit. I was a little worried because the day before I cooked a kabocha that was so dry I couldn’t eat it. While the creaminess varies a lot, I’ve never had such dry kabocha. Luckily the one I used for the dip was nice and creamy.

Kabocha Coconut Curry Dip

1/4 kabocha squash, cooked
1/2 can white beans, drained
18g coconut milk powder
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 – 1 teaspoon salt

Put everything in the food processor and puree until you get a desired texture. You may need to add a bit of water if it is too thick for your liking.

kinako-walnut-banana-pop

Kinako Walnut Banana Pops

kinako-walnut-banana-pop

This last week summer has ramped up it’s heat and I need to cool down. What better way than with a nice banana pop made with whole foods? Each pop has about 2/3 of a banana so they are a good little kid snack as well. I have been using banana as the base for popsicles for a few weeks now and they seem to be going over well with everyone who tries them.  The ingredients for this recipe also taste good in oatmeal just in case you were wondering.

If you were wondering, the moulds I have are from Ikea and I love them. Each popsicle has its own separate cover and there is a stand to go with. I find it a lot easier to take them out and refill them when they are individual.

kinako-walnut-banana-pop-ingredients

Kinako Walnut Banana Pops

Makes 6 pops

4 bananas
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped finely
1-2 tablespoons kinako (soy bean powder)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Mash the bananas in a large bowl and stir in the rest of the ingredients until combined. Fill up your popsicle moulds and freeze until solid.

*Note: if this is your first time using kinako add it slowly as it has a strong flavor

homemade-taiyaki

Homemade Taiyaki

homemade-taiyaki

My first apartment with my husband was near a shopping street with a taiyaki place right in the middle. The shopping street led to a train station we used somtimes and taiyaki was the perfect winter hand warmer. When I decided to buy a waffle iron a couple of months ago I decided that it needed to come with taiyaki plates. This was my first attempt at taiyaki batter and I quite liked it. Before I bought the waffle iron I searched online and most recipes were very similar to my pancake recipe. The little booklet that came with the waffle iron had a very different recipe for taiyaki batter and I gave it a go. I think it will be my goto recipe for taiyaki batter. I made a non-traditional savory filling but you can put anything you want in it. I’m thinking nutella would be amazing. If you don’t have taiyaki plates for your waffle iron I imagine you could use the batter with the hot sandwich plates.

Traditional fillers for taiyaki: custard or an (sweet bean paste)

Nontraditional fillers: peanut buter & banana, nutella, stir fry, taco meat and cheese, anything you can think of

Taiyaki batter

from the Mighty Sand Plus One Owners Manual

200 grams flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar (I used 1 as I made a savory filler)
200 milliliters water

Whisk the flour, baking soda and salt together in a medium-sized bowl. Whisk in the sugar and then the water. Let sit for 30 minutes.  After you have preheated the taiyaki iron fill the bottom up with batter, put a spoon full (or a bit more) of the filler in the center and press down a little bit. Add some more batter on top, close the iron and wait until your finished light goes on. Cool a little before eating to prevent burnt tongues.

quick-onion-tofu-dip-ingredients

Quick Dip: Onion Tofu

quick-onion-tofu-dip-ingredients

It’s now dip season. As I am not a hot dip person, dip season is only when it is warm. This is a quickie – only two ingredients. All you need to do is blend them together using the tool of your choice whether it is a whisk, blender, food processor or immersion blender (my tool of choice).  In the picture you can see my onion consome (オニオンコンソメ onion consome) of choice, Knorr – I love their chicken and beef stock cubes as well.

Quick Onion Tofu Dip

1 small block soft tofu
1 packet onion consome soup

Blend and serve. You may need to add a bit of water to get your desired consistency.

Mushroom and zucchini pizza

Pizza veggies

Mushroom and zucchini pizzaThese are great both as picnic and party food. If you follow me (Kirsten Adachi) on snapdish you will know that for a few months I was doing pizza Fridays. After a while I didn’t feel like it so I stopped. I think I need to source better cheese before I continue. Oh, and pepperoni. During Golden Week (first week of May) we went to my hubby’s aunt’s house and I decided to make these babies as part of a mishmash dinner. We had such a random assortment of food that night. I love how easy these are and good they taste.

Mushroom and zucchini pizzas

Mushroom and Zucchini Pizzas

1 small zucchini
1 package white or brown mushrooms
spaghetti sauce (~1/2 cup)
shredded gouda cheese
salt and pepper, to taste (freshly ground is best)

Preheat the oven to 180C. Slice the zucchini into 5mm thick rounds. Remove the mushroom stems. Don’t throw the mushroom stems away, use them in a stir fry or soup. Lightly oil a baking pan or use parchment paper (oobun peepaa- オーブンペーパー). Place the zucchini slices and the mushroom tops (stem side up) on the parchment paper. Spoon sauce onto the veggies so you get similar coverage as you would with a pizza. Top with cheese, salt and pepper. Bake until the cheese is golden brown. It took about fifteen minutes in the oven I was using.