I got bunch of green pea pods from a farmers market and it inspired me.
Then tried to make fresh green peas rice - this dish brings me back memories from my mom's cooking.
She makes green peas rice when its season. Actually, in Japan, we cook rice with seasonal vegetables often when they are in seasons. It is like a celebration and appreciation for the season.
In spring, bamboo shoot or mixture of mountain wild vegetables, in summer, green peas, in autumn, chestnuts or pine mushroom, in winter,gingko nuts .. and more.
I didn't realize when I grew up in Japan but now I know such rich food culture my home country has.
So.Here is the green peas rice recipe.
The photo is with barley but this recipe is for white Japanese rice. You must change the amount of water if you substitute with brown rice or mixing with other grains.
This is pretty authentic one. Most of old time Japanese moms know.
Rice (Japanese rice) 2cups
Water 2 3/4 cups
Salt 1 pinch, for taste
Kelp (Konbu) about 2 inches square strip
Fresh green peas, depods around 10 pods
Wash the rice 30 min beforehands and drain well.
How to wash the rice : If you want to know how Japanese rice lovers wash,see this. Otherwise you can wash it 3 times until the water looks without milky fog.
Dissolve the salt in the water then pour over the rice and add kelp in your medium sized, tall( has a depth), heavy cooking pot.
Add peas, cover with a lid, then start cooking with medium high heat.
The point of cooking rice is controlling heat.
Wait until the water just being boiled, then change the heat to high make it to super, highly boiling.
The lid would be bounced by the boiling.
Then let the lid open just a little bit (max 1/4 inch), and let it boil likely 2-3 min, change the heat as low.Professionals don't let the lid open but I don't like to make my stove dirty so I do this.
Cook until the rice absorb all liquid. I found that the rice looks very slightly wet is better for another process.
Turn off the heat, then let the lid back to fully cover the pot, let it leave15-20min.We call this process "steaming". This is very important to rest the cooked rice to be fluffy, perfectly moist.
With rice spatula(we call it "shamoji"), gently flip the rice in the pot with sideways, like slicing rice.
It is very important to keep the texture of rice for fine cooking, however.. this is home cooking and also this time is with peas then no worries too much!
Then serve with rice bowls. Bon appetit.
I will separate this method how to cook rice in a pot sometimes soon.
I postponed blog for a while since I have been busy.
The travel in Japan and Europe was fantastic.
I did pop up in Japan, it was at Bar pancho in fujisawa, Kanagawa. They are Spanish tapas, I made their special menu- Vegan spanish tapas.
In Europe, it was for a short vacation - Amsterdam and Paris.
Then when I got back to Vancouver, did pop up. It was fun.
So. Now it have been a few weeks since the last pop up. I feel my life has been a little bit settle down.
I wrote this blog once a week before constantly - I must announce about a change - Blog posts won't be every week.
It will be random, but I will announce on Instagram & Facebook page when I posted.
I sometimes do easy dinner gathering with my house mate at our backyard to cheer up for our life.
We both are in food industry. Working in this industry is always have million things to do and sometimes rack of time to take a break for our life.
So we celebrate our hard working with this dinner gathering. It is always potluck so we both bring our creations.This time, I made Sangria.
The recipe is below.
I modified Minimalist baker's recipe - they have a good traditional sangria recipe.
My version is Sangria / Punch.
Yellow peach 1,cut into small cubes
Anjou pear 1, peel and cute into cubes
Grape fruits 1, cut into segments and small pieces
Lime 1, cut into 6
Mint leaves 1 stem
Passion fruits mix juice(you can substitute orange or mango juice, etc), as much as you like: I put about 2 cups.
Natural or organic red wine, Half bottle
Rum or Vodka 1/4 cup(I used elderflower infused rum)
Ice cubes -as much as you like
Put all ingredients besides liquids and ice into a glass Jar or bowl.
Lightly squish with a wooden spoon.
Put all liquid ingredients.
Put ice. Drink in 48 hours.
Do you know one of Japanese comfort food called Menchi katsu?
Sounds weird? Yes it is. I didn't realized that the name from(maybe) Minced meat Cutlets.
Menchi Katsu is a popular deli item like crockets.As the original name in English, minced meat (mostly chicken)with some vegetables fried with cutlets crust.
Sounds so meaty? Yes.. but this vegan version won't make you feel missing something.
The recipes are with easy Tonkatsu( pork cutlets, very popular dinner menu, we usually have special sauce) sauce too.Normally making tonkatsu sauce takes time forever but this is a quick version.
*Tofu cutlets filling
Tofu about 200 g, crushed and mushed by hand.
Green onion 1-2 pieces, very thin sliced
Garlic 1 clove, chopped in very small
Mushrooms 2-3 pieces diced in very small
Flour 1 Tablespoon
Soy milk or almond milk 1/4 cup
Salt and pepper
*For the Crust
Flax seed, ground, 2 Table spoons + 1 cup water, leave it for at least 15 min
Flour for dusting, as your need
Panko(bread crumb) for breading, as you need
*Tonkatsu sauce (easy version)
Apple sauce, 1/4 cup
Dijon, 1/2 Table spoon
Tomato paste, 1/4 cup
Balsamic vinegar, 2 Tea spoons
Agave or Maple syrup or sugar, as your sweetness, I added agave 1 Table spoon
Tamarind 1/2 teaspoon(optional.But when you add this, the taste would be very special)
Cinnamon 1/8 tea spoon
Soy sauce 2 tea spoons
Veggie Stock 1/2 cup
Bay leaf 2pieces
Garlic, 1 cloves, minced
Tahini 1 Table spoon
Salt and pepper
Make Tonkatsu sauce.Get the all ingredients in a small pot and heat it up, keep stirling.
Once the sauce got thick, stop the heat and set aside.
Make the filling. Put tofu paste and green onion, garlic in a bowl.Fry the chopped mushroom lightly, put salt and pepper, and add it in the tofu mixture.Add nutmeg and Soy or almond milk, mix well, add flour and mix until the mixture get slightly sticky.
Make the mixture in shapes. It would be the best medal shape. Easy to cook.
Make your breadding station. All crust ingredients separate in containers.
Put the filling in this order : flour, flax seed water, bread crumb.
Heat up the frying oil as 350 F and fry them. 9-12 min each side until the surface got golden brown.
Put the cutlet and sauce in a plate.
I got green tempeh from Tempea foods.It is their new product - Edamame and pumpkin seed tempeh.
It has nice flavor, as well as colour is beautiful.
I was thinking a recipe with keeping nice green colour.
Then made this.
Inspired by "Nanban zuke".Nanban means white barbarian(haha) but the word is pretty old when Portugal arrived in Japan for spreading their religions. Many of things arrived with them called "nanban". Food with Curry taste, chinese inspired, portugal style egg cake..etc.
Anyways. "Nanban zuke" is kind of chinese style dish, it is way less oil than the chinese ones, and usually make it with fried sardines and other white meat fish.
Put the fried fish in vinegary sauce with sliced vegetables.
The crust getting soggy? That is the best point to Japanese.
We like soggy crust. The crust sucks sauce is very good matching with rice.Sounds gross? Try it. You will like it.
However. I wrote this recipe less soggy. But still soggy.
Vinegar, 3 Tablespoons
Soy sauce, 2 Table spoons
Agave or maple syrup, 1 Table spoons(if you like sweet taste, add 2-3 T)
Dashi stock (or water), 1/2 cup
Salt to taste
Tempeh (Edamame one or regular), 300g, sliced in 8/1 inch thin
Corn starch, less than 2 cups
Frying oil (I will recommend coconuts oil) As you need
Onion 1/4 piece, slice very thin
Yellow or red pepper 1/4 piece, slice very thin julian
Carrot, celery, green onion, as your choice.
Put all vegetables in a heatproof bowl and salt, set aside.
Boil all ingredients for the sauce.
When it reached boiling, stop heat, pour hot liquid into the veggies in the bowl.
Fry the tempeh.
Heat up frying oil. Dust the tempeh with cornstarch.
Once the oil reached high heat, fry the tempeh.
Watching the heat, be patient.It will take time to get the surface completely dry.
When the tempeh fried, put them on a plate.
Put vegetables, then pour sauce very end.
It is pretty simple.
There are a few method to get it better, but I will write simplest method here.
2 inch by 1/2 ich kelp
2 litteres of water.
If you like to get more umami, add a few pieces of dried shiitake.
Boil a piece of Konbu( and shiitake) from cold water, once it reached boiling, stop heat and leave it for a while.
Konbu will be slimy so take it out when it's cool down.
You can keep it in your freezer or fridge.
Udon is Japanese wheat noodle. You can get it as frozen, or dry, or raw. Or you can make it at home id you like, but it will be a lot of work.
Usually we make curry udon when we made Japanese curry and got leftover next day.
This time.. you can get double recipe. Curry and curry udon.However. It is just add dashi stock to the curry. Pretty simple.
I added tempeh for the topping, however you can substitute it as tofu.
Keeping tempeh in your freezer is very handy. Whenever you need protein for your meal, you can add it on. If you are in Vancouver, I'd recommend to have tempeh from Tempeafoods
Onion, mideum size, 1/2 piece, sliced
Garlic, 1-2 cloves, crushed
Ginger 1/4 inch, chopped
Carrot 1 small size, cut in pieces
Potato (Yellow or purple) 1, cut in pieces
Bayleaf, 3 pieces
Shitake mashrooms, a few small ones
Curry powder 1/4 cup
Miso, 1/4 cup
Soy sauce, 3 Table spoon
Tomato paste, 3 Table spoon
Dashi stock : 3 litters + 1 litter separate or vegetable stock
Corn starch, 3 table spoons, add 1/2 cup water and set aside
Green onion (optional), chop in small
Tempeh(optional), cut in small pieces, fried
Udon( dry or wet), cook in last minute
Oil, salt and pepper
In a deep thick pot, stir fry sliced Onions until they got slightly caramelized, add garlic and ginger, potatoes and carrots.
Once carrots and potatoes got cooked, add curry powder and mix well, then add dashi stock(or veggie stock) and reach to boil.
Change the heat as mideum heat, add tomato paste and miso, soysauce, mushrooms and okura.
Cook it for a while, and add cornstarch mixture and stir. Add good amount of salt. Likely 3 Table spoons.
You can add sweetner like sugar or mirin, I don't really like taste too sweet personally, I didn't add sweetner.
It will get good thickness after you added the corn starch mixture, if you want to have curry rice, just have it with rice.
If you like curry udon, add little more stock.
Cook udon and put in a bowl, then add the curry sauce.
Sunchokes.I didn’t like them before. I thought the smell is similar to rhinoceros beetle.Don't laugh. Seriously smells similar.
Now I like them.Good flavor specially with the skin.
You need a little bit of process to clean them since their shapes are so weird but it worth to take time.
I received bunch of them from my friend’s garden for my vegan dinner series “Far East ( check it out #fareastyvr)” and I got some leftovers then made potato salad.
Interesting texture & flavor, more bites than using regular potatoes.
For the vegan mayo, I used special iori from my recipe( secret.sorry..), but you can make mayo from soy milk or aquafava( chick pea liquid).I put some links below.
Those beans have proteins and other components those reacts similar to eggs does - making form / emulsifying.
Sunchokes : image : Nasi's organic produce
<Ingredients> *about 2 serving
Sunchoke, about 1 lb 3-4 pieces
Cucumber, cut in cubes , or your choice, salted
Raddish, very thin slice, put in cold water
Vegan mayonaise 1/2 cup
Salt and pepper
Vegan mayo recipe: Here is some good recipes from Minimalist baker and Seitan is my motor
Wash the sunchokes. Use scrubby, just take off the dirts.
Put sunchokes in a pot, pour water to cover them, add 1 table spoon of salt, heat up the water.
Once they boiled, take them out from the pot and cool them down. Cut in small sizes with skin.
Put the sunchokes, cucumber and mayo, toss well.
Make taste with salt and pepper, put sliced radishes on top.
Just finished my event last Monday.
It was 3rd edition, my event called "Far East" (#fareastyvr) and the theme was " Roots and culture", I used lots of roots vegetables and culturing(fermented) methods for the menu.
This event's base theme is Japanese Monk food - They forage, farm, culture food. Respect to the season, appreciate the nature. Inspired by those monk food method and theory.
The largest part of collecting ingredients and getting menu ideas are foraging. Forest inspires me a lot.
What is interesting about foraging(wild crafting) is "discovery".
Forest isn't like wholefoods , you CAN'T find whatever you want. Because some of plants are very seasonal and only short time, as well as we never can expect they will be the same spot every year. However instead of what you couldn't find exact ingredients, you can discover new ingredients and ideas.
I always ask Museum eats( Camille Flanjak, the lady on the photo) when I had questions for the wild ingredients. This time is second time to get foraging together with her for Far East. I constantly join her workshops personally. Good things about foraging besides picking plants are being in nature, feel, think about ecology, remember childhood memories.
She teaches guests not only what kind of plants are edible, also telling us story of lands, ecology, science of plants, and more.
Over all. The event was successful. Thank you for everyone helped at this event, of course my guests, and special thank you for Tempea foods. Thank you for providing tasty tempeh.
Check it out #cookhatter 's facebook page and instagram as well.
What makes your everyday avocado toast special?
The answer would be some things. Sauce.Fresh ingredients.Bread.Good preparations.
I made the best avocado on toast.Ever.
As usual, with Japanese twist.
The sauce is basically salsa verde, but used Japanese ingredients.
For the tomatillo..you may be able to find them at Mexican grocery store or wholefoods.
It is the best to use them because flavour is wonderful.
Shishito is Japanese green peppers, their heat is mild and has good flavor.
Yuzu, Japanese citrus, you can sub Mayers lemon instead.Or just simply, lime.
Shungiku.This is edible chrisantemum leaves.
Sometimes Western people call it Shinjuku, but it is wrong.I don't know who started call them as Shinjuku, Shinjuku is a name of a city of Tokyo.Everytime when I hear it I want to laugh but I haven't corrected it. You can find them at Japanese or Korean market.If you couldn't find them, use cilantro.
And the bread.
I used bread from Vancouver's popular baker Annabel Choi's Companion bread.
When I got home with it, my room was filled with smell of freshly baked bread.Happy moment.
They sell their breads on Sundays at Juice truck's store. Check it out.
*For the sauce
Tomatillo 3-4 small ones, cut in half
Onion 1/4 piece, roughly slice
Shishito 3 pieces roughly cut.Don't worry about deseed.
Garlic 2, clushed
Salt and pepper
Shungiku or cilantro good amount, as you like
Yuzu extract or Mayers lemon juice 2 Tablespoons
*Avocado on toast
Avocado, 1piece, cut in small cubes and salted, put yuzu extract or mayers lemon juice
Purple daikon, small piece, thin julian, or as you like.Thin is the best. Salted
Bread 1-2 slices
Salt and pepper
Perheat oven 400F
Put everything for the Salsa verde ingredients besides citrus and shungiku(cilantro) in a bowl, toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Put the olive oil coated salsa verde ingredients on a pan with a piece of baking sheet and roast off about 10-15 min until the heat get through in everything, remove from the heat.
When it's cool down, add shungiku or cilantro and blend them with blender. Add citrus juice and make the taste with salt and pepper.Set aside.
Toast slice of bread, put olive oil on.
Put Salsa verde on the toast, then avocado cubes, fresh greens, purple daikon, finish with olive oil and salt and pepper. Bon appetito.
Soba salad is pretty popular in western Japanese restaurants.
Most of them are using vinaigrette, mine is a little bit more like "soba meal".
<Ingredients, serving for 1-2 >
Soba noodle, dried , 1-2 bunch
Dried lily flower (optional) , small hand full
Carrot, cut in julian( like sticks)
Kelp, 2 inch long, 1/2 inch wide
Soy sauce 2 Table spoon
Agave 1 Table spoon
Salt 1 teaspoon
Purple daikon, or raddish , small piece, thinly sliced
Asparagus, 3-4 pieces, cut the bottom edge
Green beans 5-6 pieces, prepared( cut the top)
Fresh greens, as your amount
pumpkin seed, sesame seed, small amount for topping
Salt, finishing olive oil
Tahini, 2 Tablespoons
Miso, 1 Tablespoon
Dashi stock (see last post.Kelp infused water)
Soy sauce, 1 Tablespoon
Salt, 1 Tea spoon
Stew the lily flowers. Rinse them lightly and put them in a pot, cover with water.
Put kelp and heat up with medium high heat.
Once it boiled, turn the heat into low.
Lily flower in water.
Tomoko Tahara A.K.A.#cookhatter
<Restaurans in Vancouver>
The Acorn : Vegetarian restaurant
The birds and beets : Cafe
Cacao Vancouver:Modern latin
The mackenzieroom:Modern coastal
Birds and beets
Tempea food: tempeh maker
<Restaurant in Japan>
Bon Gout: Bakery and wine
Bar Pancho:Spanish tapas
Takanoya :Gastro pub