Monday, May 5, 2014

Korean Style Ramen

Ramen is traditional Asian comfort food. What makes it such a satisfying meal is the noodles and the ingredients which are infinitely variable. This particular ramen has a Korean flair because of the added kimchee (fermented daikon and cabbage) as well as barbecued beef and traditionally seasoned veggies such as bean sprouts, seaweed, mushrooms,and spinach. A poached egg is placed in the centre for visual appeal and mild flavour. Dolset Bebimbap is a famous Korean rice dish and this ramen dish mimics its visual appearance.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Chicken and Daikon Stew

Daikon, traditionally a cold weather vegetable, is available all year round at the supermarket. Used raw, pickled, or cooked, this long white radish is eaten on a daily basis in one form or another throughout Asia. In Japanese cuisine, grated and seasoned daikon is served as a garnish with grilled chicken, fried beef, deep fried tofu, tempura or sashimi. Cooked daikon is milder and delicate in flavour and can be used in a variety of Asian stir fries, stews, and soups. The enzymes in daikon aid digestion; so it is extremely beneficial to one’s health.

Ingredients:  (serves 4 with rice)
1 lb. skinned and boned chicken thighs
8 oz. peeled daikon (make sure to peel well)
1 ¾ cups water
1 ½ tbsp. soy sauce
1 ½ tsp. sugar
1 tbsp. mirin ( a sweet Japanese rice wine available at Asian groceries)
3 tbsp. red wine
a pinch of salt

Cut chicken and daikon into 1 ½ inch irregularly shaped pieces.
Boil water over med. heat - add chicken and daikon.
Simmer gently 10 minutes.
Add soy sauce, sugar, mirin, and salt
Boil gently until chicken is tender - about 10 minutes more
Add wine and simmer for 2 minutes

Note: you can add potatoes or carrots to the stew if desired -
the sauce ingredients can be doubled to accommodate added veggies.
This is a very mild dish, but nice and warming in the cold weather.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Ikura Pasta

This recipe incorporates both the wild sockeye salmon and its gorgeous roe. Sockeye salmon eggs are smaller and redder in colour than other salmon eggs. They provide a beautiful contrast to the green shiso and seaweed. Also, because of their smaller size, the sockeye salmon eggs mix well with the pasta.

noodles (spaghetti or linguine)
shizo leaves
dried seaweed
cooked sockeye salmon
sockeye salmon eggs
soy sauce
olive oil
salt and pepper

If you are fortunate to have caught a gorgeous sockeye salmon for dinner, you must de-bone and carefully remove the egg sac. Rinse the egg sac lightly and carefully open up and remove the eggs by using your fingers to rub gently over a mesh surface. Do not break the eggs. Place the eggs - ikura - in a bowl with a marinade of soy sauce, sake, and mirin. Marinate overnight. Broil or barbecue a side of the salmon to your liking and separate into flakes. Place the dried seaweed in water and strain after a few minutes. Strain the marinated ikura and put some aside as the garnish. Cook the pasta and strain. Add a small amount of butter and olive oil to a pan and saute the noodles quickly. Turn off the heat and mix in the strained ikura (do not cook the ikura), flaked salmon, chopped shiso and seaweed into the pasta. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish each dish with a whole shiso leaf and a spoon of ikura. Gochisosamadeshita! (Bless this food!)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Cohi Jello (Coffee Jello)

Cohi Jello is a culinary paradox: made from humble ingredients, it is the epitome of an easy, elegant, and exquisite dessert. Relatively fat-free, it is perfect on a sultry summer day after a luncheon or dinner party. As you can imagine, cohi jello is insanely popular throughout the hot and humid summer months of Japan.

4 cups good quality coffee
4 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp gelatin powder
8 Tbsp water
whipped cream for topping
chocolate coffee beans for garnish

Mix gelatin powder and water in a small bowl. Mix coffee, sugar, and gelatin in a medium sauce pan. Stir over low heat until sugar dissolves. Strain mixture and pour into 8 fancy crystal glasses or 8 humble jam jars, depending upon the mood and the occasion! Chill. Before serving, add a dollop of whipped cream on top of each jello and garnish with chocolate coffee beans. Serves 8 lucky people.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Kimpira Gobo

Burdock is a widely used Asian vegetable; its humble appearance hides an excellent source food source. With its long thin woody root and bark like skin, it is crunchy and filled with fibre and nutrition. Burdock can be prepared in a variety of ways including soups, stir fries, curries, stews, salads, and marinades. This recipe is a favorite Japanese side dish, steeped in tradition, that is usually served at wedding celebrations.

Kimpira Gobo (Sauteed Burdock and Carrot) - serves 4


1 medium burdock root

1 medium carrot

1 ½ tbsp sesame oil

2 tbsp sake

2 tbsp sugar

2 tbsp soy sauce

1 ½ tbsp white sesame seeds

dried Japanese red chili pepper


Scrub skin of burdock root.
Cut into julienne strips and soak in water for 10 minutes.

Cut carrot into julienne strips.

Saute carrot and burdock in sesame oil for 3-4 minutes til tender.

Add sake, sugar, soy sauce – cook over medium heat til most of liquid has been absorbed. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and chili pepper.

Variation: Try adding lotus root or celery. Can add leftover beef or chicken Рjust chop into small bits and saut̩ with carrot and burdock.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Mizutaki Hot Pot

Mizutaki Hot Pot

It's a blustery rainy day, and I have a bad cough and cold, so my husband is making Japan's favourite version of "chicken soup" to help me feel better. Brimming with phytochemicals, vitamins and minerals, a steaming hot bowl of Mizutaki is perfect for strengthening the immunity system and clearing the sinuses. Served often during the chilly days of autumn and winter, this comforting chicken, tofu and cabbage soup is typically served as a communal hot pot. Its health giving benefits are re-enforced with a sprinkle of shichimi togarashi (7 spice chili pepper) or a dab of kanzouri (a citrus flavoured chili paste) – chili is said to relieve muscle aches and provide extra vitamin C.

Mizutaki (Chicken Hot Pot) -(serves 4)

2 lb chicken thighs
1/2 chinese cabbage
2 leeks, sliced thinly and rinsed thouroughly
2 carrots, sliced in flower shapes
1 bunch spinach/chrysanthemum leaves
8 shitake mushrooms
2 cups dashi stock
5 inch piece of konbu kelp
1/4 cup sake
one inch slice of ginger
1 block of Tofu, rinsed

Individual Dipping Sauces:
1/2 cup soy sauce/1/2 lemon juice/1/4 cup broth from pot/small dab of kanzouri chili paste

Cut first six ingredients into bite-sized pieces and place on large plate.
Make dipping sauce according to taste.
Add stock/kelp/ginger and chicken to communal pot and bring to boil.
Add sake and simmer gently until cooked.
Remove kelp. Add other ingredients and simmer.
Tofu may also be added if desired.
When cooked, dip ingredients into individual dipping sauce and eat with rice.

*After all the ingredients are eaten, rice can be cooked in leftover broth to make a delicious and nutritious rice porridge.

*Kanzouri paste is a refreshing spice made from chili and seasoned with uzu (Japanese citrus).

Friday, October 3, 2008

Kaki Fry

I was first introduced to Kaki Fry in Miyajima, which is a world famous heritage park outside of Hiroshima. It is also an area famous for its delicious oysters. It was November and the weather was sunny and cold. My husband and I were starving after having taken the ferry across the bay to tour the beautifully preserved shrine and park. We had fed the deer and dutifully looked for the wild monkeys, and now it was time to eat lunch.
When I ordered Kaki Fry I had no idea what to expect. Two enormous deep fried oysters, drizzled in tonkatsu sauce, were balanced on top of a shredded cabbage garnish: crisp and crunchy, melt-in-your-mouth taste sensations. I am now a kaki fry addict. Every September, as soon as summer is over, my husband rescues our deep fryer from the bottom of our storage tansu (chest of drawers) and races out to our favourite fish market to buy fresh delicious oysters. We gorge on them for several weeks and then put away the deep fryer until the New Year.

Deep Fried Oysters (serves 4)

2 dozen fresh shucked oysters
3-4 eggs
tempura flour
panko bread crumbs
salt and pepper
tonkatsu sauce
shredded cabbage salad
cooked rice
lemon wedges


-rinse oysters in running water, pat dry

-season oysters with salt and pepper

-dredge in tempura flour

-dip in beaten egg

-dredge in panko crumbs

-deep fry until golden brown

-serve with rice and cabbage salad and lemon wedges

-drizzle tonkatsu sauce over oysters

*I mix shredded cabbage with slivered carrot, chopped green onion, and cooked corn, and dress with vinaigrette dressing

*I don't cook white rice anymore because of my husband's high sugar levels (borderline diabetic). Instead I mix 1/3 white rice, 1/3 brown rice, and 1/3 barley and cook together in rice cooker