Posts tagged ‘asian’

Pickled Herring Ume Cucumber Rolls

I bought a jar of pickled herring out of curiosity. I imagined it would taste like fish in pickle brine and I was not disappointed. The hubby didn’t think the jarred gray matter looked very appetizing, but thought it tasted pretty good. The texture was chewy and not ‘cooked’. It had some onions (with a little crunch) in there with specks of dill. The only thing I didn’t care for was the amount of sugar, it was a bit on the sweet side and I never liked sweet pickles. I was just snacking on it randomly till I had half the jar left and then thought of sushi. The addition of pickled plums helped cut the sweetness (I buy the type with no sugar added). The cucumber adds texture but I think it could’ve been better if I had cut it into thinner strips. I left the rice unseasoned because the pickled herring and onions did the job. The scallion added a nice layer to the flavors, you can always use more if you love scallions. The rice and cucumber nicely balances the salty, sweet, and tart. You won’t need any soy sauce either.

Pickled Herring Ume Cucumber Rolls

  • 1 1/2 cup uncooked sushi rice (or 2 cups measured with rice cooker cups)
  • 4 sheets of nori
  • 5 or 6 umeboshi (pickled plums) or 5-6 tsp of ume paste
  • 1 stalk of scallion, chopped finely
  • ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cucumber, seeded and sliced vertically
  • 12oz jar pickled herring with onion

  1. Cook the sushi rice according to directions.
  2. Divide warm cooked rice into 4 parts. Spread one part onto nori sheet covering about 3/4 or 4/5 of it.
  3. Lay cucumber slices over exposed part of nori.
  4. Peel flesh off pickled plums, removing pit, break up into small bits and lay (or smear) across the rice next to the cucumber. Or if using plum paste, spread onto rice in a thin line.
  5. Sprinkle on 1/4 of the scallions and a little black pepper on top of the plum.
  6. Remove herring and onions from jar and drain off excess liquids. Place a single layer of herring with a few onions on top of plums/scallions. If the pieces are large or not uniformed, cut up accordingly. (You might not use up the whole jar for 4 rolls.)
  7. Start rolling up the nori from cucumber side. Roll and press with bamboo mat (covered in plastic wrap).
  8. Slice up each roll into 8 pieces. Eat while warm.

-L

August 29, 2008 at 10:53 am 2 comments

Egg (nori) roll

I was inspired by Japanese ‘big rolls’, which are usually large (1 + 1/2 sheets of nori to wrap around) with an omelet center and other stuffing. This is a smaller, quicker, lazier version with all the fillings cooked together as one. Making nori rolls gets easier with practice and bamboo rolling mats. Also remember to use plastic wrap on the bamboo mat to help keep it clean.

Nori Egg Roll (3 rolls)

  • 2 cups cooked sushi rice (1 cup raw)
  • 3 tbsp seasoned rice vinegar (if unseasoned, add 1 tsp sugar, 1/2 tsp salt)
  • 3 sheets of nori
  • 3 eggs
  • oil for pan
  • 1 1/2 cup raw baby spinach
  • 4 shitake mushrooms
  • 2 tsp mirin
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • sesame seeds (optional)
Prep:
  1. Mix rice vinegar into warm (cooked) rice, set aside. Beat the eggs with half the salt in a bowl, set aside.
  2. Cut mushrooms into thin strips and roughly chop up the spinach if the leaves are large.
  3. Heat up a small pan (cast iron or nonstick 6-8in) medium high, add oil (2 tsp), then mushrooms, spinach, mirin and salt; cook until spinach is wilted.
  4. Pour spinach mixture into bowl of beaten eggs and mix to combine.
  5. Heat pan up again medium high, add more oil to coat pan. Pour eggs into pan, spread out the spinach and mushrooms.
  6. When edges set after a minute or so, fold 2 opposite sides towards the center, ending with something rectangular in shape.
  7. Turn heat low and finish cooking till it’s no longer runny in the center. You can try to flip it over or just put a lid on it for a minute or so. Cut egg into 3 equal long strips.
  8. Spread 1/3 of the rice on 3/4 of the nori sheet.
  9. Put a strip of egg on the part of the sheet with no rice.
  10. Roll it up starting from the egg end, using the bamboo mat to roll and press.
  11. Cut roll up into 6 or 8 pieces, and sprinkle on sesame seeds.
I don’t think you need any soy sauce, everything is already seasoned.
-L

July 10, 2008 at 10:18 am 7 comments

Soba salad for hot days

  Soba salad with smoked mackerel.

The first day of the heat wave, I was mostly hiding out in my room with the air conditioner. I wasn’t willing to cook a big meal or even stand in front of the stove for long. Soba noodles are noodles made with buckwheat flour; it has slightly nutty flavor, and is all around healthy. The cooking time is only three minutes in boiling water. In colder weather I love soba in hot broth. In summer, they can be eaten chilled with cold dipping sauce. I like it hot or cold with tororo (grated yam). And of course as a salad one dish light meal.

Soba Salad (for 2)

  • 6oz dried soba (2/3 of most small packages)
  • 4 cups (roughly) baby salad greens
  • 1/2 small onion (thinly sliced)
  • 1 scallion (thinly sliced)
  • 3 tbsp dried wakame 
  • smoked fish or leftover meats (optional)
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • ponzu + olive oil or salad dressing or…

soy citrus dressing:

  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • juice of 1 lemon or lime
  • few drops of fish sauce (optional)
  • few drops of sesame oil
  • 2 tsp olive (or canola) oil
  • 3-4 tbsp water to dilute

Cook noodles in boiling water for 3mins, drain and rinse under cold water till completely cooled. Set aside and let water continue to drain away. Rehydrate wakame in some hot water, let it sit for 2mins or so, then drain. Toss cold noodles, vegetables, fish, and wakame together with dressing, top with sesame seeds.

To make it completely vegan, leave out any fish/meat or fish sauce. You can add firm tofu or just leave it plain. I didn’t have any at the time, but thinly slice cucumbers would also be great. Wakame adds a really nice ‘sea’ flavor but if you can’t get any, you can also add other seaweeds like finely shredded nori at the end.

-Lina

June 9, 2008 at 4:40 am 4 comments

Mad for madeleines, red bean and green tea

With eggs in hand I can finally make the madeleines that I wanted. When I bought the red bean flour I wanted to make red bean pound cake but I preferred to mix red bean paste into the batter for a marbled effect. Later on I was contemplating cookies but still didn’t think the powder form was the way to go. Then I got the madeleine pan and it was perfect. Red bean goes best with green tea, so I divided up the batter half red bean flavor and half green tea. The red bean didn’t get the color I had hoped for, it’s probably best to use smooth red bean paste in the future, or use more red bean flour, or maybe cook it first. Color aside (they were still a pretty pink) they were so good, perfectly fluffy and crispy and light. It makes about three batches of 24 minis (if I had filled it better, they expand a lot). I’m buying more madeleine pans now.

Green Tea / Red Bean Madeleines

  • 1/3 cup organic shortening or butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup almond flour/meal
  • 3/4 flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp red bean flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp green tea powder or matcha

batter was fluffy like frosting

Cream together sugar and shortening, then incorporate one egg at a time. Mix till completely blended. Add in almond flour and mix thoroughly. Then add flour and baking powder, mix briefly till smooth. Preheat oven to 350º. Separate half of the batter into a new bowl; add green tea powder to one bowl and red bean flour to the other. With spatula or spoon, fold green tea/red bean into batter. Grease pan, and pray for minimal sticking. Try to under fill the molds (kind of hard with the thick batter), they will expand. Bake for 13-15min (for mini pans) when the edges just turn light brown. Cool for 5min before popping them out.

-L

April 8, 2008 at 3:37 pm 3 comments

Olive oil almond cookies, kinda healthy

oocookies1.jpg

I was making these for my dad and I wanted to make them as healthy as possible. They taste similar to almond cookies you’d find at Chinese bakeries but better. Olive oil made the cookies crunchy and added another level of nuttiness. Best part, how quick and simple it is to throw together.

Olive oil almond cookies

  • 1 1/2 cup almond flour/meal
  • 1 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • slivered almonds to garnish (optional)

oliveoilcup1.jpg

Preheat oven to 355º. Mix everything (except slivered almonds) together in a bowl till completely incorporated. Take about 2 1/2 tablespoons of dough, rolled in your hands (small ping pong ball sized) and flatten out to patties; place on parchment lined cookie sheet, press slivered almonds on top. Makes about 18 cookies. Space them out, they will expand. Bake for 20 minutes, should be lightly golden all around.

oodough1.jpg

Thinking back on it, I could’ve used whole wheat pastry flour or graham flour. There’s always a next time.

lina-sm.gif – L

March 30, 2008 at 5:59 am 10 comments

Rice porridge for what ails you

bowlrp.jpg

Right now, I fear I will catch what the hubby has (fever, aches, and coughs). He never gets this sick usually. I’m keeping him hydrated, and made rice porridge (not the one pictured, that was from weeks ago). By the time he’s better, my immune system will probably give in. And this will be his instructions. I don’t expect him to be able to make anything more than just the rice porridge part.

Rice porridge

  • Dashi:
  • 2 quarts water
  • 5x8inch piece of kombu
  • 1/2 cup bonito flakes
  • 1 1/2 cup white rice (long or short grain)

teadashibag.jpg small cooked piece of kombu, used bonito tea bag, pack of tea bags

Put water, kombu and bonito flakes (in tea bag/dashi bag/or tied up cheese cloth) in pot. Cover, bring to a boil on medium, let simmer for a minute or two, then turn off heat, and remove the kombu and bonito package. Kombu will expand when cooked. For a vegan dashi; use kombu and one dried shitake mushroom. Or simply make it with only water.

Rinse rice with cold water and add to dashi. If using a regular pot on stovetop, bring to boil and let simmer on low for 90mins to 2hrs. When using a rice cooker you can just put it in and let it run on porridge mode, but make sure you know what the maximum capacity for porridge is. If using a pressure cooker (making sure you are well with in the max fill line) secure the lid, and bring to a boil, locking in the lid. On medium low, let it cook for 20-25mins. After turning off the heat and letting the pressure dissipate, take the lid off, stir (add more water if it seems to be too thick) and simmer for another 5-10mins.

riceporride2.jpg

Kombu enoki relish

  • Kombu leftover from dashi
  • 1 large package of enoki (about 1 3/4 cup worth when chopped)
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 3-4 tbsp of soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp of mirin

Cut kombu into small 1/2 -3/4 inch pieces. Cut enoki into 3/4 -1 inch long segments. Combine kombu, enoki with water, soy, mirin in small pot and bring to a boil, simmer on medium till the liquid is mostly gone and you are left with a syrupy sauce. Sprinkle on sansho pepper at the end.

Nori sauce

  • 4 sheets of nori, torn into small pieces
  • 2 shitake mushrooms sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1/4 water
  • 2 tbsp of soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp mirin
  • 1 tsp sake (optional)
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds

Combine nori, mushrooms, soy, mirin, sake, and water in small pot and bring to a boil, simmer on medium till the liquid is mostly gone and you are left with a syrupy sauce. Sprinkle on sesame seeds at the end.

Spinach with sesame

  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 1 clove garlic chopped
  • 2 tsp oil (olive or canola)
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp sesame seeds
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Heat skillet on medium high, add oil, garlic and sesame seeds, then add in the spinach. Stir and cook till spinach just wilts, turn off heat, add in salt and sesame oil, toss and mix well.

Addition sides

  • ume (umeboshi)
  • fish (hot smoked mackerel or salmon, fish cake)
  • egg (hard/soft boiled)
  • edamame

Wish spring was here already.lina-sm.gif

March 27, 2008 at 5:41 am 1 comment

Sesame noodles for lunch

noodlees.jpg
Any type of noodles (hot or cold), dressed with soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, sesame seeds and scallions; makes for a quick light lunch, maybe with a poached or fried egg and some miso soup with spinach would be nice.
I have to get back to work now.  =(
lina-sm.gif

February 21, 2008 at 4:24 pm 4 comments


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