Monday, August 22, 2011

Fresh Tofu with Bonito Flakes, Scallions and Sesame Oil

Yet another delicious variant on the fresh-tofu-topped-with-stuff genre!

Drain and cut fresh soft tofu into chopstick-friendly slices.
Sprinkle some salt onto it.
Drizzle with sesame oil.
Top with chopped scallions, then bonito flakes.
That's it!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Cucumber Wakame Salad

courtesy of Susie!


small cucumbers, the really cute ones
wakame (seaweed)
sesame seeds
rice vinegar
sesame oil


1. Very thinly slice the cucumbers.
2. Soak the wakame until floppy.
3. Combine the cucumber and wakame. Add salt, sugar, rice vinegar as dressing. Top with toasted sesame seeds (can crush beforehand) and a drizzle of sesame oil. Serve!

Quick Daikon Kimchee

courtesy of Susie!


Korean pepper flakes for kimchee
sesame seeds


1. Grate daikon.
2. Toast sesame seeds and crush.
3. Sprinkle the daikon with some pepper flakes, and add salt and sugar to taste (a lot more salt than sugar). Add sesame seeds, chopped garlic, and chopped scallions. Let sit for a while to ferment. Serve!

+ add fish sauce
+ add ginger

** And for the real deal, with fermenting, jarring and all that, see this recipe HERE!

Green Beans with Miso Sauce

courtesy of Susie Suh!


green beans
miso paste
soya sauce
sesame seeds

1. Cut the beans into 1-1.5 inch long pieces. Blanche and set aside.
2. Toast the sesame seeds in a pan; crush somehow.
3. Combine miso paste, soya sauce (shoyu), some sugar, and the sesame seeds. The sauce should be thick-ish.
4. Toss the green beans in the sauce until evenly covered. Eat!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Daikon Mania!

Ways to use the wonderful(ly large) and delicious radish, Daikon.

1. Grate and add to cold udon with lots of green onions, grated ginger, and soya sauce to taste.
[alternative: + wakame, cilantro, lemon juice]

2. Karasumi and Daikon Pasta

2-3 servings

8 ounces dried pasta such as spagetti or linguine
3 tablespoons olive oil
leaves of 1 small daikon radish chopped
1/3 cup grated daikon radish with extra juice strained out
1 sac of Karasumi or Bottarga grated on a Microplane (reserve a little to top the pasta with)

Boil the pasta in well salted water for slightly less than the package recommends (my pasta said 11 minutes, I cooked it for 10).

After draining the pasta, put the hot pot back on the stove and add the olive oil. Add the daikon leaves and quickly saute. Add the pasta, then stir fry to coat with oil. Add the grated daikon and Karasumi and toss to distribute evenly, then plate immediately. Top with the reserved grated karasumi and serve immediately.

3. Houtou: Prepare miso soup like normal and add to it diced kabocha (or pumpkin or acorn squash), potato, carrot, leeks, abura-age, and daikon. Serve with udon.

4. Cut into thin strips about 3 cm in length, mix with diced tomatoes, and add lemon juice, salt and pepper, and a bit of olive oil.

5. Rice Stew with Daikon (Daikon Zosui)
Serves 5

2 ½ cups cooked short-grain rice*
¾ cup shiitake mushrooms*
1 ½ cups daikon (about a four-inch-long chunk), sliced as directed*
¼ cup carrots, sliced as directed*
½ cup Wakame, soaked five minutes in cold water to cover, then chopped into one-inch long pieces (discard soaking water)
5 cups fish stock (if unavailable, use chicken or vegetable stock)*
1 teaspoon salt*
2 ½ tablespoons soy sauce*

Peel the daikon and carrot, and slice into two-inch-long by one-half-inch wide ribbons that are no more than one-eighth-inch thick. Thinly slice the shiitake mushrooms also. Heat the stock in a soup pan with the daikon and carrot, and cook until the vegetables have softened, around 10 minutes. Add the cooked rice, mushrooms and wakame, and bring to the boil again, stirring occasionally. Stir in salt and soy sauce. Eat hot. Partners well with Daikon Pickles. (Note: Be careful not to cook the rice too long; otherwise, it will end up the unappetizing consistency of glue.)

6. Quick Daikon Pickles

1 ½ cups daikon, sliced into match-like strips*
½ cup hothouse cucumber, seeds removed, sliced into match-like strips
½ teaspoon freshly minced lemon peel*
Piece of kombu, around 4 inches long and 1 inch wide*
1 teaspoon salt*
Soy sauce, to taste*

Put the daikon and cucumber into a plastic bag. Break the kombu into one-to-two-inch slivers, and add to the plastic bag. Sprinkle with salt and lemon peel. Close plastic bag. Work salt into vegetables by squeezing them in the plastic bag. Lay the bag flat and place two 16-ounce cans on top of the closed bag, spreading the weight over the vegetables inside. Let stand two hours. Remove vegetables from bag. Gently squeeze out water. Sprinkle with a little soy sauce. Enjoy with rice.

7. Daikon Fritters: Shred roots on grater. Mix with beaten egg, flour, salt and pepper. Drop and flatten out a dollop into hot oil and turn once while browning both sides.
+ dipping sauce: 1/2 cup soya sauce with juice of 1/2 a lemon, plus some lemon zest and chopped scallions.

8. Shred medium coarse across the diameter (about 1/8" thick), cook in dashi (japanese-style broth, available as granules) until tender (about 20 minutes). Add aka (red) miso to taste, as for any other miso soup. Garnish with chopped scallion if desired.

9. Cut daikon in 1" thick disks, peel, and simmer in dashi until tender. Make a sauce with miso and a little water and sugar, simmer until blended, serve over daikon (with rice, of course).

10. Japanese Guacamole:
* ¾ cup shredded daikon (Japanese radish)
* ½ tsp salt
* 2 California avocados, about 1 pound
* ⅓ cups finely sliced green onion
* ¼ cup fresh salmon caviar
* 2 tbsp rice vinegar (plain)
* 1 tbsp Japanese soy sauce
* ½ tbsp wasabi paste

1. Toss daikon with salt; drain in a colander for half an hour.
2. Squeeze out as much liquid as possible; reserve.
3. Coarsely mash (do not purée) avocados.
4. Fold in remaining ingredients and reserved daikon.
5. Guacamole is best made as close to serving as possible. For short-term storage, seal in an airtight container with a piece of plastic wrap against the surface of the guacamole.

11. "Loh Bak Goh": Steamed Daikon Cake

Cake base

* 1½ lbs daikon
* ½ lbs rice flour
* 1 can chicken broth
* ¼ tbsp msg
* 4 tbsp sugar
* 1 tbsp white pepper


* 1 cup of Chinese sausage
* ½ cup of Chinese dried shrimp
* 1 cup of Chinese mushroom
* 2 scallion
* 2 tbsp soy sauce
* 1 tbsp sugar
* 1 tbsp cooking wine
* 1 tbsp sesame seed (optional)


1. First remove the daikon skin and slice into thin pieces.
2. Place the sliced daikon, the chicken broth and the "cake base" seasonings into a pot.
3. Cook until the diakon is soft (about 40 minutes).
4. If the daikon tastes bitter, you'll need to add more sugar.
5. Also, if the daikon releases too much water, you may have to drain some water out.
6. While the daikon is cooking, dice the "filling" ingredients.
7. Stir fry the "filling" ingredients and seasonings until cooked (note: save ½ the scallion for later use).
8. Place the fillings aside.
9. When the daikon is soft, slowly stir in the rice flour.
10. Mix well. You'll feel the cake base thicken.
11. After the daikon and rice flour are mixed, stir in the "fillings" (note: save some of the filling for the topping).
12. When everything is mixed, grease the steaming pan with corn oil, so the daikon cake won't stick to the pan.
13. Pour the daikon cake mix into the pan, and place the rest of the scallion and fillings on top.
14. Steam the daikon cake under high heat for about 40 minutes.
15. To check the cake is well cooked, poke a chopstick into the center of the cake, if the cake does not stick to the chopstick, the cake is cooked.
16. Allow the daikon cake to cool.
17. You can pan fry the sliced cake before serving.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Shrimp Salad with Arugula and Mint

Douse shelled shrimp with olive oil, some salt and pepper, a small pinch of cayenne, paprika, chopped garlic, and stir.

Heat pan for a few minutes till very hot.

Fry shrimp in one layer. Brown the shrimp (will be quick—30 seconds!). Total cooking time is 2 minutes.

Mix arugula (6 cups) with a bunch of mint, roughly torn. Could also mix with cilantro, basil ... Add shrimp and pan juices. Then add the juice of 1-2 lemon. Add olive oil if necessary.