Saturday, November 21, 2009


Ponzu sauce

1 c. lemon juice, or lemon-lime, or sudachi citron or other very acid citrus fruit
1/2 c. rice vinegar
1 c. dark soy sauce
2 tbsp tamari
3 tbsp mirin, alcohol burned off
1/3 oz (10 g) hana-katsuo
2-inch square konbu

Mix all ingredients and let stand 24 hours. Strain, mature 3 months in a cool dark place or refrigerate. Keeps indefinitely, but is best used within 1 year.

Source: Japanese Cooking, a Simple Art, by Shizuo Tsuji, p. 172

Friday, November 20, 2009

Brokkori Ninjin Kinpira

Steam-sauteed broccoli and carrot with savory dressing

8 oz. broccoli stems
Some carrot
1 1/2 tbsp peanut oil
1/4 c. light soy sauce
1 tbsp mirin
2 tsp sugar
1 tbsp sesame oil
pinch of salt
pinch of red pepper or shichimi
1 tsp white sesame seeds

Peel the hard outer layer of the broccoli, and the carrot. Cut both into 2-inch pieces. Saute carrot and broccoli in oil quickly until tender. Stir in everything else. Remove from heat, steam about 1 minute, but don't overcook. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, serve immediately.

Source: the Art of Japanese Vegetarian Cooking by Max Jacobson, p. 85

Poteito aoshiso miso nimono

Simmered new potato with sweet basil and miso

1 1/2 lb new (waxy) potatoes, skins left on
2 tbsp corn oil
2 qt. dashi, or enough to cover potatoes
2 tbsp red miso
2 tbsp mirin
3 small bunches sweet basil, minced

Wash potatoes, pat dry, saute for 4-5 minutes until golden. Add dashi, miso, and mirin, bring to a slow boil until broth almost completely evaporates, about 20 min. (pour off a little broth if necessary) Add basil, mixing thoroughly.

Dan's note: try not slicing the potatoes; they may become a mushy mess.

Source: The Art of Japanese Vegetarian Cooking, by Max Jacobson

Shishito Ninjin Sunomono

Japanese Green Pepper and Carrot Vinegared Salad

5 shishito (Japanese green peppers) or 2 bell peppers
1 large carrot, peeled, sliced into rounds
1 tsp white miso
1 tsp sugar
1 1/2 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp white sesame seeds
pinch of shichimi

Steam the peppers over boiling water for about 3 minutes, plunge into ice water, and drain. Pat dry with a towel. Slice peppers into thin spears, place in a bowl. Add the carrot.
Mix miso with sugar, add everything else. Mix well, pour over vegetables, and serve.

Source: The Art of Japanese Vegetarian Cooking, by Max Jacobson, p. 48


Cucumber and potato salad

4 large potatoes (about 1 1/2 lb)
1/2 c. peanut or corn oil
5 hard-boiled eggs, yolks and whites separated
1/2 c. smooth or crunchy peanut butter
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 c. water
3 c. peeled and thin-sliced cucumbers

Peel and slice potatoes into long, thin pieces. Fry in oil until brown and soft. Drain well, set aside.
Make the sauce by mixing egg yolks, peanut butter, salt, pepper, lemon juice, and water.
Slice egg whites, mix with cucumbers, potatoes, and sauce. Serve at room temperature.

Dan's note: This was mostly great, but a few times I'd get a bit of something that was really bitter and metallic and bad. I don't know what it was. ... look out for that.

Source: The Indonesian Kitchen by Copeland Marks with Mintari Soeharjo, p. 185-186

Sayur Manis

Coconut creamed vegetables

2 c. coconut milk
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1/4 c. sliced onion
1 slice ginger (about 1 tsp)
1/2 tsp turmeric
2 tsp salt
3 red or green semihot chilies, sliced in half
1 stalk lemon grass
1 lb long Chinese string beans, broken into 2-inch pieces
1 lb Chinese broccoli, stems trimmed and discarded

Put everything but the beans and broccoli in a saucepan, boil, add green beans, and simmer 5 minutes. Then add broccoli, cook 10 minutes. You can add some tomato cubes if you like.

Dan's note: it's pretty salty. I think that's the point. Keep the salt in, though, it makes it good.

Source: The Indonesian Kitchen by Copeland Marks with Mintari Soeharjo, p. 184-185

Sambal Goreng Tomat

Tomato Stew

1 lb ripe, firm tomatoes, cubed
1/4 c. sliced onion
3 cloves garlic, sliced
2 tsp dried red hot chili
2 tbsp peanut or corn oil
1 c. coconut milk
2 bay leaves
2 pieces of laos
1/4 c. dried shrimp, soaked for 10 minutes and drained
2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. tamarind, dissolved in 1 tbsp water

Fry onion, garlic, and chili in oil. Add everything but the tomatoes. Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes. Add tomatoes, cook for 3 more minutes, basting frequently. Don't overcook; make sure the tomatoes stay firm.

Source: The Indonesian Kitchen by Copeland Marks with Mintari Soeharjo, p. 183-184

Orak arik jagung

Scrambled corn and assorted vegetables

2 tbsp thin-sliced onion
2 cloves thin-sliced garlic
1 tbsp peanut or corn oil
1/4 lb small shrimp
1/2 lb ground beef
1 green semihot chili, sliced thin
1 c. shredded cabbage or broccoli, in 2-inch pieces
2 scallions, sliced thin
12 oz corn (or a few ears' worth)
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 c. carrots, cut in matchsticks
2 eggs, beaten

Saute the onion and garlic in the oil for 1 minute. Add shrimp and beef, fry for 3 minutes or until beef browns.
Add everything but the eggs, fry for 5 minutes. Add the eggs, fry for 3 minutes more or until dry but not overcooked.

Source: The Indonesian Kitchen by Copeland Marks with Mintari Soeharjo

Sambal Goreng Ati

Chicken Livers Saute with Snow Peas

1/4 lb fresh snow peas
1 lb chicken livers
2 c. water
1/4 c. thin-sliced onion
2 cloves garlic, sliced thin
1 tbsp peanut or corn oil
1/2 red sweet pepper, sliced thin
1 c. coconut milk
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp shrimp paste
2 salam (bay) leaves
1 piece of laos (galangal)
1 tsp tamarind, dissolved in 1 tbsp water
1 tsp dried red hot chili

String and refrigerate the peas in water, drain.
Boil the livers in water for 2 minutes. Drain and cut into lobes.
Fry onions and garlic for 1 minute, add the sweet pepper and fry for another minute. Add everything else but the peas. Cook 5 minutes, basting to distribute flavors. Add peas, cook for 2 minutes more.

Source: The Indonesian Kitchen by Copeland Marks with Mintari Soeharjo, p. 91

Nasu to Shimeji no Takimono

Eggplant and Shimeji Mushrooms

2 eggplants, peeled, quartered, sliced; about 1/2 lb.
1/4 lb shimeji or other mushrooms, washed, stem bases removed
1 tsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp sake
1 tsp soy sauce
pinch salt

Put everything in a saucepan, boil, simmer 3 minutes, serve hot.

Source: Zen Vegetarian Cooking by Soei Yoneda and Koei Hoshino

Agedashi Tofu

1 1/3 c. dashi
2 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tbsp mirin
2 cakes tofu
flour and oil for deep frying

Heat the sauce ingredients, keep warm on a back burner.
Heat oil to 350F. Dredge tofu with flour, deep-fry for 6-8 minutes. Serve immediately with sauce as a dip. Garnish with green onion, red maple radish, grated ginger, ito-kezuri-katsuo, or whatever.

Source: Japanese Cooking, a Simple Art, by Shizuo Tsuji, p. 412-413

Miso soup


3 1/3 c. dashi or sardine stock
1/2 c. nameko or shiitake mushrooms, sliced
1/3 cake tofu
4 tbsp. red miso
4 stalks trefoil
ground sansho pepper

Soften the miso in a bowl with 2 tbsp tepid stock, whisk. Ladle the miso into the stock, simmering over medium heat. Add the solid ingredients. Do not boil. You can really use all sorts of ingredients instead of these, this is just a starter.

Source: Japanese Cooking, a Simple Art, by Shizuo Tsuji, p. 156-157

Nasu Dengaku

Eggplant Dengaku

4-6 small eggplants, or 2 medium eggplants
vegetable oil
red and/or white dengaku miso toppings

Cut eggplants in half (or slices if they're big). Cross-cut score surfaces, brush with vegetable oil, grill or saute on high. Apply topping to one side, garnish, serve.
Note: you can use tofu or meat instead.

Red/white miso topping:
1/2 c. red miso + 3 tbsp white miso, or 1/2 c. + 3 tbsp white miso
2 egg yolks
2 tbsp sake
2 tbsp mirin
2 tbsp sugar
7 tbsp dashi
One of the following seasonings: ground toasted sesame seeds; grated yuzu, lemon, or lime rind; mortar-ground kinome leaves, fresh ginger juice

Mix all but the dashi and seasoning, heat in a double boiler, slowly add dashi, stir until thick, then add one seasoning.

Source: Japanese Cooking, a Simple Art, by Shizuo Tsuji, p. 194

Horenso no goma-ae

Spinach with Sesame Dressing

1 lb spinach, washed and parboiled
4 tbsp white sesame seeds
1 tsp sugar
2 tsp soy sauce
3 tbsp dashi

Toast sesame seeds, grind in a mortar and pestle. Add sugar, stir, add soy sauce and dashi, and mix (almost whip) to blend well. Add more sugar if necessary.
Chop spinach into 1 1/2-inch lengths. Lightly use the pestle to mix the spinach and dressing- a little bruised but not crushed.

Source: Japanese Cooking, a Simple Art, by Shizuo Tsuji, p. 253

Kinpira Gobo

Burdock Kinpira ("Kinpira Ninjin," if you're using carrots)

1 medium burdock, scrubbed with a brush, or 3 carrots
2 tbsp sake
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes or shichimi

Cut burdock in shavings as if sharpening a pencil, or julienne the carrots. Stir-fry in oil over high heat about 3 minutes, until vegetable softens a little. Add liquid and continue stir-frying until almost completely reduced. Flavor to taste with red pepper.
Can also use konnyaku instead, or lotus root.

Source: Japanese Cooking, a Simple Art, by Shizuo Tsuji, p. 392-393

Daikon fukume-ni

Drenched radish or squash

1 daikon radish, kabocha squash, or turnip
2 1/2 c. dashi
1 tsp salt
2 tsp light soy sauce
splash of mirin
kinome sprigs (optional)

Peel radish and cut into rounds, or cut squash into chunks. Bevel edges if you're a champ. Simmer the vegetable in water, drain. To serve, simmer all ingredients together for a half hour. Garnish.

Source: Japanese Cooking, a Simple Art, by Shizuo Tsuji, p. 395-396

Tofu Bekko-ni

Tortoiseshell Tofu

2 c. dashi
1/2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp mirin
2 tbsp soy sauce
pinch salt
1 cake tofu, pressed (if not silken)
3 tbsp cornstarch in 3 tbsp water
kinome sprigs or finely shredded fresh ginger

Mix dashi, sugar, mirin, soy sauce in a medium pot, boil, simmer, add salt.
Cut the tofu into quarters, slide them into the pot (try not to break them). Ladle the liquid over the tofu until heated thoroughly, about 4 minutes. Remove tofu, keep on the heat, add the cornstarch/water. Stir until thickened, about 1 minute.
Ladle sauce over tofu, garnish, eat with spoons instead of chopsticks.

Source: Japanese Cooking, a Simple Art, by Shizuo Tsuji, p. 398-399

Kyuri no Sumomi

Vinegared Cucumber

4 japanese cucumbers, or 2 western cucumbers peeled and seeded
1 c. rice vinegar
1 c. dashi
4 tbsp dark soy sauce
2 tbsp sugar

Cut cucumbers into paper-thin slices. Spread out on a cutting board, sprinkle with salt, knead about 1 minute. Transfer to bowl without washing.
Sanbaizu sauce: Combine sauce ingredients just to a simmer, force-cool (bowl in a bowl of ice water).
Serve: pour half the sauce over the cucumber, squeeze with your hands, pour off sauce. Then add the other half of the sauce to the cucumber. Serve at room temperature.
Note: you can add wakame too; soaked, scalded in hot water, plunged into cold water. Toss with cucumber just before adding sauce.

Source: Japanese Cooking, a Simple Art, by Shizuo Tsuji, p. 423

Horenso no Ohitashi

Soused Spinach

1 bunch spinach, trimmed, washed, parboiled
1 1/4 c. dashi
pinch salt
1 tsp mirin
3 tsp light soy sauce
1/3 c. ito-kezuri-katsuo (dried bonito thread-shavings) or regular hana-katsuo (flakes)

Bring dashi to a boil, then simmer. Add salt, mirin, soy sauce. Force-cool by putting it in a bowl inside a bowl of ice. Add spinach and mix, refrigerate 5-6 hours. Serve spinach, with stock poured over, and garnish with bonito flakes/threads.

Source: Japanese Cooking, a Simple Art, by Shizuo Tsuji, p. 430-431

Tara Chirinabe

Cod and Cabbage Pot

2 lb cod fillets, with skin
6 leaves Chinese cabbage (Napa does not work so well)
1/2 lb spinach
10 sprigs chrysanthemum leaves (shungiku/kikuna, optional)
6 fresh shiitake mushrooms
6 Japanese long onions (naganegi) or 8 leeks
2 cakes grilled bean curd (yakidofu)
Ponzu sauce
4-inch square konbu, slashed with a knife
some of the following: 6 tbsp finely chopped green onion, 2 quartered lemons, 6 tbsp red maple radish (daikon with red peppers, grated), 4 tbsp grated fresh ginger

Cut fish into 1-inch slices, put in colander, pour boiling water over them, rinse, drain, refrigerate.
Cabbage rolls:
Parboil cabbage, rinse, trim thick stems. Parboil spinach. Wrap spinach in cabbage to make rolls, wrap in plastic or a towel and refrigerate.
Other stuff:
Cut stems off chrysanthemum sprigs, wash, drain, cut in half. Cut mushrooms in half. Wash onions/leeks, cut diagonally into 1 1/2 inch lengths.
Put all pieces (fish, cabbage rolls, chrysanthemum, mushrooms, onions, tofu; cut to same size) on platters. Put the kelp in the water, bring just to a boil. Add fish first, then vegetables and tofu, simmer until just tender. Put ponzu/condiments in bowls, dip food in them.

Source: Japanese Cooking, a Simple Art, by Shizuo Tsuji, p. 432-433