November 28, 2010

Making Niku Jaga and Curry at the Same Time/肉じゃがとカレーを同時に作る

Suppose that someone in your family wants to have curry, and you want to have something lighter. How do you solve your problem?

For supper tonight, I made curry and niku jaga or nikujaga (meat and potato stew) at the same time.
Here are most of the ingredients:

250 g thinly sliced pork
3 onions
1 carrot
2 potatoes
1 box curry roux
豚の薄切り 250 g
玉ねぎ 3個
ニンジン 1本
ジャガイモ 2個
カレールー 1箱

After I simmered the ingredients for 10 min. in 1,300 ml water, I transferred 1/4 of them to another pot.
材料を1,300 mlの水で10分煮てから、1/4を別の鍋に移しました。

I added six of the eight curry roux cubes in the box to the pot containing 3/4 of the ingredients to make curry:

I added to the other pot the following:
1/2 tsp instant dashi
40 ml soy sauce
40 ml mirin
(Dashi, soy sauce, and mirin ratio: 8:1:1)
出汁の素 小さじ1/2
醤油 40 ml
みりん 40 ml
(出汁、醤油、みりんの割合: 8:1:1)

November 27, 2010

Making Hatsuga Genmai (Germinated Brown Rice)/発芽玄米を作る

Making germinated brown rice is fairly easy.
Put brown rice in a container, and add 30-35C (86-95F) water. Keep the container in a warm place, uncovered, for 24-48 hours depending on the room temperature. Preferably, change water after every 5-6 hours during the soaking process.

I put 2 go (2 x 180 ml = 360 ml) of brown rice in a container, and soaked it in 30C water for 36 hours (in a room at 22C (72F) during the daytime). I changed water three times in total. Then, I kept the container in the fridge overnight to delay the germination. I cooked the rice the next morning.

As you can see, the sprouts are barely visible.

I cooked it in my IH rice cooker in exactly the same way as I cook white rice.

Some people may say that germinated brown rice tastes better than brown rice, but I found mine to taste almost the same as brown rice.

November 22, 2010

Cooking Brown Rice in an IH Rice Cooker/IH炊飯器で玄米を炊く

I finally cooked some brown rice yesterday. Instead of trying bikkuri daki, I decided to simply cook it in my IH (induction heating) rice cooker in exactly the same way as I cook white rice to check how well it could cook brown rice. The resultant cooked rice was more flavorful than I had anticipated. Both my wife and children said the rice was good. The brown rice that I cooked in a maikon (microcomputer-controlled) rice cooker more than a decade ago was much less flavorful.

I think I'll try to make hatsuga genmai and cook it in the near future.

November 21, 2010

Oyster Mushroom Gratin/ヒラタケグラタン

Since my son found large clusters of oyster mushrooms on November 17, my family have made six dishes using them: Clear soup, foil-yaki, spring rolls, cream stew, Japanese-style spaghetti, and gratin.
11月17日に息子が大きなヒラタケの群生を見つけてから、我が家ではそれをつかって6種類の料理を作りました: お吸い物、ホイル焼き、春巻き、クリームシチュー、和風スパゲティ、グラタンです。

Here is a brief description of the gratin:

I didn't want to make heavy gratin, so I decided not to add macaroni or potatoes.

2 medium onions
1 chicken breast
200 g boiled oyster mushroom
2 tbsp flour
200 ml milk
1/4 tsp salt
玉ねぎ 中2個
鳥の胸肉 1
茹でたヒラタケ 200 g
小麦粉 大さじ2
牛乳 200 ml
塩 小さじ1/4

I sprinkled large amounts of pizza cheese and panko (Japanese breadcrumbs).

I heated it in the toaster oven for 8 min. It was partially scorched! Never mind, it was tasty!

No one in my family noticed that there was no macaroni in the gratin.

Now the oyster mushrooms are all gone!

November 19, 2010

Wafu (Japanese-Style) Spaghetti with Oyster Mushroom/ヒラタケ入り和風スパゲティ

I made wafu (Japanese-style) spaghetti as part of supper tonight. (My wife made some salad and miso soup.)

600 g spaghetti
1 onion
1 can tuna
200-300 g boiled oyster mushroom

スパゲティ 600 g
玉ねぎ 1個
ツナ缶 1
茹でたヒラタケ 200~300 g

After I took this photo, I sprinkled some katsuobushi (dried bonito shavings) and poured some store-bought men tsuyu (noodle soup) concentrate. Very, very tasty indeed! Canned tuna goes very well with Japanese-style spaghetti!
And, I must say I'm loving oyster mushroom!! Everybody (well, everybody in Japan) is talking about matsutake, but not me!


Jumbo Omelet/ジャンボオムレツ

I often make an omelet as part of breakfast. I used to make four small omelets, one for each family member, using one, one and a half, or two eggs per serving. This was really time-consuming, so one day, I hit on a good idea: Making one big omelet and sharing it among the family. Now I usually make one jumbo omelet, using 4 or 5 large eggs.
My way of making an omelet slightly differs from most others in that I don't add salt and pepper to the eggs; I add some milk only. Each family member sprinkles some salt and pepper or pours some tomato ketchup immediately before having his or her portion.

This morning, I made this omelet, using 4 large eggs, and as you can see, it contains chopped oyster mushrooms.



My portion:

Note: In yesterday's post, I should have mentioned that cream stew was peculiar to Japanese cuisine, as described here.
注: 昨日の投稿で、クリームシチューは、ここで説明されているように、日本料理特有のものであると言っておくべきでした。

November 18, 2010

Cream Stew and Spring Rolls/クリームシチューと春巻き

More dishes with oyster mushrooms in them: Cream stew and spring rolls.

These spring rolls were made by my wife. They usually contain shiitake, but I asked her to use boiled oyster mushrooms instead.

Sorry, the oyster mushrooms are not visible...

This cream stew was made by me. I put a lot of oyster mushrooms, so I reduced the amounts of potatoes and onions. I used store-bought cream stew roux.

November 17, 2010

Miracle Again!/再び奇跡が!

Last year, a miracle happened to my daughter, as I briefly described here:
This year, my son found clusters of oyster mushrooms on the same spot! I can't tell you exactly where this tree is located; let me just say it is within a 10-minute walk from my house.

My son and I made clear soup with some of the oyster mushrooms.

1,200 ml water
2 tsp instant dashi
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 eggs
Fresh oyster mushroom
水 1,200 ml
出汁の素 小さじ2
塩 小さじ1
醤油 大さじ1
卵 2個

We also made "foil-yaki".

Place a sheet of aluminum foil on the tray, place oyster mushroom, sprinkle some sake, close the aluminum foil, put in the toaster oven, and heat for 8-10 min. Sprinkle some citrus fruit juice (yuzu juice for us) and soy sauce.

We still have a lot of oyster mushrooms left, and we are going to make more dishes with them!

November 11, 2010

Itoke no Shokutaku's Rare Cheesecake Recipe/伊藤家の食卓のレアチーズケーキのレシピー

Itoke no Shokutaku (The Dining Table of the Ito Family) was a very popular TV show. In one section of the show, they presented "urawaza" (tricks). Some of the urawaza are fascinating like this one:
T-shirt folding, while most others are not.
I still use this urawaza: Add strawberry or other jam, instead of sugar, to fresh cream when making whipped cream. This will make whipped cream faster.
The following is a recipe for making "rare cheesecake" that they presented as an urawaza.
T-shirt folding
この裏技は今でも使っています: ホイップクリームと作るときに、砂糖の代わりにイチゴのジャムなどを生クリームに入れる、という裏技です。こうすると、ホイップクリームが速くできます。

Ingredients for 4 servings

300 g plain yogurt
3 tbsp granulated sugar
4 biscuits
Appropriate amount of blueberry, strawberry, or other sauce
Appropriate amount of mint

プレーンヨーグルト 300g
グラニュー糖 大さじ3杯
ビスケット 4枚
ブルーベリーソースやストロベリーソースなど 適量
ミント  適量

1. Add sugar to yogurt, and mix well.
2. Place a chakoshi (Japanese, small, semi-circular tea strainer) in a glass, place a sheet of paper towel, and pour yogurt.
(The recipe in Japanese is quite ambiguous here. I assume that you have to prepare four chakoshi and pour 1/4 of the yogurt. Who has four chakoshi in their kitchen?)
3. Place one biscuit on top, and wrap in plastic wrap.
4. Cool in the fridge overnight.
5. Turn chakoshi upside down to remove yogurt, pour fruit sauce.


I didn't follow the recipe exactly: I simply added the supplied 8 g powder sugar to 1 pack (450 g) of plain yogurt, and transferred all of it to a single sieve.
私はレシピーに正確には従いませんでした。1パック(450 g)のヨーグルトに、添付された8 gの粉砂糖を入れて、全部を一つのザルに移しました。

Last night:

This morning

This amount of whey in the bowl:

I had some. I can't say this is rare cheesecake, but I liked it just the way it was.


Verdict: It's simply concentrated yogurt, not rare cheesecake, but I liked it.
判決: レアチーズケーキではなく、単に濃縮されたヨーグルトですが、私自身は気に入りました。

November 10, 2010

Rare Cheesecake/レアチーズケーキ

This post of Indirect Heat, Miso cheesecake, has made me realize that I haven't made "rare" (unbaked) cheesecake for quite some time. So, I made some rare cheesecake today. Note that my rare cheesecake is base-less.
Indirect Heatさんのこの記事Miso cheesecakeを読んで、しばらくレアチーズケーキを作ってないことに気付きました。そこで、今日はレアチーズケーキを作りました。私のレアチーズケーキは土台なしです。

1 box (250 g) cream cheese
200 g plain yogurt
40 g sugar
1 tbsp yuzu juice
5 g gelatin
50 ml water to dissolve gelatin

クリームチーズ 1箱(250 g)
プレーンヨーグルト 200 g
砂糖 40 g
柚子果汁 大さじ1
ゼラチン 5 g
ゼラチンを溶かすための水 50 ml

The original recipe, written on the inside of the cream cheese box, says to heat the cream cheese for about 30 seconds in a 500-W microwave, but I cut mine into small pieces, put them in a bowl, add sugar, mixed, and left them at room temperature for about 1 hour until soft.

Notice my Shigefusa kitaeji petty knife. Cooking is fun with this knife.

If you want to follow the manufacturer's recipe exactly, use 60 g sugar (instead of 40), use 1 tbsp lemon juice instead of yuzu juice, and use 10 (90 g) biscuits and 40 g butter for the base. Put the biscuits in a vinyl bag, crush them by pounding, and mix with room temperature butter. Place them on the bottom of a 18-cm round mold.
メーカーのレシピーに正確に従うには、砂糖を(40 gではなく)60 g使って、柚子果汁ではなくレモン汁を大さじ1使って、土台にはビスケットを10枚(90 g)とバターを40 g使います。ビスケットをビニール袋に入れ、叩いて砕き、室温に戻したバターと混ぜます。それを18 cmの丸型に入れます。

About one hour later, the cream cheese became soft.

As you may know, a yuzu has a lot of seeds in it.

Yuzu juice and seeds:

Add yogurt, yuzu juice, and dissolved gelatin in this order, mixing well each time.

Transfer to a 18-cm round mold (in my case, a plate), and put in the fridge for 2-3 hours.
18 cmの丸型(私の場合、お皿)に移し、冷蔵庫に2、3時間入れます。

Sorry, I can't take appetizing photos of my rare cheesecake!

It was tasty, but my daughter and I thought that it would have been better without the yuzu flavor.

To view a better photo of rare cheese cake, click here. As shown in the photo, rare cheese cake is sometimes served with some fruit sauce (blueberry sauce in this photo).

November 9, 2010

Urasa Kiku Matsuri (Urasa Chrysanthemum Festival)/浦佐菊まつり

Sorry, not a food-related topic again. I went to the Urasa Kiku Matsuri (Urasa Chrysanthemum Festival) today. Urasa is the name of a place in Minami Uonuma city. This festival is held every year inside the grounds of Fukoji, also known as Bishamondo, from October 31 through November 10 this year.

About 1,000 pots of chrysanthemums are on display.

Fudo Myo-O (Acala):

Fukoji is a five-minute walk from JR Urasa Station.

There was a strong wind blowing on the site, causing many leaves to fall. They reminded me of snowflakes falling in the winter.