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Spinach and abura age miso soup

7 Apr

spinach-tofu miso soup

This spinach and abura age miso soup makes a change from the tofu and wakame version I usually serve when we have Japanese food. Continue reading

Chirashi sushi

14 Feb

Chirashi sushi

Chirashi sushi is an adaptable dish. It’s colourful and impressive party fare when arranged on a large serving platter, but makes a great midweek supper as well.

In the time it takes the rice to steam, I can throw together a quick Japanese omelette, soak and slice a few dried mushrooms, shred some nori and make the dressing for the rice. After that it’s just a matter of tossing things together.

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Sake-soy marinated salmon

8 Jan

Sake-soy marinated salmon

Salmon is the lifeblood of British Columbia, the province in Canada where I grew up. It permeates everything – the history, culture, mythology, ecology, and economy. It feeds the people, the bears, the soil itself. It attracts tourists and sends them home with suitcases full of salmon products. Continue reading

Hijiki no ni mono

23 Nov

Hijiki no ni mono

“It smells like Japan!” Lyra said when she walked into the kitchen. And so it did, that inimitable simmering dashi smell. We ate hijiki no ni mono pretty regularly when we lived in Japan. It was one of the only dishes Adam cooked and his main contribution to house meals.

Hijiki has a slightly liquorice flavour that works well with the carrots, and the chewiness of the fried tofu provides a contrast to the softness of the vegetables. It looks so pretty too… Continue reading

Nikujaga (Japanese simmered beef and potatoes)

19 Nov

nikujaga

Nikujaga (or simmered beef and potatoes) is no-frills, homestyle Japanese cooking – something a Japanese mum would make on a busy weeknight the way I might make macaroni cheese. The Japanese call this sort of cooking ofukuro no aji, which means “mother’s taste”.

There’s a nostalgia associated with these dishes – while others may cook them, nobody’s tastes quite like your mum’s version. That’s because hers tasted of home and childhood… and love. Continue reading

Sayonara baby

18 Sep

Sayonara baby

At the end of July, we decided to throw a party for my birthday in September. So we sent out a raft of invitations… and then pretty much forgot about it until last weekend when it struck us, “Ay caramba! We’ve got several dozen people turning up next Saturday!”

We had the first requirement for a successful party – lots of people – sorted. Which left the second requirement… a killer cocktail. Get lots of people drinking cocktails at the same time and a great evening is pretty much guaranteed. Continue reading

Yakitori

4 Aug

Yakitori

The smell of grilling yakitori takes me straight back to Tokyo, and late nights spent in izakaya bars with friends and colleagues. Plate after plate of skewers would arrive – not always identifiable, always delicious. But however many I’d eat, it never seemed enough to absorb the amount of sake I managed to drink…

I usually make my yakitori with chicken thighs, but breast meat works too – especially if you allow a bit of time to marinate the meat before grilling. Continue reading