A great bowl of ramen noodles is a wonderful thing. Hot, cheap, filling and reasonably quick to throw together – unless your culinary ambitions stretch to making your own ramen noodles, like the amazing Migrant Chef has done. (I am in awe of this achievement…) Continue reading
“Andrea has made… steamed Japanese rice, a store-bought smoked mackerel fillet, and steamed broccoli, garnished with strips of nori and a sprinkling of sesame seeds,” Nova drawled in wicked imitation of India Fisher, as we settled with our rice bowls in front of the telly to watch Masterchef.
I get this kind of thing a lot: “You’ve let yourself down on the presentation again, I’m afraid”, or “for me, the elements don’t combine into a single dish” or occasionally “this cherry sorbet is a lovely, lovely thing.”
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.
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
“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 (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