Friday, April 23, 2010

Goma - Ae


I have a chance to teach a cooking class at a local cooking school in June!

Now, I am preparing for that class.

One of the dishes I plan on teaching in the class is, GOMA-AE. This is a boiled vegetable dish usually made with spinach and tossed with a pasty Sesame dressing. It's a pretty popular Japanese dish in the U.S. now that I think about it. I plan on adding my own touch to make it a more tastier and healthier dish and give some useful tips on preparing this type of dish.

Nowadays, you can check out various types of recipes, pictures, videos. Everything you need to know about cooking on the Internet. But I still believe that the most important part of cooking is to see, touch, smell, feel, and to taste the food while cooking the dish.

I used spinach and carrots this time, but you can try other vegetable like; green beans, snack peas, snow peas, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower...any type of vegetable is healthy. Gives a great new way and flavor to some of you and your loved ones favorite vegetables.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Soy sauce and Miso For Kakushi - Aji ( Hidden Taste )

Today, I will introduce to you a little trick for tasting.
I made a Spring Roll the other day, (it's called HARUMAKI in Japanese), with chicken, mung bean thread, garlic chives, shiitake mushrooms, carrots, and fresh ground ginger. These Harumaki are wrapped with Harumaki Wrap Paper, it's much thinner than won ton wrappers and will get more lighter and crispier after it's cooked.

To add saltiness, I chose not to use salt. I used Soy Sauce and Miso paste.

Soy Sauce contains about 1/5 sodium compared to the sodium content in salt and regular Miso paste has about 1/6-1/7 of sodium content. So, if you wish to use here is the percentage of equal parts:
1 tea spoon salt = about 1.5 table spoons of soy sauce or about 2 - 2.5 tablespoons of Miso paste.

You will taste the saltiness, but the Soy Sauce and the Miso paste flavor will hidden / masked with a natural flavor that most people will not even notice. This cooking effect is called KAKUSHI-AJI (English: Hidden Taste) And soy sauce and miso are often used to that technique. I believe that this works for B.B.Q. sauce or marinade in American cooking too.

Also, Soy Sauce and Miso, both are fermented foods which give the dish an extra UMAMI taste.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Buckwheat Recipe - Corn Soup


I have used buckwheat grout for oatmeal, tomato sauce, vegetable soup in the past few months.
The other day, I decided to make corn soup for dinner and got an idea to put some buckwheat into the soup.
I boiled the buckwheat grout for 15 min. and then added it to the soup at the same time when I put the corn, (one whole can and cream style one). Then, I used some flour to add some thickness to the soup, at the same time, the buckwheat gave a nice consistency at the end. I prefer to put some consistency to soup with flour instead of using corn starch.

Corn Cream Soup: 4-5 servings


Canned Corn・・・・・・・・・ 1 lb. each of whole and cream style.

Sweet Onion・・・・・・・・・ 1 cup

Bacon・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・ 4 oz.

Buckwheat (boiled)・・・ 1 cup

Soup Stock・・・・・・・・・・ 4 cups

All Purpose Flour・・・・ 5 tbsp.

Milk or Half & Half ・・・1 cup

*Canora oil・・・・・・・・・・ 4 tbsp.

Salt and Pepper for taste


1.) Cook bacon until it gets crispy, add onion and saute for 5 min. with medium-low heat.

* If you don't want to use all the bacon oil, you can take it out and add 4 tbsp. of Canola Oil instead.

2.) Add some flour and cook for 5min. Add soup stock, corn, and buckwheat. If you like, you can add some dried herb at this point.

3.) Simmer for 15 min., and add milk or half & half.

4.) Taste with Salt and Pepper.

If you want to add some vegetables to this soup, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, peas, Brussel sprouts, etc...
With nice crusty bread, mmmm.............yummy!