Recipe testing: daikon and green papaya

Decided to try out a daikon (Japanese radish) Tsukemono recipe. I had a daikon left of from my tonjiru recipe and I’ve been wanting to try this recipe for a while.

Pickled Daikon

Here’s the link to recipe: https://www.justonecookbook.com/pickled-daikon/

slices of daikon

I peeled and sliced the daikon into 1/4″ thick slices. Then everything goes into a ziplock bag.

rest of the ingredients for the pickled daikon

Toss in rest of the ingredients (kosher salt, rice wine vinegar, sake, chopped dried chili, and sugar) into a ziplock bag with the daikon. I didn’t have dried chili so I tried a small fresh chili.

Lock the bag and mush all the ingredients together. Open and close bag, getting as much air out of bag. Toss in the refrigerator and let sit for 2 days. I turned and mushed the ingredient around after the first day to distribute the brine again.

after 2 days of fermenting

Green papaya salad

We got four green papayas from a friend who cut down their tree. Decided to try green papaya salad recipe from norecipe.com. Here’s the link to the recipe: https://norecipes.com/green-papaya-salad-recipe/

prepping the green papaya for the salad

I peeled and shredded the papaya. I use a julienne peeler but you could use a mandolin or do the the Thai way with the knife. I took the easy way out. The green papaya was to be hard to the touch, and the skin was shiny. One was a bit riper than the others but was okay to use.

dried shrimp soaking in water

I soaked the dried shrimp in water to soften up and started to prepare the dressing.

dressing of fish sauce, lime juice, garlic, sugar, and chili pepper

The dressing has fish sauce, lime juice, garlic, sugar (coconut sugar if available), and fresh chili pepper. You can use a mortar and pestle or food processor to bring it together but I chopped the garlic and chilis well and mixed to gather in my measuring cup.

Also in the salad is grape tomatoes, halved, green beans, sliced into 2″ sections, chopped peanuts, and chopped cilantro. Add all the ingredients to a bowl and toss well. I made this ahead around midday to have it at dinner. I let it rest and marinate in the refrigerator till it was time. I forgot to take a picture of the finish product but got one a day old.

leftovers for tonight’s meal

It was delicious and would definite make again if I can get the green papaya.

Recipe testing: Tsukemono

I’ve been on a kick with Japanese pickles, tsukemono. I followed a recipe from Just One Cookbook youtube channel for Shoyuzuke (soy sauce pickles). She made on sauce with 4 different veggies. I decided to try the cucumber and celery version.

Link for the recipe: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7NLBQi1REhw

Japanese cucumbers

I made this version before and really like them. This batch I added the shredded salted kombu and minced ginger. This time I sliced the cucumber thicker than previous version.

I salted and massaged the cucumbers, let it set for about 5 minutes to get excess water out. I followed Just One Cookbook and used a dish cloth to get as much water out as possible.

Then I added them to mason jars but didn’t add the glass weights that she uses in the video because I didn’t have any. Here’s the link of ones that I’m thinking of buying https://smile.amazon.com/Fermentation-Vegetables-Submerged-Fermenting-FDA-Apporved/dp/B079NXB6R5/ref=sr_1_3?crid=3J6GA8YYCAGBU&dchild=1&keywords=glass+weights+for+fermenting&qid=1594837940&sprefix=glass+weights%2Caps%2C237&sr=8-3

I used 3 large Japanese cucumbers and it filled 3 quart size large mouth mason jars. I added the salted shredded kombu (soaked in water to soften then squeezed out the excess water) and minced ginger.

I made 3 recipes of brine, to for cucumbers and 1 for the celery. I add the brine to the 3 bottle. Brine will not come up to the top of the bottle, probably about 1/2 to 3/4 of the way. This is where the weights comes in but I didn’t do since I didn’t have it.

Instead of weights, I just shook the brine around in the bottle, tipping the bottle upside down. I kept the cucumbers on the counter for about 2 hours shaking the bottle when I remembered. Then in the refrigerator. They are ready to eat in 3 hours.

Celery

I didn’t get pictures of this process but I had celery that I wanted to use up. I followed the recipe per the video and I made enough for one bottle. I used the same shaking technique as the cucumbers.

Here’s the final product of my work.

celery on the left and cucumbers on right

Final review from Joe and Cora: Oishii (delicious in Japanese)

My review: love the crunch and the flavor of the celery. Like the what the sesame oil in this version. Cucumbers are better thicker and love the combination of kombu and ginger.

Worth the try. Great on the salad and no dressing needed. Next up daikon tsukemono.

Cora’s 90th

Mom and Dad with her birthday banner

It was Mom’s 90th birthday yesterday. I think she had a good one. I surprised her by asking a couple of aunties, uncles, and cousins if they could stop by to wish her a “HAPPY BIRTHDAY!”. It worked out great because everyone showed up at different times and kept her busy all day. She also go calls from my sister, niece, nephew, uncle from the mainland, good family friend, and video from my cousin and girls in NYC.

I say her day was filled with happy birthday surprises. Here a few pictures from the day.

You only turn 90 once so I decide to make her two birthday desserts–Mixed Berry pie and Chocolate cake. Share with all her visitors.

Recipe Testing: Iris’ Hijiki Rice

yum!

Our collective agreement for Christmas dinner would be Iris’ hijiki rice and crispy roast pork belly. Iris is my mom’s cousin who is has a lot great recipes that I’m so happy she shares with me. She’s the lead cook at her church’s ladies group which makes delicous food items and hand crafted pieces for their annual bazaar in October.

Hijiki rice was one of the items from the bazaar that was so delicious that I asked her for the recipe and asked if she could show me how to do it. It is a seasoned rice dish with sushi rice with hiijiki (seaweed), vegetables, konnyaku (a jelly-like item made out of the Konnyaku potato) and kamaboko (fishcake)

Prepping Ingredients

chopping the ginger

I got Mom and Dad involved with the prep and the taste testing. At first I thought there was a lot of chopping but I remember Iris telling to use the food processor to do all the chopping.

Our Dinner

It was a very tasty meal and glad we made it. We will be making few adjustments–less soaking of the rice, maybe add mushroom or string beans for our next try.

The Recipe

Iris’s Hijiki Bara Sushi
serves: 12

4 cups (rice cooker cups) of rice-cooked

Filling for rice
3/4 cup hijiki, washed and soaked
1 gobo, chopped fine, soak in water so it doesn’t brown until ready to cook, drain well
1 carrot, chopped fine
1 konnyaku, chopped fine
1/2 Kamaboko (uzumaki, without the board), chopped fine
2 aburage, chopped fine
1 Tbsp oil (should be a neutral oil, like canola)

Sauce for filling
3 Tbsp Sugar
1/4 cup Shoyu (soy sauce)
1 teaspoon Hondashi (instant dashi)
-Mix together well.

Vinegar sauce for rice
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup Japanese rice vinegar
1 tsp salt
ginger, 1″ piece, minced finely
-Mix everything together except ginger in sauce pan, bring to boil and cool. Add ginger and mixed well.

  1. Cut all ingredients for filling [Iris suggest to use the food processor]
  2. Make vinegar sauce, set aside to cool
  3. Cook rice
  4. While rice is cooking, start cooking the filling
  5. Add oil to frying pan on med-high, add aburage until crispy
  6. Add carrots and gobo, cook about 2 minutes
  7. Add hijiki, konnyaku, and kamaboko, cook for couple more minutes
  8. Add filling sauce, turn down heat to medium
  9. Mix well and cook until carrots are tender
  10. Rice should be cooked by then, add vinegar sauce to hot rice, mix well
  11. Then add filling to the rice, mix well

Additional add-in for filling: shiitake mushroom, string bean



A Little Late

Happy New Year!

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Goodluck mochi for the house

I’ve been a little busy with holiday stuff and just catching up with some last minute things before the end of the year. The last 2 years have been a whirlwind of stuff that I never thought would happen to me. I hope 2019 brings a little bit of calm for me. These are a few things that I’m trying to make that happen.

Baking

It hasn’t stopped, no matter how hot it is. Winter brings a little help but I’m still sweating. Pies are topped the list this year. It’s because my mom’s love of pies.

Knitting

The majority is charitable knitting, a few holiday gifts for people, a cute cat and my hipster dad modelling my hats

Swimming

I started swimming. I joined the Y and took a swimming class to make this happen. Every Sunday at 9. To my surprise, I do enjoy it. I think it’s being in the water that I enjoy the most. I’m not the best swimmer but I tell myself at least I’m trying. I hope for one day that I could do laps as gracefully as many of the other swimmers I watch.

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love swimming in the ocean

For the coming year

Got me a Fitbit to help remind me to keep moving. Added walking and may try out the C25K app to see if I like running and give me a goal. Thinking of vacation and where I want to go. San Diego in the lineup for May if all things go well. I’d like to go to Japan but not sure when or where.

Hope this is productive and fun year for all. I sure can use one of those.