Recipe testing: Takenoko Gohan

Bamboo Grove

Or Bamboo Shoots Rice. I went foraging for takenoko (bamboo shoots) last weekend with E and L. I never did this before, it sounded like fun. E and L were my knowledgeable guides. We meet at a secret location walked through bamboo grove for out hunt.

L and E the Bamboo Shoot hunters

The first location wasn’t as fruitful as E and L thought it would be. We walk down the road to try another trail and BINGO! We hit the jackpot.

bamboo shoot harvested

Lining the both sides were the shoots and even smaller babies that we may go back for more. We took off the outer leaves and broke them up into smaller pieces for easier transport.

Each of us got 2 grocery bag full of shoots that needed to prep for cooking. Fresh bamboo shoots need to be boiled to soften and take the bitterness out. I cooked it for 2 hours and they were still bitter.

L suggested to soak in water till the it’s not bitter, changing the water every day. Soaked batch 1 overnight with 2 water changes and that did it. Bitterness gone and ready for our Father’s Day dinner.

Menu

Our dinner would be Takenoko Gohan and Chicken Tofu with bamboo shoots. As alway I forgot to take the step by step process of dinner but I did get the finish product.

Ready to be served

For the Takenoko Gohan I use a recipe from Just One Cookbook. Here’s the link: http://receita de takenoko gohan. We use a mixture of brown and white rice that we soaked prior to starting cooking. I took the easy way out with the dashi and use the dashi powder. I used 1.5 teaspoon. The flavor of the rice is a mild savory flavor. The bamboo shoots to the mild flavor of the seasoning, also. It was a good compliment to the chicken tofu.

This is the Chicken Tofu recipe I used from Hawaiian Electric. Here’s the link: https://www.hawaiianelectric.com/recipes/find-a-recipe/pork-or-chicken-tofu I added about cup of the bamboo shoots and a teaspoon of dashi powder to the recipe. After tasting, I added a dash of additional shoyu (soy sauce) and 1/2 cup of water because I though it was too sweet.

Dinner is served

If you can find fresh bamboo shoots at the market or foraging around a bamboo grove. Give these recipes a try. It was delicious. More bamboo shoot recipes to come. Going to try a braise recipe and looking for a pickle recipe to try. Enjoy.

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



Random things

Of what I’ve been doing lately.

Frogged (ripped out)

yarn from Japan

Started this cowl, found a mistake, got irritated, frogged.

Actually been frogging most things these days. Knitting isn’t making happy. After I bought all this beautiful yarn from Japan, I’ve decide to take a break to let my knitting.

Baking and Jamming

Cooler weather brings baking and jamming–banana chocolate chip bread, caramelized onion, carrots, and pepper quiche, custard pie, pickled veggies for salads, mixed berries jam, almond shortbread, and blueberry custard pie.

Sunset, Beer and Friends

Last minute sunset outing with friends.

Keep on hiking

Sights from my many hikes at Aiea Loop Trail. Maybe one day I’ll get others to another trail.

Sleepy cats

Orange and Ollie napping around the house. Ollie is usually up high, too hard to get a shot.

Stages of Recipe Testing

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Got a poppy on my way out of the store, buying my ingredients for recipe testing. Boy scouts and Vets collecting for charity.

I decided to recipe test Milk Bar’s Compost Cookies. I want to see how it compared to mom’s garbage cookies. Both recipes have a lot of ingredients. I used the recipe Anderson Cooper’s favorite cookies: compost cookies from www.tablefortwoblog.com.

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My attempt at Crack pie

I’ve made the Crack pie recipe from Christina Tosi before and I love the addition of milk powder and the compost cookies have it in it, too. That’s one point in favor of compost cookies. Maybe I can take all the things I like in the compost and garbage cookies and make a new cookie.

 

I put the frozen butter out for before my walk and 5.7 miles later the butter perfectly soften for my cookies. Getting all the ingredients out was quite a task. Still getting used to Mom’s kitchen and where things are at. We are still trying to reorganize it to make sense to both of us but haven’t finished. Mom measuring out all the mix-in to make that quick. There were few miscommunications with mom–she dumped the rising agents into the mix-ins but I don’t think it hurt the cookie.

Christine Tosi likes to make special ingredients for her recipe. They are special mix-ins like the graham cracker crust. But. . . you always end up making more than you need. So you either need to make more or toss it out. Is this an evil scheme for you to keep making her recipes. haha

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Stages of recipe testing: baking

  1. place chilled cookie balls on the sheets
  2. place in oven for 18 minutes?
  3. 8 minutes in the oven, cookies have melted into the correct shape. That’s good? Maybe?
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  4. Oh NO! The top sheet, back row browning faster than other cookies.
  5. Calm down, turn the sheet around.
  6. Oh, Noooooo! Burning, burning, burning.
  7. Hotplate! Hotplate! Hotplate!

Did I mention that Mom’s oven runs a little hot probably about +25º!

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I think this is a properly baked one. Little black flecks are the coffee grounds

Finished product. I didn’t like the cookie right out of the oven. I thought it was too sweet. But the next day, it was really good. Even the koge (Japanese for burnt) ones were good. Mom’s only complaint was the cookie was too big. Next time I’ll use the smaller scoop and lower the oven temperature a bit.