Substituting rice vinegar for western style vinegar isnt really appropriate, its too acidic.
A dish of korean inspiration! A delicious scallion pancake coloured green with spinach. This is a great way to add an extra portion of vegetables to your meal.
My oven has been working overtime these days, i've been baking and roasting food almost everyday. Picked up a pack of heirloom carrots at atwater market last weekend, threw them in the oven with a bit of oil, and served them over a bed of beluga lentils. All this, topped with a delicious spicy peanut butter sauce!
Roasted carrots becoming quite sweet, a nice change from eating them raw. I could have easily eaten all 8 carrots myself, but alas i also need to feed Devine.
I like buying grains or flours in bulk. I don't always get to buy huge quantities, it's too heavy. I don't own a car, and walking long distances with it is bad is difficult. Since my bike accident, i haven't been able to carry heavy loads for too long. Luckily, i went to my parent's house on sunday. They have a car, and access to a terrific buy in bulk place. I bought a ton of black rice and some black beluga lentils!
Beluga lentils aren't the cheapest kind you can get, but certainly a wonderful addition to my black food pantry.
Worth mentioning, that the idea to make a recipe with beluga lentils was inspired by Meike Peter's beluga lentil salad recipe.
Late-night gyoza at izakaya, is one of the things i miss the most about living in Tokyo. Maybe not one of the healthiest late-night eats, but a DELICIOUS one. These are very unconventional gyoza, black on the outside, and red and orange on the inside.
We made homemade gyoza dough with some friends a few weeks back, it took FOREVER. Devine had the amazing idea of using our pasta maker to do it. We still needed to do a bit of kneading, to get it through the machine the first time. After that, it's easy and sweat-free!
We didn't have any round cookie cutters, the last time we tried i was using upside down glasses. Didn't work well because the rims aren't sharp. Again, Devine had a stroke of genius. Cans! I had an empty chickpea pan lying around, it was about the size of a gyoza wrapper so we used that to poke holes through the dough.
I know not everyone has a pasta maker, you don't need one to make wrappers. You can just use a rolling pin.
The fillings was another experiment, since i like to cook with colours in mind, i wanted something that would contrast the black. Beet and carrots seemed like an obvious choice. Unconventional, as far as traditional japanese gyozas go, but very delicious and very beautiful.
We had a lot of fun making these gyoza, it's best made and eaten with friends!
Gyoza wrapper techniques and ratios were based on the recipe from Just one cookbook. She explains it really well too on her blog it's worth taking a look. I learned a lot from her even if our techniques differ slightly. While I preferred not to knead by hand, or with a rolling pin, i did do it her way the first time.
I've had the image of a black nigiri on my mind for some time. It's been sitting there, in my list of ideas for months. Couldn't think of what to top it off with, then a little while ago, i found out about Burmese tofu.
Yellow on black, needed to make it happen.
Burmese tofu is not really tofu, i know, that's confusing. At first, i thought it was tofu blended with turmeric. It has a yellow tint, and it's because Burmese tofu is chickpea based! The cool thing about it, is that it takes 10 minutes to make and sets 1 hour. It's a great soy-free alternative, and the texture is comparable to that of silken tofu.
I bought Chickpea flour for the first time around xmas, wasn't sure how to use it. I often purchase ingredients i don't know, and learn how to use them. I found a re-write of a chickpea tofu recipe online. The original recipe, I believe, was sourced from a book called The Burmese kitchen - recipes from the golden land by Aung Thein.
This recipe will use up about half of the burmese tofu, which means you'll have a whole other half to use in other meals.
I decided to make a mock eel nigiri, like the one i made a few months ago. The sauce that is served over eel kabayaki is sweet, with hints of caramel. I thought it would taste great atop of the burmese tofu.
Most japanese sauces are easy to make, and usually require around 3-4 ingredients. These almost always include soy sauce, sake, mirin, or rice vinegar. If you want to cook japanese food, having these around is a must. Hope you enjoy this mock-eel recipe!
While Devine & I were still in British Columbia, I remember one morning waking up to the sound knocking at our boat. It was our neighbours, coming to offer some homemade pan-fried corn pone. I'd never had corn pone before, nor did i ever think of making any sort of flat cake using corn as a base. After that, I started to make it myself and would serve it with chili - lazy cornbread, as I like to call it. While sitting in the Niue yatch club, i found an old vegetarian cookbook; I must have spent an hour reading through it, the recipes were fantastic. The title read "The Farm vegetarian cookbook". It was sitting there, amongst a panoply of writting, including a Polish Murakami book (how I wish it had been written in english). The cookbook had an entire section dedicated to cooking with corn. It's in here, that I found a recipe for masa dumplings.
Masa is corn that is simmered and ground into a paste. It's the base for many recipes, you can make Mexican-style tortillas with it! Or, you can use it to make dumplings! I don't have access to fresh corn, nor do i have the space or the time to make my own masa, but I used polenta (corn semolina) instead and it worked! The only difference is that you need to add boiling water so you you can roll the mixture into balls. If you were to use masa, you wouldn't need the added moisture. The texture of the dumplings is fun and chewy. The outside is soft, but the inside is like that of dense cornbread. Corn dumplings, I imagine, could be used to make fake meatballs. Devine & I enjoy eating it with tomato sauce or with a spicy apricot sauce.
Instead of apricot jam, you can add apricot juice to the mix (orange will taste wonderful too). I added jam because I don't have any juice on the boat currently, and besides, it works well in this recipe. Enjoy!