Montag, 28. Januar 2013

Hiroyuki's Kinshobai-Style Furikake

Read about it in Hiroyuki's blog.This is really something. I made several types of furikake before but this is the best. Besides furikake is something to sprinkle on or mix in rice for seasoning.
There are different types of Furikake (振り掛け or ふりかけ) available. Main ingredients: dried fish, seaweed, sesame seeds, soy sauce, sugar, salt und different types of other components for look and additional flavour as vegetables, fish eggs and so on. It is all about umami. I followed Hiroyuki's recipe with some very minor changes due to the products I had in storage (in fact I could not resist to use a special mushroom mix):
As you can see: Hana katsuo (dried bonito shavings), shredded seaweed, sesame seeds, nut mix (pine nuts, walnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds), soy sauce-mirin-vinegar mix and dried mushrooms, so called dried asia mushrooms (they sell it under this name), black fungus, shiitake, hen of the woods and so on:
Mixed dried mushrooms
After following Hiroyukis recipe I had enough furikake to fill two jars, much bigger jars than thought (200ml each):

A few remarks: the fish shavings need a big pan - they tend to just fly away... and they burn quickly. There is not much liquid, maybe the mushrooms should not be squeezed after soaking. I had to add a little water to heat it up properly for a few minutes. If you are european: make sure your kitchen ventilation is turned to the max, the fish shavings are smelly, really smelly, they smell even more when heated. Therefore the taste is excellent (no pain no gain).

Sonntag, 27. Januar 2013


We had Bulgogi tonight.

For the Bulgogi I cut 300 g ribeye steak in very thin slices and put the slices in a marinade made from:

1/3 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons sugar
1 pinch chilli flakes
1 tablespoon chillipaste
2 garlic gloves, minced
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons white sesame seeds
1 small onion cut into wedged slices
2 spring onions cut into round slices
2 tablespoons  finely grated peeled apple

Stir ingredients.
Add meat to this marinade and give the meat a little massage - let rest for about 30 minutes.

Heat the grill plate, rub with oil and grill the first few meat slices on one side, flip and grill on the other side. The meat is done really quickly. It is nice when the edges turn a little crisp and dark browned. Scrape the marinade (sticky remains) with a spatule from the plate and remove, add next meat batch.

Meanwhile start to eat: Wrap one or two slices in salad leave. As for sides look here

Korean dinner

Tonight we are going to cook on a hot stone table grill: korean grilled beef called Bulgogi.
Because I don't want to make a big fuss, I prepared those sides in advance:

Korean egg roll with vegetables called GyeranMari:

Braised sweet potatoes slightly hot and sweet salty spicy called GamjaJorim

Vermicelli with stirfried mushrooms and vegetables called Chapchae

Daikon, vinegar pickled with lots of sweet chilli powder and onions called SaengChae

And we will have rice, kimchi and salad leaves too. And the beef (sliced ribeye steak).. laters...

Samstag, 26. Januar 2013

Lemon drizzle cake

Just a short one: today I made a quick cake. I found the recipe at the Guardian online but did some changes concerning the recipe - original recipe look here

The cake is very fluffy but sticky, sweet with a deep citrus flavour. Husband will be happy :-)


150 g butter
175 g sugar
3 eggs
100 g flour
75 g almond flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 pinch salt
 50 ml medium sherry
1 big lemon, zeste and juice
80 ml kumquat syrup*
4 tablespoons brown sugar

Whisk sugar, salt, zestes and butter until it becomes white and stiff creamy. Add one egg after another and incorporate each egg well before adding the next, whisk in the sherry. Add flour mixed with almonds and baking powder and fold in until comined.
Bake in a rectangle shaped pound cake mould (1 l volume) lined with parchment paper at 170 degree C for 50 minutes - until toothpick comes out clean. Don't remove cake from tin.
Meanwhile boil up brown sugar, lemon juice and syrup until bubbly heated
Poke the toothpick several times all over the cake deep into the cake. Cover cake with syrup in a few batches.
The cake will soak up the syrup very quickly as long as the cake is still hot. Sprinkle with a little brown sugar. Remove the cake from the mould after cooled down.

*) Yesterday I simmered  1 1/2 handful kumquats (halved) in 150 ml sugar water solution (50:70) until the kumquats were translucent and a syrup has formed. We had the kumquat compote with yoghurt. What was left was the very aromatic syrup. It is very tasty - fully orange flavoured without bitterness.

Freitag, 25. Januar 2013

Spicy rice bowl with dried tofu and mushrooms

Today I visited the asian food market again. I found something new: spiced freeze dried tofu strips. Sorry I don't know the name of the product because it is written in chinese. But interesting…had to buy it.
And this is what I cooked:
Rice with carrot, mushrooms and tofu strips garnished with spring onion and pickled ginger (lots, I am addicted to pickled ginger). The tofu was heavenly chewy and reminded me on thick udon noodles and the spicyness was just right:

How to:
Round #1
Cut 1 carrot into match sticks
Heat up:
200 ml dashi stock (water and 1 small pack instant dashi powder)
60 ml soy sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
Boil the carrot sticks in the stock on high heat until just done (with a small bite). Remove carrot sticks with a slotted spoon and keep in a bowl.

Round #2
Add 1 tablespoon soy sauce and another tablespoon sugar to the reminding stock (some will be gone) and boil 150 g mixed mushrooms until done and the stock is reduced to half.
Remove mushrooms with a slotted spoon and add to the carrot sticks.

Round #3
Add ½ cup water and 1/3 cup sake to the stock. Add 150 g tofu strips and simmer until the stock is almost gone and only a dark  syrup is left.
Add tofu and syrup to the carrots and mushrooms and stir. Smells wonderful...

Meanwhile cut 1 spring onion into nice stripes, cook rice out of 1 cup uncooked rice.
Serve rice topped with the mixture and garnished with spring onion, ginger.

Samstag, 19. Januar 2013

Fingerfood saturday

Usually I don't cook on saturdays - it is my day off...
But I was craving for some snacks. I decided on simple maki and persimmon sushi.

Snacks: cut open persimmon sushi (red roe), persimmon sushi salmon makis
There is nothing much to do: Boil the rice (1 cup), mix in the sugar-vinegar-solution and cool it down quickly until lukewarm. I toasted the 2 sheets Nori on top of my toaster (the one to roast bread slices) - very convenient.
The filling was carrot stripes, spring onion stripes, salt pickled salmon (3 slices graved lax for each sheet) and thin omlette made from 1 egg. I also like to put some mayonnaise mixed with horseradish into the rolls on top of the fish.
For persimmon sushi I lined a vey small tea cup with salmon slices, filled in a tablespoon rice, a teaspoon cod roe and wasabi. Before placing the salmon slices I put a sheet of clingfilm into the cup. Just pull the sushi out with the help of the clingfilm and give it a twist using the clingfilm to form the sushi.

Later I made waffles, garnished with whipped cream and cherries (usually hot acid cherries compote but I stored my home grown acid cherries in bourbon with sugar and this is quite something different - laugh) or apple butter or just to be eaten sprinkled with icing sugar. These kind of waffles store well and can be roasted the next days. Nowadays I don't make waffles that often. I made tons of waffles many years ago when our son was still small and I had to feed lots of his friends during Kindergarten and elementary school years. He was a lonely only child and therefore he used to bring some good friends home after school or playing outside (on weekends we always had 4 kids, staying from friday afternoon until sunday evening). First they raided the fridge or I cooked a quick meal and than there was a place left to be filled with something sweet and they simply loved waffles: It is incredible how much growing boys are able to eat - bottomless pits.

drunken acid cherries

Apple butter

I used a more stiff batter for more crunchyness. I don't like soft and soggy waffles tasting like pancakes. It is a simple batter:

120 g soft butter
4 tablespoons sugar
1 pinch salt
2 large eggs, yolks and whites
180 g flour
2 tablespoons rice flour
200 ml milk ( in fact:  150 ml milk, 50 ml advocaat)
½ teaspoon baking powder
good pinch nutmeg
Butter for the iron

Mix egg yolks and sugar until fluffy and white,  add butter and nutmeg and mix until well incorporated. Add milk and mix.
Whisk egg whites with a pinch salt until soft peaks form, fold into the batter.
Sieve flours with baking powder and gently fold into the batter.
Grease the iron and bake waffles. 

baking the waffle in a 30 year old iron

 Here we are:

Freitag, 18. Januar 2013

Rose fish with mushroom crust

Today I bought rose fish and tried a new recipe (more or less) I found in the german foodies magazine Essen&Trinken beforehand.
Fish fillet with a crust made of breadcrumbs, chopped mushrooms and an asian spice mix.
I served it together with quick pickled daikon and pasta with rucola and fish roe. The flavour of mushrooms and fish blend together fantastic. Never thought it would taste that nice. We will have this dish more often from now on for sure. The crust kept the fish very juicy. Delicious.
juicy fish with aromatic crust
For the fish:
350 g rosefish or sea bass, cod, trimmed fillets
1 slice aged white bread put to fine crumbs / or panko flakes
1 handful mixed firm fleshed forest mushrooms / or shiitake
1 small shallot, minced
1 small teaspoon ginger root, grinded
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 pinch black pepper (fresh)
juice of 1/2 lemon
50 g butter
1 dash oil
recipe called for some cilantro greens too. Husband hates cilantro. I took a 1 tablespoon chopped parsley and a little thyme.

Heat a pan and melt butter, add chopped mushrooms, parsley, thyme and shallot,  give it a quick heat and let the liquids evaporate. Mix in the bread crumbs, soy sauce, pepper.
Take a sheet of aluminium foil and make two flat rectangle layers of this mixture butter included: size according the fish fillets  (more or less). Just fold one part of the foil over and flatten the rectangle spreads to make them equal. Store this in the freezer until firm. I stored it outdoor: -6 Degrees Celsius worked wonder in no time, firm frozen in 10 minutes.

Sprinkle salt and lemon juice over the fish. Heat a little oil in the pan and fry the fish on both sides for just a minute. Place on top of each fish one layer crust mix and put the pan under the preheated grill for 5 minutes.
Start to prepare the Pasta early aside. I always cook whatever comes into my mind just looking into my fridge or shelves. Recipes are helpful - sometimes - but I never follow them from a to z - guess I am not the only one. This dish is a crossover from several recipes I cooked before or read about. But believe me, it is good, change it as you like. There is one thing - kumquats. I used kumquat because a kumquat adds a lovely slightly bitter fullfledged orangy flavour but it is not that tangy at all, so there is a mix of citrus flavours (orange-lemon) in this dish. Whenever kumquats are in season I like to use this small tiny oranges in my kitchen.  For example they are incredible good in a red wine sauce for duck breasts.

150 g noodles (Spaghetti)
150 g rucola (salad rocket, arugola), washed and drained very well
1 Kumquat orange, finely diced, with juice
1/2 lemon, juice and zest
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon mirin
1 teaspoon sugar
good pinch chilli flakes
some drops sesame oil (toasted)
2 heaped tablespoons cod roe and additional 1 teaspoon for each plate
salt to taste

Boil noodles and sieve. Stir zestes, minced orange, juices, soy sauce, mirin, sugar. Add  to the hot noodles, mix well, sprinkle a little sesame oil and stir in cod roe, add salt if needed. I put 1 teaspoon cod roe on top of each pasta serving.

Pickled daikon is just presalted daikon cubes mixed with sugar and light white vinegar.

Montag, 14. Januar 2013


I like to eat sashimi and I wish I would live near the sea, where I could buy my fish directly from the boats or go fishing by myself. Most of the time the freshest fish I can get a hold on is trout from the trout farmer in the next village and most of the time I just put it in the smoker. Sometimes we stay with my mother in law who lives in a small seaport and there is the possibility to buy fish from the fishing cooperative but mother in law don't like to eat fish... and she always prepares the food. Therefore I wish I could live near the sea.
Beats me.
I am quite ok with my fish preparation but there are always things to learn and I am not as good as I wish. But there are ways to get better. I  found a very nice channel on youtube:
Its from the Fukuoka (Japan) officials. Just a few videos on preparing sashimi. I like to watch those very much (only in japanese language).  This must be heaven.

Sonntag, 13. Januar 2013

Dried spicy Diakon pickles

Never thought about dried daikon before, unless  I read Hiroyukis entry about wari boshi daikon. This posting made me curious. I found a  ¾ piece of daikon in my fridge - a rather small one - somewhat slightly wilted. So here we are:
I cut the daikon into long stripes as recommended (1 cm diameter) and placed the daikon stripes next to each other on paper towels (lengthwise folded). Those towels were placed on top of the kitchen radiator. The warm air did work fine: the daikon was dried out in just one day.
Dried daikon:
dried daikon stripes on paper towel

Next step: How to pickle
I soaked the stripes in warm water for about 30 minutes- more or less. 
Meanwhile I prepared the brine:   
50 ml soy sauce, 
50 ml vinegar, 
20 ml Chinese sweet cooking wine, 
1 teaspoon sugar, 
3 x chilliflakes by spice mill, 
1/2 teaspoon toasted szechuan peppercorns, 
a few drops sesame oil, 
½ garlic  glove, 
1 very small pinch Chinese 5-spice (just the tip of the knife). 
I read a comment on Hiroyukis post by a chinese guy and did some google about szechuan daikon pickles so I decided on this brine because I am a huge fan of szechuan kitchen..
I put the daikon stripes into the brine and let them soak for a few hours / overnight.
Tastes good? Crunchy yumminess but the smell is quite something …:

1 pickled stripe cut into 3 pieces, crunchy

Samstag, 12. Januar 2013

Roasted chicken rolls

I bought some chicken thighs, must have been dwarf chickens - wheight of each thigh about 210 g, but the prize was reasonable. Because I don’t like poultry with bones on (that much), I decided to make chicken rolls.
It is quite easy to debone chicken thighs – some sense for anatomy and a sharp knife is all you need and it is worth doing: Way better to debone on your own and not to buy deboned thighs because all the bones and scraps can be used to cook a delicious broth for basting, sauce base and as a little soup base later on.
1 sliced roll with a sip sauce

For the rolls and broth
5 chicken thighs (small or 3 common)
1 onion, finely diced
150 g mushrooms (brown button mushrooms) finely diced
¼ small leek
4 parsley stems, leaves chopped, plain stems for the broth
1 thick slice ginger root
1 small garlic glove
soy sauce
1 l water

I deboned the thighs carefully.  The meat from the backbone and the rests attached at the bones as well as the lower drumstick parts, went into a blender and were pureed. The bones and scrappy skin parts, grizzles and sinews went into 1 liter water with a little ginger root, garlic, leek, parsley stems, little salt and brought to a rolling boil. After removing the foam I let it simmer.
The deboned thigh parts were cut into  a rectangle shape  (scraps into the blender). I sprinkled with salt, let the thighs rest a bit and patted dry with a paper towel.
I roasted diced mushrooms with onion and parsley in a little oil until the liquid has evaporated, seasoned with pepper, salt and a little soy sauce (just a few sprinkles).  When cooled down I mixed in the finely pureed meat.
On each deboned chicken thigh (meat side up) I placed 1 tablespoon mushroom-mix and rolled it up.  I fixed each chicken roll with 2 wooden toothpicks.
The rolls were placed, toothpick part up, in an oiled roasting pan and went into the oven for 20 minutes at 200 degree  Celsius.  Afterwards I turned the rolls toothpick parts down and let them roast for about 25 minutes until nicely browned - once in a while I basted the rolls with broth and added a little broth into the pan.
When the rolls were done – juices should run clear when the meat is pricked – I removed the rolls from the roasting pan:

Roasted rolls
I removed the fat from the roasting liquid and added 3/4 cup broth into the roasting pan, 1 teaspoon soy sauce, 1 tablespoon mirin and stirred while cooking until all browned roasted parts came loose and let the sauce simmer until reduced to half. After sieving I seasoned again.

I served a small salad as side dish (and rice and steamed leek pimped up with mustard vinaigrette):
Chicory (witlof) leaves with tangerine
Just 2 chicories (  cut into thick slices (pieces), 2 tangerines sliced and halved with a little dressing made from salt, vinegar, mustard, oil, honey and cress.
Chicory goes well with tangerine:  the bitterness mixed with sweet and slightly sour freshness tastes so good during winter times.