I had a difficult time in March… but spring has come, bringing hope to everyone.
Sakura is great, but I love canola flowers that tell us coming of early spring. Yellow gives me strong power to live.
I found canola flowers in a supermarket, so made miso soup with lotus root.
My husband visited our relative and harvested lots of vegetables last November, one of which was chrysanthemum.
In traditional Japanese cooking, we don’t really use edible flowers a lot, except for chrysanthemum and nanohana (canola flowers).
Typically chrysanthemums are used for sunomono, Japanese vinegared food.
But we got quite a lot, so I used some for miso soup.
To prepare, I picked petals off from the flowers and boiled quickly in the hot water with vinegar.
In the miso soup, I added Chinese yum together with chrysanthemum. Both of them are good for health – they have been used as traditional natural medicine.
Have some miso soup to warm you up on a cold day…
Mix minced meat, chopped Chinese chive, salt, pepper, sake, and soy sauce to make meat balls.
Cook meat balls in boiled broth, add miso paste and seven in a ball!
Happy New Year!
I would like to start this year’s blogging with the topic of nanakusa-gayu we eat on January 7. This is to pray for good health as well as to sooth our stomach by eating warm porridge after we eat a lot during the new year’s vacation.
As I introduced two years ago, the seven herbs are: water dropwort, shepherd’s purse, cudweed, chickweed, nipplewort, turnip and radish. They are called “haru-no-nanakusa (7 spring herbs)”.
This year, I got the assortment including red turnip and radish, which made the porridge look more colorful and fun.
Cook rice with five times the amount of water to rice. Boil and cut the herbs to add into the porridge. Serve with salt or soy sauce.
If you go and order a miso-soup combo in local restrants in Okinawa (southern islands in Japan), you will be surprised to see how big that miso soup is! Okinawan-style miso soup is filling and nutritious, using lots of ingredients. There are not strict rules – the important thing is to put lots of veggies.
I used bean sprouts, cabbage, carrots, onions, tofu, eggs, garlic and luncheon meat.
You can replace:
- cabbage w/ lettuce (if you use lettuce, add it just before adding miso paste)
- luncheon meat w/ pork or other processed pork like bacon
Here’s how I made it.
- Drain tofu (momen-type) to make its texchure like shima-dofu (okinawan-tofu) and cut (If you use shima-dofu, skip this process).
- Cut veggies and luncheon meat, then stir-fry with sesami oil in a pot.
- Pour water or broth and cook until soft.
- Add tofu and a spoonful of grated garlic.
- Add miso paste as you like.
- Drop an egg/person and boil as you like (like poached egg)
- Serve in a bowl!
Do you know “kanpyo”? It’s dried gourd shavings – brown, soft, sweet things often found in Japanese sushi rolls.
Last month, I got uncooked kanpyo for the first time in my life! It was produced by my relative who live in Tochigi – this area is famous for kanpyo production.
Kanpyo is a healthy food, abandunt in fiber, calcium and potassium. Like me, however, most of the average Japanese are not really familiar to uncooked kanpyo. When I’m not sure how to cook, I always try to put it in miso soup – Miso never lets me down!
One thing you should keep in mind cooking dried kanpyo is to scrab with salt when washing. Then boil about 15 minutes, cut it to the proper length.
This time, I also add beaten eggs in it, which went quite well with kanpyo.
Another experiment – I added green peppers for miso soup for the first time and it worked quite well! It went well with eggplants. Try it if you have a chance 🙂
It is said that Jew’s mallow was introduced in Japan in 1980s. But like other vegetables with sticky textures, it goes very well with miso.
Simply cut and boil the leaves in broth and add miso paste.
Looking for more miso soup ideas? View my full list!
I didn’t know “shibui-jiru” before I got married with my husband from Okinoerabu, a southern island in Japan.”Shibui” means winter melon in the dialect of his island, and “jiru” means soup. Soup using winter melon is quite popular in Amami and Okinawa islands.
Since I met this soup, I came to make it every summer. Indeed, winter melon is effective to cool down the body heat.
Ingredients: 1/2 winter melon, 300g chiken thigh, 5 dried shiitake mushrooms, sake, mirin, soy sauce, salt
- Soak dried shiitake mushrooms until soft and slice them. Do not throw away the water used to soften the mushrooms, which will be added in the pot later.
- Peel and cut winter melon.
- Cut chicken thigh.
- Put all ingredients in the pot. Add water and boil until they become soft.
- Flavor with sake, mirin, soy sauce and salt.