mulberryshoots

"Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" ~ Mary Oliver

Tag: Ohsawa soy sauce

“kale . . . beautiful kale!”

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My daughter is a big fan of kale. For a long time, I wasn’t. But, now I am.

Mostly, my change of heart is due to figuring out a way to cook it that’s both  tasty and easy to make. It was also important to learn that you can slice out the thick ribs and enjoy just the leafy greens. Plus, it’s cheap.

I bought a big bunch of kale at Whole Foods yesterday. The photo above shows the leaves cut from the ribs. The ribs go out and then I cut the washed leaves in small pieces. Then, back in the fridge until I stir fry part of them tonight to go with our supper of oven fried chicken thighs.

When I’m ready to cook the kale, I heat up a large skillet with a little skim of olive oil. Then I toss in a finely chopped shallot. When sizzling but not burning, I toss in the kale pieces. It cooks down quickly and I may add a spoonful or two of chicken broth. As it cooks down a little more, I splash in some Osawha organic soy sauce, a sprinkle of Marukan seasoned rice vinegar and a dollop of honey. Mix lightly and turn off the heat. By this time, the kale will be wilted and fragrant. Just about everybody likes the taste of this dish. If you try it, hope you will too!

cooking summer vegetables in the morning! . . .

raw eggplant, quarter-cut

eggplant cooked in garlic, peanut oil, soy, honey & grated fresh ginger root

Since I came home last Thursday with an armload of fresh vegetables from the local farm, I’ve been meaning to cook the slender asian eggplants, not wanting to have them languish too long in the fridge. I’ve discovered that cooking in the morning after breakfast suits me very well because it’s still relatively cool and most of the cooking for supper is done before lunch!

So today, I washed and sliced the golden beets in half and put them into a Japanese donabe pot with lid and about an inch of water. I placed the vessel in a cold oven and brought it up to 350 degrees and then 375 degrees, setting the timer for an hour. I’ve been putting off cooking these too because it’s too warm to heat up the oven around 5 o’clock in the afternoon. So, I’ll dress the beets in a Japanese vinegar, honey dressing when they’re cool for a side dish tonight.

In the meantime, I heated up a deep pot with a layer of peanut oil and chopped up a huge clove of garlic, letting it cook gently while I quarter cut the thin eggplants (cut on a diagonal, turn 1 quarter, cut diagonally, in chunks) until the vegetables were cut up and ready to toss into the simmering garlic oil. I used four slender eggplants and cooked them, adding just a little more vegetable oil over high heat midway, and a dressing of Ohsawa soy sauce (organic from VitaCost.) Mixed the eggplant well and added a dollop of honey (vs. sugar) and let it cook. Taking a large piece of fresh ginger root, I hand grated it on the large holes of a box grater (microplane was too small) and added a hefty amount into the cooked eggplant. Stirred it around and turned off the heat.

The eggplant and the beets will stay at room temperature on top of the stove until supper time to serve with bowls of hot jasmine rice.  Right before serving, I’ll chop up some fresh cilantro leaves and sprinkle it on top of the eggplant. So the only thing left to do is to start the rice cooker before dinner. Sounds pretty good to me!

 

ramen bowls for dinner! . . .

ramen-bowl

For the past weeks, I’ve been making bone broth in my new Instant Pot and also reading about how to make appetizing ramen one-bowl suppers. So today, I’m combining what I’ve made and learned for our first try at a customized ramen bowl for dinner. Here’s what I have to start with:

  • a lovely piece of char-sui pork (barbecued) from the Asian market that I’ll heat up in the broth before slicing and serving;
  • a container of bone broth to which I’ll add a scant spoonful of dashi powder and a spoonful of Ohsawa soy sauce for the “ramen soup base”;
  • fresh Chinese spinach – unlike Western spinach (see photo) – which I will stir fry, drain and cut up before placing with the other ingredients on the bowl;
  • 6-minute jumbo eggs with yolks that are still slightly runny, braised in a red-cooked sauce (soy, sherry, sugar) and cut in half just before serving;
  • fresh Chinese noodles from the Asian market – boiled ahead of time, rinsed and drained before adding to the ramen broth

I happen to have all of these ingredients on hand to prepare ahead of time and assemble to make our noodle bowls for dinner.

Here are some photos along the way ~

chinese spinach and fresh chinese noodles

chinese spinach and fresh chinese noodles

Chinese spinach (raw and cooked) to add to the ramen bowl

barbecue-pork-eggs

 

Char sui pork (barbecued) from the Asian market & braised 6 minute eggs

 

 

 

freshly cooked Chinese noodles

freshly cooked Chinese noodles

penultimate ramen bowls . . .

penultimate ramen bowls . . .

‘reward’ dinner notes . . .

reward dinner photo 1

This morning (Saturday of Labor Day weekend,) I made good progress in the living area. I hauled out all of the piles of things sitting around the room and grouped ‘like to like’: magazines, writing drafts, books, bills to be paid, etc. I consolidated the trash and moved the bins closer to the table. Cleared off all the extra stuff on our handsome pride-of-place soapstone countertop. Had a little more of a challenge figuring out where to put all the stuff that was being cleared away but that’s the way it always seems to be. And I don’t want to give it away either!

Second, I did two rounds of 30 minutes each and took a five minute break in between. Then, I decided to write checks, pay bills and prepare a package for mailing. Went to the post office, looked at a few things at TJ Maxx but decided to order online at Amazon instead. And finally wound my way back up to the fish market. The first piece a girl behind the counter cut for me was not big enough and still had the thick black skin of the tuna weighing it down. The second piece she cut for me was gorgeous. That’s the only word for it. tuna sashimi

On the way home, I thought the piece of yellowfin tuna was so fresh that I debated about whether to ‘dress it up’ and make one of the recipes for “Hawaiian Poke” (pronounced po-kay) with two kinds of onions (sweet and scallions), sesame seeds, nori and wakame seaweed, soy, sesame and a little honey for dressing. . . or serve it up straight and unadorned as a modest tuna sashimi with rice and cucumber salad on the side. I think I’ll let George be the arbiter of this difficult decision!

So, here’s the verdict and a photo of our meal: we both preferred to have the tuna sashimi-style with Ohsawha organic soy sauce and wasabi paste.

I cooked a pot of short-grain and brown rice in some dashi broth with a little soy added. (A teaspoon of instant dashi, a teaspoon of soy stirred into a cup of mixed rice (shortgrain white, sweet rice and shortgrain brown rice) with a cup and a half spring water in a rice cooker.)

cucumber wakame saladThis is what we have gotten used to eating and I call it “sticky rice” because of the sweet rice that’s included with the other rice. On the side, I’ll slice some English cucumber thinly and toss with some Japanese seasoned gourmet vinegar, soy, sesame and some wakame seaweed and a dab of sweetener. Yum!

Tomorrow, I’m going to tackle one of the bedroom areas and the plant room where the birds used to reside but are much happier being closer to us in the living room where they warble away every night around 7:10 p.m. right after the evening news. Go figure!