Wednesday, June 13, 2012

2012 Summer in Hell's Kitchen - Story 7

2012 Summer in Hell's Kitchen - Story 7


School is out and summer is here.  When I was a kid, I often woke up late when no school, and found the breakfast was already over.  So, I usually checked a fridge and see what was available.  The fridge was always packed with various veggie dishes which compliment steamed rice so well.  These dishes are either pickled or cooked so it is safe in Summer, and lasts for a while in the fridge.  Most importantly, healthy, nutritious, and yummy!      

Overslept?  Check your fridge for your breakfast!
 Main act of this menu is steamed rice.  I added a little bit of Quinoa to raw rice, but it makes sense to keep the rice simple and plain, cuz there are lots of condiments to be enjoyed with rice.

Miso soup is made with veggie stock made of kelp and dried shitake mushroom.  I added pre-cooked kale which was boiled and stir-fried with garlic and olive oil yesterday.     
1. Simmered kiriboshi daikon radish with carrot.
2. Spicy carrot in kimpira-style with sesame oil
3. Stir-fried Kale with Mushroom sauce

1. Spicy enoki mushroom
2. Radish pickled with salt and vinegar
3.  Soy soboro - made of okara
4.  Chopped and minced ginger
I got a recipe for Chopped and minced ginger on Youtube.  This is a recipe recommended by Japanese Figure ice skater, Daisuke Takahashi. He mentioned that he eats rice called "Gold & Silver" with Soy marinated ginger prior to competing on the skating ring for good luck!  Basically, just mince up ginger and simmer with soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, Kelp soup stock and shottsuru (I believe this is Japanese fish sauce - I used SHIO KOJI instead.)  It is definitely great with steamed rice.  Really easy to make.

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Have a nice day!!!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Making of Frozen Tofu (Koya Tofu) - My Humble Try on Shojin Cuisine

It has been days since I became hooked with Shojin Cuisine - its beauty, technique, seasonality and wonderful story & history embedded in each dish.   Have you heard of Koya Tofu? It is one of the most famous ingredients used for Shojin Cuisine.   Once upon a time, someone happened to leave his/her Tofu outside under cold weather and that is a birth of frozen tofu, known as Koya tofu.  Nutritious and it can be preserved for a long time.  In 2012 summer @ Hell's Kitchen NYC, here is my humble attempt to make Koya Tofu from scratch with modern equipment called... "FREEZER" (^^)
Koya Tofu soaked with kelp and mushroom broth
1.  Drain medium firm / firm Tofu well by adding a weight on tofu for several hours.  Then, wrap it in a kitchen paper and leave it in a freezer.
... here comes.. this is how frozen tofu looks like... its color changed slightly to yellow...
 2.  Leave it in a room temperature and defrost.  Drain well.  Wrap it in a kitchen paper and throw it in a freezer for the second time.  Then, defrost it again.
Defrosted... Tofu still contains a lot of water.  So, apply pressure on Tofu to drain excess water.  The texture is almost like sponge.  This process reduces Nigari in Tofu to bring out "protein" flavor of Tofu.

It shrank tremendously at the end.  Cut it into bite size.
 In a pot, bring the following to boil:
veggie stock (made of kelp and dried shitake mushroom),
soy sauce, just a right amount to turn color of broth into slightly brown,
sake, a bit less than soy sauce,
A key of this recipe is to use salt to adjust its flavor

Simplicity in its flavor helps me appreciate natural flavor of each ingredient... 

Simmer Koya Tofu in a pot with the above ingredients in low-heat ~slow-cooking~, and let Tofu soak up wonderful flavor and aroma of the soup.  
Served with shitake mushroom and sesonal veggies. 
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Sunday, June 10, 2012

2012 Summer in Hell's Kitchen - Story 6

2012 Summer in Hell's Kitchen - Story 6
Kenchin jiru & sauted Okara
I picked up a famous recipe for Kenchin jiru (veggie soup) which was originated in Kenchoji-temple in Kamakura, Japan.  Again, I had to replace some of the ingredients based on the availability of veggies in Hell's Kitchen, but, the flavor came out so simple, clear, and a full of natural flavors from veggies.  Great for summer detox.  Here is the recipe.

Ingredients (Serves 2-3 ppl):
1 Carrot, cut in rangiri-style
1 Potato (Used as a substitute for Japanese potato) cut in rangiri-style
Daikon radish, same portion as carrot or potato, cut in ichogiri-style
1 stem Chinese broccoli (Used as a substitute for Komatsuna) - Lightly boil in water with salt, then chopped in to 1/2 inch.
1 pack of Konnyaku = only 99 cents at Japanese grocery 
Burdock is omitted as it is luxury item in Hell's kitchen.

Veggie stock (leave kelp and shitake mushroom in water over night)
Soy sauce
Sesame oil
Medium or firm Tofu 1 pack (approx. 400g) 

1. Pinch Konnyaku with chopsticks (or forks). This is supposed to drain excess water from Konnyaku.  Then, break Konnyaku into small pieces by using the edge of a tea cup (or spoon).  In a pot in high heat without any oil, throw in Konnyaku pieces a few minutes.  This is to eliminate excess water and smell.  Then, set it aside.
2. In a pot in mid-high heat, add sesame oil, then saute carrot, potato, and daikon radish, first.  Then, add (1) and sliced shitake mushroom from Veggie stock.  Once all items are heated, add veggie stock and kelp in a pot to cover all the ingredients.  Simmer for 2-3 hours.  Occasionally remove white forms emerging to the surface of soup.

3. Add just a bit of soy sauce til the color of soup changes to slightly brown.  Add salt to adjust the flavor for your taste.  Finally, add boiled Chinese broccoli and Tofu (which you just crush into pieces in your palm.)  Add a bit of sesame oil at the very end.

Remember - this recipe was formulated in order to use up all veggies and not to produce any waste.  Any veggie skins, just chop it up and throw them into the soup (^^)

Thank you for reading my blog!
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Have a nice day!!!
I did a regular check-up on Miso which I started the fermentation process last month.  Looking nice and already started to smell like Miso.  The fermentation process accelerates in Summer. 

2012 Summer in Hell's Kitchen - Story 5

2012 Summer in Hell's Kitchen - Story 5

Eggplant & Garlic.  Zucchini & Sesame.  

Cashew  nutty croquette.  Tomato & daikon with creamy SHIO KOJI tofu.
~ Today's menu ~

My problem is... there are so many recipes I want to post to my blog, but I cannot catch up with it (^^)
 So, here is a recipe for ...

Ingredients (Serves 2-3ppl):

Okara 100g
Cashew nuts cream 100g (basically, blended soaked cashew nuts, miso, lime, garlic, and olive oil)
1/8 white onion, chopped
Fresh green veggie of your choice (1 stalk of green onion, chopped, and a bit of cilantro in my case.)
2 tbsp Soy sauce
Salt & pepper, as you wish
1 tsp Sesame seeds, slowly roasted in a pan

Soy milk or veggie stock
Oil (olive oil in my case)
Panko (any old bread - just dehydrate it then, blend it until it becomes powdery.)

1. Mix all the ingredients (A).  Add soy milk or veggie stock to hydrate, if necessary. 
2. Form balls with (1).  Then, coat it with a mixture of flour and water, then panko.  Fry it in mid-heat till the outer skin gets golden brown.
 Good appetizer for Summer (^^)  high protein, low carb.  Fried in olive oil!
I wish I made garlicky tomato sauce to serve with these croquetts...   

Thank you for reading my blog!
Once day, one recipe!!
Have a nice day!!!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Special Edition In BKLN : B & W @ Ouchi Gallery

June 7th, 2012. What a great day in BKLN, NYC 
Ouchi Gallery in BKLN, NYC was pleased to announce the opening of  "BLACK & WHITE" exhibition which features works of numerous international artists including the luscious work by Naoko Ogasawara.

A nice ride to BKLN crossing Manhattan bridge.  Ouchi gallery is located in this convinient yet hiding spot.

Everyone voted for his/her favorite artist.  Also, every guest picked either black or white wrist band to wear during the exhibitions - Yes, you must obey B & W theme. 

Found it!  The work by Naoko Ogasawara!
 I was asked by a film crew to talk about my favorite artist.  With no hesitation, I volunteered to talk about my fave, Naoko Ogasawara's BLACK themed work.  Hopefully, the artist does not mind my comments...

I looked a bit like a pushy sales lady from Hell's Kitchen due to my nervousness to a camera, and I don't remember if I could express myself well.  Anyway, here is what I wanted to say: 

"the imagery in this work is so sank in darkness, yet there is somthing trying to rise out of darkness and reach for brighter side of the (her) world.   Naoko successfully conveyed her message in this simple BLACK work without clearly articulating her intention.  Yet, in this work, her spirit clearly spelled out her desire and hope, and where she is heading to in her life. "   
Lots of works by international artists were presented.
So many visitors!

The opening was followed by live performance.  Good work!  Just a bit erotic for middle-aged male audiences.
And who was filming the performance?  That's my partner.  Anyone knows a good divorce lawyer?
 Naoko Ogasawara, please keep us posted on your new works and exhibitions (^^)
Remember to visit us in Hell's Kitchen, and continue to inspire us with your beautiful life, and works which are reflective and non-reflective of your continuity!


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Summer 2012 in Hell's Kitchen - Story 4

Summer 2012 in Hell's Kitchen - Story 4

Japanese-style clear soup - petals in pure fountain?
Grilled summer veggies & Japanese-style veggie-dressed rice.

1/4 Eggplant, 1 tomato, 1 clove of garlic and 2 mushrooms, marinated in SHIO KOJI over night.
Rosemary, as you wish
Olive oil
Salt & pepper, as you wish
Simply grill in all veggie in the oven in 325 - 350 degrees.  I recommend that tomatoes and garlic be cooked longer than eggplant as eggplant tends to be dry.  Finish off with drips of extra virgin olive oil.  If you need more flavor, I recommend the use of lime pepper.

2 cups of short-grain rice, cleansed with water and drained for a few hours.
1/2 carrot, thinly sliced
2 stalks of celery, diced
1 cup veggie stock (I use the stock made of kelp and dried shitake mushroom)
2 shitake mushroom used for veggie stock
2tbsp soy sauce
1tbsp mirin
1tbsp sake
Salt, as you wish

 1. In a small pot, simmer carrot, celery, and shitake mushroom with veggie stock, soy sauce, mirin and sake.  Do not overcook.
2. In a rice cooker or pot (I used Dutch oven), transfer drained rice and ONLY soup from (1).  Add salt and more water or veggie stock necessary, and cook rice.
3.  Once rice is cooked, add cooked veggies from (1).  Mix it gently. 

A few leaves of Chinese broccoli
1 red radish, thinly sliced
 1.5 cups veggie stock
Salt, as you wish
Soy sauce, as you wish - approx. 1-2 tbsp
1 tsp Katakuriko (or fine flour)

1. Heat up veggie stock and simmer (I use the stock made of kelp and dried shitake mushroom.  This works well for this kind of soup.)  Cook Chinese broccoli until the color slightly change to light green.
2. In the soup stock (1), add soy sauce and salt, then simmer.  Mix katakuriko and 2-3 tbsp water, then add to the soup stock to finish.
3. Cut-up Chinese Broccoli and add to a soup bowl along with sliced red radish.  Add the soup on top of it.

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Have a nice day!!!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Summer 2012 Hell's Kitchen - Story 3

 Summer 2012 Hell's Kitchen - Story 3

How to make SOY SOBORO:
Okara 200g
Veggie stock 7 tbsp
Soy sauce 4 tbsp
Sake 3 tbsp
Mirin 1 tbsp
Ginger, thinly sliced as you wish.
Dry Okara in low-heat on a pan.  Once dried with a bit of moisture remaining, add rest of the ingredients.  Once again dry in low-heat to the texture you would like.

3 cups water
3*3 inch Dried kelp
Kiriboshi daikon, a little bit
Soy sauce 7 tbsp
1 tomato 

1. Mix all the ingredients except for tomato and soy sauce.  Let it rest in the fridge over night.
2. Peel off skin of tomato.  Chop it up into small pieces.  Then, using a cloth extract natural tomato juice.
3. Add tomato juice and soy sauce to (1) and simmer for a few minutes.     

Finally, how to make CHILLED TOMATO NOODLE WITH SOY SOBORO(Serves 2):
Eggplant 1 slice, diced
Zucchini 2 slices, diced
1 Tomato, diced
1 Red radish, sliced
Buckwheat soba noodle 90g
Extra virgin olive oil
Goma shio (roasted sesame seeds & salt) as you wish

1. In boiling water, cook buckwheat soba noodle til it is tender.  Splash cold water over the noodle and rinse well after the boiling process is complete.
2. In a small pot, lightly fry zucchini and eggplant.
3. Serve 1 and 2 on a plate.  Add sliced red radish, diced tomato, soy soboro, gomashio.  Finally, pour the sauce over the dish.

Thank you for reading my blog!
One day, One recipe!!
Have a nice day!!!