November 28, 2009

Green Curry : sweet potato and eggplant

I cooked the curry with my homemade Green curry paste. Of course, you can cook it with bottled prepared paste. It would be good enough.
I'm sorry, you can not see the sweet potato and the eggplant in this picture. It doesn't mean it dissolved. I greedily served too much sauce in a deep bowl and every thing sank to the bottom. And the color looks white but it was a beautiful light green. So, the red pepper sets off the curry remarkably. Imagine, please.

comment from Mrs. P.
We love the curry! The fragrance of the curry was wonderful and the heat was perfect - not too hot. And the color of the rice was beautiful!

(serves 2)
2 cups of cubed eggplant
1 cup of diced sweet potato
2 tablespoons of green curry paste*
1 caned coconut cream
1/2 cup of sliced red bell pepper
1/2 teaspoon of kombu tea or kombu dashi powder
1 teaspoon of Garlic soy sauce( or soy sauce
1 cup of Jasmine rice
1 teaspoon of curry powder
extra virgin olive oil, sea salt

First of all, let's cook the rice. Measure 2 cups of water into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Add 1 cup of the rice, a pinch of salt, the curry powder and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Cover the saucepan with a tight fitting lid. Lower the heat and simmer 15-20 min or until all the water is absorbed. Remove from heat and allow to sit, covered, for 5 min. Fluff with a fork.
Put the sweet potato, the kombu tea or the dashi powder and 1 cup of water in your pan. Bring it to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the potato is tender. Put 1 tablespoon of the olive oil on a frying pan and bring it to medium heat. Put the curry paste and stir until the aroma comes out. Add the eggplant and fry lightly. Add the potato with the water and the coconut cream. Bring it to a boil and simmer 3-5 min. Add the red pepper, the soy sauce and salt to taste. Dish up with the rice.

*Green curry paste
1 bunch of fresh coriander
1 tablespoon of minced fresh lemon grass
10-15 jalapeno peppers
1 cup of fresh basil
1/2 medium onion chopped
5 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon of ground coriander seed

Put the all of ingredients in to your food processor and mix well. That's all!!
Keep it in your freezer.

November 21, 2009

Baked stuffed pepper

I like to cook the entire vegetable in order to use all its nutrients. Anyway, it is easy.

comment from Mrs. P.
The stuffed pepper is perfect for fall - colorful and tasty.

ingredients (serves 2)
2 bell peppers ( red, orange or yellow) Cut 1/4 off the top, remove the seeds. Keep the bottoms as cups and dice the tops.
1 cup of diced baguette
2 tablespoons of minced onion
1.5 cups soy milk
1 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon white miso
(1/4 teaspoon kombu tea powder or kombu dashi powder: if you have it.)
extra virgin olive oil, salt and white pepper


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees ( 180c )
Put the diced pepper and the baguette to the pepper cups.
Put a tablespoon of olive oil in your pan and bring it to low heat, add the onion and fry until the onion becomes translucent. Add the flour and stir well, add the miso and 1/2 cup soy milk stir well until it becomes smooth. Put the remaining soy milk to the pan and simmer while stirring until thickened. Salt and pepper to taste.
Fill the pepper cups with sauce, stopping about 1/2 inch from the tops.
Put them to the oven, and bake 30-45 min.

November 15, 2009

Fennel, Orange and Barley Salad

I like fennel very much. It is a popular vegetable in Italy. Today, I cooked it with oranges. They make a good combination. And I also like barley's texture. This salad definitely refreshes you.

comment from Mrs.P.
The fennel was delicious. I had never had it before because I thought it would taste like licorice ( not my favorite ). It's wonderfully fresh tasting with the orange and the crispy/chewy texture are great with the barley!

1 fennel bulb sliced ( keep a few leaves for topping )
2 oranges cubed (cut off the both ends and pare the skin). Keep their juice ( squeeze the juice of the flesh left with the skin ).
1/2 cup of barley
1/3 cup of minced parsley
extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, sea salt, black pepper

Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of salt on the fennel, mix it lightly, and keep it in your fridge for a while.
Boil the barley until soft and drain. Put 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil, a pinch of salt and pepper on the barley and cool it.
Put the diced orange, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, salt and pepper on your bowl and mix.
Squeeze the fennel and put it into the bowl. Add the orange, the barley, the parsley, 2 pinches of salt, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1-2 teaspoons of balsamic vinegar, the orange juice, a pinch of pepper and mix well. Dish it up, put the fennel leaves on the top.

November 3, 2009

Miso soup and Mushroom pilaf

I often cook Miso soup, especially potato and onion. My husband loves it.It is a very usual dish in Japan.
As you know, Miso-paste is made from soy beans. Normally we cook Miso soup with kombu( dried-kelp) and dried-fish stock. In the old days, Japanese people ate only rice, vegetables and a little bit of fish. So Miso soup was very important for providing protein. Kombu, dried-fish, miso - each of them has a lot of amino acids. We have a term in Japan for protein, UMAMI, which is one of the five generally recognized basic tastes. Of course, I couldn't use fish for vegan so I cooked it with kombu and dried-shitake mushroom. Dried-shitake also has a good amino acid. you can make good soup by mixing different kinds of amino acids.
Fall is the season of Mushrooms in Japan. People often eat Mushroom rice in this season. The changing of seasons is quite noticeable in Japan. We love to transport the sense of the seasons to the table. So I also cooked Mushroom Pilaf today.

comment from Mrs. P.
I never had miso soup with potatoes - what a wonderful surprise!
The Mushroom rice is rich tasting and fragrant!

Miso Soup - potato, onion and carrot
2 medium size white potatoes, chopped
1/3 cup of carrots, sliced
1/4 medium size onion, sliced
1 piece of green onion, minced
4in. of kombu wiped with a moist paper towel very gently (you can choose 1 teaspoon of kombu-tea powder 0r 1 teaspoon of kombu-dashi powder )*
4.5 cups of water ( If you choose the powder you need 4 cups of water)
2 pieces of dried shitake mushroom soaked in 1 cup of water (2 - 8 hours) - use 2/3 cup of stock for Miso soup and keep 1/3 cup of stock and the shitake mushroom for pilaf
2 - 4 table spoons of white miso*

*kombu-tea powder :
*kombu-dashi powder :
*about miso :


Put the kombu and the water in your pan and leave for 1 -3 hours. Bring the pan on middle heat and warm it up slowly. Take off the kombu just before it starts boiling. Now you get kombu stock ( Kombu-Dashi ). The method is not easy even for Japanese. You have to chose good kombu, have to wipe it VERY gently, have to control the temperature, etc., but don't have the POWDER!! Put the powder and the water in your pan! That's all. You get kombu stock.
Any way... put the potato, carrot, onion and 2/3 cup of shitake stock into the kombu stock. If you don't cook mushroom pilaf, add the soaked shitake mushroom, sliced. Bring the pan on high heat to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the potato becomes soft. Skim off the scum and turn off.
Put 2 tablespoons of miso in your small bowl, bring a bit of ladle soup from the pan, put it into the bawl and dissolve the miso well. Put it into the pan, stir and sample it. If you need more miso, add more miso in the same way to taste.
Just before serving, heat on low, turn off just before it starts to boil and put in the green onion. (Never boil miso! It makes it lose its flavor.)

Mushroom pilaf - soy sauce flavor
1.5 cups of Japanese rice
2 - 3 cups of various fresh mushroom sliced ( I cooked clam shell mushroom, white mushroom and brown mushroom)
1/4 cup of chopped carrot
1 clove of garlic sliced
3 teaspoons of minced parsley
1 table spoon of extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon of white wine
1 table spoon of soy sauce
1/2 tea spoon of kombu- tea powder or kombu-dashi powder
a pinch of sea salt
1.5 cups of water
2 soaked shitake mushrooms, sliced and 1/3 cup of shitake mushroom stock ( These were kept from the "Miso soup" recipe )

Put the garlic and the olive oil in your heavy, lidded pan. Bring it to low heat and fry the garlic very slowly until golden. Put the mushrooms in the pan, up the heat to medium high, and fry lightly. Add the rice and fry until rice becomes translucent. Add the white wine and stir it lightly. Add the water, the shitake stock, the shitake mushroom, the carrot, the soy sauce, the kombu-tea powder (or kombu-dashi powder ) and the salt. Put the lid on the pan, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 12min. Take the pan off the fire and let it steam for 10 min. Put the parsley in the pan and mix well gently.