Shio-Koji Daikon Steak !

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This is really good.
If you have Shio-Koji, please try.
Daikon(White radish) become so sweet and so juicy in just few steps.
It might be my favorite Daikon dish.

Step 1: Cut Daikon.
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I used only upper part, because this part is sweeter than lower part.
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Cut into about 2cm – 3 cm.
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Step 2: Steam them first.
If you have steamer, you can use it.
I don’t have it, so I used normal pan with bit of water.
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Step 3 : Prepare marinade sauce. Only 2 ingredients.
Shio-Koji & Soy Sauce.

Shio-Koji (2 table spoons)
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Add soy sauce (2 tea spoons)
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Then mix well.
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Step 4 : Marinade Daikon with this shio-koji soy sauce.

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Step 5 : Pan grill them!!

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For both side until it become golden.
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That’s all. Easy huh?
It’s worth trying. Really yummy. Hope you enjoy this Daikon Steak!!
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Tamago kake Gohan – today’s my breakfast (Asa gohan)

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Today’s breakfast, main dish is…simply this!!
It’s Tamago kake Gohan, meaning, rice with poured raw egg.
We often have this for breakfast.
I guess, because it is very quick and yummy.
Good for morning.(Time is limited in the morning!!!)

Teda-.
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Side dishes were
Kiriboshi Daikon
Radish Pickles
as I introdued before.
And of course, Miso soup with full of Wakame seaweed.

Back to the main dish.
Egg! Important.
It have to be a very fresh one.
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Then break the egg.
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Add some Soy sauce.
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Now need bit work with rice.
Make a little dent so that egg can stay.
(Actually, this is just for looks)
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Then place the braked egg onto the rice.
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See? Looks nice.

Then, start eating!!
Mix the egg with rice.
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If you like, add some more soy sauce.
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Done!
Eat eat eat.
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If you can not use chopsticks well, don’t hesitate to use spoon.
This Tamago kake gohan is very slimy.
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To make this dish yummy,
it is important to use good soy sauce, too.
I used this.
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This soy sauce needed 2 years to be completed.
Following traditional method, carefully made. Amazingly, full of umami.
I visited this soy sauce store house while I am in Japan,
the report of my visit will come shortly.
If you are interested to purchase, it is available. Please contact me.

Deep fried summer veggies marinated in Shio-Koji sauce

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Well balanced acid taste sour improves your appetite!!
This Shio-Koji special sauce is the tip!!

This is the sauce. Mix all. Adjust each portion according to your favorite taste.
Shio Koji : 1 table spoon
Lemon juice : 1/2 tea spoon
Graded garlic : little bit
Water : 100 ml

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Cut vegetables.
Any choices from eggplant, pumpkin, zucchini, Okura etc.

Then deep-fry them without breading or batter!
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Mix the fried vegetables with marinate sauce.
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Dish up on the cooked rice.
Great combination with rice.
If you use the bowl to serve, then you can call it “Vegetable Don” !!

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Quick carrot salad with Shio-Koji dressing

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When you want one more little plate with your meal, this is the way.
Quick, yummy vitamin colour salad!

Ingredients.
Carrot and lemon.
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First, prepare, Shio-Koji dressing.
Shio-Koji, lemon juice and black pepper. Mix well.
Other citrus like Yuzu is good, too. Vinegar will work, too.

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Grate carrot.
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Then, mix the dressing with grated carrot!
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That’s it!
Here is beautiful salad in front of you!!
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Tuna tail steak ~Garlic Teriyaki sauce~

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If you have a chance to go to the fish market, get tuna tails.
That cheap tuna tails turns into yummy dish with Soy sauce.
And it is very easy.

 

Ingredients!
Tuna tail
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Seasonings.
Soy sauce, Sugar, sake.
Mix them all.
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Oh, and potato starch if you have.
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Lightly coat the tuna with potato starch.
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Well, let’s start cooking.

Cook the chopped garlic & ginger with bit of olive oil on the pan until you can smell nice fragrance.
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Take the garlic & ginger from the pan and set aside for a moment.
(The garlic & ginger will be used later)
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Grill the surface of the tuna tail.
This steps help to contain Umami flavor inside!!
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Both side.
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Then put the lid on, broil it thoroughly.
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When it is cooked, pour the mixed sauce (Soy sauce, sugar, sake) with garlic & ginger you used for the oil previously.
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Cook it until the sauce become little bit thicker.
(Just a few minutes)

 
Now prepare garnish.
It is not only garnish, it is to be eaten.
Super food, Daikon!!

Daikon is great vegetable to eat with fish,
why?
It is because Daikon removes the fish smell.
ALSO!! Enzyme in Daikon will help digest fish protein,
but remember, it has to be raw Daikon.

Therefore, we often use Daikon Oroshi (graded Daikon) when we eat grilled fish.
To make Daikon Oroshi, we use special tool.
There are some different style ( I might introduce some of them later),
but today I use plate type.

 
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The point to make yummy Daikon Oroshi is, make(draw) a circle on the plate.
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Eat graded Daikon with this yummy Tuna tail!
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Hope you enjoy ♪♪

Cooking class ~Japanese Barbie~

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Home style Japanese cooking.
Nothing fancy, because it is not a restaurant food.
But healthy, nutritionally rich, and more over, it’s easy!

Today’s menu was based on “Japanese Barbie”.
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Preparation. Marinade scallops with Shio-Koji.
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Cut veggies.
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Miso tasting. Tried 3 different type of Miso.
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Te da~. Our main dish of the day.
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Charmaine, Charlie and Hugh, thank you for attending my class.

One more dish from the soup of “Simmered daikon & salmon”

You should never waste the soup from “Simmered daikon & salmon“.
The soup has full of Umami. It’s yummy soup. Should use it again.
By using this soup, you can make another yummy dish easily.

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Just add one leaf veggie then you have another dish already.

Here is the soup from “Simmered daikon & salmon”.
Well, there is leftover salmon in the soup, but doesn’t matter.
Of course you can cook it with veggie.
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Cut some veggie. I used Chinese cabbage.
But doesn’t have to be Chinese cabbage, normal cabbage will work as well.
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Then just add into the soup!
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The tip is, add some Shio-Koji.
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Cook it for 10 min or so.
Until your veggie become cooked like this.

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Amazingly, vegetable become sweet.
Enjoy vegetable, Enjoy koji cooking.
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Simmered daikon & salmon. What a great combination

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Daikon is one of the great veggies to cook so many different ways.
It goes well with other veggie, also fish and meat.
This is one of the recipe from “with fish” version.

Here is Daikon.
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Cut into small pieces, shape you like.
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Put them into the pan.
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Add some water.
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Add salmon!
I normally use marinaded salmon with Shio-Koji,
but you can use simple salmon, of course.
Salmon fillet is pricy, but you can buy the other part than fillet.
Sometimes near the bone, near the head and near the fin.
It is cheaper and yummier.

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Slowly cook.
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Add seasoning. Soy sauce and Mirin. Cook for 10-15 min.
(until Daikon become soft)
(Try adding Shoyu-koji if you have. It gives more umami)
If the salmon is unsalted salmon, add salt, too.
(You can use Shio-koji in stead of salt)
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Leave it until cool down.
While it is cooling down, the taste goes into daikon.
Daikon will contain all umami and yummy taste from the soup.

This looks still young.
Believe me, it become more yummy next day!!
So…it’s good to make a lot at once.
Hope you enjoy Daikon dishes.
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This is the RICE KOJI !! Report of all hand process Rice Koji shop in Niigata

Can you see ??
This is one piece of Rice Koji.
Well, actually, one piece of rice which koji fungi propagates well.
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Rice Koji. In another word, malted rice.
This is the very important ingredients of Japanese fermented seasonings,
such as Miso, Mirin, Sake, Vinegar, Shio-Koji, Shoyu-Koji, Ama-koji.
What kind of quality of Koji you use…that is very important.

Here is a small shop in Niigata
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There is a five starts “Rice master” in this shop,
who has a passion for making good Rice Koji.
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At his shop, they are making Rice koji in traditional way. All by hands.
Why handmade rice koji become good quality? Why it’s good?
Because…they can feel more information about Rice Koji’s condition than machine.
Temperature, moisture, then colour, smell, ..all conditions, which cannot really express in numerical form.
Hands are such a sensitive organ. You can see, you can smell, your hands can feel.
Then look for and make the best condition for Rice Koji.

Since his shop is in Niigata where is rice-producing region, especially Koshihikari rice,
he wants to use Koshihikari rice when he make Rice koji.

Niigata’s Koshihikari is probably the most expensive rice in Japan.
It was sweetness and nice stickiness.

Rice fields in Niitaga.
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In autumn, it become like this, become gold all around.
It’s such a beautiful view.
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This is how to make Rice Koji at his place.
It is very hard work, requires your five senses, but very interesting world.
I was so drawn into this world.

At first, soak the Niigata’s Koshihikari rice in the water overnight.
Then, steam rice for about 1 hour.
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Then take some steamed rice out from this big steamer.
Literary, digging!!

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As soon he place the steamed rice on the working table,
they start to trying to make rice into pieces.
I hope you get my meaning,
normally (especially Kohsihikari rice), when rice is cooked,
cooked rice is clustered, right?
They have to make rice unclustered so that Koji fungus can reach each rice pieces.
In this shop, their work is all by hands as mentioned before.
Some shops use chemical at this stage, but they are strictly working by hands.
Just to make good Rice Koji.

This work has to be done as quickly as possible, otherwise rice stick together soon.
They continue this work until the rice cool down to 31℃.
(According to them, they know what is 31℃ like by touching, they don’t need to use thermometer to check temperature. Amazing!)

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Then sprinkle Koji fungus on these rice.
Very carefully.
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Then mix them again!
It was really beautiful team work!!
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Bring this lot to another room.
At this moment, rice is still just rice but, covered with Koji fungus.
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This is the Koji room!! In Japanese, Koji muro (糀室).
Spending time (45H) in this room, Koji fungus will increase into/all over rice.
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Rice (with Koji fungus) will be place in this box called Hegi.
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So many of them!!
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This is called Komo, which is made of rice straw.
This is like a blanket for Rice Koji.
This Komo is really good to adjust and control temperature and humidity,
which is very important elements making good quality Rice Koji.
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Because they make these Komo by their hands,
they keep rice straw like this.
(Of course this rice straw is Koshihikari rice one!)
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During sleeping in Koji-muro (for 45 hours),
they always look after Rice koji.
They have to check colour, smell/scent, feeling when they touch.
Use all of senses.
This is the difficult part, because every time, Koji grow different way.
This is the interesting part of dealing with “alive” thing.

So after 45 hours, Rice and Koji become lightly sweet Rice Koji! Finally!!

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Depend on the purpose, different type of Koji fungus will be used to make Rice Koji.
See the difference.
Left = Whitish Rice Koji, Right = Yellowish Rice Koji.
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In this shop, Whitish Rice Koji will be used for Amazake, Shio-koji.
Yellowish Koji will be making Miso.

Yes, they make nice Miso as well, and sell.
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There was a wooden barrel, too!
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At the shop, you can buy Niigata’s soybeans, good for making Miso!
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They makes Shio-Koji (salted koji), too.
Of course, used the high quality Rice koji, which I have just reported.
If you are interested in Shio-Koji and want to purchase,
it is available now.
Please contact me.
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Snap garden peas with Shio-Koji

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Sorry, it might be too easy.
Just boil snap garden peas (snow pea will be good, too) and mix them with Shio-Koji.
No more instruction, but very yummy-.

It is good for starter.
Crispy and naturally sweet.
It’s the taste of the quality ingredients and shio-koji that make these dishes work.
How simple it is!!

Boil!
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Let them cool down.
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Now, Shio-koji!
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Then mix well.
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That’s all you do.
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Try with other veggies, too!

**************
For anyone who have no chance to purchase Shio-koji around you shop,
we can send it to you.
Just give us a message.
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Try “Koji drink” @ cafe in Japan !

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“Koji” as a drink become popular in Japan.
Some healthy food cafe or organic cafe serve Koji drinks,
but now you can find a Koji speciality cafe.
Cafe where you can drink Koji related drinks!!!

Here is one of the Koji Speciality cafe you can find in Japan.
This is “KOUJI CAFE” and located in Echigo-yuzawa station in Niigata.
This station is famous for ski resorts area.

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All flavors are available for cold and hot,
and quite reasonable price.
Take away OK.

Amazake is the basic/standard one if you want to try.
No sugar added, but very sweet.
This is same as Ama koji, which I introduced in this blog before.
(Please check Ama-koji if you have interest)
It is natural sweetness from rice, but because of Koji effect,
rice become very sweet. What a great change!

I tried Koji-late. Amazake + milk.
It was quite nice, more milky mild.
Lots of different flavors are available.
Green tea, Apple, ginger, caramel, black sesame, soybean flour….
Can you imagine Koji drink with these flavors?
You must try!!

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Inside is like this.
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And…can you see the mark at the back?
There is Onsen (hot spring), too !!
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Wow, such a Onsen country. (Nice!)

Visiting kilns in Gifu ~ It’s a Mino world~

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When you think about Japanese cooking, Japanese tableware cannot be ignored.
It is actually such a important element to enjoy Japanese food.

When I moved to Australia, I shared a kitchen with other Aussies,
then realised how few eating utensils are used in the house.
Plates – big and small.
A bowl for soup or serials.
A cup for tea of coffee.

Mmmm, what a simple tableware!
Easy for washing (especially auto plates washing machine)
but not quite satisfactory when trying to dish up Japanese food.

In Japanese cooking, even it is home style,
lots of different tableware is used.
It is normally NOT A ” one plate dish ”
Plates and bowls are one of the point to enjoy Japanese food.

So anyway, I decided to visit famous place for pottery and porcelain to find beautiful plates while I am traveling Japan.

Tajimi city & Toki city in Gifu are famous for Mino-yaki (Mino pottery), which didn’t have many influences from other countries. Gifu is so inside of Japan geographically, far from seaside.

This is one of the kiln called ” Sawa gama “ and he is the potter, Potter Kani.
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He was very nice to us and explained a lot about pottery.
Temperature, methods, grazing, also kilning. It was very interesting.
Thank you very much, Mr. Kani!!

His beautiful work. Casual tablewares.
Of course, all hand made.
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From small size to bigger size, in same series.
Just beautiful.

This is typical shape in Japanese bowl called, Katakuchi(lipped bowl).
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This is his studio.
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wow-very neat.
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He also showed us his kilns.
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It is a climbing kiln, built in several connected sections on a hillside.
It normally takes 1 week to bake plates and pots in this kiln, all day and nights.
Use lots of woods.
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You need to look after the temperature (inside of kiln) all the time,
therefore once you start baking, you can’t sleep even taking turns.
What a hard work.

There are side windows.
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Here is some more his artwork.
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These bottles are glaze mixing bottle.
I found them in many places in this area.
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?? Oh, little guest, a grasshopper !!
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His studio was very nice old style Japanese house.
You can see a thatched roof, which you can hardly find in Japan nowadays.
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A valuable thing !!

Simmered Kiriboshi Daikon

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Japanese home food.
It’s mum’s taste, healthy & yummy.

“Kiriboshi” means, “cut” and “sundry” in Japanese.
When you harvest lots of Daikon in winter,
people cut and dry Daikon. This will be “Kiriboshi Daikon”
It’s a great preserved food!!

Every year, my dad make Kiriboshi daikon by his daikon from his farm.
It is such a peaceful moment to see cut Daikon in the garden.

But of course, you can buy it from Asian grocery store.

Now, how to cook Simmered Kiriboshi Daikon.

First, soak them in the water.
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Until it become like this. Then drain.
**Keep the soaked water ==> you can use as Dashi.
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Cut other ingredients.
-Carrot
-Fried tofu
-Shitake mushroom

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Place some oil into the pan and stir Kiriboshi Daikon and vegetables.
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Stir a few minutes, then pour soaked water as Dashi.
If soaked water was not enough, use Katsuo dashi or Kombu dashi.

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Then add some koji seasoning.
Mirin x 2 table spoons
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And soy sauce x 1 – 1.5 table spoons
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Put the drop-lid for simmering.
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Cook it for 10- 15 min.
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Teda~.
This is Japanese home food. Mum’s taste.
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Everyone loves ! Japanese handroll sushi

When family or friends gathered, we often have Temaki-zushi. (handroll sushi)
It is not a everyday’s food, that’s why it’s special!!
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It is a good meal for birthday party or when you have many people.
To me, it’s always fun memory food. Memory with fun conversation, laugh and smile.

Prepare ingredients, sushi rice, and then Itadakimasu!
Each one will make their favorite one.

Well then. I will show you from preparation.

Buy your favorites ingredients.
Popular ingredients are :
Sashimi, avocado, Natto, canned tuna, egg, cucumber, sliced cheese, shiso leaves …..
(Basically, whatever you like)

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This is optional, but I always put Shio-Koji around Sashimi (Tuna and Salmon) and leave them for a while.
(It’s a tip for having yummy sashimi)
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Start cutting ingredients.
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Prepare Negitoro. Negi means Spring onion or leek.
Toro menas fatty tuna.
Cut the Negi and chop with fatty tuna.

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Next! Natto~~. Stinky yummy Natto.
Mix with soy sauce and put them into small bawl.
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Canned tuna!
Mix it with mayonnaise.
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and??
Oh, don’t forget Sashimi.
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Cut all of your ingredients, and dish up nicely !!
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Prepare sushi rice.
Cook rice and mix with Sushi vinegar.
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Done! It look so shiny.
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Well everyone! Itadakimasu♪♪

Do you know how to make Temakizushi?
It’s easy. First, get Nori (seaweed on your plate)
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Then put some rice onto Nori.
Not too much, just a thin layer.
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Make it flat!
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Then put your favorite ingredient!
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Put it onto the rice.
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Then start rolling.
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And….just eat !!
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Here is another version.
Cheese and tuna.
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Te da~~.
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This little boy likes Tarako (Cod fish egg)
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If you like, you can enjoy wasabi soy sauce.
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Just like this.
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Other version!
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Of course, we have it with miso soup!
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As you can see, there is no rules in Temaki-zushi.
Just enjoy with family and friends!!!
Have fun!

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Grilled “Abura-age” (Fried Tofu)

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Easy side dish series.

This is grilled “Abura-age”. It is a deep fried tofu, but thin one.
How thin?
Like this.

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Normally, 2 or 3 pieces in one pack.
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Today’s side dish is…just grill this “Abura-age”.
Nice and crispy.

Cut in bite size and chopped spring onion on top.
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Then Soy sauce !!!

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That’s it. Sorry too easy.
What a simple dish.

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Simple taste is the best, but that’s why you need to use good quality soy sauce !!
Good quality seasonings are the basic for Japanese food !

Daikon salad – Tahini & Soy sauce dressing

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There are many daikon salad recipes, but here is an easy but rich flavor with tahini.
Daikon so useful vegetable for many different dishes.
Pickles, in miso soup, simmered Daikon, graded for fish….etc
Salad is one of it.

For this Daikon salad,
seasonings are…
Tahini and soy sauce.

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Soy sauce makes this dressing suddenly Japanese flavor.
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And add vinegar and mirin for more taste.
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Mix all well.
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If it is too thick, add some water.
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Done! This is your yummy dressing !!
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Cut Daikon and mix with the dressing.

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Maybe you need only 10 min to prepare this salad.
Enjoy~ ♪

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Best scallop dish ever

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If you have scallops, how do you cook them?

I personally believe, this is the best way.
Just simply cook them and eat them with soy sauce.
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So yummy!! So easy !! So healthy!!
In Japan, quite often seen in BBQ, but you can cook it at home, too.

Put scallops on the pan and cook them with medium heat.
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Pour little bit of Sake, then wait until it cooks.
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Put soy sauce on cooked scallops.
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Another option is, put soy sauce on scallops, and keep cooking them on the pan.
If you like, you can add a little bit of butter. (Butter and soy sauce works well)

I’m sure that you cannot wait to eat them now. Smells so good!!
Not only the smells, it is fantastic taste!
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Japanese Crispy Fried Chicken – Marinated in Shio-Koji !!

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Marinate in Koji (Shio-Koji) is one of the best way to receive benefit from Koji. ( I believe )

When I eat this marinated in koji chicken karaage (Tatsuta age) first time,
I was so surprised how soft and yummy it was.

What you need to do is just marinate chicken in Shio-koji over night.
This one step makes so much difference of your Karaage or Tatsuta age!!

“Preparation”
Cut chicken breast or chicken thigh into bite sized pieces.
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Then marinate in Shio-Koji for over night or for 1 day. Preparation – done!

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“Next day”
Start cooking ! Pour soy sauce.

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Add chopped ginger. (If you like, garlic will work, too)
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Then mix well and let stand it for about 10 -20 min.
(Marinate again!!)
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Coat the chicken with potato starch or flour.
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Deep fry them in oil until it becomes golden colour.
(Oil temp : 170 – 180°C)

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That’s it.
Enjoy the fantastic Koji effect !!
It’s so nice and soft, juicy and tasty.
It stays soft even it become cold, so it is good for lunch box, too.
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Japanese weekend brunch

Here is easy Japanese breakie & lunch for the day you slept in.
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Omusubi (rice balls), miso soup, rolled egg and pickles.
Perfect !

Make dashi for miso soup.
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Cook rice and make rice balls as you like.
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While cooking rice, make rolled egg.

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Add some mirin.
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And start making it.
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Roll roll roll.
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Done!
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Then back to soup.
Cook some vegetable ( I used Daikon for this day) in dashi soup, and add fried tofu.
(For miso soup, you can put anything you like, that is good thing about miso soup. No rules)
Take some miso paste in the ladle. Then let it dissolve in the soup.
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Serve with spring onion.
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Of course, enjoy with Japanese tea.
This is my favorite sannen bancha from Happy Mukojima farm. Click here for my report.
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Have some pickles from your fridge, too!
Click here how to make this pickles.
Then it become proper Japanese breakie or lunch.

Itadakimasu !
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Simmered Spanish Mackerel in Miso

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Fish actually goes well with miso.
Especially, a little bit of sweet miso.

Simmered mackerel in miso is one of the famous Japanese home dishes. Taste of mum!
The other day, I’ve got Spanish mackerel, so I tried to simmer it in miso,
it goes well, too!! Do you want to try it too?

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Cut the spanish mackerel into bite size pieces.

To get rid of smell of the fish,
blanch the fish by pouring boiled water.
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Then soaking in iced water.
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Cut spring onion, 4-5 cm long.
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In the pot, place water (1/2 cup), sugar ( 1.5 table spoon), Sake (2 table spoon) and bring it to boil.
Once it is boiled, put the fish in. Then add a little bit of soy sauce (1/2 table spoon)

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Mix miso and mirin in a cup.
Miso=2 table spoon, Mirin = 1 table spoon.
Take some liquid from above mentioned pot to make miso sauce softer.
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Add the miso sauce to the fish pot.
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Add cut spring onion, sliced ginger, too
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Use the small lid (drop lid) in the pot, then simmer the fish for about 10 min. (Low-medium heat)
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It can be nice main dish for your tomorrow’s dinner ♪♪

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Osekihan !! Japanese celebration rice !!

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Have you eaten Osekihan?
Osekihan, meaning, red rice. In Japan, osekihan is served for celebration .
Birthday, school graduation, wedding….

You can also get it from most of convenience stores in Japan. They are about 100 yen.
Osekihan is actually filling ♪ I love it.

Only 2 ingredients.

Glutinous rice (Sweet rice?) 360cc
I got it from Asian grocery store in the city. (Russel Street, Melbourne)
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Red beans. 40g
You can get organic red beans from Terra Madre. (Northcote, Melbourne)
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First, cook the red beans.
Bring it to boil then make it low heat then keep cooking about 15 min.
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Cool it down.
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Keep the boiled water.
It needs when you cook rice to make rice nicely natural red.
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Wash the rice and soak in the water for 10 min.
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Before cooking the glutinous rice, put it in a strainer to let the water drain off.
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Add red beans boiled water
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Then start cooking wit medium heat, bring it to boil.
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When it boils, make the heat low and add boiled red beans into pot.
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Put the lid, then cook it for 10 min.
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After 10 min, take pots off a fire, leave it for another 10 min. Steaming time.
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Now open~~~!!! Nice smell !!
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Mix it softly.
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Serve with salt and sesame seeds.
Yummmmmm.
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It’s good for party dish.
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Or you can make Onigiri.
Good for picnic as well !!
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Osekihan become hard if you put it into fridge.
It’s better to leave it at room temperature.

Grilled Salmon ~ Awesome Koji benefit !! ~

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Typical Japanese breakfast set !! Rice, Miso soup and grilled salmon.

This salmon is amazing! It is not just a grilled salmon.
It have to be marinated with Koji !!! (Ama-Koji or Shio-Koji)
The flavor will changed dramatically.

I cannot go back to normal salmon any more.

Why?
Koji is amazingly full of enzymes. It is often said “Koji is a mine of enzymes”.
One of the main enzyme in Koji is called “PROTEASE“.
This enzyme works for protein in food, such as salmon.
It makes food soft (one process of digestion).
The protein which was broke into small pieces converts to amino acid, which is Umami.

To shorten, Koji makes protein softer and yummier.

But! The Koji has to be raw, not the one with heat sterilisation,
because heat sterilisation will kill protease function of breaking down protein into small pieces.
Most of the Ama-Koji and Shio-Koji from shop in package are sold after heat treatment.
Therefore, you need to make your own one at home so that you can get all benefit from Koji.
(Here is how to make your Ama-Koji and Shio-Koji)

So if you have salmon at home, maybe try to marinate your salmon with row active Koji once.
Preparation is nothing compare to how yummy the salmon will be.

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At first, put the salt on the salmon and leave for a while.
Get rid of water/liquid from salmon. Wipe well.

Then place your salmon on the kitchen paper. Covered your salmon with it.
Put your Ama-Koji or Shio-Koji onto it.
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Then wrap it.
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Leave for over night at least in the fridge. Even 1 or 2 days.
You can even keep in freezer if you prepared a lot.

Just grill the marinated salmon !!
You will find the difference already when you are grilling. Smell beautiful.
But be careful, it will be burnt easily.
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Simmered Pumpkin ~Delightful home dish~

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Just 20 min for mum’s taste.
Japanese typical home dish, simmered pumpkin. It’s soft and sweet.
Try my easy (lazy?) way 😛

Remove the pumpkin seeds and cut the pumpkin into bite-size.
(If you like, you can bevel the edges of the pumpkin, it helps to remain the shape while simmering.
it looks nicer, but! I prefer to cook in shorter time –> so I don’t.)

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Place the pumpkin with the skin side down in the pot.
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Pour enough water into the pot.
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Seasonings are just these.
Easy!
2 table spoons of soy sauce.
2 table spoons of Mirin
2 table spoons of honey (or sugar)

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Soy sauce
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Mirin
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Honey
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Then, bring it to boil.
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Once it boiled, cover with a drop-lid and simmer over a low heat.
If you don’t have drop-lid, you can use aluminium foil in stead.

This is my favorite drop-lid with pig face on it ↓
Steam can go through from his nose.
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Put back the lid again and keep simmer for about 10 min.
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Check if it is cooked. Mmm, it looks bit more to cook.
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Now it looks good.
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You can eat now, but try to leave this for 30 to hour.
Taste become better !!

It is always mum’s taste!
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Vegetarian Gyoza with Shoyu-Koji sauce

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Do you like Gyoza (Dumpling)? What about making Gyoza at home for tonight?
This is one of my best vegetarian gyoza among many trials.
This Shoyu-Koji sauce matches your gyoza very well.

Let’s make sauce first.
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Prepare Shoyu koji and lime. Lemon works as well.

Take some of Shoyu-Koji from your bottle and squeese lime.
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Then mix well. Done!
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Next!
Cut the vegetables.

Cabbage !
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Onion and carrot !
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Mushroom !
If you use dried mushroom, soak it in the water until it become soft.
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Put onion, cabbage and carrot into the pot.
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Add some Shio-Koji on top. Then steam it slowly.
This step makes vegetable very sweet.

Once it steamed, put them into the bowl.
Don’t forget the mushroom as well.
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Then add potato starch and mix well.
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If you like, you can add ginger and garlic into this.
I normally put ginger.

Now making gyoza process.
I use this skin. You can get it from any asian grocery shop.
This is Japanese one. I like the thickness.
It is thinner than Chinese one. You can use whichever you like.
I sometime make this skin from scratch, but today make it easy.

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Take one skin, and put water at the edge. (Half side)
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Put the steamed vegetable on the skin, just one spoon.
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Then wrap it.
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Once you prepared, pan fry them.
I use sesame oil.
At first, use litte bit of sesame oil.
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Place gyoza on the medium heat pan, then pour the boiling water.
Put the lid and steam it.
Once skin looks cooked, then take the lid off.
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Now pour sesame oil again, heat up the gas.
Just few min until the bottom part become crispy !!
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Enjoy when it nice and crispy.
It is amazingly sweet and tasty.
Dip in Shoyu-Koji sauce!!
I normally eat more than 10 !! Can’t stop for sure.
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Miso soup ~Japanese everyday soup~

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There are many saying about Miso soup in Japan.
“A cup of miso soup in the morning is a great detox”
“Spend money to the Miso shops, not to the doctors”
“Miso soup is the elixir of life” etc.

All means Miso soup is good for you!

Miso soup is NOT a special soup.
It is everyday’s basic easy essential soup.
Why don’t you make Miso soup more casually?

There are many different ways to make Miso soup,
There are many different ingredients to use as well.
There are many different variations, that’s why it is fun to make, depend of your feeling, you can create your own Miso soup.

At first, prepare Dashi, soup base.
I use seaweed, Konbu! Crack them into small pieces.
(Because I want to eat this Konbu as well, as one of ingredients)
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And then, I use bonito flakes, too.
I prefer thick one, but today I run out of it, so used thin one.
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And~~ I also use dried mushroom, Shiitake.
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I use many things for making Dashi. It makes deep flavor. So yummy.
All of them (Konbu, Bonito flakes and mushrooms) become ingredients of Miso soup, so that’s OK.
This is your preference. You can only use one of them or two of them.
If you like, you can add more different one ♪ Enjoy Dashi world!!

Now, pour water into the pot. Leave the pot few hours if you can.
(If you don’t have time, that’s OK. Just go to next step)
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When dried mushroom become soft, you can cut it like this.
What I am trying to do is,,,,eat everything, even stone of mushroom.

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If you can cut it into small pieces like this, then it now become ingredients. It is not rubbish anymore.
Heat up the pot in low heat.

Main ingredients for today’s Miso soup are….
Onion and potatos~~!

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Cut them and add into the dashi, in the pot.
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Then heat it until boiling.
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Once it cooked, turn off the heat and add Miso Paste.
(If you have an interested in making your own Miso, click here)

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It is really nice if you can add 2 different type of Miso, if you have more than 1.
It bring you a deep flavor.
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Te dah~~.
Today’s Miso soup.
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Onion and Potato Miso soup.
Add spring onion on top if you have.

Itadakimasu♪♪

Because we are all busy, it is better if it’s “Easy” to cook.
But,,,you are what you eat!!
What you eat everyday is very important.
So, it is better if it’s “Nutritious” and “healthy” as well as “Yummy”.

That is my theme in cooking.
I hope you are also enjoying “Easy”, “Yummy”, “Nutritious” and “Healthy” cooking with this blog!!

Grilled rice ball ~Soy sauce flavor~

For your healthy snack, why don’t you try one of Japanese soul food.
It’s Yaki-Onigiri, means grilled rice balls.

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You can make this when you have leftover rice from last night.
Good, isn’t it?
(Both white rice and brown rice works well)

First, make rice balls.
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Prepare soy sauce.
Why we want soy sauce?
Yes !! We want Umami for rice ball ♪♪
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Then put your rice ball on the soy sauce plate.
This is so lazy way…by the way. Proper way must be…using cooking brush.
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Turn it over.
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Make sure all of the surface has soy sauce.
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Ready to grill. Put them into the grill.
Touch them gently otherwise it breaks easily.
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Grill both sides until it becomes golden colour!!
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Enjoy while it is still hot.
Smalls beautiful from the grilled soy sauce.

Red Shiso healthy drink

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Amazing colour. It is natural colour, reaction by vinegar !!
VInegar magic.
It seems Red Shiso (red perilla) is effective for many things, such as improving eye sight, protecting from allergy, beautifying skin, etc !!

Moreover, this drink is yummy and make you refresh.
You can enjoy both hot and cold.

If you have Red Shio, why don’t you try to make this drink?
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It’s easy.
Cook Shiso leaves in the pot.
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Then take all Shiso leaves out from the pot.
You only need this liquid after you cooked Shiso leaves. In another word, Shiso soup?
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Add some sugar.
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Then pour vinegar.
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If you use fruits vinegar, the taste become more mild.
I used Apple vinegar.
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Right after pouring vinegar, you can see the colour changes, from dark brown to amazing red colour.

Pour this liquid into the bottle to store. Keep in cool place.
If you add lemon juice at the end, it become nicer fresh flavor. ( I prefer with lemon!!)

What you made is liquid concentrate ♪
When you drink, just pour a little bit in your glass, then drink with water or soda water.

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In summer, you can put Mint leaves on top with ice cubes.
It is nice refresh drink.
Good for party drink, too.

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Enjoy♪♪

Turnip Pickles ~Shio Koji magic~

For pickles lovers. It’s a Shio Koji magic pickles.
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Ingredients

Fresh turnip
Lemon
Honey
Shio Koji
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Cut the turnip
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Then mix all ingredients.
(I used plastic bag to mix and store the pickles…it’s good for picking)

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Shio Koji

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Lemon for flavor

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Mix well !!!!

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Done !
Taste become much nicer and deeper if you wait overnight.

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If you can get “Yuzu” which is Japanese citrus, it’s even better!!!
Enjoy easy healthy pickles ♪♪

Veggie & Baby Octopus Miso Stew

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Getting cold in Melbourne. Good season for stew.
What about nice and hot yummy stew for this weekend?

Prepare before band.
Dip octopus in Shio Koji over night or even 1 day.
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This step is not difficult, but make obvious taste and texture difference.
Shio Koji (Koji bacteria) makes octopus softer!!
Shio Koji (Koji bacteria) increase Umami in octopus. Means this octopus become yummier!!

Let’s start cooking Miso stew!
I tell you first, it is very easy !! Basically, just cut vegetables and cook in the pot!

First, make “Dashi”. Soup base.
No need to prepare everything thought.
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Konbu (Seaweed)
Shiitake mushroom
Bonito flakes
Small dried fish
Dried Daikon (White radish)

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This is Dried Daikon. ( It’s home made)

Put all in the pot and pour water. Soak them for 3 hours if you can.
(If you don’t have time, you don’t have to wait for 3 hours. Just start cooking straight away)
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Then cook over low flame.

While you are making Dashi soup, cut the vegetables. Then add all vegetable into the Dashi pot.

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Oh, and zucchini, too!!

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Add baby octopus as well!
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Add Miso paste.
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You can melt Miso in ladle.
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Cook for 45 min in low flame. Cook gently and slowly.
It goes well with both rice and bread.
Very soft octopus (thanks Shio Koji!). It is amazingly full of flavor.
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Bettara-duke ~Daikon Sweet pickles by Ama koji~

Bettara duke is Japanese famous sweet Daikon pickles.
If you have Ama koji (Sweet koji), you can make it at home easily.
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It is nicely naturally sweet !
Yuuuuummmmmy.

This is how to make Bettara-duke. (べったら漬け)

Cut Daikon.
Of course, you can peel its skin. I just prefer to eat vegetable with skin!
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Put salt around cut Daikon.
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Put them into a container.
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Then put weight on the Daikon.
Mmm, I didn’t have proper weight, so I changed to cans.
With this weight and salt effect, Daikon will start releasing water from Daikon itself.
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Can you see water? I didn’t add any water, it is the water from Daikon.
(It takes one or two days to have water like this)
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When water comes to the top, then you can take Daikon out from container.

Now use Ama-koji (Sweet Koji) as pickling sauce.
Pour prepared Ama-koji into container. (Or you can get Ama-koji from Asian shops)
(This time, I added little bit of Mirin, that is why this pickling sauce looks little bit brown)
Then put the Daikon into the pickling sauce.

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In this pickling sauce, you can add chili or Konbu for more deep taste.

Wait one or two days. Ready to eat!
Fermentate gradually, then Daikon become really yummy pickled Daikon!
Enjoy fermentation healthy & yummy life!!
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Tamago-yaki ~Japanese Rolled Egg~

One of the most popular Japanese side dish (Okazu) for lunch box!
It’s Tamago-yaki.
Everyone loves it.
It adds nice colour into your lunch ♪
I make it with Mirin & Shio-Koji. Sometimes with Dashi, sometimes with sugar.
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It is not difficult to make!
Try for your tomorrow’s lunch.

Egg!

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Then add Shio-Koji (option)
I think, this Shio-koji makes Tamago-yaki taste yummy and mild,
but this is not essential!

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Then pour some Mirin ! This bring this Tamago-yaki nice and soft sweetness.

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Beat them well.

Then…
Oh, sometimes I add little bit of green bits.
Today, I had beans, so chopped them and added into egg.

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Prepare pan, pour little bit of oil and heat it.

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Then pour the egg into the pan.
First, pour half of egg.

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Then start rolling it !

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Then bring the rolled egg into your side.

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Start again! Pour rest of egg into the pan.

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and spread it all over the pan.

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Then start rolling again.

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Teda~~. Done!!

But if you make the rolled egg more nicely rolled shape,
you can use Makisu (rolling mat) !!
If your rolled egg didn’t go well, this rolling mat will fix it!
Try it when egg is still hot.

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Wait until it cools down, then open it !
See? Nice and rolled!

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Then cut whatever your size.
I normally cut for lunch box size.

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In lunch box, it looks like this.

Mmmmm, I need red or orange colour in this lunch box though.
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Or like this. Tamago-yaki is pretty popular thing in the lunch box.
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Sometimes we have this Tamago-yaki as breakie.
Here is a very standerd Japanese breakie. Of course, will be served with rice and miso soup !!

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Miso beans

If you get nice fresh beans, what will you make?

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I often make sesame seeds beans (Goma-ae), but today, I cooked without it. Just beans marinaded with Miso.
(Because….I used sesame seeds for another dishes. ;-p)

It is very simple but yummy. Looks like this ↓↓

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I will show you how to make this. Don’t surprise even it is too easy….
First, boil the beans.

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Put aside until it cools down naturally.

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While waiting for beans cool down, let’s make miso marinade sause. Prepare, Miso and Mirin
(You can use Honey or suger, instead of Mirin)

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Mix well. I use traditional “Suri Bachi”. It is an earthenware mortar, often used for grinding sesame seeds.
(Reference for people in Melbourne!! I found “Suri Bachi” at Clifton Hill kitchen-wear shop near the post office :-p )

My favorite Mirin : Mikawa Mirin

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Now cut the beans into mouth size.

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Put then into the marinated miso bowl.

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Mix them!!

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That’s all!! Easy, isn’t it?

Enjoy♪♪

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This Miso beans can be often found in Japanese breakfast !!
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Let’s pickle vegetables

It is so good when you know there is home made pickles in your fridge.
You can always add this to your dinner as “one more taste” or “one more colour”
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So! When you get vegetable, why don’t you make pickles?
When colourful vegetable meets vinegar, beautiful reaction will happen!
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This is one of my favorite vegetable for pickling.
Colourful turpip ♪♪

First, cut them into bite-size pieces, just like this.
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Then put them into suitable jar. (Please use hot water-heated jar with lid)
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Then, pour sweet vinegar, (rice vinegar + sugar = make it your favorite sweetness vinegar)
No need to pour a lot of vinegar, just little bit is fine !!!, which is like…1 cm from bottom probably.
Gradually, water will come out from vegetable and your jar will be filled with liquid.

This is little tip for you!
Then store the jar up side down for first few hours.
When you open the jar, the upper part of vegetable is totally pickled if you put jar up side down ;-p
Later, you can just store the jar normally.
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And~~~ that’s it.
You can enjoy home made pickles anytime you like.
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Cheese & Tomato canape ~Shio-Koji~

For your easy lunch or snack, what about cheese & tomato canape.
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However, there is a problem with Australian Tomatos. It tastes like patatos !!
What happen to them??
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Well. There is a easy solution here.
Shio-Koji makes your tomato miracle-yummy one.

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Slice tomato as usual, and put some Shio-koji on it.
This Vita-Weat is my hit recently.
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You will surprise how tasty the tomato is.
Shio-Koji saves Australian Tomatos. (Temporary though)
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Ama-koji Miso sauce potato

Easy side dish for your dinner! Natural sweetness is melt in your mouth.

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Miso, Ama-koji (Sweet koji) and potato. What a easy ingredients!!

Boil or steam potatos.
I used 2 different types of potatos to enjoy different texture.

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Mix Miso and Ama-koji.

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Mix your Ama-koji miso and just steamed potatos.

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Ready to serve~.
Simple, therefore you can enjoy the natural tastes of the ingredients!! Itadakimasu !!

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Salmon tomato sauce pasta – Shio-Koji magic –

Easy yummy tomato sauce pasta!
Today, we use tinned Salmon and tomato.
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Tip for this dish is again, Shio-Koji (Salt Koji) !!

First, prepare Salmon and Shio-Koji.
Tuna is also good alternative for Salmon.

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Mix Salmon and Shio-Koji and leave it over night.

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Koji bacteria works a lot again.
This step makes Salmon yummier (change protein to Umami) and give more nutritious,
also get rid of fishy stinky small.

Let’s start making pasta.
Normal step as you always make. Olive oil and chopped garlic.

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Then put onion. Wait until onion become golden colour.

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Start boiling pasta in another pot at this stage.

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Then open tomato tin.

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Put Salmon (The one you mixed with Shio-Koji last night) and tomato in to the pan.

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Prepare Shio-Koji again, and add it to the sauce.
If you like, balsamic vinegar and black pepper is also good for this sauce.

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So quick! It is quick, but full of Umami yummy tomato sauce is ready now.

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Serve with pasta. Put basil leaves on top. Enjoy ♫
If you like creamy pasta, you can add fresh cream for this sauce.

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Scallop and Vegetable stir fry

This is one of my favorite mum’s dish.
Looks yummy, isn’t it? It is really taste good.
The tip is using “Shio-koji (Salt Koji)”
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Prepare any vegetable you like and chop them up.
Green leaves vegetable looks good.
I often cook with different vegetables,
but introduce ingredients for this photo shoots as example.

Pak choy
Bamboo root
Quail eggs
Scallops
Crab meat (option)
Shio- Koji (Salt Koji)

First, lightly stir marinaded scallop with “Shio-Koji” and set asaide.

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Then stir rest of vegetables. Pour bit of water.
Spread “Shio-koji (salt koji)” on the vegetables.

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Steam them until vegetable will be cooked.

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Now you can put previously cooked scallops back.

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Add dissolved potato starch to thick the soup.

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At the end, add canned crab meat (option).

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It also good as a hospitality dish. Everyone will love it.
Serve with rice.

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