Welcome to my blog.

After a few random posts I've decided to dedicate this blog to my life long project of Japanese food
and culture (and my life in general).

Since my first taste of sushi back in 1997 I've been interested in, and frequently been making
Japanese food.
My interest in the country and culture started long before and continues to evolve.
I was lucky to finally visit Japan in October 2008 and hope to be back soon.
In July 2012 I visited Japantown in San Fransisco, the next best thing!
Both small and big adventures will from now on, as time permits, be shared with you.

I will post other recipes and pictures too, mainly cooking projects, plants and art projects
(including my new love - making kumihimo braided objects).

I hope you'll find it interesting, and feel free to leave a comment or ask questions!

I write mainly in English, but there will be some Norwegian too, especially posts about things
that mainly have Norwegian interest. Tutorials are bi-lingual.

Sunday, 21 June 2009

Instant Tsukemono




I bought a mix for instant pickles in the Japanese market, so I thought I'd give it a go.
Since the instructions on the packet is in Japanese, I had to search a bit to find out how, but hey, it's not that hard... I did get an advice to add some lemon juice and shiso, so I did that.
Otherwise: 200-250 g of vegetable of choice, I used cucumber and aubergine, add a pack of instant tsukemono powder, lemon juice, shiso to a plastic bag. Leave in the fridge for a few days.

I've already tasted some, and they're quite good. Next time I'll try to make my own tsukemono powder though... to escape the msg...

Friday, 19 June 2009

Cake! Pavlova... *non-japanese food*


Oh, I found this picture of the Pavlova I made for 17th of May (Norway's constitution day).
And it looks so nice I want to share it... and post recipe...

Pavlova

6 egg whites
4 dl sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vinegar
1 tbsp corn starch
1 tbsp vanilla essence

Whisk together, starting with egg whites and salt, then adding sugar and eventually vinegar and corn starch + vanilla.
When the meringue has become thick and shiny, pour in on a baking sheet where you've drawn a circle of about 26 cm in diameter. Form a circle of the mass.
Put it in an oven heated to 250 degrees C, switch the heat down to 100 degrees. Fry it on 100 degrees for at least an hour. Cool down.
Decorate with whipped cream, berries, vanilla cream....

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Renkon no ebi hasami-age, lotus root with shiso


So, I've taken a liking to renkon, lotus root. I bought fresh one this spring and used it all for chips, but I picked up a pack of frozen renkon as well. It's been sitting in my freezer waiting for inspiration... Then I got 2 renkon recipes from my Japanese friend Ryoko (thanks!), and yesterday I tried out one of them in a moderated form.
The recipe calls for a shrimp mixture to be put inside the renkon "sandwiches", but I decided to do it as a vegetarian side dish as I had no shrimps.
Update: I made it again with shrimps! Also good, and I took new pictures for this post.

Here's the recipe (including shrimps):

Deep-Fried Lotus Root and Shrimp Sandwiches

4 lotus roots (or frozen pieces to double to the number of shiso leaves)
6 - 8 shiso leaves
1/2 sheet nori, cut into strips

7 oz/200g shrimps
4 inch naga-negi onion (or spring onion)
1/2 knob ginger
1 tbsp katakuriko starch (or potato/corn starch)
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp sake
1/2 lemon

hakurikiko flour (normal flour)
oil for deep frying

Eat with ponzu, soy sauce with ginger, sansho salt or lime juice.

How to make it:
Shrimp filling:
De-vein the shrimps, and rinse them in cold water. Chop the onion and ginger finely. Place it in a food processor with the katakuriko starch, salt and sake. Run it until it becomes a fine mixture.

Cut the lotus root into 1/8 inch pieces, if too big, into half moons again. Soak them in water with vinegar for 4-5 minutes.

Dust the lotus root with flour and put a shiso leaf on one piece. Add shrimp mixture, if using, put another lotus root on top. Seal with a nori band. Sprinkle with more flour.

Deep fry in hot oil until crisp, but not brown. Turn once.
Garnish with lemon. Serve with dressing of choice.

Saturday, 13 June 2009

Happy times in my garden, except for some bugs..


Bok choi, daikon and green shiso outside.

My plants have finally moved outside, all except the small aka-shiso's
that are happy in the window of my kitchen for now.
The mini bok choi is growing fast and happy, and the green shiso is quite
large now. My daikons and sugar snaps are also coming along.

There's a small problem though --- bugs.... some small insects have attacked
a few plants and left stripes in the green leaves. So Monday, I'm off to the store
to get something to protect my plants. No toxic stuff, but I hope there's something
I can do... My kitchen will be pretty crowded if I'd have to move it all inside...

Todays dinner for Mr. Linuz was salmon sashimi with ponzu dressing and fresh
shiso. Served with rice and carrot wedges. No photo of that I'm afraid...