Monday, March 30, 2009

Miso Daikon

This daikon radish is also known as mooli in Hindi and other Indian languages. It can be found in UK supermarkets under that name. Despite it being a widely used and grown vegetable in Japan, it in fact originated in continental Asia.

A couple of years ago, one of my students gave me a whole daikon from her allotment. It was huge (see picture, compared to my kettle). I was eating it for days, and at that time didn't have so many ideas for what to do with it. I think most of it I ate raw with a salad dressing I made from dijon mustard, honey, lemon and pine nuts. You can eat the leaves too.

Anyway, here is a recipe for Miso Daikon:

Some thick (2cm) slices of daikon cut from half a daikon
1-2 teaspoon soft brown or black sugar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 heaped teaspoon red miso
Black sesame seeds
Lemon zest to garnish

  • Slice the daikon into 2cm thick slices.
  • Mark a cross on one side of each slice to help cooking and absorption of flavours.
  • Put in a saucepan and cover with boiling water and the soya sauce. Boil for 20 - 30 minutes until tender.
  • Put the sugar, miso, lemon juice and sesame seeds in a bowl. Add a couple of tablespoons of the cooking liquid and mix. Feel free to adjust the sauce ingredients to taste. I used golden sesame seeds as I didn't have black.
  • Arrange the daikon on a plate, and spoon over the sauce.
  • Garnish with lemon zest.
Delicious hot, and best eaten on the same day. If you can get yuzu, use that instead of lemon. To make it easier to eat, the sauce can be a thick spread.

Sesame Sauteed Spinach

Ingredients (serves 1)
200-250g spinach or komatsuna
1 teaspoon of sesame oil
chicken or tofu and sesame seeds to serve

  • Wash and drain the spinach and heat the sesame oil in a large frying pan.
  • Add the spinach to the pan and toss for about 1 minute until the spinach is brighter green, but still keeps it's shape and bite.
  • Serve immediately with some chicken, and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Note: Variations: dry frying the sesame seeds might be nice; could use garlic oil instead.

Poached Egg on Toast

OK, for someone who enjoys cooking, I'm well aware of how silly this sounds... But this morning was the first time I poached an egg! I had always imagined that poaching an egg was going to be messy, and the egg would fall apart, but in fact it's incredibly easy. So easy in fact, I made myself another one!

All you need to do is boil a pan of water, enough water to crack an egg into. Bring the water to the boil, crack the egg into the water. Continue at this temperature for about 30 seconds and then turn down to simmer, so that the egg doesn't break up too much. Simmer for about 3 minutes, turning once until the egg white is set. The egg yolk will be soft, with just a little runniness. Serve on wholemeal toast and garnish with a little paprika or mixed ground peppercorns.

Alternatively, bring the water to a slow simmer, with just a few bubbles at the bottom of the pan, crack the egg and slide it into the hot water. Continue simmering for about 5 minutes, turning halfway, until the egg white is firm and the egg yolk is runny inside.


Sunday, March 22, 2009

Tofu Vegetable Scramble

OK, this is a lot more delicious than it looks! I had this for lunch today before a training afternoon - good for keeping your energy levels up!

Nutrition Information
Calories: 440
Protein: 40g
Carbohydrate: 27g
Fat: 23g
Dietary Fibre: 8g

Ingredients (serves 1)
1 medium carrot (about 60g)
1 leek (about 90g)
1 x 200g pack of firm or extra firm tofu
1 egg
olive oil for sauteing
1 - 2 tbsp of dashi stock or other stock
about 1 teaspoon each of soy sauce and mirin (the mirin could be omitted)
lemon zest or spring onions to garnish
any other vegetables you like!

  1. Drain the tofu of as much water as you can. This can be done quickly by wrapping the tofu block in 3 sheets of kitchen paper and microwaving on high for a couple of minutes.
  2. Saute the vegetables and crumbled tofu for about 5 minutes over a medium heat.
  3. Stir in the stock, soy sauce and mirin and continue cooking until most of the liquid has evaporated. Then add the beaten egg and spring onions if using and cook whilst stirring until the consistency is like scrambled eggs. Garnish with lemon zest.
  4. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Chicken and Egg Rice Bowl (Oyakodon)

Ingredients (serves 1)

This recipe can be multiplied as required.

100g brown or white rice
50g sliced cooked chicken breast
1 spring onion, chopped
1 egg, beaten
chopped seaweed for garnish
100ml stock (in Japan dashi stock)
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 desertspoon mirin

Cook the rice according to instructions. Meanwhile make the stock and heat. Add soy sauce, mirin, chicken and spring onion. Simmer for about 3 minutes until thickened, but there is still at least 2 or 3 tablespoons of sauce. Add the beaten egg and cover the saucepan for about 50 seconds until the egg is set.

Put the hot cooked rice in a deep bowl, and slip the chicken and egg mixture over. There should be just a little sauce to seep into the rice. Sprinkle with nori seaweed.

Optional: You can also saute half a chopped onion and add it to the rice before slipping the chicken and egg mixture on top.