Monday, January 11, 2010

Kenchinjiru, Japanese Zen Buddhist vegetable soup

I got this delicious recipe from the excellent Just Hungry website. Very little was changed - just the type of stock (not having kombu dashi, I used niboshi dashi) and the quantities of vegetables - I didn't want to be eating it for the rest of the week! However I didn't scale it exactly by half, using the same quantities of tofu, konnyaku, satoimo and burdock (gobo)... My half quantities would serve 3 people. I just ate it on its own and it was filling, but you could have some brown rice with it. No nutritional information for this recipe, but it is very low in calories and fat and very high in fibre.

However, unfortunately this recipe is going to be difficult/impossible in Britain unless you live close to a very good Japanese supermarket and can get burdock root, or unless you grow it! And you're certainly going to have to use normal white potatoes! But I certainly recommend trying this kind of clear soy sauce soup with vegetables, konnyaku and tofu - it is very tasty and filling.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Baked Sugared Crusts

No picture, but this is a very cheap and sweet snack. When I made the Flower Snacking Plate, I was of course left with a whole lot of crusts. Crusts are also sold in big bags in Japanese bakeries from free to about 100yen.

Put them on a baking tray, sprinkle with a very little brown sugar and bake at 180C for about 20 minutes. Cool on a wire rack so that they crisp up. Store in an airtight container.

Toshikoshi Soba

In Japan, on New Year's Eve, it is traditional to eat soba (buckwheat noodles). This link explains some of the traditional beliefs about toshikoshi soba

I didn't eat soba on New Year's Eve, but I did have it for dinner tonight! This isn't a traditional soba recipe - this is just what I wanted to add to my soba... Again apologies for the photo, the colours really aren't coming out in artificial light.

Nutrition Data
Calories: 458
Protein: 34g
Carbohydrate: 55g
Fat: 13g
Dietary Fibre: 5g

Ingredients (serves 1)
60g dried soba (buckwheat noodles)
400ml of dashi (stock)
1 heaped teaspoon of red miso
200g firm tofu
50g cooked thick slice of gammon, chopped
1 teaspoon dried wakame seaweed

  • Heat the stock until boiling, turn down the heat to simmer and add the soba noodles. Cook for 5 minutes until al dente.
  • Meanwhile, cube the tofu and add to the pan along with the wakame and chopped gammon. Stir in the miso and serve.

Flower Snacking Plate

I really need to improve the lighting for taking photos in this new house - they're coming out really insipid-looking...

This came from an idea I saw in a magazine whilst I was away.

Cut the crusts off 5 or 6 pieces of bread and roll each piece thinly with a rolling pin.

Arrange 4 or 5 pieces around the edge of a round metal tin and press the final piece into the bottom. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180C for 15 to 20 minutes until the bread is crisp and browned at the edges. Leave in the tin for a couple of minutes and then put on a wire rack to cool.

Put the bread 'flower' on a plate and fill with ham/cheese rosettes, cooked vegetables, fruit and boiled eggs etc.