Monday, January 31, 2011

Fruity Coleslaw

This is a slightly sweet, creamy but healthy coleslaw.  My quantities make an awful lot (about 8 large salad-sized servings), but it keeps well in the fridge for about 5 days in a covered container.  Using Hellmans mayonnaise is very important for the taste; this is sold in import food shops in Japan under the Best Foods label. Actual weights for mayonnaise and mustard were guessed.

Nutrition Data (per serving)
Calories 100
Carbohydrate 16g
Protein 4g
Fat 3g
Dietary Fibre 3g

450g fat free yoghurt
1 heaped dessertspoon (30g) Hellmanns mayonnaise
1 heaped teaspoon (10g) wholegrain mustard
1/2 white cabbage
1 medium carrot
3 medium radishes
1 large red apple
25g raisins

  • Mix the yoghurt, mayonnaise, mustard and raisins together.
  • Shred the cabbage, carrot, radishes and apple.
  • Mix everything together in a large container, making sure to coat the fruit and vegetables well.
  • Store covered in the fridge.

If you make, or want to make, a lot of salads, it is well worth buying an electric vegetable slicer.  Last year, I bought one intending to eat more salads but was worried that the salad motivation would wear off!  Actually, because it means that it's much quicker to make salads, I eat even more than I expected!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Sweet Chilli Lentil and Smoked Salmon Warm Salad

This is very filling and is high in protein and fibre.  The pomegranate seeds and chilli sauce give a lovely tang against the lentils, and the seeds look beautiful too.

In the ingredients list I've specified 200g cooked lentils, I'm not sure what the dry weight would be because I cooked up so many for the week!

Nutrition Data
Calories 384
Carbohydrate 59g
Protein 28g
Fat 3g
Dietary Fibre 19g

Ingredients (serves 1)
200g cooked brown lentils
1/2 red onion, sliced
50g spinach
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
40g smoked salmon
30g pomegranate seeds
1 tbsp sweet chilli sauce

  • If not already done, rinse the lentils and cook them for about 30 minutes in boiling water.
  • Meanwhile, cook the onions in the balsamic vinegar and some water until soft and caramelized.
  • Wash the spinach and tear into the lentils.  Add the onions.  Mix in the sweet chilli sauce.
  • Mix in pieces of smoked salmon and the pomegranate seeds.
  • Serve warm or cold.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Sage and Onion Stuffing

When I was in England last summer, I brought back some stuffing mix, which I ate with some roast gammon on New Year's Day, and then cold over the next few days...

This gave me the taste again for roast gammon, stuffing and cranberry sauce (I'm using lingonberry sauce from Ikea) sandwiches.  Not having any more stuffing mix, I made my own today from some of my own bread that I hadn't eaten and had gone stale.  Here is the recipe.

180g stale bread (only because that's how much I had!), made into breadcrumbs
a good teaspoon of sage, to taste
1 medium onion
1 medium apple
25g walnuts
25g raisins

  •  Preheat the oven to 170C.
  • Put the breadcrumbs into a large bowl and stir in the sage.
  • Grate the onion and apple and stir into the breadcrumbs.
  • Crumble in the walnuts, and stir in the raisins.
  • Mix everything together well.
  • Spoon into a greased shallow baking tray and bake for about 45 minutes until brown and crispy on top.

Tobiko and Soft Cheese Rye Bread

A straightforward snack!  Cut 3 slices of Delba Wholegrain rye bread in half.  Spread with soft cheese, and sprinkle a little tobiko on top.

Tobiko - Flying Fish Roe

I used to think flying fish roe (tobiko/tobiran) was not worth buying because there is a lot of it, and you only use a little in recipes.  However if you freeze it in small containers, it defrosts easily with no deterioration.

What is it like?  Well, each egg is tiny, less than 1mm in diameter.  They are hard crunchy sparkling red-orange jewels which explode in your mouth with a salty lemony taste.  They make a beautiful garnish.

This is about 40g for 298yen.

Scrambled Eggs on an English Muffin

I used to make scrambled eggs sometimes, using cream, as a special treat.  Using milk or cream, and cooking slowly was the method I used for a long time.  Then I discovered the Australian chef Bill Granger's recipe

Indeed delicious, and very quick too!  Incidentally I first went to Bill's in Sydney for dinner about 5 years ago and was very impressed.  A couple of years back I went for breakfast at Bill Granger's relatively newly-opened restaurant in Shichirigahama, the Shonan Beach area of Kanagawa.  This was the following day after visiting Enoshima.  By that stage it had been open for 10 months, I got there just before the opening time at 8am and had to queue for about an hour for a table...  Make a reservation!  That day I had sweetcorn fritters which I found a bit too rich for breakfast...  Apparently, he's now opened his 2nd restaurant in Japan in the Red Brick Warehouse in Yokohama.

However...  This morning I discovered a new and phenomenally quick method of making scrambled eggs, and I think I actually prefer them.  This is adapted from the British chef Nigel Slater.

Ingredients for one muffin
One English muffin, split and toasted
a small knob of butter
one egg
about 25g grated cheese

  • Over  a medium heat, melt the butter.
  • Turn off the heat and beat in one egg.
  • Stir in the cheese, turn on the heat again if necessary to finish melting the cheese and setting the egg, but remember that the saucepan is probably hot enough to continue cooking the egg.
  • Spoon over the unbuttered muffin and eat whilst hot.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Spam, tofu and potato salad

This was tonight's spam dinner, and very tasty it was too!  Those of you who are sharp-eyed will notice a green olive in the bowl, that does not appear in the ingredients...  Yes, I love olives but they just were too much in this recipe.  The recipe is much better without them.

A note on the mayonnaise...  This should be a mayonnaise that you could enjoy on a teaspoon on its own, no cheap salad dressing here!  I recommend Hellmanns, sold in Japan under the Best Foods label.

Ingredients (serves 1)
New potatoes
100g spam, chopped
100g firm tofu, chopped
dollop of mayonnaise
good teaspoon wholegrain mustard
2-3 chopped garlic chives (nira in Japan)

  • Boil the potatoes, drain, then chop roughly.
  • Mix the mayonnaise and mustard in a small bowl, then stir into the hot potatoes.
  • Stir in the spam, tofu and nira.
  • Serve warm or cold.


What can I say, I have a confession...  I've always has a sneaky love of Spam, despite the out-and-out derision it gets  in the UK these days.  My recent trip to Okinawa, where it is a common ingredient, re-ignited my love of Spam!  I predict that over the next few weeks, I'm going to be posting a whole lot of Spam recipes, inspiration coming from

Look at the photo - a spam riceball!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Chilli Gammon and Potato Stew

This was inspired by The Flavour Thesaurus and its description of a Korean soup called Gamjatang.  I googled Gamjatang and found that it was a spicy soup made from pork bones, potatoes and other vegetables and spices.

Not having half the herbs and spices, and not even wanting to cook with pork bones, I came up with this adaptation.  It was delicious, and hopefully the fermenting kimchi will have the usual effect of helping my cold!  All of the ingredients are according to taste...

Ingredients (serves 1)
1-2 potatoes
roughly chopped gammon
Stock cube
a bit of garlic puree
a bit more ginger puree
a tablespoon of kimchi
1/4 chopped white cabbage

  • Halve the potatoes and boil them in water with a stock cube until almost tender.
  • Add the garlic and ginger puree, the chopped gammon, the cabbage and the kimchi, and simmer with the lid on for about 5 minutes until the gammon is hot and the cabbage is cooked.
  • Serve immediately, steaming hot.

The Flavour Thesaurus

One of my brothers gave me an interesting cookery book for Christmas, The Flavour Thesaurus by Niki Segnit.  It's not exactly a cookery book; instead it's a commentary on food pairings, some obvious, some definitely not so obvious.  She chose 99 foods/herbs/spices and researched 980 pairings of them, and described them in mouth-watering detail!  And with the description of the flavour pairings come the ideas and the combinations...!  Thank you!