FYI: Good Reads

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These two books were wonderful gifts from a very dear old friend; they are good references and I wish to share with everyone; Happy Reading!

Kitchen Cures – Revolutionize Your Health with Foods That Heal by Peggy Kotsopoulos

Yoshoku Japanese food western style – by Jane Lawson (Australian food writer, http://www.eatlove.com.au/chefs/jane-lawson/28/

PS. A big thank you to the listener (Janice K.) who sent me an email asking for the titles, I didn’t realize I completely forgot to include the information in yesterday’s recap; it was a wonderful reminder, thank you again (OO).

March 19th Radio Show RECAP

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Hi everyone, thank you very much for tuning in this morning! Here are the links and information which I mentioned on Ms. Deborah Moore’s “Modern Deborah” on AM 1470; I have already posted the Corn Soup recipe;  the Egg Salad recipe will be posted shortly.

Back in January I’ve promised to post the California Roll Recipe, it’s now available  under “RECIPE – NOT REAL SUSHI: California Roll”.

If you have any questions, you are welcome to contact me at goldenapron@gmail.com.  ENJOY (OO)

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Mayonnaise used for Egg Salad: The Ojai Cook Lemonaise (Vancouver readers: available at Choices Market, Pete’s Meats (on Arbutus), Nesters Food Market.

Kurobuta (Black pig) sausages for Japanese style hot dogs: Nikuya Meat Store – 11220 Voyageur Way in Richmond, BC (It’s a side street off Bridgeport), http://www.nikuya.ca/.

St. Dalfour Raspberry and Pomegranate Fruit Spread:  Available at Choices Market, Whole Foods, London Drugs. Other favourite fruit spreads: Strawberry, Blueberry.

London Fog Layer Cake: http://www.cadeauxbakery.com/index2.php#/home/

Motomachi Shokudo: 740 Denman Street, Vancouver, BC for Ramen (vegetable ramen, great gyozas, review will be posted shortly).

RECIPE: “NOT Real Sushi” – California Roll

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Our family’s “Not Real” Sushi – California Roll, served on traditional Japanese platter

Every family has their dining traditions and at my in-laws there are no exceptions; whether its New Year’s, Easter or birthday dinners, we always have this dish on the menu. My mother in law has mastered the art in making this “iconic” Americanized sushi, which my father in law lovingly refers to as “Not Real Sushi”. Finally as promised, I’m posting her recipe and pictures (with her demonstrating the process)…Nothing tastes better than Mom’s food, prepared with love and care…Enjoy (OO).

Ingredients: (Yields 6 cups)  3 “rice cooker” cups of uncooked premium sushi or short grain rice, water, 1/3 cup (measuring cup) Japanese rice vinegar, 1 teaspoon of salt, 3 Tablespoon of sugar, Imitation crab meat (200 g, purchased from Japanese food store), 3-4 avocado (ripen, sliced), Japanese “kewpie” mayonnaise, 1/2 to 1 cup (approximately) toasted white sesame (prepackaged can be purchased at Asian food store), six to eight full sheets of seaweed (nori), juice of 1/2 lemon, pickled ginger (for serving only, store-bought), soy sauce and wasabi (optional) for serving.

Equipment:  Bamboo mat, plastic cling wrap

Preparation:

To prepare sushi rice:

– Put rice in large glass or stainless steel mixing bowl (I preferred to use the Japanese rice washing bowl with side and bottom drainers), pour water over until fully covers rice.  Discard the water immediately to get rid of the particles, repeat 1 to 2 times.

– Using your fingers wash and clean the rice in circular motion; pour clean water over the rice and quickly discard again.  Please repeat the process for 4 to 5 times until water becomes almost clear (translucent).

– Let the rice soak in clean water for at least 30 minutes; drain and strain the rice then transfer to rice cooker bowl.

– Add cold water to just under the 3 cup line; if your rice cooker has “sushi rice” options, please follow and add water just below the 3 cup line “sushi rice”, start cooking.

– While rice is cooking, prepare the sushi vinegar: combine rice vinegar, sugar, salt into a saucepan.  Over medium heat, bring it to a boil until sugar is completely dissolved; remove from heat, set aside and let it cool.

– When rice is cooked, using a moistened (with little water to ensure rice doesn’t stick) large bowl (sushi wooden bowl if you have one), transfer the rice and spread it out evenly so the rice will cool faster. While rice is still hot, pour approximately 85% of the sushi vinegar mixture over the rice; leave some behind as you will need this when rolling the sushi.

– Using a wet rice paddle (at 45 degrees angle) and apply the “slicing and flipping” motion, separate the grains (do not mix), gently flip the rice in between “slices”; repeat the process until the rice is cooled.

– Cover the cooled rice with a damp cloth until you are ready to roll.

Ready to Roll the Sushi:

– Prepare the avocado; peel and cut into 1/4″ slices, a squeeze of lemon juice will keep the avocados from turning brown.

– Prepare the seaweed (nori) – Cut off 1/3 and use 2/3 to make the rolls (save the one thirds for later use).

– Prepare the bamboo mat, covered with plastic wrap and the sushi vinegar (to ensure the rice will not stick to the wrap).

– Lay one seaweed sheet, shiny side down, on the mat.  Wet your fingers in the sushi vinegar and spread approximately 1 cup or less (measuring cup) of rice thinly and evenly onto the seaweed sheet.

– Flip the seaweed sheet over so the rice is facing down; then line the edge of the seaweed sheet at the bottom of the bamboo mat.

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– In the centre of the seaweed sheet, first place the avocado, then lightly squeeze one layer of Japanese mayonnaise over (don’t be too heavy-handed) and finally add the crab meat on top

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From bottom: rice, nori, avocado, mayonnaise, crab meat

– Grab the edge of the mat closest to you; keeping the fingers in place with your fingers; start to roll it into a tight cylinder;

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– Using the mat to shape the cylinder. Lift the edge of the mat slightly and roll it forward, apply pressure gently.

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roll forward and push gently
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Almost there….
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Another roll completed! How many more to go?
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Ready to cover the roll with white sesame

– Repeat until all the rice is used up.

IMG_0561– Cover the bottom of a rectangular container or tray with the white sesame, glide the sushi roll over until it’s even covered.

– Cover the completed rolls with a clean damp cloth until you are ready to serve.

– When you are ready to serve: Use a sharp knife and cut each roll first in half, then cut each half into 3 pieces.  After a few cuts, remember to clean the knife with a damp cloth (to keep the rice from sticking and maintain a clean finish).

Notes:

– We always use the cut seaweed sheets for smaller roll sushi, mostly tuna or cucumber rolls.

– Some of the ingredients we estimated the quantity (for example the sesame seeds), please adjust accordingly.

– Fresh crab meat can be used; my mother in law usually purchases the imitation crab meat, and other ingredients from Fujiya (912 Clark Drive, Vancouver, BC).

– Other recipes include cucumber; sometimes we use flying fish roe (tobiko) instead of toasted white sesame seeds, or both (OO).

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ready to “roll”

RECIPE: Corn Potage (Japanese Corn Soup)

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Over the weekend I hosted a bridal shower for my dear friend Virginia (Congrats!) and she specifically requested to have corn soup on the menu! I choose to make my favourite recipe, adapted from Jane Lawson’s Yoshoku – Japanese food western style with slight modifications (added chicken stock, omitted sesame oil). This is very easy to make; it’s great as a starter or a meal on its own, Enjoy (OO).

Ingredients: (Serves 2 – 4 (as small starter)

4 cups kombu stock, 1 cup organic low sodium chicken stock (optional), 4 cobs fresh sweet corn (peaches and cream); 1 oz organic unsalted butter, 1 teaspoon grape seed oil, 1 medium leek (white portion only, thinly sliced), 1 celery stalk (finely chopped), 1 to 2 garlic clove (crushed), 1 teaspoon finely grated ginger, 1/4 (60 ml) cup mirin, 1/2 cup (125 ml) cream, salt and pepper to taste, nori flakes and thinly slice green scallions (optional for garnish).

Preparation:

– Cut the kernels from the corn cobs, set kernels and cobs aside.

– Prepare the kombu stock; in a separate saucepan, bring chicken broth to boil, turn off heat and set aside.

Kombu stock: (1 piece of kombu (around 20 g – gently cleaned and wiped with damp cloth), 4 cups of cold water

– Put the kombu and 4 cups of cold water in a large saucepan.  Heat up the water slowly on medium low heat; just before it starts boiling, remove the kombu.

– When kombu stock is ready, add corn cobs and hot chicken stock to the pan and return to the boil. Reduce to simmer and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, remove from the heat, discard the corn cobs and set aside.

– In a separate 8 quart stock pot, add butter and grape seed oil, melt over medium heat.

– Add leek, stirring regularly, cook for approximately 5 minutes or until lightly golden.  Add celery, garlic and ginger, cook until fragrant (approximately 1 minute); stir in corn kernels, mix well with other ingredients and cook another 1 to 2 minutes.

– Add stock and mirin to corn and leek mixture, and bring to boil over high heat, then reduce to simmer and cook for 20 minutes.

– Using an upright blender, process and puree the soup in small batches (be mindful to fill blender jar less than half way).To prevent the liquid from splattering, remember to allow heat to escape; remove the blender’s lid centre insert (cap), hold a kitchen towel over the top when blending.

– Return puree soup to stock pot, stir in the cream and heat gently over low heat, do not bring to boil.

– Season to taste with salt and pepper; to serve, sprinkle with nori flakes and green scallions (optional).

Notes:

– I added the organic chicken broth (optional) for more flavour; the original recipe calls for 4 cups of kombu stock only, because I’ve added the additional cup of chicken broth, the soup is not as thick. If you want a thinner soup, add more cream.

– For a smoother and more refined texture, push the puree soup mixture through a fine sieve before stirring in the cream.

– I opted to use a light cream and seasoned the soup with sea salt from Okinawa (a precious gift from my friend “FanFan”, thank you very much!!).

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Corn Soup in “Pink Striped” Icecream paper bowls for the bridal shower

– For the bridal shower, I served them in little “ice-cream” cups:)