Lamb and Mushroom Wontons in Dashi

http://1tess.wordpress.com
eating lamb wontonsMy first bite into a wonton, in Leo Ping’s on West Liberty in 1975 in Ann Arbor, began my attraction to the delicate noodle ruffle, surrounding a little pocket of filling. Love at first sight!

Hiroko Shimbo has published this delicious Japanese flavored recipe in her latest book as “Wonton Ravioli” using a wonton skin for the bottom and another for the top; but because I love those slippery wing-like ruffles floating in clear broth, I made wontons rather than ravioli.

The dashi stock, flavored with sake, mirin and lemon juice is perfect. It’s dashi-smokey with a bit of sweet and sour accents.

Corn Cream with Crab Soup

http://1tess.wordpress.com
corn cream soup w crab_6152The winter sun-light, reflected by new white snow, makes harsh shadows on our grey and brown landscape. This amplification of the brightness is false. It’s neither warmer nor cheerier, a vision without substance.

I want the pleasant consolation of color! This pale yellow Japanese soup, with bright red and green accents and the tang of a summer sea, is a perfect recipe for this season.

Corn & Cabbage Buttered Miso Soup


The Japanese love corn:
on pizza, pasta, at McDonald’s, in gyoza, in soup, …so why not add it to miso soup?
As for cabbage in Japan, it is used in one of their most famous dishes: okonomiyaki, the cabbage-stuffed “as you like it” pizza.

Cabbage is also popular in soups, pickles, and as a side dish for deep-fried foods.

So why not enjoy it in miso soup?

Add a pat of butter, and you’ll experience sweetness and richness if only in a meal.

味噌汁 Miso Soup by Mr. Tess


Miso soup is a traditional Japanese soup based on dashi stock mixed with softened miso paste.
Good for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, miso soup is a comfort food.

This post has lots of information about making dashi and about miso as an ingredient.

Mr. Tess often cooks, but rarely cooks Japanese foods. We, neither of us, were feeling great. I suggested miso soup with salmon (which was in the freezer—neither of us wanting to go to the store). So I gave him some instructions and had a nap while he produced a lovely meal.

Rosh Hashanah: Chicken Soup for 5772

http://1tess.wordpress.com
For the first Rosh Hashanah in our new house I wanted to make a meal which would reflect the change from summer to autumn. This soup is traditionally eaten in the hottest part of summer in Korea, the theory being that it warms the body so much as to make the outside temperature feel cooler. Yet the dates, chestnuts, and ginseng, and even the rice are fruit of fall. In any season, it is traditionally believed that sam gae tang helps to rejuvenate the body by replenishing essential nutrients while sweating out the toxins, thus promoting a long and healthy life. As we look forward to a sweet new year this soup was a flavorful meal to begin.

Japanese Menu for Six

http://1tess.wordpress.comA few weeks ago, we hosted a dinner for Mr. Tess’s “new” brother, his wife, their neice, and her boyfriend. We don’t know these folks very well, and I get nervous whenever we have guests. I wanted to have most of the dinner ready when they arrived, just in case an unanticipated kitchen disaster meant I’d have to resort to pizza delivery… Yes, Mr. Tess always tells me that it’s the company and not the food that is important, but none the less, I wanted to make a nice evening where things went according to plan.
My solution was a menu which I could prepare the evening or morning before, with only a small bit of close attention in the kitchen just before serving.

Tenobe-Dango-Jiru

http://1tess.wordpress.com
tenobe dango jiru
Hand stretched wheat dumplings (noodles) are a speciality of Oita Provence in Japan, usually served in an iriko dashi based soup flavored with miso and vegetables. These noodles are also popular in Hawaii: the first time I made this dish was as a test for The Asian Grandmothers Cookbook. The dumplings were quite thick noodles, similar to the savory mochi (rice-flour) dumplings sometimes added to soups all over Japan. Looking at pictures online, it seems the “dumplings” in Oita are thinner and more like noodles.
We’ve all seen those Chinese master noodle chefs (perhaps only on YouTube) pulling long strands of lamian from a lump of dough: great entertainment and a real mystery about how it can be done without breaking the strands!

Corn Cream with Crab

http://1tess.wordpress.com

Corn cream is comfort food in Japan, bringing memories of mom and happy meals at home. Mr. Tess was out of town when I made this soup last summer, so this was his first taste of the Japanese childhood treat. This version is a little bit grown-up because I used real crab rather than chicken or surimi. Something satisfying, sophisticated, and simple for lunch, dinner, or even guests.

Oxtail Soup 곰탕 (テールスープ)

http://1tess.wordpress.com

Oxtail soup is the broth of the gods! It’s deeply robustly beefy delicious.
Shopping so often in the little Korean grocery store means that I see many foods which are unfamiliar. Though it leads me to a neighboring cuisine, I can’t help but be curious. I rarely see the tails of cattle for sale anywhere else! Imagine my surprise when I saw some lovely fresh oxtails in my regular grocery store. I grabbed a couple of packages and hurried home to find my Korean cookbook.
http://1tess.wordpress.com