Corn Cream with Crab Soup

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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.

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

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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

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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)

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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.
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Eat-a-Lot-Wakame Soup

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Wakame-healthy sea vegetable soup, full of vitamins and minerals, is a restorative for a lack of sleep, headache, or upset tum. The end of summer starts with glowing yellow leaves, the energetic blooms of purple asters, white Chinese chives, autumn clematis shimmering with bees. I keep the windows open to the prolific chorus of frogs and insects though we need an extra blanket on the bed…

Tsukimi: Moon Viewing

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My favorite moon-viewing noodle bowls were lovely glowing golden glass, beautiful as the full autumnal equinox moon.
Tsukimi (月見) refers to the Japanese tradition of holding parties to view the harvest moon. Moon viewing was introduced to Japan from China during the Nara (710-794) and Heian periods (794-1185).
Tsukimi udon (or soba) are hot noodles served with a raw egg on top to represent the moon.

Niboshi Dashi: dried sardine broth

☛ → night and day
Ô

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Niboshi are baby sardines (anchovies in some translations) that have been boiled once then dried. Compared to katsuobushi, stock made with niboshi has a fishier flavor. They vary in size from about 1.5″ to over 3″long with the smaller ones having a milder flavor. This stock is used in both Korean and Japanese cooking for miso soup, hot pots (nabemono), and strongly flavored noodle dishes. Some bloggers note that niboshi dashi is more commonly in the Tokyo area than in Osaka/Kyoto; and katsuo dashi is used more in the summer, niboshi in the winter.

Kinokozukushi Miso-shiru

http://1tess.wordpress.com Miso Soup with Mixed Mushrooms and Udon Buna-Shimeji, ブナシメジ (or ブナしめじ), Brown Beech Mushroom, Brown Clamshell Mushroom, Hypsizigus tessellatus. These mushrooms are native to East Asia, though the cultivated mushrooms look different from the wild ones. They are sometimes white, but they are the same species. The mushrooms are grown in bottles or cups…