September Japanese Cooking

September has been a month of experiments with food, images, and an alphabet.
The pictures in the left column are links to the posts, just a click away!

•• For Rosh Hashonah, the Jewish New Year, we dipped an Asian pear, in honey. Of course we ate traditional challah and honey cake, too. I learned a few Hebrew letters, and I can now write my name.

•• I made moon-viewing noodles to celebrate the Autumnal Equinox and tried to use a background image in the post to make the dish look like a moon in the night sky. This was not so successful: Mr. Tess’s comment was that it did not look appetizing. But, the noodles were good, and easy to make.

•• Chicken teriyaki with orange would have made a wonderful meal for Rosh Hashonah. I learned to use “columns” to write the post, which made adding a vertical sequence of pictures very easy.

•• My favorite food of the month has to be the fried chuka soba. The recipe has slightly fewer calories than the deep-fried version, and the textures of the noodles and shrimp and vegetables are great! For the post, I experimented with vertically tiled background images in two different ways.

•• Kabocha soup with miso is a nice variation of pumpkin soup, exotic but familiar. It’s interesting how a picture becomes a design element.

•• Soba sushi are both unusual and fun to make and eat. This post was my first attempt at using a background image where text flows over a photo. You can certainly see the shape of the soba noodles! I am making an attempt to update the Essential Ingredients page so readers can see what an unfamiliar food looks like. As time allows I’ll be adding some descriptions as well.

•• Ginger-soy milk panna cotta is another in my series of experiments with using agar-agar. I’d make this again using the buckwheat honey we have now!

•• I did a bit of experimenting with panographies, where you take multiple pictures from one place and then stitch them togeter in Photoshop. More interesting for a landscape than food, but fun. As long as I was fooling with PS, I made an “artistic” picture of a can of clams—the filters are fun to play with. And by the way, the Japanese oyster chowder with miso has to be the best recipe of the month! Amazing! Just taste it! (I know, I have 2 favorites this month!)

•• Salmon steamed with sweet rice is a celebration dish, usually made with sea bream and pink sweet rice in the spring. I made this dish more seasonal with salmon and fresh shiso. The post includes a recipe for glutinous rice (sweet rice).

•• Tofu Daisy Dumplings are another unusual Japanese recipe. And if you’ll excuse me, another favorite of the month. Tofu dumplings are covered with shreds of wonton wrappers then steamed. A little time-consuming, but not difficult. And very pretty!

•• Also pretty are curly green onions. Scroll down to the bottom of the post to learn how easy they are to make!

•• And last: I did a few recipe tests for an upcoming book. Sorry, no recipes, but I’ll let you know when the book is published. It will be yummy!

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Happy New Year 5769! An animated dinner
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