Stuffed Lotus Root
What might be more natural to stuff than a lotus root?
It’s a mostly hollow rhizome (actually a stolon or stem) of the lotus flower that grows in muddy ponds throughout Asia. The air passages that run through the bulb form a lacy pattern that is revealed when the rhizome is peeled and sliced crosswise.
It would be more natural to stuff a fowl.
A turkey, for a tradition holiday meal! In clearing the fridge to make room for the big bird, I came across a lotus root which I’d planned to make karashi renkon—lotus root stuffed with ground shrimp or fish flavored with miso, ginger, and Japanese mustard. That recipe is included in this post, but I used ingredients on hand to make my own interesting version. If you are more adventurous, try my much revised recipe!

Shrimp Wafers: Ebi Senbei

Soup with crackers is a classic combination, so I thought the rice consommé would be well matched with ebi senbei. The shrimp wafers are made with just that: shrimp! The shrimp are cut, flattened, then rolled thin, and deep-fried. An uncomplicated recipe, but the result depends on the quality of the shrimp. My shrimp were frozen, perhaps a bit on the small side of medium, and as soon as I began to pound them (gently), they turned to mush. This explains why my crackers are dumplings.
Should you have access to good quality shrimp, you might find this recipe worth trying.

Black Sesame Seared Tuna

seared-tuna_8835My daughter is visiting again, and she loves tuna, so of course I had to make this unique seared tuna for her.
There are hundreds of recipes for seared tuna, ample evidence how popular Japanese food is in the U.S. But this recipe is special because it uses crushed black sesame seeds. The fish is marinated and coated with black sesame seeds, then flour, and finally quickly deep-fried.
The black and pink make a striking appearance, and the deep fried crisp coating makes a lovely contrast with the succulent tuna.

Fried Ginger-Flavored Salmon

https://1tess.wordpress.comginger-salmon_8107Note to self: Buy an new thermometer. Oh, and maybe spend more than $5.
I’d prepared the fish and started to heat the oil for frying when I noticed the little red line on my thermometer was no longer solid, but dashed.
-– -—- – ——- – –—- – ——- – -––––— ——— – — —— ———- – -––––—––— ———
Luckily, one can check the temperature of oil without a thermometer. There are two methods:
Submerge the tips of cooking chopsticks (they are long enough that you won’t burn yourself) in the oil.
Drop a small amount of a flour-water batter into the hot oil.
Details included.

Sesame-Crusted Seared Tuna

Black-Sesame-Tuna_5827Recipes for seared tuna are very plentiful online: page after page, but this recipe is unique! The black sesame seeds for the coating are toasted and lightly crushed to release maximum flavor. They are added to the marinade to absorb even more flavor. The fish is coated with both the sesame seeds and a little flour, then deep-fried—a technique that ensures maximum crispness on the outside, and tender nearly uncooked tuna inside. Very luscious. You’ll note that my pictures to illustrate the recipe did not turn out well at all, and the good news is that I’ll have to make this dish again to show off how amazingly wonderful it is.

Last Night of Passover 2009

Last night of Passover, last chance to enjoy the bargain chicken, last year we ate chicken fried with an almond crust. This was a recipe of my own, inspired by a one in my Japanese cooking-project book: a pretty dish with fried chicken cubes, some coated with crushed peanuts and some with black sesame seeds.…

Hito Kuchi Tonkatsu: Bite-Sized Pork Cutlets

Bite Sized TonkatsuThis dish is a decorative version of tonkatsu, deep-fried pork cutlet. Tonkatsu (ton=pig, and katsu=cutlet) is a poplular dish that came to Japan through the Dutch influence in the late nineteenth century. Tonkatsu is so popular in Japan that there are even restaurants that serve only tonkatsu and similar items such as kushikatsu (bite-sized fried bits of pork and other things on a skewer).