Stir-Fry on an Electric Stove?
Can I make stir-fried Chicken, Cashews, and Miso on an electric stove?
Stir-frying requires high heat!
I was disappointed to see an electric stove in our new house. This stainless steel stove has a black glass top, a “warm and serve” zone, two large expandable burners, and two small ones. It has a regular oven which can be set to “convection,” a “vari broil” broiler, and is “self-cleaning.” Plus it even has a “warm and serve” drawer. So, yes, it is a nice piece of equipment.
Turns out, I can’t really complain! It’s nothing like my mother’s 1960’s electric stove.

Noodles and Japanese Shells

Noodles—quick convenient comfort, ease and pleas-ing, satisfaction certain, and fine when cooking for me. While Mr. Tess was working in New York during the past two weeks, my meals centered on this flour and water paste: a blank canvas each time, with a palette of possibilities. Here is a selection of options to stimulate your imagination—the small pictures link to recipes which I’ve written about in the last year or so. And finally a tuna salad with echoes of Japanese flavors.

Ginger and Pepper Tsukemono
Hot, spicy, zippy sweet ginger and pepper pickles appealed to my desire for distinct flavors.
As I wheeled my grocery cart around the store’s vegetable displays the jalapeños looked dark green, shiny, and plump. I’d recently bought some that were very mild. I thought how pretty they would look with the pink gari. How colors look together has been in my mind: the new house, still mostly empty, needs to have a few rooms repainted.
I was led astray by smooth green skin!
~~~should have considered this:
Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results.

Nagasaki-Style Braised Pork: Buta Kaku-ni

Braised pork belly, buta kaku-ni, is a special occasion dish—so very rich and succulent that one wouldn’t eat it everyday. Today is this blog’s third birthday so celebrate with me! It’s Thanksgiving Day, and while it’s too late for you to make this recipe for the holiday, it would be perfect to serve as an appetizer for your other holiday parties.

Spicy Creamy Sesame Sauce on Ramen

Hiyashi chukasoba mushidori to gomadare: these cold summer noodles are dressed with a lovely creamy sesame sauce. The heat builds up as you eat, but is not overwhelming. Top with seasonal vegetables: tomatoes, cucumbers, bean sprouts, summer squash, chard, snow peas, okra, and so on. Even corn! The recipe includes a nice way to cook chicken so it remains juicy. But you can use tofu, ham, meatballs, hard boiled eggs, shrimp, …

no go ma po to fu“The grand thing about cooking is you can eat your mistakes.” — Julia Child

The other day, I had a craving for mapo tofu. I wanted an easy to make dinner, which would not dirty too many dishes. Hey! I like a bit of spice in my life! As it happened, it was a simple thing that caught me unaware.
This recipe uses cornstarch as a thickening agent. Cornstarch is a flour made by grinding the endosperm of dried corn kernels, much the same way that wheat flour is made.

√ Cornstarch has twice the thickening power of wheat flour and it produces a clearer sauce.
√ An acidic liquid (juices, vinegars, wines), weakens its thickening power by about half.
√ It is best to mix it with water before incorporating it into a sauce, as it clumps easily.
√ If the sauce is overheated, or overstirred, it will begin to breakdown and lose thickening power. If you freeze a sauce thickened with cornstarch, it will become ‘spongy.’

Corn in Japan

Sweet corn is popular on ramen, as corn ice cream, corn kit kats and other snacks, or part of a Mc Donald’s Happy Meal. Corn is sprinkled on almost any Western-influenced dish, especially Italian foods: spaghetti and pizza. At bakeries and convenience stores, you can buy corn korokke, or corn buns which cradle a generous ben of mayonnaise studded with corn. And don’t forget corn cream, a childhood comfort food.

Banana an’ Ginger Ice
I never would have considered banana-ice; remember the banana song which cautioned against putting bananas in the refrigerator?
(BTW: that is not quite right…)
I’d never thought of bananas being popular in Japan, either! A quick google of “bananas in japan” reveals that two years ago, Japan, prone to dieting fads, convinced itself that bananas for breakfast is a magic formula for weight loss. This sweet desert recipe, adapted from Washoku by Elizabeth Andoh, is not suitable for slimming!
This is an easy to make summer treat.

Summer Ramen: Hiyashi Chuka Soba If you are reading this, then it is very likely that someone has stolen (re-blogged) a post which I wrote, without permission. Plagiarism and violation of copyright are not welcome

Lucky lovely noodles, ramen the way I imagined they should be, (made by me, or you, with this recipe), and it’s summer, lovely and cool. Still. So I’ll share a meal with you, a dish to enjoy in warm weather: hyashi chuka soba. It’s exotic but so familiar in a sweet-sour-round broth, cool noodles topped with your favorite foods. Enjoy.

Homemade Ramen Noodles!

J. and I went in search of a mysterious elixir last weekend to make perfect ramen noodles. Yes indeed, one can make ramen noodles at home with this magic potion: Koon Chun potassium carbonate! They have a lovely chewiness that holds up to the ramen broth without becoming soggy before you finish your bowl. Enjoy this recipe; I’ve been looking for a way to make ramen noodles for years!

Ramen Stock
Japanese ramen stock is an elusive elixor of aficionados. I’m talking about a wonderful stock which can be used for making an assortment of different kinds of amazing ramen.
The stock is relatively easy to make, but it is not for the squeamish. It involves lots of bones and some scary cuts of pig all boiled together with “secret flavorings” in a large cauldron.

Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and caldron bubble.
——Macbeth Act IV, Scene 1, Wm. Shakespeare