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.

Miso Ramen: a night for a fire

The romance of a fire on a cold night is a perfect setting for a bowl of hot ramen. All three cats made a rare joint appearance to watch what skill Tess and J. exhibited by slurping noodles while sitting on the floor!
Home-made stock is key to an exceptionable bowl of ramen; it’s a delightful surprise to turn up a container of the broth from the deep back of your freezer—one of the many nice discoveries made as we slowly move house.

Spaghetti with Walnut Miso Sauce
We saw a butterfly! Poor creature born before his time: snow and no nectar, not even a crocus.
I almost made pink soba for dinner. There is a recipe online for walnut miso sauce on soba, but didn’t bookmark it. Then I remembered a recipe from Ms. Shimbo’s book, The Japanese Kitchen, for a walnut miso dressing for vegetables. I recall that it was quite thick, and rather sweet so I have altered the original recipe a bit, adding a little rice vinegar and more dashi. The pink soba will be more appropriate when spring really has begun.

Spinach and Miso Soup This is not a traditional miso soup! Ms. Shimbo was experimenting to produce a creamy miso soup that did not separate. The bright green color is astonishing; somehow it is brighter and more saturated than spinach in its natural state. You will notice that I used cherry-blossom shaped fu, rather than the croutons recommended…

Nasu Dengaku: Eggplant Grilled with Miso

Nasu-Dengaku-skewersOn our trip to the Farmers’ Market last week, and we showed enough restraint not to buy more than we’d use in a week. I bought some lovely small Japanese eggplants. We grilled them on the hibachi, in the dark—it’s getting dark too much earlier again—and some of them were overcooked. Also, if you study the picture of the plated nasu dengaku, note that I applied quite a bit more sauce than needed on them; even so, this recipe is a very nice way to eat eggplants. Try the recipe but use a lighter hand.

Happy Birthday

anne-b_5580So another day of labor, not nearly so long as above, and I was hungry for dinner. A small piece of salmon, and some shrimp were in the freezer, some dill and asparagus were in the fridge. I took inspiration from the seafood miso soup we ate during the winter holidays, and though I had no lobster, the meal was easy to prepare for one and quite satisfiying.

Bright Orange Kabocha-Miso Soup

Japanese Kabocha Squash SoupThe Portuguese had vast worldwide connections opened trade with Japan. Among the many they introduced to Japan was this squash. The Japanese asked the Portuguese the name of this vegetable, and the Portuguese answered Kampuchea (Cambodia) where it was from. The Japanese heard “kabocha,” and so this mis-named vegetable found its way into the language and cuisine of Japan.