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 Steamed Salmon and Roe

This is a lovely dish, elegant yet very easy to make. The salmon, shrimp, and gingko nuts, with the chard are a beautiful combination. Perhaps it’s good that I can see some ways to make the finished dish look even nicer so will have to make it again.
Why?
Because it is a very tasty dish as well!

Salmon with Chestnuts and Ginkgo Nuts

I’m rich! If only I could take my treasure, laughing, all the way to the bank: I have collected and cleaned several hundred ginkgo nuts.
What will I do with them? They certainly are on many future menus here in The Ginkgo House: I don’t think we will get tired of them. Ginkgo nuts are valued for their flavor and fortune. They are used in good luck dishes served at New Years and weddings. They are cooked in soups, stir-fries, desserts, and eaten with beer for good health.
The Chinese (later also Japanese [ginnan]) word ginkyo means “silver apricot” (gin=silver, kyo=apricot). Coincidentally, this recipe has a silver sauce (gin-an). It is a gentle dashi-based sauce thickened with cornstarch or kuzu starch (arrowroot).

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.

Senba-jiru: Fishermen’s Soup

Senba Jiru Japanese Fishermen's SoupThe name of this soup literally means “onboard boat,” indicating that it was made on fishing boats. Today, however, fish is caught on large factory-size boats that spend weeks out on the open seas. The fish are caught, cleaned, and frozen right on board, making it possible to haul in big volumes at relatively low costs. This soup can be made with fish scraps (from other meals), or with cheaper fish—Ms. Shimbo specifies mackerel, but suggests salmon can be used for a less “fishy” taste.

Salmon Steamed with Sweet Rice

Salmon Steamed with Sweet RiceThis dish is usually served in the spring with tai (sea bream), and tinted sweet rice: the pinks are associated with cherry blossoms. Autumn is beginning here so I’ve used wild salmon and flavored the rice with shiso from my garden. This recipe uses a different kind of Japanese rice: mochigome (glutinous rice), sometimes called “sweet rice.” This rice is used in dishes that require more stickiness. It requires soaking (at least 3 hours, to overnight) because it absorbs less water when it’s steamed.

Teriyaki Fish

Teriyaki SalmonThe recipe is from the project book. I will note substitutions now: I used salmon fillets from the freezer, and neglected to notice that I should have removed the skin. As it turned out, the broiling and glazing made the skin nice and crispy, so that was good. I forgot the pickled ginger, but it would have been very nice with the fish. According to Ms. Shimbo, yellowtail is usually eaten during the cold months when it’s less oily, so her suggestion to serve it with mashed potatoes fell flat for me on a warm summer day. Avocado with lime, and tomatoes and broccoli were more appealing.

Salmon and Lotus

lotus root chipAccording to Ms. Shimbo, “namban” means “southern barbarian.” This word was applied to the Portuguese and Spanish, the first Westerners who came to Japan in the 16th century. Until that time, the Japanese traded mosty with Koreans and Chinese. “Namban” reflects the shock that the Japanese felt upon encountering Europeans with their large noses and eyes, hairy bodies, and height. Among the new foods and cooking techniques were squash, potatoes, corn, watermelons, chile peppers, figs, sugary sweets, and deep-frying.