Chorizo and Shrimp Rice
Japanese Shrimp and Sausage Rice
This one-dish recipe with shrimp, sausage, peas, saffron, and ginger provides a hearty meal with remarkable complexity of flavor and fragrance. The result is like a cross between Paella and a delicate Stir Fry. The flavors permeate the rice, but because the pot has not been stirred, there are gradations of taste and fragrance from top to bottom. Does it taste Japanese? Well, I think the Japanese should claim it before someone else does!

Sugar Snap Peas, Shrimp, Somen
peas-and-nasturtium_2675Spring in the garden begins with hope; planting seeds is an act of faith, anticipating a bountiful harvest to share. In May, I planted a short row of sugar snap peas in the window box outside the dining room window. The picture in my mind was of green vines shading the meals we’d share together from the hot summer sun.
I also planted some nasturtiums at the front edge of the window box because they have brilliant peppery edible flowers and leaves. I anticipated that they would provide color once the spring/early crop of peas needed to be removed.

These fruits of my labor inspired this very seasonal meal.

Steamy Shrimp and Bay Scallops

Mr. Tess worked out of town several weeks this summer. Cooking for one: white grape juice, directly from the bottle. Tuna and mayo on macaroni. Thin spaghetti with butter and pepper. Vanilla ice cream in front of the freezer. What do you eat when no one is looking?
Here is a “cooking for one” meal which had some healthy green things to supplement the essentially white starch and carbohydrates I was over consuming.

Ebi Chili, Ebi Chirri, Shrimp in Chili Sauce

What’s better than chilli in winter? Japanese-style Szechuan Shrimp in Chili sauce!
Though the winter here has not been especially chilly, a nice spicy dinner is most welcome!

This recipe can be made quickly, and with only a little planning, it’s a pantry meal. We often have shrimp in the freezer, and the main seasonings are ginger, garlic, and toban jan.

Chirashi Zushi with special guests
The guests: our daughter, her boyfriend, and of course Mikey came to the table for this meal. This was the first time I met “the boyfriend” and of course I was apprehensive about making a good impression. My friends laughed and advised that it is his business to do so. In fact I believe that such a relationship, should there be such, must be approached as equals. Nonetheless I did not want to seem incompetent or foolish.

Chiarshi sushi, scattered sushi, is a good meal for a nervous hostess especially if one serves the component foods arranged over the table so that each diner can choose what to eat, what they each like best.

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.

Chawan Mushi with Ginkgo Nuts

One of the first Japanese recipes I ever made is this savory custard. It’s more unexpected than exotic, soothing and almost familiar. Twenty years ago, I had no idea what dashi was but I must have found an instant dashi soup mix in a store specializing in foreign foods. Ginkgo nuts, lily root, and chestnuts were impossible to find; eggs, chicken breast, shrimp, and soy sauce were easy.

Ebi-shinjo: Shrimp Dumplings




Success!!! I posted about ebi-shijo (shrimp quenelles) quite a while ago, but I was very disappointed in the way they turned out. A suggested that she had eaten ebi-shinjo that were much simpler, so I approached the re-make of this recipe with that in mind.
comment on that postshinjo_5946I think the biggest problem with the original recipe is that there is just too much liquid.
I didn’t care for the chewy texture of the mushrooms, so I left them out.
I wanted smaller dumplings, so I didn’t boil them wrapped in parchment, nor did I try to deep-fry them. I think these dumplings would have held together in the hot oil, and I may try that some other time; they would make a nice appetizer! Shizuo Tsuji, in his book :Practical Japanese Cooking, has a recipe for crab balls in a clear soup (with a variation for shrimp) which looks interesting—his technique uses plastic wrap to keep the (large) dumplings smooth while cooking in the boiling water.
The shiso flavoring was overwhelming in the original recipe, so I used some lovely garlic chives from my garden just for color.