"Ohitashi" spinach - basic recipe & variation ほうれん草のおひたし・アソートメント

Kia ora cooking mates!
Do you know the original true season of the spinach? Yes, it just came. 
Both of the taste and nutritive value are high in the winter spinach.

W.spinach  I introduce "Ohitashi" today,
  which is a basic of the basics
  of Japanese home cooking. 
  Just follow the recipe to get the
  basic tip, use your imagination to
  arrange it, and add it as one of your
  side dish recipe.

  ました。 味も栄養価も高くなる


OSvariation(for 4~6 small serving)
            1t = 1 tea spoon (5ml)

350g~400g   bunches of spinach
  1 t       salt
  2 t       soy sauce

favorite toppings like : toasted sesame seeds / dried bonito flakes / etc.

favorite sauce and/or oil like :
dashi-soy sauce*/ ponzu citrus sauce
/ sesame oil / olive oil / etc.

1. WASH : Wash spinach well especially to clean the stem and root parts.
( I usually soak them in water in the sink for a while, then shake them to wash.)

2. COOK : Boil water in deep pot, add 1t salt.

SBoil-R  SBoil-L

Hold all spinach roots (pink parts) together, let those part down and stand on the boiling water. Cook for 30sec, then put all leaf parts in, cook further 30sec.

3. DRAIN :


Drain in a strainer, put on a tray and cool down (fan can be used). I don't recommend to use running water to cool down, because Vitamin-C of spinach flows out with the water.

4. SQUEEZE twice :

C.S.&soy  C.S.&soy1

Hold the spinach pink parts together, squeeze the excess water out. 
Return them back on the tray, now sprinkle 2t of soy sauce over,
                                 then do 2nd squeeze.
**The purpose of this step (soy sauce & squeeze again) is to add preliminary seasoning to maximize the Umami of spinach.

5. CUT & SERVE : Cut into 4cm length.

The pink parts are edible and have sweet taste. 

(A) Traditional serving way:  Put the cut spinach into a small bowl neatly,
pour dashi-soy sauce* over, top with dried bonito flakes, then serve.
*Dashi-soy sauce :
120ml water + ¼ t of dashi stock powder + 1t soy sauce + 1t mirin


     *Handy way instead of making Dashi-soy sauce :
             Thin Kombu tsuyu with water.
         Kombu tsuyu : water = 1 : 4

             Kombu tsuyu is available at LuLu Mart
                     (Asian market in Wanaka)

(B) Serving of variational assortment:
S.layonPlate  Divide cut spinach into some parts on the plate.
  Decorate with favorite toppings and sauce.

                         Marinated red onion & mayonnaise

OV-Sesame        OV-PCh
Salt & sesame oil,              Drops of soy sauce &
toasted sesame seeds                 grated parmesan cheese

OV-Anch        OV-Bonito
Olive oil & chopped anchovies     Drops of soy sauce & dried bonito flakes




The idea comes out in sequence.
If you hit on a delicious combination, just let me know!

         Kia pai te kai kōkihi !

"Tempura of Brussels sprouts" recipe 芽キャベツの天ぷら

Kia ora cooking mates!
B.sprouts.Season  Brussels sprouts became in the market. 
  Do you know it's delicious to eat as Tempura? 
  We can enjoy the feature of this vegetable of
  comfortable bittersweetness. The taste similar
  to the Tempura of "Fukinoto" (edible wild plant)
  which is precious in the limited season in Japan.

  You might not do Tempura cooking at home,
  you may like to eat it at the restaurant though. 
  As you know, there are some tips in the Tempura
  cooking, to get the successful result of light
  texture and crispy finish. We must handle the
  batter made from wheat flour carefully so that gluten doesn't appear. As a simple method that doesn't need to worry about this part, I'm introducing another Tempura batter using mix of rice flour and buckwheat flour instead. So just try it!

した。 これから春先までの数ヶ月、冬野菜として
のです。 微かな甘みと共に、この野菜が持つ
ご紹介もします。 グルテン・アレルギーの方も

(for 4 servings)                 Measurement: 1T = 1 Table spoon (15ml)
                                       1t = 1 tea spoon (5ml)
                                         1C = 1 cup (250ml)

500g (total)   Brussels sprouts and other seasonal vegetables (2~3 kinds)

Tempura batter(天ぷら衣) :   1   egg 卵                    
                       ½ C (120ml)  water 水
                       30g (3~4T)   white rice flour 米粉
                       30g (3~4T)   buckwheat flour そば粉

Oil for deep-fry(揚げ油)

Ten-tsuyu (Tempura dipping sauce)(天つゆ) :
   ½ C (120ml)  water 
   ½ t        dashi (dried bonito stock powder)
   3T        soy sauce
   3T        mirin

Ten-shio (Tempura salt)(天塩) : your favorite salt like:
     sea salt / herb salt / flavoured salt /
     Yukari (red perilla salt)



1)  Preparation of vegetables :
   *Cut Brussels sprouts lengthwise in half. Make slit (cut) each at the middle.
   *Cut and slice other vegetables to appropriate size and thickness for deep-fry.

   C.Vege.BS  C.Vege.Ca  C.Vege.P  
2) Ten-tsuyu dipping sauce :

   Mix seasonings ( water / dried dashi / soy sauce / mirin )
   in a small pan and simmer for 1~2 min. 
   Set aside.

  Here is a delicious handy products as the replacement : 
  Kombu-Tsuyu1 Kombu-Tsuyu T.D.S.K
  KOMBU TSUYU (concentrated seasoning stock)
  which is available at LuLu Mart (Asian supermart on Ardmore street).
  Just thin this with double amount of hot water. Kombu Tsuyu : hot water = 1 : 2

3)  Tempura batter :

   Mix egg and water well in a bowl, then
   add rice flour and buckwheat flour, mix well.

   *Batter made from only rice flour has not
   much tenacity to attach to each veges,
   so add buckwheat flour.  It helps well to get enough tenacity. 
   Although the finishing color becomes a bit grayish from the buckwheat,
   it is the charm of the home cooking!

  T.batter  水を入れたボウルに卵を割り入れて混ぜ、



4)  Heat up cooking oil (for deep fry) in a medium pan.

5)  Deep fry :

   Dust flour (any flour) to coat vegetable lightly 打ち粉,
   then apply the batter, deep fry in the hot oil .

   *Don’t put many in oil at once, otherwise the oil
   temperature falls suddenly and it makes Tempura
   heavy finish. Keep the temperature consistently.

   Cook for 2-min for thin sliced vegetables, 3-min for Brussels sprouts and thicker
   sliced vegetables. Don't touch for the first 1-min, then flip over occasionally.
   Drain the excess oil on the kitchen paper.

   T.Brussels.S  T.BC.Pum
6)  Serving :

   Serve with “Ten-tsuyu” (Tempura dipping sauce) and/or “Ten-shio” (salt).

  擂るととってもいい香り。 白身魚の天ぷらにも
  よく合います。 春になったらまた楽しみたい

  The photo from the spring season last year.
  Vegetable Tempura with Sakura-cherry
  blossom salt.
  I will cook it again in early spring this year,
  and enjoy with this blossom salt.

But, let's fully enjoy these long autumnal night at the moment!
Ka pai ki tenei po ngahuru roa!

Salmon Chanchan-yaki recipe  サーモン・ちゃんちゃん焼き

Kia ora cooking mates! 
Do you have Miso at home?  If you have, why don't you try to cook Salmon Chanchan-yaki?  It's a simple cooking but is super delicious combined
with salmon, vegetables, and Miso+Mayo sauce cooked in a foil parcel.
As my ordered salmon has delivered from Twizel today, Yay, I cook it tonight.

秋の料理、今日はサーモンのチャンちゃん焼きをご紹介します。 ご家庭にお味噌が
あれば是非作ってみてください。 ホカホカのごはんが欲しくなる味です。 一人分ずつ
ホイルに包んでオーブンで焼き上げます。 用意するのは、サーモンの切り身と野菜。
もの3種ほどでOKです。 調味料は味噌とマヨネーズ。 我が家のレシピは、みりん少々
でのばします。 粉末ダシは微量ですが、これはお好みで入れても入れなくても。 

ちょうどTwizel のハイ・カントリー・サーモン社に注文したサーモンが届いたので、

S.090420 S.090420-1
Salmon from the Salmon farm High Country Salmon in Twizel.
It was beautiful fillet!!
I usually use salmon from supermarket, but it's good to try other salmon sometimes.

P.Vs  Preparation of vegetables

  P.V.Cb P.V.C P.V.O

S.C.Miso  Making sauce

Miso               Mayonnaise 
S.C.Mirin S.C.Mix

Assemble on the foil sheet
S.T. S.T.V.
Plenty vegetables cover the salmon fillet with miso sauce
Salmon Chanchan-yaki    ~ style of steam-cooking in foil parcel ~

S.Ch.20/04/19  Originally this used to be a dish cooked by
  local fishermen in Hokkaido (North Island
  in Japan). They cooked a whole (or half) of
  salmon and vegetables dynamically on a large
  “Teppan” hot plate on their boat. It spread out
  nationwide and became the popular home-
  cooked meal. I introduce it with foil parcel style
  which is cooked in oven. Other fish can be
  used as the substitute, which is delicious too.

  The following recipe is for one percel
  (= 1 serve), so multiply the amount
  according to the number of people,
  and make the number of parcels.

(for 1 parcel / 1 serve)             Measurement 1T = 1 Table spoon (15ml)
                                        1t = 1 tea spoon (5ml)
100~120g salmon (fillet or steak)
  80g    cabbage or Chinese cabbage          MISO SAUCE
  40g    carrot                           1T   miso
  40g    courgette or green beans               2T   mayonnaise
  2~3pcs  mushroom                        1t  mirin
  50g    onion                      (*option) ¼ t  dashi stock powder

1)  Pinches of salt over both sides of salmon. (leave for 15 min or more.)

2)  Combine all seasoning and mix well to make smooth miso sauce.

3)  Prep of vegetables:
   To be easy to make layers, slice veges thinly with large surface.               
   cabbage / or Chinese cabbage --- Cut into small pieces.
                    Hard parts must be sliced thinly.
   carrot --- slice thinly (1~2mm) diagonally
   courgette --- slice thinly (5mm) diagonally
   mushroom --- slice
   onion --- slice thinly (5mm)

4)  Prepare a foil sheet (30x45cm). On a half side, spread cabbage pieces
   as a bed. Place salmon on it, spread some-little Miso sauce on, lay vegetables
   and remaining sauce alternately on top.
   Cover with the other side of the foil, fold the edge to seal them well while letting
   extra air out.  ( be careful not to make a hole on the parcel!).

5)  Cook in the pre-heated oven (Bake: 180C or Fan Bake: 170C) for 15min.
   Then turn off and leave it in the oven for another 10 min, or longer until
                                        ready to serve.

< To SERVE > 
** If you use a pair of chopsticks to eat this dish, serve it as the wrapped foil
  on a plate. It’s good to keep the dish warm, also you can enjoy the beautiful
  scent when you open the foil at the table. (Break the centre of the foil to open!)

** If you use knife & fork, it may be better to serve without foil wrapping. Because
  it might make the dish tasteless when the cutleries attach to the foil to cut food.

6)  Enjoy with fluffy rice beside. I love to add a little amount of the rice into
   the remaining juice in the parcel to eat up the juice, too. It's super delicious
   extract from salmon and veges, so don't throw away!

一般的にはお箸でいただくので、ぷっくりと膨らんだホイルごとお皿にのせてテーブルへ。 冷めにくいし、ホイルの中央をつまんで破ったときにフワ~っと良い香りを楽しんでいただけるのは、食べる方へのギフトですね! ナイフ&フォークが必要な方には、
もしかしたらホイルから出してお皿に盛付けたほうがいいかもしれません。 金属の
温かいごはんを添えてどうぞ。 途中ホイルの中に汁が見えてきたら、ごはんを少し
その中に落としてみるのもいいかも。 サーモンと野菜から出た美味しい出汁も、


I enjoyed a part of the salmon fillet as Sashimi as well which was wonderful taste.
Also I got packs of fresh fins and smoked cheeks, too, so will enjoy those during
this Easter weekend.

堪能しました! フィレ以外に、フィンと、チークの部分のスモークしたものも一緒に

               ~ Happy Easter ~

          Kia pai a tēnei wikine o Te Aranga!

Renovation stopped! 改築中断

An unexpected thing happened!
LOCKDOWN after 3 weeks that the construction work began!
Everything has stopped!

となりました。 こんな世の中になるとは想定外! 大工さんたちも4週間は自宅隔離
最近始めたアルバイトも、カフェが営業停止でスタッフ全員自宅待機(新入りの私もまだ首が繋がっているようでホッとした)。 急に自分時間がたっぷり持てることになり・・・ 

Some thoughts hit on me suddenly.
I should go to pick up things which have been left at my house over there.
Winter clothes, warm bedding, and the box of learning materials of Te Reo Māori.
It's the time to learn again at home!

ひとつは、しばらく離れていたマオリ語学習。 この4週間でざっと復習、と思ったら、

The next day...
Wanaka water  On the way to my house,
  I poured spring water into the bottle.
  It flows here always, so thankful.



Inside the house....
C.S.25/03  C.S.09/03

Covered piano-1 

Piano water

  The piano needs moisture regularly,
  so I poured the spring water into
  the container inside of the piano.

Kitchen pile

  Treasure hunt in the pile of dusty boxes


Nga pukapuka

  Found it!

I checked upstairs before I left.

The scaffolding was there in front of the view.


Trees have begun to change color a little.
木々が少しずつ色づき始めました。 寒くなる前に工事が再開されますように。


The view to see through the scaffolding was still beautiful.
Really wishing the construction restart before becoming cold.

Kenchin-jiru recipe  ワナカで作る・けんちん汁

Kia ora cooking mates!  I hope you are all well and safe at home.

Japanese cooking in autumn ~ This time of last year, we cooked "Chan-chan-yaki
of salmon" and "Kenchin-jiru" in the cooking classes.  One of the recipe is here,
so review it and cook it again.

日ごとに秋らしくなってきました。 異例の騒動に、世の中はどうなってしまうのだろうと
先日料理教室の参加者から、レシピを失くしてしまったので送ってもらえないかと連絡があり、(魚料理のレシピでしたが)この季節に合うように少し手直しを入れて送ったところ、とても喜んでもらえました。 家にいる時間が膨大に増えて、料理が気分転換になると。 そうだわ、これが今私がやるべきことかも! 


KENCHIN JIRU (Kenchin soup)  けんちん汁

   Hearty simmered soup dish with
   chunk of tofu and vegetables. 
   I introduced an unique food Konnyaku
   in the class, but I omitted it here
   and made the recipe simple.


                       Measurement: 1T = 1 Table spoon (15ml)
                                  1t = 1 tea spoon (5ml                                          1C = 1 cup (250ml)
(for 4 servings)

150g Tofu
100g carrot --- cut & slice 5mm thick
100g daikon --- peel, cut & slice 8mm thick --- can be substituted with swede.
5~6 mushroom (or 3~4 dried Shiitake mushroom: soaked in water)
½ ~ 1 can (10~15 pcs) water chestnuts --- slice the pieces thinly
(*option) 3 pcs of “Inari” or “Tofu puff” --- cut thinly
2 stalks spring onion (thick slice diagonally) or 1/3 leek (cut/slice)

sesame oil & cooking oil (half & half) for stir-fly

stock & seasoning
3C (750ml) stock (or 3C water + 2t “dashi” bonito stock powder)
2T  soy sauce
2T  mirin
¼ t  salt  (adjust by the saltiness of the stock you used)
1T  potato starch (or corn starch) mixed with a small amount of water

Prep of tofu : Drain.
 If you use soft type of tofu: Wrap tofu with paper towel, then put a weight on it
 (let stand for 10min) to remove excess moisture.

1) Cut/slice vegetables (carrot/daikon/mushroom/water-chestnuts)
Put sesame oil & cooking oil in a pan, add vegetables, cook briefly.

2) Add stock (or, water + stock powder). Heat to boil, then simmer for 10-15min.
When the vegetables were cooked soft, add Inari (or Tofu puff)
and spring onion (or leek).

3) Add seasonings (soy sauce/mirin/salt), and adjust the taste with additional amount of the seasoning, if it's needed.
Add potato starch mixture, stir quickly to make the soup a little thicker texture.

4) Scatter the tofu breaking by hand, simmer another 1~2min, then off the heat.

5) Serve hot in individual bowl. Top with chopped spring onion.
Cracked pepper and drops of sesame oil will be nice finishing touch, too!

I-kenchin-tp  I-kenchin-t
I got a packet of tofu from LuLu mart (local Asian mart in Wanaka),
                          and used the half (150g).

I-kenchin-2  There wasn't mushrooms at home,
  so I didn't use it this time.
  As there was a leftover of taro, I used it.

   A can of water chestnuts, (レンコンの代わり)
   which has "saku-saku" crispy texture.
   Slice each pieces and cook with other veges.

I-kenchin-4  I-kenchin-3
I bought "Tofu Puff" at LuLu mart. (They have some stock in fridge or freezer)

Kenchin with chicken  As Kenchin-jiru is Buddihist cuisine
   (vegetable dish) of the temple,
  meat was not used originally.
  But it can be added for preference
  at home. 
  If you would like to add meat, try to use
  chicken thigh (cut into small pieces). 
  Delicious taste flows from chicken,
  which makes the soup taste deepens.

また、このレシピは、限られた日本食材しか手に入らない地元で作るものなので、ごぼうやコンニャクは入っていません。 手に入りやすいもので代用したり馴染みのある食材を使うことで、現地の家庭料理として浸透していくことを願ってつくったレシピです。


現在別のところに住んでいます。 不安の多いご時世に、ここの大きな窓から

Scean 31/03/20
   (Lovely sky view through the window at the temporary house here)

       He rangi ātaahua.   Kia kaha tātou katoa!