Today I am just going to link to a post from one great macro blog with recipes you should definitely try! This time the Sweetveg blog inspired me to try a modified version of the “Vegetables with arame and lemony kuzu sauce“.
I followed it quite closely, except I didn´t have celery stalks, so I just omitted those, and instead of the rutabaga (which you cannot find here) I used parsley root. I also used dried/soaked lotus root slices and dried/soaked/sliced shiitake mushrooms (both are suggested at the end of the original post to be used in this recipe). I´m not sure which cabbage was used in the original recipe, but I had the “curly” savoy variety which works great in stews. I didn´t have daikon so I used black radish, which is just another member of the radish family and has a more sharp and earthy taste than the daikon. The sauce I followed exactly. As a sidedish I made a rice/amaranth mixture with roasted sunflower and pumpkin seeds.
Somehow I think not many people pair seaweed with nuts, but I must say that it´s one of my favourite ways to prepare seaweed dishes! It adds richness and crunchiness to this otherwise “clean” tasting vegetable, which can be a bit bland and/or fishy for some people 😀
I usually also sautee some vegetables on oil as a base – here I used my most common pair of onion and carrot and I also added in parsley stems (don´t throw away those guys!). Then I tossed in the hiziki (first soaked for at least half an hour in water, then drained and rinsed), poured in water to nearly cover the veggies and simmered it all for about 30-45 minutes under a lid on a low flame. Near the end I added a handful of roasted walnuts and seasoned the dish with some salt, shoyu soy sauce and apple cider vinegar.
I served the seaweed with rice pressure cooked with chestnuts (dried ones, so I first had to soak them overnight) and some plain black beans, cooked only with salt.
Yep, you got it right – I DID mix seaweed and anise! Together with a load of sweet vegetables and miso! 😀 Sounds maybe a bit odd but it´s a lovely comforting stew which is pretty warming in spite of the cooling seaweed featured. Anise definitely adds extra warmth to the long cooked winter vegetables…
I cut up carrot, parsley root, parsnip, turnip, hokkaido pumpkin, red beet, curly cabbage and onion into medium-sized pieces, placed them into a thick-bottom pot and covered the vegetables with water. They don´t have to be fully submerged, you can just add some water accordingly during the cooking time. I mixed in a handful of presoaked and rinsed hiziki seaweed (it needs to soak for about an hour). I also added a generous sprinkle of anise seeds and a pinch of salt.
Cover the pot with a lid, bring to boil and afterwards just simmer on a low flame, keeping the lid on and watching that the vegetables don´t get too dry. At the end you can add a tablespoon of brown rice miso diluted in some warm water and let it gently simmer with a lid off. The stew should not end up being too watery, you can also always thicken it with corn starch, arrowroot or kuzu…
I served it with a rice/barley mixture with gomasio.
This is quite a fancy way to serve arame, especially to people who are not thrilled by the vision of eating seaweed – and there are too many of them! 😀 Adding rich ingredients such as almonds and deep-fried tofu always helps…
First prepare your tofu – you could use regular firm tofu, OR dried tofu, which has both a very different flavour and texture, that I really enjoy – if it´s prepared properly. First soak the dried tofu for about 15 minutes, then squeeze out water with your hands, but don´t squeeze too hard, you want the tofu to stay moist, retaining a bit of liquid, otherwise they soak up too much oil. Deep fry the soaked tofu slices until light golden, let them rest for a while on napkinks to drain excess oil and cut up into cubes when cooled down.
Meanwhile you can take a handful of arame seaweed and soak it, also for about 15 minutes, then drain and rinse with fresh water. Sautee onion in a pot with a tiny bit of sesame oil and a pinch of salt, add soaked arame, chopped carrot, curly cabbage and daikon (I used the green variety). Add roasted almonds (I roasted them for maybe 15 minutes in the oven, on a tray with a silicone baking mat). Season with 2 TBSP shoyu soy sauce, 1 TBSP rice vinegar and about half a teaspoon of dried ginger powder. Add fried tofu cubes and enough water to nearly cover. Simmer on a low flame for half an hour, adding water as needed, but only very little at a time.
I served the arame dish with a rice/hato mugi mixture and some raw greens (edible weeds).
Polenta is a very light summer-style dish if you prepare it just by cooking cornmeal in water on the stove. But you can also make polenta more winter-style if you bake it in a casserole dish. You can really play around with this versatile grain dish.
I first prepared standard polenta by cooking 1 cup cornmeal (or special polenta flour, but don´t use the instant one) with 3 cups of water and a pinch of salt. There are different ways to cook polenta, but I personally soak the flour and water overnight and the next day I just bring it slowly to boil and simmer on a low flame under a lid for about half an hour to 45 minutes, without any stirring or other interfering. Then I let it rest with a flame off for 5-10 minutes, it also helps to unstick from the bottom of the pot.
While your polenta cooks, you can sautee veggies on some oil – I used sliced onion and leek, finely cut curly cabbage and finely diced carrot, with a pinch of salt of course to draw out the juices of the vegetables. I also added some arame seaweed which I soaked beforehand for about half an hour, discarding the soaking water. Season with more salt (the veggies will get mixed with polenta, so you need a stronger flavour), fresh or dried rosemary and some pressed garlic cloves.
When the polenta is cooked, stir in the vegetable/arame sautee and transfer content of the pot into a casserole dish and allow to cool.
Now – you can either pop the polenta into the oven to brown the surface a bit and make the polenta more warming (otherwise it has a more cooling overall effect) or you can just slice it up and eat as is (room temperature, might be nice on hot days), or you can even make slices and pan-fry them with some oil. That´s up to you! 😀
The title says it all:
I sliced up a medium-sized and peeled red beet, took apart some cauliflower florets and made big chunks of hokkaido pumpkin. I sprinkled the veggies with olive oil and tamari (the best is to use a spray to get an even light sprinkle, totally worth the money!) and with some dried rosemary. I placed them in a baking dish with a bit of water on the bottom, covered the dish with tin foil and baked for about 45 minutes until tender. The last 10-15 minutes you can bake them uncovered so they get less soggy. In the end it looked like this:
Meanwhile I soaked hiziki (half an hour should do the trick), discarded the water (the flavour can be a bit overpowering), added (overnight soaked and peeled) almonds and cooked the meal for 30-45 minutes on a low flame with some water and tamari. Don´t go too light on the tamari – seaweed needs strong flavouring, otherwise it tastes just like a…well, seaweed 😀 Normally I add some vegetables to the seaweed but this time I left it plain, just hiziki-almonds-seasoning.
I served the dinner with rice and amaranth with some shiso leaf powder.
At the summer conference I attended several amazing cooking classes, the most memorable ones being led by the originally-Spanish and now in Japan residing Patricio García de Paredes. The recipe for this hiziki salad is a slightly adapted version of his “hiziki ceviche”.
First soak a small bunch of hiziki seaweed, at least for half an hour, then cut the “strings” of seaweed into bite-sized pieces, transfer to a small pot with boiling water and boil for about five minutes. Drain and rinse and set aside to cool down. Meanwhile slice a (preferably red) onion into very thin halfmoons, remove the bitter ends, because the onion will not be cooked. Place onion into a bowl, sprinkle with a large pinch of salt (maybe half a teaspoon) and massage for a minute or two with your hands until the onion becomes limp, then set aside for at least half an hour so the sharpness is reduced and digestibility improved by slight fermentation. All previous steps can be prepared ahead of time. When the seaweed is cooled and onion ready, rinse the onion well (otherwise it would be way too salty), mix both in a bowl, add chopped fresh parsley (and fresh cilantro if you have it), some more salt to taste, a bit of oil (I added pumpkin seed oil, but you could use toasted sesame oil), a generous squeeze of lemon and some optional cayenne powder (my addition). The original recipe also called for shoyu and a sweetener, but I omitted those. Salad is best if left for a couple of hours in the fridge or at room temperature, so flavours can meld.
I served it as part of a dinner with sweet millet and gomasio, kinpira of dried burdock,carrots and parsley root, and a condiment of carrot tops sauteed in mustard and a bit of water.