Tag Archives: daikon

Poppy seed millet with sauteed brussel sprouts

Ever tried pairing poppy seeds and millet? Poppy seeds are a big thing in this country (we used to be pretty famous for their production), but they´re mostly used as a sugary filling in all kinds of baked goods or as a sprinkle on top of savoury buns and bread rolls. In Czech macro desserts they are often used paired with millet and stewed fruit or some other sweet stuff. This time I wanted to mix them with millet just to make a usual grain sidedish and I must say I like it even though it might need some getting used to! 😀 The poppy seeds do lend a very distinct flavour, which I happen to love..

I mixed millet and poppy seeds in a 1:1 ratio and just boiled them together in a pot of water with a pinch of salt (grain to water was 1:3), for about 20-30 minutes.

As a vegetable dish I first blanched brussel sprouts halves – very shortly, maybe 30 seconds, just until they got bright green. Then I transferred them onto a pan with heated oil and sauteed them, stirring often and with the addition of some black Indian vulcanic salt, until they got a bit of a golden surface. I seasoned them with freshly cracked black pepper. I also blanched a few large chunks of daikon, longer than the sprouts, to bring out the daikon´s sweetness. Delightful simple dish 🙂


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Filed under Complete meals, Grain dishes, Recipes, Vegetable dishes

Baked fish with almond and dried tomato sauce

You can use any fish for this recipe, my local fish shop had plaice, so that was what I used.

For the sauce you will need to soak almonds overnight and the next day peel off the skins. Soak a few (one or two per person) dried tomatoes for at least half an hour in water. Place both in a blender with a pinch of salt and half a teaspoon of dried garlic powder. Add enough water to enable blending into a smooth paste (or chunky, if you like that better). Adjust salt.

Place plaice (pun!) in a greased baking dish, spread sauce on top and bake about 20 minutes on 200°C, the crust should get a bit browned. Serve with a grain or (for easier digestion) with steamed vegetables, preferably leafy greens.  I had curly cabbage, string beans and cauliflower leaves. Raw daikon with a drop of tamari soy sauce and some finely chopped spring onion will help to digest the fish and oils as well.


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This recipe is slightly adapted from Wieke´s cookbook, and it is supposed to be a breakfast meal, but I can easily imagine it eating it for lunch or dinner, with a side of veggies. Ume-cha-zuke is basically a brown rice porridge cooked with tea and flavoured with umeboshi. Sounds odd, but it´s really great and refreshing! You can use a green tea or a roasted twig tea (which has much less caffeine) such as kukicha, which is the one I used.

Bring to boil 2 small bowls of rice (I had a long grain rice/wild rice mixture leftover) with 3 bowls of fresh made tea (1 used a tablespoon of the twigs for this amount). Mix in about a teaspoon of umepaste diluted in a bit of tea. Let simmer for about 10-15 minutes. Most likely you will still have quite some liquid left – I took off the lid, brought the porridge to a higher temperature and let some of the liquid evaporate until I got a desired consistency. It should not be creamy, but also not very watery. Ume-cha-zuke is best served with chopped spring onion garnish and thin strips of nori seaweed (easiest is to cut up the strips with scissors). I also mixed in a 1/4 tsp of wasabi paste, yum!

I liked combining it with a small serving of snow nabe, made simply by simmering a few tablespoons of grated daikon with a pinch of salt, a sprinkle of lemon juice and small cubes of tofu (about one slice for two people is enough). And of course miso soup, as every morning 😀

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Filed under Breakfast, Grain dishes, Recipes, Tofu and tempeh dishes

More sour spring meals

I´d like to share some more spring/summer meals from Wieke´s cookbook that I tested a couple of days ago 😀

One of them is Daikon takuan lemon salad: in a small pot mix together daikon cut into matchsticks (about 10 cm chunk) with a tablespoon of mirin and a tablespoon of lemon juice and a pinch of salt, simmer for a few minutes under a lid, stirring from time to time. When it´s done (and still a bit crispy), mix with 5 cm of takuan pickle cut into thin slices. Takuan is a daikon radish pickled for a long time in rice bran (nuka), a very nourishing type of pickle.

The second dish is very similar – put a tablespoon of mirin, a tablespoon of water and a tablespoon of lemon juice into a small pot. Then place a couple of thin slices of hokkaido pumpkin on the bottom of the pot so that all the slices are in contact with the liquid, sprinkle lightly with a pinch of salt. Simmer under a lid without stirring, but keep watching that the slices don´t burn – use a low flame. You can garnish the meal with toasted sesame seeds.

I had these refreshing sour vegetable meals with nishime and a brown rice/sweet rice mixture.

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Sour spring meals

Today I again tried out two recipes from Wieke´s cookbook – Daikon in lemon and Carrots sweet and sour, both with a very fresh tangy spring taste. It would have been a better idea not to combine two quite sour dishes on one plate, but well, now I know 🙂 They were pretty delish anyway, and together with some fresh wild rucola they sure must have given a boost to my detoxing liver…

They are (yes, again…) very simple and quick 🙂 For the Daikon in lemon just slice a 10 cm chunk of daikon into thin rounds, grate 1/2 tsp of organic fresh lemon peel, squeeze out one tablespoon of fresh lemon juice (or just half a tablespoon if you like less sour), mix all together in a small pot with a thick bottom and stir over a low flame for a few minutes. The daikon should not be too soft. Add 1/4 tsp of salt to get the daikon´s juices out and you can add a bit of water if necessary, to prevent burning.

For the Carrots sweet and sour slice one big carrot into matchsticks, combine in a small pot with 2 tablespoons (or 1 or 1 1/2 tbsp if you like less sour) of ume plum vinegar and stir for a few minutes over medium flame until the carrot softens up a bit, then stir in one tablespoon of rice malt. At the end you can mix in about one tablespoon of roasted sesame seeds.

I served these meals with rucola and a side of brown rice+wild rice mixture (with stirred in dried shiitake which I soaked, cooked first in a bit of water, and then, when the water was almost gone, added one tablespoon of shoyu and cooked again until all liquid evaporated). Garnished with black sesame/brown sesame gomasio. For protein I had cooked split peas reheated with salt, fresh celery leaves and sliced parsnip.


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Nishime variations

I absolutely love nishime, especially when I feel a bit low or not so healthy, then this dish is really soothing and healing…and so simple. But you can play with it quite a bit, depending on which veggies you use or also how you choose to season it.

The first nishime is really funny, because it´s completely purple thanks to the red onion and red cabbage 😀 I think it´s pretty! I used daikon, carrot, hokkaido pumpkin, red onion and red cabbage, all cut into large chunks (in nishime you use large chunks so that the veggies retain their sweetness). On the bottom of the pot you place a stamp-sized piece of kombu seaweed, place the veggies on top (making “islands” of separate vegetable groups, not mixing them together) and then add a tiny bit of water, about 0,5-1 cm high. Bring to boil, cover with a lid and simmer on very low flame, possibly using a heat deflector as well, for 10-20 minutes (I like them cooked longer for maximum sweetness and softness). At the end you can either sprinkle a pinch of salt to season (and let simmer still) or some shoyu/tamari (also let simmer), the latter will turn your nishime brown though (unless it´s already purple haha :-D). You could also season with ume plum vinegar or miso or other stuff. Check the nishime from time to time  as it can burn, but don´t disturb it too often or for too long… It´s better off left on its own 😀 If you still have water at the end, take off the lid and cook it away, or strain the liquid, it´s a delicious drink. Don´t eat the kombu though, unless you cooked the nishime long, because it´s too tough, it can be reused again…

For the nishime in the picture I had a sidedish of brown rice with corn kernels (from a jar) and brown borlotti beans (from a can) plus gomasio to sprinkle on top, blanched pointed cabbage, and one umeboshi plum as a pickle and to enhance the healing effect of the dish (I shall write about the magical umeboshis some day…).

The second nishime was similar – daikon, carrot, hokkaido pumpkin, but also celery stalks and parsnip. As a side I had sweet millet , leftover adzuki/kombu/pumpkin dish (I will post about that one) with fresh parsley, and I even had some tiny daikon tops (normally they cut them off in shops, sadly, but I had a daikon which had a little bit left, treasure!).


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As a grain I cooked millet with amaranth (2 parts millet and 1 part amaranth), about half an hour, with 1:3 grain:water ratio. Surprisingly nice combination.

For a seaweed dish I soaked hiziki (or hijiki) for maybe 15 minutes, until it got a bit softer and doubled its size, then I cooked it with a part of its soaking water (just enough to cover), dried daikon (I didn´t soak it this time, which turned out fine), sesame seeds,”shavings” of carrot and burdock root. At the end I added tamari to season and let it cook away (it shouldn´t be swimming in too much liquid, not nice to serve).

As the main veggie dish I cooked chopped kale in some water until it softened a bit, then added small chunks of cucumber, and let it simmer for a while still, seasoned with ume plum vinegar and finely cut dill. I love dill and it goes really well with cucumber, and actually even with the kale.

I also had leftover black hokkaido beans which I just heated up with a bit of diluted dark rice miso – I always like beans with miso in them.

Very strengthening menu!

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Filed under Bean dishes, Complete meals, Recipes, Sea vegetable dishes


Yesterday night I remembered to soak my grain, as it induces a germination process, and the result is even more nutrients in your grain! Plus reduced cooking time, yay! So I soaked a mix of the dutch brown “zilvervliesrijst” with red thai cargo rice, beautiful colours when you put those together…

We had the grain with a smoked mackerel with a black pepper coating (courtesy of the Albert Heijn supermarket! :-D), it was quite tasty and MSC quality (sustainable fishery), but next time I´d prefer non-smoked fish, I like the fresh version of fish better…

I also made nishime from daikon, carrot and onion (see one of my previous posts for how to make nishime), seasoned with tamari. I quickly blanched the rapini and mizuna – so far the best way how to prepare them, better than steaming or eating them raw as I did before. You just bring a little pot of water with a grain of salt (or two, or three…)to boil, place the greens inside, turn off immediately, let sit for a minute and take the greens out, simple! And I made a few chunks of lightly fermented cucumber – just sprinkle some salt over the chunks, let sit for a while and then rinse the salt off. It does wonders to the taste of the cucumber and it makes it more digestable! Overall, a great dish today, I think.

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For dinner after coming from the Art of Cooking workshop I made myself some pretty cleansing, discharging dishes, to further continue what I started at the workshop 🙂

I now eat miso soup twice a day – this time it was with dried daikon (for deep discharge of old accumulation), carrot, wakame and chopped leek as a garnish on top.

I cooked brown calasparra rice together with sweet brown rice and some hato mugi. Calasparra is a wonderful rice coming from Spain. Sweet brown rice is a protein rich strengthening variety of rice of the sticky sort. Hato mugi, also called “pearl barley” or “Job´s tears” is a cleansing grain and I must say I fell in love with it, very nice mixed in with your rice!!

With the grains I made a nishime of daikon, carrot and kombu, seasoned with tamari. A nishime is a very nourishing sweet dish. You prepare it by placing a poststamp of dried kombu on the bottom of the pot (preferrably a thick-bottom pot with a heavy lid), then you place big wedges of daikon and carrot (or other hard vegetables), add only about half a cm of water, cover with a lid, bring to boil, and cook on low flame for about 20 minutes (more or less – depending on how quickly your veggies get soft). I love how it brings out the sweetness in the veggies! At the end I added a splash of tamari, but you can also just use a bit of salt.

I also had sauerkraut for a pickle and some raw rapini and mizuna that Nardo got at the organic market – rapini (or broccoli rabe, turnip tops etc.) and mizuna (Japanese mustard, Japanese greens etc.) are both relatives of the turnip, and they remind me a little bit of rucola.

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