On 29th October my boyfriend arrived from his vacation, so I wanted to surprise him with a bit of a more fancy meal. He loves miso soup, so I had to make that one – this time with fresh daikon, plenty of onion slices and with mugwort mochi (I think I mentioned already that mochi is a Japanese product made by pounding sweet brown rice into a firm sticky block, this one was flavoured with a herb called mugwort, it´s a dark green mochi!!).
The main course was pressure cooked brown rice with buckwheat (about 3:1 ratio), tempura of sweet potato and carrot slices (see previous post for the simplified recipe), sauteed cabbage, leek and fennel (without oil, just using a splash of mirin towards the end), a pressed salad from pointed cabbage
-thinly slice cabbage and place in a deep bowl, sprinkle about half a teaspoon of salt for two big handfuls of cabbage (it´s a bit hard to tell the exact amount of salt you need, but don´t use too little, you need the salt to start the fermentation), massage in for a minute or two using your hands, put a small plate on your salad in a way that it sits directly on the salad and put something heavy on the plate (you can of course use a salad press if you have one…I don´t). Let sit for at least half an hour, but preferrably for a couple of hours. The salad will release some water and it will be slightly fermented, just to break down the tough and hard to digest cellular structure, plus it gives the salad a pleasant fresh taste. You can rinse the cabbage in case you find it too salty.
and a kinpira…
-cut an equal amount of carrot and burdock root (can be found in some health shops, but it´s quite rare, you can also find them in nature) into quite thin matchsticks, quickly sautée on a high flame using a tiny bit of water, add sesame seeds if you like, put a lid on, change to very low flame, and slowly cook for 20-25 minutes. Be sure your kinpira doesn´t burn, but don´t lift the lid too often…at the end season with tamari.
For dessert I made a white rice pudding – I cooked a cup of white organic dessert rice (a sticky short-grained rice) with 4 cups of fruit juice (I used water mixed with fruit concentrate, in Holland called “diksap”), add chopped up dried fruit (I used a handful of organic dried apricots) and perhaps a squeeze of lemon (if you want to, you can also add lemon or orange peel, and vanilla essence or powder…). Bring to boil and cook under a lid for half an hour. Turn off heat and let sit for a few more minutes and better even longer so that the water soaks in a bit more. You can mix in a spoon or two of almond butter – I didn´t have any so I just sprinkled some roasted almond flour on top of my servings. If needed, add a natural sweetener, like maple syrup, or rice malt. Next time I have to be more careful with the liquid (I used too much) and maybe I will try and make this dessert in a pressure cooker for a more dense texture.