Tag Archives: mochi

Chestnut mochi kanten

Ok, three things to say up front: finding a name for this recipe was really tough, it could also be called chestnut-mochi-kuzu-agar agar dessert. But I spared you and chose a simplified version ­čśÇ

Second, this dessert is ugly. It really is. It looks like wet grey concrete. Somehow chestnuts, at least the dried ones, don┬┤t make for a pretty dessert. But who cares, right? It┬┤s the taste that matters…

Third, this dessert is absolutely guilt-free. It┬┤s even healthy! There is not a gram of added sweetener, no rice malt, maple syrup, fruit, nothing. Just chestnuts to make it sweet (which are really healthy for your blood sugar levels). This also means that this dessert is very mildly sweet. But for us who have sensitive taste budes and who are on a restricted diet with zero or very few desserts, this is still a blessing ­čśÇ

Now back to business. You just need to soak (preferrably overnight) about half a cup of dried chestnuts (add water to make the cup full). The next day pour it all into a pressure cooker and add about 1/4 cup of sweet brown rice. Add a pinch of salt, water to cover, bring to pressure and cook on a low flame and on a flame tamer for about an hour. Transfer to blender (you should have enough liquid, but adjust as needed) and puree. Bring back to the pot, add 1 tsp of kuzu diluted in a tiny bit of cold water and 1 tsp of agar agar powder (if using flakes or bars, you need to follow package instructions for the amount used). Bring mixture to boil while stirring, let simmer gently for a few minutes and then serve warm or let cool down and solidify. The texture is amazing…….

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Cauliflower with pumpkin-mochi sauce

This dish looks really beautiful, I think, because of the contrast of the bright orange sauce poured over the white cauliflower and grain ­čśÇ

I just boiled one smaller cauliflower head split into two halves (it needs about 10-15 minutes, submerged in salted water). For the sauce I cooked hokkaido pumpkin cut into chunks, and again, just enough water to submerge. You can cook this a bit longer than the cauliflower, together with grated brown rice mochi (for creamy texture), barley (or other) miso to taste, and a dash of lemon juice. Then blend until smooth and bring back to boil for a second.

I also blanched the cauliflower leaves, since they looked nice (and again – here┬┤s your fiber!) and served the meal with rice and barley mix.

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Shoyu bouillon and melted mochi nishime

I consider myself a bit of a soup freak. I used to really dislike soup as a kid and always wanted to skip it and go straight for the main course, but in the Czech culture soup is pretty important and is not to be skipped ­čśÇ Well…in the last years I learnt to make soup that I actually enjoy. No – I love soup! And I could totally live off it…

Like this shoyu bouillon… Normally I stick to miso soup in a thousand variations, but I wanted to give this a try. And it was a good idea I will repeat again soon. So simple! For two people, just boil water and add: about 5 cm piece of kombu, about 2 cm piece of broken up wakame (I crush it between my fingers), fine strips of leek, daikon cut in cubes and one fresh chopped shiitake mushroom. Boil for about 5-10 minutes, then take out the kombu (you can use it for nishime or for cooking grains/beans), add one 1 cm thick slice of tofu cut into small cubes and 2 tablespoons of shoyu (for 2 bowls of soup). Garnish with fresh chopped parsley.

For the main course I made sweet millet into which I added (in the last 5 minutes) diluted brown rice miso to simmer and in the end mixed in fresh chopped parsley; and nishime of turnip, carrot, topinambour (Jerusalem artichoke), onion, parsnip, sweet potato and celery root. At the end I mixed in diluted shiro miso to simmer for a few minutes, together with a small cube (about 5 X 5 cm) brown rice mochi, grated on a grater with bigger holes. The mochi melts and it all becomes a lovely naturally sweet gooey mess, ehm, mixture! I learnt adding mochi to nishime from a friend of mine and it was a great learning moment…

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28.11.

For grain I pressure cooked a mixture of brown calasparra rice, sweet rice and hato mugi (my favourite combination as of late!). I quick-sauteed, just on water,┬á sliced fresh lotus root, daikon, carrot and kohlrabi, and at the end sprinkled on top some dried parsley (of course, fresh would be way better, but even the dried one gave quite a strong and pleasant parsley flavour). The most interesting part of this lunch was long cooked sweet potato (just in enough water to cover it, cook roughly 15-20 minutes), which I mashed in the end with a fork and mixed in ginger powder – take it easy with the ginger, but it┬┤s otherwise a really nice combo!

For dinner that day I made some really tasty soup – I sauteed a large amount of sliced onions on olive oil, together with dried oregano and basil. I added small florets of cauliflower, enough water to cover the veggies, and threw in one block of cubed mugwort mochi (I think I already wrote about mochi – pounded and then dried sweet brown rice, formed into firm blocks, this one was flavoured with mugwort, a wild herb). The mochi totally melts in the soup if you add it in the beginning of the boiling process and it gives your soup this soothing creaminess. In the end I just mixed in some diluted shiro miso (young white miso) and perhaps some salt, as this miso is not too salty on its own. Success!!

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29.10.

 

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 saut├ęe 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.

 

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