Tag Archives: nishime

Exploring asparagus plus some more vegetable dishes

Here in Slovenia it´s most definitely asparagus season – on the farmer´s market almost every stand has these beautiful bundles of tall green asparagus stalks, they are apparently very popular. Now I had asparagus only a few times in my life, as in the Czech Republic it´s not a vegetable people would normally use. You can sometimes find it hidden in a soup, and it´s easier to find in a posh restaurant. But here it´s a food of “normal people” 😀 I found out asparagus is not your typical “macrobiotic vegetable” (it seems that it´s a tad too yin), but I wanted to give it a try anyway, so I purchased a small bundle and tried steaming it, baking it under a tin foil with some water, roasting it dry in the oven and woking it with other veggies 🙂 Here are two of these creations.

The first one is asparagus simply steamed with a sprinkle of salt. Served with millet-cauliflower mash (see my recipes for this one – basically it´s just millet and cauliflower cooked together and then well mashed), into which I added a teaspoon of shiro miso for more flavour. I also made a “roots and tops” vegetable dish – one big spring carrot sliced into thin diagonals, simmered one minute with water to cover, then I added its fiber-rich cut up tops and simmered under a lid for a couple minutes more, towards the end adding just half a teaspoon of shoyu.

The other meal is asparagus baked in the oven on 200°C for about 15 minutes, with a sprinkle of salt. For my boyfriend I added also a coating of oil and some extra cracked black pepper. Served with rice/amaranth mixture and the Purple passion stew from Jessica Porter´s book. It´s basically a nishime – a piece of kombu on the bottom of a heavy pot, then rounds of daikon, half of a small red cabbage cut into small chunks, and just about an inch of water. I simmered the veggies for half an hour, covered with a lid. It turns the daikon deep purple, how cool!!

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Filed under Complete meals, Recipes, Vegetable dishes

Hiziki with tofu, carrots and green beans

As a sidedish for my lunch I picked another recipe from Wieke´s cookbook (I am trying out several recipes from this cookbook lately, as I really need new meal ideas), this time a hiziki seaweed recipe (actually the recipe called for arame, but I didn´t have that one). I soaked a small handful of hiziki for about half an hour (but less will do), then I changed the water (you can use the soaking water, but then the fishy seaweed taste is stronger, which my boyfriend dislikes :-D) and placed the seaweed in a little pot, with water just to cover. I added half a tablespoon of shoyu and half a tablespoon of mirin and simmered for about half an hour until the liquid evaporated. Meanwhile I shortly blanched chopped up green beans and carrot matchsticks, keeping them crispy. In another small pot I crumbled up about 100 g of firm tofu and simmered it under a lid with 1 tablespoon of ume plum vinegar (you can add water if it sticks too much). At the end I mixed all together. It looked something like this….



I ate the hiziki with nishime vegetables flavoured with barley miso, a carrot top condiment (made by long simmering of chopped carrot tops with shiro miso and water) and with teff. Don´t you think the tiny teff grains looks supercute??

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Filed under Recipes, Sea vegetable dishes, Tofu and tempeh dishes

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 😀 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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Rice and hato mugi are one of my favourite combinations! Of course pressure cooked for 45 minutes and sprinkled with some gomasio…

I made a nishime of daikon, turnip (even with some turnip greens), parsnip, topinambour (Jerusalem artichoke), carrot and butternut squash, seasoned with ume plum vinegar.

Arame seaweed was cooked for about half an hour together with finely chopped carrot tops (extremely fiber rich!), presoaked dried daikon and shoyu.

Mung beans flavoured also with a splash of shoyu.

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

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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Scrambled tofu eggs

On 23.11. I attempted for the first time to make scrambled tofu, something that is supposed to remind you of those good ole days of yellow scrambled eggs from the pan 😀 I got a pretty good result, and it´s sooooo quick and easy! First I sauteed a large amount of onion and leek slices on olive oil, until soft. Then I crumbled in a big block of firm tofu (you really have to squish the tofu in your hand, otherwise you won´t get the desired texture) and seasoned it with turmeric (for the yellow colour and also flavour), piri-piri (chilli flakes), black indian salt and ginger powder. Next time I will put LESS turmeric – the colour was pretty, but the taste was too overwhelming.

As accompanying dishes I had cooked teff (the smallest grain the world!), nishime of pumpkin, and steamed veggies (daikon, red radish, carrot and onion).

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Filed under Complete meals, Recipes, Tofu and tempeh 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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