Saturday, February 05, 2011

One can't get enough of Japanese food

I'm back! We have changed our internet provider and now I'm back online, only our telephone still doesn't work, oh well, I don't like calling people anyway. It's much more fun to have a cup of coffee with a friend than talking for hours on the phone.

But I wanted to post some super easy and delicious Japanese food. While testing some recipes for the culinary tour for which I -of course- made more recipes than entries I can make, I found so many which are worth blogging about. But these are the ones I did for our dinner, so I present you the second meal with Japanese food we had in this week. 

It consisted of sato-imo with sesame, natsu-don (eggplant bowl), lotus root kinpira (simmered lotus roots), quick-fix kyuri tsukemono (pickled cucumbers) and of course (brown) rice.

Shizuoka Gourmet  had a recipe for sato-imo (taro) which I wanted to try for a long time. This was the perfect opportunity. The recipe is so simple and yet so tasty, it is really worth trying it out. But let's get a bit nostalgic about taro first ... with a waka poem by Muko Kokushi:

on the leaf of a taro

a white dewdrop lingers

and then falls off -

yes indeed this is

a tear of joy (of the Buddha)

Here are sato-imo, cooking in the pot:

This is how they look cooked and peeled. Yes, you can already guess that they are a bit slimy. But sliminess is an important tactile feature in Japanese cuisine. You should alway try to have different textures in your meal to stimulate your tactile sensitivity. Thus sliminess is very important! It took me a while to appreciate slimy food and I still can't stand tororo (white slime from grated tororo imo) on my soba noodles. But with time ....

But in the end the sliminess blended perfectly with the sesame and it was my favourite this evening, so if you want to impress with a very Japanese dish which is actually not time consuming at all but rather done in a jiffy, try this recipe.

Next the lotus root kinpira; I love lotus roots because of their crunchy texture. You can find the recipe here. don't they look beautifully?

And the finished version together with the natsu-don, for which you can find the recipe on Vegan Ronin's blog. She included a nice photo tutorial.

An equally easy dish was the quick-fix cucumber tsukemono. There is no real recipe, but I try:


2-3 mini cucumbers (or Japanese cucumbers, or any variety with small seeds)
1 teaspoon salt
1-2 tablespoons rice vinegar
crushed sesame

What to do

Wash and cut the cucumbers fist in halves and then in very fine slices, massage in (important!) salt, let sit for at least 15 to 30 min. Then gently squeeze out the water and add vinegar. Sprinkle with crushed sesame (not gomasio, that would be too salty, you can use toasted whole sesame seeds instead). That's it, you are already finished, so lean back and enjoy!

And, just for the fun of it, I want to add a random friend photo. This is Gottfried, the little kitten from my friend K in Austria:


  1. I love, love, LOVE Japanese food!

    Cool profil pic! I love Black Butler ;p

  2. @Dr. Krystal:
    we actually share more interests besides Japanese food. I love knitting and crochet, too. You have a very beautiful knitting blog! Great that you can already read Japanese knitting books. If it just weren't for the kanji *sigh*
    We obviously also share a love for Japanese music and anime ^-^