Sunday, January 2, 2011


so at this time of year
there is often a bit of overindulgence.

this is a nice lunch if you ever are feeling a bit seedy.
miso soup is highly rated as a hangover cure,
and brown rice with nori tsukudani is incredibly wholesome.

::miso with tofu and mizuna leaves::

- ingredients -

400cc to 500cc water, 5cm strip dried kombu seaweed,
1 dried whole shiitake, good pinch dried wakame seaweed,
barley miso paste (or your favourite type)
block firm organic tofu,
spring onion, grated ginger, mizuna leaves

**these are estimate amounts, I suggest
give it a try and adjust the amount of
miso paste to stock to your own taste.
general "rules" for making the vegan stock are
1 litre water to 5cm kombu and 1/2 dried shiitake,
2 litre water to 10cm kombu and 1 whole shiitake, etc

***dried kombu comes in long strips
and is available at most asian supermarkets,
as is dried shredded wakame.

- method -

1. put water in a saucepan with strip of kombu
and dried shiitake and slowly bring to a simmer.
just as bubbles start to form on the kombu,
turn off heat and allow to stand for 10-15 minutes.

2. return to very low heat, remove shiitake and
kombu (retain)and scoop out 3-4 tbsp
of the stock and set aside.

3. slice off a couple of strips of tofu and then
cut into small cubes 1cm x 1cm.
keep the remaining tofu in the fridge covered with water,
you can use it within 2-3 days for other dishes.
change the water daily.

4. add the tofu cubes to the soup and heat through.
add the wakame and simmer slowly for 5 minutes or so
or until totally reconstituted.

5. put around 2tbsp of miso paste in a mortar and pestle
and add the 3-4 tbsp stock you have set aside
and grind together to make a paste.
tip this into the stock on stove and mix to blend.
never bring the miso soup to the boil,
keep it just below a simmer.

6. when almost ready to serve add
a pinch of grated ginger for fragrance to the soup
(an essential part of miso soup making,
other fragrant additions include lemon (or yuzu) zest,
sansho leaves, shiso leaves etc.)

7. slice up some spring onion very finely
and pop into the serving bowls.

8. chop some mizuna leaves for garnish.
(mizuna is totally in season right now,
my local la manna has it in loose leaves, awesome.
If you can't get mizuna, cress would also be good).

9. ladle the miso soup into the soup bowl and
top with mizuna leaves.

::ganmodoki (fried tofu ball) with soy and ginger::

- ingredients -

2 ganmodoki (excellent vego Japanese food
available at Japanese supermarkets
in frozen section, or try making your own),
organic Japanese-style soy sauce (I like
spiral foods organic shoyu),
knob of grated ginger,
leftover reconstiuted shiitake
from making miso soup stock above - to serve,
mizuna leaves - to serve

- method -

1. depending on what kind of ganmodoki you have
you will need to either deep fry it until golden
brown (if you have made it yourself),
if it has already been deep fried once but is frozen,
allow to thaw, then pan fry in 1-2 tbsp of
vegetable oil with a small splash of sesame oil
until a darker golden brown and totally heated through.

2. slice ganmodoki into halves and place on serving plate
alongside reconstituted shiitake.

3. pop a small knob of grated ginger
beside the ganmodoki and add a small
splash of soy sauce over both
(be careful - don't drown it in soy!)
and add mizuna as a garnish.
keep some extra soy on the side in a little server
for diners to add to taste.
make sure you scoop up a little ginger with every bite.

::nori tsukudani by yuko::

- ingredients -

3 sheets of toasted sushi nori, 100 cc water,
1 tablespoon soy, 1 tablespoon mirin,
ginger (optional)

- method -

1. tear nori and put it into a pan.
add water, soy, mirin (and grated ginger if you want).

2. bring to boil, and cover and simmer until
water much reduced and the nori resembles a thick,
delicious slugde.

3. serve as a condiment,
to be eaten atop a small bowl of brown rice
best cooked in a pressure cooker
(ideally, for good macrobiotic-ness)
or rice cooker .

::shredded carrot with goma (black sesame) dressing::
adapted by yuko

- ingredients -

2 tbsp black sesame seeds, salt, 2 tbsp olive oil,
1 tsp apple vinegar, 1 tbsp maple syrup, lemon juice

- method -
1. julienne 1-2 carrots and place in a bowl
with a good pinch of salt,
mix and leave for 10-15 min.
squeeze out excess water.

2. toast black sesame seeds and grind lightly
in mortar and pestle so it is crushed and
fragrance released.

3. mix olive oil, apple vinegar, pinch salt, maple syrup,
lemon juice in a bowl. add carrot and toss to coat.

4. add ground sesame and toss to coat.

this is my all time favourite ginger grater.
it is handmade ceramic from a small store in kyoto

and then this was another lunch a while ago,
at the end of spring.

simple, seasonal food always a winner, I find.

this one was:

::brown rice with gomashio::
(black sesame ground with sea salt) condiment

grind toasted black sesame seeds together with a pinch of salt

::world's simplest potato salad
just cook some tasty salad spuds,
then drain and add heaps of olive oil while still warm,
along with a crushed garlic clove,
shredded basil and a bit of mint.
season to taste and add more extra virgin olive oil if bit dry.

::tofu teriyaki macrobiotic style
drain and slice a block of organic firm tofu
into slices about 1cm thick.
heat olive oil and splash of sesame oil in a frypan
over medium heat.
fry tofu slices on each side until light golden brown.
mix around 1 cup water with around 1 1/2 to 2 tbsp each of
organic soy sauce and mirin.
tip half this mix into fry pan,
cover,and cook.
the liquid should reduce and slightly caramelise.
uncover, add rest of mix, reduce heat to med-low
and keep cooking.
you can add a little more water/soy/mirin mix with some
grated ginger mixed in
and keep on cooking slowly
to get maximum taste.
aim is to get caramelised tofu bits
that have effectively soaked up enough
mix to be tasty.
good for barbeque plate as well, i reckon.

::chargrilled asparagus spears
when in season.
chargrill 'em on a griddle pan or barbie
coated with a little oil, then add sea salt and smidge of
fresh cracked papper. a lemon wedge to accompany and
squeeze over to taste.

::miso soup with spinach::
recipe as per above, except with spinach

and the reconstituted shiitake sliced thinly
and re-added to soup


  1. I like your all blogs ;-) All the best in the new year!!!

  2. I'm definitely hungry now. Also, jealous of your beautiful dishes.
    I am reminded that there's miso in the fridge, though. Thanks.
    And Happy New Year!

  3. all sounds lovely, Bree.
    This time of the year is definetely when I want to most eat Japanese simple food which I shared with some friends today. We had potato croquett with home made tomato sauce, cucumber tsukemono(amakara taste), hijiki, dried daikon and sprout salad, sekihan, carrot rice and cabbage salad, all vegan of course.
    I will try yuko san's nori tsukudani recipe tomorrow.

    Thanks for sharing. and a happy new year.

  4. Anonymous08:20

    thank you for the recipies! everything looks incredible.

  5. all looks so good!
    (i love your ginger grater!!)

  6. Oooh I'm craving for a miso soup right now! It would fit incredibly well my ruined stomach

  7. great grater :-)

    saving up for The Neale's Mr Kitly excursion

  8. how special and beautiful.

  9. Wishing wonderful new year!!!
    Have eaten too much- our Xmas food quite heavy - blood sausage,pork and sour cabbage and oven
    potatoes...yummy but greasy...
    Will make miso soup tomorrow....

  10. Wow! This food looks soooooo delicious! I love all of your utensils too. That ginger grater is so unique? I've never seen one like that before. I'm so gald that I stopped by your blog...I'm hungry now. Haha.

    Also, I am having a $25 giveaway to Urban Outfitters on my blog for a mini celebration. Maybe you might be interested?

  11. this is delicious and beautiful to look at.

  12. Thanks for the lovely comments about the meal(s) - they are delish, and very, very easy to make! And so happy you like the grater:)
    Happy eating in 2011!
    ps - momo, your meals always sound so so incredible.

  13. This all looks so so good!

    Lovely blog!


  14. This ginger greater is gorgeous. And congratulations on MR KITLY Shop! Have a good year 2011.

  15. yum! eating in for 2011. thanks for sharing!

  16. Anonymous20:08

    OH Thank you for sharing. I made the nori tsukudani last night - so easy and so delicious. You're a star. Gerry

  17. oh great! we are fans of miso soup!
    yummy! thanks a lot!