Gomashio is a popular table condiment in Japan. Most of the time, it is sprinkled over rice, especially over the sticky rice with red azuki bean called ‘Sekihan’ that I absolutely love! The super glutinous rice has a naturally sweet tone, as do the azuki beans, and when you eat it with a sprinkle of salty gomashio (also spelt ‘gomasio’), I feel deep-down happiness because it conjures the memories of eating this rice on happy occasions with my family.
The sekihan isn’t something you eat on a daily basis, it’s served on special occasions (the red colour symbolises happiness), so I sprinkle gomashio over my usual brown rice, and also whenever I make onigiri rice balls for my daughter’s bento, to make the rice taste slightly salty, nutty, and aromatic. Cold rice need a helping hand like that because it could taste bland. Other than using it as a rice seasoning, it can be uses to add pizazz on salads and boiled vegetables, and it could make a great salt replacement that make the salt consumption become more modest in your diet.
There are two ways to make gomashio sesame salt.
One type is a simple mixture of sesame and salt. No cooking involved, it’s literally sesame and salt pounded in to semi-powder in a mortar, that’s it.
And the other type is the sesame that’s ‘coated’ with salt, which is my preferred method, and what the recipe below is for. This method is still very straightforward to make: we simply chuck in the sesame, water and salt in a pot and cook them down until the water completely evaporates. I guess the only trick is to really evaporate the water, so that by the end of it, the sesame seeds are toasting at the bottom of the pan. They’ll turn a perfect golden colour and award us with sweet roasted aroma.
Continue reading “#022: Handmade gomashio recipe – Japanese sesame salt condiment that’s worth their salt!”
Cutting the vegetables, meats and fish in a certain direction according to the direction of the grain or muscle will change the mouthfeel, as well as the taste such as level of bitterness and sweetness. It even changes the nutritional intake.
I find this a logical way to go about cooking; there is the how and the why with the enhanced results. It makes sense to adapt the style of cutting to suit the dish for culinary excellence.
In simple speak, cutting AGAINST the grain means that you are cutting the fibres short. This means that the ingredient would be less chewy as you won’t have to chomp down as much. But it also means it won’t hold shape so well (think pillars and columns missing on a building = it doesn’t have a strong structure and so would crumble down readily). By cutting against the grain, as the cutting knife glides through, you’re essentially slicing in to the cell structure and damaging and rupturing it, and from here, the aroma compound, the flavour compounds, the nutrients readily oozes out. Perhaps this sound horrendous, with all those lovely compounds escaping out, but, the art is in the knowledge that this can be advantageous at times: for example, you can enjoy the maximum fragrance of the herb if you clap your hand on it and rupture the cells which would release the aroma compound. Continue reading “#021: Food will be extra delicious depending on how you cut it! (considering the fibre direction together with the Ying and Yang-ness)”
Here is a recipe using the ingredient that’s having it’s moment, de rigueur of our modern way of eating for sometime. I’m talking jackfruit, but wait, no need for alarm, it’s not a ‘another’ vegan version of bbq pulled pork that seems to win the popularity vote when it comes to jackfruit recipes on the internet.
Instead, in this recipe, jackfruit stars in a healthy and refreshing salad, that is easy to make (hardly any cooking involved) and quick to put together (less than ten minutes).
Continue reading “#020: Devilled jackfruit salad on grilled sourdough bread”
A year and a half ago I bought myself this Ottoni Fabbrica Italian Kettle “Fjord Satinato”!!!!!!! It’s an ALL-stainless steel kettle! :) I bought this after hours of searching high & low! Trying to find a kettle that is truly free from plastic touching the water is near impossible! (The internet can be a labyrinth of just too much information, don’t you think? I end up link-hopping forever and ever without much result nor satisfaction… Anyone with me on that trap???) Continue reading “#010: I am still in love with my plastic-free kettle~!!!!”
A thought occurred to me the other day about how keeping the sourdough starter is a litmus test to review the ‘(wo)man in the mirror’.
When too overwhelmed with daily life & don’t have the space in your mind to mind the starter? It will let you know by becoming sluggish & lacklustre. When the tiny extra work of feeding it is regarded as a burden? Without doubt it will separate. It is clearly no longer a joyous celebration of life, and admit it, your enthusiasm for creativity probably deserves a good kick up the backside. When that cumbersome jar taking up space at the back of your fridge is staring back at you with absent hope whenever you open the fridge door? It is a symbol telling you to get back in to the slow and steady rhythm of life. It’s time to get back in to control. Now…, if your life is idilic enough to bake a loaf from scratch every-single-weekend, you will never have this problem because it will always be refreshed and happily active. If that’s you, wow-za mamma, aren’t you in a good place in life. I’m genuinely pea-green with envy. Continue reading “#005: “Look Mamma, there are living creatures in our fridge…!” 🙂 (Traditional rye sourdough starter recipe)”
I’d like to introduce to you my go-to recipe for brown rice. It’s probably going to look like no-frills (it’s just rice after all!) but it is perhaps THE apt one to be featured as my first recipe. Because being Japanese, rice is my staple food. It forms the foundation of my meals. It’s so often that I eat it that it makes sense for me to try & make my rice meals healthful by opting for wholegrain brown. Continue reading “#002: Recipe for fluffy & plump Japanese brown rice”