Simple spaghetti with Mushrooms

Love this recipe! So simple and yummy. I often make this dish for lunch or my fridge is almost empty. Only you need is spaghetti, garlic and mushrooms.

What you need;

1 serving

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  • Two brown or regular button mushrooms sliced
  • about 60g of Enoki mushrooms end cut, cleaned and cut to 1.5cm
  • 100g of dried spaghetti
  • 1 clove of garlic sliced
  • 1 teaspoon Olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Soy sauce
  • Shichimi Togarashi, Japanese seven spice (optional)

How to;

  1. Cook the pasta in boiling, salted water until al dente.
  2. While cooking spaghetti, place sliced brown mushrooms in a frying pan and sauté for 2-3 minutes with low heat. If the mushrooms stick to the pan, add a little bit of olive oil.
  3. When the mushroom’s juices start to flow, turn the heat up to medium and add enoki mushrooms, a pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper. Sauté for 2-3 minutes and turn off the heat and transfer the mushroom to a plate.
  4. In the same pan add a teaspoon of olive oil and sliced garlic and sauté until the garlic softens and turns golden, about 7 minutes.
  5. Drain the spaghetti in a colander set in the sink, reserving some of the cooking water.
  6. Add the spaghetti to the garlic mixture, put back the mushroom mixture to the pan and mix well.
  7. Add a little bit of the spaghetti cooking water and a dash of soy sauce and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, to taste.
  8. Transfer to a large plate. Enjoy with a little sprinkle of Shichimi Togarashi if you like a kick!

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Miso

Today I would like to introduce a fabulous lady, my dear friend who makes fabulous miso in Vancouver. When I tried her miso, I felt like Oh!!!! this is the miso I used to eat back is Japan when I was a little girl, so delicious! If you would like to try hers, here is her facebook page. It is worth to try! https://www.facebook.com/misoya.nagomi

She is selling her produce tomorrow at Spring Fair at Japanese language school in Vancouver at 487 Alexander St. Vancouver from 9:30-2:30pm.

If you are not familiar with miso, miso is s a traditional Japanese paste made of fermented soybeans with salt and koji (fungus, fungus??? it doesn’t sound good, but it is good fungus!) Besides soybeans, miso can also be made from barley, rice, or other grains. Miso is definitely a Japanese culinary staple and is used not only making miso soup, but for marinade for fish and meat, sauces and picking vegetables. Miso is high in protein and rich in vitamins and minerals.

There are many kinds of miso available from different regions in Japan. The color can be darker or lighter, and the taste can be sweeter or saltier. The white varieties aren’t really white, but are light yellow and have a sweet taste. The red varieties are dark brown and said have savory flavors. Shinshu miso (brown miso made in Shinshu region), Inaka miso (barley miso) and Koji miso are also popular. Awase miso, which are mixtures of differet types of miso, are also popularly.

I like Koji miso which has sweet flavour. Which miso you prefers reaaly depends  on where you grew up and what kind of miso your family used.

In Japan, a bowl of rice and soup are staples at every meal. The particular recipe and flavour of miso soup in particular vary from house to house and region to region. Each house has their own specific flavour of miso soup, and each family grows up with that particular taste. When you get married, it’s common for wives, who are now responsible for making the miso soup for their new household, to adjust how they flavour the soup so it matches what their new husband grew up with. Wives adjust the recipe to their husband’s family’s miso soup flavour. My husband is from Vancouver, Canada, so luckily for me my miso soup is staying the same at our house!

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Bok Choy Cabbage and Enoki mushroom side dish with non oil dressing

Japanese traditional food is based on planning meals to have ‘ichijiru-sansai’ which means “one soup and three dishes” of which one dish is the ‘main course’ such as fish, chicken, Tofu, pork and beef. For the two ‘side’ dishes, it’s common to use lots of vegetables. We cook with different varied cooking methods. (grilled, steamed, simmered, vinegared, dressed) This bok choy and enoki mushroom side dish is the one I often make at home. It’s not limited to only bok choy, you can use other vegetables such as spinach, cabbage and try this non oil dressing for your regular salad. PIC_4212 PIC_2781   What you need; 4-6 servings

  • 4-5 bok choy blanched
  • 1 bunch enoki mushroom end cut, cleaned and blanched

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For the dressing, makes about 1/4 cup

  • 1 tablespoon grated onion
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated ginger

How to make;

  1. Cut blanched bok choy and enoki mushroom about 1.5cm long.
  2. Mix onion, rice vinegar, soy sauce, sugar and ginger in a small jar.
  3. Arrange bok choy and enoki in a bowl and enjoy with the dressing.

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Soboro Onigiri

If you are lucky to have some leftover soboro, let’s make Soboro onigiri for simple lunch or snack! Onigiri (or omusubi) is rice ball and they are super easy to make and so yummy. They are Japanese comfort food made from rice formed into triangular or oval shapes and usually wrapped in nori (seaweed) and contain various fillings inside such as Umeboshi (picked plum) ,grilled salted salmon, Konbu (simmered konbu with soy sauce, sake and sugar) are very popular, but there are some modern fillings such as tuna-mayo (canned tuna mixed with mayonnaise.

Onigiri is great on the go, I often make them  after school snakes for my boys when we have to be there somewhere right after school, it is often soccer field. :-)

What you need;

1 serving, make 2 onigiri

  • Cooked rice about 1 cup
  • Salt
  • Soboro (about 2 tbsps)
  • Nori

How to make

1. Cut 10″ of clear wrap, put it on a table and sprinkle little bit of salt (not too much!)

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2. Put 1/4 cup of rice on the clear wrap and make a small crater so you can put soboro filling.

3. Put 1 tablespoon of soboro, cover them with 1/4 cup of rice and sprinkle little bit of salt on rice.

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4. Bring four corners of clear wrap together.

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5. Shape onigiri into triangle shape.

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6. Take the wrapper off and wrap onigiri with a piece of nori.

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Soboro Bento

Bento is Japanese lunch box which usually contains rice, main dish and some side dishes. I love eating bento and also making bento. I admit there are one of those days I can’t think of what I am going to pack for my sons, but I try to make healthy and fun lunch for the boys.

Who wouldn’t love opening this kind of lunch box! They are so simple to make. Usually we make this dish using chicken, but I prefer turkey as they are more lean. This meat sprinkle is called “Soboro”.

What you need;

Makes 4 servings

  • 500g of ground turkey
  • 4 tbsps of salt reduced soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp of Maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp of grated ginger
  • scrambled egg (2 eggs)
  • some blanched spinach or other green vegetable
  • cooked rice

How to make turkey sprinkles;

  1. In a medium frying pan, add ground turkey, soy sauce, maple syrup and ginger and cook until the liquid is almost gone, but the meat is still moist. Stirring frequent is the key to make good soboro.
  2. Serve rice in a pretty bento box container and arrange Soboro, eggs and spinach on top.

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You can serve this dish in a bowl or plate as well.

Abekawa mochi

I am back! I have been busy with my other adventures, but now I am back and am looking forward to posting again.

Mochi is Japanese rice cake made of a short-grain rice. The rice is pounded and made into round shape or square like a picture below. In Japan we make mochi a couple of days before the new year for eating in a specail soup we eat on New Year’s day to celebrate. However  they are  also eaten year-round for simple snacks like Abekawa mochi which I am going to show you how to make it.

What you need;

Mochi, Kinako, and granulated sugar (That’s it!, so simple)

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You can find a package of Mochi and Kinako (ground roasted soy beans) in Asian supermarket.

  1. Put two mochi in a microwave safe bowl and pour hot water till a half inch above mochi. Microwave 30 second with power 8. PIC_4181
  2. Meanwhile mix a teaspoon of sugar and a heaping teasppon full of Kinako into small bowl and mix and set aside.
  3. Flip over mochi and microwave another 30 seconds or untill they are soft.
  4. When mochi is done, put mochi into kinako and sugar mixture and coat well.
  5. Dish them up in a pretty plate and enjoy!PIC_4184