Kimiko’s Eggplant Hamburger Steaks

I am always looking for a recipe which I can add more vegetables to make healthier meals. Fortunately my kids love vegetables, so I am a lucky mom who never had problems feeding vegetables to them. Japanese hamburger steaks is one of their favorite dishes and I added some eggplant this time in meat patties.

What you needs;

4-6 servings

  • 600 g organic ground lean beef
  • 1 small onion about 100g
  • 1 Japanese eggplant about 150g
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons grated ginger
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons Cooking or olive oil (divided)
  • Grated daikon radish
  • Grated ginger
  • Japanese mustard
  • Soy sauce

How to;

  1. Peel onion and chop finely and dice eggplant. In a medium frying pan, heat a tablespoon of cooking oil and sauté onion and eggplant till soft and onion is translucent about 10-15 minutes. Set aside and cool.
  2. In a large bowl, add beef, sautéed onion and eggplant, egg, grated ginger, salt and ground pepper and combine well.
  3. Wash hands. Put a little cooking oil on your hands and make 4-6 large oval shaped patties or 8-12 small ones.
  4. Heat a tablespoon of cooking oil in a large frying pan and fry patties until they are nicely browned and cooked through.
  5. Serve with grated daikon radish and grated ginger with soy sauce or Japanese mustard and soy sauce.

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Monaka, Japanese delicate sweet

If someone asks me what kind of food I miss from Japan, I would say one of them is Japanese delicate sweet. There are certain food and sweet which you just can’t make at home. My girl friend recently visited Japan and brought me back Monaka, Japanese sweet. Monaka is made of azuki bean jam filling between two really thin and delicate wafers. It looks some what like Macaroon from photos below, but it is not. It looks so pretty and taste so delicate and yummy. Usually the filling could be Azuki beans, chestnuts, and this one was white beans. This sweet is from a very famous store called TORAYA http://www.toraya-group.co.jp/english/. They have two stores in U.S., but Canada. I wish they have one here…..

 

Easy and simple temaki zushi

Temaki  zushi ( hand rolled sushi ) is really simple and easy to make. It’s great for weeknight supper and also entertaining. You can prepare filling ahead and your guests can help themselves to make their own sushi. Also you don’t really need any thing special. Tonight, I used cucumber, picked daikon radich ( Yellow stuff you see below ), some avocado, immitation crab and salmon flake which I made a day. Here is how to make sushi rice.

What you need:

2 cups of sushi rice

2 cups water

5 tablespoons of rice vinegar

4 tablespoons of sugar

1 teaspoon of salt

  1. Rinse the rice a couple of times till the water runs clear and pour the rice and 2 cups of water into a deep saucepan and let stand 15 minutes. Bring to a boil, stirring to prevent sticking on the bottom. Immediately after coming to a boil, reduce to a very low simmer, cover, and simmer without stirring for 10-15 minutes. Then turn off the heat and allow to stand with the lid still in place for about 10 minutes to finish cooking.
  1. Meanwhile make the sushi vinegar. Put the vinegar, sugar and salt in a small bowl or a jar and stir until dissolved.
  1. Transfer the rice to a large bowl, preferably a wooden one. Pour the sushi vinegar slowly over the rice using the back of your rice paddle or spatula to broaden and gentle the stream. Mix the rice to distribute the sushi vinegar thoroughly. To prevent breaking the grains and avoid mashing them together, use a “cutting” or “slicing” motion to mix with the rice paddle or spatula. Throughout the vinegaring and mixing process, fan the rice with your other hand using a Japanese fan or a piece of cardboard. Fanning will cool the rice to the right temperature and is critical to evaporating excess moisture.

Tofu Pouch, Aburaa ge

Abura age are deep-fried thin slice tofu pouch which are great for simple stir fly with veges or Inari zushi and eating with udon, soba and somen noodles. Today I made simmered aburaage for making Inari which my third son loves! There are a picture of aburaage package, usually a pack contains 6 pcs or 12 pcs. You can buy already made ( simmered with soy sauce & sugar ), but they often contain MSG and homemade ones are fresh and of course delicious! When you see a picture in No.4, you see a little wooden lid, which called otoshi buta. We use this to all the ages stay in the simmering broth while cooking. If you don’t have on, please cut a small parchment paper and make a small hole in the center and use it as otoshi buta.

Kimiko’s Tofu Pouches 20 pcs

1 2/3 cups dashi stock

¾ – 1 tbsp sugar

¾ tbsp soy sauce

½ tsp Salt

10 large tofu pouch (abura age or age) about 5cm x 10c

  1. Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Use enough water so that all the tofu pouches would be covered.
  1.  To make the pouches easier to open later, quickly roll each one a few times with a rolling pin. Put the tofu pouches in the boiling water, and boil briefly for 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat, discard all the water, and let the pouches cool.
  1. When cool, cut them in half crosswise to make two pouches half the original size, and gently open them from the cut edge.

  1. Place the dashi stock, sugar, soy sauce and salt in a medium pot and bring to a boil. Add the tofu pouches and simmer for about 20 minutes till the pouches become soft. Remove from heat and let the pouches and broth cool to room temperature.

These are great for making “Inari zushi” (stuff with sushi rice), or simply put 2-3 pouches in your udon or soba noodle soup, in addition to the noodles and any other vegetables etc. Today I made inari with them.

Enoki Mushroom simple saute

Lately I am trying to eat like my mother does. When you have kids, you don’t spend much time feeding yourself, you feel like feeding somebody else all the time. Most of time, you eat meals while you are standing and cooking something or doing other things. You don’t think about what you are eating and simply you forget to appreciate food you are getting. So even though, when I prepare very simple lunch, I try to present nicely, sit down and appreciate your food and don’t forget to say “Itadakimasu” & ” Gochisosama. Today I made very simple enoki mushroom saute and some avocado slices with nori ( I love this combination, avocado&nori).

It is so simple to make!

You will need:

1/2 package of Enoki mushroom

sesame oil for sauteing

salt & pepper to taste

1. Cut the spongy part off the root of Enoki Mushroom.

2. Add a little bit of sesame oil into small frying pan and saute Enoki mushroom just 2 minutes.

3. Add salt & pepper and a dash of soy sauce if you like.

Enjoy!