Japanese Burdock Rice \\\ Riz japonais à la bardane

(version française plus bas!) 

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The other day, I stumbled upon some burdock root at my favourite produce store. I was really curious to see it sold as a root vegetable, as I am more familiar with the dried root that I use in herbal tea blends. Well, the fresh root is delicious! It has a really mild taste that goes well with everything and a fun crunchy texture. I paired it up with some shiitake mushrooms for a Japanese style rice that is perfect for lunch or as a side dish.

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Here is what you need:

  • 2 small carrots
  • 1 burdock root (about 15cm long)
  • 10 dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 cup shimeji mushrooms
  • 2 tsp dried wakame seaweed
  • 1 tbs soy sauce
  • 2 tbs mirin
  • 3 cups of Japanese rice
  • 6 cups of boiling water

Here is what you do:

  1. Place your shiitake mushrooms in a small saucepan with 1 cup of boiling water and set on medium heat. Let simmer while you prepare the vegetables.
  2. Peel the carrots and burdock root and cut into julienne strips. You should have about 1/2 cup of each. Place in a high rim pan and set aside.
  3. Carefully remove the shiitake mushrooms from their water. Add their soaking water to the pan. Cut the mushrooms in thin strips and add to the pan. Set the pan over medium heat.
  4. Add the shimeji mushrooms (I kept them whole and just removed their “roots”), wakame, soy sauce and mirin. Let simmer until most of the water is gone. The mushrooms should be tender but not done yet.
  5. Wash the rice thoroughly and add it to the pan. Mix well to combine and add 3 cups of water. Cover and let cook until most of the water is gone. See if your rice needs more water to be fully cooked and add one cup at a time to avoid making everything too mushy, mixing well each time. Make sure to keep your pan on medium or even low heat to give the rice a chance to cook without burning or sticking. Serve hot and enjoy!

I love this rice! It is soft and savoury, and the shiitake mushrooms bring a lot of flavours. The burdock and carrots bring some freshness and some crunch while the mushrooms are chewy and delicious. It really is a great side dish if you are preparing a Japanese-themed feast! Let me know if you try it out!


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L’autre jour, je suis tombée sur des racines de bardane alors que j’achetais mes légumes. J’étais vraiment surprise et curieuse de voir ces racines parmis les légumes parce que je suis plus familière avec cette racine sèche dans mes tisanes. Et bien, la racine fraiche est délicieuse! Le goût est plutôt doux et légèrement amer, mais la texture est fraîche et croquante. J’ai combiné cette racine avec des champignons shiitake pour faire un riz à la japonaise qui est parfait en à côté ou en boîte à lunch.

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Voici ce dont vous aurez besoin:

  • 2 petites carottes
  • 1 racine de bardane (environs 15 cm de long)
  • 10 champignons shittake secs
  • 1 tasse de champignons shimeji
  • 2 c. à thé d’algues wakame séchées
  • 1 c. à soupe de sauce soja
  • 2 c. à soupe de mirin
  • 3 tasses de riz japonais
  • 6 tasses d’eau bouillante

Voici ce qu’il faut faire:

  1. Placer les champignons shiitake dans une petite casserole avec une tasse d’eau bouillante et laisser frémir à feu moyen. Laisser mijoter pendant que vous préparez les légumes.
  2. Éplucher les carottes et la racine de bardane et les couper en julienne. Vous devriez avoir 1/2 tasse de chaque. Placer le tout dans une poêle à bord haut et laisser de côté.
  3. En faisant attention de ne pas vous brûler, retirer les champignons shiitake de leur eau. Verser leur eau sur les carottes et la bardane. Couper les champignons shiitake en fines tranches et les ajouter aux autres légumes. Placer la poêle sur feu moyen.
  4. Ajouter les champignons shimeji (Je les ai gardés entier tout en ayant coupé leur base), les algues wakame, la sauce soja, et le mirin. Laisser mijoter jusqu’à ce que l’eau soit presque complètement absorbée. Les champignons devraient être tendres, mais pas tout à fait cuits.
  5. Laver le riz comme il faut et l’ajouter à la poêle. Bien mélanger pour combiner le tout et ajouter 3 tasses d’eau chaude. Couvrir et laisser cuire à feu doux jusqu’à ce que l’eau soit absorbée. Goûter pour voir si le riz est cuit, et ajouter une tasse d’eau chaude à la fois jusqu’à ce que le riz soit bien tendre. Mélanger à chaque ajout d’eau et n’ajoutez pas toute l’eau d’un coup pour éviter que le riz ne devienne trop mou. Servir bien chaud et savourez!

J’adore ce riz! Il est tendre et savoureux, et les champignons shiitake apportent vraiment beaucoup de saveur. La bardane et les carottes apportent une touche de fraîcheur et un peu de croquant alors que les champignons sont tendres et délicieux. Ce riz fait vraiment un très bon à côté pour un repas à la japonaise! Dites-moi si vous l’essayez!

Lazy Udon Noodle Soup

I love blogging about food because I get to really experiment and put some creativity in the kitchen… most days. Other days, I’m just running around getting organized, and I just don’t have time to cook something fancy. Today was one of those days where I knew I needed energy but didn’t have time to prep for a 3-course meal. I still didn’t want to compromise taste, even if I did not have any exciting ingredients in my fridge. One of those days!

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Not to worry, I found some frozen udon noodles in my freezer and still had some silken tofu waiting around. Perfect! Let’s make a lazy, but delicious, bowl of udon noodles!

Here is what you need for one bowl:

  • 1 pack of udon noodles (about 1 1/2 cup), or any other quick-to-cook noodles
  • 1-2 tsp miso paste
  • 150g silken tofu
  • 2 tbs dried wakame seaweed
  • pepper, ginger, sesame oil or sriracha to your taste
  • 1 bowl of water

Here is what you do:

  1. Take out the bowl you are going to eat in and fill it up with water  up to one inch of the rim. Place this water on the stove in a saucepan and heat up while you add the other ingredients.
  2. Add the noodles to the water.
  3. Cut your tofu into small cubes and add to the water.
  4. Add the wakame seaweed and the spices you want to use. Give a quick stir.
  5. Bring everything to a boil, and let simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and mix in your miso paste. Pour into your bowl and enjoy!

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This is super simple, super filling and super quick to make. It’s packed with great umami flavour and delicious textures. It’s perfect for days where you just can’t. Anyways, rushing out now! Let me know if you try this out!

Okonomiyaki Night!

I love okonomiyaki! Well, actually, I love the idea of them. I never ate any in restaurants because they are usually garnished with bonito flakes. Tonight however, I really wanted to cook something special and this came to my mind! An okonomiyaki is a Japanese cabbage pancake that is traditionally garnished with ponzu sauce, mayo, bonito flakes and lavish leaves.

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For tonight, I made an easy version of ponzu sauce and a cashew mayo to top off my red cabbage pancake. Delicious! Simple, yet very impressive!

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Here is what you need for 10-12 pancakes:

For the pancakes:

  • 1 potato
  • 3 carrots
  • 1/2 cabbage (red or green)
  • 1 inch piece of ginger
  • 1/4 cup seaweed flakes
  • 3/4 cup brown rice flour
  • 3/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup corn starch
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • 2 pinch red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • oil for pan-frying.

For the ponzu sauce:

  • 2 tbs ketchup
  • 2 tbs tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 tsp maple syrup

For the mayo:

  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1 cup of water
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1 pinch of salt

Here is what you do:

For the ponzu sauce: Mix all the ingredients with a spoon.

For the mayo: Process all the ingredients in your food processor or blender until smooth.

For the pancakes:

  1. Wash and peel the potato. Pass it under water to remove some of the starch and then grate it. Place in a bowl and sprinkle with some salt. Mix well and let sit.
  2. Wash and peel the carrots. Grate and add to the potato.
  3. Wash the cabbage and cut finely or grate. Mix in with the carrots and potato.
  4. Grate the ginger piece and add it to the mix along with the seaweed flakes.
  5. In a bowl, mix the rice flour, chia seeds, and corn starch with the water. Add to the vegetables and mix until well combined. Season and add the red chilli flakes.
  6. In a skillet on medium heat, place some oil. Add 1/2 cup of the mix at a time and press it down with a spatula. Cover with a lid and let cook for 3 minutes. Uncover, flip over and let cook again for 3 minutes with the lid on.
  7. Place on a cookie sheet in the oven until you are done cooking the other pancakes.
  8. To serve: garnish each pancake with some ponzu sauce and mayo. Serve hot! Itadakimasu!

These are so delicious! Crispy on the outside, tender in the inside, slightly sour because of the ponzu and creamy with the mayo: it’s like a party in your mouth!

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I will definitively make these again. Let me know if you try them out!

 

 

 

Sweet Potato Nori Roll

I love purple sweet potatoes! I also really like nori sheets, so why not combine the two? Add a few little things, and BAM! You have a nice, filling, fresh, and colourful meal that you can customize to your liking (or to your fridge’s content)!

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Here is what you need for each roll:

  • 1 Nori sheet (I get my Nori sheets here because it is a lot less expensive than what I find locally)
  • 1/2 cup cooked mashed sweet potato (I used purple, but you can go with orange if you like)
  • 1/4 avocado in strips or mashed
  • 1/3 cup grated carrots
  • 1/2 cup alfalfa sprouts
  • 1/3 cup flat parsley leaves
  • 1 tbs toasted sesame seeds

Here is what you do:

  1. With your fingers or a wet spoon, spread the mashed potato on the nori sheet.
  2. Sprinkle with some sesame seeds
  3. Add the avocado, carrots, parsley and sprouts.
  4. Using your fingers, lift one side of the nori sheet while holding the fillings in and roll it up! You can use a little bit of water to glue the end of the paper. Press gently on the roll to help it stay in place (sushi roll style).
  5. Cut in half to serve.

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Since these rolls are pretty big and the mash I used was cold, I didn’t feel the need to use a rolling mat. The rolls were easy to make and so delicious! They are also very quick if you prepare the ingredients ahead of time. We ate this with some tamari sauce mixed with a little sriracha sauce, and it was amazingly good! I think tomato slices, cilantro, cucumber and kale could also make a great roll!

Let me know if you try it out and how you like it!

 

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