I haven’t posted anything since my birthday in September. I’ve been busy cooking and baking for the last 5 months. In fact, I was so busy cooking and baking, and learning restaurant business, that I couldn’t find any moment to post until now. This is an abbreviated version of a traditional Japanese first New Year’s meal. I had this at noon on the New Year’s Day, yet it was the first meal of 2017. I love love Japanese black beans simmered with tamari and sugar. They are so good and sweet. They are my favorite dessert.
Toasted rice cake in miso soup with lotus root, carrot, Japanese sweet potato, shimeji mushrooms and scallions
Quick pickled lotus root and carrots
Japanese black beans simmered with tamari and sugar
Oh, yes, This is a yummy hearty vegan miso noodle soup. I saw a recipe using ginger and garlic for miso soup, which I, a Japanese native, never thought of doing it. But I thought I would give it a shot. Hot sesame oil adds richness to the broth. The broth has umami regardless of no seafood or meat.
Ingredients: 6 cups water, 4″ kombu (wide flat seaweed you can find in most Asian food markets), 2 dried shiitake mushrooms or a handful of sliced dried shiitake mushrooms, 1″ ginger, 2 cloves garlic, 1 t hot sesame oil, 1 medium carrot, 1 bunch of bok choy (spinach, nappa cabbage, or other leafy green works fine), 6 T miso (I used 3 T sweet white miso + 3 T dark red miso), 6 oz dry noodles ( I used soba. Udon will do fine, too), optional additions are tofu, fried tofu, and scallions.
Soak kombu and dried shiitake mushrooms in 6 cups of water in a medium sauce pan.
Mince ginger and garlic. Put them in the pan. Heat the pan to boil, and let it simmer for 5 minutes.
Cut carrot into match sticks or shred it. Put it in the pan.
Cut bok choy into a bite size. Put the stem parts in the pan.
Cook for a few minutes until vegetables become tender. Turn off the heat.
Meanwhile, in another sauce pan, heat enough water to cook noodles. Undercook the noodles by 1 minute. Drain.
Pull kombu and shiitake mushrooms out of the soup pan. De-stem the shiitake mushrooms. Slice kombu and mushrooms, and put them back to the pan.
Heat the soup up just enough but turn off before boil. Add cubed tofu here if you are using. Add hot sesame oil.
In a big serving bowl, place cooked noodles, Ladle in soup over noodles. Sprinkle minced scallions if you are using.
Breakfast: Coffee, Pumpernickel with Almond Butter, Strawberries, Banana, Pear
Lunch: 6 Grain Rice, Lotus Kimpira, Black Beans, Spinach, Miso Soup with Burdock Roots, Tofu and Satoimo (taro)—a nice Japanese lunch my friend whipped up after she discovered that I became a vegan. Yum. Her son said it’s too healthy. 🙂
Dinner: Mustard Leaf Dumplings, Sweet Brown Rice, Boiled Spinach—a nice dinner my husband whipped up. 🙂
Brunch: Coffee, Green Goddess Shake, Miso Soup with Mochi and Spinach, Simmered Black Beans, Mandarin Oranges—I tried to incorporate a traditional Japanese New Year’s Day’s feast by only 2 dishes. Mochi is usually in a clear broth instead of miso. If I was at my mother’s house, I make Kinton (Mushed Sweet Potato mixed with Chestnuts, extremely sweet) because it is a time consuming dish to make and my favorite. I like this black beans a lot, too. They are cooked with soy sauce and sugar, but not extremely sweet.
Snack at House of Crepes: Pear Cinnamon Crepe, Earl Grey Tea—a simple sweet and tea. The closest thing I could find here to a scone/biscuit and tea in England.
Dinner: Cold Soba Noodles with Dipping Sauce, Roasted Acorn Squash, Kale and Carrots with Nutty Sprinkles
Lunch: Riceballs, Miso Soup, Curry Pan, Fried Potato—mmmm…all carbohydrates. White rice, white wheat, white potatoes…I wish I could find a small plates of vegetable dishes easily in midtown. I saw Bento Boxes with Cabocha pumpkin and Hijiki. I stood there inside of the store for good 10 minutes, thinking if I should buy it anyway and toss the main dish, fish or chicken. I decided to go against it. Hence, Carbo-lunch.
Dinner: Roasted Butternut Squash and Kale with Nutty Sprinkles, Split Pea Soup, Assorted Petite Tomatoes, Sourdough Toast—oh, everything was so good. I couldn’t decide which one I should have a bite from next. I stuffed myself as much as I could. Then I saw roasted sweet potatoes sitting on the oven! Agh! I picked a couple of pieces. I will have to eat the rest of them tomorrow.
Carbohydrates Lunch-not recommended
Roasted Butternut Squash and Kale, Split Pea Soup, Toast, Petite Tomatoes