Bocconcini Salad with Strawberry Dressing

At this moment, I do not have access to my pots, pans or to my pantry as we are currently in temporary accommodation. What I have is only some essential things such as soy sauce (of course!!), dashi powder, cooking sake and sugar, which I think allows me to cook decent things.

And…, my boss (the kind one) gave me a packet of Shio Koji.

As I have written about it in my blog previously, Shio Koji is one of my “super foods” – which is not only for its nutrition but also for its versatility (please see here for more detail).

That made me cook something different from the usual suspects, and even allowed me to come up with this new salad idea!

This strawberry dressing is a little bit sweet as well as a little bit savoury – as the result of a touch of Shio Koji. It is a perfect salad for hot summer days!

Since Shio Koji can be purchased in the Japanese shops in Perth, I assume that it can be found in other cities. If you have a chance to find it, I recommend you to get and try it 🙂

Ingredient: 
For Salad
200g Salad Leaves
210g Traditional Bocconcini- cut into 4
1 Lebanese Cucumber -diced
1/2 Onion - finely chopped

For Strawberry Dressing
250g Strawberries - washed and hulled
1/2 tablespoon of Shio Koji
1/2 tablespoon of Sugar
1/2 tablespoon of Lemon

Method :
For Strawberry Dressing
1. Place all of the ingredients for dressing in a small pot. Heat the pot over medium heat with the lid on. Once it is boiled, reduce the heat to low.

2. Keep cooking for about 15 minutes or until the strawberries become very soft, while stirring and mashing the strawberries occasionally.

3. Remove it from the heat. Place the dressing in a clean container and cool it down in the fridge.

For Salad
In a salad bowl or plate, place salad leaves, bocconcini, cucumber and onions nicely. Just before serving, pour the strawberry dressing over the salad.

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The Easiest Ever Japanese – Nasu Dengaku (Miso Glazed Eggplant)

I would like to introduce my 2nd Easiest Ever Japanese recipe – Nasu Dengaku, which is known as Miso Glazed Eggplant.

Nasu Dengaku a little bit of soy
Juicy! Nasu Dengaku.

Again there is nothing difficult involved in this recipe, basically all you have to do is make miso sauce (by just mixing) and bake eggplant. Ingredients are common Japanese ones which you might already have in your pantry, otherwise can be obtained easily from the shop.

The baked eggplant will be super tender and melting in your month with the sweet and salty miso glaze. It is delicious!

This is another good recipe if you are not familiar with cooking Japanese.  Hope you like it 🙂

Ingredients (serving 2)

1 big Eggplant – about 500g

2 teaspoon of Sesame Oil

Sesame Seeds for topping

For Dengaku Sauce

1 tablespoon of Miso

1 tablespoon of Sugar

1/2 tablespoon of Cooking Sake

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 °C.
  2. Cut eggplant in half lengthwise. Score the flesh (almost to the skin) around the inner edge of the skin about 5mm in, and then score the same diagonally inside in small squares (see photo).

    Nasu Dengaku step by step
    Nasu Dengaku How to score eggplant flash

  3. Put sesame oil on the surfaces of the eggplant. Place the eggplant facing up on a baking tray. Bake it for about 30 minutes or until the eggplant is cooked and juicy.
  4. In the mean time, mix all ingredients for dengaku sauce
  5. Take out the eggplant from the oven.  Glaze the eggplant with the dengaku sauce. Turn the oven to 220 °C. Bake the eggplant for another 8-10 minutes.
  6. Take it out from the oven. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top. Serve while hot.

 

My Low Carb Recipe – Miso Mushroom Stuffed Zucchini (Vegetarian)

Today, I would like to introduce my second low carb recipe – a well-known Ottoman dish with my Japanese Twist – Miso Mushroom Stuffed Zucchini.

Lupin Miso Mushrrom Stuffed Zucchini_alittlebitofsoy

The rich miso stuffing definitely matches with fresh and light zucchini. I also like the crunchiness and juiciness of zucchini, which makes you satisfied without eating rice or bread.

Instead of flour, I use Lupin Flakes to prevent the stuffing from being runny (As you may have already known, Lupin is a low carb and gluten free legume full of protein and fibre).

I actually think that this is the first time for me to use Lupin as a supporting role…. It does not interrupt the main flavour, is super easy to use and works perfectly! Definitely it is still my favorite super food!

As with my other low carb recipe, this dish can accommodate most dietary requirements  -Vegetarian, Vegan and can be Gluten Free as well.

Hope you enjoy my Japanese twist in this dish 🙂

Ingredients (serving 4): 

2 Zucchini – large

4 pinches of Sea Salt

1 clove of Garlic – finely chopped

200g Mushrooms (about 4 large mushrooms) – roughly chopped

1/2 Onion – chopped

1/4 Red Capsicum  – chopped

1/2 Tablespoon of Miso

1/2 Tablespoon of Cooking Sake (or white wine)

1/2 Tablespoon of Soy Sauce

2.5 Tablespoon of Lupin Flakes

Sea Salt for seasoning

Method:

For Zucchini

  1. Cut zucchini in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds and flesh with a spoon. Chop the seeds and flesh roughly and put them aside (we will use them later).
  2. Sprinkle 4 pinches of sea salt over the zucchini. Wrap the zucchini with some kitchen paper towels and leave it for about 15 minutes. This is to remove the excess water from the zucchini.

For Lupin Miso Mushroom Miso Stuffing

  1. Heat 1 teaspoon of oil (not included in the ingredients list above) and garlic in a medium sauce pan on medium heat. Once the garlic becomes fragrant, add mushrooms, onion, red capsicum and the chopped zucchini seeds and flesh. Stir them with a wooden spoon for a minute or until the vegetables are evenly coated with the oil. turn the heat to low-medium and put a lid on. Keep cooking it for about 3 minutes.
  2. Add miso, cooking sake and soy sauce. Turn the heat to medium and simmer for about 2 minutes. Add lupin flakes and stir all together. season with sea salt as necessary. Turn the heat off and cool it down.

Construction and Baking

  1. Preheat oven to 220° C.
  2. Wipe excess water from the zucchini. Stuff the zucchini with the Lupin Miso Mushroom stuffing and place them on a baking tray. Bake them for 20 – 25 minutes or until the zucchini is cooked. Serve while hot.

Lupin Miso Mushroom Stuffed Zucchini _ alittlebitofsoy

Marinaded Vegetable and Bean Salad

This is a super easy and super humble recipe!

2018-07-23_20.11.43

In this season, we often get a lot of lemons from our friends who have lemon trees in their garden. In addition to my usual Honey Lemon Ginger, this is another good way of using up lemons.

I made this marinade liquid tangier than normal salad dressing so that the salad keeps a bit of kick after leaving over night.

If you make a big batch, it can be stored in the fridge for about 3-4 days.

If you have a lot of lemons in your kitchen or your garden, try this recipe. Hope you like it 🙂

Ingredients

1 Carrot – diced

3 stalks of Celery – diced

1 Onion – diced

1 tin (400g including liquid) of Borlotti Beans (or your favorite beans)

For Marinade Liquid

100ml of Lemon Juice (about 1.5 lemons)

100ml of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 Teaspoon of Soy Sauce

Good quality Sea Salt and Black Pepper for seasoning

Method

  1. Combine all of the ingredients for dressing.
  2. Marinade all chopped vegetables and beans in the dressing over night.

Peach & Blue Cheese Salad

Peach and Blue Cheese Salad_a little bit of soy

In our fridge, there are still some goodies left  from the festivities. This block of gorgonzola siting in the corner of the fridge is super good. As it is super good, we have been eating it a little by little, and then it has never been finished.

But, I thought that it was time to eat it up. This idea came to me- how about combining with my favourite summer fruit – Peach! I have a perfect dressing for it – Balsamic + Soy Sauce + Honey = Sweet and Saltiness! Perfect.

This salad is very rich and quite filling. It is super easy but looks amazing. Perfect for a summer party if you are required to bring something. Hope you like it.

 

Ingredients (serving for 2-3)

For Salad

handful of Walnuts

2 Peaches – washed, seeded, cut into 8 pieces

1/2 teaspoon of oil for pan-frying

100g of Mixed Salad Leaves

about 100g of Gorgonzola (or as much as you want)

For Dressing

1 tablespoon of Balsamic Vinegar

1 tablespoon of Light Japanese Soy Sauce

1 tablespoon of Honey

1 tablespoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

 

Method:

  1. Combine all of the ingredients for the dressing. Put it aside.
  2. Roast walnuts in a frying pan. Put them aside.
  3. Heat oil in the same frying pan over a high heat. Pan-fry peach until it is caramelised.
  4. On a serving plate, arrange salad leaves, walnuts and peach, topped with gorgonzola torn into small pieces. Serve it with the dressing.

 

 

Cucumber Tataki – Smashed Cucumber Salad

2018-01-14_17.57.49

It is summer in Australia!! I know that many countries are enjoying the beautiful winter season, but we are having a good time on our beautiful beaches here in the southern hemisphere. I am, today, posting one of my favourite summer recipes  – Cucumber Tataki.

 

Tataki is one of the well known Japanese cooking methods, which is that a piece of protein is seared and the inside is almost raw- such as Beef Tataki or Tuna Tataki.

However “Tataki” has its original meaning; “beat” or “slap” in Japanese. As I have introduced a different Tataki previously (see Salmon Namerou), today, I would like to introduce another “Tataki” which is made from cucumber.

Well…, this is one of the dishes I made on the reality TV show called Chef’s Line last year, which got me kicked out (with the reason being that I made too many dishes!)… In my opinion, it is one of the perfect salads in summer. Maybe you can try it out to see if you like as much as the judges?!

 

Ingredients:

2 Lebanese Cucumbers

2 Teaspoons of White sugar

1 Tablespoons of Soy Sauce

2 Tablespoons of White vinegar

1/2 Teaspoon of Sesame oil

1 red chili – finely sliced

1/2 Teaspoon of Sesame seeds

 

Method: 

1. Bash Cucumbers with a wooden rolling pin. Tear them into bite size pieces by hand

2. Mix all other ingredients. Add the cucumbers into the mixture. Marinade it in the fridge at least for 30 minutes before serving.

Lupin Tabbouleh – Gluten Free

2017-11-26_12.49.01

This is another “replace” recipe of Lupin. Bulgur Wheat, which is normally used in Tabbouleh, is not really common in Australia. So I just thought why can’t we use our Western Australian produce – Lupin instead.

If you are already familiar with Lupin and have made my Lupin Banana Bread   or Lupin Bechamel Sauce, there should be some Lupin flakes left in the kitchen cabinet that you would like to finish off??

Or, if you are new to Lupin, maybe you can make this tabbouleh along with my Lupin Hummus, and then you can have a Middle Eastern style dinner! Lupin is so versatile so I like it. Gluten free is certainly a bonus as well.

Hope you like it.

Ingredients: 

80ml Lupin Flakes

300ml finely chopped Flat-leaf Parsley Leaves

50ml finely chopped Mint Leaves

2 Tomatoes – chopped

1 Lebanese Cucumber – chopped

1 Onion – chopped

150ml Lemon Juice (about 2 lemons)

3 Tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 Teaspoon of Soy Sauce (for gluten free option, please use gluten free soy sauce)

Sea Salt and Black Pepper to season

 

Method: 

  1. Prepare Lupin. Place lupin flakes in cold water and bring to boil. Boil it for 3 minutes. Drain and rinse the lupin a few times, and then drain off the water from the lupin very well. Put it aside.
  2. Put all of herbs and vegetables into a large bowl. Add the lupin, lemon juice, olive oil and soy sauce to the bowl as well. Mix thoroughly and season it with sea salt and black pepper. Serve it cold. It will be better the next day when the flavour has settled.