Monday, June 24, 2013

Back in LA...First Home Supper

I came back to LA after a fun 2-week stay back in Japan.

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Every 3-4 months, this is the scene after I return from Japan and unpack. This time, on top of what's on the table, I got a big box of 3 sets of nice summer bowls and plates, which was shipped from Kyoto to LA.

Jason said he missed my Japanese cooking so much while I was away. I was also ready for a humble home dinner after all the eating outs past couple of weeks.

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This "suribachi" (mortar) is the same kind the shojin cooking teacher was using at her 350-year-old temple in Tokyo. She told me where I can find it, so I bought it and hand-carried all the way back to LA. It was really heavy! But, it's just so gorgeous. So, the first thing I made with was, of course, Goma Tofu (sesame tofu). I got Jason's help to ground the sesame...we kept grinding non-stop for 50 minutes. The Goma Tofu was served in the new summer bowls.

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I steam-roasted asparagus in my tagine-style donabe, "Fukkura-san", to make a simple side dish with sesame miso sauce. Yes, I used my brand new mortar again for this dish. Another side dish was baby potato and edamame in peanut sauce.

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Two kinds of fried dishes...Corn and okra "kakiage" tempura, and "Shinbikiko" chicken tender "kara-age".

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Junmai Ginjo "Hokushinryu" Nigori sake from Nagano prefecture was so mellow and soft. We also had "Matsuba kombu" (thinly-sliced braised kelp, seasoned in ground sansho peppers) from Kyoto, and miso soup, plus of course, donabe rice!

Happy donabe life.