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The official Japanese Cooking: Contemporary & Traditional review thread

Konbu stock - I use this recipe all the time for Japanese food, regardless of what book I'm cooking out of, I always use this one.

Miso soup with tofu and scallions - I used to buy miso packets back when I was lazy and this is what it tastes like.. only way better.

Tofu in an sauce - This was way too plain and I didn't like it at all.

Potato and onion miso soup - I like to use red miso in this for stronger flavor. I also add some chopped carrot to make it a bit more heartier.

Rice with tea - I have a bunch of authentic Japanese tea leaves and love them so I really wanted to like this dish. I just could not get into it at all and wasn't able to finish my bowl.

Sushi rice - I don't like things with a heavy rice vinegar taste so I didn't enjoy this. I also used it to make scattered sushi so maybe it would have been better if I made sushi rolls? FB- have you tried this?


Konnyaku with Sweet Miso and Citrus Sauce
This is basically the miso sauce from before, but with yuzu. I couldn't get plain yuzu, but instead the jarred stuff that is mostly yuzu zest with some chile. It's pretty good, I'd say most similar to lime zest or something. There was quite a bit of sauce here, and I just really don't like konnyaku too much. I could only eat so much at once without the rubbery gelatinous thing getting to me. This sauce, particularly the yuzu, would be awesome with some eggplant, though.

Mountain Yam with Plum Sauce
I didn't know this can be eaten raw! I got some ume paste for cheap (normally so expensive!), and it was unexpectedly salty. REALLY salty. That's the main flavor - salt + sour. It's too bad, 'cause I was hoping for some... ume flavor. So, I didn't really like the plum sauce. The nagaimo becomes slimy on its cut surface (ergh), and has that crunchy/fresh thing like a jicama or cucumber or whatever. Kinda tastes like radish though. Also! Warning. After handling the yam, I noticed my hands were a bit itchy, and though I figured it was hyperchondriac...ism setting in, I decided to google it anyway. Turns out that the yam contains oxalates that do this! Apparently you can soak the yam in vinegar + water to eliminate this (but that would make this dish even more sour! ><). Anyway, I know better now, and the itchiness wasn't too bad or long-lasting, just noticeable.

Soba with Grated Mountain Yam
Yeah it really does form a pile of gooeyness when grated. Instead of soba I used somen. The yam is interested and adds a sorta jicama/radish flavor, but I don't like the texture. Too slimy. Oh well.

Braised Yam Cake
I was extra generous with the pepper. It was tasty, or at least as tasty as I've had konnyaku. The sesame oil plus pepper are great together, and frying stuff makes everything taste better =)


Carrot and Tofu Scramble:
Loved this! My changes were to use only 3 carrots (reduced the soy sauce accordingly because of less ingredient bulk) and to add a few scallions, some sake and ginger. Before eating I topped it with some shichimi tougarashi.

Cucumber Salad with WA-Fu Dressing:
I think the amount of dressing is very much for this little cucumber. Also the dressing was a little heavy on the vinegar, but otherwise tasty. Next time I'll try 2 regular english cucumbers instead of the amount suggested. Still, a quick and lovely salad.

Tsuyu and Zaru-Soba:
Good basic tsuyu recipe. Wonderful dish when it is hot outside.

Rice Bowl with "Chicken" and "Egg":
This was only so-so for me, although I did not make a note why. It think it was a little on the sweed side and remember that the seitan I used was not very great. Since I really like the concept I'm going to give this one another chance.

Vegetarian "Pork":
Only made the first part of the recipe, so only up to the boiling part. I really liked the method of pan-frying the seitan first and then boiling it, it have the broth the most amazing richt taste. I also used kombu dashi for boiling and used the broth as a base for ramen (best, very rich and "porky" broth ever!).
I was not so much a fan of using gluten flour only as it turned out too chewy/rubbery. Next time I'd like to add some tofu to the seitan to imporve texture.

I need to use this book more.

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