Salmon and Stewed Mushrooms; Sesame Leaves; Smoked Duck; Stir Fry Greens; Stewed Lotus Root; Jackfruit (February 18, 2018)

This coming week will be a short one with some travel so I went with a simple, easier than normal to make lunch.  The proteins are salmon and smoked duck.  I stewed king oyster mushrooms in ponzu dashi stock until reduced and added the salmon at the end.  Smoked duck was combined with sweet/spicy stir fry of gai choy and stewed lotus root.  Jackfruit was available at the grocery, thus rounding out the meal. 

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Salmon Belly; Greens; Shiitake and Mustard Greens; Seaweed Salad; Veggie Stuffed Pork Belly (February 11, 2017)

I saw a food video earlier this week that used bacon as a wrap around a stuffing resulting in a dumpling that was bacon wrapped. Inspired, I decided to use thinly sliced pork belly to wrap around a vegetable mix of shiitake, seaweed, and mustard greens. I made a sweet citrus soy glaze for the pork belly “dumplings” and then simmered salmon belly in the remaining glaze. Sautéed greens, the remaining shiitake, mustard green, seaweed mix, and seaweed salad round out this lunch.

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Mapo Style Pork and Shiitake; Black Rice; Fish Cake; Seaweed Salad; Sea Lettuce; Sesame Leaves in Soy Sauce (February 4, 2018)

This week’s meal involved less cooking and more compiling dishes.  It was a mix of side dishes from my local Korean market and using up vegetables and meat at home.  I had some thinly slice pork and shittake mushrooms, which went into a Mapo style dish with turnip greens.  This went with black rice.  The assorted side dishes included: fish cakes, seaweed salad, sesame leaves in soy sauce, and sea lettuce.  

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Black Rice with Beets; Gailan and Mushrooms; Bulgogi Beef; Salmon; Tofu Skin and Bok Choy; Jackfruit (January 28, 2017)

This week’s lunch ideas started as I went through a local farmers market and grabbed some beets, bok choy, and gailan at one stall and oyster mushrooms at another. The beets (root and leaves) went with black rice. The mushroom and gailan were stir fried in soy sauce and mirin. I decided to cook with tofu skins and got the dried knots. I steeped those in miso and finished with bok choy. For protein and variety, I stir fried salmon skin in spicy teriyaki and cooked some bulgogi beef. Jackfruit finishes this lunch.

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Red Cabbage; Salmon Belly and Mushrooms; Pickled Lotus Root; Unagi Donburi (January 15, 2018)

While shopping at 99 Ranch, I saw red Napa cabbage and decided to use that for this week’s lunch as part of the vegetable portion.  The red color provided a nice visual component.  I already had unagi, which readily goes with rice.  I had left over gailan (Chinese broccoli) which went with the rice.  Pickled lotus root contrasts with the sweetness of the unagi sauce.  King oyster mushrooms and salmon belly in a citrus soy honey sauce serves as the other protein in this week’s lunch.

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Lemongrass Pork; Pea Sprouts; Adobo Salmon; Spicy Noodles with Gailan (January 7, 2018)

I’m enjoying my new bento container and it seems my (intuitive) recipe planning has taken into account the size and limitations of the new container.  A simple lemongrass pork with a pea sprout salad fills the larger container while noodles cooked with gailan (Chinese broccoli) and salmon belly stewed adobo style fills out the top.  The flavors that I settled upon while developing this week’s lunch generally are aromatic in nature.  The lemongrass nicely elevates the pork.  The pea sprouts were dressed with sesame oil, chili sauce, and rice wine vinegar.  The noodles have a gochujang base balanced with palm sugar.  Lastly, adobo style is the Filipino stewing method of using vinegar and soy sauce.  I forgot I ran out of coconut vinegar and used rice wine vinegar (also milder) instead.  For the soy sauce, I used a soy sauce already mixed with a dashi base for a deeper flavor.  To balance the sour and salty, a bit of palm sugar was added.

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Rolled Pork; Pressed Saba Sushi; Seaweed Salad: and Noodles with Salmon and Okra (January 1, 2018)

Happy New Year everyone!  I’ll start this new year with a new bento container (check out Bento and Co).  I though to go between this new one and the previous zojirushi depending on whether I have soup or stews.  With all the festive eating, I thought to make things a little lighter.  Thinly sliced pork belly is rolled around garlic chives and stewed in sake, mirin, and soy sauce that has been reduced.  Salt cured saba (mackerel) is pressed with rice for sushi.  Seaweed salad finishes the bottom container.  Noodles with salmon skin, okra, and garlic chives fills the top container.

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