Kakuni; Negi Rice; Kelp Wrapped Salmon; Stir Fry Greens and Shiitake; Chicken Adobo and Rice (May 20, 2018)

So back into the routine this week things I’ve been wanting to eat for a while as well as prepping for my spouse.  I realize I hadn’t had kakuni or stewed pork belly in a while, making that one meal component.  I had recently seen a recipe where fish was wrapped in kelp and decided to do something similar, but using salmon, which has been my go to fish.  Rice and vegetables round out the lunch.  For my spouse, chicken adobo with rice is a classic Filipino meal that works well for lunch.

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Miso Trout and Spinach; Salmon and Shiitake; Pork, Snow Pea Shoots, and Dandelion Stir Fry (April 22, 2018)

The calibration of how much I need to eat continues.  The soup plus other dishes of last week ended up being too much for one sitting such that I split my lunch and had a part1 and part for the day, with a need for a lighter dinner.  As such, I scaled back in quantity this week, but not in richness or umami.  The pork shank, pretty much lower leg minus foot, was slow cooked with two objectives: 1) get a tender flavorful pork (meat and skin) and 2) get a deeply rich broth for use with the other dishes.  Rice and most starches fill me quickly so the rest of this week’s dishes are essentially protein and vegetables such that I rely on fiber to get me full.  Shiitake mushrooms were simmered in the pork broth and salmon gave the resulting dish a nice marine dimension.  Miso marinated trout (filleted and sliced) was simmered and paired with spinach sautéed in sesame oil and soy sauce.

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Aromatic Soup with Salmon and Dandelion; Saba; Miso Eggplant and Mushrooms; Unagi and Rice (April 15, 2018)

My intuition drives what I decide to make for my lunch.  The last week’s soup led me to want another kind of soup for this week.  An aromatic, umami laden dashi with a bit of miso serves as the soup base with dandelion greens, tofu knots, and salmon adding their textures and flavors.  Accompanying the central soup are slices of Saba with kimchi cucumbers, miso stir fried eggplant and mushrooms, and Unagi slices on a mix of black and brown rice.

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Tofu Knot and Salmon Curry Soup; Smoked Pork; Stewed Shiitake; Kelp and Cucumber Salad (April 8, 2018)

My local Whole Foods happens to offer BBQ smoked meats by the pound, specifically pork shoulder and pork belly.  I happened to remember this at a recent stop there and checked out what they had left for the evening.  Sadly, no pork belly, but a decent looking pork shoulder.  I ended up getting over one pound despite asking for just half a pound since the butcher was giving away the last of the smoked meats.  With such a flavorful anchor to my lunch, I wanted a soup and vegetables.  Stewed mushrooms in soy sauce and mirin as well as a kimchi cucumber and kelp salad balanced the meat.  A surprisingly light Japanese curry soup with tofu knots, salmon, and kale helps start the meal.  These items were purchased at H Mart, happily local to me.

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Spicy Pork Belly; Miso Milkfish; Mushrooms; Watermelon Radish; Cabbage (April 1, 2018)

And I’m back to cooking.  A decent amount of recent travel made lunch prep for the week unnecessary.  With that settled, I was able to get back to my bento lunches…with no real idea until I hit the market (H Mart, this time).  After spying the watermelon radishes, I had to use them for something.  They a little too astringent raw so I pickled them.  I tend to use salmon a lot and have been trying other fish to learn taste, textures, and anatomy (related to preparation).  So I happened upon already filleted milkfish with most of the bones removed.  I did have to remove the bone in the dorsal part of the fillets.  Needle nose pliers are a great tool for this.  The pork belly was calling and thus it was marinated in gochujang mixed with honey overnight.  Lastly, mushrooms, oyster and pon pon, and cabbage serve as the base and contrast to the proteins.

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Bone Broth Stew; Rice and Vegetables; Stewed Mushrooms; Miso Carp (March 11, 2018)

I realize that it’s been a while since I’ve cooked and posted.  Between travel and a bout of illness, time just passed.  Now that I’m feeling better and no travel this week, my motivation to cook was back.  Getting over a recent cough, I’ve been wanting and eating soups, stews, and anything with ginger.  Thus the bone broth dish that took little prep, but a decent amount of time in the slow cooker.  The deep flavor is well worth the effort.  Rice with a mix of vegetables is the starchy backbone of this lunch.  Rounding out the meal are mushrooms in ponzu and mirin and miso marinated carp.  I’ve decided to try out other types of fish to learn of their properties, flavor, and capabilities.  With carp, I was not too thrilled with the bone structure, making for difficult removal prior to cooking.  It was worth the try, but not the continued effort since I do like to remove the bones from my fish prior to cooking.

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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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