All recipes are for 2 servings unless noted. Oil is canola oil and salt is kosher salt.


Dinner, June 19, 2011

Since last night, the inside walls of my digestive tract have been coated with oil. It is olive oil and fish oil from the rockfish I put in the paella. No matter how good or beneficial they are, more isn't always better. All the organs attached to my stomach are gasping. And we only had one vegetable today. What a poor diet. Dinner is the only opportunity to fix these issues. Something not greasy and many vegetables are needed.

  • Kitsune udon / udon noodles with usuage thin deep-fried tofu
  • Tofu and snap peas with yuzukosho
  • Grilled lotus root, kabocha pumpkin and king oyster mushroom with tobanjan vinegar dressing
  • Fuki no gomani / fuki in sesame-flavored broth

Kitsune means "fox." The animal is the deity of Inari shinto, and it is said to like usuage thin deep-fried tofu. Usuage is cooked in dashi, soy sauce, sake and a little bit of sugar. The green is ohitashi of kabu turnip leaves I thinned in the greenhouse. Top with thinly sliced green onion and shichimi.

Fuki cooked in sesame-flavored broth works as something strong. Because of the oil content in sesame paste, it is rich yet mild... or mellow. What I want to achieve with udon broth is a clear, clean bonito taste with subtle sweetness from mirin, so the fuki dish with sesame paste's complexity would be a good match -- if there are one or two other dishes with contrasting textures or flavors.

Crunchiness is missing, so I grill lotus root, kabocha pumpkin and king oyster mushroom and top with a dashi-based sour and spicy sauce. No oil is used for grilling. Ingredients are simply placed on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Brushing or spraying oil does enhance the flavor, but this dinner to is to give our stomachs and digestive tracts a big break.

Now, nothing seems particularly substantial. Perhaps I can use one of three different tofu in the fridge. Firm tofu sauteed with snap peas, seasoned with spicy yet aromatic yuzukosho. Nice. 

All worked great.

Tom also had a small dish of chicken marinated in Shaoxing wine and chicken stock flavored with Sichuan pepper powder. The dish itself is quite ordinary. But when you put julienned white onion (white section of green onion), it comes alive. Tom, you are spoiled.

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