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


Dinner, September 12, 2012

We were totally stuffed after a delicious -- and huge --  Korean lunch at Hosoonyi in Edmonds. So this is what I came up with for a light supper.  

I first thought about something minimal, a combination of rice and soup --  either a simple steamed rice and a relatively hearty miso soup, or a flavored rice with other ingredients and a simple soup. But any combination I came up with lacked enough vegetables.  Although we had already eaten a number of vegetables with lunch, ending the day without vegetables seemed inappropriate and somehow sad. Moreover, even though we were not hungry, we would be later (and Tom would reach for his midnight snack). One or two small vegetable dishes would give us just that little extra oomph without stressing our stomachs.

Japanese cucumber pickle is intended to be spicy and works as a great little accent to a meal. Kyuri is a summer vegetable that chills your body, and a small side dish with this vegetable is a good choice now, even though the temperatures here are already dropping. The pickle stays good for a couple of days, and making enough for the next day will save me from preparing one more dish tomorrow.

Saute-simmered burdock root and konnyaku yam cake is another dish that stays good for a few days. Gobo burdock root keeps its crunch after cooking. Chewing and biting it, despite the small amount served, makes your brain think you are getting lots of food, preventing you (Tom) from reaching for a snack later. Konnyaku yam cake paired with gobo has virtually zero calories and is rich in fiber, which also convinces your brain not to send out the “I want more food” signal.

For some time now I have been trying to come up with the best proportion of ingredients and ideal cooking time for the clear soup with fluffy eggs. With all ingredients of interest readily at hand, I decided to give it a try. Prawns and eggs together make a soft flavor, and I wanted to test the combination with chanterelles' relatively firm, somewhat crunchy texture. The experiment went well. Just as I expected, it became a tender soup that brings out the character of both prawns and chanterelles. Topped with mitsuba, the taste reminded of chawanmushi steamed savory custard. Everything is microwaved, partly because my original goal was to make a soothing soup for hot days without suffering the heat from the stove in summer. So here I am with our short summer nearly gone and when heat from the stove would be appreciated, I’ve finally come up with a good hot-weather soup. Oh, well. At least I have another recipe.

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