Thursday, April 27, 2017

Japanese Style Spring Onion Dressing

Now is the time for spring onions. I love the sweet and mild taste of spring onions. They are perfect to eat raw in salad, salad, salsa, or in a homemade dressing since they have the nice onion flavor but with much less kick.

Today, I am introducing Japanese style onion dressing using the milder spring onion. This dressing has a really deep flavor and it is so delicious to eat with salad. I suggest pouring a generous amount of this dressing over your spring vegetable salad and just eat away. For the spring vegetable salad, you can use lightly cooked asparagus, peas, fiddlehead ferns, and a leafy spring salad mix. Add a poached egg on top of the salad to give it more flavor, substance and color.

Enjoy your spring plate with my Japanese style spring onion dressing!

Japanese Style Spring Onion Dressing

·      1 spring onion (about 100g)
·      1 tablespoon of brown sugar
·      2 tablespoon of soy sauce
·      2 tablespoon of rice vinegar
·      2 tablespoon of good quality extra virgin olive oil

1.     Grind the spring onion.

2.     Mix all ingredients in a bowl until blended well.

3.     You can eat immediately but it will taste better if you let it rest for a couple of hours. Cover the leftovers with wrap and put it in your fridge. It will taste even better the next day. How to make poached egg, check my blog .

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Matcha Rolled Cake with Strawberries

This is another fun recipe using my matcha sponge cake from my previous post Matcha Cake Parfait. I love the presentation when this cake is sliced neatly and served on its side, allowing the colors and contrast to really show. This dessert is light and fluffy and not overly sweet. Rolling the cake requires a little more effort but anyone can do it. Even if the roll does not come out perfect it will still look fine after a few hours resting in the fridge.
The pictures show both Japanese and Western styling in my photos. Which do you prefer?

Matcha Rolled Cake with Strawberries

·      1 matcha sponge cake (recipe: Matcha Cake Parfait)
·      rum syrup (recipe: Matcha Cake Parfait)
·      1 cop of sweetened whipped cream (hard peaks)
·      8 to 10 strawberries cut into small pieces

1.     Bake the matcha sponge cake. Follow recipe Matcha Cake Parfait using a 13x 9 inch backing sheet instead of brownie pan.

2.     While the cake is still hot, remove it from the pan with the parchment paper still attached and lay it on a cooling rack.

3.     Line the top with another sheet of parchment paper and flip the cake over. Peel off the original sheet of parchment paper but still use it to keep the cake covered.

4.     Now flip the cake back over again so the original side is up. Peel the parchment paper off the top. Then let the covered cake cool on the rack.

5.     Decide which looks better the top of bottom of cake; the best looking should be on the bottom. Cut the ends of the sponge cake at an angle so that it rolls well. Add 5 or 6 width-wise slits to the top of the cake to help it roll.

6.     Brush the rum syrup across the top of the cake. Spread sweetened whipped cream across the top and place the strawberries.

7.     Roll the cake tightly and push back the cream and strawberries that fall out the sides. When you finish rolling, wrap the cake with parchment paper and then tightly with plastic wrap. Put in the fridge for at least 1 hour but preferably overnight.

8.     Remove the plastic wrap and parchment paper, slice it neatly and serve.

Western style

Or Japanese style.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Preserved Cherry Blossom Leaves

Like Cherry Blossoms themselves, the cherry blossom leaves are edible too. We often use the preserved cherry blossom leaves for Japanese sweets and desserts. Like the blossoms, the leaves have a beautiful scent of their own. The fragrant leaves are always a good way to add a hint of “spring” to your dish and presentation. Here is the link to my Tokyo Style Sakura Mochi recipe.

To make the preserved cherry blossom leaves, you want to pick the soft young leaves. Like with the blossoms, finding the perfect leaves depends on the timing. If the leaves are too mature they will be tough to chew. The double-flowered cherry blossom tree produces leaves with a beautiful fragrance.

Preserved Cherry Blossom Leaves

·      100g tender leaves from the double-flowered cherry tree
·      sea salt
·      100cc of 20% salt water

1.     Wash the cherry leaves well.

2.     Boil a few cups of water and scald the leaves quickly.

3.     Remove from the hot water and immediately cool down in a cold water bath.

4.     Wipe the leaves dry.

5.     On the tray, sprinkle a light layer of salt then lay the leaves on top of the salt then sprinkle a light layer of salt on top of the leaves. Repeat this several times and finish with sprinkling salt.

6.     Pour the 100cc of salt water over the leaves and cover with plastic wrap. Place a flat weight on top of the plastic and store in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.

7.     Remove the weight and store in the fridge until needed.

8.     Desalinate the leaves before using. Soak the leaves in water for 5 to 10 minutes then pat dry. You can store the leaves in your fridge for up to 1 year.