June 26, 2011

Some Miscellaneous Photos to Share/雑多な写真を幾つか

Here are some photos I'd like to share:

Yesterday, I bought a pack of sansho pods (mi-zansho) and a pack of salmon marinated in nanban sauce. Green sansho pods are available only around this time of year.
The salmon was very good just as I had expected.
You can also see some sansho leaves (called kinome):
We got a lot of cucumbers from my wife's father, so I made our favorite pickle.
6 cucumbers, cut diagonally into 1 to 1.5-cm rounds.
150 ml mirin-style seasoning, which does not contain alcohol
150 ml vinegar
1 tsp salt
Let sit overnight.
キュウリ6本 斜めに切って、1~1.5 cmの輪切りにする。
みりん風調味料(アルコールが入っていない) 150 ml
お酢 150 ml
塩 小さじ1
You can see another version here, in which salted kombu is used instead of salt.
And, here is my cucumber nukazuke:
They are rather salty because I pickled them for a whole day. I can only have a few slices a meal.

This morning, I decided to put some (about 50 to 60) of the sansho pods in my nukadoko.
First, remove thick stalks.
Boil for 1.5 min., drain, and soak in cold water.
The distinctive, intense smell filled the entire house!! I gave up the idea of adding them to my nukadoko, although sansho pods are a common ingredient to add to nukadoko for flavoring and disinfection. I put the sansho pods in an I-wrap bag and stored it in the freezer for later use.

Finally, the ice candy, Gari-Gari Kun, which is featured in Episode 76 of Volume 6 of the Shinya Shokudo manga.
Kyoho-flavored. Kyoho is a variety of grape called the King of Grapes in Japan. There are other versions of Gari-Gari Kun, like soda flavored one.


Sissi said...

Sansho pods look delicious! I have only tasted the dried sansho pepper (ground), but it has a very pleasant fresh taste. The grape ice also, it reminds me of my favourite konnyaku jelly: grape jelly! I always buy several bags because it's very difficult to get here. It's forbidden in Europe... because some irresponsible parents gave it once to a very small child who choked on it... (and there is an international sign with baby and old man crossed on the package!). I hate when the authorities forbid things instead of leaving the responsibility to the citizens! I don't know how my Japanese shop manages to import it!

Hiroyuki said...

Sissi: Don't expect that young green sansho pods taste like dried sansho!! I really was overwhelmed by the intense smell!!! I haven't decided yet what to do with sansho pods, which are now in the freezer...

As for konnyaku jelly, it's stupid to single out konnyaku jelly manufacturers for punishment because statistics show that there are more people who die from choking on other foods, such as mochi (rice cake), bread, rice, sushi, candies, and congee.

Sissi said...

Of course, it's probably under the pressure of media, to calm down the population etc.. I am not surprised at what you say at all!
In the meantime I found in a Vietnamese shop konnyaku powder to make jellies at home! I think it's made in Thailand. I have bought three packages and was so happy to find it (I suppose the Swiss customs officers have orders to check only the importation from Japan against konnyaku ;-) )
I will try making my own konnyaku jelly! The European jelly made from gelatin is completely different and frankly I have always hated it...

Fräulein Trude said...

Sansho - Sechzuan pepper has really a very intense smell, taste. No wonder you hesitated to put it in your pickling bed. I love the flavour of sechzuan pepper very much but have never seen the green fruits or even leaves of this plant. Only dried fruits are available. I read in the german wikipedia that a paste of salt and green sechzuan pepper fruits is used in japanese cuisine to cover bad fishy smells. Must be something (laugh).

Hiroyuki said...

Sissi: Do you have a recipe for konnyaku jelly? The key seems to use both ina agar (sp?) or gelatin and konnyaku powder.

Hiroyuki said...

Kiki: The smell and the flavor of young green sansho pods are beyond description! I like dried sansho powder (indispensable as a condiment for eel kabayaki), though.

Green sansho pods have a variety of uses. I will try to use mine little by little so I won't have to throw them away!

Hiroyuki said...

View this video, where they add a large amount of green sansho pods to their nukadoko: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ETUCw6QZR3o

Putting sansho pods seems to be very common in Kyushu.

Other ingredients often added to nukadoko for flavoring and other purposes include raw, whole soybeans, dried apple, lemon, and persimmon peels, ginger, garlic, an iron nails (to help eggplant retain its color).

Sissi said...

Hiroyuki, I have no recipe for konnyaku jelly, I thought the recipe on the konnyaku powder package will be enough.
So sansho is Sichouan pepper??? I thought it was a Japanese pepper I have bought ground in my Japanese shop... I have lots of Sichouan pepper, but it's completely different from the Japanese ground one. I am wondering what I have bought... (I am sure for Sichouan pepper only).
There are some fresh green peppers on branches sold in every Thai shop here (they look very similar to your fresh sansho pepper). I will ask what it is...

Iron nails? In nukadoko? Wouldn't it be a bit dangerous? The other ingredients are very interesting though.

Hiroyuki said...

Sissi: If you want to make konnyaku jelly (not konnyaku), you will need ina agar (sp?) or gelatin.
Recipes using ina agar:
(Japanese only)
If you need help with the translation, just ask me.

You are right about iron nails, there are products available like this:

Another way to keep the color of eggplants is to use burnt alum.
Rub an eggplant with 1/3 tsp burnt alum and 1/3 tsp salt.
This site contains a video:

Sichuan pepper and Japanese pepper are close but different species.

Sissi said...

Thank you Hiroyuki for the explanations. If I don't manage, I'll ask your help in translating.
Today I am working a lot (trying to work, since the heat is not very concentration-friendly...) and tonight I have to make lots of jars of apricot jam (I have bought 3 kilos!), so probably the jelly will have to wait!

Hiroyuki said...

Sissi: I envy you. I love apricots!

Sissi said...

I would hapily exchange 5 kgs of apricots against 1kg of ume ;-) I would love to make my own umeshu (but not as sweet as in the shops!).

Hiroyuki said...

Sissi: You are generous!! I like apricots partly because my father comes from Anzu no Sato, Nagano, and I've been familiar with this fruit since childhood.
View the video:

Ume are in season right now, but I still have the umeboshi made by my mother and a big bottle of umeshu given to us by a relative last year.

Sissi said...

You are lucky to have generous relatives!