I don’t cook fish often. Not because I dislike it but because when we were young my sister and I refused to eat fish (aside from freshly caught rainbow trout) so it is not part of my food past. Since coming to Japan I have started cooking fish but usually in Japanese food. I probably haven’t made any ‘Western’-style fish in over a year. I already had a balsamic reduction vegetable stir fry on the menu so Japanese flavors wouldn’t match. We picked up some sea bream and I googled how to cook it and Jamie Oliver videos came up. This particular video look the most compatible to what I had in the fridge. Is it sad that after nine years in Japan I still have to look up fish names. By that I mean I don’t know the English names because they mean nothing to me because my lack of fish in the past. My whole understanding of fish and their tastes is in Japanese.
Baked Sea Bream
Inspired by Jamie Oliver
2 sea bream fillets
salt and pepper (freshly ground, if possible)
a handful of cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
1/2 a medium-sized onion, diced
juice of one lemon
a few dashes of dried thyme
garlic powder (or one clove of fresh garlic, minced)
Preheat the oven to 200C. Season the fillets with salt and pepper and set aside. Dice the onion and saute in olive oil until soft. If you are using fresh garlic add it to the onion and saute. Spread half of the cooked onions on the bottom of a lightly oiled pan. place the sea bream fillets on top of the onions and place the remaining onions on top of the sea bream. Place the cherry tomatoes sliced side down on top of the fish and onions. Drizzle the lemon juice over everything. Season with garlic powder (if not using fresh), salt and pepper. Cover with tin foil and bake for fifteen minutes, uncover and bake an additional five minutes. Serve.
Sea bream = たい = 鯛 = tai
I make pizza on Friday nights but I only make dough every couple of weeks. Dough takes time even though only about ten minutes of that is active. One doesn’t always have the ninety minutes to two hours to make homemade pizza and that shouldn’t stop you from having it. Luckily, pizza dough freezes really well. You can freeze it after it has risen and all you have to do is take it out of the freezer and put it in the fridge (not on the counter) in the morning. If you forget to pull it out in time put some hot tap water in a large mixing bowl and float your dough (still wrapped) in the water until thawed. Don’t use boiling water as it may kill the yeast.
There are two ways to freeze it:
- freeze dough balls in ziploc bags/tupperware – after you thaw the dough you can press it out in your pan, sauce and top.
- press the dough out on some parchment paper (oven paper オーブンペーパー), freeze and then put in a ziploc bag. For this method you have to make sure that you don’t forget about the pizza before you put it in the ziploc bag. You can also sauce and top the pizza so that it just needs to be thawed. You want to freeze it before putting it in the bag so that nothing sticks. The same goes with thawing, slide it out on to your pan, cover and refrigerate until ready to bake.
seI’ve got another rice cooker lentil recipe for you. My last recipes, Thymely Rice Cooker Lentils and Spicy Rice Cooker Lentils, have become quite popular and I think more needs to follow. The instructions are very complex so follow them carefully.
Sausage and Cabbage Rice Cooker Lentils
2/3 cup brown lentils
1 chicken bullion cube
1 cup purple cabbage, chopped finely
15cm celery, chopped roughly
1 sausage, sliced
salt and pepper, to taste
Wash the lentils and put them in the rice cooker. Fill up the water to the one cup level. Add everything else and push start. When it is done, season with salt and pepper, if required and serve hot.
I needed something fast last night so I went for some frying pan curry. It was almost the same as last time except I added maitake mushrooms tofu as well as spinach.
I saw this on a Japanese cooking tv show. I don’t remember which channel or which show. The show featured three popular food bloggers but I haven’t been able to recognize who it is by looking at food blogs. I searched the internet (in Japanese) and this is a fairly common thing to do. The recipe took about fifteen minutes to make. That’s right, fifteen minutes. This is great when you want curry ASAP. This, of course, only works with veggies that can be sauted in five to ten minutes.
Quick Frying Pan Curry
2 Japanese curry roux cubes
1 bunch spinach, cut to size of your choice
1 small onion, diced
100mL milk (I used soy)
2 servings of cooked rice
Saute onion in a little bit of oil in a frying pan until translucent. Add the spinach and cook until just wilted. While the spinach is cooking grate the curry cubes into the frying pan. Once the spinach is ready, add the milk and water and stir. Cook until thickened. Serve over hot rice.