These pickles were a regular feature in a French restaurant in Yonago (Japan). The restaurant served sophisticated Japanese-inflected French cuisine, and it was a revelation to me — coming fresh from rural Nova Scotia. These marinated vegetables in particular stuck with me. They are a combination of typically Japanese vegetables — primarily lotus root and gobo. But the marinade is a European-style combination of white wine vinegar, and olive oil, with floral and citrus flavours from the abundant coriander seed.
Preserves and pickles
brad, coriander, french, gobo, japanese, lotus, pickle, vegan, vegetarian
Chinese red oil (红油, or the equivalent, Japanese raiyu らい油) is a critical ingredient in any number of Sichuanese dishes, including sesame noodles, or husband-wife boiled beef slices. It’s great with black vinegar, as a dumpling sauce. And it’s versatile enough to use with other kinds of cuisine as a spicy condiment. It’s a beautiful ruby red color, and has a fantastic toasty aroma. You can buy it, if you like, but it’s ridiculously simple to make. It might look intimidatingly fiery, but the flavour is a mellow, slow heat (even if you use spicy chili flakes).
— Brad, Ulli
brad, chinese, japanese, oil, sichuan, simple, ulli, vegan, vegetarian
Salads of blanched bean sprouts with sesame are very common side dishes in Japanese (called moyashi no goma ae) and Korean food (called sukju namul). This salad is extremely simple to make, versatile, and works well with almost any combination of Chinese, Korean or Japanese food. In particular, the most simple version works as a counterbalance to strong and spicy Korean or Chinese dishes. The soft nuttiness of sesame, and the gentle crunch of blanched bean sprouts work well together.
brad, japanese, korean, simple, vegan, vegetarian
This is one of the simpler recipes for steamed-bun (bao) dough we’ve found. It produces a fluffy, sweet, nicely textured bao, and you can stuff it with the typical Chinese char siu, or the Vietnamese banh bao filling — or a shiitake filling. You can pretty much stick anything inside them, and it will be good. In Japan, in the winter, steam cabinets with a variety of bao, or man, are everywhere. When I lived in Yonago, there were almost always pork, curry, pizza, mushroom, and blueberry.
— Brad, Eliseo, Wendy
brad, bread, chinese, dough, eliseo, japanese, vegan, vegetarian, wendy
Kinpira renkon is classic Japanese. Salty, umami, and sweet; tender and crunchy — it’s one of the most delicious ways to eat lotus root. You can put it out as an appetiser, or as a side dish to a meal, or as a snack — it’s as addictive as peanuts, and people will keep munching on it. If you aren’t familiar with lotus root, the distinctive pattern of holes might make it seem exotic. But, cooked, it has a warm nutty flavour that’s more comfortable than strange.
brad, japanese, lotus root, simple, vegan, vegetarian