Tuesday, August 25, 2009

shiso tarako pasta & chikuzenni

I made pasta with the shiso (Japanese basil)I grow in my garden. This is not really cooking because I just put them together. I used already made salted cod roe sauce and mix them with pasta and add seaweed and thinly sliced shiso on top.

It might sound gross to eat pasta with fish eggs but this is really popular pasta in Japan and I love it. Since it is not easy to get salted cod roe in a regular super market, I normally buy this already made salted cod roe pasta sauce when I go to Japanese supermarket.

Shiso is so fragrant and I love using this to a lot of different things. I also love basil and cilantro but I also love shiso. I wonder why we can not buy this at regular supermarket. I think everyone would love it once they try it.

Last weekend, I went to this big Japanese supermarket in NJ. I love going there because I can buy things which I normally can not find in a regular supermarket. I bought lots of vegetables which are regulars in Japan and made this dish called "chikuzenni". This is a very traditional Japanese dish. It has many different kind of root vegetables, shiitake and little bit of chicken. The flavor is with soy sauce, sugar, mirin and sake. (usual suspect for Japanese dishes)

This was my first time making this dish but it came out pretty good. I was impressed. When I was in Japan, I did not like this dish too much but after being away from Japan for so long, I started to crave for some typical Japanese food. This has lots of good vegetables and I think it is healthy.

Well, I was pleasantly surprised that I can make this dish quite well. I think my mom will be very proud. There are so many Japanese dishes I would like to cook but often times it is difficult because of the special ingredients in a regular supermarket. But I am lucky to live in NY because there are so many people from so many different countries and if you go to manhattan, there are always speciality store for different countries. I love the fact that I have an access to different kind of ingredients from all over the world. And even at the regular supermarket, they started to carry speciality products from all over the world. I love grocery shopping.

Anyhow, I enjoyed my Japanese dishes and would love to make more Japanese dishes when I have a chance.

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