Wednesday, May 20, 2020

this week

Last Wednesday, I tried making nitsuke for the first time.

Nitsuke is when you simmer a protein (mainly fish) in a sweetened shoyu based sauce.

I was surprised at how fast, tasty and easy it was to do.

If you'd like to try making this here is the recipe I adapted from the internet.

Kinmedai (splendid alfonsino) Nitsuke (simmered in sweetened shoyu sauce) : 2 servings : adapted from several recipes on the internet
2 pieces kinmedai, scaled, rinsed
1/2 cup sake (rice wine)
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons shoyu (soy sauce)
2 tablespoons mirin (sweet rice wine)
1 tablespoon sugar
1 nub ginger, cleaned and sliced

Place an "X" on the the skin of the fish, be careful not to cut all the way through
In a pot or pan, put all the sauce ingredients in and bring to a boil
Add the fish and turn down the heat to medium
Cover with a drop lid and cook for 10 minutes
Remove the drop lid turn the heat down to low and spoon the sauce over the fish for 5 minutes
Serve and enjoy!

NOTES: so easy, tasty and easy! Pretty sure you can change the type of fish and also adjust the amount of sugar to your liking.
Serve this with lots of rice! I will definitely be making this again.

We ordered our first CSA (community supported agriculture) box which arrived on Friday.

I learned about Tabechoku from a television show called "7 Rule".

The television show introduces the many Japanese working women and shares their 7 rules on life and work.

On a particular episode, they introduced the owner of Tabechoku which introduces farmers to customers and cuts out the middle men (all the red tape organizations) and gives the farmers more profits.

The prices are a little higher than what you would find in the supermarkets, but the freshness of the produce cannot be beat.

The farm we ordered from, Ogawa Farm is located about an hour drive from Kumamoto city in Kyushu.

Apparently they use goats to "weed" and "fertilize" their veggies.

We ordered their medium sized veggie box and it came with 7 different veggies...bok choy, spinach, carrot, cherry tomatoes, baby leaf, onions and garlic scapes (which I had originally thought were called garlic sprouts from the translation from Japanese to English).

It was my first time to cook with garlic scapes...apparently they are not readily found at the markets, though I have seen them in Chinese dishes here.

On my first try, since it was our first time to try them, I prepared them simply by steaming them and we ate them as was like eating garlicky green beans!

With the rest of them, I sauteed them with some thinly sliced beef and seasoned it with some oyster sauce and shoyu (soy sauce).

When we received the box, it was nice to also receive some pamphlets educating us about the area our veggies came from as well as a few ideas on how to use their produce.

One thing that Ogawa Farm had mentioned was that garlic scapes were not often found at the markets so I'm glad we got to try them, but just in case, will also keep an eye for them on my next grocery run...

With the bok choy, I stir fried it with some chicken, some of the carrots we received as well as some of the onion that was in the box. I added garlic and seasoned with shoyu (soy sauce) and oyster sauce.

We have the spinach, carrots and onions left to eat...I am happy with this box and will definitely order again from this farm when the season changes.

It's shakuyaku (Chinese peony) season...we were lucky to get the last two at our neighborhood flower shop.

Love how big they get when they bloom, like a hand with fingers splayed!....hard to believe the buds were only the size of a golf ball!

Too bad these don't have any fragrance though...still pretty to look at though.

Good news: The 2 washable masks for 1 household from the government arrived...It took about a month.

39 of the 47 prefectures in Japan have been released from the state of emergency and have been allowed to transition back to some normalcy.

Sad news: After saying they would give every household 2 masks, some people that received them saw hair and some discoloration on their masks...blah!

So, it was recalled and they had to examine "each one" before putting them in our mailboxes...sigh.

AND after I washed them...they are already falling!

Tokyo was not one of the prefectures that were released, we still need to get our numbers under control.

Sadly, this year they will not open Mount Fuji to hiking.

Rainy season and humidity is least we are eating well.

Hope your week was a good one.

Stay safe.


Anonymous said...

Kenneth loves nitsuke He usually makes it with hamachi kama and always eats it with somen which is also how my mother's family used to serve nitsuke. I prefer dry or grilled type fish and meats so don't care for it much.

There are a number of fresh produce subscriptions here and increased since the stay at home thing. I always thought it was expensive but also since I don't really cook much, ended up giving away or gulp, throwing away a lot. I did like getting to try different kinds of stuff that don't show up in stores too.

did you put your masks in a little laundry bag? Not good if falls apart so fast. I think I read that when the Sora News tried to see if they shrank a lot if washed, but it hardly shrank at all.

KirkK said...

Terrible shoddy quality masks Kat.....that's terrible! Nice to see you're making some new "stuffs" in the kitchen. Take care!

K and S said...

With somen sounds good V, we ended up putting some of the nitsuke sauce onto our rice :) I did put our masks into a net after that first wash, still falling apart though....but they are cooler because they are gauze.

Kirk, poor use of taxes, they really should have done more for the medical system instead.

Take care you two.

jalna said...

Have you seen this?:

Anonymous said...

Jalna, O!M!G!!!! I sure hope those were only meant for India, but who's to say the Chinese don't do the same??? Dang, I guess I'll use my cloth ones and keep washing.

Steph said...

That fish recipe looks so yummy and easy! I'll have to try it. And we are doing a CSA again for the 2nd year. We used to be able to pick our own veggies (they'd have the quantities of each written on a chalk board) but this year, at least to begin, they will be packing boxes and giving you a time window to pick them up. I am just happy to get all the beautiful veggies again. This farm has a long wait list. I had to wait several years! Last year we got a lot of garlic scapes and I sauteed them with garlic. We also grilled them. We got lots of bok choy too! The also made some garlic scape pesto which we got a container of. And some things are pick-your-own, like strawberries, string beans, peas, and flowers. It's fun to take the kids but not sure we can do that right now. Massachusetts is starting phase 1 or reopening on May 25th. It's been difficult but we've been ok so far. I have been avoiding large grocery stores and relying on a farmstand down the road, since our CSA doesn't start until either June 9th or 16th. It's been hard having the kids try to 'learn from home'. School is cancelled for the rest of the year and camp is cancelling too. We don't know how long each reopening phase will last but at least 2 weeks for sure. Sorry for this long post! Japan has things under such better control than the US. Many people just don't follow the rules. We are northeast of Boston, which is where most of the cases have been (around Boston), and people up where we live are good at following the rules (also we are more sparsely populated, lots of farms and open spaces). Still I think the whole state has had around 6000 deaths. My husband started a new job from home in March, just as things were closing down. I am so happy he no longer works in a hospital! I was starting to get worried. (He's back in Biotech now, thankful for that.) Take care and stay well! Again I'm sorry I wrote you a book, lol.

K and S said...

it may look like Japan has things under control Steph, but we are far from it. I hope you will be able to rephase back into "semi-normalcy" :).

Take care!

K and S said...

Oh em gee Jalna! that was so scary & gross! I did see another video on the subject and saw they were arrested!

Take care.