Monday, September 18, 2006

Dinner For One #1 and Blogging By Mail

In an attempt to still stay active in the kitchen while J is away, I've decided to start a little series called "Dinner for One." That way, at least I will force myself to actually cook something instead of heating up a frozen meals. I can't promise that I'm going to make myself a four-course meal each night, but I definitely want to try and have a blog-worth meal and avoid the frozen stuff as much as possible!

Last night I was in the mood for some Japanese food so I decided to have a teishoku of sorts, minus the miso soup. I made some mugi-gohan (rice w/ barley), slow-simmered diakon in sweet dashi, and a tofu salad with wafu-yuzu dressing. I also had some seasoned canned mackerel and a seaweed salad that I picked up at Mitsuwa market:

The daikon is one of my favorites and so easy to make. It's healthy, warming and delicious by itself or even with a little swipe of some spicy Chinese mustard (which I didn't have, unfortunately!). I'll post the recipe below.

In other news, I was a first-time participant in this month's "Blogging By Mail" event hosted by Dispensing Happiness. We were asked if we wanted to ship internationally or domestically, as well as to send a list of anything we didn't like foodwise. I ended up sending a package to sour times in Vancouver, Canada and received a package from Fallen Soufflé in North Carolina. Initially I was a bit confused because I just assumed that I'd be receiving something from someone outside of the USA since I shipped outside of the country. However, it certainly was a pleasant surprise when a box showed up at my doorstep containing a bunch of goodies but a nice note as well. Jennifer sent me some salt water taffy, barbeque sauce, coffee, apricot tea and Burt's Bee's lip balm from North Carolina, in addition to things that she and her husband had picked up on their travels: Nutella, Stroopies (waffle cookies w caramel), cherry jam, Walker's Shortbread and chocolate. She was also kind enough to bake me some biscotti and send a jar of her homemade peach preserves- I can't wait to try it on ice cream!!! So thank you, Jennifer, for sending such a thoughtful package. I'm already enjoying the stroopies and biscotti and am eager to try the barbeque sauce.

Here is the aforementioned recipe:

Simmered Daikon w/ Sweet Dashi:

1 medium daikon, peeled and sliced crosswise into 1-inch rounds
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup tsuyu (noodle dipping sauce made from katsuo)
1 TBS soy sauce
3 TBS sugar
1 TBS mirin
1TBS sake

In a medium saucepan, put daikon in single layer and cover with the 1 1/2 cups water. Bring to a boil. Add remaining ingredients and bring back to a boil, then turn heat down to medium-low. Cover saucepan with a drop-lid (or cut a round of foil that is just the size of the saucepan and put it directly onto the simmering liquid so it covers it) and simmer for 35 minutes. Serve with a bit of the liquid and hot mustard if desired.



Stephanie said...

Before I lived in California, I'd never even heard of daikon.

But I'm happy I did; I love the pickled daikon sushi best of all, I think!

Anonymous said...

Ahhhh....this dinner looks wonderful!!!!! A perfect meal. I love daikon cooked that way.. Thanks for your recipe. I never thought of using tsuyu, I've always used plain shoyu. I used to live in an apartment and the neighbors complained when I cooked daikon....they said I was "stinking up the building"....Can you imagine??!!!

susan said...

i love simmered daikon! in korean dishes, daikon is paired up with meat to tenderize it. but i love it when there are chunks of daikon that soak up all that delicious juice. yum. thanks for your recipe! it'll be perfect since i'm trying to cut down on my meat intake. :)

susan said...

can i use soba noodle soup base for the tsuyu? and how long does sake keep once i open it? thanks!

Anne said...

Stephanie: I love daikon as well and happy that it is so healthy

Carlyn: Daikon doesn't smell (at least to us Japanese!)

Yoony: tsuyu IS soba noodle soup base- I keep mine in the fridge and it keeps for a looong time. The prepared daikon will keep in the fridge for probably 3 days. Good luck!

Unknown said...

Oh YUM! This meal looks so good!

May I ask, what is teishoku? I have never heard of that one it a type of kaiseki? ^__^;;

I can't wait to try the daikon recipe, thanks so much for sharing!

Anne said...

Hi Sera,

Teishoku is like a "set" meal. I don't know the literal translation (Mom, help!) but it's the very common meal sets you see in Japan- i.e. grilled fish, rice, salad and miso soup. It could also be a donburi (rice bowl) with miso soup and a salad. Hope that helps!

kickpleat said...

well, i think sour times missed out! i did manage to receive your package today, despite some earlier attempts, and i love it all. my husband is munching on the jerky and i can't wait to try those sea salt caramels! it's funny because we bought that trader joes' tuna curry when we were on our honeymoon travelling throughout the southwestern states. it made the best camping food ever and i never thought i'd eat it again! i loved it that much. so thank you!!!!

mOOm said...

The chinese white radish which I assume is the same as daikon is just almost the worst smelling thing I've ever encountered. I'm European - my wife who is Chinese says it hardly smells at all... I quite like the green radish though.