Thursday, May 1, 2008

Arigato

I was looking for a birthday present for a friend when I stumbled upon this beautiful little book on Japanese cooking by Joakim Lundblad, Bruno Ehrs and Dag Hermelin. "Japanese food through the eyes of three Swedish guys?" I thought with moderate suspicion. But it turns out that for someone living in Estonia, it is a gift from heaven. They approach all the ingredients with the awe that comes from living in a culture where most of the people have never heard about them, not everything can be bought in the shops etc. Where possible, they suggest what one or the other thing can be substituted for.
I've made so much sushi already, that my fingers were itching for some of the other variations of the Japanese cuisine.

So here's my first go at it, didn't stick to the recipe entirely, but I liked the result:

Bibinba:
boiled Japanese rice (or porridge rice - small, round)
450 g thinly sliced pork
200 gr thinly sliced bamboo shoots (was supposed to be bean sprouts but the particular supermarket I went to that day didn't have any)
~20 mangetouts

marinade for the vegetables:
1/2 tsp of sesame seed oil
1 tsp of sesame seeds (better if it is a mix of the dark and the light ones)
salt and white pepper

broth:
4 cm knob of ginger
1 clove of garlic
2 1/2 dl water
1/2 of a carrot
some leek
1/2 of a bell pepper
1/2 of a green apple
1 1/2 dl soy-sauce
1 1/2 rice vinegar
2 1/2 tbsp suga3

Boil the rice without salt and without stirring. First wash it until the water is clear, then cover it with water so that the water line is about 1 cm above the rice, bring to boil, then reduce heat for 20 minutes and then take off the heat and cover with the lid for some more time.

Boil some water with salt and add the mangetouts for about 30 seconds. Discard the water and cool in cold water. Then cut the mangetouts into thin slices.
Prepare the marinade by mixing all the marinade ingredients and then toss the mangetouts and bamboo shoots in the marinade and set aside.

Prepare the broth, chop everything up and boil for about 30 minutes. Let it cool a little and blitz in the blender.

Brown the pork on a hot pan, transfer the meat to a pot, add the broth, bring to boil and in a couple of minutes you have your bibinba. Serve over rice with the mangetouts and bamboo shoots.

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