Thursday, September 11, 2014

Japanese Meal

This meal comes from Japan. It is a simple meal that is suitable for a Bento box. The flavors in this meal are very different from what we are normally used to. I did not know much about Japanese cuisine and needed help with all the basics of this cuisine. I was happy to find Just one cook book, a blog with a lot of information about Japanese cuisine. I was fascinated with how dishes are selected for bento boxes. I found additional information at Just Bento and I decided I wanted to cook a meal fit for a bento box.


My Japanese bento box menu has a big bowl of Japanese sticky rice topped with Furrikake that is a kelp topping made with kelp leftover from preparing dashi. The rice was served with several side dishes. Negimiso yaki tofu or grilled tofu, flavored with a strong miso paste, provides intense flavor in every bite. Nori tomagoyaki or seaweed rolled into omelette rolls is a unique omelette preparation where multiple layers of thin egg crepes rolled together. Together the tofu and eggs meet the protein requirement of a bento box meal. Spinach gomaae or spinach with sesame seeds is a surprisingly crunchy dish with the roasted sesame seeds. The blanched spinach adds a mild flavor. For dessert I made Matcha white chocolate chip cookies or green tea cookies. Matcha has a strong green tea flavor and an equally strong aroma that reminded me of henna.


The new ingredients I used were kombu (kelp), nori (seaweed) and macha powder (special green tea powder). When I cooked this meal I was in a mood to experiment. All the meals I had cooked from the different countries up until this time were full of dishes known to us. So I went out on a limb and picked dishes whose flavors would be very new. I went shopping for groceries at the local Japanese store, a delightful mom and pop store with a lot more than just groceries. My husband was travelling so it was just me and my daughter. Nori or seaweed is not completely new to me. I remember my father had brought home some nori from Japan when I was about 10 years old. I had bravely attempted to eat it in a rice roll as my Dad showed me. But I had not been able to eat it. Finally I cut little pieces of the nori and placed a couple in a ball of rice and was able to eat it. Let us just say that neither my taste buds nor my enthusiasm to try new foods has changed much over the years. My daughter didn't do much better than me. We did enjoy the rest of the meal.

As they say in Japan, Itadakimasu!

Here are the recipes for the dishes on the menu
And for dessert


This is my entry for the letter J for BM #44 for the theme Around the world in 30 Days. Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#44.






14 comments:

  1. Am not a big fan of Nori, but this Japanese meal is just inviting me, dunno wat to chose. All looks absolutely irresistible.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Kudos to you for coming up with vegetarian versions of Japanese dishes. Everything looks really good. I might have to make some of your dishes to use up ingredients I bought :-)

    ReplyDelete
  3. wowww another tempting platter from japan :) every dish is looking yumm , such an irresistible platter :) love your presentation dear, you are doing marvelous job with your daily meal platter !!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Nice presentation and everything on the menu looks delicious.

    ReplyDelete
  5. my experience with nori and seaweeds was also no good...i was introduced to this in sweden and was eating all the food, assuming nori to be a japanese cousin of aluchya wadya and seaweeds floating in the soup to be some kind of greens until i was told that they are indeed the floating algae found in sea..coming to your meal this is fabulous platter and you have indeed upped the experimentation levels here...good job

    ReplyDelete
  6. That is a delicious platter VArada. I have tasted Nori but I did not find it appetizing. Must check out your green tea cookies...

    ReplyDelete
  7. Very interesting. Have never tried some of the ingredients.

    ReplyDelete
  8. What an interesting spread you got there Varada...I was planning on making Japan too and gave up when I couldn't think of anything to properly substitute..I am not so keen on very new experiments..so knew right away that I am not a fit candidate..:)...you are rocking with your meals..

    ReplyDelete
  9. What an interesting platter of Japenese dishes , lovely !

    ReplyDelete
  10. I am not a fan of Eastern cuisine but those are some unique dishes. I too tried a dish from her blog but chose to go with Jordan instead at the last moment.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Scrumptious platter varda, those tofu looks amazing!!!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Wow Varada must say you are a great foodie! I would have never had the courage to try some full meal in an unknown territory. Love the spread.

    ReplyDelete

Please leave a comment. I would love to hear from you.