N is for Nori

We have an exciting week this week. One, we have a birthday boy, turning two!

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Second, Diana’s parents have some very exciting news… perhaps you can discern what it is from Daria’s art project, about to be sent to them in the mail:

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When celebration is in order, our family often throws a Japanese themed evening. Miso soup, homemade sushi…. YUMM! With five big appetites in our house, homemade sushi is FAR more affordable and almost as good!!

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I just bought a huge pack of Nori, though the quality is not as good as some of the smaller packs. The sushi rice is easy to make – 1c rice to 2c water, cooked with a bit of salt. When done stir in 1 Tbsp sweet (maple syrup, sugar) and 2 Tbsp rice vinegar (or apple cider, or…). Let cool on counter, then cool in fridge. As for the rolling… I’m sure a You Tube video would do a better job than I could, but I do use a ziploc bag on top of my rolling mat so that I can flip the seaweed after putting the rice on (bowl of water handy for fingertips so rice doesn’t stick). I love rice on the outside!

The Miso soup is a REBAR recipe… I don’t worry if I am missing spinach or sesame seeds, or… it is easy to improvise!

Miso Soup: Take 2+ tbsp small pieces of seaweed (I use Hijiki or Arame), soak in 3.5c boiling water. Add 3 Tbsp Soy Chili Sauce (easy to make below or just use soy sauce). Stir in 4 Tbsp of Miso (I use Gen Mai) using a whisk to stir well on low heat until dissolved. Cook Soba noodles separately (there are spelt and kamut ones out there). Chunk up 1/2 pkg tofu into 1/2″ cubes (optional) and throw them in. Warm it all up, add chopped spinach, green onions, toasted sesame seeds if you like. The trick is not to boil this soup as it reduces the value of the miso somehow. I keep the noodles in the colander and dish into each separate bowl, but you can also put them into the big pot. 

Soy Chili Sauce (also amazing for stirfry, marinade, drizzle on vegetables): 3 gloves garlic, 1/2 tsp chili flakes (I leave these out), 1 tbsp sesame (or other) oil, 1 tsp vegetable oil (I use olive), 3/4c soy sauce (I use Braggs), 3/4c vegetable stock or water, 1/4c honey. Stir all this up in a pot, then bring to boil. Mix 1/2c cold water and 2 tsp cornstarch (separately). Pour this into the pot in a slow stream, simmer for 5 min or until thick and glossy. They say to refrigerate for 1 week though I have been known to go longer… a month?!?

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