A fascinating and unique take on one of the worlds most unique and complex cuisines.
The recipes are organized logically with the intention of reassuring you how easy it is to cook Japanese food. Not just a book about Japanese food, Japanese Farm Food is a book about love, life on the farm, and community. Covering everything from pickles and soups to noodles, rice, and dipping sauces, with a special emphasis on vegetables, Hachisu demystifies the rural Japanese kitchen, laying bare the essential ingredients, equipment, and techniques needed for Japanese home cooking.
“Nancy Hachisu is…intrepid. Outrageously creative. Intensely passionate. Committed. True and real. I urge you to cook from this book with abandon, but first read it like a memoir, chapter by chapter, and you will share in the story of a modern-day family, a totally unique and extraordinary one.” –Patricia Wells
Carrot and Mitsuba Salad with Citrus | Pork and Flowering Mustard Stir-Fry
Carrot and Mitsuba Salad with Citrus
(Ninji Sarada Kankitu-ae)
Japanese love carrots, but for the most part prefer them cooked. I am a salad maniac and think carrots go superbly with Japanese-style dressings. The citrus balances well with the sweet carrots, while the addition of a little heat from the negi and spicy-fresh taste from the mitsuba make an irresistible combination. This is an eye-catching salad that has a wonderful symmetry of flavors.
3 cups (750 cc) julienned carrots
2 tablespoons julienned negi or
scallions (white and light green parts)
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 tablespoons mild citrus juice
(yuzu, Seville orange, Meyer lemon)
2 tablespoons rapeseed oil
Handful of mitsuba leaves
(substitute lovage, cilantro, or chervil)
Place the carrots and negi in a large bowl and sprinkle with salt. Gently toss. Measure the citrus juice into a small bowl and whisk in the oil. Pour over the carrots and onion and mix lightly to distribute the vinaigrette. Add the mitsuba leaves and toss once.
Serve on gorgeous small plates that show off the bright colors of the salad. Be sure to serve from the bottom, since the dressing quickly drips down, and prop up a few mitsuba leaves on the individual plates to add a bit of pop.
Ratio: citrus juice:rapeseed oil—1:1
Variations: Substitute julienned daikon or turnip with a small handful of chiffonaded bitter green tops instead of the green onion and mitsuba.
Pork and Flowering Mustard Stir-Fry
(Buta to NaNohaNa itame)
1/2 tablespoon organic rapeseed oil
Scant 1/2 pound (200 g) thinly sliced pork belly, cut crosswise into 3-inch (7.5-cm pieces)
1 tablespoon finely slivered ginger
1 (10 1/2ounce/300-g) bunch flowering mustard or rapini, cut into 2-inch (5-cm) lengths
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Tadaaki made this one night when we had fields of flowering mustard and komatsuna. The flowering tops of brassicas, particularly rape (natane), are called nanohana in Japanese and are similar to rapini. Tadaaki tends to throw some meat into his stir-fries because he feels it gives the dish more depth. I’m more of a purist, so prefer my vegetables without meat. But this dish really won me over, and I quickly became a convert (almost). Japanese stir-fries can be flavored with soy sauce, miso mixed with sake, or even salt. In this dish, I like the clarity of the salt.
Fill a pot with water and bring to a boil. Heat a wide frying pan or wok over high heat. Add
the oil quickly followed by the pork belly slices and ginger slivers. Sauté until the fat sizzles
and there is some minimal browning, but don’t overdo it.
Place the flowering mustard in a mesh strainer with a handle and lower into the pot of boiling water. Cook for about 30 seconds, or until no longer raw. Keep the strainer at the top of the water surface in order to scoop the mustard greens out in one brisk pass. Shake off the hot water and toss into the cooked pork belly. Toss a few minutes more over high heat and season with the salt. Cook for about 30 seconds more, then serve.
Variations: Substitute soy sauce for the salt or chopped ginger for the slivered ginger.
From japanese Farm Food/Andrews McMeel Publishing