July 7, 2017
I have a happy news today, I am now writing a column about the life style in Norway in a Japanese publisher’s web magazine. It is the same publisher who published the bento book in March this year and I am so grateful for this opportunity. This site is unfortunately only in Japanese but I will leave the link at the end of this blog post. The site has just opened and it is full of useful and fun articles for us who does not stop asking “How can we make a better life?” The articles are meant to be encouragement for busy people to enjoy daily house choirs and routines. My first article has been just published and it is about the way we wash dishes in Norway. The targeted readers are Japanese ladies and I am sure they will find the difference between the way they wash dishes in Japan and the Norwegian way. There are two other columnists writing about their life outside Japan, one is writing from Paris and the other from New York.
Anyway, I am sorry the site is only in Japanese, but just wanted to announce this launch of the new communication platform and my outreach as a columnist.
This lettuce is called Hjertesalat in Norwegian and I believe it is the same lettuce as Little Gem Lettuce in England. Norway produces Hjertesalat from May to October, it is probably in the peak season, I see many fresh Hjertesalat in my store.
If you cut it like this, halved lengthwise, it looks like more Chinese cabbage than lettuce, the leaves are upright. And this lettuce is different from ordinary lettuce as it is super heat-torelant.
So we grill this lettuce on a very very hot grill pan.
The secret is this hot hot grill pan and you cook Little Gem Lettuce very quickly.
I just added some Kosher salt. No oil, no other spices, no nothing.
I think I want the water in the Little Gem Lettuce to boil quickly, so adding any other liquid will only prolong the process. Sometimes the most simple way is the best.
Served on the side of Spicy Grilled Chicken.
You can add Balsamic vinegar or Walnuts oil or good Olive oil on the lettuce right before you serve.
Simple, but very good.
Tuesday June 20, 2017
In Oslo we have a place called Grønnland and there are many exotic and ethnic stores. I love these stores, they give me a lot of inspiration of cooking, they make me want to learn more about unknown food culture and ingredients. Specially they are quite specialized in spices. Their daily cooking uses more spices than our Japanese cooking and these stores are famous for its great selection of all different spices. Yesterday I went to one of the large stores and bought 11 different spices. Today I mixed them and made curry from scratch. It was such a fun cooking experiment to mix my own curry powder but it has to be improved. Next week I will try 2 other recipes and experiment more to find the ideal balance between the spiciness and the sweetness, I believe the depth of the flavor can be improved by adding or decreasing one or more of these spices. A fun journey to my ideal curry powder has begun….
4 1/2 tea spoons coriander powder
2 teaspoons of Turmeric powder
1/2 tea spoon chili powder
1/2 paprika powder
6 green cardamons
1 1/2 tea spoons cumin seeds
1/2 tea spoon black pepper corns
1/2 inch cinnamon stick
1/4 tea spoon whole clove sticks
1 bay leaf