Little Gem Lettuce – grilled






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.




Making Curry Powder at home


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….


Today’s ingredients:
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



Home made Spring Carrot Salad Dressing


So, I am back from Japan and as usual fighting with inevitable jetlag again.
Japan is now 7 hours ahead of the Norwegian time and I still feel hungry at odd hours… Ummm…   My husband and I spent 3 weeks in Japan and we really had a good time!  I have many photos to show you, so will write about my trip in another blog post.  We bought JR pass this time and made quite good use of it. If you are planning a trip to Japan soon, with or without JR pass, I hope my blog post will be helpful in your travel planning.




Today I am writing a recipe of my home made salad dressing using spring carrots.  I am now hooked on salad, a healthy addiction I must say.

While we were in Japan my husband and I really enjoyed many delicious dishes in different cities.  As far as food is concerned, I think Japan and France are my favorite. Particularly I enjoyed salads during my spring trip in Japan.  When you are traveling for three weeks and eating at restaurants almost everyday, it can get too much.  I feel so tired of restaurant food when it continues with no break.  Traveling is fun but you are busy with sightseeing and shopping in strange places and your body is sometimes much more tired than you think and I think it is important and wise that you eat light. Usually Japanese dishes are light but there are so many tempting dishes and you want to try it all when you are there.  In between such big and memorable meals, salad was a good dish for me to eat,  and in Japan there are so many kinds to try as well.

Here is one, I had this in Sapporo in Hokkaido, a fantastic salad with very locally produced ingredients!

It was called “White Caesar Salad” and it was so delicious that I can not forget.

Locally produced vegetables and local brand chicken called “Nakasatsunai Chicken”, a brand chicken in Hokkaido produced in Nakasatsunai Village, are mixed and totally covered by finely shredded Mozzarella cheese also locally produced by Hanabatake Farm, a famous farm in Tokachi city in Hokkado. It was really an excellent salad.

After I came home, I have been experimenting to create a good home made salad dressing and here is one using Spring Carrot.


Small Spring Carrot        1   finely grated
New Yellow Onion          20 g  finely grated
Rice vinegar                    30 cc
Olive oil (cold pressed)    50 cc
Lemon juice                       2 tea spoons
Soy Sauce                           2 tea spoons
Coarse mustard                2 tea spoons
Salt, pepper, honey, sugar          to your taste

I mixed all these with a bar mixer.


If you do not have a bar mixer, I really recommend to get one as it is a very useful cooking tool. Not only salad dressing you can make good soups or smoothies with it.


A good salad for your breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Home made salad dressing is easier to make than you think.



Bon appetite!
xxx Rie