Home made Spring Carrot Salad Dressing

No.199

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.

 

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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.

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

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Bon appetite!
xxx Rie

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Do you like Norwegian Salmon?

No.138

You may never have traveled to Norway yet but maybe you have eaten fresh, delicious and world-famous good quality Norwegian salmon? It has really become a very attractive fish in many countries of the world and many of my readers in France, yes I know your country likes Norwegian salmon very much! To me it is not only a fish I buy at a supermarket to make a dinner for my family but also it is a nostalgic food which brings me many good memories. From 1986 to 1990 I worked in the Trade Department of the Norwegian Embassy in Tokyo and one of the big projects I was engaged in was called “Project Japan” which was a pioneering project aiming at expanding export of Norwegian seafood from Norway to Japan. Now you can buy fresh Norwegian salmon in Japan very easily but back in 1986 it was not so commonly available. Many trade delegations from Norway visited us in Japan and those trips to the world’s largest fish market in Tokyo together with Norwegian fish exporters are my fond memories.

We who live in this clean and beautiful country in Scandinavia eat it very often, too. A very traditional Norwegian salmon dish is actually a very simple dish, we slowly porch salmon with a slice of lemon and dill and serve with boiled potato, melted butter and refreshing cucumber salad. Mmmm.. it is very good! But nowadays more and more Norwegian people eat salmon raw as Sashimi and Sushi just like Japanese people do. I often serve it to my guests at my dinner party and it seems people like the dish very much.

Norwegian Salmon Sashimi for Party
Norwegian Salmon Sashimi for Party

We almost always serve Sashimi together with these fine shredded white radish on the side. Very locally grown chives from my garden and ripe avocado go very well with the Salmon’s beautiful rose pink color and this bright and colorful presentation is really entertaining when you are serving it to your party guests.

Norwegian Salmon Sashimi – garnish tips
– shredded white radish called Daikon (available at Asian food stores)
– avocado, cut into small cubes and put some drops of lemon juice on
– salmon eggs
– lemon or lime slice
– fresh chives (gressløk in Norwegian)
– wasabi, if you like it hot

Easy Roll Sushi with Norwegian Salmon
Easy Hand Roll Sushi with Norwegian Salmon

Easy Hand Roll Sushi (4 people)
Sushi rice 2 cups, water 2 cups
Sushi vinegar   4 table spoons
Norwegian salmon  400g
Cucumber  1/2 – 1
Nori
Chives (gressløk)
Soy sauce, wasabi, white sesame seeds

– Wash sushi rice and cook it with water. Mix with Sushi vinegar while it is hot.
Cool it completely.
– Cut Norwegian salmon and cucumber into thin strips.
– Place a nori sheet (about 9cm x 9cm), put 3 table spoons of sushi rice on, add salmon and cucumber, sprinkle white sesame seeds and chives and wrap it! If you like it hot, dissolve some wasabi in soy sauce and dip.

Norwegian salmons are not only an excellent sashimi fish but also good to cook. Fresh salmons come in different sizes and a small package like this is very handy for my bento cooking and I almost always have one in my fridge.

Salma is the popular brand. It is super fresh, good for Sashimi
Salma is the popular brand. It is super fresh, good for Sashimi

Salmon Teriyaki on white rice is my favorite. The texture is so wonderfully tender and I think that is why both young children and elderly people like this fish. Today I made a festive bento with Salmon Teriyaki for my new boss who just arrived in Norway and we had a welcome party at the office and I served this bento for everyone.

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Salmon Teriyaki (4 people) 
300g Norwegian salmon
Teriyaki Sauce (Japanese sake 2 table spoons. Mirin 1 and 1/3 table spoon, Soy sauce 1 and 1/3 table spoon, Sugar 1 tea spoon. Mirin is available at Asian food stores)

– Slice salmon into 5mm thick slices diagonally with a knife on a bias.

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– Heat a frypan. Add 1/2 table spoon of salad oil.
– Fry salmon on both sides. It does not take any more than 3 minutes as they are thin slices.
– Mix the sauce in a cup. Pour into the frypan and cook. Turn the heat up.
– Try to coat the fish with the sauce. When the sauce is almost all evaporated, it is done.
– Serve as it is or on top of warm rice.

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Bon Appetite!
xx Rie

This post is participating in the contest in Norway “Matstreif fyller 10år, lag et festmåltid med norsk lokalmat”

Healthy Oriental Shrimp Salad

No.126

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It has been unusually very warm here in Oslo, newspaper was talking about the record-breaking sales of ice cream this year. Yeah, I believe it. It has been so hot and I also craved cold vanila ice cream! Under the inviting blue sky people are also cooking BBQ so often that they are probably tired of hotdogs, hamburgers and potato salad by now.  How about something different for a change? Something light and refreshing and yet nutiritious with an oriental twist? This salad I am presenting in this post is a typical summer salad with spinach, Enoki mushroom, shrimps, bean noodle served with soy-sauce based oriental salad dressing. Some of the ingredients may sound a little obscure but they are available at asian grocery stores (at least in Oslo where I live. I go to a store called Scanasia, Youngsgate 6 in Oslo, vis-avis Generius Shopping Center near Brugata bus stop).  This is a salad but the ingredients are all boiled and cooked and not raw, rich in fiber, low in calories and no animal fat. The recipe is good to serve 3 people but you can simply double it or triple it to serve a big company.

Healthy Oriental Shrimp Salad

Spinach                              200g
Enoki mushroom               1 pack
Bean thread noodles        1 pack (40g, 1.4oz)
Frozen Black tiger shrimps   10 pieces
Lemon juice                            1 tea spoon

Sesame Vinegar Dressing
Soy sauce      3 table spoons
Rice vinegar   3 table spoons
Sugar              2 table spoons
Sesame oil     1 tea spoon
White sesame seeds

1. Take spinach out of the bag and rinse in cold water, take out and put in a pan. Without adding any water, turn on the heat to cook until it starts to boil.

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2. Get a separate large bowl and fill with ice water. As soon as spinach started to boil, take it off from the heat and drain it by pouring into a colander. Transfer the colander into the ice water, let it sit there for 10 minutes.

3. Place Enoki mushroom on a cutting board. Chop off the ends and discard them. Rinse with cold water.

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4. Prepare bean thread noodles according to the instruction given by manufacturer. This one I had needed to be soaked in cold water for 5 minutes before I cook it in boiling water for 2 minutes. I boiled Enoki mushroom together in the same pan then. After they are cooked, rinse with cold water and drain well.

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5. Defrost frozen shrimps. If they need to be peeled and deveined, please do so before you boil them. Fill a pan with 400cc water, add lemon juice and a pinch of salt, bring to a boil, add shrimps. Cook until the color turns to bright pink. Take out from the boiling water and drain. If you are using preboiled small shrimps, that is also ok.

6. Make dressing. Mix everything in a bowl, stir very well.

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7. Cut spinach, bean thread noodle, Enoki in the same length of about 5 cm long. Mix together well in a bowl first before you dish up in a serving bowl. All the ingredients are kind of long and thin, so try to “weave” them into each other.

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This salad tastes much better when it is chilled sufficiently. Dressing is chilled separately and poured right before you serve. Sprinkle white sesame seeds on top and just enjoy!

Bon Appetite!

PS…  If you don’t like shrimps or spinach, just cut ham or boiled chicken, thin strips of cucumber and carrot and mix with bean noodle and some scrambled egg. This variation is also very tasty. You can use the same dressing. 🙂

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xx Rie