Gobo, Burdock Root, Salsifis

No.197

We are lucky to have this vegetable in Norway, it is called Gobo (牛蒡)in Japanese and Storborre or Storborrerot in Norwegian. I think it is called Burdock Root in English and Salsifis in French. If I am making a mistake here, please let me know, I will correct it!!

I buy Gobo at Mega Coop in Bekkestua, this is my little shopping tips for you who live in Oslo 🙂 but I am sure there are other stores in town who sell it.  It is kind of a super mysterious vegetable for many Norwegian, they once told me that it is nothing but a weed and they could not think of it as a food they eat.

In Japan we eat Gobo all year around. It may not look so elegant,

 

S5DSC_0095

 

but it is a healthy vegetable!

The biggest difference between Japanese Gobo and the one I get here is the fragrance.
Japanese Gobo is a lot more fragrant and the skin part is much thinner. This is a root vegetable. When the soil and the climate is so different I think a lot of root vegetables are of its own charactor (except for carrot and onion).

I remove the skin part by scrubbing with a clean scourer. You can also use and scrape with the spine of your kitchen knife but be careful with the blade. Wash and clean it with water and you should cut it right away as it starts discoloration.

Prepare a big bowl of water and add 1/2 tea spoon of vinegar in it.
Whittle the Gobo and shave it like you sharpen a pencil

 

s5dsc_0100


and soak the shaves into the bowl. After 4-5 minutes, the water has turned its color to brownish, you can take Gobo shaves out of the water and pat dry.

s5dsc_0129

Heat a fry pan, add sesame oil and sautee with carrots and season.
– 200g Gobo
– 30g carrot
– Sugar 1 table spoon
– Mirin 1 table spoon
– Soy sauce 2 table spoons

Sprinkle some white sesame seeds before serving and here is a very typical Japanese dish called “Kinpira Gobo” 

It makes a good side dish in your bento as well.

s5%e4%bd%bf%e3%81%86%e3%82%88dsc_0161

Bon Appetit!
xxx Rie

 

Zucchini Bread

No.170

Zucchini is at its best season now in Norway and I love this vegetable very much. It is so lovery to see firm and well shaped zucchinis with shiny glossy skin on them! Zucchini has many names, it is also called as courgette or squash, a ripe type is called marrow in UK. Courgette is the french name for zucchini and in Norway I think it is called squash and zucchini. How is it called in your country?

While it is in its best season, why not make a loaf of delicious and healthy zucchini bread with nuts? This recipe I am writing today is the one I have had for a long long time and it is a proven and easy recipe for anyone, so I hope you will enjoy this healthy recipe. Although I say it is easy, I think the secret to make a successful zucchini bread lies in the accurate measuring and the mixing method.  All the dry ingredients should be mixed first while the fat ingredient and the wet ingredients are mixed together in a different bowl, and finally you can pour the dry ingredients into the bowl of the wet ingredients. It may sound so basic and so little important, I think this mixing method has so much to do with the successful outcome. However, please notice sugar is mixed in the wet ingredients, I think sugar’s crystalized particle is always good to mix with fat (butter for example) and water (egg or milk etc.) well together.

Zucchini Bread
for 1 baking pan of 2L in volume,
22cm x 13cm x 8cm


– the dry ingredients –

Flour  165g
Baking powder  2 tea spoons
Salt  1/2 tea spoon

– the wet ingredients –
Brown sugar   3 table spoons
Eggs     2
Lemon juice    3 table spoons
Vegetable oil   40g
Zucchini, shredded   1 cup
Walnuts, chopped     1/2 cup

Spray oil for the pan
———
Preparations :
1. Preheat your oven at 160℃. Roast the walnuts for 5 minutes at 160℃. Cool walnuts.
2. After the walnuts are roasted, increase the temperature and preheat your oven at 180℃.
3. Using a cutter, shred zucchini finely.
4. Grease the baking pan with cooking spray oil.

5. Mix the dry ingreidients. In a mixing bowl, shift the flour, baking powder and salt together.

6. Take the brown sugar on a plate and mix with a spoon to break any lump.

S4DSC02413

7. Mix the wet ingredients in another bowl. Mix eggs and brown sugar togehter first, add lemon juice, mix well. Add 2/3 of oil and mix. Add shredded zucchini and the remaining 1/3 oil. Mix well. Add chopped nuts.

S4DSC02417

8. Shift and add the dry ingredients in the wet ingredients. Stir and blend, do not mix too much, just fold it gently.

S4DSC02418

9. Pour the batter in the prepared baking pan and bake it in the oven for 45-55 minutes. My oven bake this amount fine in 45 minutes but please adjust the baking time accordingly.

10. Take it out of the oven and place it to cool for 15 minutes. Slice and serve with something to drink.

34c3acf221a66caf2a0c7ea19ffde514

 

Bon Appetite!
xxx Rie

 

Chilled Sweet Corn Soup

No.169

S4DSC_0404

Hello! I am sending my summer greeting to you from Oslo!! It is coming close to the end of July, it has been more than 1 month since I wrote my last blog post, I apologize for the absence. Although my writing has not been active, my kitchen has been very busy. If you are following  my Facebook page, you know I am cooking or baking something everyday and making bento for my family this summer. My daughter is working for a french company in Norway this summer and she brings a bento to her office. My husband is also back to work this summer. As he leaves home very early in the morning, 3 bentos are ready to go at 06:30 AM. It is very early but I am enjoying making bento for them. It is so nice to see my family happy and to hear “thank you, mama” for what I make for them!

You may all live in different countries, how has your summer been? There are many food I associate with summer, BBQ is a typical one and I also like chilled soup in summer.  Vichyssoise or Crème Vichyssoise Glacée in French, is very lovely when it is hot and we don’t really feel like eating a dinner. It is also very nutritious !

Vichyssoise

Vichyssoise sounds very elegant but the ingredients are rather ordinary. Potato, leek and onion are cooked together and puréed, you add good chicken stock and cream to it. It can be served both cold and warm, but I like it cold, Vichyssoise for me is a summer soup. Cold tomato soup is also good, I like fresh tomatoes with cumin seeds, rosemary, garlic and balsamic vinegar, it is aromatic, and you place a piece of chargrilled chicken on top of the soup.  Squeeze lemon over it and serve cold. Ummm…. it is so delicious. I have to give you this recipe one day.

Today’s soup is chilled sweet corn soup.  Like Vichyssoise, the ingredients of this soup are ordinary. In August I get fresh corns from the corn field outside Oslo and until then I make this soup with canned corn. It is very easy to make this soup, so I hope you will try this recipe. You will need a blender or an electric hand blender to make this soup. If you don’t have a hand blender, I really recommend to buy one, I use it very often and it is amazingly handy.

S4DSC_7820


* Chilled Sweet Corn Soup *
 (serves 4)
Canned sweet corn and juice      420g (I used 3 small cans, 140g each)
Shallots    4
Butter  20g
Water     2.5 cups
Chicken consomme cube    1
Sugar  0.5 table spoon
Bay leaf    1
Cream    0.5 cup and some extra
salt and pepper

S4DSC_7825

1. Peel and slice shallots thinly. Heat a pot and melt butter on medium high heat. Put the shallots in and fry until they are translucent.

2. Add corns and juice from the can. Stir well to coat the corns with the butter. Continue to cook over medium high heat until you can see corns are heated warm. Add water, a chicken consommé cube and a bay leaf and sugar. Put a lid on. Cook until it boils back, skim the foam, reduce the heat to medium and continue to cook for 25 minutes.

3. When it is cooked for 25 minutes, take it off from the heat.  Take the lid off to cool. Take out the bay leaf.

4. Use your blender or hand mixer to puree until very smooth, then strain through a fine sieve and set.

S4DSC_7676

5.  Add cream, season with salt and pepper.  Chill it in your fridge at least for 5 hours.

6.  I sprinkled paprika powder and some greens right before serving in a cup.

S4DSC_7680

You can serve this warm, too. Then you may not need so much cream, you may like to replace it with milk instead. I think creamy soup needs more cream when it is chilled than warm.

Bon Appetite!
xxx Rie