Do you know this beautiful shiny fish?
It is ‘Sanma (さんま, 秋刀魚)’ in Japanese. I have learned it’s called ‘Pacific Saury’ in English just recently. I never had a reason to search their name before because I have never seen them in London. Oh, only once actually in Japanese food shop but it was a frozen one.
The fish swim towards Japan in a big shoal in Autumn season with lots of oil on its body for laying eggs. They apparently have a very short life for just two years or something… 😦
Lots of Sanma appear in fishmongers in Autumn. It is one of the Taste of Autumn for Japanese.
So how do we eat them?
Of course there are many ways to cook it. Some are very regional like famous ‘Sanma Sushi’. However, the way I like the most is the simplest one.
I had these plums. They were organic. I was looking forward to tasting them, but was disappointed … they did not have any sweetness. How is it possible that fruits are not sweet, I wonder. So I could not eat them fresh but I had to used them. I was going to bake a cake with them but how? … Umm, OK caramelised a bit before baking!’ That was what I was thinking.
I mentioned about Japanese Summer tradition in food – ‘Chilled Ramen’ before. There is another Must-Have in Summertime in Japan. That is ‘Kakigori‘ – the Shaved Ice!
It is the same as the Chilled Ramen, ‘Kakigori’ also has a traditional Flag to decorate at the entrance of restaurants letting people know that the shop serves it. Apparently the design of this flag has been more or less the same for more than 100 years. The red part in this flag is a Japanese Kanji character ‘氷- Kori‘ which means Ice. The blue part is obviously the sea that is the symbol for Summer and also there for making you feel Cool I believe. And the green part is two birds called ‘Chidori (Plovers)’. Whenever you see this sign you feel the summer is there and you want to have some shaved ice.
This sweet might look like a normal baked Western cake. But it’s not really because …
- this is a steamed cake
- it’s Dairy Free and also Free from Oil.
- Japanese substances are used as main ingredients so it’s ‘Japanese Cake’.
I like steamed cake. It has a much lighter texture than a baked cake. I haven’t eaten any Japanese sweets for a while so my body started craving for something with some ‘Anko’ in it. This is how this cake was born in my kitchen.
When the temperature starts rising and Summertime is coming closer, you see these kind of poster or flag at the entrance of restaurant in Japan.
It says ‘We have started serving Chilled Ramen’. Oh yes, Chilled Ramen! We like Ramen very much and we eat it cold too. It is our Summer Tradition. Summer in Japan is very hot and humid. We cannot survive without eating Chilled Ramen!
I like fruits. I love Mango. I normally eat it fresh with some yogurt or ice cream. But I wanted to make something a little bit more dessert-ish. So I combined everything Mango, Yogurt and Ice Cream.
I don’t have an Ice-cream machine and I don’t like any complicated process. I like simple food and this is very quick and easy recipe to have something very pleasant.
It is mid summer now. Even here in London it is very hot. I always have afternoon tea with a piece of cake and a cup of Earl Grey Tea or Coffee, but sometimes I rather want to have something cold instead of a hot drink during summertime.
This chilled Matcha Latte is used with Soy milk so if you are allergic to dairy or just don’t wat to have any milk products this is just the drink for you.
This is a Salad suitable for summer time. It is the Salad as a main dish when you want to eat lots of fresh vegetables/salad and also meat to energise the weakened body in heat. I had diced pork which is normally used for stew or curry but I did not want to cook anything for long time. Summer time cooking should be simple & quick.
When I use Pork I always associate with ginger without a fail. Not just because the favour combination goes well, but ginger kill the porky smell. And most amazingly ginger has the enzyme which breaks down protein so that any meat becomes much more tender by marinating with it. Also Ginger is famous for lots of health factors such as immune system booster, anti-oxidant or anti-inflammatory etc… So why not use fresh ginger more often?