After the meat bomb the past 2 nights, I was feeling a need for some cleansing today and decided to do a nice light Japanese veggie (well almost) dinner. By the time I got home from work, I was starving, so I cut up some lebanese cucumbers into bite size sticks and wrapped them in ramp kimchi. I figured it’s not really worthy of its own post, but they were tasty little things.
For dinner, I steamed up some choi sum (chinese greens) and made one of my favourite accompaniments for any steamed greens: goma-ae (pronounced go-ma-ah-ay). It’s like a dressing without the oil or vinegar and has a deep earthy flavor from the ground sesame seeds and dashi. I like to brighten it up a little with just a spash of yuzu juice. Not enough to make it tangy, but enough to give it that unmistakably sunny flavor of yuzu. If you can’t find yuzu, you can use a little lemon or lime zest instead.
I also made a nasu dengaku (grilled eggplant with sweet miso paste), but you’ll have to stay tuned for my next post for that.
Totally unrelated, but I got to work this morning, turned on my laptop and saw the news headline “21,000 Killed in Myanmar”, a storm that happened somewhere on the other side of the world (that last I heard had tragically taken 200 lives), suddenly got orders of magnitude more real. If you feel the need to help out in some way, I found a few organizations collecting money for relief efforts.
Global Giving is a cool organization that uses the power of the web to collect small donations from lots of people then figures out the most effective way to get it in the hands of the people doing the relief work (cutting out some of the administrative fat of giving to a bigger organizations where a chunk of your donation doesn’t actually go to the relief efforts). They also give you updates on what your money is doing which I thought is pretty cool.
If you’re weary about giving to a small unknown organization, AmeriCares International has been around for 25 years and actually has volunteers on the ground in Myanmar.
1/2 bunch of choi sum
2 Tbs toasted sesame seeds ground with a mortar and pestle
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbs dashi
splash of yuzu juice
Steam or boil the choi sum until bright green (about 1-2 minutes). Rinse under cold water and squeeze out any excess water.
While you could cheat and use instant dashi since you only need a little, I was making something else so I made my dashi with niboshi (dried baby sardines) and shitake mushrooms. If you want to make a veggie dashi, use extra shitake with some onions.
For the sauce, just mix the last 5 ingredients together and pour over the steamed veggies.