Kombu Tsukudani

Kombu Tsukudani

Kombu Tsukudani – A Japanese Relish

Kombu Tsukudani is a Japanese preparation, similar in some ways to a Korean Banchan, along the lines, of my Namul of Daikon Greens. Here, though, this Tsukudani uses the edible seaweed known as Kombu for its main ingredient. Like its Korean counterparts, it keeps very well, can be used as a cold side-dish, and is particularly good as a flavorful topping for plain rice.

A Tsukudani made with Kombu often includes other umami marine ingredients such as Katsuobushi (dried, smoked tuna flakes) while a preparation consisting only of Kombu boiled down in Japanese soy sauce is more properly called ‘Shiokombu’. The preparation you see above is somewhere between the two. It is a little more complex than a very basic Shiokombu, but it contains no animal products and thus could be used as part of a vegetarian meal.

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Triple Shrimp Sambal

Triple Shrimp Sambal

Triple Shrimp Sambal Recipe

Sambal is a culinary term with two meanings. The primary meaning, which I have focused on in other posts, refers to a variety of South-East Asian spice blends, commonly based on Chili. The other usage means one of a selection of small side-dishes, generally served cold, which accompany a Curry Feast. These may be as simple as, say, chopped raw Bell Pepper tossed with flakes of Coconut, or can be quite complex. The dish above falls into the latter category and is called a Triple Shrimp Sambal because it uses fresh Raw Shrimp in a flavor base along with Yeo Brand Minced Prawns in Spices and my own Homemade Sambal Terasi, both of which use Fermented Shrimp.

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Spiced Apricot Almond Rice

Spiced Apricot Almond Rice

Spiced Apricot Almond Rice Recipe

This recipe is a variation on a rice dish I frequently make as part of an Indian-style meal featuring a Curry, or two, plus other appropriate sides. The essential difference here is that, instead of using either Saffron (as I do occasionally), or Powdered Turmeric (much more commonly), I have employed my Homemade Turmeric Paste for both color and flavor. The additional aromatics, along with toasted Almond and slivered Dried Apricot, make this a great centerpiece for a wide range of accompaniments.

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Kale Braised with Bacon Recipe

I recall reading someone’s advice on cooking Kale which mentioned that you should always use lots of oil when cooking Kale as it made it easier to slide it off the plate and into the garbage.

In all seriousness, though, even aside from all the hype about Kale being some sort of a ‘superfood’, it is one of those green vegetables that are good to include in a healthy diet. It is strong tasting enough, unfortunately, that many people find it a bit unpalatable, but a recipe such as the one that follows makes it a bit tastier even for those who will not eat their ‘greens’.

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Swiss Chard Fried Rice

Swiss Chard Fried Rice

I have to admit that this recipe for Swiss Chard Fried Rice isn’t the most exciting I have ever posted, but it is an extremely simple side dish to make, very tasty and filling, and a great way of incorporating some green vegetables into the diets of those who don’t like them very much.

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Breakfast Potato Patties

Breakfast Potato Patties

I occasionally make ‘Latke‘ style potato pancakes for breakfasts or brunches. They are very nice but they are also a bit of a pain to make. After grating the raw potatoes, they need to be vigorously squeezed to remove excess water, care has to be taken to form them so they aren’t straggly nests of loose shreds, and they can’t be too thick or the middles end up being partially raw, with the hanging shreds turning almost black. For this interpretation of the basic potato pancake, pre-baked potatoes are used, and the mix is lightly seasoned for a terrific result.

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Zucchini Siciliano

Zucchini Siciliano

This dish came about largely as a means to use up some zucchini and the last of a jar of black olives. I didn’t have any special ‘nationality’ in mind but the end result is called ‘Zucchini Siciliano’ because it reminded me of the Sicilian eggplant dish called ‘Caponata‘. That dish is generally served cold, however, while I originally created this with a view to serving it hot. That being said, it can easily be served as a hot side-dish, or a vegetable appetizer served hot or cold.

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Namul of Daikon Greens

Namul of Daikon Greens

A Namul is a particular type of Korean Banchan, or Side Dish, which features seasoned vegetables (sometimes cooked, and sometimes not). You can use almost any greens here instead of Daikon Greens, but the recipe handles the coarser, more fibrous types very well. The dish keeps very well in the fridge and makes a great addition to Bento-Box style lunches, as well as an accompaniment to a traditional Korean meal.

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Hot Pepper Coleslaw

Hot Pepper Coleslaw

This little side-dish salad is a re-interpretation of a classic, offering a jazzed-up twist on the standard creamy Coleslaw dressing with the addition of freshly grated Horseradish and Sriracha sauce. Slivers of Pickled Peppers are also added to the Cabbage and Onion base for extra tang and spiciness.

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Parsnip and Red Peppers in Lemon Butter

Parsnip and Red Peppers in Lemon Butter

This little side dish is something I have served alongside steak many times, except that, usually, I glaze the vegetables with a little Dry Sherry and sugar. On one occasion, I was out of sherry and so I improvised with butter and lemon juice. The results were very pleasing and definitely worth sharing.

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