Hello! It’s been a long time since I’ve written anything. Life has been insane lately! When we left off, I was studying for the JLPT exam. Well the good news is I passed! I should note it was the N5 (easiest) exam, so it’s not like I’m fluent or anything. However it was a lot of studying and it shows that my Japanese skills are coming back. Other news is I started a new position in the company I work for. It’s a bit of a career change, so I’ve been focusing most of my energy into my new job. I also went to Japan in the spring, which was a ton of fun. Since it’s been several months since I went to Japan, I’m not going to write a full summary of the trip. However, I do want to write about some of the places I went to, so I might do that in the future.
On to the topic! I haven’t been cooking all that much lately, but I’m still getting my subscription of Kyou no Ryouri. I want to talk more about each issue, but to be honest I haven’t really been reading them much lately; much less cooking. However I’m motivated to get back on the cooking wagon to help eat a bit healthier!
The thing I love about Kyou no Ryouri is their somewhat seasonal focus. January is usually oscechi and nabe related, June gets into pickling season, and then fall is focused on more earthier foods. The June cover features umeboshi, pickled Japanese plums. Inside the issue there’s a recipe to make umeboshi and several other types of tsukemono, pickled dishes.
I wanted to cook something in here that was related to the main topic of the issue, but right now I don’t have much time to pickle a bunch of vegetables. There was a fairly long semi-section on rakkyo, Japanese scallions. Inside were several recipes, including a recipe to make pickled rakkyo, and recipes utilizing the pickles. Even though I haven’t seen the rakkyo at the supermarket to make my own pickles, I have seen pickled rakkyo.
These pickled rakkyo is made with rakkyo, salt, sugar, some vinegar, and water (and honestly, probably some preservatives since they’re store bought). They’re pretty mild, and not at sour as cocktail pickled onions that you can buy in the grocery stores. I looked at the recipes for something simple and found a recipe for udon.
Rakkyo Kamatama Udon – based on the recipe from Kyou no Ryouri July 2015
Kamatama Udon is a simple udon dish. The udon noodles are not served in a broth, instead they’re served hot with some soy sauce and sometimes dashi, and a raw egg yolk and some garnish. This recipe is for one serving:
3-4 pickled rakkyo bulbs
1 serving of fresh or frozen udon (you can buy packs of udon, usually there’s 3-4 blocks in a package)
dash of togarashi
~1 tsp of soy sauce (or to taste)
First I sliced the rakkyo bulbs into thin slivers and thinly sliced the scallion. They’ll be used to top the udon. After that I cooked the egg. While the recipe actually just calls for one raw egg yolk, I’m not a big fan of raw eggs. So I soft boiled the egg for four minutes. Once that was done, I then cooked the udon per instructions on the package.
Once the udon was done, I drained the water and placed into a bowl without rinsing, so the noodles were still hot. After that, I topped with the rakkyo and scallion, then cracked the soft boiled egg on top. I poured the soy sauce over the egg and noodles. I didn’t measure the amount of soy sauce, but essentially to season the noodles and egg (so not much!). Finally, I garnished the bowl with the togarashi.
After making it all pretty, I messed it all up by mixing everything together! The soy sauce and egg coated the noodles, while the rakkyo and scallion were scattered throughout the udon. The pickled rakkyo added a sweet/vinegary flavor with the salty soy sauce.
I liked how simple this recipe was and am thinking of making a cold version (so rinsing off the noodles after cooking to cool them down) that I can take for lunch. I bought some really cute bento boxes in Tokyo that I’ve been meaning to use.
Kyou no Ryouri isn’t exactly the easiest magazine to find. If you live near a Japanese bookstore then they might carry the magazine or provide prescriptions. Yesasia.com actually does sell single issues, and CD Japan might also offer subscriptions. Also it’s all in Japanese. However the recipes are really easy to follow so if you’re learning Japanese its fairly easy to figure out the recipes. There’s also the sister magazine, Kyou no Ryouri Beginners, which is focused on really simple cooking.