October 4, 2015

Can I have that with rice? Asian-ifying Fall Vegetables in the U.S.


For many people, a multi-coloured butternut squash and cranberry quinoa salad topped with parsley would be a sight to instantly whet their appetites. Unfortunately, I am not one of these people. While I enjoy having a full salad every now and then, at home, I largely think about the vegetables in my fridge in terms of how I can best pair them with my bowl of rice. The problem is that in my on-going attempts to eat in-season, using locally sourced vegetables from the farmer’s market as much as possible, I find myself frequently wondering what to do with certain vegetables that I didn’t grow up eating, such as kohlrabi and Brussels sprouts.

Fortunately for me, there is a search tool called the Internet, which allows me to find what other people have done to Asian-ify their autumn veggies. Today I came across a recipe for a Brussels sprouts dish, which I really liked and would make again.

Brussels sprouts with sesame, miso, and garlic (makes 2 servings)

*Original recipe in Japanese, found on www.cookpad.com/jp

  • 5-6 individual Brussels sprouts
  • 100 ml. water
  • 1 tsp. shirodashi (a type of soup stock)
  • ½ tsp. light soy sauce
  • 1 tbs. sesame seeds
  • ½ tsp. miso
  • ½ tsp. sugar
  • ¼ tsp. grated garlic

1.) Cut the Brussels sprouts vertically into fourths. Heat the water to a boil. Add a pinch of salt, then add the Brussels sprouts. Boil for two minutes over high heat, then strain.

2.) Transfer the Brussels sprouts into a bowl of cold water and let it soak for 5 minutes.

3.) Reserve a third of the sesame seeds. In a mortar and pestle, combine and grind all the rest of the ingredients. Once the mixture is ground into a fine paste, add the remaining sesame seeds and stir.

4.) Take the Brussels sprouts out of the water and pat dry. Combine it with the mixture. Because the leaves of Brussels sprouts tend to overlap one another, rub the paste in between the crevasses gently so as not to destroy the Brussels sprouts’ shape.

Served with miso soup and rice, this is my idea of a satisfying, home-cooked meal in the Fall!


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