Lotus Root Chips 蓮根の素揚げ [野菜穀物レシピ 秋]

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Here's a quize.

I am a vegetable.

I am long.

My flesh is white.

My skin is beige with some spots.

Do you know who I am ?

You don't know ?

Then, with these clues below, I guess many of you would know who I am.

I  grow in the muddy water.

I have lots of holes in my body.

Yes, I am

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Another picture of me.

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Renkon/ Lotus Root !

The Renkon season has come at last. 

You may be able to find it all the year round, but we can harvest it only from the autumn to the winter in Japan.

Unlike the vegetable I introduced before, Renkon does not grow in my town.

Therefore I have to buy it from my regular net shops that purchase the Renkon from the regions which cultivate them.

Renkon is considered very good for the resparatory organs, and effective to relieve the symptoms such as coughs and inflamation of lungs. 

We can enjoy different kinds of textures depending on how we cook it.

It is crunchy if we par-boil it for salad, and is crispy if we fry, and it can be  even chewy  if we steam,grill or fry after grating it.

In Macrobiotics we eat it even as a medicine, and have some recipes to maximize the effectivness of Renkon.

But there's one thing that I'm concerned .

The absorption rate of radiation is quite high compared with other vegetables.

Therefore I always buy it from the shops that conduct radiation check constantly, and consume it not as frequently as before.

However we do not have to  worry much as long as we stick to the good eating and cooking habbits.

For example, brown rice that I eat every morning can detox the poison to some extent,

Eating organic and fresh vegetables are powerful to revatalize our bodies compared with chemically raised weak vegetables,

Not eating processed food full of additives,

Washing and soaking the vegetables thoroughly,

Removing the scum thoroughly during  cooking etc. etc....

In these ways, we can always minimize the risks of not only radiation but also of other harmful substaneces which may weaken our body and cause our illnesses.

All right, I am introducing you the savory " Renkon Chips" today !

It is crispy and yummy.

I am sure you'd love it too !


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Ginko nut and Hijiki mixed with sesame 銀杏とひじきの和え物 [野菜穀物レシピ 秋]

 日本語のレシピが 最後の方に 載っています。

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The summer has ended and sentimental season has arrived in Japan.

The leaves are turning to pale and some are already falling.

The trees appear to be lonley wearing less leaves.

On the contrary our appetite grow bigger during this season.

Luckily we can harvest lots of staples such as rice, nuts and  fruits, which can satisfy our stomachs and hearts.

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The rice  is ready to be harvested.


 The perssimmons' color is  getting orangier and orangier day by day.

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The persimmon leaf is so colorful and beautiful.

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 I picked up the chestnus which were still sitting comfortably in their husk.

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 The Cosmos are at their best now and blooming everywhere in my town.

Isn't it wonderful ?

The nature always blesses us with her profound love if we follow the rule of the universe.

All right,  now I am going to pass you one of my nut recipes.

Which nut do you think I am going to show you today ?

It has double layered shells, and is protected tightly inside.

If you walk towards the tree, you'll notice its exsistance from quite far away as it smells so strong.

Its leaves are green until early autumn, but change to beautiful yellow color by late autumn.

The shape of the leaf is very unique and looks like a Japanese fan.

The nut tastes a little bitter.

If you are a Japanese food lover, I am sure that you have seen it in Chawanmushi.

I guess by now you know the answer.

It is ...

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Can you tell what they are ?

Here's a closer look.   They are fallen off the tree and sitting still on the ground here.

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Yes, they are ginko nuts.

Do you know that there are female ginko nut trees and male ginko nut trees ?

And only the female trees can bear the nuts.

It is easy to pick them up, but you have to be careful, as the first layer of the shell that we have to touch when we pick them up  can irritate our skin quite badly and you might have rashes on your hands.    So I advise you to wear gloves.

The ginko nuts have to be soaked in the water overnight.

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The next day, peel off the first layer shell with the gloves on.

This layer is supposed to be very soft. (and also very smelly)

After removing the first layer,  dry them under the sun for a few days.

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 The inner shell is hard unlike the first layer.

When you eat, crack the hard outer shell with the pench or the hammer, and cook in the boiled water, roast in the skillet or fry with the oil, in a way you want.

I have a special instrument to crack the ginko nust shell.

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This is very useful when you have lots of nuts to crack.

Well, I am now passing you a very healthy ginko nut recipe.

Here you go !


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Cucumber and Dried Radish Salad きゅうりと切り干し大根のサラダ [野菜穀物レシピ 夏]

最後の方に、日本語の レシピが 書いてあります。 

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The tomatoes, the eggplansts, the corns, the Edamame/ green soy beans...

Those are all so called "Natsu Yasai", summer vegetables, and now they are in the midst of their season.

Most of the people who enjoy farming grow those vegetables in their gardens in Japan.

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Do you know what vegetables grow out of these flowers ?

What about this ?

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I guess this is the easy one to guess.

Those are the flowers of the vegetables growing in my garden.

The answers are here in a sequence of questions.

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The tomatoes though they are still green.

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Yellow pepper

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Eggplant named Mizunasu/ water eggplant

The growth of my vegetables are much slower than the others as I do not give any forms of fertilizer, and let the nature take its course.

Among those summer vegetables, the cucumbers are especially now at their peak of their production.

My cucumbers  are growing almost as  same speed as others though they do not look neat like the ones you may see in the shops,  very curled and the top half is thinner and the bottom half is thicker.  

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I love such cucumbers.

To me, they look much cuter and more adorable.

The other day my neighbour gave me some big cucumbers saying he should have pluck them the day before, and are now over grown.  

Most of the people who grow vegetables experience this and I often end up having too many cucumbers in my fridge. 

But it is the Yin vegetable and cool down our bodies excessively if we consume too much of them.

What I do with them is to try to cook in ways that turn them into more Yang state.

Today I am going to share one of the cucumber recipes which is not too Yin and make you feel better even on cool days.

All my friends, my students love this salad whenever I introduce it.

I bet you'll also love it !


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クアラルンプールでの料理教室 [料理教室の様子]

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4月の下旬に マレーシアのクアラルンプールで行ってきた 料理教室の様子です。

シンガポールに住んでいる頃、マレーシアは 何度となく訪れていますが、どういうわけか 首都のクアラルンプールは、訪れる機会がなく 今回が  初めての訪問に なりました。


"Haze" 日本語で訳すと ”もや” でしょうか。 インドネシアからの焼き畑の煙が 風の影響で、流れてくるのです。  これは、シンガポールでも経験していましたが、マレーシアは、シンガポール以上にその影響を受けるようです。  お日様が、オレンジ色で 直視できてしまいます。  そして、大きく 見えます。

クアラルンプールに到着した翌日、まずは "You G Cafe" というビーガンカフェで 一般向けのお話を しました。 


実は、料理なしのお話だけというのは、これが初めてで 2時間もの間、いったい 何を話そうかと、いろいろと考え、飛行機の中でも ずっと その準備に 没頭していました。 

ところが ふと 私が 話し続けるのではなくて、参加者の方たちと キャッチボールしながら、進んでいく方に 話をしていこう、みんなで 講演を作り上げていこうと 思い立ちました。 そしたら すっきりとし ゆったりとした気持ちで 皆さんを 向かい入れることができました。 

参加者は、マクロバイオティックソサイアティの会員の人たち、ベジスクールの生徒さんたち、翌日からの二日間にわたる集中講座に申し込んで下さった方たち、ベジタリアンファミリーなど、皆さん、食事の重要性というものを それなりに 理解している方たちばかりです。 

思っていたように 質問が いろいろと 出てきました。 

質問が出ると、みんなが どんなことを考えているのか、何を求めているのか、マレーシアがどんな国なのか、マレーシア人が どんな人たちなのかまで、垣間見ることができて、一方通行の話にしなくて よかったなと思いました。 

2日間に渡る集中講座のために ホストのキーユー(Kee Yew) が 選んでくれた場所は 空港から 車で 30分くらいの所にある、"Kepyok(ケピョック)”という 隠家のような こじんまりとしたリゾートです。

ヘーズの印象を打ち消してくれるような 心癒される すてきな 空気で満たされています。



(Kepyokに関しては、未来を守る生活を提案するサイト、”Hachidory” にリポートしているので、そちらを ご覧になってみて下さい。 )

初日は、自己紹介をしたり、みんなも 私も 慣れていなくて、時間を取られるだろうからと、

前日は  丸1日かけて  キーユーと一緒に 材料の下準備を しておきました。 

キーユーとは、毎年 シンガポールでの料理教室の事で、メールでやり取りはしていたものの、実際 会って いっしょに 仕事をするのは 初めてです。


キーユーは 私と同様、ビーガンです。

(ビーガンというのは、動物を人間と対等と考え、動物を犠牲にしない生活をしている人のことを 言います。)

若くして シンガポールとクアラルンプールで ベジスクールを経営していて たくさんの生徒さんを 持っています。  もともと生物学者だったのですが、食べ物が 人間に及ぼす影響の重要性に気づき、それを 多くの人に伝えたくて 今の仕事に 移ったのだそうです。

彼の魅力は 有能さではなく、優しさです。  

シンガポールで 毎年 お世話してくれるシャオウェーによると、キーユーは "Auntie Killer" なのだそうです。  私も その一人になってしまったようです。  5日間 行動を共にして、その優しさに触れて、kill されてしまいました、、、。 

キーユーだけではなく、他の参加者の皆さんにも 親近感を 感じました。

お互いの相性なのか、ケピョックという場の空気なのか、それとも それら全部が混ざり合って かもしだされたのか、私は、これまでにはない 開放感を感じながら、クラスを行うことが できました。

涙が出るほど、笑いこける場面もあり、こんなに笑ったのは、高校生の頃以来かもと 自分でも びっくりしてしまったくらいです。 

それは、私だけではなかったようです。 皆さんが 感じたようです。 

お開きの時には、それが頂点に達して みんな なかなか ケピョックを 後にできず、 最後は、みんなと抱き合って 別れを 惜しみました。

そんな すばらしかったクラスの様子、写真で ご覧ください。


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Salad with Japanese Plum 梅干し入りサラダ [野菜穀物レシピ 夏]

梅干し入りサラダの日本語レシピが 最後の方にあります。

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It' been rainy in Saitama, Japan as we are in the midst of rainy season now.

It is most wonderful thing about Japan that we have so distinctive four seasons.

Oh yes, it is not something comfortable to feel the humidity  and to have rain day after day.

But I still like this season very much.

Because the plums are fully grown by June and I can see those beautiful green plums everywhere in this town.

Lots of plums fall onto the ground.

Whenever I see those plums on the ground, I am tempted to pick them up.


In fact, I picked them up until last year, when I learned that is very bad to do so after having been scolded by the owner of the tree.

Yes, I was scolded, and felt like a small kid who never expected to be scolded by her behaviour which is full of fun.

Later my friend who was brought up in this town told me that she was often told by her mother when she was small never ever fix the shoe lace under the plum trees during this season even if you need to do so.

I think you can guess why...

In order to fix the shoe lace, you need to squat, and that posture looks as if you are picking up the plums !

So I try to close my eyes whenever I see the fallen plums on the ground this year. 

Those plums that I used to pick up are for me to enjoy their aroma, not for cooking.

I put them on the trays, and place them on the tables of all the rooms.   

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Their colors turn to yellow and orange day by day, and the fregrance also change, from young sour smell to sweat sour one.

Their fregrance is so fascinating, glamarous and charming, and makes me feel floating up in the heaven.

I love this aroma most of all in this world !!

 "Plum Works" is another attraction for me.

Every June, I make plum juice, plum jam and Umeboshi which is to preserve plums with salt and shiso/red herb in a jar. 

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Plum Juice

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Umeboshi,  hard green plums transform into this soft red salty plums after being marinated in salt and red shiso leaves.

It is a happy moment as just seeing, smelling and hadling lots of plums make me feel sooo good!

Umeboshi is ready to eat only half a year later, and it ncan be kept for a hundred years.

All those Umeboshi that I made since I came back to Japan eleven years ago  are placed on the rack in my kitchen in the order of the year.

It is interesting to see them as each year's Umeboshi looks different, and tastes different.

For those cooking purpose,  I buy the plums from the reliable farmers who grow them by natural method or organic method. 

Most of the farmers in this town and near by town use pesticides as it is an industry of the towns and the plum trees have to be protected to be free of insects and not to be infected with common desease that plums are prone to.

The quality for another ingredients for Umeboshi," salt " is also important.


I use Japanese sea salt which is made in traditional way.

Those commercial Umeboshi that are sold in the normal supermarkets are often made with additives , and the salt used is made easy way with unnatural method.

(Same thing can be said for Miso, Japanese traditional fermented seasoning made from soy beans, salt and rice koji .) 

The third ingredients for Umeboshi is red Shiso leaves, which add up different kind of aroma to plum, and also beautiful red coloring.

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I like the Umeboshi with lots of red Shiso leaves, so I take another process to add them though it is an etxtra work.

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Umeboshi is being dried under the sun.  This is also one of the important process in making good quality of Umeboshi.

Plum vinegar is a by-product of making Umeboshi.

This vinegar is so usuful, and it is trustworthy and indispensable ingredient for my cooking.

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I am sharing the salad recipe with Umeboshi and plum vinegar dressomg today.

I know that you can get good quality Umeboshi and red plum vinegar at natural food shops in Singapore and KL, Malaysia, so go there to get them rather than Japanese grocery stores.


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