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 !


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。


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.


Vegan Pudding with Strawberry Sauce ブラマンジェの苺ソースのせ ビーガン [お菓子デザートレシピ]

日本語のレシピが 最後の方に載っています。

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One of a few strawberries grown in my garden

When is the season for the strawberries ?

If you live in Singapore, Malaysia or other countries where the strawberries can not grow, you are toatlly at a loss, I guess.

Because they are imported from all over the world and available all the year round at supermarkets.

When I ask the same question to people living in Japan,

many say "It is December and January",  some say "from December to March", may be some who don't care about the strawberries would be puzzled, not knowing when it is.

Answer  → Both are wrong.

The real season of the strawberries is now, the end of May in Japan.

Like Sakura/cherry blossoms,  Ichigo /strawberry's season is only one to two weeks.

The reason that most of the people think its season is December and January is that they see the strawberries more often during Chrstmast and New Year season.

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The normal Japanese strawberries raised in green houses.

Japanese Christmas cake is always decorated with lots of strawberries.

But they are manipulated to grow in the green houses in order to be in time for this festive season, using unnecessary petroleum and unwanted chemicals.

When I was a small kid, I used to think how fortunate I was to be born in June.

On my birthday party, my mother always treated me and my friends with the strawberries and the cherries.

If my birthday was a week earlier,  I could have only strawberries, if it was a week later, I could have only cherries.

It was an exciting moment to eat both strawberries and cherries at the same time, especially for cherries as it was always my first cherry of the year.

What a nostalgia !

This is the story of old days now.

Yes, I must admit that there were alreay chemical substances and unnatural method of farming gnawing into our lives when I was small,

but I could eat the strawberries only in late May to early June,

the cherries in June, cucumbers and tomatoes only in summer.

Our life used to follow the rule of nature better than now, at least. 

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About 10 pieces of strawberries can be harvested from my garden every year

though I do not do anything to grow them.    

This one will  turn red and be popped into my mouth soon.

If I mention about my most favorite fruit of my childhood, banana,

it was such a luxury and my mother packed a piece of it only on special occasions such as school excursion and sports day.

(Bananas can't grow in Japan, so it used to be imported from Taiwan.  They are now imported from philipines, the countries of South America also, and sold with very low price all the year round abundantly in all the supermarkets now. )

All right,  Macrobiotic lecture ends up!

Let's move to the practical cooking session!

Today's recipe is "Vegan Pudding with Strawberry sauce".

It is a creamy, savory and mellow taste pudding.

Kuzu powder is playing an important role for this texture, but if it is not availabe where you live, replace it with other starch.

You can make it with the strawberries from the shop or with other local fruit such as papaya, mango and passion fruit.

But don't forget to wash the strawberries throughly, and soak in salt water for a few minutes if you use normal strawberries from the supermarket as they are usually grown with repeated usge of strong pesticide (in Japan).


Bamboo shoot salad 竹の子とワカメのサラダ [野菜穀物レシピ 春]

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日本語の竹の子の簡単レシピが 最後の方に あります!

Japanese people like to eat wild vegetables in spring.

Most of them have bitterness in them.

But people perceive it as a taste of spring and enjoy variety kinds of wild vegetable cooking in different methods.

One of the most popular vegetables is Takenoko, bamboo shoot.

It grows  astonishingly fast.   It can grow more than 1m a day. 

It means nearly 5cm in an hour.

Therefore it is considered very yin in Macrobiotics.

We can't wait for long to dig it up when it penetrates the surface of the ground and shows its tip.

I went to the mountain to dig them up with my son when he was small.

I was advised to dig the short ones which have probably sprouted just on that day, as they are soft and taste nicer.

I don't dig bamboo shoots by myself anymore, but I boil them occasionaly every year in April to May.

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Mr. & Mrs. Takahashi who grow the vegetables in a very natural way,  with no chemicals like pesticids and fertilizers, and even with no weeding and no organic fertilizer.   ( It is more natural method than organic farming.), sends me lots of bamboo shoots.

I must tell you preparation of wild vegetables is quite a big job, peeling, washing, soaking, boiling etc...

I often have to spend one whole day for these works when I received a box of spring vegetables from them.

But don't worry, there are alway ready made.

I'm sure you can always purchase the boild bamboo shoost in cans.

But, but I want you to use the fresh one for today's recipe.

Therefore this one is more suitable for people who can obtain freshly boild bamboo easily or who is willing to start from the scrach.  (You can refer to youtube for this job, many people put up their own methods.)

Here's the my favorite recipe " Bamboo shoot and Wakame salad"

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For this recipe we use the very top parts of bemboo shoot which look like a very thin flat sheets covering the tip of the  shoot.  But if this part is not available, you can make this salad with the pointing tip parts of the bamboo shoot, which is softer than bottom parts.