やっとこたつから抜け出した!Escape from the Kotatsu

Because it has been so cold for the last couple of weeks,  I have spent every morning curled up under the kotatsu watching Netflix. The kotatsu is good for staying warm, but not for being productive! Today I decided to get out from under the kotatsu, and make a spring-themed lunch to celebrate the slightly warmer weather we have been enjoying lately!

First, I decided to make grilled Spanish mackerel flavored with a spicy marinade. This recipe was so easy! I mixed 1 1/2 tablespoons of soy sauce with 1/2 tablespoon of sake, 1/2 tablespoon of sesame oil and a little bit of ginger juice and chili powder. Then I added 2 tablespoons of finely chopped Japanese leek, 1 teaspoon of finely chopped garlic, and 1 teaspoon of sesame seeds. After mixing all the ingredients together, I coated the Spanish mackerel in the marinade and let it sit for 30 minutes, turning occasionally.

After 30 minutes, I wiped off the marinade and grilled the Spanish mackerel for four minutes on one side. Then I flipped them over, brushed on some marinade and continued grilling for two minutes. Finally, I brushed on some more marinade and grilled them for another two minutes until the skin looked crispy. 

For the next recipe, I made deep-fried new potatoes with pickled plum and dried bonito dressing. The great thing about new potatoes is that there is no need to peel them! Before deep-frying the potatoes, I washed them, cut them in quarters, and parboiled them for 8 minutes. 

After draining the potatoes well, I deep fried them until they turned golden brown. 

The last step was to toss the potatoes in dressing! I removed the seeds from two pickled plums and minced up the meat into a paste, then mixed in 1 tablespoon of mirin, 1/2 teaspoon of soy sauce, 1/2 teaspoon of sesame oil, and 1/2 teaspoon of sugar. After tossing the potatoes in the dressing, I added about 3 grams of dried bonito flakes and mixed it lightly.


Next I made spring cabbage and deep-fried tofu in a miso and vinegar dressing. For this recipe, I was supposed to use scallions, but since I couldn’t find any at the store, I used celery leaves instead! First I lightly boiled the cabbage and celery leaves, then squeezed out the excess water. 

Then I toasted one sheep of deep-fried tofu in the toaster oven until crispy, and cut it into strips. For the dressing, I mixed 50 grams of white miso with 1 tablespoon each of vinegar, sugar and ground sesame seeds, as well as 1 teaspoon of Japanese hot mustard. After mixing it all together, it was ready to eat!

For the last recipe, I wanted to make kinpira using spring burdock root and super tiny lotus root that I found the other day at the store. After cutting the burdock and lotus root into thin slices, I soaked them in water for about 5 minutes. I also added some thinly sliced carrots for color. 

I pan fried the vegetables in 1 tablespoon of sesame oil until they softened slightly, then added 3 tablespoons of sake, 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, and 1 tablespoon of sugar. I continued cooking until the liquid had all but disappeared, then added a sprinkling of sesame seeds at the end. 

It was good to finally get out of the kotatsu and get some cooking done, but I was pretty exhausted by the time I finished. I would have crawled back under the kotatsu, if it weren’t for all the dishes I had to do afterward! 


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