News from Hiroko;
1. New website construction is over; new, clean, updated site is up; Please visit www.hirokoskitchen.com
2. Summer has come in New York area after long weeks of cold spring; I have been enjoying early spring delicacies such as ramps, fiddle-head fern, rhubarb and asparagus. If you live in the area where season changes do not miss consuming spring vegetables now.
Each vegetable growing in specific season offers us specific nutritional benefits which we need during such season. Spring vegetables, including the ones which are noted with bitter flavor, helps us to detox our body and strengthen our immune system.
Ramps (Allium Tricoccum), whose season will be finishing soon at local farmers market, is one of my favorite in this season. This North America plant comes with a bulb, a slender stem and a long, fairly wide deep green leaf. The plant has slight garlicky flavor. In Japan we call it Gyoja-ninniku The plant is known to help to improve the metabolism and strengthen our immune system.
How I enjoy Gyoja-ninniku/ ramps in the Japanese way are;
– Ohitashi (parboiled ramps, marinate in flavored dashi: The Japanese Kitchen Page, 237)
– goma-ae (parboiled ramps, toss with dry sesame sauce: The Japanese Kitchen, Page 252)
– sumiso (parboiled ramps, draped with vinegar-miso sauce: Hiroko’s American Kitchen, page 77)
Then, here is one more recipe which I want to share with you. This is a quick version of Ohitashi and uses a little olive oil. Addition of little dashi boosts umami in this very simple dish.
7 ounces ramps; cut off the bottom bulbs (about 3-4 inches) from the leafy parts
1 tablespoon olive oil
¼ cup prepared dashi (Japanese fish stock)
½ teaspoon shoyu (soy sauce)
1. Bring plenty of water in a medium pot to a boil and cook the bulb parts for 1 minute. Drain and air dry them.
2. In a skillet heat the oil and add the bulb parts with a pinch of salt. Cook until lightly golden here and there, for 2 minutes. Add the leaf parts and cook 1 minute, tossing the leaves so that they are evenly wilted.
4. Add the dashi and cook 30 seconds, stirring all the time. Add the shoyu and cook about 20 seconds. Turn off the heat. Divide the ramps and cooking liquid into two small serving bowls. As I write a bunch of ramps in the refrigerator is waiting for me to cook for this supper.