Thursday, May 5, 2011

Dinner Last Night...Steamed Cod, Sauteed Asparagus w/Tomatoes & Mame Gohan (Peas w/ Rice)

I love when fresh English peas are in season!  I wish that they were around longer.  I really should get down to the weekly local Farmer's Market more often.  My favorite way to eat the fresh peas is to cook them in the rice cooker and mix it with the rice.  It's called Mame Gohan...mame means beans and gohan is rice or meal.  This is another dish from my childhood.  Now I understand why my mother was so happy when she found the fresh peas at the store!  She'd have me shell the peas which I thought was such a chore at the time...lol  But then we'd have the delicious mame gohan for dinner.  Salt is added to the water while the rice is cooking, so you get the sweetness of the peas and a little saltiness of the rice....heaven....

Fresh Shelled Peas

Unfortunately, I did not go to the Farmer's Market, but I did find these at the local Von's Grocery which I was very happy to find!  The only problem was about half of them had peas that were so small that I ended up throwing them out.  Luckily, there were enough to make my Mame Gohan :o)

Normally, I would cook the peas with the rice the whole time or throw them in at the end of the cooking cycle, but I found another method which keeps the peas nice and green and crisp.  To the rice I added salt, and Mirin (Sweet Cooking Rice Wine) then cooked it like I usually do.  While the rice was cooking, I parboiled the peas for 2 mins in salt water then shocked them in cold water.  After the rice finished cooking, I put the peas in the rice cooker and closed it for about 5 mins then stirred the rice and let it sit for another 15 mins and it was ready to serve.

Omame Gohan

Aren't the peas beautiful ?!?

Steamed Cod

I don't cook fish much, so I'm not that good at it yet, but I keep trying so we can have healthier meals at times;o)  I have a bamboo steamer that I hadn't used in quite a while and when I pulled it out it was all moldy :o(  I guess I didn't let it dry enough the last time I used it before I put it away. I came up with this contraption to steam the cod...

There is kombu (Sea Kelp)  at the bottom of the plate and the liquid is the water I soaked the kombu in and I added dashi powder, mirin and white soy sauce.  Looking at my notes, I forgot to put sake and ginger in it...lol 

I thought the cod was too light in flavor (maybe because I forgot the sake & ginger;o), but hubby liked it.  I added soy sauce and ponzu to mine. I also served it with a little of the leftover cooking broth.

The asparagus turned out really well.  Sorry I didn't take a closer shot of that!  I blanched it in water with dashi powder and white soy sauce.  The white soy sauce is different than light soy sauce, it's less salty and has more of a delicate flavor to it.  I drained the liquid and whatever little was left I let it evaporate then added a little Grapeseed Oil, tomatoes, and a little bit of Rayu and sauteed it for a couple of minutes.

Usually Rayu is just Sesame Oil flavored with chili, but this one has more flavorings to it like fried garlic, powdered bonito, sesame, fried onion, and powdered shrimp.  It's a relatively new product in the US and it's good to eat with just rice too!

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