Maybe I haven't mentioned this before on the blog, but I have a fascination for Japan and Japanese people. I think the foods are pretty, the absurd clothes are pretty, those many colorful things I don't understand, the martial arts movies, the incredibly specific stationary items, the design, the architecture solutions, I find it all pretty.
But I never enjoyed Japanese food, because I think the textures are weird.
Recently I ate at a ramen restaurant with my boyfriend, and I really liked it. Then I went to a place at Liberdade with a couple friends and had yakimeshi, then I went somewhere else in Liberdade with other friends, so forth and so on...
I continue not having interest in seafood and raw fish, but Japanese cuisine has so much more than that.
This was my lunch today, and look how nice: I did it without any recipe, just from the ingredients I had at home.
Bifum is this very thin noodle made from rice, and shitake is the kind of mushroom.
You can improvise something similar substituting the ingredients with what you have around.100g bifum
1 clove of garlic
1 small onion
2 small carrots
A handful of bean sprouts
1 tablespoon shoyu (soy sauce)
40g (about 6 units) dry shitake
1 tablespoon olive oil, vegetable oil, butter, coconut oil... some kind of fat to sauté the vegetables
1 stalk chive, thinly sliced
Before anything else, there is the need to hydrate de mushrooms.
I put them in the smallest bowl possible, where they all fit. I pour over hot water (just enough to cover them), cover the bowl with a small dish to make the mushrooms stay submerged, and leave them there until the water cools down (let's say one hour?).
Then, when preparing the meal itself, I started by putting the water to boil in a medium pan, while I peeled and thinly sliced the garlic and onion.
I put the garlic to sauté over medium-high heat in a large pan along the 1 tablespoon coconut oil while I finished cutting the onion. When that was done, I added the onion to the pan and lowered the heat.
When the water boiled, I turned off the fire and put the bifum in the water to soften. I left it there for one minute and then drained the water, setting the noodles aside.
I peeled and diced the carrots, and washed the chard and sprouts in cold water.
As soon as the onion got transparent, I threw in the carrots and chive and gave it all a shake.
I took the shitake out of the water where it was soaking, but did not throw the water out. I sliced it, discarding the stalks and threw it in the sauté as well, with the shoyu and one tablespoon of the soaking water, stirring well.
I left the heat low and the pan lidded, so that the mushrooms could absorb the liquid and get soft.
I chopped the chard as if I was slicing it, starting from the tip of the leaves. The sprouts were left whole.
Once in a while I took a look in the pan, added one tablespoon or another of soaking water , until the shitake seemed soft. I tried one to make sure, because I hate rubbery mushroom.
At this point, I added the bifum to the vegetables and also poured in the remaining mushroom soaking water, turning the heat a little higher. The idea here is to warm up the bifum and let it absorb the liquid.
Then I turned off the heat, stirred in the chard and sprouts (I like this touch of crunchiness) and served.
Yields two servings.