2015 hasn’t been the year of blogging for me, it’s pretty embarassing but I think given that my mind was on our wedding, I have a mild excuse. My love of food has not waned though, in fact, it’s stronger than ever! This year more than any has broadened my gastronomic horizons and so I wanted to share with you my favourite bits the past 12 months.
AKA Japanese pickles. When we were on our honeymoon in Japan & Korea in October, we had pickles with pretty much every meal. All different types but all beautifully crunchy and full of flavour. They are the perfect compliment to rice, and consequently rice feels naked without it now I’m home. Fortunately Santa brought me some tsukemono for Christmas, which I can’t wait to eat!
The cucumbers in Japan were so incredible – they had a real bite to them unlike the ones we get in the UK. Mr LTT informs me that it’s due to the fact they’re the male cucumbers whereas we normally just have the female ones.
The past year I have really got into mushrooms. Mushroom on toast, mushroom risotto and on Friday night I made mushroom masala dosa. Mini portobellos are my favourite and I also enjoy the exotic mixes you can buy – useful for adding to ramen. We used to be able to get a better selection at the Morrisons “lab” store in Kirkstall but it’s too much of an effort to get there now.
A bit of butter, some garlic, maybe a splash of herbs in your feeling frisky and you’ve got an incredible meal. And sourdough’s just the most perfect kind of bread for mushrooms too.
We only had two short days in Seoul but I managed to tick most Korean dishes off my list that I wanted to try, thanks to a food tour. However, one item hadn’t been consumed so I asked the cool young guy on reception at our hotel where to get bibimbap. He directed me to a restaurant in the busiest central Hongdae area (we stayed nearby, it was a great area to stay in). It was actually a BBQ restaurant and we ended up having our second Korean BBQ of the day there as well as the bibimbap!
The dish is not complicated, it’s white rice served with seasoned vegetables (each one kept separate) and beef with a good serving of gochujang (fermented red pepper paste).
Korean bibimbap is so glorious because it’s served in a hot dolsot (stone bowl) with a raw egg on top, which you break and stir into the rice and it cooks in the heat. The rice also goes a little crispy on the bottom, delightful!
I don’t buy cod, like, ever. We eat things like river cobbler, or coley to eat sustainable fish. Since we usually marinate it with cumin, cayenne and other spices for fish tacos, the flavour of the fish is less important to me and it allows me to buy some of the cheaper fishes. I also make my tacos with prawns marinated with garlic, lime and chilli.
I love serving my fish tacos with red cabbage dressed in a little cider vinegar (and left for 10 minutes), roasted red peppers and charred sweetcorn.
They’re so easy to make and fairly quick to do too – while the fish is marinating you can whip up all the other parts!
What have food have you discovered or loved in the past year?