Friday, April 22, 2011

Sesame Crackers and Winner of The Just Bento Cookbook

Here's a recipe for Sesame Crackers that's a family favorite.  It's based on an unleavened bread recipe but I added sugar and sesame seeds to it and replaced the flour with rice flour to make it gluten-free.  Really crunchy and yummy this time of the year.
Sesame Crackers
   1 c rice flour
   3 tbsp softened butter 
   1 tsp kosher salt
   1/2 c white sesame seeds
   1/2 c sugar
   1/3 c water
Preheat oven to 350 C.  Mix all dry ingredients together then add the water slowly.  The mixture will be a little watery but pour this on Silpat covered cookie sheet. Bake till edges are light brown and middle part is slightly solidified.  Score into squares with a pizza cutter. Turn off heat till crackers are golden-brown.

And the winner of The Just Bento Cookbook is Ivy.  Congratulations Ivy ...have fun...you can now make your own bento! Please email your home address to momgateway@gmail.com. I truly thank everyone who commented on the two posts regarding Hanami Bento and Shiso sushi so I am doing another giveaway this time for a copy of Best Bites recipes from OSU Seretean Wellness Center Kitchen.  It will be featured in my next post.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Palate Cleanser: Shiso Sushi and Giveaway Reminder

Japanese  use the word shiso to refer to perilla. The green variety with ruffled edges (aojiso) is used in sashimi and salads and the purple kind (akashiso) is used to dye pickle plum (umeboshi). It belongs to the mint family and tastes of mint and fennel combined.  
I found some perilla/ beefsteak plant leaves with a purple underside and a deep green topside in the Asian store.   I love wrapping sushi rice in it ---so pretty but it is also fantastic over steamed rice when finely shredded and mixed with salt.  
My son loves shiso tempura ---it doesn't look stunning but the flavor is incomparable.  They dry out quicky so I grow it in my container garden. It is a great palate cleanser.  

Palate Cleanser: Shiso Sushi
fresh Japanese/ Korean shiso leaves
seasoned rice vinegar or sushi vinegar*
steamed rice
Season rice with sushi vinegar. You only need about 1 T sushi vinegar for  1-1/2 cup of steamed rice. Wrap in shiso leaves. Cover with plastic wrap since the leaves easily dry out.

*You can buy sushi vinegar but it's easy to make your own.  In the Just Bento Cookbook, Makiko recommends mixing 4 c rice vinegar with 7 oz sugar and 6 T sea salt to make 6 cups of sushi vinegar. This is will last a long time and can be used in salads, dips etc.  

Giveaway reminder:
Most of the recipes I used for the Hanami bento are from The Just Bento Cookbook so I am also doing a giveaway of this must have Japanese cookbook by Makiko Itoh. The sushi vinegar is from the same book. Please comment to enter the giveawayTo have get 4 additional entries, please blog about the giveaway and let me know in the comments.  Random.org will be used to choose a winner and this will be announced on April 22, 2011