Kuri-Kinton : An autumn speciality!

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When I think of autumn foods, kuri (chestnuts) comes to mind first.
It’s hard work to remove the burr, outside skin and inner skin.
But during the work, when I start imagining the tasty cooked chestnuts with the nice flavor, the preparation pain disappears immediately. 
To me, a Kyoto person chestnuts are a gift from autumn, or from nature, it seems.
After enduring Kyoto's hot and muggy summer, we are given a wonderful gift from nature: autumn and chestnuts.
Many people in the old days and today, too enjoy collecting chestnuts at chestnut groves in the countryside.
Although chestnuts are on sale at the market in season, it's more fun to gather chestnuts on our own and cook them.

During the chestnut season I make kuri gohan (rice cooked with chestnuts),
simmered chestnuts with chicken, healthy sweets and so on.
If there is just one chestnut dish on the table, the meal with it would become special, a celebration of autumn!

There are some kinds of kuri sweets, my fovorite is 'kuri-kinton'.
It's simple to make this sweet - Steam or boil chestnuts without removing skins, scoop out the inside, add some sugar to it and mix it. Please enjoy simply the taste and flavour of chestnuts and autumn!


Kuri-kinton

Delicious exchange!

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The attendants and I often exchange recipes.
I'm so glad I can get a lot of delicious recipes from all over the world.
I really appreciate this fabulous opportunity!

Here is an attendant, Micaela from Parma, Italy. She also opens a cooking class at home in Parma. She gave me a very good recipe of gnocchi, which her grandma taught her. I introduced 'dashi'(broth) of katsuobushi(fish flakes) and combu(seaweed) to her. We cooked natsu-yasai no nimono; simmered summer vegetables with dashi together.

Lovely! Good recipes are handed down from generation to generation, and now we exchange them. This is a preferable globalization!


Micaela and Emi

Listen to autumn flavours!

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Here are Autumn vegetarian dishes, but Kyoto people
have these as usual dishes in autumn.
We appreciate fresh ingredient's flavour,
don't use a lot of seasonings not to destroy their natural
flavours.
A Japanese word, 'kiki-zake' is listening to sake(wine);
'kiki-zake' means sake(wine)-tasting in English. Enjoying ingredients'flavours is
listening to their sweet voices, or their whispers, I feel!


Top-right: simmered yuba(soy-milk skin) & taro potato
with vegetable sauce



Kuri-gohan:
Chestnut rice


Aki no shira-ae:
Autumn salad with thick tofu dressing
shimeji mushroom, Japanese pear and green bean


Yaki-nasu no miso shiru:
Miso soup with grilled eggplant(aubergine)
Garnish: myoga

Kiku no Settuku : Month of Chrysanthemum

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Uzuki showcase in September
flower: hototogisu,kin-mizuhiki and chrysanthemum


Today I'll introduce 2 dishes. The first one is Japanese style simmered beef with burdock root; gobou in Japanese.
As you know, we started having beef around 130-40 years ago, when Japan started having westernization. When we use meat as an ingredient, we cook it, thinking of being well-balanced and well-matched;usually we cook meat with vegetables which go well with it. Beef matches well with burdock root, duck or chicken go well with negi(a little similar to leek).

Burdock is my favourite root vegetable! I love its earthy, mild flavour and the crispy texture. It contains dietary fibers a lot.


The second dish is inside-out sushi roll.
Usually nori(seaweed)-sheet comes outside, but this roll is different, sushi-rice comes outside.