Hanami 花見 Cherry Blossom Festival


The cherry blossoms are beginning to do what they do best.    I love this time of year so much, especially when you go for a drive and unexpectedly find a beautiful park filled with the dreamy blossoms.

Locals set out picnics and BBQs with delicious smells wafting in your direction.    You then decide to park to then find stalls set out with festival food displayed in all it naughty glory tempting you to join in.

The Japanese definately know how to festival (they are so frequent here ‘festival’ should be made a verb).

I wish this season would last year round, not only for the sakura or the weather but also for the food.

Sakura Sushi

Salmon Wrap Pancake with bean paste

Spring Food

This weekend we hope the sun keeps shining as we very much intend to throw our own picnic under the cheery cherry trees.

Right, time to get the thinking cap on…what am I going to make?

Well I have a few days to gather ideas until then here are a couple of noodle dishes I made this week.

Keeping on my theme of Japanese ingredients, strange and not so strange I decided to use Soba in one dish and Udon in another.  Both were very healthy, different, yet absolutely satisfying.

Sesame Soba

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup sesame seeds
  • 8 oz dried soba
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2.5 tablespoons of light soy sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp dark sesame oil
  • 5 green onions, chopped
  • 3 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 inch chopped ginger
  • 1 cup chopped cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup edamame beans
Directions:
  1. toast the sesame seeds in a dry pan until they  are a rich brown colour around the edges.
  2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to the boil.  Add the noodles and cook for 5 to 6 minutes, or until they are just tender.  Drain them well with cold water then drain them again.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the vinegar, sugar, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, sesame oil and green onions.   Add the noodles, and the toasted sesame seeds.  Toss well, then stir in the remanding ingredients.
  4. Let the dish sit for 30 minutes at room temperature to allow the flavours combine before serving.

Creamy Mushroom and Asparagus Udon

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