Settling Down – Green Tea Risotto with Sauteed Mushrooms and Pan-Seared Tofu

is my blog burning no. 17 - tasteTea
The one who sends me into an ecstatic egg white whipping frenzy on certain weekends has long since come and gone, but still I wanted to hang on. Cling to the memories. Stay in my souffle comfort zone. From the beginning, I knew it was to be that way, but the little fairytale princess in me still wanted it to last forever. Oh, how gorgeous a green tea souffle with lemon custard sauce would have been for Is My Blog Burning no. 17! Chai tea souffle with vanilla ginger creme anglaise would have been so perfectly…perfect for Clement’s host-theme of tasteTea. *sigh* But, at some point, you have to let go. You have to remember you’re an adult, you have responsibilities and you just can’t heat up the entire apartment in the summer time by turning on the oven, okay?! *sigh* again. The torrid, steamy affair is now but a simmering memory, and I am all but left clutching a wooden spoon, alone in the kitchen, stirring short-grain rice into…an Asian green tea risotto.

green tea risotto
porridge is plebeian, but risotto is bourgie

Risotto is such the wrong word since risotto is traditionally a fairly time-consuming, labor-intensive Italian dish made with uncooked arborio rice and onions first sautéed in butter then cooked slowly by incrementally adding hot stock to the pot and stirring ceaselessly. Gluten in the rice itself, which is released through the action of stirring, is what makes the risottocreamy, along with an addition of cheese. Mine is so much simpler it’s not fair to put it in the same class with the Italians, but “porridge” sounds nasty. “Risotto” sounds fancy, and I am, oh yes, a fancy girl. Glutinous Asian short grain rice that has already been steamed, which means, technically, you could be using, *gasp!* leftovers, is simply simmered with green tea and salt for some seasoning until it’s the right risotto-like creamy consistency. *tilts head* Yes, creamy. And rich. With a confident air of green tea. *hmm*

sauteed asian mushrooms
exotic and erotic mushrooms

All the rest is pretty easy, and pretty self-explanatory. Mushrooms get sauteed with just a sprinkle of soy sauce for color and salt, but not too much, lest it overpower the scent of green tea in the risotto. Simple, plain mushrooms are my favorite, but shiitake can make it exotic, and enoki, with its little bulbous head and long tail-like stem, shaped like well, you know, is downright erotic. Thick blocks of raw tofu thrown into a bare skillet for a sizzling hot sear…well! This Asian risotto is pretty steamy after all ;)

If it were, oh, say about a year and a half ago, I would never have eaten this dish, let alone made it on my own accord. I don’t eat rice unless my wrists are bound and I’ve been starved for four and a half days. I would have picked out each piece of tofu, but as ickity pickity as I was, I wouldn’t have eaten any piece that had been tainted by even touching the fungus. Especially fungus that looks like overgrown sperm.

But it’s today, and I am EOE. Equal opportunity eater. I may not love it, but if I only stick to things I love love love, then it would be hard boiled eggs and kimchee tofu three meals a day anyway. No, really. And maybe a fresh fig for fiber every once in a while. Besides, I’m not getting any younger, and sometimes you just can’t wait around forever for the love of your culinary life. I mean, Asian risotto can make me happy, too. ;)

tags :: : : : :

Blog Widget by LinkWithin

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Anonymous August 9, 2005 at 3:55 pm

this site is AWESOME!!! keep up the good work! I’ll try to get you more traffic.
-Ken T.

Reply

2 Stephanie August 9, 2005 at 5:19 pm

Oh, I know what you mean.

Over the last year, I’ve found myself eating all sorts of things you couldn’t have paid me to consume a year ago. Is it because we’re older, and (allegedly) our taste (buds) change? Or do we just get sick of eating the same things all the time?

Reply

3 sarah August 9, 2005 at 6:27 pm

ken: thank you *blush*

stephanie: well, i think our tastes do change, sometimes for the better, and uh, unfortunately, sometimes for the worse :) i would n’t have touched ramen about 6 months ago, but circumstances…now i’ve found myself eating INSTANT ramen a few times, of all things! *sigh* but who knows if i’ll ever be able to enjoy…fois gras ;)

Reply

4 Sam August 9, 2005 at 6:33 pm

I think you are asking for trouble from the LACheesemonger with this cheeky post:)
I thought I would never try FoiE Gras. At your age I hadn’t. I think I was about 34 or 35 when I first tasted it and it did’t wow me the first time. Probably would never have tried it again of it hadn’t been for the arrival of the frenchman in my life. Unfortunately for my wallet, I am now rather fond of it. sigh.

Reply

5 sarah August 9, 2005 at 6:37 pm

LOL! (i love the word “cheeky” :) )

i have tried fois gras a few times in a few different preparations – seared, off the robata, wrapped with a slice of filet mignon, etc.

but, i just can’t get over the taste, and more importantly, what it is. *ew* hahaha!

Reply

6 s August 9, 2005 at 7:59 pm

oh i totally agree with you on the foie gras. my eating friends can’t believe i don’t like it but that overwhelming taste of fat just lingers!

sorry for all the random comments. i love this site. i get hungry all day at work!

Reply

7 Stephanie August 9, 2005 at 9:15 pm

Until they come up with an animal-less foie gras, I think I’m safe…

Reply

8 Anonymous August 9, 2005 at 10:23 pm

It sounds like it could be a little bland, unless there is quite a bit of flavor in the mushrooms. Does the green tea flavor come through strong in the rice?

Reply

9 sarah August 9, 2005 at 10:48 pm

the rice didn’t look all that green when it was all said and done, and i toyed with the idea of cooking the tea leaves right into the risotto, but thought they might be too tough. still, the green tea flavor was definitely there, though more subtle than say, a fish/shellfish stock or some other flavor.

the mushrooms by themselves have their own distinct fragrance/flavor, so though i added soy sauce, it was really more for salt/seasoning. the only truly bland part was the tofu, which i seared plain in a hot skillet. it probably could have used a quick marinade of soy sauce and garlic. but if it were only me eating it, i would have left the tofu cold and raw. i like plain cold tofu :)

and i will admit that after eating about half, i cheated and basically doused the rest with sriracha at the end. i just can’t eat anything without heat. LOL!

Reply

10 Sam August 10, 2005 at 1:19 am

– sounds like you have only tried the seared liver – (not so keen on that preparation myself)

have you tried the torchon or pate style foiE gras?

may be easier to stomach, or maybe you just started too young???!!! ;)

Reply

11 AugustusGloop August 10, 2005 at 2:10 am

You’re right. Risotto sounds so much more exciting than porridge, or say congee (which is what this sounds like). I like the addition of the green tea though.

I can’t believe you don’t like rice! I love the stuff. I need it at least 3 times a week!

Reply

12 Anonymous August 10, 2005 at 10:47 pm

This was very yummy…thanks as always! jp.

Reply

13 LACheesemonger August 14, 2005 at 7:01 am

Ok well will overlook that comment by ‘sixy Sam’, lol. Seems to me if you do a search on CHLA, you will find a Melanie Wong & friend review of the protein enriched meal they had a Costa Mesa’s version of ‘Shibucho’. It seemed to make them giggle, so maybe they had prior experience with this kind of liquid protein consumption, LOL?

My self, I learned to used chopsticks from studying intensely the VHS version of a 1976 movie called ‘In the Realm of the Senses’. Careful studying of that video (the DVD version is supposedly a terrible copy) helped me gain proficiency in using chopsticks (well we are not all born in Asia, lol). When I read Sarah’s standard pattern of ‘the clock it ticking’ rather that just pure porn food excitement; I realized she probably would not enjoy the powers of properly flavor infused shitake mushrooms. I mean, properly seasoned shitake mushrooms are the cat’s meow!!!

Which reminds me of a homemade pizza of hand harvested (from the forests around Williams-Selyem winery) Shitake mushrooms that Burt Williams made for me when I visited the winery in the mid ’90’s. Spectacular in simplicity and incredible mild flavor and freshness that worked so well with the W-S Pinot Noirs and Burgundies we had open… Wolfgang Puck eat your heart out!

Reply

14 LACheesemonger September 3, 2005 at 3:55 am

Alright now that it’s off the ‘main page’ and into the ‘archives’ for August where no one will bother to read it?

I swear, I don’t know how she does it :bow: :bow: ; but I never, ever could imagine such pr0n imagery in food. Though I have to say, when Sarah’s smiling during a night out on a date… um, if any of her dates would read this blog; wouldn’t they be kind of squeamish to eat with her, knowing full well, no matter what the food, she’ll be thinking some kind of *naughty* thoughts about how the food represents all kinds of carnal knowledge???

So I was wondering about those chopsticks of Sarah’s (no, I have still yet to completely delve into the perverse food pr0n mindset world of DL), but just curious about them, the ones that are kind of dark wood. Where did she get these, they look kind of nice…almost like a nice shade of medium dark Asian skin :phar: what am I thinking about!; almost like they are made of rosewood.

No I must confess, I have no cheeky reply, but I’ll try to think of a way to give some good ‘tongue’ to her 4Jenns ;).

Which reminds me of mushrooms and how I (being long standing generational homogenous American, not an immigrant or 1st gen) mastered the art of using chopsticks, lol. Well I still can’t use them anywhere near like a native. Then again, I’ve seen Japanese speaking people here locally, crisscross their throw-away chopsticks with udon noodles, in a less than artful usage. So maybe I’m not that retarded after all.

Yes, I studied and tried to figure out the proper angles, and holding of chopsticks, long and short (notice how the sushi masters all use rather long stainless steel chopsticks?) for a good technique. You sort of have to think of them like a pair of long needle nose pliers, and how those function.

hehe, I recall at Shibucho when Shige presented us with some oven broiled whole shrimp. My friend asked him, “Shige, how do we eat these shrimp”. Oh Shige is a riot, he looks at us with a smirk/smile and sarcastically says “with chopsticks” LOL; somebody reach over and smack this guy up side the head ;-). Sure the shrimp shells where cut down the middle, but have you ever tried to pull cooked shrimp out of the shell, even with bare fingers it takes a significant pull to separate the meat from the shell!

Yeah, yeah; I know the sushi chef has no problem doing this, but I think Shige has a sick sense of humor in watching gaigin fumble. Yeah, how I learned to be more proficient in using chopsticks… by watching intensively a movie!

Long before Sarah was born ;), there was a controversial movie (how did I take until 1998 to see this shocker of a movie on VHS?) made in 1976. We all remember the food pr0n of the butter scene in ‘Last Tango in Paris’ . Which BTW, I thought was way, way, way un-erotic… you know I’d rather lick (fill in the blank) off of Sarah’s nekkid body… ;), and basically boring. At the same time of the well published/reviewed Last Tango; a Japanese director did what was at the time called full-scale pr0n, hidden in the guise, or sheep’s clothing; of “art”. Umm after seeing this movie, given Sarah’s expertise in the kitchen, and seeing how well she cuts things with knives, I surely wouldn’t want to be her date, and get drunk with her, less she get mad at me for some transgression I must have missed earlier ;).

Yes, the movie about sexual obsession has some raunchy sex scenes, but funny how little attention is paid to the most disturbing part of the movie, at the end… well I won’t do a spoiler for those youngsters who have yet to see this movie. Suffice to say, the ending is unnerving. Supposedly the DVD version is a real piece of crap in transfer from digitizing the analog version…washed out shadows and highlights, overall dismal reproduction. The VHS version is supposedly superior, lol finding a rental in that format now.

Ai no corrida (1976)

Enoki mushrooms are exotic, well I guess if you’ve never been into an Asian supermarket anywhere in the USA or around the world. Myself, and well, they don’t conjure up any protein like mobility; but shitake mushrooms are far more erotic, especially if seasoned properly. In the movie ‘In the realm of the senses’ studying the fine art of chopstick control and feeding your lover and yourself; thus is show the secret, sexy way to flavor your cooked shitake mushrooms. Trying not to spoil the fun for those who haven’t seen the movie, but I’ll be willing to bet Sarah’s all ready figured out what secret sauce I’m referring to *rolls eyes* *especially naughty, succulent/tasty*

September 02, 2005 8:55 PM

Reply

15 LACheesemonger September 4, 2005 at 12:55 am

Hmm, well when its particularly tasty I can usually come for more, on rare occasions thrice makes nice ;). Which reminds me of those lusciously prepared squares of deep friend Fois Gras, which the waiter advised to be careful, as they were ‘hot’. Plop one into your mouth (I guess they were considered an amuse bouche, as you only get a one time wham-bam thank you ma’am thrill) squash it with your tongue and the liquefied Fois Gras just squirts all the goodness into your mouth ;). Normally prepared goose liver is nothing exceptionally special to me; I would rather have fresh Beluga or White truffles,

But we have the fish version of Fois Gras, in the form of Anglerfish liver (aka Monkfish liver- Ankimo). It is funny how I had a difficult time of getting ankimo as part of a takeout order from Sushi Ike, as the chef was worried that I would get sick if I did not eat soon after purchase (understandable … n00b’s take home, eat days later). At first the waitress told me ‘No’ when I asked for it. But I convinced them I wasn’t going to let it stay in the container very long!

At my special wine dinner at Shibucho, we had as the 2nd course? Sashimi style ankimo of 3 or 4 slices? (later part of June when Shibucho Costa Mesa’s chef claimed it was out of season as the reason he had none, never mind that Echigo’s chef told me, maybe Shibutani “doesn’t get up early and go to the downtown wholesale fish market”, because “it’s still available”). I forget what the sauce was made of now, scallions on top with some type of roe in the center? Ah well, the thick ripe white wines we had went well with this particular preparation.

Ankimo

(it’s difficult to do food pr0n with equipment that just doesn’t measure up ;) ) Ah well, blurry pics without a flash and decently accurate color information is a reasonable compromise).

Reply

16 green tea February 14, 2006 at 6:26 pm

with green tea ? i like it.

Reply

17 Anonymous February 27, 2007 at 1:40 am

MmMm~Green Tea jook…sounds good.

Reply

18 Dr.Gray May 31, 2008 at 1:22 pm

I have seen several versions of this recipe. Something like this works great with it – cooking matcha.

Reply

Cancel reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: