Thursday, June 19, 2008

Asparagus Green Bean Kinpira

Yet another Harumi creation!

Actually, this sort of recipe is pretty flexible once you know the method. A kinpira is a mix of vegetables sliced thinly, and pan fried with a bit of oil, seasonings, and chili powder for a kick.

Anything can be kinpira-ed I guess, but a traditional kinpira uses burdock root, carrot, or sometimes vegetable peels, like daikon or broccoli peel. I posted about making a more traditional kinpira a while back, but now that summer's hit, and I have a wide variety of vegetables to cook from, I'll be kinpira-ing more creatively.

It seems like every neighborhood in suburban Japan has a little unmanned farmstand where the community garden's bounty is stacked every day. It runs on the honour system, and bags of whatever's fresh are left out next to a locked coin box. Take what you like, and leave 100 yen or so. The other evening, bags of runner beans were left on ours, so I picked them up to go with the asparagus Peter had brought back from Ofuna market.

Harumi seems to enjoy fusing western and Japanese ingredients, so her kinpira recipe calls for olive oil and soy sauce as the seasoning. First, you blanch 250 g asparagus and 200 g green beans. Drain them, and heat some olive oil in a large fry pan, maybe two tbsp or so. Lightly fry the drained vegetables, adding 3 tbsp of good quality soy sauce. Harumi calls for a sliced fresh red chili to be added, but darned if I know where she's buying fresh red chilis in Japan, I've never seen them anywhere, even at the posh department stores in Tokyo. I added a tsp of gochugaru (Korean chili powder) since I had it on hand.

This is great served hot or cold, as a salad.

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