Tuesday, July 29, 2008
I'm really on a vegetable kick, aren't I?
Well, it's summer, and I really don't want to waste a bit of it. With Sous-chef Peter bringing home piles of produce every weekend from the market, I'm having fun thinking of new ways to deal with it all. I know it's impossible to think that you could ever get sick of eating fresh, sweet corn on the cob, and I haven't yet. It's hard to resist five ears for 200 yen, but my fridge and bento box are just too small to hold full ears of corn, so as soon as they come in the door on Sunday, I get to work cutting them down into a more manageable size.
Right now, I'm making a sort of corn salsa/pickle out of them, which Canadian Bento christened "corn jumble". It's as good as name as any, and so I present to you: corn jumble.
This travels great as a side dish in a bento, or to the beach like it did this week as a trio of side dishes for a yakitori cookout on Enoshima beach.
I steamed five ears of fresh corn, and diced up half a red onion; a red pepper, and two Japanese cucumbers. I soaked the red pepper in cold water for ten minutes to take away the sharp onion-y taste - I find even red onions in Japan are stronger than I'm used to. I rubbed the cucumbers with salt, to take away any bitter taste in the peel. Since Japanese cucumbers are so small, they don't need seeding - I'd recommend using an English cucumber or a seeding a regular cucumber. You could add black beans to this to make it more substantial, but since I didn't have any hanging around - I didn't. I seasoned this with a half teaspoon of salt and several grinds of fresh pepper, and then made a dressing from 2/3 cup each white sugar dissolved over heat in rice vinegar. When the sugar is dissolved, I pour the dressing over the whole lot of vegetables; cool; and then leave in the fridge for an hour or so until the flavours mingle. Like most things, the longer you leave it; the better it tastes.
I don't recommend trying to eat it with chopsticks like I did, though. Exercise in frustration.