Green Pepper stuffed with Lotus Roots and Squid
It was a dismay to find squid in the freezer while I was getting out my oil paint case (which I store in the freezer to keep the paint fresh). How old is this thing? I can’t even read the date on the package. Why I didn’t see you when I was making oknomi-yaki? What a shame if I throw it away, right? Even though it’s color has turned yellowish?
I reasoned that squid was protected from the elements for who knows how long, therefore it is perfectly safe, the discoloration is a totally natural occurrence. Besides, just because I can’t see the expiration date that doesn’t mean I bought it a long time ago. I might have purchased it last week, me not squid getting old, I forgotten all about it, not likely but possible. Anyhow, I have to come up with a dish where the squid is not a show piece but behind scenes…perhaps a suspicious…I mean mysterious presence.
The Japanese recipe site COOKPAD gave me inspiration and aha! It worked. With a sign of relief, I’m reporting to you that no one in my family got hurt. My husband even gave me a huge compliment for the unique dish. Well, ahhh.. yes I’m glad we all have strong stomachs, ha ha ha. Memo to myself-our family’s health comes first, organize the freezer and don’t be stupid-not necessary in that order.
- 4 medium size Green pepper-cut in half lengthwise and remove seeds and white parts.
- 2-3 Tablespoons Cornstarch or potato starch plus more for dusting.
- Lotus roots 250g-peeled, slice eight 1/4 inch thick slices from it. Soak all the lotus roots in water with 1 teaspoon of rice vinegar for 5-7 minutes.
- Squid about 200g- I used body only, no cartilage, no eyes and no intestines but legs are optional. Chopped in small pieces.
- 1 green onion minced
- Ginger roots 1-1/2 inch length grated
- 1 Tablespoon white or black sesame seeds pan roasted*
- Salt 1/2 teaspoon
- Sesame oil 1 Tablespoon
- Rice wine or water 3 Tablespoons
- Dust inside of green pepper with some cornstarch. Set aside.
- Pat water soaked lotus roots dry with paper towels. Grate what is left of the lotus roots after you’ve cut the 8 slices.
- Mix grated lotus roots, squid, green onion, grated ginger root, roasted sesame seeds, salt and cornstarch in a large bowl.
- Stuff the green peppers with the lotus root mixture.
- Dust sliced lotus roots with cornstarch then put on top of stuffed green pepper. Push lotus root into the stuffing so that it adheres. Dust lightly on top with more cornstarch.
- Heat sesame oil in a non-stick skillet at medium high heat. Put in the stuffed pepper, lotus side. Cook until the it turns into a golden color.
- Flip and cook the other side till it is a nice brown.
- Pour sake or water in the skillet, cover and steam over low heat for 4-5 minutes until all the liquid evaporates.
- Serve with ponzu, soy sauce or mayonnaise. A few drops of lemon juice added is also a nice touch.
* Roasting sesame seed is very simple but gives the dish a nice aroma and flavor. Put seeds in a non-stick pan and shake the pan constantly an inch above the cook top to cook seeds at medium heat until aromatic.
Here are some of tomato dishes. Pasta with Tomato and Almond pestoPasta alla Norma-roasted eggplants was surprisingly delightful.I froze tomatoes overnight, grated and mixed with honey and lemon. Refreshing slushy drink!Autumn scapeWatermelon that didn’t. Feeed me~! Just kidding.My husband brought home 6 crème brûlée beignets from a food cart near his work. I don’t eat anything after 9 PM…oh, all alright maybe just one.My oil painting teacher shared some roses from her garden.