All posts tagged “salad

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Sakagura – authentic Japanese in Congrès

Octopus in ginger

On an anonymous side street between De Brouckere and Congrès, next to office blocks and empty car parks, one finds the simple Japanese restaurant Sakagura. Despite its modest appearance, eating here is a culinary pleasure, and for very reasonable prices. Walking around the empty office blocs by night the area can feel dystopic, but stepping in through Sakagura’s doors saves you from the apocalypse.

Lightly bolied tuna

We tried their ‘Omakase umi’, which consists of three little salads and two extra dishes of your choice. The salads are exemplary if you like fish and squiggly vegetables. One contained meaty octopus slices in zesty ginger, and the suspiciously named “mountain jellyfish”, turned out to be a juicy vegetable in vinegar and chili. All the salads were fresh, filling and and delicious, with interesting flavours you don’t get in your typical Japanese restaurant. But the typical Japanese restaurant often sells mass-produced sushi, and sushi isn’t on the menu at Sakagura.

Fried chicken and dumplings

To the salads we were served pan-fried gyoza dumplings with chili and salty sauce, and deep-fried chicken made of the browner, tastier parts. The queen of the table was a lightly boiled tuna with horseradish, which was pure tender deliciousness. Horseradish and fish is always a winner. Our greedy eyes ordered in vegetable tempura as well, but this was far too much food after what we already ordered, and it felt bland compared to the first dishes.

Green tea panna cotta

My greed has few limits though, and we finished with a green tea panna cotta, dressed with sweet red beans. To me it tasted like fish and cream at the same time, but perhaps that says more about my tastebuds than Japanese desserts (from what I understand it’s an acquired taste). Next time, I’ll finish with sake instead (because they have a large selection) and try eat slightly less. Because I’m definitely returning.

Sakagura, Rue du Marais 15, 1000 Bruxelles, http://www.sakagura.be/, 02 201 78 88

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Kohlrabi and beetroot salad with honey mustard dressing

Earthy summer salad with spicy and sweet undertones
Kohlrabi salad

Kohlrabi is quite a comical vegetable, both in name and shape. It’s got nothing to do with Jewish rabbis, but the name is old Austrian German for “cabbage turnip”. But since its appearance is so endearingly strange, I decided to try grow them in our terrace garden. I had to weed some out to give space for a very dominant cabbage, and discovered that it adds great crunch and a mild cabbage flavour to salads. It’s great mixed with sweet, earthy beetroot, bitter salad leaves like rocket, salty cheese and savoury chives, and topped with a sweet mustard dressing. The thin kohlrabi slices look rather posh too, if you’re trying to impress someone.

Kohlrabi

The kohlrabi you grow at home can be harvested before it grows larger than an apple, as it might become too wooden later. If you buy from the shop, it might be fully grown and therefore have a hard peel which you need to remove. Either way, you can slice it very thinly, and eat it raw to best appreciate the mild flavour.

RocketYou need:

– 2 handfuls rocket,
– 2 large beetroots, cooked and roughly chopped
– 2 young thinly sliced kohlrabi, with chopped leaves (if they look cheery enough)
– Half a bunch scallions, chopped
– Half a feta cheese bloc, cubed
– Half a handful chives, chopped
– Honey mustard dressing (mix one quarter each of apple cider vinegar, honey, dijon mustard and a neutral oil + 1 teaspoon salt)
– Salted peatnuts

No complicated instructions needed here: just toss all the ingredients together and add a few tablespoons of dressing. The dressing benefits from standing for a while, so it’s good if you can make it in advance. To slice the kohlrabi as thinly as possible you might want to use a potato peeler, unless you have some sort of kitchen gadget that will do that for you.