Many years back I’ve bought a very special cooking book. Book that suggests dishes depending on your actual energy: yin or yang, to be able to find an energy balance of the body. Or activate the energy that is needed (Yin food helps to relax, Yang food – activate creativity and gives a power). There is a test there that helps easily to find out about the current energy status, and it should be done just before cooking or eating – as the target is a measure the most actual body situation.
It is important, that each product has its own energy value.
So, for example, red meat, alcohol, coffee, chocolate, ginger, butter, shrimps, walnuts, etc have Yang energy (warm-hot).
Pork, milk, rice, carrot, honey, etc – Neutral
Crabs, chicken, cucumber, sesame, stock, apples, oranges, mango, etc have Yin energy (cool – cold)
I did this test so many times that now I just know when and what I have to eat to return my balance.
Today I want to awake my creativity and find some extra power, so I need food with Yang energy, something hot and spicy with energy of sun and fire.
That is the reason of my today’s recipe, where the main hero is Ginger.
Ginger is a flowering plant, which has a very long history of use in various forms of traditional/ alternative medicine, as well as in cuisine. Originated in Island Southeast Asia it was likely domesticated first by the Austronesian peoples. Ginger belongs to the Zingiberaceae family, and is closely related to turmeric, cardamon and galangal.
The rhizome (underground part of the stem) is the part commonly used as a spice. It is often called ginger root and has a firm, striated texture. Its flesh can be yellow, white or red in color, depending upon the variety. It is covered with a brownish skin that may either be thick or thin, depending upon whether the plant was harvested when it was mature or yang.
Fresh ginger root is available year round in the produce section of the market. Whenever possible, choose fresh ginger over the dried form of the spice since it is not only superior in flavor but contains higher levels of active compounds.
When purchasing fresh ginger root, make sure it is firm, smooth and free of mold. Ginger is generally available in two forms, either young or mature.
Mature ginger, the more widely available type, has a tough skin that requires peeling while young ginger doesn’t need to be peeled.
Just like with other dried spices, when purchasing dried ginger powder try to select organically grown ginger since this will give you more assurance that it is not been irradiated.
Ginger is also available in several other forms including crystallized, candied and pickled ginger.
Ginger can be used fresh, dried, powdered, or as an oil or juice. To remove the skin from fresh mature ginger peel with a paring knife. The ginger can be sliced, minced or julienned. If grated, ginger can easily be thrown into various sauces, glazed, and marinated to brighten up the dish. This aromatic, spicy, knobbly little root is extremely popular in both sweet and savory recipes.
The flavor of ginger is peppery and slightly sweet. It has a pungent and spicy aroma, that add a special flavor and zest to Asian style food, as well as to many fruits and vegetable dishes. The taste of ginger imparts to a dish depends upon when it is added during the cooking process. Added at the beginning, it will lend a subtler flavor while added near the end, it will deliver a more pungent taste.
Keep in mind that fresh ginger, much like garlic, mellows with cooking, and turns bitter if you burn it. The ground form has a different flavor, which is most commonly used in sweet desserts.
Fresh ginger can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three weeks if it is left unpeeled and up to six months if store it in the freezer.
Dried ginger powder should be kept in a tightly sealed glass container in a cool, dark and dry place. Alternatively, it can be stored in the fridge where its shelf life is extended till 1 year.
I know, that the dish looks very difficult, but trust me – it is fast and very easy to cook. If you don’t have any ingredient – don’t worry. You can easily substitute them by something that you have.
Narutomaki can be substituted by beef, chicken, mushrooms, pork. Any vegetables can be used here – beans, cabbage, nori, corn, pepper and even broccoli. The only must – the dish should look appetizing and colorful.
Remember that stock is ready after 20-25 min, so use this time for preparing ingredients to be served with it. Bon Appetite!
(For 2 portions)
The hearty and warming up dish is ready! Time to enjoy.
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