Japanese Cooking Blog with Asako Nonaka #19
Asako Nonaka ◆ October 5, 2016
It has suddenly got cooler and summer is ending. Although I don’t like extremely hot summer, I miss it after it has gone. Am I selfish?
Like we change our clothes when the seasons change, we need to change the foods we eat as well so that we spend our time comfortably. We can avoid getting sick by adjusting what we eat in autumn.
I recommend eating foods that warm your body to prepare for the cold winter. Summer vegetables like tomatoes, eggplants, and cucumbers have a lot of water in them and let the body cool, whereas autumn vegetables like sweet potatoes, taros, lotus roots, chestnuts, and buckwheat contain much starch, minerals, and fibers that make the body warm.
If you keep eating summer vegetables when the weather is getting cool, your body has extra water in it, which will make the body cool and more susceptible to getting a cold. It also makes your stomach weak and affects the ability of digestion. So, you need to eat foods that make your body warm.
I often cook rice with sweet potatoes, chestnuts, and corn during this season. They contain less starch compared to rice. You can enjoy the different textures and, above all, they are very delicious! They make your body warm too. It is also good to drink miso soup with root vegetables.
In summer, we eat the ingredients raw or cook them only a little, but in autumn, we should cook them for longer and ensure the dish is warm.
In Japan, we say we have an “autumn appetite” (in autumn) because many delicious foods appear and we tend to eat too much of them. Healthy food becomes bad food when you eat too much of it because it goes rotten in the intestines and the toxins go around the body. So, we need to be careful not to eat too much and to move the body a lot. It helps to metabolize and digest the food.
Today, I will explain how to cook sweet potato rice.
Recipe: Sweet Potato Rice
- 360 cc rice
- 400 cc water
- 1 sweet potato
- 1 tbsp of sake
- 1 tsp of salt
- Wash the rice and put it in a pan. Add the water to the pan and let the rice soak for 30 minutes.
- Cut the sweet potato into bite-size pieces and add them to the pan.
- Add the sake and salt to the pan and turn the heat on to a medium. Cover the pan with a lid.
- Once the water boils, turn the heat very low for 10 minutes. Keep the lid on the pan.
- Turn the heat high for 5 seconds and turn off the heat leaving the steam inside the pan for 15 minutes.
You can use yam potatoes as well but I recommend using Japanese sweet potatoes that you can buy at Japanese grocery stores. If you use corn instead of sweet potato, it becomes corn rice. That is sweet and tasty too.
Please be careful not to eat too much though, they are very delicious!