Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Onigiri with Poppies, cornflowers and nasturtiums, and a Poppy Tea

Many of the flowers I plant are edible, and this year I also have poppies! They are beautiful and delicate to look at, and perfect for the kitchen. You can also make tea (it is supposed to help you sleep) but just use a few petals, from one or two flowers... only if you know enough about herbalism and/or botany you can adjust the dose to your body type. The taste is a bit like rose tea, I just add a little hot water and then let it stand until cool (it is a hot summer here). 

The petals leave a beautiful pattern inside the cup :-). 

For the onigiri: Wash the sushi rice (or Japanese rice) several times in cold water, until the water runs clear, and then cook it by absorption. The doses are about 1 and 3/4 (three quarters) cups of sushi rice for 2 cups of water, but that depends on the type of pot. You need a pot with a good lid, or you will loose too much steam. I kind of regulate myself by ear now, since I know my pots and pans. Bring the pot to boiling point, lower the heat and simmer until all the water has been absorbed. While the rice is cooking pick the flowers and clean the petals well, you can rinse the cornflowers and nasturtiums, but not the poppy petals, if you need to just spray with water and pat dry. Cut the petals in small strips with scissor and set aside. Once the rice is ready pour it into a bowl, add some unrefined salt and toasted black sesame seeds and stir it with a wooden spatula. Taste to see if it is 'salty' enough for you, then let it cool down a little. Then add half of the petals and stir. Fill a bowl with cold water and wet your hands, then pick up a handful of rice and shape into a ball. Repeat. Roll the rice balls in the rest of the petals. Serve cold, with Japanese pickled and soy sauce.

And now some compositions from the garden. 

Photos and Recipes by Alessandra Zecchini ©

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