Aug 18, 2018

Zaatar with Japanese veg? It's good!

Some guests visiting my town brought me zaatar seasoning as omiyage last year, and I love the stuff! My friends are so kind, they keep bringing me different varieties, store bought and home made. Have you tried this spice mix before? It's used in home cooking from Morocco to Syria, and it's usually made with a mix of thyme, oregano, sumac, marjoram, sesame seeds, and sometimes other aromatic spices depending on the culture and food traditions. it's zesty, nutty and aromatic.

Here's the jar of home made stuff my gal friend Niri brought me when she visited from Israel.

Zaatar with Japanese veg? It's good! photo

So, does it work with Japanese food? Sure! 

For last night's dinner, I got what's cheap and in season at the supermarket - komatsuna, enoki mushrooms, carrots. I stir fried them with a bit of olive oil, soy sauce and a generous amount of zaatar. 

Zaatar with Japanese veg? It's good! photo

The combination works and has a wonderful aroma.

Zaatar with Japanese veg? It's good! photo

When I'm making okazu side dishes, I sometimes simply do eringi mushrooms, or enoki mushrooms with a little butter or olive oil and zaatar in the toaster oven. It's my answer to pan sheet cooking. 

Sometimes I swap it for furikake over brown rice. It's great with roasted red or yellow peppers. Another lazy and cheap dish that mixes middle east with far east is stir fried moyashi bean sprouts with sea chicken. 

I hear that it works well with roasted or baked fish or meat, too. 

When I run out, I'll try making some. Most recipes indicate two tablespoons each of marjoram, thyme, oregano, and one tablespoon of roasted ground sesame seeds, and 1/4 cup of sumac, seasoned with salt. All the ingredients except from the sumac you can get in supermarkets. I'll probably order sumac online.



Living between the Tone and Edo Rivers in Higashi Katsushika area of Chiba Prefecture.