Monday, August 24, 2009

Jalapeño Cornbread

Where to get cornmeal in Japan? You might be able to get tiny bags of it in the baking section of your local supermarket. Also, I know you can order it online here, or, if your mom is awesome like mine, she can send you a big tub from America. I've gone through more cornmeal this summer than my entire time in Japan, mostly because I've been working on a little project. It involves inviting unsuspecting non-southerners over to my house and serving them a huge meal that includes a plate of fried okra. Almost every time it's about 20 times more delicious than they thought it would be. It's nice to see people smile like that. But seriously, talking to them really helps me to understand the kind of deprivation that people experience in other parts of the world.

Max: Yeah, I've never even seen fried okra before.
Me: Oh yeah? How do you eat okra in California?
Max: We don't.
Me: o_O

Anyway, I'm about fried okra-ed out, so when I made up a mess of beans for dinner, I didn't mind using most of my cornmeal to put in this lovely cornbread. My recipe is heavily based on this one, but I tweaked it a bit, mostly to make it sweeter & fluffier. It's still the densest cornbread I've ever eaten, but I really liked it. A little jalapeño powder gives it a nice kick.


2 cups soy milk (1)
2 tsp apple cider vinegar (2)
2 cups cornmeal (3)
1 cup flour (4)
3 tsp baking powder (5)
1 1/4 tsp jalapeño powder (6)
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup salad oil (canola, soybean, etc.) (7)
3 tbsp maple syrup

(1) 豆乳 (2) リンゴ酢 (3) コーンミール (4) 粉 (5) ベーキングパウダー (6) ハラペーニョペッパー (7)カノーラ油 ,大豆油

The flour is from Alishan. The cornmeal is from my mom. Everything else is from Albis in Kosugi.

I listened to the Fever Ray album while making this.

Let's Go!
1. Pour the apple cider vinegar into the soy milk and set aside.

2. Sift cornmeal, flour, baking powder, jalapeño powder, & salt into a big bowl.

3. Whisk oil and maple syrup into the milk & vinegar for a couple of minutes. It should be nice & bubbly.

4. Mix wet ingredients into dry.

5. You probably don't have a cast iron skillet, which would be ideal. I used a deep round cake pan. It worked just ok, but i would recommend something shallower. You can even use a muffin tin. Anyway, lightly oil whatever pan you use to keep your bread from sticking.

6. Bake at 180C for 35-40 minutes. You can do a toothpick test to make sure it's done.

Cornbread is definitely best hot. Beans are my favorite accompaniment for cornbread, but it goes well with soups or anything drippy that needs sopping up.

One of the best things to do with cornbread is dip it in a bit of molasses. I highly recommend you try this at some point, but make sure you're sitting down first.

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