"You know that I know how to make that stuff, don't you?"
A typical conversation over the prepared food case at Nijiya. I usually would just go ahead and buy the stuff, but for some strange reason today I was overcome with bravado; and of course the Missus called me on it. I haven't really made any of this stuff in years. Well I decided to dig out some recipes, and some books and actually cook some of this. So instead of eating out this past Sunday, I had a "nimono(simmered food)-fest"! All these recipes are modifications of those found in various cookbooks I have.
Kiriboshi Daikon when rehydrated has a somewhat nutty taste, and a nice crunchy texture.
(Simmered Kiriboshi Daikon)
2 oz Kiriboshi Daikon
(Dried White Radish Strips)
3 Fresh Shiitake Mushrooms
3 Chikuwa (Broiled Fishcake)
1 Tb Toasted Sesame Seeds
1-2Tb Vegetable Oil
1/4 Tsp Dashi No-Moto (optional)
1/2 Cup water used for soaking Kiriboshi Daikon
1 Cup Water
2 Tb Sake
1/4 Cup Soy Sauce(not Kikkoman)
3-4 Tb Sugar
2 Tb Mirin
1 - Rinse the Kiriboshi-Daikon in cold water. Squeeze out excess water, and place in a bowl. Add water to just cover radish strips. Soak for 30-40 minutes
3 - When Kiriboshi-Daikon is reconstituted squeeze out water, and cut into bite size strips if necessary.Set aside 1/2 cup of strained soaking liquid.
4 - Heat oil in a pot, add in order; the Chikuwa, Shiitake Mushroom, and the Kiriboshi Daikon, stir fry briefly using medium heat.
5 - Add Soaking Liquid and Water, and bring to a boil. Once a boil is reached add sake, mirin, and sugar, and simmer for 5 minutes.
6 - Add soy sauce and simmer until the liquid is almost completely absorbed.
7 - Sprinkle Sesame Seeds before serving.
Hijiki is the black colored dried seaweed that is often seen stuffed into Onigiri (Rice Balls), and is often used as garnish or as a side dish at "Asian-Fusion" restaurants. It is high in vegetable protein, calcium, and iron.
(Simmered Hijiki Seaweed)
1 - Place Hijiki in a bowl, and rinse several times in cold water. Soak in cold water for 20-30 minutes until soft.
3 - Drain Hijiki.
4 - Heat oil in a pot using medium heat. Add in the following order Carrot, Aburage, and Hijiki, and fry for 1-2 minutes.
5 - Add water and bring to a boil. Add sake, mirin, and sugar. Lower to a low simmer. When the liquid is almost absorbed add soy sauce and salt, stirring until almost absorbed.
Some notes; many times you'll find this dish with Soybeans (Edamame), or cooked black beans, or topped with sesame seeds. You can also add Shimichi Togarashi (Japanese Chili Pepper Powder - actually "seven spice"...) for some zing. This dish tastes better the next day after flavors have had time to meld.
Niku tofu is a real homestyle dish. This version features Shirataki, often called "yam noodles", the noodle form of Konnyaku.
(Simmered Beef and Tofu)
1/2 Lb thinly sliced beef - sliced into bite sized slices
1 Block soft tofu
1 medium onion sliced
1-2 packages Shirataki (Yam noodles)
1 bunch green onions green part only sliced
1 Cup water
4 Tb Sugar
3 Tb Sake
3 Tb Mirin
1/4 Cup Soy sauce
1-2 Tb vegetable oil
1 - Rinse Shirataki under cold water. Then pour boiling water over shirataki to remove bitterness and smell (Shirataki has a very strong and unpleasant odor), rinse under cold water, and drain.
3 - When ingredients are heated through add Water and bring to a boil. Add Sake, Mirin, Sugar, and Soy Sauce. Reduce to a simmer.
4 - Add tofu and mix in, being careful not to mash tofu. Let simmer for 10-15 minutes.
5 - Top with green onions before serving.
I had a blast juggling three "active" pots. I haven't had so much fun since I worked as a cook in a drive-in as a teenager! In fact I decided to make me a bento, so I made my "Mama's Eggs", basically a "rustic" Dashi-Maki Tamago (Rolled Egg Omelette):
Made a pretty good bento with all of this:
Tomorrow it's back to restaurants......