Man was last weekend hot! Those hot days sure do put a damper on your appetite. Except if you're the Missus. Asked what She wanted for lunch; She answered "Gobo Salad". When I broke the news that Okan is not open for lunch, She was undeterred: "We can make it, I don't think it's too hard." After all these years of marriage, I've developed my own internal translation engine, which deciphered that little phrase thusly: "I'm here stewing in my juices, so you better make this for me, or you're in for an ugly death. And try not to make it suck too much".
You remember the salad I'm referring to, don't you? If not here's a photo to jog your memory.
This recipe should actually be called Mizuna with Sesame Dressing, topped with Fried Gobo. But I guess that's a bit too long. Right before doing this post, I googled Gobo Salad, and wouldn't you know it, the first recipe that displayed was from none other than the wonderful FOY (Friend of Yoso) Kat, who does one of my favorite food blogs Our Adventures in Japan. It's a bit different than this version, but definitely worth a look, so check it out.
So how did it turn out?
Not bad at all......
Gobo Salad a la Wa Dining Okan
1/2 Cup Dashi
1/4 Cup Soy Sauce
1/4 Cup Rice Vinegar
1/4 Cup Sugar
1 Tb Sesame Oil
1 - Heat oil in a wok or dutch oven
2 - Peel Gobo. Once Gobo is peeled, use the peeler to shred the Gobo into strips. Rinse well, and keep Gobo in Sumizu (Vinegar Water - 2 tsp white vinegar - 2 cups water) or plain water to prevent discoloration.
3 - Rinse Mizuna, slice off root sections, place in colander and put back into the refrigerator. The salad tastes best with ice cold Mizuna.
4 - When the oil reaches a temperature of 370, drain Gobo well, pat off excess water with a towel of paper towel, and deep fry until golden brown and crisp.
5 - When the Gobo reaches desired doneness, remove from oil, drain, and place on a plate lined with a towel or paper towel.
6 - Mix together the first 4 dressing ingredients until sugar has dissolved. Add Sesame Oil and mix briefly. Taste and adjust flavor.(always check the flavor)
7 - Place ice cold and dry Mizuna in a large bowl, and dress with 1/4 of the dressing. Coat Mizuna well.
8 - Place Mizuna on a plate, top with fried Gobo, drizzle 1/4 of the dressing on the salad. Top with sesame seeds.
Really easy, huh?
Some notes: There are unlimited ways of "riffing on the dressing", so go for it. If you really want a nice sesame flavor, you can bust out the suribachi and grind up 4-5 tablespoons of toasted sesame seeds. After making dashi I really didn't feel like it. And what to do with the dashi and all that left over oil? The Missus also wanted agedashi tofu, and there was one more stalk of gobo and enough dressing for another salad in the refrigerator........
I'm not quite sure if you want that recipe, because I've changed it a bit to suit the Missus. But here's a photo: