The holidays is a pretty busy time of the year for folks. It's also a fairly stressful time, everyone seems in a rush, and tempers sometimes seem short. Earlier today while driving to the market, I noticed a Saab coming up pretty quickly on me. The car was weaving a bit from side to side, by the time the Saab started tailgating me, I could see that the young lady behind the wheel was chatting away on her cellphone, and not paying much attention to the road. It all almost came to a head when I stopped at a red light, and was almost rear-ended by the Saab which came to a tire-squealing stop. So what was the woman's response to almost hitting me? She proceeded to honk her horn at me, than flashed me the "bad half" of the peace sign...... so much for peace on Earth, and good will to mankind, I think folks just want you to get the heck out of their way right now. Sigh......
Time for something warm and comforting..... like maybe Kitsune Udon???
Now using some prepared Tsuyu is very easy and convenient, and heck I even use hondashi (soup base) when I need a small quantity of dashi or dashi flavor. But making your own dashijiru is not that hard, nor time consuming. Unlike many recipes, I enjoy a strong kombu flavor in my dashi. So I will usually steep the kombu in water at least four hours, and overnight if possible. Today I steeped the kombu for about six hours, from 10 am, to just after the football game. The rest was done in about twenty minutes. In other words, you could get the process going by placing the kombu in water before going to work, and make the dashi when you return home.
1 8x6 piece of Dashi Kombu wiped with a damp cloth or paper towel
8 Cups of water
1 1/2 cup Kezurikatsu (shaved Katsuobushi)
- In a large container steep the kombu in water for at least 4 hours, or overnight if possible.
- When ready to prepare, place the kombu and water over high heat.
- When small bubbles start to appear remove the kombu (do not boil kombu).
- When the liquid begins to boil lower the heat and add bonito flakes.
- Simmer gently for two minutes, skim any foam that develops, and then remove from heat.
- Let the shaved bonito flakes sink to the bottom of the pot.
- Strain the liquid through cheesecloth or fine sieve. For this use, do not squeeze liquid out of the bonito flakes, this will make the broth cloudy.
Udon Kakejiru - Udon Broth
8 Cups Dashijiru
1/2 Cup Mirin
1/3 Cup Shoyu (Soy Sauce - Use a decent quality soy sauce)
1/4 Cup Sake
Salt to taste
Dash of White Pepper
Other items if desired (dried shrimp, niboshi, sugar etc....)
- Bring Kakejiru to a simmer
- Add soy sauce, mirin, and sake. Simmer to burn off alcohol.
- Taste and adjust flavor with salt, more soy sauce, other flavorings, etc.
- Bring back to a simmer.
2 pieces Aburaage
Green Onions thinly sliced
Kaiware (Daikon Sprouts)
Other items as desired.......
- Prepare Udon Noodles in boiling water as specified.
- Pour boiling water over the aburaage to remove excess oil, and cut diagonally.
- Drain noodles, and place in the bottom of a bowl, pour kakejiru over noodles.
- Top with green onions, aburaage, kaiware, etc....
I hope everyone had a great, low-stress weekend!