That’s my ideal. Good simple food. With a twist.
Here is a new version of mehari-zushi (sushi in pickled leaf). Again ? Well, those leaves can be stored years when you buy them -or when you make them properly. But mines have to be eaten within the week…
Hatsuga genmai (germinated brown rice) and ukon (turmeric). This yellow spice is a common addition to the pickle.
Green egg shaped edamame (boiled green soy beans).
Wrapped in leaves of takana (mustard greens, pickled). So technically, they are not sushi without vinegar, but they become sour enough thanks to the leaves.
高菜 takana (literally ‘tall leaves’) is a type of large mustard green very popular in Japan. There are even different types of it. Usually it is prepared in tsukemono (pickled) called 高菜漬 takana-zuke.
First weight the leaves. Then wash them under fresh water and put them to dry outside in the sun.
After 2 hours : They are dry, still soft.
Necessary ingredient : 2% of the weight of leaves of natural sea salt.
Optional for flavoring : a piece of kombu seaweed, a dry chili
Put the salt all around the leaves. I put some on the stalk and fold in 2. Put them in a freezing bag with the flavorings.
After 15 minutes, they are already softer, push out the air and close the bag. Place in the fridge.
You are supposed to press the veggies in a pickle press. I have no idea where mine is. So I squeezed the veggies very tight, then placed the bag under something heavy. And squeezed again the next day…
Then… that doesn’t work ! After 2 days, the progress was too slow. FAIL !!!!
So I have added water to cover the leaves and 3 grams of salt per cup. So that’s another recipe now. The next day :
It’s very firm momendoufu (cotton tofu). I have pressed it with plate, slightly to extract excess water. The natto (fermented soy beans) is mixed with mustard and black rice vinegar. Around, you see bits of negi whites and shishito green pepper.
海ぶどうumi-budo is an Okinawan delicacy. The name is literally a “sea grapes” and it’s a tasty seaweed. No, it’s the tastiest seaweed I’ve eaten so far, and I’ve tried a few in Japan.
It’s caulerpa lentillifera. It’s also called the “green caviar“. It’s not cheap for a sea produce here, but still affordable. Yes, the taste and mouth feel are caviardesque. It has some resemblance with salicornia or samphire too.
It is loaded with nutrients, particularly minerals like iron and others vitamin. That’s one more Okinawan super-food. But anything they graze there would have magic powers, so they have no merit to still look like kids in their 90′s… You can feel it is loaded with iodine, and very salty too. If you like strong taste seafood you’ll love it, but that’s surely not for everybody. It’s usually eaten raw, with some sour or vinegar sauce to contrast it.