A flavor of caramel with hints of shiso, shiitake and fish…

Sweet’n salty for a surprise stir-fry. With chesnut rice.
It’s my invention, but that’s not so creative as I mixed different Japanese dishes.

That’s really a delicious dish : tofu, fish, sweet potato, shiitake mushroom, carrot, onion, chili, shiso blossoms in a sweet glaze.
You can’t do a random stir-fry as if you throw in the ingredients, you will get a big mess, the tofu crushed, the sauce sticking, the potato not cooked.
So there is an order to make it, and things go smoothly.

Preparing stir-fried tofu
1. dry your tofu.
I have used silky tofu. It is very soft. There is a way to harden it. Don’t press it, it would crack. Cook it. You can either boil the whole block, or cook in microwave (I do 3 times 1 minutes, taking away water in between). Then I let it cool.
2. frying.
Cut cubes of cooled tofu. Heat a pan with a little oil. Roll each cube in starch (corn or potato starch) and place them in the pan. Put moderate heat. After 30 seconds, with a spatula and a fork, make them roll on another side. Do the 6 sides.
3. golden glow
Pass on high heat, and cook the cubes while you move the pan to make them roll.

Prepare ingredients :
I prepared the sweet potato too by baking it with the chesnuts.
I rehydratated dry shiitake.
Sliced carrots, onion, red chili.
Added all that to the fried tofu.

I also added komame (small dried fish).
komame cooked for New Year

Caramel soy sauce :
After stir-frying everything together a few seconds, I added the water from the shiitake, plus a tbs of soy sauce. Put a lid. Let Simmer.
Then I mixed 1 tbs of starch + 2 cups of water + 2 tbs of mirin + 1 ts of shiso blossoms. Added and stirred till the sauce became thick and transparent.
Ready !
Serve hot, with more shiso blossom on top.

My shiso blossoms (shiso no mi) are the flowers you could see on this soup :

I dried some and they have kept a great shiso flavor. Otherwise yukari, flakes of dried shiso, leaves can be used, and you can buy it in Japanese groceries.

about yukari

Grilled kuri (Japanese chestnuts).

On top of new koshihikari genmai (brown rice). The season’s presents.

7 thoughts on “A flavor of caramel with hints of shiso, shiitake and fish…

  1. Oh my, that looks wonderful! I love the chestnuts you can get roasted on the streets in Japan, I wish we had the same varieties available over here…

    • On Japanese street stands, it’s usually “sweet chesnuts” from China.The variety is similar to European chestnuts. They taste much sweeter and that’s due to the way they cook them. I don’t know the recipe, I think they boil them before roasting.

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