The chrysanthemum and the soba. A bridge over the years…

This blog is pacifist, throw away the sword, fight with soba noodles. As every year, I’ve eaten these noodles to pass safely into the next year. You need some kind of rope to retain you in case you’d fall in that calendar gap…
Well that’s not as if I need a pretext to eat soba, it’s more that I won’t miss any.

More Japanese New Year traditions here…/a>

Well the chrysanthemum is the symbol of the Imperial family, thus of Japan… And it’s season food. You have seen some on sashimi plates probably. Leaves are called shungiku (Spring chrysanthemum) are available in this season to add to hot pots.

This type has particularly wide leaves.

They make so big discounts on fresh soba on the last day that I had enough for a decade. I could remake some in daylight for photos.

This year’s ingredients. There are often shrimps in New Year dishes.

The noodles are boiled apart. The shrimps and shungiku greens poached in tsuyu (dashi, mirin, soy sauce). Then add the colorful stuff on top :

Yummy !

Aka-dashi… a mega red miso soup

Red miso soup, with lots of shimeji mushrooms, iriko (dried fish), stalks of shungiku (chrysanthemum), cubes of momen-tofu.
Leaves of shungiku as a salad.
Seki-han, red rice, made with brown rice and azuki beans.

Soup made with the black miso paste is called “aka-dashi” (red broth). That’s synonym with miso-soup as Japan is a very conformist country and during many years, many restaurants all over the country have presented an invariable set of “standard dishes” and the standard miso soup was red… Now if you look at specialties of different places, familial habits, it’s very different and miso soup is made in all shades.

The shungiku (chrysanthemum) leaves have fresh and slightly bitter taste. A bit like ruccola (rocket salad), but less pronounced.

They “cook” very quickly, so they are often used for hot pots. I have added the dressing (spicy fragrant sesame oil, black rice vinegar, shichimi 7 spices) after taking the first photos. Because that imediatly becomes this :

Cal432.9 F12.8g C69.2g P33.3g

Stir-chuan… Sichuan pepper stir-fry- Poelee au poivre du Sichuan

Tofu, red onion, green sweet peppers… flavored by hot red chili, garlic, ginger, oyster sauce and Sichuan pepper.
Soup is the broth of buckwheat noddles, a little wheat miso and shungiku ( young chrysanthemum leaves).

Cal 360.5 F16.0g C42.3g P23.1g

Sichuan pepper.