Yukiguni nabe hot pot (via GiO)


It’s a meal that cooked itself on the table. A nabe (Japanese hot pot). Yukiguni (Snow Country)…

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Teratocuisine, it’s when you create a culinary monster. And it’s good !

I won’t hide you the truth : the aliens have landed in Osaka yesterday… On my window.

(photos from wikipedia and this blog )

This is the most idiot-proof recipe of sushi :
稲荷寿司 inari-zushi. Rice bag sushi.
I don’t know how popular their are abroad, but there are one of the most common sort here. Rectangle shape in Kanto (Tokyo), triangle in Kansai (Osaka). It’s a pocket of abura-age, usu-age (the thin ones) :

It’s fried tofu. It’s sold that way in tofu stores or the tofu shelf of larger shops. The thing is they make a few sorts… and today, I didn’t pick up those you need for inari-zushi.
So normally, you flatten your abura-age with a baker’s pin. Then you pass them in boiling water to clean a little the oil. And you simmer them in a sweet broth (classically dashi, mirin, soy sauce, sugar).

I don’t like mine too sweet, so it’s soy sauce, sake and skin of yuzu citrus.

Steamed good rice (koshihikari), add (black) vinegar sauce.
Inari-zushi are often very simple and vegan. I made some with sesame, and others with carrot (red kintoki carrot).
You mix. And you fill the pockets of abura-age.
EA-SY ! A 2 yr old can do that.

BUG !!!!! I was unable to open my abura-age in pockets. They are 1 layer. No way !
So the abura-age had to be wrapped around, or nothing.

A monster is born. Sushizilla !

A female…

A herd ? MUUUUUMMMM !!!! We are invaded !?

The shape… well. It didn’t affect the taste. Fried tofu + sushi rice is a magic pair.
They were really delicious with a few drops of soy sauce nama shoyu on the back and a little wasabi between the ears. With a good pot of genmai cha tea to reheat that.

4 pieces (= 2 servings of rice)
Cal 549.5 F17.8g C74.2g P19.8g

I took the photos outside for the light, that’s why you can see the street in the back.

Yukiguni nabe hot pot (kani 2)

It’s a meal that cooked itself on the table. A nabe (Japanese hot pot). Yukiguni (Snow Country) -for those that don’t follow – is the nickname of an area of Japan, the West side of Japanese Alps, facing the Sea of Japan. The main ingredients used today are from there. It’s not a classic but an improvisation.

Preparation is basic : put veggies on a plate.

Shimeji mushrooms and shungiku (chrysanthemum leaves).

Konnyaku noodles, whites of negi leeks, benishiki sprouts (to garnish the rice, not to put inside the pot).

Hand-made momen (cotton) tofu, carrots and yukiguni miso. Yes, it’s miso from the Snow Country.

The illustration is from the box of “nihonkai miso” (Sea of Japan miso), the koji miso of Little Yuki (or Miss Snow). It’s fermented rice (koji) miso. Very sweet.

The rice is koshihikari from the Yukiguni too. So everything is assorted.

This is the nabe (=pot) on the fire. I have pre-boiled the crab and collected a part of the broth and filtered it.

You fill in a little of everything…

And you put on high heat. Can you see the maelstrom ? You can also cover the nabe with its lid for a few minutes.

Everything has got an enhanced taste from that collective public bath…

With rice…

I had actually 2 plates of veggies. I ate the first and the crab, that was a meal.
Then I filled the pot with the second set of veggies and tofu, to eat later. The leftover soup is particularly delicious as tastes are concentrated.

That’s a healthy party mood meal. If you want to celebrate with family and friends and some of the guests are worrying about their waistline, go for a veggie and seafood nabe.
The whole set : crab, veggies, leftover…

Cal 652.5 F7.4g C102.9g P48.9g

Nanakusa Okayu

Let’s use the 7 herbs (nanakusa) I showed you yesterday.
Okayu is the Japanese for rice porridge. It’s often served as a breakfast in Asia.

Preparation :
Rinse rice (here genmai brown rice, koshihikari) and cook it slowly with lots of water (I add 8 times the volume of rice and more later). I used the overnight program of the rice-cooker.
When you get the porridge as you like it, chop the herbs :

Add them, cook 5 more minutes.

You can use the time to prepare gomashio (gomasio). I know some people buy it. It’s not a good idea as it’s so good fresh. Goma shio is goma (=sesame) + shio (salt), no trick.
Heat a pan, add sesame and “raw” seasalt, abd cook a few seconds while turning the pan to stir constantly (and avoid sesame popping outside). That’s all. You can pound them or not.
Today not. It can be white or black sesame. Today, both.
The roast flavor doesn’t last days. So I prefer preparing just the amount I need.

Mabo Tofu, azuki variation

I replaced the meat by azuki beans in the classic tofu dish. That makes a purely plant based meal.

You can see the beans between big chunks of onions. Lots of garlic, ginger… even more grated ginger on top of the plate.
My genmai (brown rice) looks fluffier than usual. It’s because it’s Milky Queen rice that I have now. It’s the first time I see it in brown rice version. I should write a post about the different Japanese rices. I usually prefer Akita-Komachi and Koshi-Hikari, both type cultivated in the North of Honshu island. They are the “hardest”, the most “al dente” you can find among Japanese rices. It’s like Arborio and Carnaroli. The comparion makes sense. Arborio is a “Japanese rice” brought to Italy, and if you can’t get Japanese rice for sushi, it’s a good substitute.
The Milky Queen is a new one, that has been put on the market maybe 10 yrs ago. I bought it white only one, and I found it extremely soft. Way too “mushy” for me, but I guess that’s the taste of many toothless aged Japanese. In brown version, on the contrary, it’s very pleasant, light and textured.

Hakusai, Chinese napa cabbage, in “instant pickle” with yuzu juice and peel.

A basic recipe of mabo tofu

(the meal, with 1 serving of rice)
Cal 530.5 F17.4g C77.9g P27.2g