Kamo namba, so convenient !

This is insanely good. Maybe the best specialty of Osaka.
It’s kamo namba, or kamo namban. It can be served with soba buckwheat noodles or udon white wheat noodles. It can be made as nabe hot pot cooked on the table.

They disagree on the origin of name “namban” means South, and is often used to name dishes from South of Japan. Namba is a town inside Osaka, in the Minami (=South) side. So South of Osaka is more likely. Also, they would cultivate negi leeks in Namba. Well, not recently. And probably they had those ducks (kamo) running around.

Why is that convenient ? I don’t know, but they say here “it’s convenient like duck and negi leeks”. It’s good to have both in one place, you can do that dish.

This type of negi leek is Kujo negi (Kyoto’s 9th avenue negi leek). Surely there too they were cultivating leeks. Not sure they still do behind the big buildings now, not even sure they don’t… I’ll tell you why another day.

The particularity is the greens are very sweet and can be eaten raw without tearing apart your mouth.

The whites need being seared without fat, just a few minutes.

Kamo is duck. This not classic duck… well, it is organic, it looked good and it is “chick”, they say.

Sear it without fat, like the negi whites. Duck is good rare. Even if you disagree, roast it a little less than you want as it keeps cooking in the broth.

Boil the udon. Make 6 cups of dashi (with dry fish and kombu), flavor it with soy sauce (about 3 tbs of dark type) and mirin (2 to 4 tbs), bring to a boil. Add salt if you need. Combine the udon, the meat and negi, pour the broth.

How to make quick dashi

Add a little shichimi togarashi (7 spice mix). And enjoy. The chick is delicious, the veggie tender, this is wonderful.

Cal 529.2 F12.8g C65.6g P34.3g

Squirrel udon, Osaka style kitsune

A classic Osaka Winter noodle bowl : kitsune udon
Kitsune means fox (not squirrel, as I wrote before). Udon are the thick and square sticky wheat noodles that marvellously keep the heat in chilly weather.

You can see thousands of standing restaurants in Osaka selling this dish at record low price (or not).

A few local udon restaurants and bars.

Window shopping.

It has the color of a fox (and of a squirrel) due to the beige abura-age (fried tofu). Actually names vary over Japan. Here it’s called kitsune, in other areas, I think it’s tanuki (Japanese forrest dog).

A wax model in a window.

Simple ingredients, very cheap and common here. Spinach, leeks, there could be other greens or seaweed.

Fresh udon. Dry doesn’t even look like it. If you can choose take it fresh or frozen. But you need to reboil it as it’s sticky when cooled.

Reboiled.

They have the perfect texture.

Abura-age, thin type (usu-age) is fried tofu. In a pan mix water, soy sauce and mirin, simmer it 5 minutes, let it 15 minutes.

Kezuri katsuo, flakes of dry bonito fish. Their infusion gives the dashi broth. I put them in small bags for tea. A tea ball (also called dashi ball here) can be used). Or nothing, and then you filter the broth.

When the dashi is done, squeeze the abura-age and add its broth to the dashi. Taste and see if your want a little more soy sauce or salt. Reheat.

Kamaboko (surimi fish cake) can be added. I had none, but I had shirasu baby fish. I added a little ginger (my taste too).

Pour the hot dashi. Top with raw negi leek (small type, not too strong to be eaten raw).
On the table, shichimi togarashi (7 spice mix) can be added.
Schlurp noisily while it’s hot !

Days of yudofu (+ a quick pasta)

It’s getting chilly. It’s time to “boil” the tofu.
Well, you need tasty tofu, hand-made style :

Then a broth, very hot to bath it :

It’s simply the boiling water of my pasta, transfered to that bowl, just too keep the tofu hot. You don’t cook it. It’s already cooked. You need sauces or toppings :

The quick option, soy sauce, sesame oil, shichimi 7 spice mix and grated ginger.

I also had pasta. They are bathing in a purple broth (I prepared azuki beans), topped with spinach leaves, then tomato paste.

Thyme for flavor.

That will steam together. Then I added cheese (melty no name, and a little real parmesan).