Sukiyaki, Japanese big dinner


As Christmas is approaching, I wish you a nice holiday season. So let’s have a sukiyaki party !
It’s a party meal designed to showcase delicious premium Japanese beef and season produce. A hot pot to cook and share on the table.


The ingredients are cut, cleaned, prepared and presented on big trays on the table.
First tray : fungi, konnyaku noodles and grilled tofu.
There were 4 types of mushrooms : shimeji, enoki, dry and soaked maitake and fresh kikurage.


Second tray : negi leeks, onions, soaked yakifu (gluten croutons) and kikuna (chrysanthemum greens).


Third tray : the beef. Wagyu, Japanese traditionally raised cows. Beside you can see cubes of beef fat.


Each eater is given a bowl with a good fresh egg. Whisk your egg with the chopsticks and get ready to dip you ingredients in this sauce.


First step : greasing the pot with fat and roasting the first slices. They can be enjoyed this way as the beef is delicious, just on its own.


That’s the technique : melt some fat, add some meat, pour a little sugar, then a little shoyu (sauce sauce), a little sake. Mix and cook.


All the other ingredients are added in small batches…


For dessert… well, there are no desserts for Japanese meal. So that’s a French tarte Tatin, made with Japanese apples.


The ozone layer of the New Year…

This is a bowl of O-zoni.
First soupe du jour, well soupe de l’an of the year. First lame pun of the year. Yes, Miss 49th, you were right to expect it.

Ozoni is a New-Year soup that is eaten…. half of the year in Kansai. Clearly, when you empty your fridge in a pot of broth, you get one. No, no, I don’t want to break the romantic image. Today’s zoni is the first of 2012. This year’s first time. The maiden soup.

The recipe of ozoni is totally defined by the name. BTW, this year. you are all reading nihongo.
So お雑煮 means literally “da n’importe quoi stew“. And n’importe quoi can be anything. Like here :

Japan having 30 millions of families, I have in my data base 30 millions version the true and unique zoni recipe. Plus one per year, for myself.

The soup is either water or broth (usually fish, many variations) :
-shoyu soy sauce (many types)
-miso (many types)
-azuki beans
-natto (fermented beans)

Gourmande’s 2012 zoni : duck broth and standard beige miso. I’m not the only crazy ozonist. You can read about curry soup ones on the big internet…

Then, you can put meat, seafood, fish, kamaboko fish cakes, meat bowls… I had tofu.

And veggies. These blue things are kuwai (arrow-heads, read more here), I peeled them. Flower yaki fu (gluten croutons). A ring of negi leeks. Bits of rind of a yuzu for the citrus fragrance.
Also threw in chrysanthemums, wasabi leaves, small green asparagus.

And MOCHI. Unless, you are really poor and no rice is produced in your mountain village, so you use a taro instead. That’s unlikely in 2012.

I cut a mochi and I keep one whole.

The melting mochi…

And lots of surprises… hopefully, 2012 will be as sweet and colorful as this soup.

Steaming in the teapot… a hot soup with duck, mushrooms, season fragrance

This the recipe for dobin-mushi (steamed in pottery) soup. Today’s flavor : duck and mushrooms in consommé ambré .

Prepare a broth. That can be a dashi (Japanese broth) or a consomme or another stock soup. Add soy sauce, sake, etc… as you like.
Today it’s a consommé made of leek, chicken, tomato.
I added sea salt only.

Prepare season’s best ingredient. Well, it is an Autumn dish. It is often made with matsutake mushrooms, hamo fish, gincko nuts and shrimps. But not here !

Lean duck meat.

Fresh edamame (green soy beans). They are a bit different as they are from black soy. Flowers of shiso (perilla).

Shiitake mushrooms. Red and green chili peppers. The spirals are yaki-fu, decorative croutons of gluten (we can buy many different designs).

Other mushrooms : yama no mura no hatake shimeji. Shimeji mushrooms from the field behind the mountain, said the package. They are quite neutral in taste.

You have many options. The original probably is to place the ingredients in the pot, cover with broth and put the pot in a big steam basket. Steam till cooked. Put the lid, bring to guests. A convenient way is to cook in a sauce-pan in half of the broth, transfer in the pots, cover, place on table. When the guests arrive, pour the rest of broth (very hot), so they can enjoy the hot soup without delay. Or you can bring the pots with the raw ingredients on braseros. Add hot stock when the guests arrive, let simmer a while.
I prefer in the sauce pan as you can add in progressively the ingredients as some cook longer.

Serve with yuzu or sudachi or kabosu citrus.
See how to serve it : here.

Les nympheas, impression lunch (via Gourmande in Osaka)

Last year…

Les nympheas, impression lunch It's hot and humidly humid… I want to see the water-lilies. I'll eat some another day, it's just the impression. The hot humidity is like a long hike on a mountain of bamboo trees. There is one nearby. Well, it's a a stroll. But it's great, after hours of walk to arrive at Kansai's *Giverny* and refresh with a view of Nympheas. Cooled chicken stock (from banbanji), soy sauce, mitsuba, yaki fu, cooled shiitake mushrooms, ice cubes. Seki-han (azu … Read More

via Gourmande in Osaka

A tray of ingredients to hot pot… (mini sukiyaki dinner) (via Gourmande in Osaka)

Last year…

A tray of ingredients to hot pot… (mini sukiyaki dinner) Evening is fresher… nothing better than a small informal sukiyaki to warm up the night. Here you have carrots, konnyaku noddles, green leeks, fine slices of lean beef, shiitake mushrooms, "fu" (gluten croutons) shaped in balls and flowers, small brown "enokidake mushrooms" (their name is "yamacha" mountain brown) and a sudachi (forrest fragrant small green lemon) that I don't add into the pot but as a final seasoning for the mushrooms. For the … Read More

via Gourmande in Osaka