Miso and Ginger Dashi Poached Salmon

Miso and Ginger Dashi Poached Salmon

4 – 8 ounce salmon fillets
1/3 cup white, yellow or red miso paste depending upon taste
4 to 5 cups simple traditional dashi, or enough to cover the fish
1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and diced
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 bunch enoki mushrooms

Simple Traditional Dashi

One 3 x 6 inch piece of kombu
8 cups of water
2 handfuls of katsuobushi

Directions

Rinse the kombu. Combine it with water in a saucepan. Bring water to a simmer. Turn off stove. Steep for 10 minutes. Remove the pan from heat. Add the katsuobushi.. Cover and let steep for 7 minutes. Strain the dashi through cheesecloth.

Add and mix 2 cups of dashi and all ingredients for the poaching liquid in a pot. Bring it to a boil and turn the heat down to medium. Simmer the liquid for 5 minutes and turn the heat down to low. Place the salmon skin-side down. Add a little more dashi if the fish is not completely covered and enoki mushrooms. Cook on low heat and poach the salmon approximately 8 to 12 minutes depending on thickness or until salmon reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees.

Plate the salmon in a wide bowl with a little bit of the poaching liquid and enoki mushrooms. Garnish with chopped spring onions or chives and toasted sesame seeds if desired.

Okra in Ginger Sauce

  • 6 1/3 ounces small okra *
  • 1/3 ounce grated ginger
  • 8 fluid ounces Shiitake Mushroom Dashi
  • 2 Tablespoons  Japanese soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon  sake
  • 1 Tablespoon  mirin
  • 1 teaspoon  sesame oil
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt

Wash and trim stem ends of okra.

Add Shiitake Mushroom Dashi, soy sauce, sake, mirin, sesame
oil and sea salt in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Lower
heat and add okra and grated ginger. Simmer for
about 10 minutes.

Remove and arrange on 4 individual serving plates.
Serve with some broth spooned over.

* Cut into halves if you are using okra of longer lengths.

Lotus Chips

Oil, for frying
7 oz lotus root, peeled and thinly sliced
Salt, to serve
Ichimi powder, to serve *

Pour enough oil into a wok or deep frying pan to come one-third of the way up the side and place over high heat until shimmering. Cook the lotus root, in batches, for 3–5 minutes, or until golden.
Drain on paper towel and sprinkle with the salt and ichimi powder to serve.

Ichimi powder —> Japanese Hot Red Chili Pepper, naturally dried in the sun and milled into a powder. Can be bought online or at most Asian Grocers.

Green Beans with Miso

Miso Sauce
3 tablespoons white miso
1 teaspoon caster (superfine) sugar
2 tablespoons sake
½ teaspoon Japanese soy sauce
5 drops of sesame oil
150 g or 5 ½ oz. baby green beans, trimmed

To make the miso sauce, combine all the ingredients in a small bowl along with 2 tablespoons of water.

Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Add the beans and cook for 2 minutes, or until just tender. Drain and plunge into a bowl of iced water. Drain again.

Transfer the beans to a bowl. Add the miso sauce, toss to combine and serve.

Chanko-nabe – Pot Meal for Sumo Wrestlers

Chanko-nabe – Pot Meal for Sumo Wrestlers

Sumo wrestlers eat chanko-nabe every day to build up strength. Nabe means “Pot” (or a meal simmered in a pot); chanko is the meal eaten by sumo wrestlers. At the sumo stable—the place where wrestlers live and train—there is no hard-and-fast rule about what goes into the pot. Common ingredients are chicken, tofu, and vegetables like Welsh onions and Chinese cabbage, all cooked in a seasoned soup stock.

Japanese cuisine offers a variety of one-pot meals served with rice. Soup stock is heated in a pot at the dining table. Previously cut ingredients, generally vegetables, fish and/or meat, are simmered and eaten around the table. The Japanese enjoy the camaraderie that comes from gathering around a nabe with family members or good friends, especially when it is cold outside.

Sumo wrestlers start their day with a long training session. After grappling, colliding and throwing each other around, expending plenty of energy, they are ready for a hearty meal that is both breakfast and lunch. One job of a sumo wrestler is to eat a lot and gain extra strength. They eat lots of rice, and chanko-nabe, which has plenty of liquid, goes down well with the rice. The vegetables, fish and meat, plus the rice, offer a nutritional balance that is easy to digest. And the meal is easy to make and serve, because one big pot holds enough for the many wrestlers eating together. This explains how chanko-nabe became an essential part of the world of sumo…

#ChankoNabe #JapaneseCulture #CulinaryJapan

Easy Miso Soup with Shiitake Mushrooms and Tofu

8 cups Quick Traditional Dashi

¼ cup Miso Paste

1 block of firm tofu

1 cup thinly sliced Shiitake Mushrooms

Bring dashi to a simmer over medium heat, do not boil.  Wrap tofu in double layer of paper towels.  Place tofu between two plates and place 28 ounce can on top for twenty minutes.  Whisk in miso paste.  Cut tofu into small squares.  Add mushrooms.  Cook for 10 minutes.  Add tofu.  Cook for 10-15 minutes more.  Serve immediately.

Tezukuri Tonyu (Homemade Soy Milk)

⅓ pound small, flavorful dried soybeans

Soak the soybeans in 3 times their amount of fresh spring or well water (2½ cups) for 9 to 15 hours depending upon the ambient temperature.

Scoop one-third of the soybeans and soaking water into a blender, process on high for 2 minutes, and pour into a large mixing bowl. Repeat until all the beans have been processed. Bring 2¾ cups spring or well water to a boil over high heat in a medium well-insulated pot. Add the soybean mixture and bring almost to a boil, stirring constantly, to ensure it does not scorch.  This is important!

Remove from the heat source and let the foam subside for about 15 minutes. Heat again slowly over low heat for 10 minutes.

While the soybean mixture is heating, set a fine-mesh strainer over a large mixing bowl. Line the strainer with a clean muslin cheesecloth.  After 8 to 10 minutes have elapsed, pour the hot soybean mixture through the cheesecloth.

Twist up the free ends to squeeze out the excess liquid, but let it cool for about 10 or 15 minutes before squeezing the bundle to get the last drops of liquid out of the solids. In the bowl you will have fresh soy milk ready to use for drinking or making Soft Tofu.

In the cheesecloth, you will have okara (soybean pulp). Use okara immediately in many recipes or store in the fridge for up to 2 days. After that, freeze it.

Yosedofu (Easy Japanese Soft Tofu)

2 teaspoons liquid nigari *
3 cups Tezukuri Tonyu (Homemade Soy Milk)

Thin the nigari with 1 teaspoon water. Heat the soy milk in a double boiler over high heat until the soy milk reaches 167 degrees. Remove the pot holding the soy milk, insert a flat wooden spoon in the milk, and immediately pour the nigari against the spoon. Slowly stir the soy milk, making 3 wide revolutions and only 3 revolutions, and pull the wooden spoon straight up out of the coagulating soy milk. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 10 minutes.

Scoop the tofu into small bowls and serve drizzled with a little soy sauce or sprinkled with sea salt. If you are looking for a bit more enhanced flavor and presentation, garnish soy sauce–flavored tofu with finely chopped chives and a dab of grated ginger or salt-flavored with a smidge of freshly grated wasabi.

* Nigari —> Concentrated solution of salts (esp. magnesium chloride) left over after the crystallization of seawater or brine. Can be bought at any Asian Grocer or online,

Tofu No Ishirizuke (tofu doused in fish sauce)

  • 1 10.5 ounce block Japanese-style tofu
  • 2 teaspoons Japanese fish sauce *
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon quality dark sesame oil
  • 7-spice powder (shichimi togarashi)
  • Green onions (optional)

Remove the tofu from the package and set it on a cutting board propped up at one end and angled into the kitchen sink to allow it to drain.  Place another cutting board or other similar weight on top of the tofu and leave to press out moisture for 1 hour. The top board should not smash the tofu.

Place the tofu on a small plate, spoon the fish sauce over the tofu, and rub it across the surface. Make sure the bottom surface is filmed with fish sauce as well. Place a sauté pan over high heat and add the oils. Carefully add the fish sauced tofu into the hot pan. Sear on both sides for about 1 minute. Cut into 8 pieces, sprinkle with shichimi togarashi, and serve as a small plate before dinner or as a side dish.

Schichimi Togarashi (7-SPICE POWDER): Contains red pepper, sansho, tangerine peel, white and black sesame seeds, hemp seeds, dried ginger, and aonori. Readily available at Asian markets.

* If Japanese fish sauce is not available, use another top-shelf fish sauce such as Red Boat from Vietnam.

Tofu Pudding

5 cups Soy Milk, at room temperature
2½ teaspoons packed gypsum, or 1½ teaspoons packed gypsum plus 1½ teaspoons tapioca starch
¼ cup water, filtered or spring preferred

Put the soy milk in a medium saucepan.

Over medium-high heat, bring to a boil, stirring often with a wooden spoon to prevent scorching and keep a skin from forming.

Meanwhile, choose a larger pot, such as a deep 4-quart pot, to hold the finished tofu. In the pot, whisk together the gypsum and water to create a milky liquid. Position the pot somewhere low enough so you can pour the soy milk into it from about 12 inches above. Place the pot on a dishtowel to minimize mess from any splashing.

When the soy milk reaches a rolling boil, turn the heat off. Whisk the coagulant because the solids tend to settle. Holding the saucepan about 12 inches above the pot, pour the hot soy milk into the coagulant; the intentional turbulence will mix the ingredients together. Works best if you start low and raise the saucepan higher as you pour. Cover immediately with a lid and move the pot if necessary. Let the tofu sit, undisturbed, for 15 minutes.

The tofu can be used once it has set. However, let it sit for another 30 minutes and the flavor will have developed further. Check recipes for information on using the tofu. If there are a lot of residual bubbles on the surface of the set tofu, use a spoon to gently remove them. Once you scoop the tofu, you break it up and it begins releasing whey. That is its nature. The longer it sits, the more it will drain, just like regular tofu. Use a slotted spoon to scoop if you want to leave some of the whey behind. To minimize the amount of whey that seeps out, scoop large pieces of the tofu and do it right before serving as savory or sweet tofu pudding.

Store the tofu pudding for up to 3 days, replace the lid on the pot and refrigerate after the tofu has completely cooled. When reheating for warm tofu dishes, gently pour water into the pot around the tofu’s edges (to avoid breaking it up) to cover by ¼ inch. Heat over medium-low heat until the tofu is warm to the touch. Avoid boiling because that may break up the tofu or make it unpleasantly firm. To keep the tofu warm, use the lowest heat.