Saturday, September 13, 2008

Simple Japanese Supper

Here is a delicious meal with the flavors of Japan that you can make at home.

I do not pretend this is an authentic meal in the sense of its components.
It is authentic in that the preparation and foods are simple, healthy and filling.

The Japanese markets in San Mateo carry a variety of dumplings and shumai, both fresh and frozen, that are perfect for enjoying at home. The edamame shumai are a favorite of myself and NH, especially since we both eat them (me no meat, he no shrimp).

They can be panfried or steamed in a bamboo steamer or the microwave. I usually steam in the microwave; it's easy and they turn out the same as they do in the steamer.

The light and fluffy texture of these vegetable and mushroom buns is very pleasing. Buns made with beef or pork are more common so I felt lucky to find these. They contain a mixture of tofu, spinach, and mushrooms.

With the dumplings, a simple miso soup pairs nicely. I make it often, using the same base of dashi broth and red miso. Each time I add different additions or toppings. I threw some shiitake mushrooms, roasted corn, and nori into this pot.

To make the Dashi broth

6 cups water
1 inch piece dried kombu
a handful of katsuobushi

Bring the water to a simmer. Rinse the kombu and add to the pot along with the katsuobushi (bonito flakes). Simmer for 30 minutes, without boiling. Remove the kombu and discard.
Now that the broth is done you may add miso paste and any additional ingredients to the pot.

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You can see the squares of nori when the miso and corn settle. Best to eat this bowl with chopsticks (for stirring) and a big spoon (for slirping)

With a little soy sauce on the side for dipping

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1 comment:

VeggieGirl said...

I always love how wonderful Japanese meals are, both in terms of taste and presentation.