All posts filed under: Japanese

Sushi Rice

Sushi rice is very easy and quick to make since it requires only three steps: washing the rice, cooking it, and tossing with a vinegar marinade. The most important thing is to use a short grain Japanese style rice and to make sure you cook it well (it shouldn’t be mushy). Preferably buy a rice grown in Japan or California. Japanese style rice is generally one of two varieties: sasanishiki or koshihikari. Koshihikari has many subtypes, including hitomebore, akitakomachi, hae-nuki, hi-no-hikari, kirara, tama-nishiki, kagayaki, and tamaki-mai; often koshihikari will be identified by only its subtype. These types of rice give the best texture for sushi. Preferably use rice that was harvested more than 6 months ago. Some rice may be labeled as “new crop rice”, which is rice that is sold just after harvest from October through February. When it is freshly harvested, the grains are moister since the grains have had less time to dry out; it is too moist and tender for sushi though it is wonderful as table rice (use less water than normal and use the …

Ponzu Sauce

Mark Bittman says that “an all-purpose sauce from Japan, ponzu is the rough equivalent of vinaigrette.”; ponzu is a citrus flavored soy sauce which can be used as a dip, marinade, or salad dressing when mixed with a little oil. The ingredients for ponzu sauce are, clockwise from top: soy sauce (shoyu), bonito flakes, bottled yuzu juice, kelp (konbu), ruby red grapefruit, mirin. The first time I made this I was able to obtain a single fresh yuzu, which are in season in the winter. Since it is now spring, and yuzus are out of season, now I have some bottled yuzu juice to make ponzu sauce next time. Yuzu are yellow but unlike lemons they are round and unevenly dimpled (see picture below). They are in season usually around November and December. They will keep one to two weeks fresh (longer in the refrigerator), and can be frozen for long term storage, so if you find some for a good price, buy several and freeze them. Defrost in the refrigerator before juicing. Source: Modified from “Yuzu-Flavored …

How to Make a Sushi Handroll

Sushi hand rolls are extremely quick to make (much quicker than rolls or nigiri which take much more time to shape), and can be made at the table by individual diners if you lay out all the ingredients. The handroll shown above has sushi rice, salmon and daikon radish sprouts. Serve with soy sauce and wasabi. To make a hand roll, fold 1 sheet of nori in half along the longest edge. Place the nori shiny side out (the shiny side is always outside for anything you make with nori), and put a few Tbsp of sushi rice on the diagonal from the top left corner to the bottom middle. (Optionally you can dab wasabi on the seaweed first or on top of the rice). Lay long strips of fish and other ingredients on top of the rice. Gently fold the bottom left corner up to the middle top, and continue rolling to make a cone. Eat with soy sauce and wasabi, preferably immediately after it is made since the nori will lose its crispness …

Miso Soup

To make miso soup from dashi (dashi recipe is available here): Add a few tablespoons of dashi into a small bowl. Add some miso to the small bowl; you will need about 2 – 4 Tbsp of miso for 3 1/2 cups dashi. You can use one kind of miso, or you can mix two types (e.g. mild and a stronger aged miso) for a more complex taste. Use a spoon to dissolve the miso into the broth in the a small bowl (if you add the miso directly to the dashi it will be hard to blend and your soup may be full of miso pellets). Add the softened miso to the soup, to taste. That is, stir a portion of the softened miso in warm or hot dashi; keep adding the dissolved miso until the soup tastes salty enough to you and has as much miso flavor as you want. Optionally, instead of stirring the dissolved miso directly into the soup, you can pour it through a strainer to remove large particles in order to …

Dashi

Dashi (wikipedia definition) is a type of Japanese soup stock; one of the most well-known uses of dashi is as the base that you add miso paste to make miso soup, however dashi is also used in many other applications in Japanese cooking, similar to how French cooking uses stock. Dashi is extremely easy and quick to make. All you need to do is measure out ingredients, boil water, and strain. It is made from just three ingredients: konbu (giant kelp), katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes), and water. Quantities for these ingredients are given in the recipe below; however once you have made dashi a few times, you can eyeball the quantities since it isn’t necessary to use exact quantities. In fact, if you compare various recipes for dashi, you’ll notice that they often differ from each other in the amounts and ratios of konbu and bonito flakes used–I’ve seen recipes which use nearly twice as much konbu and bonito flakes and ones that use only half as much as my recipe below; you can adjust the …