Kombu No Tsukudani (昆布の昆布)

1 big piece rehydrated kombu (from making Vegetarian Dashi)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon mirin
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
1⅔ cups water
1 teaspoon sesame seeds

Cut the kombu into strips about 1½ inches wide, then julienne them. Add to a saucepan with the soy sauce, sugar, mirin, vinegar and water, and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to medium—it should be between a simmer and a boil, and cook until the liquid reduces to a thick, sticky glaze.

Taste the kombu; it should be quite soft but not mushy. If it needs more cooking, add a little water.  There should be no liquid left; it should be a glaze as opposed to a sauce. When the kombu is ready, stir in the sesame seeds. Leave to cool before using as a filling for onigiri, a topping for rice or on its own.

 

Soymilk Mousse

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  • 1¾ fluid ounces soymilk
  • 4½ ounces silken tofu
  • 1 tablespoon raw sugar
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1¾ ounces banana
  • Fruits or Nuts (optional)

Sugar Syrup

  • 1 ounce raw sugar
  • ⅔ fluid ounces water

For the sugar syrup, combine sugar and water
in a saucepan over low heat. Gently stir until all sugar is
dissolved.

Set aside to cool.

Add soymilk, tofu, banana, sugar and
maple syrup in a blender. Blend until smooth. Divide
into 4 portions and keep refrigerated for 2 hours.

To serve, add sugar syrup.

Top with fruits or nuts if desired

 

Hanarenkon (Flower-Shaped Lotus Root)

  • 3¼ ounces lotus root
  • 2 tablespoons  rice vinegar

Vinegar Mixture

  • 4 tablespoons  rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons  water
  • 2 tablespoons  raw sugar
  • 2 tablespoons  lemon juice
  • Sea salt, to taste

Combine all ingredients for the vinegar mixture, except
lemon juice, in a saucepan. Place it over low heat to
dissolve all the sugar and salt. Allow to cool.

Peel and slice lotus root into 1/4 inch thick rings. Soak
immediately in water and 1 tablespoon of vinegar to prevent
discolouration. Make flower cuts and drain before using.

Boil a pot of water and add the other tablespoon of vinegar.
Add sliced lotus root flowers and boil for 5 minutes.
Remove lotus root and allow to cool.

Add lotus root slices to vinegar mixture and lemon juice in
a resealable bag. Remove any air from the bag, seal and
refrigerate for a minimum of 2–3 hours.

They are better on day two after the sweetness and contrasting sourness become more prominent.

Tamago No Shoyuzuke (Eggs Pickled in Soy Sauce)

8 large eggs, at room temperature (farm fresh if possible)
¾ cup soy sauce

Fill a medium-sized saucepan three-quarters full with water and bring to a boil. Add the eggs gently into the boiling water. Boil for 6 to 8 minutes depending upon desired firmness of yolk. Set a large bowl in the kitchen sink and fill with cold water. Scoop the eggs from the boiling water and immediately plunge into the water.

Run more cold water if the water temperature feels warm. When the eggs are cool, gently crack by rapping and rolling . Return the eggs back to the cold water for a few more minutes, then peel.

Lay the peeled eggs on a dry dish towel. Pat dry, and then place the eggs in a freezer-style gallon resealable plastic bag. Pour in the soy sauce, tip the bag to distribute, press out all the air, and roll up any unused portion of bag to create a tight cylinder.

Refrigerate overnight. Serve before dinner with drinks, as a side dish for a barbecue or picnic or in Ramen.

Best the first day.

 

Kuromame (Sweet Black Soybeans)

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  • 3½ ounces kuromame (black soybean)
  • 3 ounces raw sugar
  • 1 tablespoon  Japanese soy sauce
  • ¼ tsp sea salt

Rinse kuromame and discard any that have spoiled.  Soak it in  water for at least 3 hours or overnight.

Discard the water.

Boil kuromame with water in a pot and add sugar, soy sauce and salt. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat. Simmer under low heat for about 3 hours or until soft. Remove any white foam and impurities that form during simmering.

Remove from heat and let it cool. Refrigerate overnight so that the beans will absorb more flavor.

 

Nodaiwa: Unagi Restaurant

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Nodaiwa is a traditional unagi restaurant (grilled freshwater eel) established during the late 18th century in Tokyo. This michelin-star restaurant has 4 locations in Tokyo and one in Paris. Its main location is in Azabu, near Tokyo Tower. The 5th generation chef, KANEMOTO Kanejiro, is running the restaurant.

The building in Kamiyacho is an old style kura (storehouse) brought to Tokyo from Takayama in Gifu Prefecture. the restaurant stands out juxtaposed to the tall office buildings around it. The shop in Azabu dates from the 1970s, but the history of the restaurant goes back 200 years with the first chef opening a restaurant called “Nodaya” in Azabu during the Kansei years (1789-1801). Many articles throw around the year 1850 around as the year of establishment.  The Japanese articles just state late Edo period (1603-1868) or the Kansei years (1789-1801).