Renkon Hambaagu (Lotus Root Cakes)
* I think lotus root "cake" sounds better than "steak" so I changed the title and the caption. Thanks Ilane :)
My colleague at the language school bought a macrobiotic cookbook recently. She let me read it while at work, and this recipe caught my attention. The dish is called renkon hambaagu. Renkon means lotus root in Japanese, and hambaagu is the Japanese name for hamburger steak or Salisbury steak.
Basically, what this is is fried lotus root pate (if I can call this a 'vegetable pate') with soy-based sweet-n-salty sauce. Grated lotus root is the main ingredient. And the neat trick is that crushed yaki-fu is used in place of bread crumbs.
So what is yaki-fu? It is dry baked wheat gluten, according to wikipedia. I usually use it for soup or simmered dishes, but never thought about using it for something else. And crushing it to use it as a substitute for bread crumbs was a totally new idea to me. Yes, I like this idea very much now.
Renkon (Lotus Root) and Mochi-fu
The baked wheat gluten I used this time was mochi-fu, a chewy type of yaki-fu. Maybe that was why my renkon hambaagu turned out pretty soft and elastic. I liked that. And the roasted sesame seeds I added to the pate (though it was not mentioned in the original recipe) was a good accent.
The ingredients of my sauce were soy sauce, water, mirin, minced ginger and a little sesame oil. The original recipe called for mushrooms, which I omitted this time. I will give it a try next time.
Another thing I really want to try next time is adding chopped shrimp to the pate. I think it would add a nice flavor and go well with the sauce, too.
* Original recipe from: "Macrobiotic Hajimemashita"
P.S. I got a daytime job today. FINALLY! So starting next Tuesday, I'll be working at a small supermarket in the neighborhood. Wish me luck. :)
Categories: Western-inspired, Japanese