Wednesday, September 21, 2005

More Mizuna (Potherb Mustard) Dishes

Mizuna no Shiraae

Another dish with mizuna (potherb mustard). If you are looking for a Japanese vegetarian recipe, this might do. It’s called shiraae (salad with tofu dressing), one of Japanese traditional salad dishes. This time I used potherb mustard, but it can be replaced with spinach or other greens. With some exceptions, the veggies used for shiraae are usually blanched briefly.

Mizuna no Shiraae

Ingredients (For 2 to 3 servings)
2 bunches…..potherb mustard (or spinach)
1/4 carrot
A little bean sprouts
1/2 tofu (=150 to 170 g)
1 Tbsp….miso
1 Tbsp….sugar
1 Tbsp….soy sauce
1 Tbsp…white sesame seeds + a pinch
(1 Tbsp...dashi stock or a dash of instant dashi powder)
(2 teasp...sake)
* Amount of seasonings to be adjusted according to the type of tofu and vegetables used. If dashi is not available, it can be omitted.

Drain tofu well. I usually wrap it with a kitchen paper, place something flat (like a plate) on top, put a small bowl filled with water on it and leave for about 10 minutes. If in a hurry, you can crush tofu, wrap with a kitchen paper and microwave for a few minutes.

Cut carrot into apx. 1.5-inch-long thin strips. Blanch mizuna and the carrot briefly and cool in (ice) water. Drain well. Wash bean sprouts and drain. Cut mizuna and sprouts into apx. 1.5 inch long.

Grind white sesame seeds with sesame grinder. (Either mortar-and-pestle or plastic sesame seed grinder is fine.) Mix ground sesame seeds, miso, sugar, soy sauce, (dashi & sake) and coarsely mashed tofu until well blended. (If no sesame grinder is available, microwave sesame seeds about 30 seconds, wrap with plastic wrap and roll a bottle or rolling pin over them. *

Add the vegetables into the dressing and mix. Serve with a pinch of sesame seeds sprinkled on top.

There are many shiraae recipes, but I usually start with 1 Tbsp of each seasonings, as in the recipe above, and make last-minute adjustments according to the taste of the vegetables used, or the type of tofu used (and how well it was drained), etc.

Also tried mizuna stir-fry for lunch yesterday. Ingredients: mizuna, sausage and shiitake mushrooms. Seasonings: sesame oil, soy sauce, sake, salt and pepper. A dash of lemon at the end.

Though the taste was just so-so, I loved the crispiness of mizuna VERY much. (Actually I overdid it a little.) I think I love this vegetable the best when it's stir-fried : )

* This idea was originally introduced in a TV-show.


rae said...

that looks really good...i'm going to have to try it! it's funny about the harvest moon the other day 'cause out of the blue my mom mentioned the rabbit pounding mochi legend and how she thinks the rabbit is growing bigger over the years. i don't think she realized it was the harvest moon she was looking at!

glutton rabbit said...

Bachan! This salad looks real oishii. I really love the glass bowl that you presented the salad in...

obachan said...

Yeah, why not? I’m not sure what kind of Japanese greens you can find over there, but this shiraae is good with komatsuna, shungiku, or asparagus, etc. Or you can make shiraae using hijiki seaweed with konnyaku and carrot strips, without greens. Let me know if you come up with something creative ;)
BTW,say hi to your mom from me.

Glutton rabbit
I got this glass bowl at a flea market, and it was so laughably cheap. Lucky me.

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for the recipe! and I liked the hint about microwaving the sesame seeds!
I walked home from the supermarket today and my tofu got a bit squashed so it was the perfect excuse to make shiraae!! (^o^)

obachan said...

Hi Rei rei,
Sorry I didn't respond earlier. Sounds like you often make shiraae and you like it.
I saw some of your photos and envy you so much for being able to enjoy hanami from your balcony! :D