Saturday, February 25, 2006

前菜/先付け Zensai/Sakizuke (Appetizers)

Yurine with Ume dressing, Taro with Yuzu-miso, Chigusayaki (Fried Egg with hijiki, ground chicken and vegetables),
Misozuke tofu, Daikon with mentaiko, Green soybeans,
Mentaiko on Chikuwa (Grilled Fishcake) Boat

Yurine with Ume dressing: My favorite. I usually blanch yurine (lilly bulb) very briefly so that it is crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. The seeded umeboshi (Japanese salty plum pickle) was sweetened with sugar and mirin.

Taro with Yuzu miso: Yuzu miso was a great success, but I had to use peeled and vacuum- packed taro potatoes, which were no good at all. What a disappointment.

Chigusa yaki: This is basically tamagoyaki with minced vegs and ground meat mixed in. The hijiki seaweed (the black bits in the square-shaped fried egg in the photo), ground chicken, minced carrot and black mushroom were seasoned with sake, mirin, sugar, soy sauce and dashi. This time I didn’t make the tamagoyaki very sweet. This was heated in a frying pan first till the egg was half set, then poured into a square baking pan and baked in the oven. When the surface was set, I brushed it with egg yolk. Green laver flakes were sprinkled on top at the end.

Misozuke Tofu: Tofu pickled in miso-sugar-mirin mixture for a few days. This appetizer is said to have cheese-like flavor and texture, but mine turned out too salty. I used the home-made moromi-miso that my colleague had given to me long time ago, which was very salty, so I shouldn’t have left the tofu in the miso mixture for that long. Next time I’ll try this with regular miso.


Anonymous said...

So pretty...
bet it taste good
i love Daikon..with soup


Jennie Durren said...

Obachan, could you give more information on the proportions for the miso-sugar-mirin mixture? I'd love to try the misozuke tofu but I haven't been able to find a recipe for it.

These dishes all sound so delicious. I admire your patience in making so many different items!

Anonymous said...

amazing! i truly admire your courage to make all of this! did anyone help you? i could not imagine doing this alone. was this a part of a tea ceremony? living in kyoto, i feel i have really missed something, since i've never had "real" kaiseki with a tea ceremony.

obachan said...

Daikon with soup! Real comfort food, isn’t it? I love it, too.

Terribly sorry, but I couldn’t find a recipe, either. They just tell us ingredients, like miso, sake, mirin, etc., but never the amount. I guess it’s because everyone’s taste is so different. Also, different types of miso tastes very differently, so it must be difficult to come up with a proportion that works with any kind of miso. I used a lot of sugar and mirin because the miso my colleague gave me was super-salty. But it smelled so good while I heated it in a saucepan over a very low heat. That was because no additives/preservatives were added to the home-made miso.

BTW, this is not patience. This is an obsession. ;)

No, of course no one helped. No one but me would go for a crazy project like this.
No, this is not tea ceremony kaiseki. This menu is a restaurant-type kaiseki course and I simplified it even more. Tea ceremony kaiseki would be really something to try. I have never tried it,either.

obachan said...

Thanks Melissa.
Just once in a while, I feel like doing something like this.