Introducing some more ‘home made okazu (side dishes)’ for dinner.
Thin pancakes with scallions (ネギのお好み焼き）
Pancakes made with scallions – more or less scallions made into pancakes – which means, there are more leaks than the flour mixture.
The Koreans also have a similar dish called ‘Pajun (Pajeon)’, loaded with vegetables, served with a spicy soy dipping sauce.
We call it ‘Okonomiyaki’.
Tender Boiled Chicken（若鶏の水煮・棒々鶏）
Sometimes this is called ‘Hainanese Chicken’ (Singaporean food) which is a very tender chicken boiled with ginger, leaks and garlic. It is quite easy to prepare but difficult to perfect (for real tender chicken).
Spicy Konyaku (ピリ辛コンニャク）
It’s sort of like a jelly-like (rubbery) texture made from Konnyaku yam (potato). It is sold in a solid rectangular forms such as below, which I’ve simply sautéed the Konnyaku in sesame oil with dried red pepper , soy sauce and mirin.
If you would like to know more about ‘Konnyaku’ here is good English page to browse.
Thin seaweeds with dried herring(身欠きニシンと昆布の煮物）
Konbu, seaweeds provides lot of umami .
Umami is a terminology we often use, the closest interpretation is probably ‘savory good taste’ . The fish inside the dish is a ‘Hokkaido dried herring’, the dried herring is soaked in rice water for over 3 days to soften and pre-cooked slowly in sake, soy sauce and mirin before use to bring back the tender herring texture.
Just like ‘sun dried tomatoes’, sun dried food produces a sort of chemical change, an ‘umami’ ; which I personally like drying foods in sunlight on a cold winter day before use.
Bell pepper with chirimen-jyako and sansho (ピーマンのちりめんじゃこと山椒炒め）
These are green bell peppers sauteed with chirimen-jyako and sansho.
Fish Noodles （ハモそうめん）
Very thin noodles made from Kamaboko – white fish. This particular fish noodles are made from ‘hamo (daggertooth pike conger)’, a delicacy which my husband loves but only obtainable from Kyoto. A very light soy sauce broth accompanies the noodles or can be used in clear soups.
Kamaboko’s are firm and springy texture which comes from sea salt, which coagulates proteins in the ground white fish meat. (see links in wikipedia if you need to find more on Kamaboko)
This is a typical New Years dish, Kuromame – which is a black bean boiled in light syrup.