Kyoto Cooking Circle monthly recipe
‘Japanese traditional dishes of February event (Setsubun)’
Rolled sushi, Simmered soy-beans &vegetables with soy-sauce taste, Clear soup

 Feb.3rd is called ‘Setsubun’ that marks the change of the season (from winter to spring) in the old lunar Japanese calendar.
In that day, we believe that it’s possible chase away the bad spirits from us by some traditional actions. For example, we grill the sardine fish, so the strong smell of this fish would frighten away any evils. Also we throw soybeans, which we used to call ‘God eyes’, inside and outside of the house, saying ‘Oni-wa-soto! ‘(Out with the devil) and ‘Huku-wa-uchi!’ (In with good fortune) and after that we used to eat one bean for each year of our age.
 Moreover, it is well known that both sardines and soy-beans are the nutritious food in cold season from the old days to now.
 Actually, it is the new custom, based on ‘Nori-commercialism’ in particular in the Kansai area, we use to buy an uncut sushi roll (Maki-zushi) at the stores and eat it while facing towards the ‘lucky direction’ of this year.
 Today, we would like to make and try to have an uncut sushi-roll.
 Also, we introduce the simmered soy-beans and vegetables with Japanese sauce as a preserved dish. After that, would you grill the sardines at your home, driving out the bad spirits?

■ Rolled sushi (Maki-zushi)
1. Sushi rice (vinegar seasoned rice)
Ingredients (6 rolls):
4cups of short-grain rice, 4cups of water, 5x5cm squared dried kelp
*Vinegar dressing : (7Tbsp rice vinegar, 6Tbsp sugar, 1Tbsp salt)
1. Wash rice and drain in a sieve. Let stand it for 30mins.~1hour in water, so rice can absorb the water. Transfer the rice to the rice cooker and cook.
2. *Make vinegar dressing : mix together all ingredients in a small saucepan and heat it.
(Don’t let it boil !!)
3. Let the rice stand for 10 mins. Transfer the cooked rice to Hangiri (a large wooden tub for sushi ). Sprinkle vinegar dressing over hot rice. Mix quickly with a wooden spatula in a chopping motion. Then, allow it to cool.
2. Assorted Maki-zushi Fillings
Ingredients (6 rolls):
*Tamago-yaki( egg omelet)
4eggs, 2Tbsp sugar, 1/4tsp salt.
*Shiitake-nimono (simmered mushrooms with soy-sauce and sugar)
9pieces of Shiitake mushrooms, 1 cup of shiitake soup,
5Tbsp sugar, 2Tbsp soy-sauce, 2Tbsp mirin,
*18pieces of Kani-kamaboko( crab meat paste cake)
*1 branch of Mitsuba leaves
*6 sheets of squared Nori seaweed
A) How to make Tamago-yaki (egg omelet)
1) Beat eggs, mix it with sugar and salt in a bowl.
2) Heat a square omelet pan and coat it with oil. Pour all egg mixture in a pan.
Cook it over low heat until the surface is almost cooked, turn over and turn
off the heat. Transfer it to a cutting board.
3) When the omelet cool down, cut it into 8 long sticks.

B) How to make simmered shiitake-mushrooms.
1) Soak dried –shiitate mushrooms in cold water to soften.
2) Remove the stems. Put shiitake and the shiitake stock in a small pan.
Simmer until soften. Add all seasonings to it and simmer until the liquid is
almost evaporated.
3) When cool, cut it into small sizes.

C) Mitsuba leaves : Boil it briefly.

D) How to roll sushi
*Prepare water with vinegar (water 1 : vinegar 1) in a bowl (for fingers & knife).
1) Place a sheet of Nori seaweed on a bamboo rolling mat, spread rice thinly over
Nori, leaving 2.5-3cm(about 1-inch) wide space empty on the side away from you.
2) Lay out each ingredient in a line along the center of the Nori, then roll the rolling mat tightly to form a sushi roll.
3) Gently but firmly press the rolling mat around the roll to shape it.
4) Cut in 8 crosswise.
Clean the knife with the vinegar water –moistened cloth between cuttings.
( Let’s try to have an uncut sushi roll for Setsubun custom!)
■ Simmered soy-beans and vegetables with soy-sauce
Ingredients (for 4 servings):
80g of boiled soy-beans, 70g burdock root, 70g carrot, 1/2sheet of Konnyaku
10x10cm square dried kelp, 2cups of water (including shiitake-soup)
seasonings:(2Tbsp sugar, 2Tbp soy-sauce, 1Tbsp mirin, 2Tbsp sake, a pinch of salt)
1.Scrub burdock root with using the back of knife, cut the skinned burdock at random into small pieces. Soak into water (add a little of vinegar)
2.Dice the carrot into 7mm cubes.
3.Boil Konnyaku briefly, and dice into 1cm cubes.
4.Cut kelp into 5mm squared. (Re-use the kelp using at the sushi-rice)
5.Put 1)-3) ingredients in a pot and cook over medium heat by covering with the drop lid. When it becomes soft, add all seasonings and keep simmer until the liquid is almost evaporated.

■ Clear soup with shredded kelp(Oboro-komb)
Ingredients (4 servings):
10g Kobucha (kelp powder), 1handful of Oboro-komb(shredded kelp),
600cc of boiled water, a little of Nanohana( canola blossoms).
a pinch of Tougarashi ( Japanese red pepper)powder
1. Boil Nanohana (canola blossoms vegetables) briefly.
2. Place Oboro-komb, Nanohana, Kobucha powder in each bowl.
Add hot boiled water to it..
3. It ‘s also delicious to serve it with a little of soy-sauce.

*Tips : How to saute the soy-beans for Mamemaki
( for the scattering soy-beans)
1) Wash and soak the soy-beans in a large of amount water for all night. Drain.
2) Put the soy-beans in the heated frying-pan, sauté with swinging a frying –pan for
 10min. Allow to cool. Then, put the beans in a frying-pan again and sauté for 10 min.
3) Taste it, and if the beans are not so crispy, sauté it several times.
  Transfer to an aluminum tray and allow to cool.

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