Kyoto Cooking Circle monthly recipe
Let’s try the easy Osechi cooking,
Date-maki , Chakin-shibori, Toriniku-shofu-yaki, Kamaboko,
Senmai-zuke-hoshmaki, Tazukuri, Shiro-miso-zouni
We would introduce ‘Osechi-ryori’, the traditional New Year dishes, for the first time in this class.‘Osechi ‘ means “Setsu (節)“, a season or significant period, Jan., Mar., July.,Sept. in the year. We had celebrated these seasonal festivals (節句) with the special dishes ’Osechi’.

menuBut nowadays ‘Osechi ryori’ is taken over as the special cuisine eaten for New Year days.
Recently we can buy already prepared Osechi at the store, or we make only few dishes by ourselves to avoid having to spend too much time to prepare many types of these dishes.
But today we try to make some easy KCC-style Osechi-dishes. We hope you will find the beauty and history of Japanese foods throughout Osechi.


■ Datemaki (Rolled omelet mixed with fish paste)
Datemaki is sweet omelet mixed with fish paste. ‘Date’ means bright and Japanese fashionable beauty, ‘IKI(粋)’,so the dish is useful for the colorful & auspicious Osechi.
It’s easy for this cooking to use the food processor (FP).
Ingredients:
A (4 eggs, 50g hanpen (fish paste), 3Tbsp sugar, 1Tbsp mirin (sweet sake)
A ittle of salad oil

Directions:
  1. Put all (A) ingredients in the food processor machine and stir them well.
  2. Heat oil in a frying pan(27cm diameter), and pour (A) mixture.
  3. Cook over low heat for 3-5mins, covering with the lid.
  4. Check that the bottom turns brown or not. When it becomes caramel color,
    turn it over, and heat about 3min.
  5. Roll it while it is hot, using a bamboo mat(makisu), let stand for a while.
  6. When it cools, cut it into 1.5cm thickness of round slices.

■ Chakin-shibori (Japanese sweets with sweet potato & apple)
‘Kinton’ is the Osechi sweets made with chestnuts, simmered sweet beans or sweet potatoes. This dish is arranged to add the sweet potato and sweet & sour apple filling. ’Chakin-shibori’ means the special ball forms, twisting the top of it. ‘Chakin’ itself is the name of the small tea cloth.
Ingredients:
200-250g satsumaimo(sweet potato), 3Tbs sugar,
apple filling (1/4 apple + 1Tbsp sugar + 50cc water) 1/2Tbsp lemon juice

Directions:
  1. Cut the sweet potato into rounds, peel the skin.
  2. Soak in cold water to eliminate bitterness, and drain in a sieve.
  3. Put the sliced sweet potato in a pot, and fill the pot with just enough water to cover the potatoes. Simmer until tender enough
  4. Add sugar and mash potatoes with evaporating the moisture while hot, and cool down.
  5. Cut the apple slices into quarter-round shapes. Put apples, sugar and water in a pot and simmer. Add lemon juice and cool down.
  6. Mix 4)and 5), and make a round (chakin-shibori) form.
*Chakin-shibori form : Wrap one portion of filling in the kitchen cloth or plastic wrap and twist the top of it gently to form a dumpling.

■ Toriniku-no-Shofuyaki (Chicken patty with Japanese taste)
Baked Shofu sweets is popular in Kyoto, containing Saikyo-white-miso(Kyoto style miso)
This dish is arranged to add ground chicken & white-miso for the Osechi-ryori. This special shape, ’Suehiro’ form, symbolizes a wish to expand happiness & prosperity in the future. It is arranged to add mixed miso-paste, grated ginger and some vegetables.
Ingredients (serves 4 people):
200g ground chicken thigh, 1/2 cup(15g) dried bread crumbs,
A: 40g onion, 30g carrot, 20g dried-kikurage.
B: 2Tbsp mixed-miso paste, 1tsp sugar, 2tsp mirin, 1tsp grated ginger,
Grated white sesame seeds, aonori(green sea-weed flakes), a little of salad oil

Directions:
  1. Make a 15cm square box of aluminum foil for baking.
  2. Soak the dried kikurage in water and boil until becoming soft for 5min.
  3. Mix (B) seasoning well.
  4. In a food processor, mix all (A)ingredients until smooth.
    (To become soft texture and to cut smoothly after baked )
  5. Add ground chicken, bread-crumbs and (3) seasoning and mix again well in a food   processor. (It’s important to mix well for keeping the balance of taste)
  6. Grease the surface of the square box with oil, and place (5) mixture on the box, and spread the mixture out 2cm thick flat. Bake it in the oven preheated 200℃ for 15min.
  7. After baking, sprinkle sesame seeds and seaweed powder on the surface.
    And cool down. Cut the Suhehiro shape (like a fan shape) and skewer it on the bamboo skewer.


■ Kamaboko-kazari-kiri (Ornamental fish cake)
The red and white combination of colors found in Kamaboko (fish cake) are popular in Japan for celebratory occasions. Kamaboko was originally a formal dish, prepared so that the Heian aristocracy could eat surimi, or white fleshed fish, without the hassle of removing it from pesky bones.
Preparation:Cut the Kamaboko into 1cm thick slices.
Directions:
Rabbit
Make an incision on the top of the Kamaboko slice about two-thirds of the way across. Cut crosswise into the middle of the larger two-thirds section. Roll this portion under itself to form the rabbit ears.
Taduna
Make an incision on the top of the Kamaboko slice about two-thirds of the way across (as in the rabbit instructions). Slice an opening in the middle of this section. Be careful not to slice completely through this part. Pull the end of the section(イ)in under itself and through the opening(A).
  direction     direction    direction

■ Senmaizuke-no-hosho-maki
   (Rolled Semmaiduke with Crab sticks -imitation crab-)
The same white fish is used to make a less expensive substitute for crab, called crab sticks. Here is easy but pleasant ways of preparing the once formal surimi same as Kamaboko
Ingredients:
6 Crab sticks (imitation crab), 4 Semmaiduke (pickled turnip), 1/2 mitsuba (Japanese honeywort), yuzu peel.
Directions:
  1. Cut the yuzu peel into strips. Boil the mitsuba in hot water. Place a crab stick and some of the yuzu peel on a Semmaiduke and roll it up.
  2. Tie the roll with mitsuba stem. Cut into two. Repeat with remaining ingredients.

■ Tazukuri (Dried small sardine seasoned with soy-sauce.)
It is named that the fish were used historically to fertilize rice fields. And people wished to be an abundant harvest by eating Gomame(dried sardine).
‘Mame’ means a wish for health like black beans.
Ingredients:
40g Gomame(dried sardine), white sesame-seeds
Seasoning : 2Tbsp sugar, 1Tbsp mirin, 1Tbsp sake, 1Tbsp soy-sauce
Directions:
  1. pan-fry the dried sardines in the frying-pan on low heat until crisp. Spread them in a large plate.
  2. Put all seasonings in the frying-pan and heat it.
  3. Simmer the seasoning down, add Gomame and coat with the sauce.
  4. Arrange them on a plate, sprinkle the sesame seeds on top.

■ Shiro-miso zouni (Machi soup with white-miso taste)
Ingredients:
800cc water + 5cm square piece of konbu kelp
100g daikon (Japanese white radish), 30g carrot, 8Tbsp white-miso paste,
4 mochi (rice cake)
Directions:
  1. Fill a pan with cold water and kelp. Let stand for about 30min.
  2. Place it over low heat. When it comes to a boil, remove kelp from the pan.
    (ア) Add sliced daikon in 5mm round and carrot and cook.
  3. When daikon and carrot become tender, add miso paste and remove from just before coming to the boil.
  4. Put the boiled mochi in each bowl and pour the soup.


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