Japan Eats

Recipe: Renkon no yuzukoshoitame (sautéd lotus root with yuzukosho sauce)

Lotus root combines healthy eating with strong visual appeal

Here’s vegetarian appetizer that’s great as an otsumami (dish to be eaten with drink). It’s flavored with yuzu, meaning that it has a tangy citrus flavor. For those who enjoy this remarkable fruit, more yuzukosho recipes can be found here, here and here.

The recipe below is vegetarian, however pork can be added to the dish to If you want to add sliced pork to the dish, begin by sautéing the pork, then cooking the lotus root.

sautéd lotus root with yuzukosho sauce

Sautéd lotus root with yuzukosho sauce

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 200 g of lotus root
  • 10 g of asatsuki chives (as a garnish)
  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon of yuzukosho
  • 1 tablespoon of sake
  • 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon of butter

Method

Peel the lotus root and cut it into chunks. Immediately place each piece into a bowl of water with a tablespoon of rice vinegar in order to maintain the color and remove any bitterness. Drain after approximately 5 minutes.

Next, mix soy sauce and yuzukosho in a small bowl. Pour a tablespoon of vegetable oil into a frying pan then warm it on a medium heat. Once it becomes warm, add the lotus root and sauté for 3 minutes.

Pour sake into the frying pan and briefly turn up the temperature to burn off the alcohol (a single tablespoon of sake should only take a few seconds). Turn the heat down to low, then add the mixture of soy sauce and yuzukosho and coat the lotus root with it.

Finally, add 1/2 tablespoon of butter. As soon as it melts, turn off the heat and mix everything together in the pan.

Garnish with finely chopped asatsuki chives and serve.

Recipe: Negitoro maki

An easy recipe for negitoro maki that can be adapted to suit your own taste.

Norimaki is the ever-popular type of sushi which comes wrapped in nori (seaweed). This particular recipe has tuna inside, but you could just as easily fill your norimaki with other ingredients. Indeed, the American California roll is essentially norimaki with avocado.

For this version you’ll need a makisu (bamboo rolling mat). Naturally, makisu are easy to come by in Japan (here they’re available from supermarkets and even 100 yen shops). Elsewhere, you should be able to buy one from any good Asian grocery store.

Negitoro maki

Negitoro maki combines the sweetness of maguro (tuna) with the sharpness of asatsuki chives.

Ingredients

  • 2 go sushi rice (refer to the chirashizushi recipe)
  • 5 to 6 sheets of nori (seaweed)
  • 400g of (preferably fatty) tuna
  • 10 asatsuki chives

Method (makes 5 -6 rolls)

First, prepare sushi rice according to the chirashizushi recipe. Next, mince the tuna with two kitchen knives until it becomes a rough paste and thinly chop the asatsuki chives.

Toast a sheet of nori by passing it over a high flame to make it crispy and dry.

Set the makisu (bamboo rolling mat) onto a flat space. Place the sheet of nori onto the mat and then gently spoon some of the sushi rice onto the seaweed. Spread it over the sheet, leaving 3 cm uncovered at the top and bottom.

Place some of the minced tuna and a pinch of the chopped asatsuki onto the rice (if you’re worrying about quantity, aim for roughly 1/5 to 1/6 of each ingredient per roll). Now dab your finger in water and run it along the edge of the seaweed (the area that isn’t covered). Lift the edge of the bamboo mat and the nori sheet together nearest you, and bring over to meet the far edge of the sheet. Gently press the bamboo mat around the roll to shape it.

Finally, slice the roll into 6 – 8 equal pieces. Use a moistened cloth to clean the knife after each use.

Repeat this process 5 – 6 times.