THE ELECTRIC KITCHEN
Japanese comfort food antidote to season's gluttony
BETWEEN all the holiday festivities, it's nice to slow down and take time to enjoy a good home-cooked meal. We searched our files for some old-time Japanese comfort food -- foods that moms or grandmas used to make.
Now's a good time to try the Lotus Root and Fried Bean Curd recipe, or any lotus root recipe -- it's peak season. Miso-Filled Aji is a nice variation on Miso Butterfish. We heard aji has been scarce this year, so if you can't find any in the market, opelu is a good substitute. The watercress was looking beautiful last week at the farmers' markets, but won bok or string beans work just as well for the Shira Ae recipe.
Lotus Root and Fried Bean Curd
(Agehan Hasu No Itame Mono)
1 piece aburage (deep-fried bean curd), sliced
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon sake (rice wine)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon dashi-no-moto (fish-flavored soup base)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 piece hasu (lotus root), thinly sliced
1 carrot, thinly sliced
2 green onions, cut into 1-inch lengths
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
Pour hot water over aburage; drain. Combine aburage, water, sake, salt and dashi-no-moto.
In a skillet, heat oil; sauté hasu about 5 minutes. Stir in aburage mixture. Add carrots and green onions. Before serving, stir in soy sauce. Sprinkle with sesame seed. Serves 6.
Approximate nutritional analysis, per serving: 90 calories, 6 g fat, 0.5 g saturated fat, no cholesterol, 800 mg sodium, 6 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 2 g protein.
Watercress with Tofu Sauce
(Seri No Shira Ae)
1 bunch watercress
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seed
3-1/2 teaspoons sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons white miso
1 block (20 ounces) firm tofu
Trim watercress stem ends; wash. Place in skillet, add water and cover; bring to boil. Rinse with cold water and drain thoroughly; cut into 1-1/2-inch lengths.
Put sesame seed, sugar, soy sauce and miso into blender; blend until smooth.
Place tofu in cloth and squeeze to remove water; add tofu to blended mixture and continue to blend.
Combine tofu mixture with watercress, mixing well; chill. Garnish with toasted sesame seed. Serves 6.
Approximate nutritional analysis, per serving: 180 calories, 10 g fat, 1.5 g saturated fat, no cholesterol, 350 mg sodium, 8 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 17 g protein.
6 (8-inch size) aji (akule), cleaned
1 cup miso
1 teaspoon ginger juice
4 teaspoons sugar
2 tablespoons chopped green onions
2 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons salad oil
With paper towel, dry outside and inside of fish. Cut 3 diagonal slashes in each side.
Combine miso, ginger juice, sugar and green onions. Spoon mixture into fish cavities. Sprinkle fish with salt, place on rack of broiler pan, and brush with oil. Broil 4 inches from heat for 7 minutes.
Turn fish, brush with oil again and broil 4 more minutes. Serves 6.
Approximate nutritional analysis, per serving: 550 calories, 18 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, no cholesterol, greater than 2,500 mg sodium, 15 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 6 g sugar, 78 g protein.
Hawaiian Electric Co. presents this weekly collection of recipes as a public service. Many are drawn from HECO's database of recipes, accessible online at www.heco.com