Recipe – Taste of Zen, Harmonious Cooking

Taste of Zen, Harmonious Cooking

Gomatofu, toasted white sesame seeds set with Yoshino kuzu arrowroot powder

With Shuji’s friend guest Zen Mater Julian Daiza, Skinner Roshi and his students from London, UK

19th May 2009

ごまどうふ  Serves 4-6

Ingredients

  • 80g hulled sesame seeds, 80g yoshino-kuzu (arrowroot powder)
  • 500ml water, pinch salt, freshly grated wasabi root and soy sauce as needed

  1. Toast sesame seeds in a saucepan on medium heat till light golden brown or till they start popping. Be careful not to burn them. Grind toasted sesame into paste with suribachi and surikogi (Japanese mortar and pestle).
  2. In a mixing bowl dissolve yoshino-kuzu arrowroot powder in 500ml water and pour the mixture little by little into the sesame paste in the mortar mixing it well with the wooden pestle. And strain the mixture through a fine sieve into a saucepan. (Keep the sesame seeds grounds which can be mixed into miso soup and it is tasty and full of fiber.)
  3. Cook the mixture on medium heat, stirring the bottom with a wooden spatula. Reduce the heat to low as it boils, keep cooking and stirring for about 5 minutes or till the liquid is sticky, smooth and silken. Remove from heat and swiftly pour the cooked sesame mixture into a wet tin mold. Let it stand till the surface is set and then immerse the tin mold into the cold water basin. Leave it till the sesame tofu is thoroughly set. And remove the tofu from the tin mold and cut into 4 equal parts.
  4. Serve sesame tofu chilled topped with freshly grated wasabi root and pour 1 teaspoon soy sauce around its base.

Grilled Tofu on Bamboo Skewer with Sweet Miso Sauce, Serves 4

Kinome Dengaku 木の芽田楽

To make sweet miso sauce :

  • 50g miso paste
  • 2-3 tablespoons sugar and mirin respectively
  • 1 packet of tofu (momen tofu)
  • 16 kinome (budding leaves of Japanese pepper tree)

cheese cloth

  • Cut one tofu into 16 equal pieces

How to cut and skewer the tofu is to be shown during the lesson.

  1. In a medium sized saucepan combine all (A) and mix well with a wooden spatula, stir well on medium heat for a few minutes.
  2. Char-grill preferably or grill the skewered tofu on both side and serve with sweet miso sauce over the tofu and top with a kinome leaf.

  1. Toast sesame seeds in a saucepan on medium heat till light golden brown or till they start popping. Be careful not to burn them. Grind toasted sesame into paste with suribachi and surikogi (Japanese mortar and pestle).
  2. In a mixing bowl dissolve yoshino-kuzu arrowroot powder in 500ml water and pour the mixture little by little into the sesame paste in the mortar mixing it well with the wooden pestle. And strain the mixture through a fine sieve into a saucepan and cook it on medium heat, stirring the bottom with a wooden spatula. Reduce the heat to low as it boils, keep cooking and stirring for about 5 minutes or till the liquid is sticky, smooth and silken. Remove from heat and swiftly pour the cooked sesame mixture into a wet tin mold. Let it stand till the surface is set and then immerse the tin mold into the cold water basin. Leave it till the sesame tofu is thoroughly set. And remove the tofu from the tin mold and cut into 4 equal parts.
  3. Serve sesame tofu chilled topped with freshly grated wasabi root and pour 1 teaspoon soy sauce around its base.

Grilled Tofu on Bamboo Skewer with Sweet Miso Sauce

Kinome Dengaku 木の芽田楽   Serves 4

Ingridients

To make sweet miso sauce:

  • (A)50g miso paste,
  • 2-3 tablespoons sugar and mirin respectively
  • 1 packet of tofu (momen tofu)
  • 16 kinome (budding leaves of Japanese pepper tree)
  • cheese cloth
  1. Cut one tofu into 16 equal pieces ( How to cut and skewer the tofu is to be shown during the lesson )
  2. In a medium sized saucepan combine all (A) and mix well with a wooden spatula, stir well on medium heat for a few minutes.
  3. Char-grill preferably or grill the skewered tofu on both side and serve with sweet miso sauce over the tofu and top with a kinome leaf.

Tempura of Bamboo Shoots and Sansai (Japanese bush tucker)

筍と山菜の天ぷら Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 4 bite size takenoko(bamboo shoots)
  • 4 taranome (or green beans)
  • 4 udo (or green asparagus)
  • Tempura batter
  • (A) cold water
  • wheat flour (hakurikiko) as needed
  • 1-2 tablespoons potato starch or corn flour
  • deep frying oil as needed
  • 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon powdered green tea (mixed well)
  1. Start heating up deep frying oil.
  2. To make light batter for tempura pour cold water into a mixing bowl, add flour and one tablespoon potato starch as needed and roughly stir with chopsticks. Do not mix well or the batter gets too starchy.
  3. Sprinkle flour lightly over the takenoko and sansai and dip into batter one by one and deep fry on medium heat or 160 degrees Celsius. Turn the vegetables over once and cook till crisp. Drain oil well.
  4. Serve on oil absorbent paper with salt and powdered green tea.

Frozen-sun-dried daikon with deep fried tofu

寒干し大根とあげ煮 Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 4sun-dried daikon(white radish)
  • 1 deep fried tofu
  • mirin
  • soy sauce as needed
  1. Soak sun-dried daikon in water overnight. Save the daikon soaked water to cook daikon. Taste the water, it is sweet & tasty.
  2. Swish deep fried tofu in boiling water and drain. Cut into bite size.
  3. Pour the daion flavoured water into a saucepan, put into it daikon and deep fried tofu and cook on high heat. Reduce heat to medium as it boils and season with mirin and soy sauce. Keep cooking for about 5 minutes and remove from heat. As you leave it till it cools off, daikon soakes up its tasty broth. Reheat the daikon before serving.

To make frozen-sun-dried daikon

Farmers in deeply snowed-in Hida region of Gifu prefecture make this during freezing winter months. We the Ozekis normally make it in mid-January. Peel daikon and cut into 2cm thick medallions and boil till soft or till the daikon can be skewered with chopsticks with ease. Drain daikon and skewer with chopstick or metal bar (as seen in the photos below, keep out of rain) and hang them outdoor to freeze at night and to sun-dry during the day for about 2-3 weeks or till daikon is rock hard as sun-dried scallops. Store them in a jar in room temperature. Frozen-sun-dried daikon could last forever, but is best used before the next winter.

Spinach with Walnut Sauce

青菜のくるみ和え Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 120g spinach (or green beans)
  • 3 tablespoons toasted walnuts
  • 2 teaspoons miso paste
  • 4 tablespoons mirin
  • sweet rice wine or sherry to your taste
  1. Blanch spinach in in salted boiling water and dunk into cold water and drain.
  2. In a Japanese mortar called suribachi, grind toasted walnuts with a wooden pestle called surikogi, and add 1-2 teaspoon(s) miso paste and mirin and mix well.

Clear Soup of Shiitake broth with Wakame and Takenoko

椎茸風味の清まし仕立  筍 春わかめ 木の芽 Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 2 sun-dried shiikake
  • 10g sun-dried kelp (konbu)
  • 80g takenoko (bamboo shoots)
  • 20g salted wakame (sea lettuce, rinsed in cold water)
  • 4 kinome leaves
  1. Soak sun-dried shiitake in 4 cups cold water overnight. Remove shiitake and cut into thin strips. Strain shiitake soaked water through a cheese cloth and into a saucepan. Put kelp into the saucepan and heat up on medium heat. Remove the kelp before it boils. Add sliced bamboo shoots and season with light soy suace (usukuchi) and pinch salt to your taste. Do not boil the broth.
  2. Pour the broth into serving bowl with chopped wakame (sea lettuce) and kinome leaves and serve with a lid on.

Nameshi, Boiled Rice with Mizuna

菜めし Serves 6-8

Ingredients

  • (A) 5 cups rice (washed, rinsed and drained)
  • 1.2 liters water
  • (B) 1 tablespoon sake
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 10g dried kelp
  • 100g mizuna leaves (or daikon leaves)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  1. Combine all (A) and cook rice.
  2. Blanch mizuna in salted boiling water for 5 seconds and dunk into cold water and squeeze excess water, chop finely and mix well with one teaspoon salt. Combine finely chopped mizuna with freshly cooked rice and serve in each rice bowl.

How to wash rice can be seen on Shuji’s YouTube channel, type in shujiozeki on YouTube and click on the video name How to wash, rinse and drain rice. Tempura lesson videos are also on his channel.< >< ><-->

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