Friday, August 17, 2012

Braised daikon green with deep fried tofu 大根葉と油揚げの金平

Last time I bought daikon 大根 at the Japanese grocery store, it had a very small amount of green on the top. Although I have posted a few similar dishes using daikon greens, this is another iteration. Since Catalina had fresh Bluefin tuna (we got the chutoro and toro portion), we were having a sashimi feast. For that, I made the usual daikon garnish. When you do "katsura-muki" 桂剥き or cutting thin sheet of daikon, the center portion of the daikon cannot be cut and becomes a leftover. So I used this leftover daikon as well.
In the picture below on the left is a small portion of the daikon green which I removed. I washed and then finely chopped it. I also sliced and julienned daikon, carrot (one small, I cut it in larger match sticks instead of regular julienne to give a crunchy texture) and julienned abura-age 油揚げ or deep fried tofu pouch (one small "inari" 稲荷 kind, as usual, I poured hot water over it to defrost as well as to remove any excess oil). These ingredients are lined up on the picture below on the right.
I put peanut oil (1 tbs) and dark sesame oil (1 tsp) in a frying pan on medium flame. I first sautéed the daikon green, daikon and carrot. I sprinkled Japanese one flavor red pepper flakes or "Ichimi tougarashi" 一味唐辛子 to taste. After a minute of so when the vegetables were coated with oil and slightly softened, I added the abura-age. I then seasoned with mirin (3 tbs) and soy sauce (3 tbs) and braised it until only a very small amount of liquid remained.

The seasoning was a bit on the strong side but would have been perfect as a rice condiment. But for a drinking snack, you may want to replace half of the mirin with water or sake and also reduce the soy sauce. The daikon green and carrot remained a bit crispy. In contrast, the daikon and abura-age were soft and absorbed the seasoning, providing an interesting texture contrast.

We had this as a small drinking snack with cold sake. Since we had this cold, the seasoning was just fine and not too strong.

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