Monday, September 28, 2015

Vinegard sanma sashimi 〆さんま

When I pontificated about sanma  さんまor pacific saury, I mentioned that "sashimi" of sanma is not unusual now.  (This is because of the improvements in distribution that get these perishable "blue" fish quickly to the market.  One aspect of this improvement is that this formerly lowely  fish has been “up-graded” in status and has become much more expensive in many sushi bars). I was surprised to see frozen and vinegared sanma or shime-sanma 〆さんま in the freezer case of our Japanese grocery store. Although vinegared mackerel or シメサバ is very common, I have never seen sanma sold this way and promptly bought it.

I served it with two kinds of cucumber salad (one with thinly sliced myoga and one with thinly sliced red onion, both salted, washed and then excess moisture wrung out and dressed in vinegar dressing). I also put both grated ginger and wasabi.

As you can see below, this is very well vinegared and the meat is all opaque (i.e. chemically cooked) which is the same in packaged frozen vinegared Mackerel.

The below was how it came. One package had three filets of sanma.

After thawing, I blotted excess moisture and sliced it slightly obliquely.

The shime sanma tasted very similar to shime saba or mackerel. The vinegar was a bit sweeter than I would like but my wife thought it was fine. As I mentioned, the meat was throughly vinegared and opaque. If the center was a bit closer to raw would have been better but I am asking too much.

The only drink  that goes with this is sake. This sake called "Tozai Living Jewel" is widely available in US and appears to be an export only brand from Kizakura brewery 黄桜酒造 in Kyoto, Japan. We have tasted turbid sake from them before called “snow maiden” “Tozai Yuki musume” 東西雪娘.

The current one is "junmai shu" 純米酒  and it is not too yeasty, Although it does not have depth or complex flavors or fruity note (which is more from ginjo and daiginjo flavors) and the taste disappears quickly in the palate (i.e. short finish),  it is quite a drinkable sake. This one went particularly well with a strong oily fish with vinegar and sweet taste of vinegared sanma we were having.

So, we enjoyed this dish and sake.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Pumpkin cheese spread パンプキンチーズスプレッド

This is another installment in the pumpkin puree recipe series. This was originally a cheese ball recipe but we did not make it to balls and just used it as a cheese spread. This is perfect with sipping wine.

8 ounces goat cheese,
2 cups grated manchego,
3/4 cup pumpkin
1/2 teaspoon each smoked paprika and kosher salt.

The original recipe said "pulse" the goat cheese but that does not work--the goat cheese is too thick to "pulse" successfully. (sometimes you have to wonder if the folks who publish the recipes have actually made them.) After the food blender stalled out I removed the half blended ingredients and mixed them by hand with a spatula (you can see the white specks of unblended goat cheese in the picture). My suggestion is to cream the goat cheese in a mixer then add the other ingredients. It would probably also be useful to have all the ingredients at room temperature

In any case, the mixture of manchego and fresh goat cheese gives very nice texture and taste. The addition of smoked paprika and pumpkin puree adds an interesting and complex flavor with a slight sweetness. We like this as a cheese spread and as I said before it tastes great with red wine.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Pumpkin pancake パンプキンパンケーキ

Our favorite pancake is blueberry butter milk pancake. During blueberry season we make a batch of these pancakes almost every weekend and freeze the extras we make. They freeze very well. After making the “super secret” pumpkin bread we had canned pumpkin left over so, in keeping with the season, we decided to make pumpkin pancakes. I usually use 4 identical non-stick 8 inch frying pans to make a batch of pancakes. I could make the pancakes without oil or butter in the pan but my wife informed me that the oil is essential for the crispy "fried" edges she likes. My wife found this recipe on line.

Compared to our buttermilk pancakes, these really puffed up much higher. We enjoyed them with small amount of maple syrup and a side of espresso coffee.

The below is a direct quote from the original recipe (italicized) with our modification in parentheses.

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon salt
1 can (12 fl. oz.) Evaporated Milk (We made our own
1/2 cup Pumpkin puree
1/4 cup water
1 large egg
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Chopped pecan (we first roasted and chopped) 
Toast about a cup of pecans, mix flour, brown sugar, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice and salt in large bowl. Combine evaporated milk, pumpkin, water (we actually just used regular milk), egg and 2 tablespoons oil in small bowl; mix well. Add to flour mixture. Stir just until moistened; batter may be lumpy. (Stir in chopped pecans.)

HEAT griddle or skillet over medium heat; brush lightly with oil. Pour 1/4 cup batter onto hot griddle; cook until bubbles begin to burst. Turn and continue cooking for 1 to 2 minutes. Repeat with remaining batter. Serve with  Pumpkin maple syrup (We just used straight maple syrup). 
This made a total of 10 pancakes. Here is the picture of the 8 remaining pancakes (we ate two). In addition to the pumpkin pie spice called for in this recipe, we did not have evaporated milk either. We have not used or bought evaporated milk for ages. So in addition to making our own pumpkin pie spice, we also made our own evaporated milk. I know what you are thinking; that we have entirely too much time on our hand to do something as silly as that but there were extenuating circumstances. First, we really wanted to make these pancakes, second we had some excess milk that we were wondering what to do with before it went bad. We consulted the internet and found it was fairly easy to make evaporated milk--just simmer a quart of milk until it is reduced by half. (While the process of actually making the evaporated milk was easy, cleaning the pan was not. Trust me, it is worth it to buy it in a can). It took half a day to make and the end product had chunks of "scum" or "membrane" (I assume from the milk protein). We strained the liquid and the end result was fairly thick, deep cream color and tasted pretty good. The funny thing is that this recipe calls for evaporated milk and then adds water. Why not just use regular milk? After all that work we were not about to add water so we used enough regular milk to make the batter of pouring consistency. We have a feeling that just adding milk or a mixture of milk and cream may do just as well as evaporated milk and water.

We really like this pancake. It has a nice pumpkin and pumpkin spice flavor and is nicely moist and fluffy. The canned pumpkin adds some mild sweetness. The toasted pecans added a nice crunch. These pancakes, like the blueberry pancakes also freeze very well. We took these to work for breakfast and they revived nicely in the microwave oven.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Pacific saury "Sanma" Fry さんまのフライ

We have been enjoying sanma sashimi at Tako Grill in the past few weeks (seasonal sanma from Japan), when we get frozen sanma ourselves, we like it simply salted and grilled on a charcoal fire.  Since I got another frozen sanma from the Japanese grocery store, I decided to do something I have not done before—fry it, especially since I saw fried sanma in one of the food blogs I follow.

I served with my version of tartar sauce and a side of tomato and cucumber onion salad.

The preparation takes some effort since you need to filet and debone the sanma or "san-mai-ni-orosu  三枚におろす" in Japanese.  "San-mai" is what you end up with after filleting. It means three sheets ("mai" is the counter for sheets of paper or something  thin). There are 3 pieces; two filets and one back bone. (#1 in the picture below). To do this, I first washed and gutted the sanma. I then fileted sanma starting by inserting my filleting knife just beneath the front fin, and cutting perpendicular into the fish. When I hit the bone, I turned the blade 90 degrees, parallel to the back bone and cut through while applying some pressure on the skin side of the filet with the flat of my palm. I repeated this on the other side and viola I had two filets and back bone (#1).

Using a Japanese bone tweezer, I removed all the small bones  (belly part and along the center line of filets). Since the belly portion does not have much meat and with the bones removed mostly skin remains I merely cut off the excess skin. I made four cleaned sanma filets (#2). I removed the moisture using paper towels and salted both sides. I placed it on a paper towel lined plate and left it in the refrigerator until I was ready too fry them up (for several hours).

sanma prep composit

I blotted the excess moisture which appeared on the surface of the filets. I cut the filets in half (for easier fit into my frying pan) and dredged in flour, coated in egg water and then rolled in panko crumbs in the same manner as any cutlets (#3). I fried in a 350F oil for 1-2 minutes each side turning once until done (#4).

I made a quick tartar sauce. I chopped up coins of "bread and butter" pickles. I also chopped up one slice of pickled jalapeno pepper since I had it for some heat. I added these to some store-bought mayonnaise, a bit of lemon juice and zest of the lemon (micrograted).

The sanma fry was crispy and good. The only thing is that once it is fried up, somehow it tasted like any blue skin fish. We still enjoyed this sanma. Call me traditional, but I still like salted and grilled sanma with grated daikon the best.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Pumpkin Quesadilla カボチャ入りケサディヤ

 After making the "super secret" pumpkin bread we were on a "pumpkin" roll. My wife came across this recipe and we tried it one day as a snack.

When we make any kind of quesadilla, instead of using the authentic one-tortilla-folded method, we usually use two tortillas mostly for efficiency. The recipe also calls for the "sauce".

  • 1 tsp canola oil (we used light olive oil)
  • 2 Tbsp finely chopped red onion
  • 1 Tbsp minced jalapeno pepper (we de-seeded and de-veined)
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • 1/3 cup black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup pure pumpkin puree, canned or homemade (we used canned)
  • 1/2 tsp chipotle hot sauce, (such as Tobasco) or more to taste (we used Sriracha)
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro, optional
  • 1 whole wheat tortilla (We used regular wheat tortilla)
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated 50% reduced fat jalapeno cheddar cheese (We used combination of smoked cheddar, gruyere, and Manchego just because they were available, sliced)
  • we added thinly sliced roast pork
For sauce or pumpkin crema
  • 1/4 cup plain 2% Greek yogurt (we used home made from 1% milk)
  • 1 Tbsp pure pumpkin puree, canned or homemade (We used canned)
  • 1/2 tsp chipotle hot sauce, or more to taste (we used Sriracha).
Pumpkin quesadilla ingriedients

  1. Heat oil in a medium non-stick skillet set over medium heat.
  2. Add in the chopped onion and minced jalapeno, and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 3-5 minutes. Add in the minced garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  3. Reduce heat to medium low. Add in the drained black beans, cumin, and salt & pepper to taste. Cook, stirring often, about 2 minutes. Add in the pumpkin puree, hot sauce, cilantro (if using) and stir until warmed through, about 2 additional minutes. Transfer mixture to a bowl and wipe out skillet.
  4. Sprinkle half of the cheese evenly over 1/2 of the tortilla (we just covered with slices of cheeses). Spoon the pumpkin & black bean mixture evenly over the cheese. Top with remaining cheese and fold empty half of tortilla over filling like a book (we used two tortillas and also added thinly sliced roasted pork).
  5. Place filled tortilla into the clean skillet and cook, turning halfway through, until the cheese has melted and the tortilla is crisp, about 4 minutes total.
  6. Meanwhile, prepare the chipotle pumpkin crema: in a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt, pumpkin puree, and hot sauce until smooth and well combined.
  7. Cut the quesadilla into wedges and serve with the crema.
Pumpkin quesadilla assembry

This was mighty fine! The pumpkin went very well with the black beans making a very creamy flavorful mixture. The addition of the hot sauce in the pumpkin mixture and crema gave it a pleasant spicy buzz. BTW the crema is a must! It adds another textural element. We never would have imagined this recipe but once we found it we'll make it again.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

"Super secret" pumpkin bread 秘密のパンプキンブレッド

This "super secret" pumpkin bread recipe was graciously given to us by one of our friends. Since Halloween is coming and we just took out the pumpkin decorations, it was appropriate to make this bread. 

This is indeed a great bread.

The original recipe given was said to make 6 loaves in 8 ½ x 4 ½ x 3 inch loaf pans so we halved the recipe. Our loaf pans must have been larger and made 2 loaves. The below (indented and in italic) is the original recipe.

5 cups AP flour, 4 ½ cups sugar,1 tablespoon baking soda,2 teaspoons salt, 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon,*2 teaspoons ground nutmeg*, 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice*, 1 ½ cups vegetable oil,1 cup water, 6 XL eggs, two 15-ounce cans pumpkin,1 regular size package of chopped walnuts (2 cups or so).
The picture below is half of the above amounts. Since we did not have store bought "Pumpkin pie spices" we made it by mixing cinnamon 1/2 tsp, ginger powder 1/4 tsp, nutmeg 1/8 tsp, allspice 1/8p which makes 1 tsp of pumpkin pie spices (see right upper image, we used half of what was shown). Also we roasted walnuts before chopping.

Pumpkin bread ingriedients compo

Note:  The spices are all measured as heaping.  Don’t heap if you don’t like extra spicy but I think it makes a nicer loaf.  This recipe is my tweaked version, which has extra pumpkin, therefore extra spices.  It makes six loaves.  I get the little foil pans and spray with butter flavor Pam.  You can also get the mini loaf pans and make mini loaves.  Just check frequently when baking.  I’ve never had trouble getting a loaf out.  For freezing, wrap loaf in plastic and then in foil.  Can stay in the freezer FOREVER and is good to take out when company comes.  Practically foolproof. Instructions:Combine flour, sugar, soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large mixing bowl; mix with a wire whisk to combine.  Add oil, water, eggs and pumpkin; beat at medium speed of an electric mixer until thoroughly blended.  Stir in walnuts.  (You can leave out walnuts if you don’t like them.  The bread will come out just fine without nuts.)  Pour batter into 6 greased 8 ½ x 4 ½ x 3 inch loaf pans.  Bake at 350 for 1 hour, or until loaves test done and tops are golden brown.  Serve hot or cold with butter or cream cheese.  Yield: 6 loaves.
Since our loaf pans were larger than specified, we poured the batter in two pans.

After one hour at 350F, it came out nicely. After some cooling, we tipped the loaves out to cool further on the cooling rack.

We could not wait for the bread to cool down completely and sliced the edge and tasted it. When it was still warm, the center looked wet but after it cooled to room temperature, the moisture distributed throughout the bread. The texture of the bread was very moist and plenty of pumpkin pie flavors. We thank our friend for divulging this “super secret” and excellent recipe. We really appreciate that our friend chose to share her coveted recipe with us and the readership of our blog.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Cornish Game hen tarragon flavor タラゴン風味コーニッシュゲームヘン

This is another padding post. We had the Cornish game hen one evening on Sunday. It appears Cornish game hens are not popular in Japan. I have posted more-than-you-ever wanted-to-know about cornish game hens. The vast majority available here were previously frozen (Tyson being the predominant brand) but rarely you can find some that are non-Tyson and non-frozen. This time, I got one that had not been frozen (Purdue).

We made quite a few varieties of salads on the weekend and I served these salads (bulgur wheat edamame, wheat berry with olives, and potato salad). The Cornish game hen was seasoned with fresh French tarragon (from our herb garden). For greens I also served broccolini, which was blanched and then sautéed  in butter.

One  of the original aims of developing Cornish game hens was to create a bird that was the perfect size for one serving but I served a half a bird per person but even this was, of course, too much for us.

At least, portions of the skin were crispy and somehow it tasted better than its larger brethren. Even the thigh meat was like white meat but juicer.

Preparing Cornish game hen:
Thaw (if frozen) and wash thoroughly inside and out. Using kitchen shears, cut along both sides of the back bone and butter-fly the bird by flattening it on a cutting board pressing on the breast bone using your palm. Using a chef’s knife or any heavy knife, cut through the middle of the breasts (through the sternum or keel bone) to make two halves. Season it with pepper, salt and finely chopped french tarragon.

Preheat the oven to 400F
In a large sauté pan which can hold two halves snugly, I added a small amount of olive oil and placed the chicken halves with the skin side down on medium high heat (placing weight such as a cast iron skillet make skin brown better). I browned the skin 5-6 minutes. I turned the chicken halves over and poured dry sherry (1 tbs) into the pan and put the lid on to steam. After 1 minute  (or less) when the liquid was all gone, I removed the lid and transferred the pan to the preheated oven. When the internal temperature (near the hip joint not touching the bone) reached 165F (about 15 to 20 minutes), I removed the pan from the oven. I let the meat rest for 5-10 minutes.

We like Cornish game hens. They don’t taste gamey in any way. The meat is similar to any other chicken but more succulent and flavorful. It went very well with grain salads.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Chicken aspic terrine 鶏肉のジェルテリーヌ

When we barbecue chicken in the Weber grill, we usually cook two birds since the effort to add another chicken is minimal once the Weber is set up. We eat only a small fraction of the two birds on the day we cook them. We removed the meat and use it for other dishes such as the sandwiches we take to work. I also use the cooked chicken in small dishes such as chicken with sesame sauce or chicken quesadilla. The easiest way to use up the cooked chicken meat before it goes bad is in chicken noodle soup. I wanted to come up with some other dishes I could make using the cooked chicken. I was thinking of making some kind of terrine and came across this recipe on the Web.  The original recipe uses uncooked chicken breast to start but I modified it to use our cooked chicken.

The image below is the "remake" of my first attempt. I missed one sentence in the recipe "Terrine will be quite fragile: If slicing, use an electric knife; otherwise, serve with a spoon". The first terrine (see picture below, the second from the bottom) was so fragile and I could not slice it using a regular (very sharp I might add) knife.

After the remake, I could slice it and present it on the plate. I served it with fresh cilantro and the sauce  (hoisin and rice vinegar) (below).

I served this with soba noodles which was suggested in the original recipe. I did not think the hoisin sauce would be suitable for soba so I served the usual dipping sauce with the addition of nori and scallion.

Come to think of it, we have not eaten soba for some time. But in hot summer this is a good especially in combination with the chilled and jellied chicken terrine.

This was a cold plate lunch on another day. I served this terrine with my potato salad, grilled corn and black bean salad, bulgur wheat salad and Montparnasse cauliflower.

I made some modifications the the original recipe especially since the chicken meat I used was already cooked.

3 cups chicken broth, fat skimmed (I used low fat low salt Swanson chicken broth).
1/2 cup medium-dry Sherry (I used half and half of sake and mirin, instead)
2 teaspoons soy sauce (I used light colored soy sauce to keep jell light in color)
1 1/2-inch piece fresh ginger root, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
6 scallions, each cut crosswise into thirds and flattened with the flat side of a large knife
1 1/2 tablespoons star anise pieces, crushed lightly
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pound skinless boneless chicken breasts*(about 3 breast halves) (I used both white and dark meat from barbecued chicken, hand shredded about 2 cups).
1 envelope plus 1 1/2 teaspoons (about 4 1/2 teaspoons total) unflavored gelatin (I added one more package when I remade the terrine).
1/2 cup fresh cilantro  leaves, washed well and spun dry

*If using uncooked chicken, porch in the broth for 15 minutes and after removing the chicken, add water to make the amount of the liquid to 3 cups.

For sauce
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
4 teaspoons rice vinegar (not seasoned)

I put the chicken broth in a pan with sake, mirin, ginger root, scallion, star anise, and light colored soy sauce (I did not add the salt). I simmered it for 25 minutes, strained and removed the solids and returned the broth in to the pan and added shredded chicken (both breast and dark meat). After 15 minutes of simmering, I separated the meat and broth using a sieve. I tossed the chicken meat with cilantro leaves and placed it in a terrine as seen below.

Meanwhile, I sprinkled the gelatin powder in 1/4 cup of water and let it bloom. I put the broth back in the same pan on simmer and whisked in the bloomed gelatin. when the gelatin melted completely, I cut the flame and poured the mixture over the chicken meat and cilantro. After the mixture came to room temperature, I moved it to the fridge and let it cool  over night. I un-molded the terrine (by soaking the bottom of the pan in hot tap water for a few seconds). It looked nice as seen below. But it was too fragile to slice. We ended up tasting (as the original recipe suggested) using a spoon. It was remarkably good. The star anise and cilantro and soy sauce all went together.

The next day, I remade this terrine. I placed the jelled terrine in a pan and warmed it until the gelatin melted. I then removed the chicken meat with a tong and placed it in the loaf pan. I bloomed an additional package of unflavored gelatin in 1/4 cup of cold water. I whisked in the bloomed gelatin and after it melt completely, I poured it over the chicken meat. This time, all the chicken pieces were coated with gelatin-broth mixture and the additional gelatin made the terrine firmer. After over night refrigeration, the terrine was formed (below).

This time, the terrine was firm enough and the all chicken pieces were coated with the gelatin-broth. I could slice it nicely without tearing the entire thing apart.  The hoisin sauce and rice vinegar combination made a nice sauce which complimented the flavor of the jellied chicken terrine very well. The addition of fresh cilantro added fresh flavor. This is rather delicate "Asian" flavored chicken terrine.  

Friday, September 4, 2015

"Negitoro" from frozen yellowfin tuna ネギトロ

This is another installment of my ongoing effort to make low-quality frozen block of yellowfin tuna more palatable. I have made "namerou" なめろう of tuna before and this one is similar but better. I saw this recipe for "negitoro*" ネギトロ on the web and I had to try it.

*Digression alert!
This was supposedly started at a sushi bar in Asakusa 浅草 called "Kintarouzushi honten";金太楼鮨本店 as a staff meal or "makanai" 賄い. It was made from the scrap meat of tuna including the fatty meat or "toro" which was scraped off of the skin and bone (called "nakaochi" 中落ち) and chopped into a paste like concoction. This was later served to the "regulars" as either "gunkan" 軍艦 sushi, small "hosomaki" 細巻き rolls or as a topping for a "donburi" 丼 rice bowl. Initially, only large sushi bars which could buy whole or big portions of tuna had access to "nakaochi". Later as it gained popularity,"negitro" was commercially produced on an industrial scale from the red meat of low grade tuna with added oil, flavoring, and other additives (Pre-packed ones are widely available in regular markets or by mail order in Japan for consumption at home).The availability of inexpensive and widely distributed commercial "negitoro" products made it very popular in sushi bars like those with "belt conveyer" or "kaitenzushi" 回転寿し. It was named with  a word "negi" but it does not mean "scallion" but it is reportedly related to another famous restaurant in Asakusa called "Mugitoro**" 麦とろ which the sushi chef and his family frequented. He named this dish "negitoro" on a whim just because it rhymes with "mugitoro".

**Another digression alert!! This Japanese restaurant is famous for serving mugi-toro. "Mugi" literally means "wheat" in Japanese but, in this context, it is barley. Thus, "Mugi-toro" is cooked barley or "mugi meshi" 麦飯 topped with "tororo" とろろ which is grated "slimy" mountain yam "Yamaimo" 山芋. The combination is abbreviated as "Mugi-toro".  Some years ago my wife and I were wined and dined at this restaurant and we were served "negitro" as a last "shime" dish. Slimy potato on cooked barley was not our favorite despite its touted health benefits

I made this dish very close to the recipe, I topped it with chopped scallion, nori, and thinly sliced myoga.

I served it with wasabi and soy sauce (this time a special "Sashimi soy sauce" 刺身醤油 from the bottle). My wife decided, it was not efficient to dip a small amount of negitoro into the soy sauce so she took a short cut and poured the soy sauce with wasabi over the negitoro. This preparation really improved the taste and texture of this less than prime tuna. Remarkably it really had a taste reminiscent of toro.

It started with frozen block of yellowfin tuna, thawed (I used half of the block, this was rather large block).

I divided this half of the block into two. I first thinly sliced the tuna, added chopped scallion and perilla leaves (optional) and mayonnaise with a bit of soy sauce (this is a deviation from the recipe).  and chopped and mixed (this process is called "tataku")

Because of the added mayo, the color became lighter visually resembling fatty tuna or toro. Following the recipe, I cut the remaining tuna block into fine dice (but not into paste) to give it some texture.

I mixed it which is the final product. We really like it. Addition of mayo makes this low quality red meat of tuna more unctuous and fatty like real toro. This is better than "namero" made from the same tuna.  For the negitoro, we opened a bottle of Dassai 50 獺祭.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Myoga flower clear soup 花茗荷のお澄まし

I am trying to come up with more recipes using the myoga flowers ミョウガのはな we harvested the other day. Since the myoga flower is rather delicate in appearance and flavor, I made a simple clear soup. It is important to start this type of clear soup from a good broth. Since this was a lunch and I did not have much time to prepare (we were hungry), I used a dashi pack (mixture of bonito and kelp). I made about 2.5 cups of broth. I seasoned it with a splash of mirin (you do not want to taste real sweetness) and light colored "usukuchi" soy sauce 薄口醤油 . I tasted it and thought it was ok but if you prefer more saltiness and don’t want to make the clear soup too dark (even using light colored soy sauce), you could just add salt. I had some silken tofu from Japan (which is meant to be eaten "raw") so I made some small cubes and put it in the soup. I also added a small amount of myoga buds finely julienned and scallion (in retrospect, I should have omitted the scallion. It was a bit too strong; the myoga flavor alone was sufficient). After I put the soup in individual serving bowels (or "owan"  お椀), I garnished with several myoga flowers in the center.

This soup was an accompaniment for a marinated tuna rice bowl or "maguro-zuke-don" 鮪ずけ丼.

This soup was very good. The tofu was nicely silken. The soup made with good "dashi" was flavorful and mild. The myoga flowers had a subtle and distinctive myoga flavor. My wife is usually not a fan of Japanese soup but she drained the bowel and asked if there was any more.