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Food

Kaiseki Journal 2: Minazuki-no-kaiseki

Please visit the first post of Tokyofood Kaiseki Journal, Shoburo-no-kaiseki to find out about cha-kaiseki and story behind this series.

June Kaiseki

Theme: Minazuki-no-kaiseki

Minazuki is the sixth month in the traditional Lunar calendar

Mukozuke (Fish) – Tobiuo-no-tataki

  • Tobiuo or flying fish is in season around this time of the year. It is filleted then cut really thin. Light lemon juice, soy sauce, sake mix is sprinkled over the fish.

Shiru (Soup) – Awase miso with gobo and udo

  • Awase miso used here is mixed – a bit of shiro miso is added to Sendai miso. According to the season, different types of miso are used or mixed.
  • Gobo or burdock root is first cooked then the stick shaped heart is completely removed to make a cylinder or tube. I believe this extra step is to make it easier to eat and to make it look pretty.
  • Udo is a vegetable similar to white asparagus in the way the sprouts are grown in the dark. Taste-wise, I always think it’s rather bland, but the texture is like biting into celery.
  • Vegetables are cooked individually first, then dished up as soup just before serving.

Meshi (Rice) – Ichimonji style

  • First serving of rice.

Wan (Main Dish) – Hiryozu in broth

  • Hiryozu is sometimes described as deep fried tofu burger. First, tofu is pressed under a weight to drain water. Then, it is mixed with fish paste until fully integrated to a smooth cream-cheese consistency and assorted seasonal items such as broad beans or vegetables are added, rolled into golf ball sized lumps, then deep fried. After that, they are cooked in broth. Final presentation here has junsai or water shield and mitsuba herb on top. Clean broth is poured to complete the dish.
  • A lot goes into making hiryozu but it gets easy after a few times and tastes so much better than store bought!

Here are a couple of pictures of hiryozu from my kitchen. I just added chopped green onion to the mix to practice at home.

Takiawase (Simmered Dish ) – nasu, tori-no-jibuni and hasu imo

  • Nasu or Japanese eggplant is deep fried, cooled with ice, then marinated in broth.
  • Lightly floured chicken with starch is cooked in soy and broth base sauce.
  • Stalks of hasuimo is peeled, boiled first, then simmered in broth. These individually cooked three items are served as one dish, with grated ginger on the side

Pictures I used here, except for the ones from my kitchen, are from the chef’s model presentation. I wish my pieces come out this pretty!

Discussion

4 Responses to “Kaiseki Journal 2: Minazuki-no-kaiseki”

  1. Beautiful! I’m sure yours will turn out so well after a bit of practice, Etsuko.

    Posted by Melinda | June 3, 2009, 12:52 pm
  2. Thanks, Melinda! Oh, I hope so….

    Posted by Et-chan | June 4, 2009, 8:49 am
  3. Can you tell us more about the difference between kaiseki and chakaiseki?

    Posted by Jocelyn | June 24, 2009, 10:33 am
  4. I knew you were going to say that, Jocelyn. I will try to expand this next kaiseki post, but chakaiseki is for tea ceremony. Kaiseki should be same as chakaiseki, but in today’s adaptation is becoming so blur and people use kaiseki to refer to elaborate meal. I asked the same question to my sensei and he spent one hour with me on this…

    Posted by Et-chan | June 24, 2009, 3:34 pm

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