- 2 cups short-grain rice
- 2 tsp warishita stock concentrate (see below)
- 3/4 oz. (20g) vegetable miso (see below)
- Japanese pickles (optional)
makes 2 balls
If the rice is cold, steam or microwave until hot. Mix with the warishita concentrate (see below) and cool enough to handle. Make sure your hands are washed clean and damp so the rice will not stick.
Put 1/2 of the rice on one palm. With both hands, make a triangle-shaped rice ball about 1 1/2 inch (3.5 cm) thick. Repeat to make a second rice ball.
Grill the rice balls over a medium flame until golden brown, then turn over. Spread the vegetable miso (see below) on the browned surface. When the other side is well grilled, remove from the flame and lightly scorch the miso with a kitchen torch.
If using broiler, you can brown the surface of miso without a torch, but be careful not to let it burn. Serve with Japanese pickles, if desired.
Warishita Stock Concentrate
makes about 1 quart
- 1 cup (240ml) soy sauce
- 3 tbsp tamari soy sauce
- 1 3/4 oz (50g) crystal sugar
- 1 3/4 quart (1750ml) dashi stock
- 1 dried shiitake mushroom
- 1 piece dried kombu kelp, 2 inch (5cm) square
- 1/2 oz (14g) bonito flakes (katsuo kezuri-bushi)
Combine A in a jar or bowl, seal and refrigerate for 10 days. After 10 days, mix with B in a pot and simmer over low heat until the liquid is reduced by half, about 1 hour. Strain through cheesecloth and let cool.
- 1 tsp garlic, finely minced
- 1 tsp fresh ginger, finely grated
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1/2 lb (230g) white miso
- 2 tsp Chinese chili bean paste
- 1 tsp. sesame seeds, toasted
- 1 1/2 tbsp sake
- 2 tsp granulated sugar
- B (All ingredients finely minced:)
- 1 fresh shiitake mushroom, stemmed
- 1/8 small green bell pepper or 1/4 Japanese piman pepper
- 2 shiso leaves
- 1/8 small onion
- 1/8 medium carrot
- 1/4 tsp minced nira garlic chives
- 1 tsp minced white part of a scallion or naganegi white scallion
Heat the vegetable oil in a nonstick saute pan and saute ginger and garlic over medium heat until fragrant. Add A and stir well with a wooden spatula. Add B and lower the heat. Mix until vegetables are softened, removed from heat and let cool at room termperature. Store in a refrigerator in an air-tight container.
Reprinted with permission from the book:
Izakaya: The Japanese Pub Cookbook
Japanese pubs, called izakaya, are attracting growing attention in Japan and overseas. As a matter of fact, a recent article in The New York Times claimed that the izakaya is starting to shove the sushi bar off its pedestal. While Japan has many guidebooks and cookbooks, this is the first publication in English to delve into every aspect of a unique and vital cornerstone of Japanese food culture.
Eight Tokyo pubs are introduced, ranging from those that serve the traditional Japanese comfort foods such as yakitori (barbequed chicken), to those offering highly innovative creations. Some of them have long histories; some are more recent players on the scene. All are quite familiar to the author, who has chosen them for the variety they represent: from the most venerated downtown pub to the new-style standing bar with French-influenced menu.
For the home chef, the hungry gourmet, the food professional, this is more than a cookbook. It is a unique peek at an important and exciting dining and cultural phenomenon.
This elegant bud vase combines traditional Japanese bamboo craftsmanship with a Bauhaus sensibility.
An example of Takesensuji bamboo ware from Shizuoka Prefecture, the narrow glass vase is held between two frames of fine bamboo lattice. The lattice frames may be oriented either horizontally or vertically.
Traditional yet modern, it's a work of art even without a flower. [US$34, €30]
This brick-red tin would make a handy stand on your desk for holding pens, pencils and brushes. Or of course you can use it for its original purpose, as an airtight container for storing your favorite tea.
The round scarlet post box has been a familiar sight on Japan's streets for almost a century and a half. The Japan Post adopted the iconic design from the British Royal Mail postbox, as well as the distinctive red livery. Instead of the Royal Mail's coat of arms, however, the box is decorated with the kanji characters for Yuubin (Post Office) and one of the earliest logos in the world, the letter T (for 'Tsushin') with a bar across it, which debuted in 1877.
The tin comes filled with a 30g pack of Houjicha, a roasted black tea that is refreshing as a hot beverage in winter or iced tea in summer. The tea is from the famous Suzukien tea plantation in Saitama, Japan.
It's the perfect gift for designers, tea-lovers, Japanophiles or stamp collectors. [US$15, €13.20]