our Italian Cooking
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Wash the kampyou lightly and discard the water.
Fill a small saucepan with water and let the kampyou soak for a while. Bring to a boil and cook for about 10 minutes or until soft. Remove the kampyo from the water and reserve the water.
Cut the carrot in a fine julienne.
Cut the Yude-Takenoko in a fine julienne.
Drain the shiitake mushrooms and reserve the water. Squeeze the mushrooms to remove most of the water. Cut the mushrooms in fine strips.
Remove the tip and string from the peas. Place the peas in boiling salted water and blanch for about 30 seconds. Drain in a colander.
Cut the peas in small strips.
Place 1 tablespoon rice vinegar in about 2 - 3 cups water. Peel the renkon cut in half lengthwise. Cut in fine slices and place immediately in the vinegar-water to avoid discoloration.
Put water and 2 tablespoons of rice vinegar in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Add renkon and boil for about 10 minutes or until the surface becomes transparent.
While the renkon is cooking, place in a bowl 3 tablespoons vinegar, 1 tablespoon sugar, pinch of salt. Mix vigorously. Taste and add a little water if too sour. Drain the renkon and add it to the vinegar mix while still hot. Leave it to soak stirring occasionally.
To prepare Kinshi Tamago (shredded egg crepes), place the eggs in a small bowl with a pinch of salt and whisk vigorously.
Place 1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil in a 6” crepes skillet. Wipe off the excess oil leaving the skillet greased. Place the skillet on medium heat. When the skillet is hot transfer a small quantity of egg to make very thin crepes.
Tilt the skillet around to distribute the egg uniformly.
Turn the crepe over to cook the top surface.
When the crepe is done, transfer to a board. Repeat this step until all the egg is used to make about 5 - 6 crepes. Pile them one on top of the other.
Cut the crepes in large strips and pile them one on top of the other.
Cut the egg crepes to a very fine julienne.
Cut the carrot, Yude-Takenoko, Shiitake, Kinusaya, and eggs all the same size.
Sprinkle with salt and rub (like in a kneading motion) the kampyou very hard several times in order to soften it. Wash again to remove the salt.
Cut the kampyou in small pieces about 1/2 inch (1.5 cm) long.
4 Hoshi-shiitake (dry shiitake mushrooms)
pinch of sugar
3 gou (approximately 2 cups or 170 gr) Japanese rice
2 tablespoons sake
1 square (approximately 4 x 4 inch or 10 x 10 cm) konbu (dry kelp)
1 age (fried tofu pouches - tofu skin)
half bag (about 1/4 oz or 6 - 7 gr) kampyou (gourd strips)
pinch of salt
1 small carrot, peeled
1 Yude-Takenoko (bamboo shoot)
2 oz (60 gr) kinusaya (china peas)
1 + 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 renkon (lotus root)
1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons sake
2 tablespoons mirin (sweet sake, used only for cooking)
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons rice vinegar
12 oz (350 gr) raw shrimps
5 tablespoons sake
2 1/2 tablespoons mirin
pinch of salt
3 anago (char broiled eel)
6 tablespoons ikura (salmon roe)
a small bunch of kizammi nori (shredded seaweed)
Place the shiitake mushrooms in a small bowl. Cover with fresh water. Use warm water and add a pinch of sugar for faster softer soaking.
Wash the rice gently stirring with hands and dispose of the water. Repeat this step at least 3 - 4 times, until the water is clean. Drain and transfer to the steamer bowl.
Add water up to a little below the 3 mark (3 gou). Add 2 tablespoons sake. Add konbu. Place the bowl in the steamer but let the rice rest for about 30 minutes before turning the switch on. Steam for about 30 minutes. When the rice is done wait about 10 minutes before opening the steamer.
Wash the age’ with hot boiling water to remove excess oil.
Making a perfectly shaped or rolled sushi can be difficult and intimidating. If you enjoy sushi rice you can try Chirashi Sushi (scattered sushi). It is very easy to make as doesn’t require any particular ability, and the ingredients are casually scattered and layered on top of the rice.
There is no fixed recipe and you don’t need to use raw fish either if you don’t like, but you can add any ingredient you prefer. It is perfect as an appetizer or main course served at room temperature.
De-vein shrimps inserting a small skewer or toothpick between the first 2 skins and pulling out the black vein.
Place in a bowl 5 tablespoons of sake, 2 1/2 tablespoons mirin, pinch of salt, and bring to a boil. Add shrimps. Remove from heat as soon as shrimps change to red color.
Transfer to a cutting board and chop the anago.
Remove kombu from the rice and transfer to a bowl. Add the vinegar mix to the rice, not stirring but mixing with a “cutting” motion, and at the same time use a fan to cool the rice.
Combine the vegetable mix.
Shell the shrimps and slice them in half.
Traditionally rice should be mixed in the shallow wooden cask called "Sushi-Oke." The wooden sushi-oke absorbs the excess moisture from the rice and is designed specifically for mixing rice with vinegar dressing.
Transfer to a saucepan the age’, kampyou, carrot, yude-takenoko, shiitake mushrooms, mushrooms soaking water, and enough kampyou soaking water to cover the vegetables. Turn heat to medium and bring to a boil.
Remove the scum that forms on the surface.
Stir in 1 tablespoon sugar, 2 tablespoons sake, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 2 tablespoons mirin.
. . . . and drain the vegetables.
Cook for about 15 minutes then remove the paper lid . . .
Cover the pan with a paper drop lid. This type of lid prevents too much evaporation, absorbs the scum, and keeps the flavor into the vegetables.
Prepare the sushi vinegar combining 3 tablespoons sugar, 1 teaspoon salt and 4 tablespoons rice vinegar. Stir vigorously together until dissolved.
Drop lids are in Japan traditionally made out of wood. Paper drop lid can be bought in a Japanese deli or can simply be cut out of parchment paper.
Transfer to a serving dish.
Top the rice with the slices of renkon . . .
. . . . Kinshi-tamago . . .
Chirashi sushi is ready for serving.