Lesson Sixteen: BURI DAIKON


Tender-Prepped & Slow-Simmered Daikon combined with Frosted & Soy-Stewed Yellowtail

Tender-Prepping (root vegetables)
When you wash rice, get in the habit of saving the starchy run-off water in a jar. Use it to parboil (and tenderize) root vegetables.

If you do not use the starchy water the same day, store
it in the refrigerator for up to 4 or 5 days. After storing for a day or two, you will notice a sediment forming at the bottom of the jar. When ready to use, stir it to recombine.
Peel daikon in broad strips (these peels can be shredded and stir-fried to make kimpira). Cut the peeled daikon into thick circles, then across to make half-moon shapes. Bevel the cut  edges to keep them from crumbling as they stew.
Togi-jiru (starchy rice water)
Using Dropped-Lids (otoshi-buta)
Dropped lids enable you to cook faster and more fuel-efficiently: bubbling liquid hitting the underside of the lid is forced to recirculate throughout the pot.

Dropped lids make aku nuki (removing unwanted "froth" or scum) easier. Carefully lift the lid up and out of the pot, holding a dish or tray beneath it to catch any drip on your way to the sink. Tilt the lid to cause the aku to flow down into the sink. Briefly rinse under cold water to wash away before replacing the lid in the pot. Repeat, as needed during the simmering process.
Tools & Techniques
that make BURI DAIKON delicious:

  • Tender-Prepping (root vegetables)
  • Frosting (fish)
  • Using Dropped-Lids (otoshi-buta)

"Frosting" (fish)

A procedure known as SHIMO FURI or “frosting” enhances the flavor and texture of simmered or poached fish. The name "frosting" has nothing to do with cake-decorating. It is a technique in which fish is briefly blanched – barely dipped in boiling hot water, really – then plunged in ice water to force out unwanted flavors and aku (“froth,” the scummy stuff that floats to the top of the water). The surface of the fish whitens making it look as if frost has fallen… hence the name for the technique is “frosting.” Blot dry the fish before simmering it with daikon in a (slightly sweetened) soy broth.

WASHOKU: Recipes from the Japanese Home Kitchen (Ten Speed Press, 2005) provides a solid foundation to the principles and practice of washoku (balance and harmony) in the kitchen and at table. This workshop page enables me to guide you further.  

I welcome your feedback -- especially captioned photos with a brief description of your kitchen sessions when you try making the recipes posted here or in WASHOKU. Those interested in offering feedback, please download a set of guidelines for submitting and displaying your work. To further teaching goals, I may post some of the feedback to this site, adding my commentary.

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