kruizing with kikukat

Monday, June 17, 2013

Never Enough: Hijiki

Before I launch into the normal chit chat of my post, I'd like to give a big ALOHA to SN and the Ono Kine Recipes page on Facebook for sharing recipes from my blog.  The first 2 recipes shared were Korean Long Rice Salad and Warabi-Kamaboko Salad.  My buddy Dee messaged me and told me Ono Kine Recipes had posted two of my recipes.  I HAD to "like" the page after that!  If you have a facebook account, meander over to the Ono Kine Recipes page.  They have lots of recipes, including lots of yummy desserts.

Prior to summer getting underway, I made a list of foods I wanted to try making.  So far, I made only 1 thing from the list:  Zoku pops.  I have not managed to make anything more because I keep getting sidetracked.  The market hasn't been on my side either.  Gravlax was way up high on my list, but I can't seem to find fresh wild salmon.  Another item high on that list was sponge drops, soft vanilla cookies with a creamy filling sandwiched between two cookies.  The cleanup for that will be hell.

There was a holiday this past week. . .Kamehameha Day, and since I was already on vacation, the only difference was that D2 was home with me.  Doing an internship at a federal jobsite, D1 did not get Kamehameha Day off.  There were celebrations going on in Hilo and in Kohala, but I had no part of that.  Instead, I stayed home and cooked (and cleaned too).

What I ended up cooking were a bunch of snacks and side dishes.  The 8-pound brisket The Help smoked on Sunday lasted us well into the week, so I put my effort into snacks for the family as well as other things we could eat with the brisket.  And even though we stopped eating the brisket, a huge chunk of it lives on in the freezer.  I'm gonna need to work up a lot of nerve to tackle it for round 2.  Harumphffff.

One of the side dishes I made, which has absolutely no coherence with smoked brisket, is hijiki (seaweed).  I knew there was no chance of D2 touching smoked brisket so I figured I'd make her something to have along with microwaved frozen rice.  D2 loves hijiki, and I am certain many people have enjoyed hijiki at a sit-down Japanese restaurant at some point in their lives.  Even Japanese restaurants in small town Hilo serve it regularly. 

Hijiki is often presented as one of the small morsels diners are served as a complimentary appetizer.  And no matter which Japanese restaurant you go to, the tidbit-sized portion is never enough.  During spring break, I took the Ds and D2's friend KN to Restaurant Miwa for lunch.  At the end of the meal, after D2 finished her udon and my hijiki, she announced that the next time we ate there, she would just order a bowl of hijiki and some rice.  And that's exactly the reason why making hijiki at home is such a good idea. . .you can eat all you want! 

Restaurant hijiki usually just contains seasoned seaweed.  When you make it at home, you can add in other stuff.  Hijiki is not difficult to make, and it takes just a little forethought.  Aside from soaking the hijiki, the most time-consuming part is chopping the aburage and konnyaku.  Because everything gets cooked in one pan, clean up is also minimal.

 click on recipe title for printable recipe

     1 pkg (2 oz) hijiki (wash and soak in water for 30 minutes or according to package directions)
     1 tbsp oil
     2 aburage, finely chopped
     1 piece konnyaku, sliced thin
     3 tbsp sugar
     1/4 c mirin
     1/4 c shoyu
     2 tbsp sesame seeds

Heat oil in pan.  Fry aburage till crispy.  Squeeze out water from hijiki.  Add hijiki, konnyaku, sugar, mirin, and shoyu to aburage.  Cook until liquid is absorbed.  Mix in sesame seeds.

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