Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Aomori Vegetable Dinner

Aomori produces a lot of good vegetables and other foods. We brought some back with us this weekend, and for dinner yesterday we made a simple vegetable tempura.

Tsukushi (horsetail) simmered in soy and mirin; miso soup; and rice. Deep-fried radish, yamaimo (mountain yam) and azami (thistle leaves); and tai (sea bream) sashimi.

The radish is deep-fried, leaves and all, with no batter for less than half a minute. As radish is good raw, even this was a bit too long, actually; ten-fifteen seconds is plenty. You just want the leaves crispy and brilliantly green.

For the imo and azami we made a lumpy batter from flour and water. It's lumpy by purpose, so don't mix it too well. Also, you want to be sloppy with the covering too, so the vegetables are visible through the batter. The azami leaves are fried only just long enough for the batter to set and hold them together. The imo is fried until the edges start to turn colour, a minute or so.

We also picked a bag full of tsukushi at Asamushi onsen near Aomori city. I've written before about how to make this delicious side dish; it's a fun spring-time tradition for us, and we try to make this every year. We were lucky they were still in season up north.

The sea bream sashimi is not home-made, of course, and doesn't come from Aomori either. But it goes well as a light dish to balance the fried vegetables. In all, another great weekday dinner.

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