Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Tosa Summer Recipe

   Here are a couple recipes using RYUKYU, a food item you cannot miss in summer in Kochi.
   It was imported from the Ryukyu Islands (now known as Okinawa), which is why it was named so. However, this name is used only in Kochi; it is called HASU-IMO in other parts of Japan.
   We eat the stems instead of the potatoes under the ground. They are offered at Sunday Market and supermarkets from the beginning of summer, so when we see it we can feel the coming of summer.

1. Vinegared Ryukyu
1 stem of Ryukyu
A pinch of salt
An adequate amount of  
Tosa vinegar
1) Peel Ryukyu, cut it diagonally into bite-size chunks and put some salt on it.
Wait until some water comes out from the Ryukyu, then blanch and quickly dunk into icy water.
2) Put into a bowl with some Tosa vinegar and serve.

How to make Tosa Vinegar
100ml vinegar, 1½ Tbsp sugar, ½ tsp salt, ½ tsp soy sauce, 1 Tbsp mirin, a pinch of dried bonito, and a pinch of Ajinomoto
In a saucepan, bring all ingredients to a boil, then allow it to cool down.

2. Ryukyu Sushi
1 stem of Ryukyu
200g vinegared rice
3 Tbsp sugared vinegar
1) Peel Ryukyu and cut to around 20cm. Add some lengthwise slits. Put some salt on and wait until Ryukyu becomes tender, then soak it in the sugared vinegar.
2) Form vinegared rice into a bar shape and top with Ryukyu, then wrap it.
3) Compress it with a chopping board and wait about 5 minutes. Now you have Oshi Zushi (pressed sushi)!

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