Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Braised hijiki

Last night I had a light dinner of braised hijiki. Hijiki is a kind of seaweed; in its dried form it looks like little black wisps. When soaked, it expands in size, but it's still much less substantial than konbu or wakame. To give the dish a little more heft, abura-age is usually added. The drained hijiki is stir-fried in some oil, then the abura-age and the broth ingredients are added. The dish simmers for ten minutes, or until the liquid is absorbed. The broth is a sweet shoyu broth; the version I used last night includes a cup of water, three tablespoons of shoyu, two tablespoons of mirin and three tablespoons of sugar (recipe from Hiroko Urakami's Japanese Family-Style Recipes).

I had expected to need something more to eat, because this is such a light dish, but it was filling enough last night. It would be perfect in the usual Japanese context of a variety of dishes at a meal, but normally I cook one thing for a meal (too much coordination required to have soup, rice, salad and a main dish on the table for one meal).

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