Saturday, March 19, 2005

Spring sleet

Leftover time. My leftovers from the mizore nabe were broth, some daikon, a few chicken pieces and some sprouts. After responding to obachan's comments this morning, I had an idea for lunch. I reheated the leftovers in my big skillet, then added some cubed firm tofu and some more sprouts. I also grated more daikon right into the skillet as it simmered on the stove. I cooked it until the tofu cubes I fished out for tasting purposes tasted good and hot, then poured it into a bowl and anointed it with ponzu.

Ponzu is a citrus-flavored shoyu-based dipping sauce; the recipe that Hiroko Shimbo gives for it calls for yuzu juice, mirin, rice vinegar, shoyu and dashi. Yuzu is a Japanese citrus fruit that is very hard to find in the US. When I first started going to the Asian supermarket, there was a little jar of yuzu juice in the Japanese section; since it was pricey, I gave it a miss. Inevitably, it vanished, and I've been kicking myself ever since because it has not reappeared. I've learned from this and other experiences that sometimes there are unusual delays in restocking at the Asian supermarket, and sometimes things never reappear at all. Maybe that's because most of their stock is imported. But I digress. Besides, it's very easy to get a bottle of premade ponzu right in that same Japanese section.

Obachan was absolutely right about the ponzu; even though the nabe broth smelled wonderful as it cooked, the ponzu added something to the dish that made it even better. I can't really describe it, except that it was similar to the way a drop or two of sesame oil can bind a sauce together. Thank you, obachan! Another good thing about the leftovers was that reheating them quickly in the skillet made it possible to concentrate on the food, rather than how long it was taking to cook. It was very tasty; I even drank off the leftover broth. Maybe I gave the mizore nabe a bum rap the other night.

For dessert, I relaxed with a cup of genmaicha (green tea with toasted rice) and listened to Wall to Wall Stephen Sondheim on WNYC. I've been a Sondheim fan since childhood (thanks, dad!), and my only regret was that I couldn't hear the whole thing (like those lucky XM Satellite Radio listeners). Even people at Symphony Space in New York were being encouraged to listen for a while and then depart so as to give another person an opportunity to hear the music. I most wanted to hear something from Pacific Overtures, my favorite Sondheim musical, but was disappointed on that score. I still got to hear lots of good stuff, though. A great way to spend an afternoon.


obachan said...

So glad to hear that you liked the nabe with ponzu! :D

Winslow said...

Hi obachan,

You were right! I'm a ponzu convert now! :)