One of the reasons that make us love Japan is because Japan has lots of delicious foods, isn’t it? Since Japan has lots of media, such as anime, manga, dorama, game, etc, to spread their culture; it also make the Japanese foods become well-known among us and even in the world. I guess there isn’t someone who doesn’t have any idea about sushi today. Another interesting thing is Japan has lots of variation of foods because Japan has four different seasons, since you can’t eat something that is cold in winter season unless you wanna get stomachache. Today, as the winter season draws near, I’m going to cover about what are the Japanese winter dishes, the tasty foods that can make our mouths water and warm our body as well in the midst of the snowy season.
Yudofu or in English literally known as Tofu Hot Pot is one of the favourite winter dishes in Japan. Yudofu itself is tofu, that often cut in blocks, simmered in hot water along with vegetables. This Yudofu is often eaten with condiments like ponzu, a Japanese sauce that based on citrus, and yuzu kosho, another Japanese sauce made from chilli peppers; yuzu peel; and salt. Making yudofu is quite simple since the tofu is the main stuff in this dish. Since Yudofu is a Tofu Hot Pot, of course you will need a hot pot to cook this dish. Moreover, I guess it’s not winter if we don’t eat any food using hot pot, is it?
- 2 blocks cotton tofu, cut into small blocks
- 6 inches konbu (kelp)
- For dipping sauce:
- 2 cups dashi soup
- 1/3 cup soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp mirin
- For toppings:
- katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes)
- chopped green onion
- grated ginger
First, clean konbu (edible kelp) with towels. Next, put the konbu in a donabe (earthenware pot) and fill the pot about three-fourths full with water. Put the donabe over low heat. Add tofu in the pot and simmer until cooked through. To make a dipping sauce, combine dashi soup stock, soy sauce, and mirin in a sauce pan and heat. Pour the dipping sauce into individual serving bowls. Add some topping in the bowls and dip the hot tofu in the sauce. (for 4 servings)
Yosenabe is another hot pot dishes that is very popular in Japan. The meaning of the yosenabe itself is to put everything, meat; seafood; tofu; egg; and vegetables, and cooked it together in a pot. Usually, yosenabe is cooked in at the dining table as people eat. The different thing with the yudofu on above is that yosenabe has more variety in the ingredients than yudofu.
- 3 1/2 cup dashi soup
- 4 Tbsp sake
- 2 Tbsp soy sauce
- 2 Tbsp mirin
- 1 tsp salt
- 4 or 8 hard shell clams, cleaned and sand expelled
- 2 salmon steaks, or salmon fillets, cut into 2 inch lengths and bones removed
- 1/4 head hakusai (Chinese cabbage), washed and cut into 2-3 inch lengths
- 1 negi, leek, rinsed and cut diagonally
- 1 carrot, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch thick rounds
- 8 shiitake mushrooms, stem removed
- 1 enoki mushrooms, trimmed
- 1 shungiku (chrysanthemum greens), washed and cut into 2-3 inch lengths *optional
Put the dashi soup stock in a donabe pot or an electric skillet. Heat the soup until it is boiling. Season the soup with sake, soy sauce, mirin, and salt. Turn down the heat to low. Add salmon and clams in the pot at first. Put the other ingredients and simmer until softened and cooked through. Prepare the individuals serving bowls and have them by taking some of them that are already simmered in the bowl as you eat. (for 4 servings)
3. Ankake Udon
One of the winter variation of Udon, this is Ankake Udon. Udon itself is a type of thick noodles of Japanese cuisine, different with ramen that is a thin noodles cuisine. The Ankake Udon itself is a udon that is served with a thick soup with other ingredients added in it, such as mushroom, beans, carrot, and vegetables.
- 3 1/3 cup dashi
- 2 Tbsp soy sauce
- 2 Tbsp mirin
- 1/4 enoki mushrooms, cut into 1 inch lengths
- 4 green beans, thinly sliced
- 1/2 negi, thinly sliced
- 2 Tbsp katakuriko starch, mixed with 2 Tbsp water
- 1 egg, beaten
- 2 packages pre-boiled udon noodles
First, heat dashi in a medium pan on medium heat. Add soy sauce and mirin in the soup. Add green beans and enoki mushroom in the soup and simmer until green beans are softened. Add negi slices. Turn up the heat to high and make the soup become boiled. Put the katakuriko starch mixture in the soup and stir well. Pour beaten egg in the soup, stir it well then stop the heat. Meanwhile, boil water in a large pan and heat udon noodles as indicated in the package. Drain the udon and divide into 2 serving bowls. Pour the soup over the udon. (for 2 servings)
4. Tori Zosui
Different from the other dishes that I’m covering here, this torizosui is not a hot pot dish. Tori Zosui is a thick Japanese rice soup with chicken. Usually, leftover steamed rice is simmered in dashi soup. Maybe most of you are familiar with tori Zosui since this dish looks identically with porridge. Though it is not a hot pot dish, Tori Zosui is still a winter dish and a favourite one.
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 12 — 13 square inches dashi kombu
- 1/8 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
- 1 1/4 — 1 1/2 cups cooked Japanese rice
- 1/3 — 1/2 pound cooked chicken (skin and bones removed), shredded into thin strips about 1/4-inch wide and 1 1/2-inches long
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
- 2 – 3 scallions, thinly sliced
- Salt and pepper to taste
Put the chicken stock and konbu in a pot. To draw out maximum flavour, soak the konbu for 10 to 15 minutes before placing the pot over high heat. Bring the stock to boil over high heat. When the stock begins to boil, remove the konbu and discard it. Turn down the heat to low heat and season the stock with black pepper. Keep the broth at a simmer. Place the cooked rice in a strainer and rinse under cold water to separate the grains and remove any excess starch. Drain the rice thoroughly before adding it to the chicken stock. Add the rice to the stock and simmer it over low heat for 10 minutes or until each grain of rice swells to at least twice its original size. Then, add the chicken strips to the simmering rice soup and cook until it has heathen through, about one minute. Add the granted ginger to the pot and stir. Pour salt and pepper. Serve immediately in deep bowls and sprinkle with the sliced scallions. (for 2 servings)
In Japan, winter won’t be a complete winter without a bowl of hot oden. Oden is another popular winter dish consisting of several ingredients such as boiled eggs, daikon radish, konnyaku, and proceed fish cakes stewed in a light, soy flavoured dashi broth. The Ingredients of Oden vary according to region and each household. Karashi (Japanese mustard) is often used as a condiment. Usually, oden is cooked in a hot pot. On the other hand, for those who don’t like to cook by themselves but still want to have it, you don’t have to worry since oden is often sold from food carts and most of the Japanese convenience stores have simmering oden pots in winter. Many different kinds of oden are sold, with single-ingredient varieties as cheap as 100 yen.
- 1/3 daikon radish, peeled and cut into 3/4 inch thick rounds
- 2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into halves
- 4 boiled eggs, peeled
- 1 konnyaku (transparent yam starch cake), cut into large triangles
- 2 atsuage (deep fried tofu), blanched and cut into large triangles
- 4 ganmodoki (tofu fritters), blanched
- 2 or 4 fish paste cakes, such as chikuwa, hanpen, and satsumaage, cut into large chunks
- 4 musubi-kombu (knotted kelp)
- 4 – 5 Tbsp of soy sauce
- 2 Tbsp of sake
- 1 tsp of sugar
- *You may use oden seasoning sold at Asian stores instead of using sake, soy sauce, and sugar.
Put four cup of dashi soup stocks in a large pot or donabe pot. Add sake, soy sauce, and sugar in the soup. Place ingredients in the pot. Bring to a boil and turn down the heat to low and simmer for 40 – 60 minutes. Add dashi soup stock and soy sauce as needed.
The data and pictures used in this post are from :