Ume-mushrooms and konnyaku

This was another of my, erm, experimental, meals. I *occasionally* get excited to try making something, but it never turns out how I planned. (;_;)

Anyway, the not-so-pretty dish above was a spin-off of a tasty treat that my mother-in-law made during our visit to Japan. It was simply enoki mushrooms (the really, really skinny ones) dressed with smashed umeboshi (pickled plums).

I didn’t have enoki, so I chopped white button mushrooms and sautéed them with finely chopped white onions.

When it came to the umeboshi, I didn’t know how many to smash. I started with two, and it seemed like such a tiny amount. So I added two more. Please note that these were larger than average umeboshi that we brought all the way from Japan. They are exceedingly tasty.

So then I added the umeboshi paste to the mushrooms and onions with a few drips of soy sauce. But once I started mixing it all, it became clear that four umeboshi was WAY too much. The dish was much tangier than anticipated, to put it mildly. But it was edible over rice or tucked inside onigiri.

The second dish for this dinner was konnyaku, prepared according to a recipe on Just Hungry.

I rinsed the konnyaku and cut it into the fancy twists that she describes. Next, I boiled and drained it before adding it back to the pan. Then I simmered the konnyaku in the following:

  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp mirin
  • 1 tbsp sake
  • 1/2 cup water with a pinch of dashi
  • 1 tsp dried red chili flakes

I let it cook until all the liquid was absorbed or evaporated and then arranged the konnyaku in bowls and topped it with chopped raw green onions. It wasn’t bad, but it was much saltier than I would’ve liked. I could have cut the liquids by half, I think. Perhaps the original recipe was for more konnyaku.

The meal was rounded out with tofu (with onions and soy sauce), rice, and miso soup with napa and onions. In other words, it was very, very salty and oniony.

This also reminds me that I should write about some of the food that we had in Japan. Well, maybe someday… The sense of loss is still too near. (^_-)

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