Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Abura-age & Komatsuna "Ni-bitashi"

Mmmm...I picked up the home-made abura-age from Meiji Tofu last Saturday, and Komatsuna (Japanese spinach) from Hollywood Farmers' Market on Sunday, so it was natural that I made this dish.

Beautiful Agura-age by Meiji Tofu.

Ni-bitashi is basically a dish which is "lightly stewed" with a broth.
This is such a simple dish with lots of nutrients and great light flavor.

Abura-age & Komatsuna "Ni-bitashi"

5 pieces small square abura-age
1/2 to 2/3 bunch Komatsuna, rinsed and the very bottom part removed

1-1/3 cup dashi broth
1 tbsp. sake
2 tbsps. mirin
2 tbsps. light soy sauce
1/2 tbsps. dark (regular) soy sauce
a pinch salt, optional

Place the abura-age (so that they don't overlap each other) on a strainer and pour very hot water over them to drain the excess grease from them. Be careful not to splash the hot water to your skin. Make sure the abura-age are cool enough, then squeeze out the water from each abura-age. Cut each piece into half.

Cut the komatsuna into 2" to 3" length. Separate the leafy parts from the stalk parts.

In a pot, heat the dashi broth over medium-heat. Add the following 4 ingredients. Add a little salt if necessary. Once the broth mixture is heated, add the abura-age and the stalk parts of the komatsuna. Cook for 1 minute. Add the leafy parts of the komatsuna and cook for another 1 minute or so.
Great as a side dish.
This is a shojin-style (Buddhist monk's style vegan) dish if you make sure to use the dashi made from konbu and/or dry shiitake.