Friday, February 8, 2013

Irizake-steamed Clams and Rapini in Donabe

Steamed clams are always's not only such a tasty dish, but also it's so simple and quick to make.

Instead of regular sake-steamed clams, lately I'm so into "Irizake"-steamed clams. Irizake is such a magical seasoning which used to be used instead of soy sauce during Edo Period in Japan, and I've been making Irizake and using it for various dishes for a while.

Since Irizake is essentially a concentrated and fortified sake with salt-pickled plums ("umeboshi") and dry bonito flakes ("katsuobushi"), the dish becomes especially rich and complex when cooked with it.

The process is still extremely simple. To make this, I used donabe steam-roaster, "Toshinsai".

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Garlic and dry red chili pepper were sautéed in olive oil, and clams were added.

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Clams were covered with chopped rapini. Irizake was added, covered, and just cooked until the clam opened.

A little amount of yuzu shichimi salt were added and stirred.

Irizake-steamed Clams and Rapini

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, thinly-sliced
1 dry red chili pepper
16-18 oz (450 - 500 g) clams, scrubbed
5 oz (150 g) rapini, chopped
2 tablespoons irizake
a pinch of salt (or I use yuzu shichimi salt)
a couple of lemon wedges


  1. In "Tochinsai", sauté the garlic and chili pepper in olive oil over medium heat until aromatic (about 2 minutes).
  2. Add the clams. Cover the clams with the rapini. Add the irizake and cover with the lid.
  3. Let the ingredients steam until the clams open (about 3-4 minutes).
  4. Uncover and add a pinch of salt. Add more if necessary. Stir.
  5. Serve immediately. Squeeze some lemon if you like.

What a delicious combination of all the flavors. Irizake really makes this simple dish special. I want to eat this every day.

Happy donabe life.