Itamemono or stir fry, is featured here with vegetables which have been cooked separately and brought together in a thickened dashi sauce, flavored with ponzu. I love the contrast between the fried eggplant here and daikon and meaty mushrooms which have been simmered in a kombu stock. It’s nice to introduce some vegan meals throughout the week and this itamemono is a great place to start. Source a good kombu and ponzu sauce and you’re in great shape. This stir fry is paired with pungent sushi rice and great with a cold beer. Serves four.
1 large eggplant
12 Crimini or large brown mushrooms
400 g Spinach
100g Daikon, peeled and large diced
1 Large shallot, minced
400ml plus 1 tablespoon Vegetable oil
2 Tablespoons Sesame seeds, toasted in a dry pan
400 ml filtered water
2 inch piece kombu
1cm piece of dried Japanese Chili
10 ml ponzu
6 ml mirin
10g ginger, julienned
1.5 Cups Minori Rice
50 ml Rice vinegar
1 Inch piece kombu
Start by making the sushi vinegar. Combine rice vinegar, sugar, salt and kombu over low heat to dissolve the sugar. cool in the fridge. Wash the rice five times and soak in water for ten minutes. Drain. Take 1.2 times the amount of water for rice and cook over medium heat, covered until the rice has absorbed all of the liquid. About seven minutes. Remove from heat and leave to continue steaming for five minutes. With a flat rice spoon, transfer rice to non-reactive bowl and season with sushi vinegar.
Next preheat oil to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Cube eggplant into large dice and season with salt. Leave for ten minutes and dry on paper towels. Fry in the oil until golden brown.
Next heat water with kombu, ginger, mirin and chili. When simmering, add the daikon and simmer for eight minutes. Add mushrooms and simmer until tender. About four more minutes. Remove from heat and season with ponzu. Heat remaining tablespoon of oil and add shallot. season with salt and add spinach. Saute over medium heat until cooked through. About three minutes.
Add xantham gum to the dashi and mix to combine. Add eggplant and spinach. In small bowls, push sushi rice to one side and vegetables to the other and top with toasted sesame seeds.
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