Even though there is still ranging heat in Japan I am beginning to see a shift in the seasons here in the UK. The nights are getting shorter and the weather cooler. The swallows are getting ready to migrate and the fields are being harvested. With that said I wanted to make one final summer Japanese dish before I start to think about heading over to making autumn meals.
This is something I have tried making in the past but it didn’t turn out to my liking but when I saw an NHK programme dining with the chef I knew I could try to make a vegan version.
Hiyajiru is a Japanese cold summer soup with rice. Traditionally with flaked mackerel and miso. Instead of the mackerel I decided to use flakes of jackfruit with aonori seaweed mixed in.
First you need to make a dashi, soak a small piece of kombu kelp for a few hours in 150ml of cold water, after bring the water to a simmer over a medium heat for ten minutes ( do not boil) then remove the kombu.
Add to the water, 1 tablespoon each of soy sauce or tamari and mirin then chill in the fridge.
Make some Japanese rice in advance and tip out into a bowl and allow to cool. I used 1 rice cooker cup – 2 rice cooker cups of water.
Emty the contents out of a tin of jackfruit rinse and drain, you will only need to use half a tin so transfer the other half to a container to use in something else ( you could try one of my other recipes like vegan crab sushi). To the other half of the drained jackfruit add a teaspoon of aonori.
Finely grate a 1 inch piece of peeled ginger.
Slice in half a bulb of myoga ginger and finely slice. Slice into rounds a two inch piece of Japanese cucumber, or similar. Half a lemon length ways and remove the skin and any seeds and dice into small cubes.
Chop half a green onion.
You will also need miso around one tablespoon, about a heaped teaspoon of vegan butter and a tablespoon of ground sesame.
Melt the butter in a pan and add the grated ginger and green onion and sauté, then add the jackfruit and miso keep stirring as it burns easily, add the ground sesame and stir in. Sauté for a few minutes then transfer to a dish, add your cubes of lemon and put in the fridge to cool.
Make a ball with your rice ( to fit in the middle of your bowl ) press the rice so it doesn’t fall apart. Pour around the rice your chilled dashi and then add around your rice slices of cucumber and myoga ginger. Finally top the rice with your jackfruit miso mixture, and maybe some sliced shiso leaves. Then add any remaining dashi over the rice. Eat by taking a little rice, mixture and dashi in each spoonful.
Hiyajiru is the signature dish from Miyazaki in southern Japan and has been selected as one of the top 100 countryside recipes making it the perfect summer meal as temperatures rise.
For dessert why not make Kohaku-kan brown sugar jelly.
Kohaku-kan mean amber relating to the colour of the jelly.
For the jelly we use Kanten which is made from seaweed and traditionally you would use raw cane sugar but I am using coconut palm sugar. This dessert is so easy and quick to make.
Depending on how many people you are making it for just double the recipe. This makes two servings if you decide to put the jelly with other things like sweet red beans and fruit.
For the jelly
125ml cold water
1.5 gram of powdered kanten
30 grams of coconut palm sugar
Plus a small container to pour the jelly into around 3×3 inch
You will also need to make kuromitsu which is a brown sugar syrup, simply made with brown sugar and a little water heated in a pan until it thickens and if you wish some sweet azuki beans to add over your jelly plus any fruit of choice. I added a few pomegranate seeds.
Add kanten to a pan with the cold water and stir to dissolve. Turn on the heat and bring to a boil then turn the heat to a simmer until the liquid looks clearer, then add your sugar and mix in. Turn up the heat and wait until your mixture starts to bubble then turn off the heat.
To a large bowl add some iced water then fit a small bowl inside. Pour your sugar jelly Into the empty bowl this will help to cool it down. Keep stirring this will stop the sugar sinking, when it starts to set at the edges pour into your mould. Allow to cool at room temperature then set in the fridge for a few hours.
Loosen the edges and tip out onto a plate and cut into squares.
Serve in a glass dish or bowl, with sweet azuki beans and pour over kuromitsu.
There you have it Hiyajiru cold summer soup and Kohaku-kan sugar jelly dessert
Let’s say goodbye to the summer and welcome in the new season.