Many years ago I bought YO Sushi: The Japanese Cookbook by Kimiko Barber. It was one of the first “real” recipe books I bought, and although I tried a few recipes from it I was never particularly successful with them.
Time has passed and we cook much more often, and much more exotic things these days. Plus, living in a big city we finally have access to many of the ingredients which I struggled to track down for recipes from this book. So, I’ve pulled the book of the shelf, dusted it off and decided to give this recipe a go.
One thing which eluded me in the past was dashi stock but I’ve managed to track down both kombu and bonito flakes which are used to make it (in fact, I’m posting a YouTube video about how to make dashi stock). With this made, you roll some beef in flour and fry it. Then add the stock and some chopped leek and bring to boil. Serve it up with some udon noodles and chopped spring onion, and some shichimi torogashi (“Japanese 7 Spice”) on the side.
I tried this once many years ago with instant dashi stock, but there was no comparison with the real thing. Despite bonito flakes having a strong fish aroma, there’s no taste of fish in this dish – just a strong and delicious umami flavour. The meal took a fairly long time to make since I made the stock from scratch but was remarkably easy overall.
It looks like we may be enjoying more Japanese meals going forward…