Originally published on metropolis.co.jp on December 2012From Kibo: Brimming With Hope, an e-cookbook by Elizabeth Andoh celebrating the cuisine of Tohoku. Part of proceeds go to a GlobalGiving recovery project in which 200 young entrepreneurs receive sponsorship to rebuild the disaster-hit area. ¥279. http://meturl.com/kibo
- 11/2 cups water
- 1/2 cup (about 1oz) thinly shredded dried squid (shred across the grain)
- 1 cup (about 4oz) julienned carrot strips
- 1/4 cup regular soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons packed dark brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons saké
- 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1/2 dried hot red chili (togarashi), seeds removed
Serves 4 to 6 as an appetizer
Bring the water to a rolling boil in a small pot. Add the squid strips, stir to ensure all have been briefly submerged and cook until water returns to a boil (less than 1 minute). Remove pot from stove and add carrot strips. Stir to be sure all are submerged and let them sit for about 45 seconds (they will wilt slightly). Strain the squid and carrot, reserving the liquid in a heat-resistant glass jar. This flavor-packed broth will be used shortly. Do not refresh the squid and/or carrots in cold water. Do not rinse out the pot; it will be used to make the marinade, and lingering flavor from the blanching will add to the final flavor.
Transfer the drained squid and carrots to a non-reactive container, one that has a tight-fitting lid. Glazed ceramic ware, enamel-lined metal (what the Japanese call horo ware), or glass (Mason jar) is best. Avoid metal or plastic.
To make the marinade, combine the soy sauce, brown sugar, and saké in the same pot you used to blanch the squid and carrots. Return the pot to the stove over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove the pot from the stove once the sugar has melted. Add the vinegar, chili, and 1 tablespoon of strained broth and stir. Pour the marinade over the drained squid and carrots, jiggling to make a flat layer barely covered with marinade. If need be, add more broth to barely cover the squid and carrots. To ensure the food is completely moistened throughout the marinating process, it is best to cover with a layer of cheesecloth, sturdy paper towel, or piece of kombu.
Let the covered mixture stand at a cool room temperature for at least 8 hours to develop flavor and texture, or refrigerate for a minimum of two days. The marinated squid and carrots will be ready to enjoy anytime thereafter. The mixture can be stored (covered with the towel or cheesecloth), refrigerated for up to 10 days; the flavors will intensify considerably with time.
When you are ready to serve, lift the squid and carrot strips from their marinade. If you will not be using all the mixture and wish to refrigerate some for the next day, keep the cover on. If you will be serving all, drain the marinade and discard it. Mound the jerky and carrot mixture in small haystack-like portions, or serve izakaya or pub-style in a communal bowl.