Monday, December 19, 2005 11:41 PM
Kabocha korokke and winter comforts
I always crave kabocha croquettes in the fall and winter. I think I first experienced them at some chain izakaya in Japan, but even there they made an impression. I now seek them out anytime I am in Japan during in the cooler months. The sweet nuttiness of kabocha squash, mashed with potatoes, contrast nicely with the crunchiness of panko.
Unlike the usual Japanese croquette presentation, served with tonkatsu sauce or a similar fruity thickened worcestershire-enhanced sauce, I served mine with an apple-ginger chutney from a Washington apple orchard (Woodridge Farms, perhaps).
Hiromi and I collaborated on tonight’s meal, and she made this beautiful satoimo to gobo to ninjin no nimono (simmered baby taro root, burdock and carrot).
Since we went through the trouble of frying foods, we also decided to make agedashi-doufu. I’ve made this occasionally, but usually I’m so intent on getting what little crispiness I can from the experience of eating it that I don’t want to distract myself by letting it absorb the soup stock while I’m trying to take a few pictures. Today, though, I caved in, even though this is not one of my best agedashi-doufu. It would have been a bit nicer with some daikon-oroshi; all I could find in my refrigerator was some negi and shouga (scallions and ginger). It was reasonably crispy, though.
We also had some dotori muk, a Korean dish made from acorns. I served it with nothing more than a little soy sauce blended with sesame oil, which is just about right to bring out the nuttiness of the starchy dotori.