Crown Tournament 10/19/2019 - Shimofuri 霜降 Sho no Irizake 精進の煎り酒 and Ebi no Umani 海老のうまに

Picture by Avelyn Grene (Kristen Lynn)

Shimofuri 霜降 (Falling mist)  is the name of a technique that is still in use today. This dish marked the main dish of the second tray or Nino-Zen.  Shimofuri means "frosting," and it is a technique to seal in the  flavor or umami  taste. Shimofuri is often used for cooking fish or meat. It also eliminates the extra fishy smell in the final dish and helps fish pieces to stay intact in soup or broth. The fish I used was cod that had been cut into similar sized pieces. Accompanying the the steamed fish was  hoshi (cold smoked)salmon that had been cured in sake and salt, and seasoned with seven spice powder, gomae (sesame spinach) and an attempt at tamogoyaki :-D, my omelette rolling skills need much improvement!

SHIMOFURI 霜降り (FALLING MIST, AKA BLANCHING) - Slice tai (sea bream) into strips and put them in boiling water. When done, cool it with water. Also called shiramete (whitening). Alternatively, yugaku is anything which is suddenly boiled.

SHŌ NO IRIZAKE 精進の煎り酒 (VEGETARIAN IRIZAKE) - Cut tōfu in dengaku sized pieces and toast them over flame. Take such things as umeboshi and dried turnip, then slice and add them. Boil it all in aged sake. Alternatively, using a little tamari in plain sake is good. There exist oral traditions.

1 shô = 1.804 Liter = 1.906 quarts = 60.8 ounces
1 gô = 180ml = 6.08652 ounces

QUICK IRIZAKE 煎酒急候時 - When you are in a hurry, put 2 sticks of katsuobushi and 5 gō of dashi in 1 shō of sake. Taste, add tamari, and serve. You should put 6 or 7 umeboshi in 1 shō of sake. Decoct a good amount of salt and tamari and put it in.
1 shô Katsuo (Bonito)
15-20 Ume -Umeboshi
2 shô of aged sake

Interpreted Recipe

1 bottle of sake
1 piece 2"x2" dashi kombu (dry kelp)
6-7 small- medium-sized umeboshi (pickledplum)
15g katsuo bushi (shaved dry bonito flakes)

To start, soak kombu in sake for 3-4 hours. Remove. (No heating is necessary, because kombu is used for bringing just a subtle flavor to the sake.)Add umeboshi to the sake and bring to simmer. Simmer for 5-6 minutes.Add katsuo and continue to simmer for 15-20 minutes until the sake is reduced by half. Remove from heat and let it rest for 5 minutes. Strain the sake through a fine-mesh strainer. 

Hoshi sāmon ほしサーモン-  Cold smoked salmon with Schichimi Togarashi 

5-6 pounds of salmon or halibut
½ cup salt
½ cup sugar
⅔ cup sake

Pat dry the salmon fillets with a kitchen paper towel. Mix together sugar, salt and seven spice powder. Slice salmon in half, pour sake over salmon and sprinkle with salt, sugar and spice mixture. Wrap the salmon fillets with kitchen paper towel and cling wrap over. Refrigerate the fillets overnight or at least 7-8 hours. 

Rinse salmon, and allow to soak for approximately 30 minutes before smoking. Pat dry, place on a pan, skin side down until the salmon dries (approximately 4 hours). Cold smoke salmon until the exterior is bronzed and the salmon feels semi-firm and leathery.

Shichimi Togarashi - 七十七七- Seven Spice Powder

2 tbsp. red chili flakes
1 tbsp. dried orange peel
2 tsp each white and black sesame seeds
1 tsp Sichuan peppercorns
1 tsp. powdered ginger
½ tsp. poppy seeds
½ sheet toasted nori

In a dry skillet lightly toast sesame seeds, Sichuan peppercorns & poppy seeds being careful not to burn. Transfer to a bowl to cool. Place all ingredients in a grinder and grind until coarsely ground. Store in airtight jar.

Spinach Gomae ほうれん草ごまえ
1 pound Spinach
Pinch of salt
2 tbs white sesame seeds
1 tbs tahini or sesame paste
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp Mirin
2 tsp soy sauce

Place the sesame seeds, tahini, sugar, mirin, and soy sauce in a mortar and grind them all together and set aside. Boil water in a large pot and add the spinach bunch in (from the stem side first) and cook for about 1 minute. Take the spinach out and put immediately in icy cold water to avoid the spinach being cooked further. Squeeze out excess water and cut the spinach about 5 cm long. Roll into balls.

Serve with the sesame sauce and sprinkle more sesame seeds on top.

Tamagoyaki - 玉子焼き- Japanese Rolled Omelette 

3 large eggs
2 Tbsp neutral flavor oil (vegetable, canola, etc)
3 Tbsp dashi (Use Kombu Dashi for vegetarian)
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp soy sauce (Use GF soy sauce for gluten-free)
1 tsp mirin
2 pinch salt (kosher or sea salt; use half if using table salt)

In a small bowl, combine the dashi, salt, soy sauce, sugar, and water. Mix until everything is dissolved. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs and add the seasoning mixture. Mix until well-combined.
Heat a tamagoyaki pan over medium-high heat. Brush a thin layer of oil on the pan. Pour a third of the egg mixture into pan and quickly swirl to cover the entire pan. When the egg is half-set, gently roll the egg. With the rolled egg still in the pan, pour in another third of the egg mixture. Lift up the rolled egg and let the mixture to flow under it. When the egg is half-set, roll the omelette toward you.  Repeat with the rest of the egg mixture. Slice into bite-sized pieces.

Picture by Avelyn Grene (Kristen Lynn)

Ebi no Umani  海老のうまに

EBI 海老 - Preparation method of Ni iro に色 (Red) - Add dashi-tamari vinegar. Anything is good. -

5 shrimp shell and head-on if possible
1/2 cup sake (1/2 cup = 120 ml)
1 Tbsp mirin
1/2 cup dashi (1/2 cup = 120 ml)
2 Tbsp tamari

With shell/head-on, devein shrimp and quickly rinse under cold running water. Cut off the pointy tip of head and antennas with a pair of kitchen shears (or knife). Cut off the tail at an angle for better presentation (optional).

In a medium saucepan, combine 1/2 cup (120 ml) sake and 2 Tbsp. mirin. Turn on the heat and bring to boil over medium heat and let alcohol evaporate. Add 1/2 cup (120 ml) dashi and 2 Tbsp. soy sauce and bring to boil. Once boiling, lower heat to simmer and place the shrimp in the sauce, bending and holding its back with chopsticks or a pair of tongs to create a shape of Hiragana “つ”. Add all the shrimp to cook at the same time so the cooking time will be similar. Simmer for 4-5 minutes, skimming while cooking on low heat.

Once it’s cooked, immediately transfer the shrimp to a container, saving the cooking liquid. Strain the cooking liquid, preferably over coffee filter or super fine mesh strainer to remove the unwanted protein and fat (the final shrimp will look cleaner and prettier). Discard the filter and let the cooking liquid cool.

Once the cooking liquid is cool, pour over the shrimp. Do not pour the hot cooking liquid on to the shrimp, this will overcook the shrimp. Cover and soak for a few hours (at least) or overnight. Serve it at cold or room temperature.

Onishime オニシメ

Carrots & Mushrooms

1 3/4 lb. carrots
1 1/2 cups dashi
4 T. sugar
2 T. mirin
1 T. soy sauce
1 tsp. salt

Peel the carrots and cut into 1/2 inch long rounds. Cook in dashi about 4 to 5 minutes.Stir in sugar, mirin, soy sauce and salt.Turn down heat, keep at a simmer until almost tender.

Renkon (Lotus Root)

1 lb. lotus root
2 cups dashi
1 1/2 T sugar
1 1/2 T mirin
2 1/2 T soy sauce

Peel the renkon and cut into 1/3 inch pieces.- Parboil renkon for about 3 minutes.Put renkon and dashi into a pot and cook about 5 minutes.- Add sugar and mirin. Simmer 3-4 minutes and then add soy sauce.


1 3/4 lb. gobo (burdock root)
3 cups dashi
5 T sugar
2 T mirin
1/3 C soy sauce

Scrape and julienne gobo. Keep in cold water to avoid discoloration. Parboil about 10 minutes. Place parboiled gobo into a pot with dashi, sugar, mirin and soy sauce into a pot. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cover with a lid and simmer until reduced by a third.