Crown Tournament 10/19/2019 - Sumashi-jiru すまし汁 (Clam Soup) & Yuzuke ゆずけ (hot water over rice)

Sumashi-jiru すまし汁 (Clam Soup)
Picture by Avelyn Grene (Kristen Lynn)
According to the Ryōri Monogatari,“Suimono” refers to a clear (or relatively clear) broth. The bowls should obtain few ingredients and should not feel crowded. In keeping with the tradition of one soup, and "X" number of sides, the soup that was provided in the second round was a suimono that would normally contain oysters, but, clams were substituted via cook's prerogative because the cook (me) does not care for the taste of oysters. Perhaps it has something to do with being land locked? Oysters come canned or frozen, but not exactly fresh?

Kaki かき (Oysters) - Put in salt, leave a good amount, and put in the oysters. When it steams, season to taste. If there is too little broth, then water or dashi can be put in. It can also be done without putting in the salt. Adding sakeshio is good.

Note: Clams substituted for Oysters

Interpreted recipe:

1 lb.clams (live, in shell, about 12 to 16)
5 cups water
Salt to taste
To garnish: lemon peel /or  mitsuba  (wild Japanese parsley)

Soak clams in salted water overnight, or at least for several hours. Heat basic clear soup to boil, drop in clams. After shells open up, place in a small soup bowl. Strain soup stock. Bring stock to a boil, and garnish with strips of mitsuba.

Note: The Japanese store where I purchased most of my items had frozen clams in the shell in 2 pound packages.  I used these for the feast. 

DASHI だし (BASIC STOCK) Chip katsuo into good size pieces, and when you have 1 shō worth, add 1 shō 5 gō of water and simmer. Sip to test and should remove the katsuo when it matches your taste. Too sweet is no good. The dashi may be boiled a second time and used.

Note: In Japanese cooking there are five different types of dashi:

Kombu Dashi - made from dried kelp (kombu)
Katsuo Dashi - made with katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes)
Iriko Dashi - made from iriko (dried anchovies), or niboshi (dried sardines)
Shiitake Dashi - made from shiitake mushrooms that have been dried
Awase Dashi - made from a combination of any of the above.

Many of the dishes I prepared used Awase Dashi as the stock, either a mixture of kimbu and katsuo or kombu and shiitake. The instructions for the dashi used for this dish can be found here.

Yuzuke ゆずけ (hot water over rice)
Garnished with Furikake and Umeboshi
Picture by Avelyn Grene (Kristen Lynn)
Yuzuke ゆずけ (hot water over rice)

Eric Rath advises that a "typical formula for describing the organization of trays and dishes at honzen banquets was “seven, five, three”. This indicated three trays each with a soup, and seven, five, and three side dishes on them respectively. This was the format of the banquet for Iemitsu in 1630, and one that was typical service for the shogun in the Edo period." It is believed that the discovery of "yuzuke" was an accident, attributed to the third Muromachi shogun, Ashikaga Yoshimitsu (1358–1408)  when he became drunk at a party, poured hot water on his rice, and ate it.

He further explains:
"Three trays was a typical formulation for shoguns, but the number of trays and the number of dishes on them varied for guests of other rank. Large banquets in the Muromachi period might have up to thirty-two side dishes, although some of these dishes, like a few described below, were decorative and not meant to be consumed.In the Edo period, most samurai including daimyo were, like commoners, limited by sumptuary legislation to just two trays of food at banquets, albeit daimyo that held their own provinces (kunimochi) were allowed seven side dishes, but commoners and hatamoto could only have five side dishes."

One of the more historically interesting dishes that was served at the feast was Yuzuke. Introduced in the Heian era, "yuzuke",  is a bowl of rice and hot water poured on top. It became f a formal banquet dish during the Muromachi era.  It is speculated that it may be a precursor to ochazuke. The "Ryori Monogatari (Story of the meals)" a recipe similar to ochazuke which combies rice, chestnuts, or sweet potato with tea. I include the information from the Ryori Mongatari for interest, but it was NOT served at feast.

NARA CHA 奈良茶 (NARA TEA) - First, roast the tea, put it in a bag, and boil just the tea and azuki. Next, put in beans and rice, and roast half of them. Make sure to cut the beans open and discard the shell. Alternatively, add such things as sasage, kuwai, or roasted chestnuts. Season with sanshō powder and salt. Whatever you season with is very important.

The Yuzuke that was served at feast consisted of rice with hot water poured over it and was garnished with umeboshi and furikake. It was visually stunning and so simple to put together.