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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

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

Crown Tournament 10/19/2019 - Aemaze あえまぜ - Fish Salad (aka Fish Shooters), Sakabite さかびて - Fish Flavored with Sake & Dashizake だし酒

 Aemaze あえまぜ - Fish Salad (aka Fish Shooters) Picture by Avelyn Grene (Kristen Lynn) The main tray of Iemetsu's Banquet in 1630, contained Aemaze あえまぜ and Sakabite さかびて . Because this banquet was the inspiration for Crown Tournament, I wanted to ensure that as close as possible these dishes were featured in the feast on the main tray. As a reminder, the dishes served on the first tray of the inspiration feast are listed below: Main Tray Grilled salt-cured fish (shiobiki) Octopus Fish-paste cake (kamaboko) Chopsticks Fish salad (aemaze) Hot water over rice (yuzuke) Pickles Fish flavored in sake (sakabite) Fermented intestines of sea cucumber (konowata) Salt for flavoring (teshio) Research indicated that aemaze's originates in the Muromachi period. It is the predecessor of namasu (raw salads), which is itself the predecessor of modern day sashimi. Further research indicated that Namasu typically consisted of slices of raw fish with vegetables or fruit with a vinegar bas

Crown Tournament 10/19/2019 - O-zoni お雑煮 - Rice Cake and simmered vegetables with fish paste cake

 O-zoni お雑煮 - Rice Cake and simmered vegetables with fish paste cake Picture by Avelyn Grene (Kristen Lynn) One of the quintessential dishes of the samurai cuisine is O-zōni, a meal originally thought to have been prepared in field battles consisting of mochi, vegetables and dried foods. This meal was once exclusive to samurai and so it became an essential dish to include in the Crown Tourney feast. In the Muromachi period, O-zōni was considered an essential dish for welcoming guests to a honzen ryori (a formally arranged dinner) meal. Today, this soup is served traditionally at New Year's. The soups may differ from region to region, but one ingredient is essential--rice cakes also known as mochi. The soup that was served at feast features square rice cakes called kaku-mochi in a clear broth. These rice cakes were common in the Edo period. According to Eric Rath, the "rice cake soup in Ryōri Monogatari calls for a stock made from miso or clear stock (dried bonito f

Crown Tournament 10/19/2019 - Shiobiki (塩鮭)/ Himono (干物) Grilled dried fish

Himono (干物) Grilled dried fish Picture by Avelyn Grene (Kristen Lynn) Iemitsu banquet in 1630 contained the following items on the first tray of food that was served: Main Tray Grilled salt-cured fish (shiobiki) Octopus Fish-paste cake (kamaboko) Chopsticks Fish salad (aemaze) Hot water over rice (yuzuke) Pickles Fish flavored in sake (sakabite) Fermented intestines of sea cucumber (konowata) Salt for flavoring (teshio) Many of the dishes from this banquet were served at Crown Tournament feast because I wanted to preserve, as much as possible, the flavor of that historic banquet. The kamaboko was served in O-Zoni soup. The aemaze (affectionately dubbed "fish shooters") were also served in the first course. The yuzuke, hot water over rice was moved to the second course. Pickles were served in their many varieties throughout the feast, either as individual dishes or as garnishes for the food. Salt was on the table as well as chopsticks. The two dishes

Pot Ash Leavening - AKA Cooking with Ashes

I remember a rather lively discussion on a facebook thread about cooking with "Lye".  I ran across this little adventure today and thought I would share it.The thread was concerned with the use of the  word "leyes" in the interpretation for " blaunche perreye ".  I can remember when first interpreting this recipe that the phrase "fyne leyes" gave me fits.  After several days of research I concluded that fyne leyes referred to fine lees or fine sediment found in wine. But the question remained, could lye have been used in period as a cooking agent? The idea of using wood ash lye held merit and I felt that I needed to spend some time researching the use of lye, or rather, potash in cooking.  Using potash in cooking has its roots in Mesoamerican cooking.  The Aztecs and Mayans used potash and slaked lime to break down the outer layer and endosperm of ancient corn to soften it and make it edible. This had the added benefit of increasing the nutriti

Japanese Basics -Dashi (だし, 出汁) or Dashijiru (出し汁) & Furikake (ふりかけ)

Dashi is the foundation of Japanese food and without a good dashi broth, many of your dishes will be flat and lacking the unique umami flavor that is expected in Japanese food.  Unlike stock which requires a multitude of ingredients and can take hours to make, a good Dashi is made from a small number of ingredients and can be ready in as little as 20 minutes. It is believed that Dashi was first produced as early as the 7th century, and many texts refer to it.  It was in common use in the Edo period. The recipe that was used at Crown Tournament can be traced directly to the  Ryōri Monogatari. 4. 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. Japanese recipes are usually measured by volume not weight.  The system uses “gō ” and “shō”.  1 gō is 180 ml, and 10 gō is

Crown Tournament 10/19/2019 - えだまめ - Edamame (Soybeans)

The earliest documentation of soy foods in Japan can be found in the Taihō Ritsuryō (Taiho Law Codes), written by Emperor Monmu in 701 CE.  This document also references "misho" the precursor to miso which appears later in 901 CE in the Sandai Jitsuroku. The first mention of Edamame, is found in a letter written by a Buddhist Saint to one of the parishioners of his temple, thanking him for the green vegetable soybeans in pods in 1275. This dish was very simple to prepare.  Simply steam your soybeans until they become tender and sprinkle with salt.

Crown Tournament 10/19/2019 - Tsuru no shiru 鶴の汁 (Crane Broth)

Tsuru no shiru 鶴の汁 (Crane Broth) Picture Courtesy of Avelyn Grene (Kristen Lynn) The samurai considered Crane soup a prized dish and a luxury. By the sixteenth century, it was a necessary served at formal warrior banquets. The recipe for the dish that was served in Iemetsu’s banquet closely resembles a recipe published in the Guide to Meals for the Tea Ceremony (Cha no yu kondate shinan, 1676), written by Endō Genkan (n.d.). Commoners were prohibited from eating crane and other fowl at banquets, it was a dish reserved for the elite. The dish that was served at Crown Tournament is my interpretation from the Ryōri Monogatari. according to Endō Genkan, Crane soup could be prepared with crane that was fresh or crane that had been preserved in salt.  The most important aspect of the preparation was to ensure that each bowl of soup contained one or two pieces of the leg meat of the crane. Tsuru no shiru 鶴の汁 (Crane Broth) Add the bones [of the crane] to broth and decoct. Pre

Crown Tournament 10/19/2019 - Namazu kabayaki ナマズの蒲焼 (Catfish Kabayaki), Gohan ご飯 (Rice), Gari ガリ (Pickled Ginger)

Namazu kabayaki ナマズの蒲焼 (Catfish Kabayaki), Gohan ご飯 (Rice), Gari  ガリ (Pickled Ginger) Picture Courtesy of Avelyn Grene (Kristen Lynn) Yakimono no Bu (焼物之部) is a style of cooking which refers to food that has been cooked via the direct application of heat like grilling, broiling or pan frying. rather than the indirect application of heat that was termed "Iru" and referred to dry roasting in a pan or pot with oil. In Japanese "Yaki" refers to grilled or fired, while "Yakimono" means "a fired thing. During the Muromachi period of the fourteenth century, a typical hon-zen ryori-style meal was served on the principle of "one soup, three sides", also known as ichi ju san sai (一汁三菜) .  For more information on this style of cooking, please read my earlier post  Crown Tourney 10/19/2019 - Honzen Ryori Style . The meal would come with the staples of rice, soup and pickles in addition to the three okazu, or side) dishes which consisted of

Crown Tournament 10/19/2019 - Mikawa ae みかわあへ (salt and miso cured cucumbers) & Kohaku-namasu 紅白なます (Daikon and carrot Salad)

Mikawa ae  (みかわあへ) Picture Courtesy of Avelyn Grene (Kristen Lynn) T his beautifully simplistic dish of cucumbers that have been pickled in miso paste was one of the star dishes of the banquet. It was elegant to look at and a wonderful accompaniment to the other dishes that were served in the first course. It is believed that Miso originated in Japan during the Yayoi period (300 BCE to 300 CE). Miso is mentioned in the "Nihon Sandai Jitsuroku" ("The True History of the Three Reigns of Japan") that was compiled and completed in the year 901. In fact, Miso was once used to pay high level bureaucrats; it was a luxury item that most people could not afford to purchase. Mikawa ae (みかわあへ) Chop up cucumber with its skin. Sprinkle in some salt, rub it in, and quickly rinse and wring it out. Put in hanagatsuo (dried bonito shavings). Dress with poppy miso thinned with irizake and vinegar. If it is tough, the skin can be left out. Cucumber Pickles with Mis