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Cuisine: Japanese

Tonjiru

As it’s getting colder recently, I would like to introduce a warm soup recipe, Tonjiru (豚汁, This Chinese character simply means pork soup). This is one of the miso soup variations with sliced pork and lots of vegetables. All those ingredients, especially pork enhances its flavours and matches really well with Konyaku. I think that the basic miso soup is a bit too lightly seasoned if you want to put Konyaku in it.

Tonjiru is also easier to make compared to normal miso soups. Dashi is the most important part for making miso soup but you don’t need it for Tonjiru as pork works as delicious dashi. We normally use thinly sliced pork in Japan but it is easier to get pork belly slices here which is absolutely perfect for Tonjiru. You can cut it thinly (no need of super thin!) against the fiber direction.

In the original recipe, it normally uses some exotic root vegetables such as burdock, mooli, and taro. If you could get them, it’s great but otherwise, you can put any other root vegetables like carrot, parsnip, turnip, celeriac, radish and potato along with some basic vegetables like onion and leak. When you put a lot of them, it can be a healthy lunch on its own. When you don’t have enough time, only leak, pork and konyaku will be also enjoyable as a side dish. I hope it will warm you up.

Mari

Konyaku Mustard Miso Canape

This recipe is inspired by “ika somen (squid pasta)” in Japan. The clear konyaku looks like thin squid sashimi however this dish doesn’t contain any fish and is suitable for a vegetarian diet.

This very original canape is full of flavour and has a stylish look. Why not try it with a glass of homemade lemonade or a glass of Saké?

For gluten free option, please ensure your miso is gluten free (Miso paste often contain cereals such as wheat or barley).

Tsuyoshi @ ex-Otabe Kafe
Photographed by Mike Slattery

One plate sukiyaki – Egg Florentine style

Sukiyaki is one of the best-loved dishes in Japan. It is made up of sliced meat, tofu and vegetables cooked together in a large pan in Sukiyaki sauce. Before being eaten the food is often dipped in a whisked raw egg.

People outside of Japan don't always want to try the raw egg dip though. Our Egg Florentine style Konyaku gives a similar experience to how Japanese people eat sukiyaki. It allows you to try Japan’s most famous dish on one plate with a poached egg.

Tsuyoshi @ ex-Otabe Kafe
Photographed by Mike Slattery