This recipe is again from “a Buddhist Monk” which regularly appears in Asahi-shinbun Japanese newspaper. Since I got taro root or “sato-imo” 里芋 from our regular grocery store and saw this recipe video, making this dish was a “no-brainer”. I did not follow the original recipe precisely since I only had oyster mushroom (it calls for shimeji mushroom).
For greens, I used blanched rapini instead of spinach just because I had it. Of course, I did not used vegetarian broth and instead used bonito and kelp broth. I also did not have edible lily roots called “Yuri-ne” 百合根 or wood ear mushroom “ki-kurage” 木耳 which were called for in the original recipe.
Ingredients (for 5 dumplings):
Sato-imo “taro”, 4 medium, peeled, parboiled and washed in cold running water (to reduce the slimy surface).
Fresh mushrooms (Original recipe calls for Shimeji mushroom, I used oyster mushroom), arbitrary amount.
Green vegetables (Original recipe calls for spinach, I used blanched rapini), arbitrary amount.
Dashi broth 200ml (I used a “kelp and bonito flakes” dash pack but to make it a vegetarian dish one can use kelp broth)
Soy sauce 1 tbs
Mirin 1/2 tbs
Prepared chestnuts, 5, (I used bottled preserved chestnuts in syrup called “kuri-no-kanroni” 栗の甘露煮 (#1 below), cut into small chunks.
Potato starch or “Katakuri-ko” かたくり粉 for dredging.
Oil for deep frying
I added the parboiled sato-imo into the seasoned broth and cooked for 15-20 minutes or until a tooth pick goes through easily. I let it cool down in the broth and mashed it in a Japanese suri-bachi mortar すり鉢 then mixed in the chestnuts (#2).
I made small flat rounds (#3), dredged in potato starch and deep fried in 350 F oil for 3-4 minutes until the surface was nicely browned (#4).
I addeds the green and mushroom in the broth the sato-imo was cooked in and heat it up for a few minutes. I tasted and adjusted the seasoning (I added a small amount of additional soy sauce).
I placed the sato-imo cake in a serving bowl and arranged the mushrooms and the greens then
poured the warm broth over everything and served.
This is a very nice and interesting dish. The sato-imo cake has a thin crust, very soft creamy texture with the chestnuts being nicely firm and sweet. I think the blanched rapini with its slight bitter distinctive taste went better than spinach would have. This is also a rather filling dish.