We had a lunch comprised mostly of items I made for the New Year (the red and white fish cakes are store bought and I did not realize this one has the letter “Kotobuki” 寿 on every cut surface (no doubt by co-extrusion process of white and red colored kamaboko ingredients). I rather prefer the simple red and white ones. In any case, the main dish here is from the osechi box. It is a cylindrical sushi made from sushi rice, wrapped with buri 鰤 (grown-up yellow tail) and thin slices of white radish called “Buri kabura zushi” 鰤かぶら寿司.
Here is a close up. This is a type of sushi called “Bo-zushi” 棒鮨. First sushi rice is formed in the shape of “bo” 棒 or “rod/cylinder) and then the upper side of the cylinder is wrapped with a thin filet of vinegared fish. In this particular dish, it was wrapped with vinegared “buri” or grown yellow tail and then thinly sliced large white radish. This appears to be a New Year dish famous in Toyama 富山. I slightly warmed it up in the microwave oven to bring the sushi rice back to its original texture. It is important to “take the chill off” of the rice but not cook the fish or radish (I used increments of 10 seconds of microwaving to control the process).
As a dessert, we had chestnut “shibukawa-ni” 栗の渋皮煮, sweet yam and chestnuts 栗きんとん and black beans in syrup 黒豆. All these are traditional new year dishes but they are rather sweet and this is the best way to enjoy, at least, for us. We had this “Fukamushi Shin cha” of the last year season from Uji Hibiki-an 深蒸し新茶、宇治 響庵.
Some time ago when we are dining at Sushi Taro Omakase, our conversation with Chef Kitayama went to North American Chestnuts. As I posted before, surviving (after chestnuts blight of 1940s) North American chestnuts have deep crevices and it is difficult to remove inner brown skin or “sibukawa” 渋皮 without breaking the chestnut apart. We asked Chef Kitayama how he handles this problem. He said he had to peel so many chestnuts and the perfect ones were set aside for dishes which requires whole chestnuts (such as shibukawa-ni) and the rest were used for other dishes (such as kuri-kinton).
Last year we also got a few sets of new tea cups from Hibiki-An. This is out favorite among them. It has a little turtle figure climbing up one side.
This was a quite filling lunch and nice dessert with wonderful green tea. Among the few green tea (sencha 煎茶) we tried from Hibiki-An, we like this tea the best so far.