[From June Issue 2010]
Ingredients [Serves 2]
- 1 block (200g) atsu-age
- 1 tsp potato starch
<minced meat stuffing>
- 60g minced chicken
- 10 cm green onion (finely chopped)
- (A) 1 tsp soy sauce
- 1/2 tsp ginger sauce
- 1 tbsp beaten egg
- 1 cup stock (1 tsp bonito and seaweed stock powder/commercially prepared)
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp sweet cooking rice wine
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp sake
- a pinch of salt
- 40g field mustard
- Inrou: A small, wooden case often tied to the waist, inrou was traditionally used to carry around small items such as personal stamps (inkan) and medicine. Inrou also refers to a dish where one ingredient is hollowed out and stuffed with other ingredients.
- Atsu-age: This is thick, deep-fried tofu, also called nama-age (raw and deep-fried) because its center remains uncooked. Atsu-age is similar but different to abura-age in that it is thin and deep fried instead (also referred to as usu-age.)
1. Pour boiling water over the atsu-age to rinse off any excess oil. Cut the block in half, then cut around the inside of each piece leaving 5 to 6 mm along the edges. Scoop out the atsu-age making a pocket.
2. Lightly mash the scooped out tofu then thoroughly mix it in a bowl with minced meat, green onions and part (A). Divide that mixture in two. Using a strainer, sprinkle half of the potato starch along the insides of the atsu-age, then spoon the tofu/meat stuffing into the pocket, sprinkling the remaining potato starch over it.
3. Boil water then cook the field mustard for approximately 1 minute. Once cooked, immediately immerse them in a bowl of cold water for another minute to brighten their green color. Remove, align the stalks and wring out the water, then cut in two.
4. In a pot mix together all the cooking broth ingredients then add the atsu-age. Cover, using an otoshi-buta (small wooden lid), and cook over a low-medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes, basting occasionally. Remove from heat when only a thin layer of broth is left.
5. Diagonally cut the atsu-age in half, then arrange them in a slightly deep dish. Garnish with the field mustard at the front and pour the remaining broth over top and serve.