“It smells like Japan!” Lyra said when she walked into the kitchen. And so it did, that inimitable simmering dashi smell. We ate hijiki no ni mono pretty regularly when we lived in Japan. It was one of the only dishes Adam cooked and his main contribution to house meals.
Hijiki has a slightly liquorice flavour that works well with the carrots, and the chewiness of the fried tofu provides a contrast to the softness of the vegetables. It looks so pretty too…
Hijiki no ni mono
- 1/2 cup dried hijiki
- 1 piece abura age (deep-fried tofu puff)
- 1 Tb sunflower oil
- 2 small carrots, peeled and cut into thin strips
- 1/2 cup dashi
- 1 1/2 Tb sugar
- 1 1/2 Tb soy sauce
- 1 tsp sake
- Soak the hijiki in warm water for 20 minutes. Use a large enough bowl to allow the hijiki to double in size. Rinse in cold water and drain.
- Pour boiling water over the abura age to remove excess oil. Pat dry with paper towel, and cut into strips crosswise.
- Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the drained hijiki and carrots. Sauté for a couple of minutes until the carrots begin to soften.
- Add the dashi, sugar, soy sauce and sake and simmer for ten minutes.
- Add the abura age and simmer another five minutes, or until most of the liquid has disappeared.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.