Monday, November 1, 2010

Sunomono - 3 ways to enjoy


Sunomono (Marinated Vegetable-Cucumber is mainly used in this sweetened vinegar dish) makes a nice side dish not a main course, but it is a great dish which gives a pleasant, wonderful accent to a meal.

Also it's always been said that vinegar is good for you with a lot of great effects to your body.
And acidity=sourness is one of the basic taste that human tongue can detect.

For me, a little dish with a vinegar-ish taste is great side dish, I prefer along with a rice dish.

Rice, Miso soup, a couple of nice Okazu (side dishes) , and little Sunomono, this is what i would consider to be a perfect meal.

And the greatest thing is you can make everything very easily with any vegetable you like, vinegar, sugar, and little bit of salt.

I will introduce to you - 3 different ideas to flavor up your Sumomono.

This is Japanese eggplant, daikon radish, Persian cucumber, and shiso leaves.
Shiso leaves are very popular here now, they can give a great flavor and a clean taste to any dish. I would say this is the most used and favored herb among Japanese people.

I love to add Shiso leaves to Sumomono, but at the very end, right before you eat. If you want to use Shiso leaves for vinegared and hot (temperature) dish,
please add at the end in order to keep their nice green and purple color.

For this one, Kohlrabi, Zucchini, and carrots, sliced with peeler.
I used a unfamiliar ingredient for Japanese Sunomono - Kohlrabi and Zucchini.
But both have a great taste as Sunomono. It's sliced very thin with a peeler so you can eat it fresh and the vinegar is soaked up and marinated quickly.

To use these unfamiliar ingredients this dish worked out pretty good.

This one, cucumber, wakame seaweed, tomato, sakura-ebi (dried-shrimp), and shio-kombu (salted, shredded-kelp).

Shio-kombu contains enough salt and UMAMI (tastiness), so I prepared each ingredient and tossed together with little rice vinegar and then chilled in the fridge for an hour. Dried-shrimp has a great UMAMI flavor too, so it gets tastier when marinated in the fridge. There is no sugar or salt added.

AMAZU (sweetened vinegar)

Rice Vinegar                     1/3 cup
Cane Sugar                       5 tbsp.

Vegetables(sliced or cut)    about 2 cups
Salt                                1/2 tsp.

1) Mix vinegar and sugar well until sugar is dissolved.(you can heat the vinegar, but just a little, never boiled!)
2) Slice or cut vegetables and sprinkle salt and toss. Let it sit for 30 min.
3) Squeeze water from the vegetables and add the vinegar mixture to marinate.
4) Keep marinated it inside of the fridge at least 2-3 hours.
*You can keep it in an air-tight container for few days. 

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