This dish turns konbu (dried kelp) left over from the dashi-making process into a delicious, intensely salty-sweet pickle that can be enjoyed with rice or as a snack with green tea.
- 15 2-cm (¾ in) squares konbu (dried kelp - see Note)
- 2 whole dried shiitake mushrooms, rehydrated in warm water and thinly sliced
- 100 ml (3½ fl oz) soy sauce
- 100 ml (3½ fl oz) sake
- 50 g (1¾ oz) caster (superfine) sugar
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
- Rehydrate the konbu by placing it in cold water for 15 minutes. Drain.
- Place all the ingredients in a heavy-based saucepan, along with enough water to cover them. Cut out a circle of baking paper the same size as the mouth of the saucepan and place on top of the liquid; this will prevent it from evaporating too quickly. Cook over very low heat for 1–2 hours, or until the konbu has softened, topping up with a small amount of water if the liquid boils dry.
- Drain and allow to cool before serving. Tsukudani can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.
• Konbu and kombu are both names used for dried edible kelp (a type of seaweed).
Recipe from Tokyo Local by Caryn Liew and Brendan Liew, Smith Street Books, RRP $39.99