The Food Column: Japan's tragedy inspired cookbook on cuisine from Tohoku region

March 8, 2012 8:31 am
  • "Kibo" by Elizabeth Andoh includes recipes for Tohuko favorites.
    "Kibo" by Elizabeth Andoh includes recipes for Tohuko favorites.
  • Rice Taffy Dumplings with Crushed Edamame from "Kibo" by Elizabeth Andoh.
    Rice Taffy Dumplings with Crushed Edamame from "Kibo" by Elizabeth Andoh.
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For sugar syrup: Heat sugar and 2 tablespoons water in a small saucepan, stirring to dissolve. Continue to cook over medium heat, stirring, for 1 minute, or until the mixture becomes transparent and the bubbles become a bit foamy. Set aside.

For edamame sauce: Boil a large pot of water over high heat. Add the beans, return to a boil and cook 30 seconds. Drain, allowing beans to cool naturally (do not use cold water). When cool enough to handle, about 3 minutes, shell the beans. Put in food processor and pulse until smooth but slightly textured. Add half the sugar syrup and pulse until smooth, shiny and very cohesive. Set aside.

For dumplings: Put the rice flour in a bowl. Drizzle in 1 tablespoon warm water in a spiral pattern, starting at the rim of the bowl and working toward the center. Using your fingertips, stir to mix. Gradually add 1 to 2 more tablespoon warm water until the flour easily forms a mass that comes cleanly away from the sides of the bowl. Lightly knead dough and divide into 20 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a marble-sized ball and then press each with your thumb to flatten to a disk shape. Set aside on a plate or tray.

To cook the dumplings, bring a wide, shallow pot of water to a rolling boil. Gently drop the disks into the boiling water. Cook for at least 2 minutes after dumplings have floated to the surface. Using a fine-mesh skimmer, remove the dumplings from the pot and drop them briefly into a bowl of very cold water or ice water to rapidly chill them. Remove the dumplings from the water and put into the remaining sugar syrup for a few minutes.

Remove dumplings from the syrup and place in dishes, three to five per serving. Using a few drops of the marinade, or water, adjust the consistency of the edamame sauce. Place a dollop of edamame sauce over the dumplings. Serve immediately.

Makes 4 small servings.

-- "Kibo ("Brimming with Hope"): Recipes & Stories from Japan's Tohuku" by Elizabeth Andoh (Ten Speed, Feb. 2012, $3.99/Kindle edition)

Rebecca Sodergren:
First Published 2012-03-07 23:45:39

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