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chirimen-jako/shirasu


prasantrin
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I love chirimen-jako--the kind that has been is a bit sweet--almost caramelized (not the saltier or the more vinegary-versions) and is most often eaten with your rice in the morning (sort of like furikake, but it's not). It seems to be one of those things all Japanese women know how to make, so I'm not having much luck finding a recipe for it on the web or in a cookbook. I'm guessing there is soy sauce, mirin, sugar...anything else? And does anyone have an idea of what proportions I should start experimenting with?

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Living in Kanto I am more of a shirasu girl myself.... :biggrin:

I make a really simple furikake with it using just soy sauce, mirin and sesame seeds. I saute the chirimen until they turn a little brown (using no oil) anfd then add drops of soy and mirin, sprinkle with some sesame seeds and cook a bit until the liquid evaporates.

I do a similar one with hijiki. I saute the chirimen add rehydrated hijiki and saute a bit more than I add dashi, sugar, soy and sake and simmer until all the liquid has evaporated and add some seame seeds. This is great as a maze gohan (mixed rice) where you just mix a bit of this into the cooked white rice.

My favorite use for shirasu (preferable the softer kamaage ones) is to mix them with grated daikon and a bit of soy sauce and eat this with a bowl of hot rice. When I used to stay at my ex-boyfriend's house in Tokyo this is what his family ate every morning for breakfast (along with grilled fish, some kind of egg dish, miso soup and some salad), it was always my job to grate the daikon since I couldn't do anythingelse..... :blink:

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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I love chirimen-jako--the kind that has been is a bit sweet--almost caramelized (not the saltier or the more vinegary-versions) and is most often eaten with your rice in the morning (sort of like furikake, but it's not).

I still cannot determine what exactly you are referring to. Is it something like this?

(Scroll down and look at the first two photos.)

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There are also hundreds of variations of shirasu gohan.

You could simply mix the cooked rice with some shirasu/chirimen or add other things like sesame seeds, nori, ginger,etc

you could make a quick furikake like topping by sauteing the shirasu/chirimen with some seasonings (soy/sake/mirin/etc) maybe adding some other ingredients like chopped up daikon or turnip leaves, mushrooms, etc and then either top the rice with it or mix it togther.

then there are the donburi style dishes top the rice with softly scrambled eggs and shirasu/chirimen or maybe a combination of nori, grated daikon and shirasu drizzles with a bit of soy sauce...

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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here is one of my favorite recipes when I have it on hand I toss a large handful of blanched shirasu in with the grated daikon:

My favorite recipe for grated daikon (I make this a lot!)

Japanese spinach salad (sorry, I am not very creative with names)

Boil until tender

1 bunch of spinach

rinse under cold water, drain sqeezing out excess water, and season with

a sprinkling of mirin, soy sauce, and dashi (if you don't have the mirin or dashi don't worry about it.)

remove the seeds (and skin if you like), then dice

1 tomato

grate enough daikon to equal 1 cup (about 1/3 to 1/2 a daikon)

this should be a very fine grating, similar to grated ginger

drain off the excess liquid, I place it into a cheesecloth and wring it out gently.

In a bowl stir together

3 Tablespoons rice vinegar

1 Tablespoon sugar

stir until dissolved, then add the chopped tomato and grated daikon and mix gently.

Place the spinach into a shallow bowl or a dish with sloping sides and place the daikon, tomato mixture on top.

Serve.

copied from the daikon thread:

http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=15648

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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Sorry for the delayed reply, but I am in Thailand right now :biggrin: .

I think the first post of Kristen's pretty much summed up the recipe--simple as it is! Thanks! I'll have to play around with proportions till I get just the right flavour. I prefer sweet to salty and I find the commercially available chirimen jako I buy leaves me quite parched. My mother doesn't find it to be salty at all, though.

And the picture of chirimen that Hiroyuki linked to looks like what I buy. Except I think the description had the kanji for spicy or chili (I'm not sure which) and the one I get isn't spicy at all. It just has the sweetness of mirin/sugar and the saltiness of soy.

When I get back to Japan I'm going to have the try the recipe Kristen posted, too. I think my mother would love it!

Thanks!

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And the picture of chirimen that Hiroyuki linked to looks like what I buy.  Except I think the description had the kanji for spicy or chili (I'm not sure which) and the one I get isn't spicy at all.  It just has the sweetness of mirin/sugar and the saltiness of soy. 

the characters you see are 甘辛 amakara and this is a very popular food descriptor. 甘 ama from amai or sweet and 辛 kara from karai or spicy, but in Japan karai doesn't always refer to a chile kind of heat it can also refer to salty-heat.

So when you see foods referred to as amakara they are actually sweet-salty.

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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  • 4 months later...

At the Shirokiya over here, we just had a Fukuoka Fair. I picked up this Ume-Chirimen, which had little bits of dried ume and shiso leaves in mixed in with the Chirimen...yummy! Now I need a hot bowl of rice....

UmeChirimen.jpg

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  • 2 years later...

I've had these TINY (1/4-1/2") dried anchovies in a number of japanese bento dishes, as well as some korean ones. I've purchased them, and eaten them, but whenever i have them at home they don't taste the same.

The ones i've had always seem to have a very light coating of something, maybe very slightly sweet and salty, but they're still chewy.

Anyone know how to prepare them this way?

thanks

jason

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I've had these TINY (1/4-1/2") dried anchovies in a number of japanese bento dishes, as well as some korean ones. I've purchased them, and eaten them, but whenever i have them at home they don't taste the same.

The ones i've had always seem to have a very light coating of something, maybe very slightly sweet and salty, but they're still chewy.

Anyone know how to prepare them this way?

thanks

jason

Usually in korea they are marinated in soy sauce and some sugar or eaten as is with dipping sauce. Here is a recipe if you would like to try Myolchi chorim/bokkum. There are a lot of different ways to make this. Sometimes I just frys them with oil and then add the seasonings, and no veggies. Also you can add some ground korean peppers to the oil to make a spicy version.

6 oz of small dried anchovies

1/2 lb of the korean peppers a mix of red and green are pretty (Japanese mild peppers work)

1/2 c soy sauce

3 Tbsp. sugar

2 tbsp. chongju (korean rice wine, use sake, or vermouth)* optional

3 tblsp. vegetable oil

5 cloves garlic minced fine

1 tbsp. sesame seeds toasted

2 green onions white and pale green parts only thinly sliced *optional

1 tbsp. sesame oil

1/2 tsp salt ( I add a little less or none at all)* optional

1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper

Soak anchovies in 1/2 cup cold water for 15 minutes. Drain anchovies reserving the liquid. Rinse the mild peppers and pat dry, and slice diagonally in 1 inch pieces. To the anchovy water add the soy sauce, sugar, and chongju, and mix. In a skillet on med heat add the vegetable oil, garlic, and green onions for about a minute or two stirring, increase the heat to medium high and add the anchovie water mixture. Let it come to a boil then add the anchovies and cook for about 10 minutes or so the mixture should be drying up. You should stir to keep it from burning. Add the peppers until bright green. Taking the pan off the heat add the sesame oil and sesame seeds, and toss in black pepper and salt. Serve warm. room temp, or chilled.

I hope this works for you. You should play around with it to suit your taste. I reduced the amount of peppers in this recipe as the original called for a full pound. I thought it was too many peppers.

I hope other people will post their recipes, as usually I throw things together until it tastes just right so taking measurements is difficult. I would like to see the japanese recipes.

Edited for spelling

Edited by milgwimper (log)
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I've had these TINY (1/4-1/2") dried anchovies in a number of japanese bento dishes, as well as some korean ones. I've purchased them, and eaten them, but whenever i have them at home they don't taste the same.

The ones i've had always seem to have a very light coating of something, maybe very slightly sweet and salty, but they're still chewy.

Anyone know how to prepare them this way?

thanks

jason

Hi Jason,

I have merged your question into a previous similar thread so you might want to scroll up to get some more ideas! :biggrin:

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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I can't believe I haven't yet posted this photo here.

Natto topped with bonito flakes, sesame seeds, pickled (pickled daikon leaves here), and shirasu

gallery_16375_4570_136696.jpg

This dish is called kirizai here in the Uonuma region of Niigata.

And a photo of shirasu

gallery_16375_4570_117567.jpg

I'm a Kanto person and a shirasu boy. :biggrin:

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  • 1 year later...

Is it possible to buy chirimen that is untouched--just the raw little tiny anchovies? I've been eyeing the ones at my local grocery stores, but they all seem to have been processed in some way (salted, boiled, etc.).

I want to make a sort of pate out of them.

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