Classic Traditional
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Veggie stew with Hijiki

Never belittles these “black little thingy”. Yes, black little thingy – my children would call whenever they see them on the dinning table. Indeed to children,  “black food” aren’t very inviting, especially picky eaters like mine. Hijiki 芽ひじき is actually seaweed which is well-known for its good nutrients. They are rich  in fibre and other essential minerals such as iron, magnesium and calcium.DSC_1096

You may have already tried it before in Japanese restaurants, Hijiki is a very common ingredient used in Japanese cuisine and mostly served cold as an appetiser. Hijiki-nimono ひじき煮物 shown below is one of the popular dishes.

Kyuushoku 給食 – School lunch is provided in most primary schools in Japan. Whenever I visit my children on school open days, I’m happy to see how well-balanced and nutritious the meals they’ve prepared for the pupils. It’s surely a thumbs-up for their no-junk, carefully planned lunch menus. Sometimes my children would even ask to re-create the meals at home. Apparently, this is a good one they’ve requested.

Vegetable stew with Hijiki

What You Need

30g of Dried Hijiki
50g of Kon-nyaku
1/4 of carrot
50g of Abura-age Tofu (Tofu pouch)
A few slices of Lotus root

For seasoning

200ml Japanese broth, Dashi
2 Tbsp of soya sauce 
1 Tbsp of sugar
1/2 Tbsp of cooking rice wine

Prepare these beforehand…

Soak Hijiki and discard the soaking water after 30 minutes.  
Slice carrot, lotus root, abura-age tofu and konnyaku as shown above. 
Combine all seasoning in a bowl and mix well.

In a pot, pour in the seasoning and bring it to boil. Add in all ingredients and lower the heat down a little . Put a small lid over and allow it to simmer gently for about 10-15minutes or until the seasoning mixture thickens. Stir occassionally to prevent burning.hijiki_is

Japanese often use an Otoshibuta おとしぶた when simmering food. It allows the seasoning to absorb well into the food without getting too wet. The water vapour evaporates, leaving the food intact and not breaking into small pieces. It’s a very typical Japanese cooking technique. Before I own this wooden Otoshibuto, I used a bigger lid. In the end, it always turned out wet and watery. I guess that’s because a bigger lid creates a steaming effect. Do you know you can D-I-Y a disposable Otoshibuta? To find out, check out here.DSC_1075

For more varieties,  you can garnish this dish with some Edamame beans. Having fussy eating children, I usually like to add some greens into my dishes to make them look colourful and appetising.

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I hope you find something you like on Geri&Plates – if you happen to try any of my recipes, don’t forget to tell me how it turned out. I’m all ears!! Drop me a message below or it’ll be great if you share a picture of it on my Facebook page or tag it to #sharewithgeri on Instagram.

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