我が家のお盆料理 Our Cuisine for Bon Festival; the Cuisine for the Summer Festival   by Chemical chef

Japanese transportation becomes very crowded such as highway,express trains or air routes
because massive people go back from the metropolitan to their hometown between August 13  and 16.
They ,who left for some reasons such as school or work, return to their hometown during this period.
There are things that is an event that members of family gather and have meals on the same table
together then talk about their ancestors or visit their grave sites.

At an homes in the hometowns in Aomori, mothers are waiting at home by cooking tasty local food for
their sons or daughters who are coming home.That is my role in my family. I start thinking the menu
for two weeks before the event then ask my wife and revise it. Next, the menu is photocopied and
posted on the fridge. There are some small changes little every year though, those must be included
such as stewed wild vegetables,  sashimi of squid and scallops, deep-fried scallops and custard-like egg,
called “chawan-mushi”,adding sweet chestnuts. Some optional plates of the year are added to these
regular menus. From now on, I will introduce some dishes from my traditional recipe.

1.煮しめ(冷製)  Stewed wild vegetables (Cold)
【Ingredients】 2 sheets of firm tofu, 6 dried shiitake mushrooms, a handful of dried bracken and fern respectively
a sheet of konjaku m deep-fried fish paste( as you like) dashi soup (kelp, dried fish and soy sauce)

① 干した山菜(ワラビ、センマイ)を水につけ、2~3日かけて、水が澄むまで数回取り替えます。
① Apply dried vegetables(bracken,fern) to water and replace it several times until the water clears.
It takes a couple of days.

② 最も大切なだしを取ります。
②  It is the most important to make dashi soup. Dried shiitake mushrooms are soaked into water
to return from the night before. Do not throw away the returned juice for it is mixed into soup
stock. Put kelp and dried sardine in water and boil. The dried sardine is that is cut off the head
and taken out the internal organs then grilled and dried.

③ 焼き豆腐を作ります。
③  Make baked tofu.
Cut vertically firm tofu into 4 equal pieces, wrap it in kitchen paper and drain it. Place a large amount
of oil in a frying pan and bake until a baked color added on both side of the tofu.
After baking it up, put it on a wire mesh, apply hot water from the top, and drain the oil.
It is the characteristic of our family that we cook tofu or fried things instead of purchasing.

④ コンニャクは一口大に切り、ゆでこぼして独特の石灰臭を取り除きます。
④ Cut konjac into a bite size and boiled it to remove the unique lime odor.

⑤ 底の広い鍋に、材料ごとに分けて並べ入れ、材料が隠れるくらいのだしをはり、醤油を加え煮込みます。
⑤ Place each material in bottom of a wide pot. Pour dashi soup over the materials until it’s covered
and add soy sauce then simmer. When it boiled, turn down heat to low  and continue to cook
until taste penetrates. Take the lid off and cool it down to room temperature, then transfer it
including the soup to a big food container and cool it in a fridge. While it cools down, soup  is
soaked further into the materials. In the summer, I offer it as it cold.

2. イカ刺し、ホタテと海峡サーモンの刺身 Sashimi of squid, scallops  and  strait salmon

【材料】 活イカ 2はい  活ホタテ 5~6枚  海峡サーモン 10cm
ツマとして 大根 10cm、青紫蘇10枚、 キュウリ1本  ミョウガ5~6個
【Ingredients】Fresh two squids, 5 to 6 fresh scallops, some slices of strait salmon, radish in 10cm
long for garnishing, 10 leaves of green shiso(Japanese basil), 5 to 6 Japanese wild gingers.

① 朝どりの新鮮な活イカを購入してきて、直ちに内臓を取り除き、皮をはいで、素早く細く切る。
① After purchasing a fresh squid which were fished that morning, take out the internal organs immediately,
then pull the skin off quickly and slice it thinly.
Wrap it up so as not to touch the air, then put it to the fridge. As decoration for sashimi, shred radish,
green shiso and Japanese ginger and put it into water. Then let it dry and garnish it to sashimi.
Put out squid from the fridge just before serving and it on the plate.

② 活ホタテを貝殻のまま購入してきて、貝柱と円周状にとりまいているいわゆるヒモを取り除き、貝柱は60℃のお湯で
② Purchase the scallops that are still alive as they are. Remove scallop and mantle around it from the shell.
Boil scallops with hot water of 60 ℃(140 F )  for about  10 seconds. Immediately take it in cold water to
remove slimy stuff and stinks. Sprinkle some salt to the mantle of scallops, put it in a fine mesh bag,
and take the dirt and slime by rubbing . And boil them as like scallops were done.
Place some shredded salad on a dish which had been put in the fridge just before offering.
Cut scallops vertically to keep the feeling of chewing, then serve it.

























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