This is entirely a Paul Qui dish. It reminds me of congee, which is essentially an Asian risotto. This definitely falls within the realm of "comfort food" for us. It's almost like a rice porridge. The goal was to take advantage of the flavor of the mushrooms. We serve it with the rice and the dashi stock in a hot pot with bonito flakes. It all steams together, and it's just amazing.
For the dashi broth: In a small sauce pot, heat the sake to the boiling point, when sake flames. Continue to cook until all alcohol has been cooked out, combine the remaining ingredients, and reserve in refrigerator.
Assembly: Heat the nabe, or Japanese hot pot, on the stove with the butter, and add the rice. Pour dashi broth over rice and add mushrooms and negi, cover with nabe lid, return to heat and let cook for 10 minutes. Top with egg and bonito flakes, return to stove, and cover to let the egg steam. Finish with lemon juice, lemon zest, and mitsuba leaves. Serve immediately.
In Japanese, these are called katsuobushi. Katsuo is a jackfish that is usually caught around Japan in the fall. In Japan, they take this fish and dry it. It gets to where a fillet almost looks like petrified wood. Then they take that and shave it into small flakes. It's one of the 3 or 4 core ingredients for traditional Japanese food. It's what you use to make dashi, which is used in just about any broth made in Japan.
This page created September 2011
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