Friday, 3 August 2018

Zucchini, Beans, & Onion Japanese Style

It must be summer; it's zucchini and beans. From here to September, zucchini and beans. And oh, look! An onion! Well, this was a slightly different thing to do with them. They went with the Tsukune, of course, and also some rice.

You know how I'm always banging on about drying your shiitake stems and saving them? This is what you are saving them for, or one thing anyway. You could replace them with 4 or 5 whole dried shiitakes, in which case you should save the tops, slice them up, and add them to the vegetables, but even so you are going to lose some frugality points.

Somehow in the last year potato starch has become an absolute kitchen staple, without which I cannot do. I'm okay with that.

4 servings
30 minutes prep time - but note the need to soak some ingredients longer

Zucchini, Beans, & Onion Japanese Style

Make the Sauce & Toast the Sesame Seeds:
1/4 cup dried shiitake stems
a 4" x 6" piece of kombu (kelp)
1 cup water
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons miso
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon mirin
1/2 teaspoon potato starch
1 teaspoon sesame seeds

Put the shiitake stems and broken up kombu into a small pot with the water. Let them soak for half an hour anywhere up to overnight.  Bring them to a boil and simmer for about 10 minutes, covered, then strain the liquid and discard the solids. There should be at least 1/2 cup broth, which is the amount you need to continue.

Mix the sugar, miso, vinegar, and mirin into the broth, stirring well to be sure the miso is dissolved. Best to do this while the broth is still a little warm. When it is cool, stir in the potato starch until dissolved.

Heat a very small skillet over medium heat, and toast the sesame seeds in it until lightly browned. Stir regularly, and watch carefully - nothing will happen, and then they will go from golden to burnt in approximately 10 seconds, unless you turn them out immediately onto a small plate to cool. So do that.


Cook the Vegetables:
1 medium-large zucchini
1 medium sweet onion, with the greens
2 cups green bean pieces
1 tablespoon mild vegetable oil

Wash and trim the zucchini. Cut it in half lengthwise, then into half-moon slices of about 1/2" thick. Slice the onion the same way, but in slightly thinner slices. Chop the greens into pieces about 1" long; set them aside by themselves. Wash, trim, and cut the beans into 1" lengths.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the zucchini pieces and cook, stirring, for a minute or so. Add the beans and continue cooking for another minute or two. Add the white half-moon onion slices, and continue cooking and stirring until the vegetables look just a couple of minutes short of done to your liking.

Pour the sauce over the vegetables and mix in well. Let simmer for another 2 or 3 minutes until the sauce has thickened and coats them, stirring occasionally, then transfer them to a serving dish. Sprinkle them with the toasted sesame seeds.

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