Japanese Authentics, Recipe, Soup/Juice, Vegetables
Leave a Comment

TOGAN, the Winter Melon

We are in the midst of the most muggy season of the year, the rainy season. Besides the high temperature with the humidity, the summer season may not be the most pleasant times in Japan especially for visitors who are not used to the Asian humidity.
Yet, slowly but surely we are able to see Summer Vegetables arrive in the Tokyo markets and amongst many, one of the favorite is the TOGAN, WINTER MELON.

It is probably similar to a soft cucumber, subtle in taste also very low in calories; i.e. VERY HEALTHY.
DSC_0010

 

One of my favorite ways of cooking this TOGAN is with a fish broth; which could be the bonito broth (dashi) which I have introduced in this blog but  I’ve come crossed a FLOUNDER in the fish market yesterday.
Although Japan is known to be a fish-eating country, fish do not come inexpensive but the remains from the sashimi do, as like the head the bones are very affordable buys especially to extract good stock.
DSC_0008
Boiling the FLOUNDER for about 10-15 minutes in low heat making sure to extract the froth for nice clear soup.

DSC_0012

DSC_0016

Cut the TOGAN into mouthsize pieces and combine the SOUP + TOGAN, bring to medium boil until the TOGAN is soft.
Flavouring the soup with
  • 1 tablespoon of SAKE
  • 1 tablespoon of MIRIN
  • 1 tablespoon of LIGHT SOY SAUCE
  • 1 teaspoon of SALT
 DSC_0018

 

Although restaurants and outside dining will probably never do this, I have added the FLOUNDER white meat into the soup.

DSC_0019

At the final stages
is added to thicken the soup before refrigerating.
KUZUKO serves similar to a cornstarch but much lighter and not too starchy and used often by Kyoto cooking.
KUZUKO with double amount of cold water looks like this.

DSC_0021DSC_0022

Served refrigerated or hot.

DSC_0023

Handy Cooking Tips and Shortcuts
I keep my leftover FLOUNDER broth or any broth which I have carefully extracted frozen in ice cubes.

DSC_0020

written by Hisako Makimura, Tokyo/Japan

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s