September 17, 2011

Sanma (Pacific Saury) and Chestnuts/サンマ(秋刀魚)と栗

Sanma are in season right now.
In Japan, few fish are more closely associated with the fall than sanma.今、サンマが旬です。
日本では、サンマほど秋を連想させる魚はいません。
I got four sanma at the supermarket for 98 yen each.
I usually don't buy chestnuts, because my father sends us boxes of them around this time of year, but this particular year, he said he got a very small crop and sent us only one bag. I decided to use them to make chestnut cake, and I bought one bag at the supermarket to make kuri okowa.
スーパーで一尾98円のサンマを四尾買いました。
父が毎年この時期に栗を何箱もくれるので、普段は栗は買わないのですが、今年は収穫がとても少ないそうで、一袋しかくれませんでした。その栗は栗ケーキを作るのに使うことにして、栗おこわを作るのにスーパーで一袋買いました。

Like I mentioned here, you don't necessarily have to use a long plate specifically for sanma. Just cut a sanma in half (diagonally) at the anus and serve in a normal plate.
ここで述べたように、必ずしも、サンマ専用の長いお皿を使う必要はありません。サンマを肛門のところで2つに(斜めに)切り、普通のお皿に出せばいいのです。
Note: After I took this photo, I put some daikon oroshi (grated daikon) and poured some ponzu.
注: この写真を撮った後で、大根おろしを載せ、ポン酢をかけました。

Here is the front cover of Volume 2 of the comic book, Shinya Shokudo.
漫画本「深夜食堂」の第二巻の表紙です。
This volume contains episode 18, Sanma no Shioyaki (Salt-Grilled Sanma).
第二巻には18話「秋刀魚の塩焼き」が載っています。
The Master says that the worst fish eater of his customers is Marilyn (stripteaser). The best fish eater is the guy (massager) sitting next to her. To everyone's surprise, the two start to go out together.
マスターは、お客の中で魚を食べるのが下手なのはマリリン(ストリッパー)だと言っています。一番食べるのが上手いのは、隣りに座っている男(マッサージ師)。誰もが驚いたのが、この二人が付き合い始めたことです。

Kuri okowa is usually made with mochi rice (glutinous rice), but I mixed 3 go of mochi rice with 2 go of regular rice, like I did before as I mentioned here. This resulted in delicious, less sticky kuri okowa.
普通、栗おこわはもち米で作りますが、もち米3合とうるち米を2合混ぜました。ここに書いたように、前にもそうしたことがあります。あまり粘り気のない、美味しい栗おこわになりました。
Sprinkle some salt and sesame seeds.
ごま塩を少し振り掛けます。

13 comments:

muskrat said...

さんまわおしいです! It's hard for me to find, except at a speciality Japanese store in Dallas. My grandmother used to make rice with chestnuts, and it was one of my favorite dishes. I didn't know that it was called kuri okowa. Yours looks especially delicious!

Hiroyuki said...

muskrat: Anyway, It's good to know that you can find it in your area/country!

Kuri okowa is chestnuts + mochi rice cooked together, while kuri gohan is chestnuts + regular rice cooked together.

To be more precise, authentic kuri okowa is made by steaming. Because of its high power, an IH rice cooker can make decent kuri okowa. A non-IH rice cooker can't make good kuri okowa.

Fräulein Trude said...

First I was a little bit puzzled about the look of the chestnuts. After reading your old post I now do know why: You peeled them raw with a special knife. This must be hard. I prefer to cook them a little bit (firt soaking in water than cut the brown peel crosswise than cooking). The outer and inner peel comes off quite good but it is still a lot of work. Do you think it will change the taste of the rice when the half done chestnuts are added later and only cooked together with the rice for a little while?

Hiroyuki said...

Kiki: In Japanese, the outer hard shell is called oki kawa (鬼皮) and the inner skin is called shibu kawa (渋皮). Unlike those of Chinese and European varieties, the shibu kawa of Japanese varieties is hard to peel off.
There are several techniques for making it easier to peel the shibu kawa, such as soaking the chestnuts in boiled water for about 30 min. I haven't tried all those techniques, but I have a feeling that none of them work fine. No matter which technique you use, removing the oki kawa and the shibu kawa from Japanese chestnuts is a hard work to do (and dangerous).
You can see a Japanese way of removing the shibu kawa with a knife here:
http://marron-dietrecipe.com/washoku/washoku_kurimukikata.html
First video.
Looks very dangerous!
The second and third videos show how to remove oni kawa and shibu kawa with the special tool, "Kurikuri Bozu".

>Do you think it will change the taste of the rice when the half done chestnuts are added later and only cooked together with the rice for a little while?
I can't give you a definite answer, but I have a feeling that the resulting kuri okowa would not be as tasty...

Hiroyuki said...

Correction:
Not oki kawa but oni kawa.
Why do I keep making such silly mistakes???

Fräulein Trude said...

Hiroyuki: first video - the thumb seems to be in constant danger. But that's how it is peeling chestnuts or carving wood. These chestnuts are giants, never seen such big fruits before, or the hands are very small sized. I read the japanese variety is cultivated for commercial grow in southern europe (as hybrid variety). No wonder if you look at the size.

Sissi said...

As always, your post is full of discoveries for me. i have never tasted sanma (I think I have seen it only frozen in my Japanese shop) and never had chestnuts in a savoury dish! They look very unusual with rice.
My husband is crazy for crème de marrons (chestnut cream). I wonder if it exists also in Japan...
I always feel so nostalgic when I read about Shinya Shokudo. When I finally learn Japanese well enough to read a manga or something similar, I will start with Shinya Shokudo. It will be my motivation to learn for many
years to come!

Hiroyuki said...

Sissi: Crème de marrons doesn't exist in Japan, I suppose, but it's imported from France and other countries.

The Japanese are huge fans of Mont Blanc and other sweets with chestnuts in them, and I am no exception!!

Unknown said...

I really want to read the Shinya Shokudo comic book, but I noticed from your picture that there is no furigana for the kanji. Is there a reason why some comics have furigana and some don't?
Your blog is the best one on Japanese cooking and daily life!!!

Hiroyuki said...

unknown: I suppose commic books aimed at adults don't have furigana in them, while those for children have furigana. Obviously, Shinya Shokudo is aimed at adults! (But my daughter likes reading this comic.)

Thanks for your compliment! But if you ever want to see fabulous kaiseki meals or something, turn to somewhere else!!!

Unknown said...

I like your blog because it is so real, so down-to-earth. By the way, do you know of any Japanese manga with cooking themes that have furigana? I live in Tokyo and I went to the bookstore to look for manga with cooking themes, but it was just overwhelming! Don't worry if you don't know. Thanks! David

Hiroyuki said...

Unknown:
>so real, so down-to-earth
Thanks!! I couldn't describe my blog better than you!

Sorry, I don't know of any. I checked some of the manga listed here:
http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E6%96%99%E7%90%86%E3%83%BB%E3%82%B0%E3%83%AB%E3%83%A1%E6%BC%AB%E7%94%BB
but found none of them have furigana.

A Rumanian asked a similar question (not manga with cooking themes but manga in general that have furigana) here
http://detail.chiebukuro.yahoo.co.jp/qa/question_detail/q1323455718
and someone recommended this site:
http://enchanting.cside.com/service/freecomic.html
which is a collection of links to sites that allow you to read manga free of charge.

I hope this helps in any way.

Anonymous said...

Kiki: I peel my chestnuts by first roasting them a bit in the oven! I find this increases the nutty sweet flavour of the chestnuts as well as making it super fast to peel. Boiling / simmering the chestnuts doesn't seem to make it as good.

You can see instuctions here (note: the tempurature listed is in fahrenheit, which is equivalent to 176.6°C):
http://www.marthastewart.com/276336/how-to-roast-and-peel-chestnuts/@center/276958/holiday-entertaining#225327

Though I must admit I might start getting them frozen and pre-peeled at a new Korean supermarket near my flat, since they have it at such a great price and I'm feeling lazy :P