November 12, 2011

Making Dried Persimmons (Hoshi Gaki)/干し柿を作る

Like I said in the preceding post, I made dried persimmons (hoshi gaki) using the astringent persimmons (shibu gaki).
前の投稿で述べたように、渋柿を使って干し柿を作りました。

With this shape of persimmons, the peeler worked very fine!
この形の柿だと、ピーラーでよく剥けました。
These ones are rather soft and had bruises, so I decided to leave them undried. When they turn into pulp, they will lose astringency.
この柿は、かなり柔らかくて傷もあるので、そのままにすることにしました。どろどろになれば、渋は抜けます。
23 x 3 = 69 persimmons in total:
全部で、柿が23 x 3 = 69個:
It will take about one month to completely dry persimmons. I hope I can shorten the time by drying them indoors and using a dehumidifier.
柿を完全に乾かすのに約一ヶ月かかります。室内で干して、除湿機を使って時間を短縮できれば、と思います。

7 comments:

Sissi said...

You remind me one more time that the net s what I have to buy when I go to Japan (to dry aji outside and not in the oven). Do you have enough air passing to dry them? I would have to put them on a radiator (or in the oven). Otherwise they wouldn't dry...
I will see if I can get some cheap persimmons here. Maybe I could try drying them too.

YSC said...

Hi Hiroyuki, I was very excited to see this post as here in California, the persimmons are in season. I love dried persimmons and didn't realize that you could make them easily at home, or that you had to peel the skins. If I use an oven to speed things up, will it affect the taste? Also, does it matter whether you use the flat persimmons or the pointed end ones like you used here?

Hiroyuki said...

Sissi and YSC: Most Japanese still use the traditional method to make dried persimmons: Peel, tie them on a string, dip in boiling water for a few seconds, and hang outdoors, under the eaves. I can't give you definitive answers because this is the very first attempt to use the net to dry them. Last time we made them, we tied them on a string and hang them indoors in a room with a dehumidifier. This method worked fine, and I thought the net method would be better.

YSC, I don't think the oven method will affect the flavor. All you need to do is to dry them in some way or other. But I guess you will need some time (one week or so) to remove the astringency.

One more thing: Is it understood that astringent persimmons are used to make dried persimmons? You can't make decent dried persimmons with non-astringent persimmons (ama gaki in Japanese) because ama gaki are less sweet (contain less sugar). I think you can use any type of astringent persimmon. In fact, "flat" ones are much more popular here in Niigata, like the ones here:
http://www.uonoprint.com/hitorigoto2/2007/11/post_129.html

Note: I didn't dip my persimmons in boiling water because I was skeptical about the effectivess of this process. People say this will keep them from molding.

YSC said...

Aha! Thanks for the informative post -- I'll be looking around for some in the farmers' markets. Do you have to massage them from time to time?

Hiroyuki said...

YSC: Yes, once the persimmons are dried on the outside (in one week or so), rub them carefully so as not to tear them. Repeat every few days.

I'm not very successful in drying my persimmons in the net... They are still mostly wet after drying for three days. Today, I removed all the paper towels. I may switch to the hang on a string method tomorrow.

Sissi said...

Hiroyuki, thank you for all the explanations. I have seen persimmons today. They were round and they are called kaki here! They look very sweet though... I will look for some other varieties tomorrow on the market.

Hiroyuki said...

Sissi: Thank you for reminding me. I learned from a TV show that in some countries, persimmons are solde under the Japanese name, kaki 柿.