April 5, 2013

Bo Dara Ni/棒だら煮

bo = bar, rod, stick
dara < tara = cod
ni < niru = to simmer
Bo dara ni is a very popular dish in Niigata and other prefectures.
Bo dara is dried cod, and is so called because it's like a bar.
Results of Google image search for bo dara.
Shown below is a cheaper, pre-cut vesion:
棒 = bar, rod, stick
だら < たら = cod
煮 < 煮る = to simmer

I got this bag of 400 g bo dara for about 700 yen yesterday.
昨日、1袋(棒だら400 g)を700円程度で買いました。
First, I soaked 200 g bo dara in cold water for 2-3 hours, with a single change of water. The instructions supplied with the bo dara say to soak it for about 30 minutes, with a single change of water. The soaking time varies greatly.  One recipe I found says to soak it for as long as one week, with several changes of water.
まず、棒だら200 gを冷水に2~3時間漬けました。途中、水を一回替えました。棒だらについてきた説明書では、一回水を替え、30分くらい漬けると書いてあります。漬ける時間は大きく異なります。私が見つけた或るレシピでは、水を数回替えながら、1週間も漬けると書いてありました。
Soaked for 2-3 hours.
Fully reconstituted.
I basically followed this recipe:
Ingredients for 4 servings:

100 g bo dara

50 g sugar
2 tbsp sake
4 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp mirin
1 tbsp vinegar

棒だら 100 g

砂糖 50 g
酒 大さじ2
しょう油 大さじ4
みりん 大さじ2
酢 大さじ1

1. Put reconstituted bo dara in a pot, and add plenty of water. Bring to a boil on high heat. When it comes to a boil, turn to medium heat, and simmer until the bones become soft (2-3 hours).
2 Add seasonings, and boil down on low heat.
Edited to add:
The recipe does not specify the amount of water to put in the pot. I added water to fully cover the cod.
I reduced the amount of sugar by half.
1. 戻した棒だらを鍋に入れ、水をたっぷり入れ、強火で沸騰させる。沸騰したら、中火にして、骨が柔らかくなるまで(2~3時間)煮る。
2 調味料を入れ、弱火で煮詰める。

Despite the directions, I simmered the bo dara for a total of 1 hour or so. So, the bones were still rather tough, and the liquid was not boiled down sufficiently.
Anyway, I liked my bo dara ni. My wife, who has been familiar to this dish since childhoood, said it was good.
I think I'll use the rest of the bo dara in a different way.


Fräulein Trude said...

As you may know, dried cod has a very long tradition in Europe. Produced in Skandinavia. During my childhood my grandmother prepared it often.
It is called Stockfisch: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stockfish

But what is more interesting, she first soaked the fish in water an then in milk. Removed nicely the fishyness. Most of the time she plugged the fish from the bones and made fish "burger", sort of.

Hiroyuki said...

Kiki: I don't know much about how dried cod is used in Europe.

Thanks for the link. Stockfish is salted before being dried? Bo dara is NOT salted.

Dried cod is fishy? It's not fishy by Japanese standards (laugh).

Fish burger? Thanks for the idea. I want to put the rest of the bo dara to an interesting use. Here in Niigata, people almost always use it to make bo dara ni.

Fräulein Trude said...

Stockfish is not salted but clipfish is. Same fish different kinds of drying/curing.

Burgers: soak fish for 24 h,changeing water twice. Simmer for 20 minutes. Remove fish from the bones, flake the fish and mix 250 g flakes with 350g mashed potatoes (boiled in their skinns and peeled after), add 2 eggs, 1 chopped spring onion, salt, pepper, mix by hand, form small balls and press into patties while fried in lots of oil.

Hiroyuki said...

Kiki: Thanks for your great idea! Inspired by your recipe, I think I'll make burgers (or something like tsumire つみれ, usually made with sardines) for my next cooking adventure!

Sissi said...

I have never had stockfish, but it's sold all year long in my fish shop. I do however buy quite often salted and only slightly dried cod (it's still soft and kept in the fridge, but it keeps forever) and prepare fried balls called "acras de morue" in French. (http://www.withaglass.com/?p=36)
I don't like fresh cod, but when it's salted and slightly dried, it becomes a pure delight!
Your recipe looks great. I wish I could read Japanese cookery books... When will they start "translating" them to hiragana/katakana for poor foreigners who struggle with kanji? (Just joking, but I can dream ;-) ).

Hiroyuki said...

Sissi: Thanks for the link. That's quite interesting. If you hate desalting salted cod, maybe you will appreciate the Japanese version of dried cod.
In Japan, cod is often cured with kombu. This technique is called kobu (or kombu) jime.
An example can be found here:
(Sorry, Japanese only)

I think your Japanese friends can help you with your problem. I can also help you if you just post a recipe of your interest.

Sissi said...

I wouldn't dare (I already ask you so many questions and I remember how you have kindly posted several recipes I was curious about)? But thank you so much for the proposition.
Thank you for the link. I have never heard about it. Photos do help a lot (also in Japanese restaurants!).