December recipe: steamed rice flavoured with Komatsuna, Shiso, Umeboshi and Sesame Seeds. An explosion of flavours and nutrients to enrich our dinner and our Obento!
Among the seasonal products that Japan offers in December, Komatsuna is one of the most popular.
Known in the West as ‘Japanese mustard greens’ Komatsuna can be mistaken for spinach, but in reality they are very different.
Both in appearance (Komatsuna has larger leaves and a thicker stem), but especially in taste.
It can be eaten raw, in salads, or cooked together with classic Japanese flavours such as dashi, soy sauce, mirin, sake, sesame oil or miso.
We love to eat it in its simplest form, nimono, together with thin strips of aburaghe (fried tofu skin) flavoured with mentsuyu (Dashi and Soy Sauce), or in miso soup together with cubes of tofu.
Today I am proposing it in a slightly different way, combined with flavours that make our simple steamed rice ,an explosion of flavours with many good nutrients.
Pick your washed and dried Komatsuna and Shiso leaves. Cut them first into strips and then into small pieces (don’t worry about being too precise as we’ll be tossing them in the pan later).
Take the two umeboshi, remove the seeds inside and use a knife to chop them up into a creamy puree.
Heat the tablespoon of sesame oil and add the previously chopped Komatsuna and Shiso leaves.
Add the Katsuobushi, umeboshi puree and sesame seeds to the greens. Mix everything on low heat for one minute.
Take the previously cooked rice and add it to the prepared seasoning. Mix everything together, avoiding the formation of lumps.
Serve while still hot, with a few sesame seeds on top.
[I didn’t used any salt as I like to enjoy the flavour of veggies, but, if you have a salty taste just like my husband, I suggest you to leave the soy sauce or salt on the table and add a bit on your bowl while the rice is still warm]