Saturday, February 12, 2011
STRANGE THINGS WITH RICE
There are many different ways to enjoy rice. It is often eaten 'garnished' with something else that has a strong flavor - for example, Japanese pickles (tsukemono.)
I love the very salty flaked salmon sold in jars at the supermarket. Just a little is all you need to add glorious salmon flavor to a bowl of cooked rice. Once a friend gave me home-made flaked salmon, and it was much better than the kind I bought from the supermarket.
Another common fishy thing is katsuo bushi, which is dried bonito flakes. The dried bonito resemble pieces of wood, and are scraped to make flakes that look like fine wood shavings. Katsuo bushi gets sprinkled on lots of things including okonomi-yaki and tofu. Sometimes the deliciously flavored shavings are mixed through cooked rice. If I do this, I usually add cooked edamame as well.
Seaweed can also be nice with rice. Black hijiki seaweed is sometimes mixed through cooked rice adding an interesting flavor, color and texture. I've snacked on dried wakame seaweed straight from the packet before, but recently a friend served me crunchy, salty dried wakame crumbled over rice. It was very good, better than torn nori seaweed which quickly goes limp in the steam from the rice. I do like nori with rice, but I usually buy the slightly oily and salty Korean nori, and eat it as a side dish rather than put it directly on top of the rice.