1 cake brown konnyaku (yam cake), drained
2 mediums carrots
1 4 inch square piece of kombu (dried giant kelp), wiped clean
1 (8-ounce) bag or can bamboo shoots, drained
1 (8-ounce) bag lotus root, drained
1 teaspoon vinegar
8 ounces gobo (burdock root)
8 dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked 1 hour in 1 1/2 cups warm 1 tablespoon oil
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons mirin (sweet cooking wine)
1/4 cup soy sauce


Slice the konnyaku crosswise into 1/4 inch wide strips. Cut a 1/2 inch slit lengthwise in the middle of each piece. Take one end of the piece and push it through the slit, pulling back to create a twisted, or braided-looking, form.
Peel carrots and slice them into 3/4 inch decorative triangles. Soak kombu in 2 cups water for 5 minutes. Cut lengthwise into 1/2 inch wide strips. Save soaking water. Tie each strip into a knot.
If bamboo shoots are in halves (rather than slices), cut them lengthwise into triangles. If lotus root is not pre-cut, slice into rounds.
In a medium-size bowl, add 1 teaspoon vinegar to 2 cups water. Wash the gobo, and with a sharp paring knife shave off and discard the rough skin in the lower section. As if whittling a stick of wood, shave fine pieces into the bowl (this prevents discoloration). Repeat with the upper section.
Squeeze out and save excess water from the mushrooms.
Heat a wok or large heavy pot, add 1 tablespoon salad oil and saute konnyaku pieces for 1 or 2 minutes, to remove excess moisture. Add the soaking water from the shiitake and kombu, and sugar. Stir to dissolve. Add mirin, soy sauce and all vegetables. Cover with a drop lid, baking paper or the lid of a slightly smaller pan to keep items submerged. Cook over medium heat 10 minutes. Grouping each vegetable together, arrange on a platter.




8.0 servings


Friday, December 11, 2009 - 11:18pm


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