We are making healthy, low-fat Vegetable Tofu Nimono. Even though no meat is used, the vegetables that absorbed the dashi stock give the dish a savory flavor.
Vegetable Tofu Nimono
Atsuagethick deep-fried tofu
Snap Peassubstitute: string bean pods or snow peas
Let's prepare the ingredients for Vegetable Nimono. Cut carrot into wedges as you roll it.
Cut off the tip of the boiled bamboo shoot, and then cut it in half lengthwise. Cut the rest of bamboo shoot into rolling wedges.
Cut the used dashi kombu seaweed into 9 equal pieces.
Peel the lotus root. Cut it down the middle and cut into rolling wedges.
Add vinegar to a bowl of water. Soak the lotus root in the vinegar water. This will keep it from losing its white color.
Peel the satoimo taros, and cut them into smaller pieces.
Put the taro in a bowl and add salt. Rub the taro with the salt until it becomes a bit gooey on the surface.
Give the taro a good rinse.
Pound the konnyaku. This will help it to absorb the broth later. Tear the konnyaku into pieces with a spoon.
Put the konnyaku in a pot of water and turn on the burner. Bring it to a boil, cook the konnyaku for 3 minutes, and then remove.
Like the other ingredients, cut the gobo, burdock root into rolling wedges.
Lightly rinse, put the burdock root in a pot of water, and turn on the burner.
Bring it to a boil, cook the burdock root for 5 minutes, and remove.
Put the atsuage, deep fried tofu, in the same boiling water, and cook for about 2 minutes.
Remove the atsuage and remove the excess moisture with a paper towel. Cut the atsuage into 6 equal squares.
Remove the firm stringy fibers from the snap peas. Add a pinch of salt to boiling water. Immerse the snap peas.
Remove, and let the snap peas cool in icy water.
Put the pre-washed dried shiitake mushrooms in a container. Add water.
Put on a weight to keep them submerged. Cover, and give it a good shake. Let them soak in a fridge until the stems soften.
Lightly squeeze the mushrooms to remove some of the extra liquid.
Cut off the stems. Slice the caps diagonally in half.
Let's prepare dashi stock for Vegetable Nimono. Strain the shiitake liquid through a wire sieve.
Add the dashi stock to the shiitake liquid until it measures 400ml (1.7 cups).
Let's cook the vegetables. Drop in konnyaku, taro, kombu seaweed, carrot, bamboo shoot, shiitake and lotus root. Pour in the dashi stock and turn on the burner.
When the dashi stock begins to boil, remove the foam. Add the sugar and sake to the mixture.
Place a drop-lid directly on the vegetables, and cook over medium-low heat for a couple of minutes. When you see foam, remove it again.
Remove the drop-lid, then add the soy sauce, atsuage, and lightly stir with a paddle.
Put the drop-lid again, and cook for 25 to 30 minutes until the ingredients soften.
When the broth has evaporated almost completely, add the mirin. Place the snap peas in the pot, and toss to coat over high heat.
Turn off the burner and it is ready. The vegetable will soak up the remaining broth when cooled. You can reheat the Nimono when served.
- You can add chicken thigh to the dish as a variation. Saute the meat until golden brown, add the vegetables, stir-fry, and pour in the dashi stock.
- If the broth is reduced before the vegetables soften, add sake or water and cook them until softened.
- You can also add fish surimi or fish cake to this dish to add an extra savory taste.