Here's a new side dish that I've picked up recently. I like eating lotus root, and see it quite often in Japanese bento lunches on Instagram. So one day, I decided to google for a recipe. It really was quite easy to make, and I've already made it again yesterday for this week's bento lunches.
Yeonkeun Jorim (연근조림)
Below are some frequent side dishes I make to fill my lunch box with. Japanese sweet egg roll, sweet simmered kabocha and also, hijiki fishcake carrot salad. I've included the recipes for these side dishes below too.
For the tamagoyaki, I actually have a tamago pan that I bought. It makes things easier as it is rectangular so shaping the egg is a breeze, and is smaller than the typical round pan so I can use less eggs and yet not get a flat tamago. I've tried the regular recipe but it was a little too much egg for my pan, three seems just about right but I'm lazy to keep track of the weird recipe scaling proportions, so I've stuck to two eggs. When I'm in a hurry, I'll sometimes even make a one egg tamagoyaki. Some people might find it hard to roll the egg, but I've always had luck with me and not have much problem with this. I guess practice makes perfect, so keep rolling!
Tamagoyaki 卵焼き; Kabocha カボチャ
Hijiki salad ひじき
Yeonkeun Jorim (연근조림) (adapted from here)
2 cups thinly sliced lotus roots
2 tbsp soy sauce (On my second try, I didn't measure but I think I used about 4 tsp soy sauce, 2 tsp dark soy sauce)
2 tsp sugar
1 tbsp mirin
3/8 cup water
1 tbsp maple syrup
pinch of toasted sesame seeds
Peel and slice fresh lotus roots. Blanch them in hot boiling vinegar water for a few minutes. Drain and dry off any excess water.
Saute the lotus roots in some olive oil for about 5 minutes.
Make the sauce by combining all remaining ingredients except maple syrup and sesame seeds.
Add the sauce to the pot and bring to boil on medium heat.
Once it starts to boil, reduce the heat, cover with a lid and let it simmer for 20 minutes.
Stir the lotus root slices every few minutes to make sure they get evenly coated with the sauce.
Remove the lid and add maple syrup. Let the sauce reduce further in low heat another few minutes till there is barely any sauce left. Stir the lotus roots often to glaze them evenly.
Sprinkle toasted sesame seeds on top.
Tamagoyaki 卵焼き (recipe scaled down by half from here - makes three to four servings)
2 large eggs
1/2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp mirin
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp light soy sauce
Oil for cooking
More useful detailed step by step with photos as found here.
Stewed hijiki seaweed with carrots and fried tofu (recipe scaled down by a third, adapted from here)
1/4 cup dried hijiki
1/3 carrot, sliced into matchsticks
1/2 Korean fishcake, sliced into matchsticks (the flat type, sample here)
1 tsp sesame oil
2/3 cups dashi stock
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp mirin
1 tsp sugar (optional)
Soak the hijiki in water to cover until it is swelled to about 5 times its original volume. Drain well and rinse.
Blanch the fish cake in boiling water, to wash off the surface oiliness.
Slice the fish cake and carrots into matchstick pieces.
Heat up a heavy-bottomed pan and add the sesame oil. Sauté the well-drained hijiki, fish cake and carrots until evenly coated with the oil.
Add the dashi and other ingredients and bring to a boil. Top up with water or more dashi if the liquid doesn’t cover everything. Lower the heat, and simmer until everything is tender - about 20 to 30 minutes.
This keeps in the refrigerator for about a week or so.
kabocha, diced (skin on - I eat it with the skin, but you can remove it if you like)
honey, to taste
small pinch of salt, to taste
*There's no fixed recipe for this.
I normally use about 100g of diced kabocha, and add about slightly less than a teaspoon of honey, a small pinch of salt, 1/4 tsp of water and mix it up. Microwave on high for about 2 minutes or so, depending on how small your kabocha pieces are and how much you are preparing, the time may vary. Remove from microwave, stir it up to make sure that the dry uncovered sides are covered in the sauce.