Chef Murata’s Flounder Umani

Following on from the previous entry about Chef Murata’s kitchen fundamentals 1:1 ratio, this recipe is his version of a popular home-cooked meal called “umani,” which literally means “deliciously boiled.” It is most often made with chicken, but fish or other meat can also be used, and a variety of root vegetables such as carrot, daikon, potatoes, yams, and gobo (burdock root).

Chef Murata says:
“If you want to make this recipe taste great, the only thing you need to remember is the 1:1 ratio. The finishing touch is to pour the boiled down stock over the fish to give it a shiny gloss.”

Chef Murata's Flounder Umani

Chef Murata’s Flounder Umani

Shoyu (soy sauce) 60mls
Mirin 60mls
Flounder – 4 x 150g pieces
Gobo (burdock root) 1 root [you could substitute any root vegetable, such as carrot or parsnip]
Snow peas 12
Nub of ginger [about the size of the top joint of your thumb], very finely sliced

1) Combine the shoyu and mirin together with 480ml of water
2) Cut a large X across the flounder, just through the skin, to allow the stock to get into the flesh and to stop the skin from pulling too tightly across the fish when cooking
3) Using a slotted spoon, lower the fish into a pan of boiling water and immerse it just for a few seconds. Then remove it and place it immediately into a bowl of iced water. [This preliminary process is called “shimo-furi” and you can read more about it on the Techniques page]
4) After scrubbing the gobo with a brush or scourer, rinse the root, and cut it into 3cm long pieces, then cut each piece in half lengthways
5) Place the liquid (1), the flounder, and the gobo into a large pot and place an otoshibuta* [see note below] inside the pot and bring it to the boil on a high heat.
6) Cut the stems off the snow peas and blanche them in a separate pot.
7) Reduce the liquid in (5) down to about a third
8) Lower the heat; remove the otoshibuta and then spoon the cooking liquid over the fish with a spoon, continually basting it for about 1-2 minutes
9) Quickly place the snow peas in the liquid for just a moment and then remove again.
10) Remove the pan from the heat
11) Place the flounder on a dish, and arrange the gobo and snow peas; pour several tablespoons of the remaining liquid over the fish and vegetables; finally, garnish with very finely sliced ginger.

Note: An otoshibuta is a wooden lid that is used in Japanese cooking, placed inside the cooking pan on top of the ingredients to keep them in the cooking liquid so that they cook evenly. You can make your own version by using aluminium foil – see this website for a good explanation in English.

Source: 割合で覚える和の基本

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