50 g mitsuba (15 tall mitsuba stems & leaves in photo)
For ohitashi broth
200 cc dashi
1 tbsp sake + mirin (equal parts)
1/2+ tbsp usukuchi soy sauce
Remove skinny roots and damaged parts (discolored, translucent soft parts) of moyashi as necessary (above photo shows moyashi after cleaning).
Prepare ohitashi broth.
Microwave sake + mirin for 5-10 seconds to get rid of alcohol (optional), and add to dashi.
Bring plenty of water to boil, and blanch moyashi for 15 seconds.
zaru flat strainer or plate to let cool to at least room temperature.
Meanwhile, separate stems and leaves of mitsuba, and cut stems as necessary so they fit in a pot.
Squeeze out excess water once again, and add to ohitashi broth.
When ready to serve, taste, and add more usukuchi soy sauce as necessary (max. 1/2 tbsp).
Serve in bowls with some broth, and top with toasted sesame seeds (whole or coarse ground).
- Above, I put moyashi in a colander when blanching in order to quickly remove blanched moyashi and save water to blanch mitsuba.
- Mitsuba can be eaten raw; cooking it a long time makes stems mushy. Blanching time of mitsuba depends on the size. If using very skinny ones, a quick immersion in boiling water probably is enough.
- Both broth and vegetables should be cooled to at least room temperature before mixing them. Otherwise, color of vegetables becomes dull and unpleasant.
- Due to the high water content of moyashi, it takes a bit longer (at least half a day) to absorb broth flavor. For this reason, if serving within several hours, taste moyashi first and add usukuchi soy sauce immediately before serving. Making the broth stronger can disguise the taste without letting moyashi itself absorb more salt.
- Broth served with vegetables is not for drinking but to keep ingredients moist.
- Ohitashi is a general term for a side dish where ingredients (typically vegetables) are cooked and soaked in a lightly flavored broth. While blanching is the most common cooking method for ingredients, they can be deep-fried or grilled/sauteed, in which case the dish is usually called agebitashi [deep-fried and soaked] or yakibitashi [grilled/sauteed and soaked].