Cucumber salad with smoked scallop and poached chicken breast with black vinegar sauce きゅうり、貝柱、鶏肉のサラダの黒酢ソース和え

japanese cake

This is another small dish you make from whatever you have at hand. Since at our Home Izakaya, I usually make one dish, eat that dish with some sake and then make another, sometimes, making a small dish quickly from nothing is very necessary. In any case, this night, I found leftover poached chicken breast in black vinegar sauce, fresh American mini-cucumber and the New Year care package we just received from my mother which included semi-dried lightly smoked Hokkaido scallops 貝柱の薫油漬. Of course, you could omit the scallops or substitute with finely chopped smoked ham or salami.

For two small servings, thinly slice one mini-cucumber and salt lightly, mixing well or “knead” lightly and let it stand for 5 minutes on the cutting board. Then, squeeze out excess moisture. I also skinned and cut 2 Campari tomatoes into quarters. I crumbled one semi-dry scallop into small pieces and mixed the pieces into the cucumber and tomatoes then dressed with sushi vinegar. I sliced the chicken breast paper thin, placed the slices on top of the cucumbers and drizzled the black vinegar sauce over everything.

It is interesting that the black vinegar sauce congealed to a thicker gelatinous consistency since it contains protein/collagen from the chicken skin. When I was growing up in Sapporo, even inside our old house, it got very cold in winter especially at night without any source of heat. When my mother made a simmered fish dish in soy sauce flavored broth or “nizakana” 煮魚 and the leftover was kept in a kitchen cabinet, the sauce congealed in the bottom of the plate into jello next morning. This is called “nikogori” 煮凝り. It is a natural equivalent of making a fashionable “gelée” sauce by adding gelatin into a sauce. In any case, as a child, I really liked this “nikogori” on hot rice (it melted quickly). The reduced black vinegar sauce indeed attained a similar consistency (in the refrigerator not in the room, though). This dish is definitely best with sake, since it has a vinegary taste.

Comments on Facebook