Hanami 2018 花見 2018

japanese cake

Because of a recent Nor’easter, the 30 year old cherry tree  which was the main focus of hanami celebrations in our backyard because it formed a wide canopy of blossoms over the deck, was totally destroyed just when the buds were getting ready to bloom. Although some of the cuttings we brought inside did bloom the tree itself was a “goner”. We had to replace it but the replacement was a young “Yoshino” 染井吉野 cherry tree only 6 feet tall. Luckily further back in the yard we have a cherry tree that we estimate must be over 50 years old. Even though it suffered some minor injuries from the nor’easter it rescued Hanami with its full bloom on a Saturday in April. It was very warm, even hot in mid-day on our deck particularly because we lost the shading canopy of the destroyed cherry tree. Nonetheless thanks to the old tree we still enjoyed “Hanami” 花見.

We decide to defrost a package of salmon for sashimi which we bought for the New Year but did not eat. It was a rather large piece of salmon. Since this was Hanami, I served salmon sashimi in a colorful way with ripe avocado garnished with thin slices of radish and cucumber.

The salmon was quit good and went well with the slices of avocado. Both had a nice melt-in-your-mouth texture. We had this with regular wasabi and soysauce.

This was followed with Japanese “dashimaki” 出汁巻 omelet with dried “aonori” 青のりseaweed (upper left), blanched baby “Bok Choi” “ohitashi” お浸しwith dried bonito flakes (upper right) and cold simmered daikon round with ginger miso with Yuzu zest.

We have been making variations of dashimaki using cooked and chopped baby kale and chicken broth but this time, I went traditional with a Japanese broth and dried “aonori” seaweed.

Since it was rather hot, I served the simmered daikon  cold.  It was first boiled with grains of rice and then simmered in kelp broth) with a ginger Yuzu miso sauce (finely chopped ginger, mirin, sake and sesame oil and Yuzu zest). I should have done a better job cutting the chives I used for garnish.

You cannot see well but blanched baby bok choi with dried bonito “Katsuo bush” flakes and soy sauce.

We were glad we could still do hanami in our back yard. The Grand Daddy old tree, while not as spectacular as the one we lost, went a long way to filling the void. Unfortunately, the next day was rainy, windy and cold so it was an only one day hanami this year except for the mini-hanami or the unexpected early hanami we had when the cuttings of now-demised cherry tree bloomed.

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