This was one of the dishes we had for hanami on the 2nd day. The deep green and bright yellow colors are perfect for spring and cherry blossom gazing. If we were in Japan, nanohna 菜の花 or rapeseed plant would have been used but as I posted before, substitutes we have here are either broccoli rabe (or rapini) or broccolini. This time I prepared rapini in the style of nanohana . I first removed the thick bottoms of the stalks and blanched the remaining tops in salted boiling water for a few minutes and quickly cooled them down in ice water to maintain the bright green color. I squeezed out the excess water and placed them in a paper towel line sealable container for future use. To add bright yellow color in contrast, I made my usual sweet Japanese omelet or dashi maki だし巻き.
After cutting the blanched rapini into 2 inch long portions, I dressed it with “karashi-zouyu” 辛子醤油 which is a mixture of soy sauce, Japanese hot mustard and sugar.
As you can see from the shadow the sun was getting low but we have just started our hanami feast.
This particular rapini was not as bitter as usual. By soaking it in ice water, I may have reduced the bitterness. I sort of enjoy the slight bitterness but the lack of bitterness was just fine with my wife. The combination of the rapini’s still crispy texture and slightly assertive Japanese mustard flavor were a nice contrasted to the soft gentle sweetness of the dashi-maki omelet. This was a good combination in terms of colors, taste, and texture.