Simmered “tarako” cod roe 鱈子の煮付け

japanese cake

This is another tarako dish which is a perfect Izakaya style drinking snack and goes perfectly with sake. I made this dish since I thawed a set of tarako roe (called “hitohara” 一腹 or “one belly” which consists of two roe sacs connected at one point). I made tarako omelet with one sac and the other sat in the fridge for two more days and needed to be quickly prepared.

Seasoning liquid: This is a rather easy dish, especially in my case, since I had leftover broth from making “Negi-ma nabe”  ねぎま鍋 the other day. I just strained the broth and adjusted the seasoning by adding sake, mirin and soy sauce. If you are making the both from scratch; dashi broth (200ml), mirin (2-3 tbs), sake (2tbs) and soy sauce (2-3 tbs) will do it. Some like it sweet and add sugar but I do not. I also add julienne of ginger root (3 thin slivers cut into fine julienne).

Tarako: Some recipes call for “raw” or unpreserved tarako. The only raw roe available around here is shad roe, which may also be used in this dish but I have not tried. So I used the usual salted tarako. It is interesting that the saltiness of the tarako reduces to the saltiness of the simmering liquid when it is cooked. So I do think either raw or salted tarako will work in this dish. I first cut one side of the membrane along the long axis and then cut it in 1 inch segments. I like this way rather than keeping a roe sac intact while cooking and then slicing it when serving. The way I prepared it made the tarako “blossom” when cooked like you see here in the picture, since the sac membrane will contract and invert the roe. This, to me, is more presentable and gives a better texture.

When the seasoning liquid came to a simmer, I added the tarako and simmered it gently for 15 minutes and let it cool to room temperature in the simmering liquid (Picture below).

You could serve this cold, at room temperature or reheated. I served this with blanched broccolini* (which looks somewhat like Japanese mustard green or “nanohana” 菜の花 but does not taste like it) dressed with karashi-zyouyu 芥子醤油 (Japanese hot mustard, sugar, and soy sauce). For good measure, I added fresh fine julienne of ginger or hari-shouga 針ショウガ as garnish. This dish has a nice chewy and interesting texture which is quite different from uncooked tarako and rather bright ginger flavor.  A really nice dish.

*This was developed by a Japanese seed company but is much more popular in the U.S than in Japan for some reason. If you are interested, here is a story about broccolini (in Japanese).

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