Small “Iidako” octopus and wakame dressed in vinegar-miso いいだこと塩蔵ワカメの酢みそ和え

japanese cake

When I visit the only Japanese grocery store left in our area, what I find is sort of hit-or-miss. On one such visit, I found boiled small octopus (only head or body portion but not the legs or tentacles) in the refrigerated case. I only saw boiled octopus legs before in this store but this was new, so I bought it.

This is probably “Iidako” 飯蛸. If I am correct, this is a small species of octopus but not a juvenile or baby of a larger octopus such as “true” octopus or 真蛸. I pondered a bit but I decided to make a classic vinegar-miso dressing with cucumber and wakame seaweed. Despite the fact I posted a few very similar dishes before, this is such a classic combination and I could not resist making this dish.

I just sliced the octopus thinly. Wakame was the salt preserved variety which was washed, hydrated and cut into a bite sized pieces (this was the last of the salt preserved wakame that we had). Cucumber was my usual American mini-cucumber, thinly sliced, salted and excess moisture squeezed out. 

Karashi sumiso” is my usual with Saikyo miso 西京味噌 and rice vinegar and Japanese hot mustard.

The octopus is a bit firm but very nice. It has different textures as compared to the tentacles of larger octopus. I made sumiso sauce a tad too vinegary this time. I served this with braised potato and green beans (right in the image below) as opening dishes.

We tasted a new batch of G-Sake “joy” (I suppose “G” is for “Genshu” 原酒). We think this is a new brew since the shape of the bottle is slightly different (No “BY” or “Brew Year” is listed on the bottle). The taste is about the same as before with a “umami” predominant taste profile. It has a slightly viscous but pleasant mouth feel. As compared to the old batch, my wife felt it was slightly more yeasty but I did not. If this sake had a bit more fruity and crisp upfront taste which leads to the “umami”-laden finish, which this one already posses, this sake would be formidable. But the taste of this sake is a true undiluted or “genshu” style of sake. The assertive vinegary taste of my miso dressing actually went very well with this sake.

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