Squid sashimi with mountain potato and fermented soy beans 長芋のイカ納豆

japanese cake

Japanese appear to like slimy food. Often, Japanese recipes call for not just one but a multiple of slimy ingredients in one dish. This dish called for squid sashimi, mountain yam or “naga-imo” 長芋, and fermented soybean “natto” 納豆. All have a rather slimy texture. This dish probably qualifies to appear on the “Bizarre food” TV show. In any case, I saw this recipe on line. I happened to have all the ingredients and decided to make this dish. 

Squid sashimi was the pre-made frozen kind you find in a freezer case at a Japanese grocery store. I am sure it is treated with something before being frozen. I used one package (probably two servings) and one package of Natto 納豆. Natto is a difficult food to like especially for Westerners. Even among Japanese, some love it and some hate it. I already mentioned how my wife started enjoying natto. (“enjoy” may not be a right word, may be “tolerate” is a better choice.) Here, I used “hikiwari” natto 挽き割り納豆 in which whole soybeans are finely chopped. I used the same precautions I use to prepared natto with my special natto stirrer, which I also mentioned before. I just prepare the natto using the mustard and sauce that came with the natto package. The last ingredient was a mountain yam or “naga imo” (I mentioned several times in the past postings). I used a 2 inch long, 3 inch across (approximate) piece, peeled the skin, and cut into 1/2 inch wide sticks. I placed these in a zip-lock plastic bag and added 1-2 tbs of sushi vinegar. Do not seal the opening completely and hold the opening up (to prevent the bag from rupturing and the contents from spilling out in the next step), pound the naga-imo with a fist or a small rolling pin so that part of it remains chunky and part of it is mashed. Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. I added wasabi and a concentrated (x2) noodle sauce that comes in a bottle (or you could make it yourself) or use just a straight soy sauce to adjust the seasoning. Garish with chopped scallion and perilla leaves.

It was indeed very slimy but the natto did not have a strong smell. I sort of liked it and even my wife finished the dish and she said she did not dislike it (delicately put). Since all the ingredients are slimy, it sort of worked. The only drink that goes with this dish appears to be sake.

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