Monday, July 12, 2010

Mochi Stacks

Japanese Turnips came in my vegetable share today. Do you find turnips intimidating? I think that I could say that they are not a very popular vegetable. In comparison to carrots, broccoli or asparagus, turnips may not get a fair shake. I know there are turnip lovers out there though. My friends kids fight over them when they show up in their vegetable box. They eat them raw!
So, today I wondered how I could make turnips superstars. Something I would serve at a party. A dish that might make me crave them over and over. They turned out that way, but in the process they turned into a great kid dish as well. I was inspired by a recipe in a Japanese cookbook that combined baked mochi with nori and a slice of cheese. I wanted to see if I could cook mochi on the stove instead of in the oven. It is just too hot to turn on the oven these hot summer days.  Turns out you can "bake" mochi on the stove if you use a pot with a lid. Mochi is a sweet, short-grained, very glutinous rice that comes in thick sheets you can bake or sautee. It is also used in sweet confections. I don't use it very often because it is so glutenous and rich. This recipe was a great compromise because although it is rich,  a couple of "stacks" go a long way. The recipe is simple. A light sautee of the turnips in a bit of butter (or substitute olive oil) and soy sauce. Slice the mochi and heat in a seasoned pan while covered, and top the whole thing with very, very thinly sliced lemon. I think it would be brilliant to add some chopped rosemary with the turnips too. Easy dinner. Tell me your secret recipes for turnips! I am always up for a new idea!

Mochi Stacks
(makes 4 servings)

1 package of mochi (I used mochi that had hemp and flax seeds too)
4 small turnips or med. sized japanese turnips
1 tbls olive oil or butter
2 tsp. soy sauce or tamari
1 lemon

Measure out soy sauce onto a plate and set aside. In a non-stick or seasoned pan, heat olive oil or butter on med. heat. Slice turnips into 1/2 inch slices and dunk each into soy sauce and then put in sautee pan for 4 minutes each side. Remove from heat.

Slice mochi into 2 inch squares. Cut each square in half longways so it is only half as thick, but still 2 inches square. Place mochi in a nonstick or seasoned pan on med-high heat and cover. Peek under the lid in 5 min. to make sure it is not burning, or the flame is too low. You will see the pieces slowly start to puff. Keeping the lid on the pan is essential to them puffing. It takes 10 min. (give or take a couple of minutes) for the mochi to puff. Remove from heat and stack a piece of mochi, then a turnip slice and then a thinly (as thin as you can manage to cut the lemon) sliced piece of lemon on top. Repeat if you would like.


Steph said...

That sounds delicious! I love mochi, lemons, and the turnips sound good! I love young fresh turnips! I don't have a lot of experience with them though.

Claire said...

Sounds so good. Made mochi when I was in Japan. They had a big mochi making festival and I have loved it ever since. Thanks!

Becky said...

Absolutely beautiful Jess. I'm sad to say that I don't know that I have ever had a turnip in my entire life, but you make it look so good!

Anonymous said...

yum.........i can't wait to try once i get back home.......i always have mochi in a sweet form; looking forward to a savory version. love your food-love you even more.....

Jessica said...

Steph..tell me how it turns out if you make them!
Claire..I did not know you were in Japan; when? why? I am almost obsessed with Japan and getting back there asap
Becky..I would invite you over for turnips whenever you would like..
Jilan(is this you?) love you & sending a long distance hug on the vaca xo

Anonymous said...

this looks delicious and easy! we just discovered there were other ways to cook mochi than in the oven, which we usually eat with honey-butter, so thanks for the savory deviation.


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