Furofuki Daikon

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Furofuki ( blowing steam”)

Furofuki is the name given to vegetables – most often daikon radish – that has been tender-prepped (in starchy rice water) and then simmered in (kelp) broth. Served piping hot – so hot you will need to blow away the steam (that’s the origin of the dish’s name) – it is perfect wintertime fare. Serve it in the broth in which it was cooked (I like to garnish it with strips of fragrant yuzu peel) or sauced with miso, light or dark… or a bit of both.

USEFUL TOOLS: Dropped Lids (otoshi-buta)

Otoshi-buta lids drop down to sit directly on the food (not the rim of the pot). Lids come in various sizes. Chose one that is slightly smaller in diameter than the pan or pot with which it will be used.

Using otoshi-buta will enable you to cook faster and more fuel-efficiently because bubbling liquid recirculates throughout the pot as it hits the underside of the lid. 

An added bonus of using otoshi-buta lids when cooking foods that produce aku ("froth" or scum) is that the unwanted scum will migrate towards the center ridge of the lid making it easier to remove than constant skimming.

To remove the aku carefully lift the lid up and out of the pot and hold it over the sink. Tilt the lid to cause the aku to flow down into the sink. Briefly rinse under cold water to wash away before replacing the lid in the pot. Repeat, as needed during the simmering process.
USEFUL TECHNIQUES: Tender-Prepping Vegetables


When you wash rice, save the starchy water in a jar, storing it in the refrigerator if you do not use it the same day. After several hours you will notice a sediment forming at the bottom of the jar. When ready to use, stir it to recombine.

The technique for tender-prepping in togi-jiru (starchy rice water) is a useful one to remember whenever you are cooking daikon, carrots or other firm root vegetables or tubers. Tender-prepping makes the vegetables very soft without falling apart (the natural oils in the rice water help them hold their shape). The par-boiling also makes them porous, getting them ready to absorb the flavor of the broth in which the final cooking takes place. 

Test for tenderness: a wooden skewer or toothpick should meet little or no resistance.


Dishes in the featured menu can be found in my cookbook, KANSHA: Celebrating Japan's Vegan & Vegetarian Traditions (Ten Speed Press, 2010). They are referenced here by page number. Click on the recipe titles above to download photo-illustrated documents that provide information not included in the book  -- details about ingredients, tools & techniques, menu planning and/or final presentation.

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