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September 5, 2012

Nishime Vegetables

Nishime Cooked Vegetables
Nishime (Ni-SHEE-may) is a style of cooking vegetables that allows the veggies to cook in their own juices, with very little water.  My understanding is that Nishime typically means "Waterless Cooking".  I have read about this style of cooking in a number of places and decided to try it out.
You can use just about any vegetables in Nishime, but the ones I see recommended the most often are in the Leafy, Root, and Round vegetable categories.
Leafy Suggestions:
Bok Choy, Cabbage, Turnip or Mustard Greens, Kale, Leeks
Root Suggestions:
Burdock, Carrots, Daikon Radish, Other Radishes, Parsnips
Round Vegetables:
Any Squash or Pumpkin, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cauliflower, Rutabaga, Turnips, Shiitakes
The suggestion I saw most commonly for Nishime is to choose 3 vegetables to cook together.
Last night I cooked Napa Cabbage, Daikon Radish, and Acorn Squash - and it was a hit!
I will certainly use this style of cooking regularly!
Every recipe I read for Nishime Vegetables included a piece of Kombu sea vegetable.
I never did get a reason for why it's important, but I figured it was so I purchased Eden brand Kombu at my local natural foods store.  It should last me quite a while!
I placed a piece of Kombu in my pot and barely covered the bottom of the pot with water.
Some directions say no more than 1/4 inch of water.  Just enough to barely cover the bottom.

Then I layered my three vegetables on top of the kombu.
The fastest cooking is placed on the bottom, and the longest cooking is placed at the top.
So I placed the Napa Cabbage, then the Daikon, then the Acorn Squash.
(I'll use larger chunks of Napa next time)

I sprinkled a little sea salt on top and covered the pot, bringing the vegetables to a boil.
Then (without lifting the lid) I reduced it to simmer for 20 minutes.
Then I added a few drops of soy sauce and re-covered the pot for 5 more minutes.

And the vegetables were done!
I understand that if there is liquid in the bottom of the pot, then I may have started with too much to begin with.  I'll reduce my water even more next time.
Drain and serve.

Very much like steaming, the vegetables were sweet and thoroughly cooked and had a comforting feel to them.  A great way to serve vegetables!

Double click to print as a 5x7 recipe card.
どうぞめしあがれ (douzo meshiagare)
(Japanese for Bon Appetit!)

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