Yashiro-jima (also known as Suooshima) is located off the coast in Yamaguchi prefecture, known for its mikan みかん (oranges). I have heard there is even such a thing as mikan nabe みかん鍋, which is hotpot with oranges…! I would like to try this one day. It sounds like a refreshing taste to me.

Today we have a winter dish, called kenchou けんちょう. This is another installment of “Island Mama’s homemade cooking” from the news pullout section (refer to here).

This dish is made with Japanese radish called daikon 大根. It was originally vegetarian food, only seasoned with shoyu and sake, with just fried daikon and tofu. But then evolved to adding carrots, shiitake mushrooms, lotus root, gobou (burdock root), konnyaku; and then even ingredients like chicken or other seasonal variety.

Nowadays, it might be made in a dried sardine soup; I choose not to do this and stick to a vegetarian version. Vegetable combinations such as daikon, carrot, konnyaku, gobou (burdock root), fried fish cake (satsuma-age), shiitake, lotus root, etc, can be used, depending on what is available to you.

Kenchou けんちょう: This recipe is courtesy of the island’s school meal program, and is vegetarian, however, it can easily be modified to accommodate your tastes. For instance, simmering in a stock of sardines, sort of like an oden おでん style dish would definitely add some winter flavors to the dish.

Ingredients:
-tofu 1 block (~300g), drained and cut into chunks or slightly crumbled
-daikon, ~600g, cut into slices and quartered
-carrot, ~ 30g, cut into slices (or strips is okay too)
-konnyaku, 1/2 package (120g), cut into strips
-aburaage (fried tofu)  (25g), cut into strips **other recipes suggest fried fishcake
-oil for frying, ~3 tablespoons
-Sugar, 2 tsp
-salt, 1 tsp
-shoyu, 4 tablespoons
-sake or cooking mirin, to taste

Heat oil in a pan, and stir-fry well daikon, carrot, konnyaku, and aburaage, mix and add seasoning, simmer about 5-6 minutes. Add tofu, simmer over low heat. Enjoy.

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