Japanese Food Weekend Part 3: Nimono (Simmered) Vegetables

I fell in love with this dish at a "homestyle" restaurant in Japan, whose main customers are businessmen away from home. It may not look like much, but the subtle flavors and perfect texture of the vegetables is a sure winner.

With a pressure cooker, this dish is pretty quick to cook (after all of the cutting), and is a great way to eat several winter vegetables at once. I got inspiration for the nimono cooking method from this recipe.

I serve it with salmon and my new favorite Japanese rice called "haiga", which retains the nutrition of the bran, but still is soft, sticky and white.

You will want to buy or prepare dashi stock before starting on this recipe.

First cut up all the veggies, paying attention to size. Since I'm cooking them all for the same amount of time, the most tender veggies need to be cut bigger than others.
3 Carrots, cut into 1 inch chunks
Gobo or burdock root, washed of dirt, then cut into 1.5" long, halved pieces
Red or yellow potato, cut into 1 inch chunks
Yellow onion, cut into rings
1/2 small Kabocha squash, peeled and cut into 1.5 inch chunks
1-2 cloves garlic, whole

In the base of a pressure cooker, combine:
2 TB brown sugar
1/4 C sake or mirin
1/4 C soy sauce
1/4 - 1/2 C dashi
(fish/kelp stock, making dashi the cold water easy way)

Add the cut up vegetables. Turn on heat, seal pressure cooker lid/wobbler.

Pressure cook for 4 minutes. Release pressure. If you are inclined to stir, be careful not to break up the lovely chunks of potato/squash.

Serve with rice and broiled fish.

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