nishime = shitake + fennel + daikon

Another stormy morning in the Big Apple called for a strengthening, cleansing dish. Nishime it was. With just a quarter-inch of water and a tiny piece of kelp in the pot, a potful of vegetables steam for a half hour or longer. They soften and sweeten so they are not only comforting, but also easy to digest.

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serves 4

INgredients

1 postage stamp sized piece of kelp (theseaweedman.com/products/kelp)

about 4 ounces shitake mushrooms

2-3 large round slices fennel

1 large daikon radish

3 dime-sized slices ginger root

about 1 Tablespoon soy sauce

Process   Trim the stems from the shitake mushrooms;

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wash them well. Set aside. Wash the fennel bulb and then slice the tough end off the bottom.  Starting at the bottom, slice 3 pieces, each about one-quarter-inch-thick.

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Set aside. Use a serrated knife to scrape any tiny hairs and brown spots from the daikon radish skin.

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Rinse it and then cut it into 2-inch-wide segments.

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Set aside. Into a small heavy pot with a tight-fitting (preferably glass) lid, place about a quarter inch of water and the postage stamp piece of kombu (kelp).

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Arrange the shitake mushroom tops at the bottom of the pot.

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Next layer the fennel discs on top of the mushrooms.

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Finally, place the daikon radish logs at the top of the pot. Try to fit everything into the pot rather tightly and compactly.

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Next peel the ginger root, slice it into discs

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and slice them into tiny matchsticks.

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Scatter the ginger pieces on top of the daikon. Put the lid on the pot and place it on the stove on a medium flame.

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When you see steam coming out of the seams of the pot lid (after about 3 minutes). lower the flame to a simmer; let the nishime steam for about 25 minutes, or until a fork glides effortlessly into the daikon.  Remove pot lid and drizzle the soy sauce on top.

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Replace lid and shake the whole pot three times, with purpose. Return pot to a low simmer for about 3 minutes more and then remove from flame. Arrange nishime on individual plates, making sure that each ingredient is represented on each plate.

©Nancy Wolfson-Moche 2014