There was an egg festival in my bowl of rice the other day. I placed a raw egg yolk on a mound of ikura (salmon roe) on top of my steaming hot bowl of rice. The orange hues are sexy and appetizing, glimmering in my bowl.
No matter how many times I have ikuradon (ikura over rice), I always feel like royalty when it appears in front of me. Honestly, I don't know why ikura has to be so expensive because curing is not very involved. The only thing that I can imagine to be bothersome in the salmon roe curing process is that you have to wait for about half a day for the curing to complete its course. Otherwise, curing ikura is simple.
This time, I took the advice of Umamimart contributor and Hokkaido native, Kenji Miura. On my post about curing ikura, he commented that the Hokkaido way uses salt instead of soy sauce and mirin instead of sake.
I used the following for salt-cured ikura:
1/2 lb of sujiko (fresh salmon roe)
6 tbsp of mirin
3 tbsp of sea salt
1 tsp of soy sauce
1/2 inch square kombu (kelp)
Follow the instructions for separating the ikura on my previous post. Combine the mirin, salt, soy sauce in a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Let it cool. Add kombu to mixture.
Place separated and rinse ikura in an air tight container. Pour liquid over the ikura and seal.
Refrigerate for at least 6 hours and then drain and quickly rinse the ikura. They will last for about 2-3 days in the fridge.
The results were very pleasing. I liked that with the minimal use of soy sauce, the ikura retained their bright topaz-ruby colors while the mirin enhanced the natural sweetness of each bead. Hokkaido-style ikura success!
You may remember from my Hokkaido posts from 2009 that it is the island of ikura and soft ice-cream, two favorites of mine. Maybe that's why I tend to get along with people from Hokkaido.
My best friend in Tokyo, Mizuki, is a Hakodate, Hokkaido native.
Mizuki with a big bowl of sake.
Kenji Miura my food mentor and an Umamimart contributor is an Obihiro, Hokkaido native.
Kenji with warabi-mochi gold.
These people know how to eat and drink.
Anyway, here's how I made my Egg-festival Rice Bowl.
2 cups of fresh, hot steamed rice
2-3 tablespoons of salt and mirin cured ikura
1 egg (from a trusted source i.e. Japanese eggs or farm fresh)
Strands of nori (seaweed) for garnish
Strands of shiso (optional)
1. Pour rice into a big donburi bowl.
2. Carefully compile the ikura on the rice.
3. Separate the yolk from the eggs. Place the egg on top of the beads of ikura.
4. Garnish with nori and shiso (optional)
If this doesn't make you scream with glee, I am not sure if we'd get along.