Miso soup, made using kombu, dashi made from scratch and white miso, Miso cured Mackerel, Spinach Goma-ae and an Edamame Shira-ae
Place the kombu in a pan with cold water. Leave to soak for 30 minutes before proceeding.
Bring the pan of water to a gentle simmer. When the water begins to bubble, remove the kombu, and allow to come up to a boil. Throw in the dried bonito flakes, and leave to boil for about 2 minutes before removing from the heat. The stock can be strained straight away for immediate use, or allowed to cool down for later use.
Trm the enoki mushrooms, and set aside.
When ready to serve the miso soup, heat the stock gently, add the enoki mushrooms and leave to simmer for a minute. Lower the heat, and dissolve the miso in the stock. Do not let the stock boil once miso has been added to it, otherwise the soup will be bitter.
Add the dried wakame seaweed to the miso soup. It is ready to serve when the seaweed is fully re-hydrated.
Lift the fillets from the mackerel. Remove any pin bones. Refrigerate until needed.
Trim the spring onions, and peel the outer layer. Slice thinly on the angle.
Peel the ginger, and shred on a grater.
Mix the miso paste, mirin wine, caster sugar, ginger and most of the spring onions together. Save the remaining spring onions for garnish.
Spread the miso paste generously on both sides of the mackerel fillets, and leave to marinate for at least 15 minutes, or up to an hour.
Pre-heat the oven grill to 200'C.
When ready to serve, remove most of the miso paste from the skin side. Place on a baking tray skin side up, and place in the oven. Leave to grill for about 8 minutes, or until the flesh is cooked through and the skin begins to char.
In a mortar, grind the sesame seeds until you obtain a nearly smooth paste. Add the caster sugar, sake and soy sauce, and grind further. Set half of the paste aside.
Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Wash the spinach in several changes of water, but do not remove the root end. Cook the spinach in the boiling water until wilted, about 3 minutes.
Drain the spinach, and refresh under cold water, then squeeze out any excess water. Try to keep the spinach bunch whole. Toss the spinach in half of the sesame paste (goma-ae), use your hands or chopsticks as it will be easier to get the sesame into every nook and cranny.
Each bunch of spinach is traditionally cut across the length in order to have the leaves, stems and roots as separate entities on the plate.
To the remaining sesame paste, add the tofu, and grind until smooth. Adjust the seasoning, if necessary.
Heat the edamame in boiling water, drain, and toss through the tfu paste (shira-ae)
«Goma-ae (sesame paste) and shira-ae (tofu paste) can be used on any seasonal vegetables such as green beans, asparagus, and carrots. These vegetables are usually served at room temperature.»