SHOJIN RYORI – Last Section

Posted on Apr 25, 2018 in Hiroko's Blog

Shojin Ryori: Five Section

Thank you for completing the Shojin Ryori reading. I am writing another Japanese cookbook. The new book explains the philosophy and wisdom of Japanese cuisine, which is the backbone of Japanese preparation techniques, ingredients selection and presentation of the prepared dishes. Shojin Ryori has a profound impact on the development of Japanese cuisine. Of course, the book is full of new recipes. No matter if you are serious or non-serious cook the book nourishes your physical and mental hunger. Stay tuned!

Now I want to share with you a delightful, delicious and nourishing dessert recipe, mineoka-dofu. Mineoka dofu is derived from one of the most popular and ancient Shojin Ryori preparations called goma-dofu. Goma-dofu is prepared by cooking kelp stock and ground sesame paste along with kuzu, arrowroot starch. Monks at Zen temples spend hours grinding sesame into paste, then cooking it to make goma-dofu. During the lengthy and labor intensive preparation time monks performed additional meditation. The recipe given here is a modern piece. This recipe uses milk (but not kelp stock), so the flavor will be very appealing to us. This recipe is from my book, The Sushi Experience.

½ cup brown sugar

¼ cup granulated sugar

2 cups whole milk

¼ cup heavy cream

½ cup white sesame paste

2 tablespoons kuzu (arrowroot starch)

2 cups mixed berries

Make the molasses syrup first with the sugars and 1 ¼ cups water. Or, use already prepared molasses instead.

Mix together in a bowl the kuzu, milk, cream and sesame paste and stir with a whisk. Strain the mixture through a sieve into a medium pot. Place the pot over medium heat and cook 2 to 3 minutes. At this point the mixture becomes sticky. Turn the heat to low and cook additional 20 minutes.

Transfer the mixture into a mold and cool. Cover the mold with a plastic wrap and refrigerate. Before serving divide the mineoka-dofu from the mold into dessert bowls. Garnish the top with the berries. Pour the molasses syrup over the mineoka-dofu.