Tuesday, October 09, 2007


It is sudachi (similar to limes) season here. When I buy sudachi, they only come with two or three in a bag. But what would you do when you receive a bag of 15 or more? Here are the ways that I used them...

You can usually find them with grilled sanma (saury). I saw some sanma in the market the other day, but it was a bit too scary looking--it had the head on and everything still inside. I don't know how to grill it or clean them, so I went with what I know...salmon. I served it with daikon oroshi (grated long white radish) and a splash of shoyu.

I drizzled some onto my yakitori (chicken skewers)...very refreshing.

And then one day I was craving for Mexican food, which isn't readily available here. I looked in "Barbecue Bible" by Steven Raichlen. And found a great recipe for fajita rub. I cut the recipe down and "marinated" sasami (chicken breasts) for about 3 hours. Then in a pan with some oil, I pan fried them.

Fajita rub adapted from "Barbecue Bible"
1 tablespoon paprika
2.25 teaspoon coarse salt
1.5 teaspoon dried chipotle
12 grinds fresh pepper
1 teaspoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon cumin
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice

But what has fajitas got to do with sudachi? Well, awhile back, Tea, introduced me to chirmol. (Thank you!) She called it chimol, but the recipe I found, also in "Barbecue Bible" called it chirmol. Anyway, since the recipe called for limes, it was a perfect opportunity for me to try chirmol and to use some sudachi. I was a bit bummed because the jalapenos I had in my fridge had gone slimey and moldy...eww. And I didn't have much cilantro. Check out Tea's photo of chirmol, it looks way more appetizing.

Chirmol adapted from "Barbecue Bible"
12 cherry tomatoes, cut into fourths
1/4 onion, diced
handful of cilantro, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 tablespoon vinegar
2 sudachi (squeezed)
several shakes of salt
5 grinds of pepper

Still, on my chicken fajitas, the bursts of lime mixed with the bite from the onions, the heat from the chicken cooled by the ripe tomatoes really satisfied my craving for something Mexican.

And then I made ponzu. Ponzu is citrus flavored soy sauce condiment. The recipe that came with the sudachi mentioned soaking the sudachi with konbu (kelp), katsuo bushi (bonito flakes), shoyu (soy sauce), vinegar and mirin (sweet rice wine) for 2 weeks then straining everything and using the liquid. I found another recipe on the net in which you just boil everything and then strain it into jars and use right away. So, that is what I did. Instead of the 5 sudachi that the recipe called for, I used all 10 that were left. Talk about pucker your mouth sour! But I think it will be good on fish or tofu (soy bean curd) or on steak with daikon oroshi (grated white radish)--just a little ponzu will do.

Here's the recipe if you have some limes on hand and would like to try this. If your limes are big, you might want to put the juice of half a lime in first and add more. It should taste refreshing and not very salty.

250 cc koikuchi shoyu (dark shoyu) (about 1.5 cups)
250 cc usukuchi shoyu (light shoyu) (about 1.5 cups)
350 cc komesu rice vinegar (about 1.75 cups)
1 to 2 sheets of dashi konbu (thick pieces of kelp to make stock) each about 15 cm long.
1 small bag of katsuo bushi (bonito flakes)
5 sudachi (limes), juiced
100 cc mirin (sweet rice wine) (about .5 cups)

Bring everything to a boil and then turn off the heat. When cooled, strain and transfer to glass jars and store in refrig. Use on fish, chicken, meats, tofu (soy bean curd), actually anything that you would use regular shoyu (soy sauce) on. You can even mix it with some sesame oil or use it as is for a nice Asian dressing.

NOTE: I didn't have the two kinds of shoyu so I used what I had on hand, usukuchi shoyu. I also didn't use the sheets of konbu, I had the powdered version, so I used 1 stick of that.



Anonymous said...

I would have chosen the salmon, too. I'm sure after you prepared it, it tasted really good. I like the recipe for the Chirmol that you posted. The thought of it is making me salivate. ;-)


K and S said...

I know I should have been braver and tried something new, but cleaning fish is scary to me. I hope you get a chance to try chirmol, it is really refreshing, Paz!

Take care.

Rowena said...

Everything looks so goooood Kat! But now I'll need to google saury to see how that fish looks like. We get quite a few odd-looking fish at the market but for the most part, I don't have a clue as to how to prepare them!

K and S said...

Thanks Rowena, saury is long, skinny with a pointy nose. Hope you can find it.

Take care.

Anonymous said...

What a coincedence! I'm also making ponzu with all the sudachi I've received, but I'm doing it the long way. Next year I'll have to try it your way-- much faster!

K and S said...

Hi Amy,

I've already given some away and we are using our portion too. I couldn't see myself taking up space in the refridge with ponzu for 2 weeks. I hope yours turns out delicious!

Take care.

Kat said...

Hi Kat! Your picture of yakitori reminded me of my honeymoon. My husband and I loved looking in the department store basements with all the foods. I remember one yakitori counter. We ordered by pointing since we did not know what everything was. We ended up with one chicken meat stick and one liver! We were eating it (it didn't necessarily taste bad) and we thought it tasted funny. Later we discovered we had bought liver. We just assumed that all the sticks were different types of chicken meat. It was funny and we were more careful about our choices going forward. It was surprising to see that they serve the other chicken "parts" like organs and even the skin!

K and S said...

Hi Kat,

I think for us growing up in Hawaii we eat "Japanese" but it isn't everything that they Japanese are eating. Like in our house, sashimi was only ahi, but when I came to Japan and you order sashimi, you get an assortment of different raw fish!

You are lucky you didn't go to a true yakitori place, when I was going to college in Japan, we did and they actually cooked whole sparrow! I couldn't eat it.

Take care.