Traditional New Year’s Favorites

Sam Choy
By Sam Choy
Wednesday - January 03, 2007
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This week we celebrate the new year by preparing the following traditional dishes. This show aired originally on Dec. 28, 2002, and we can’t improve on these recipes.


For Dashi:

* 1 quart cold water
* 1 ounce dashi kombu (kelp)
* 1 ounce dried bonito flakes (dried fish flakes)

Fill a medium-size pot with water and put in the kombu. Heat, uncovered, for about 10 minutes. Remove the kombu just before the water boils. Press your thumbnail into the fleshiest part of the kombu. If it is soft enough, flavor has been obtained in the dashi. If it is tough, put it back in the pot for 1 or 2 minutes.

After removing kombu, bring the dashi to a full boil. Add 1/4 cup

cold water to bring the temperature down quickly and immediately add bonito flakes. Bring to a full boil and remove from heat. Allow the bonito flakes to begin to settle to the bottom of the pot (about 30 seconds to one minute). Remove any foam and strain through a cheesecloth-lined sieve.

* 1/3 pound chicken, deboned with skin
* 4 shrimp, shelled and deveined
* 1 medium carrot
* 1 medium daikon
* 1 bunch mizuna (Japanese vegetable)
* edible chrysanthemum leaves (optional)
* 3 1/3 cups dashi (fish stock)
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon shoyu
* 4 pieces mochi, grilled (glutinous rice cake)

Slice chicken diagonally into thin pieces and sprinkle lightly with salt. Blanch in lightly salted water about 2 minutes and drain. Peel, devein and wash shrimp. Leave the tails on. Boil in salted water until firm and pink, about 3 minutes. Cool in ice water.

Slice carrots and daikon about 1/4 inch thick. Parboil about 10 minutes or until tender. Parboil mizuna until almost tender and set aside.

In a pot, bring dashi to a boil. Reduce heat keep at simmer. Add salt and soy sauce to taste. Grill the mochi over charcoal or in an oven broiler. Turn the mochi to make sure it does not burn. The outside of the mochi should be crisp and light brown.

Place grilled mochi in individual dishes. Place a mound of mizuna next to the mochi. Add chicken, shrimp, daikon and carrots. Carefully ladle on simmering soup. Serve immediately.


* 2 1/2 pounds brown sugar sticks
* 2 1/2 pounds mochiko (sweet rice flour)
* 40 ounces water
* 8 ounces vegetable oil

In a saucepot, boil water and melt sugar. Cool and set aside.

In a mixer, combine mochiko and oil until well-blended. Slowly add cooled sugar-water mixture.

Pour into steamer basket lined with aluminum foil and ti leaves (you can also use banana or bamboo leaves).

Sprinkle the top of gao with sesame seeds and place a date in the center.

Steam for 3 1/2 hours.

(Watch “Sam Choy’s Kitchen” Saturdays at 6:30 p.m. on KHNL News 8.)

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