Tomato no Ohitashi (Tomatoes with savory sauce)
Ohitashi is blanched vegetable seasoned dashi/ broth and mainly soy sauce. お浸し(ohitashi) means soaking. The vegetables are soaked in the sauce for a while. Ohitashi is usually served as a side dish.
Spinach is the most common ingredient for ohitashi although many kinds of vegetables are used for this dish. But this time, I would like to share my recipe for “Tomato no Ohitashi” with you because it’s getting hotter here in Japan. This is the best dish for summer.
I seem to be addicted to “Tomato no Ohitashi“. Seriously, I eat this dish almost every day during summer. Tomatoes are not very common for ohitashi but chilled tomatoes really go well with the savory sauce. It’s very refreshing and increases your appetite.
I especially like ohitashi using cherry tomatoes. It’s easier to eat and I can eat it anytime like a snack.
Let me talk a bit about soy sauce here.
There are a few types of soy sauce in Japan. 濃口しょうゆ (koikuchi shoyu) is the most common soy sauce. “Koikuchi” means thick flavor and “shoyu” means soy sauce. When someone says shoyu/ soy sauce, that means koikuchi. However, I use 薄口しょうゆ (usukuchi shoyu) for this dish. “Usukuchi” means light flavor but actually, this shoyu is saltier than koikuchi while the color is lighter. It’s convenient to highlight the color of the ingredients.
As I mentioned, there are other types of soy sauce but usually, these two types of soy sauce are used at home. Especially, usukuchi shoyu is popular in the Kansai area such as Kyoto and Osaka.
You can use both koikuchi and usukuchi shoyu for this ohitashi.
Dashi stock is also important for this dish. If you have an instant dashi product, prepare the dashi stock following the instructions of the product. If you want to make dashi using natural ingredients, please refer to my recipe below.
For this dish, you can make dashi from only katsuobushi flakes because tomatoes have enough glutamic acid. However, I added half of the amount of kombu to suit my palate. And I used mixed dashi of Ichiban and Niban.
This dish looks simple but it has complex flavors. You can enjoy the umami created by the glutamic and inosinic acids, also the mild saltiness of soy sauce, and the subtle sweetness of tomatoes at the same time.
Let’s go on to the recipe. Hot summer is just around the corner!
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