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Japanese Spring Vegetable Ragoût

Rice wine vinegar and arrowroot are good substitutes if you can’t find umeboshi vinegar (the liquid used for pickling Japanese plums) and kuzu (Japanese arrowroot).

Ingredients: 

Ingredients: 

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2 Tbs. dark sesame oil
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½ lb. fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, caps thinly sliced (4 cups)
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2 medium-size carrots, cut on diagonal into ½-inch slices (1 cup)
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¼ cup minced shallots
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½ cup sake
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1 Tbs. Japanese soy sauce
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½ lb. asparagus spears, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces (2 cups)
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¼ lb. snow peas, strings removed (1 ½ cups)
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2 Tbs. kuzu (Japanese arrowroot) dissolved in ¼ cup water
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2 tsp. umeboshi vinegar

Instructions: 

  1. 1. Heat oil in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add shiitakes, carrots and shallots; cook, stirring frequently, 8 to 10 minutes, or until mushrooms have released their juices. Add sake and soy sauce, stirring to scrape up any brown bits stuck to bottom of pan. Increase heat, and simmer rapidly, about 3 minutes, or until liquid is syrupy.
  2. 2. Stir in 2 1/2 cups water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes, or until liquid thickens. Add asparagus; simmer 3 to 5 minutes, or until tender. Stir in snow peas and kuzu, and cook, stirring constantly, 1 to 2 minutes, or until liquid returns to a simmer and has thickened.
  3. 3. Remove pan from heat, and stir in vinegar. Ladle into shallow bowls, and serve with Rice and Barley with Gingered Adzuki Beans (separate recipe) mounded in middle.

Nutrition Information: 

Calories: 
200
Protein: 
5 g
Total Fat: 
7 g
Saturated Fat: 
1 g
Carbohydrates: 
24 g
Cholesterol: 
mg
Sodium: 
162 mg
Fiber: 
5 g
Sugar: 
7 g
Yield: 
Serves 4