Home (and Buri Daikon) is Where the Heart is…

Buri daikon - Koufuku Graffiti 12 - 08Tender pieces of fish meets soft, juicy rounds of daikon in this sweet soy sauce based simmered dish that is perfect for those unexpectedly cool nights during the year. It’s especially perfect in the winter when all you want to do is sit inside with a steaming bowl of delicious food. Warm, flavorful, and comforting, with the taste of the mild fish is tempered wonderfully by a bit of ginger, buri daikon is an ultimate comfort food.

Buri daikon literally just means yellowtail fish (buri) and daikon (a type of white radish). Pretty self explanatory, really. When I saw this dish featured in the final episode of Koufuku Graffiti, I just knew I’d have to try it out someday….

For me, the moment that solidified my desire to try my hand at making buri daikon was when Ryou watches Kirin eat her buri daikon and realizes that the special ingredient in her grandmother’s cooking was simply the joys of eating with her loved ones. It’s touching and sweet, and really encompasses everything Ryou’s been discovering about food, family, and love during the entire series…

About the recipe:

Yellow tail buri daikon cucumber pickles hijiki kinpira - Koufuki Graffiti 01While the majority of this recipe is straightforward, there are two main techniques to keep in mind when making this dish:

First of all, salting and pouring boiled water over the fish until it begins to turn opaque helps get rid of its strong “fishy” taste and smell, and it a necessary step in making this recipe shine. Don’t be tempted to skip it, or else your dish may be unpleasantly “fishy”…

Secondly, microwaving the daikon really helps speed the cooking time up. It’s a great shortcut that uses the water from rinsing your rice to keep the daikon nice and white. When using the water from rinsing your rice, do a preliminary rinse first, drain the water, then submerge your rice again in water and use the water from this second rinse for your daikon.

Yellowtail buri daikon simmered - Koufuku Graffiti 01 - 02Rounding the edges of the daikon using a knife or vegetable peeler also helps to ensure the daikon stays together in one piece during the cooking process.

And, one more note about this recipe: This recipe was adapted from one that I found on the internet. I have modified it pretty heavily for two reasons and feel like I should explain why. First, the original recipe was way too salty! And, secondly, I have found that yellowtail is rather prone to falling apart and getting dry if cooked very long…

Therefore, I have arranged the recipe so that the daikon is cooked first. This gives the daikon a head start on soaking up the sauce, while also adding daikon flavor to the sauce. Then, the fish is added and briefly cooked in the daikon-flavored sauce. The fish is soon removed to allow the daikon to finish cooking, and to further reduce the sauce in the pot. Finally, the fish again just before serving, allowing for a quick reheat and a nice coating of sauce.

About the ingredients:

Yellow tail buri - Koufuku Graffiti 01Yellowtail or Japanese amberjack is a type of fish that is known in Japan as hamachi or buri. This fish has a good amount of fat in it, so it’s quite tender and buttery, so treat it gently when you’re cooking it so that it doesn’t fall apart too much. I’m not entirely sure where you can buy yellowtail in the USA (I’m going to assume you can get it at a well stocked fish market), but if you’re in Japan, it’s sold in every major grocery store.

Daikon is a type of radish that is white in color, mild in flavor, and that can grow quite large. It’s a big part of Japanese cooking, showing up as pickles, cooked in stews and soups, and even grated into sauces. Daikon is available in many standard and specialty grocery stores.

Buri Daikon

The recipe:

Buri Daikon (Simmered yellowtail and daikon)

Makes ~4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 4 pieces yellowtail/amberjack fillets, ~1.5 inches thick
  • Salt
  • 8 – 10 slices of daikon, each 2 cm (~1 inch) thick (about 1/2 a daikon)
  • Water used to rinse the rice
  • 2 tbsp finely julienned ginger
  • 1 cup dashi stock
  • 1/2 cup sake
  • 2 tbsp mirin
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • Mitsuba or minced green onions (garnish)

Directions:

  1. Place fish in a colander and salt liberally on all sides. Let stand for 30 minutes. Pour boiled water over the fish on all sides until the flesh just turns opaque and white. Gently pat dry and set aside.
  2. While the fish is salting, peel and wash 1/2 a daikon radish. Cut into 1 inch rounds and round the sharp edges using a knife or vegetable peeler. You should have 8 – 10 pieces total. Place into a large, heatproof bowl. Submerge daikon with water produced from washing rice after the first rinse.
  3. Cover daikon loosely with plastic wrap or a microwave cover, and microwave on medium high for 4 minutes. Stir the daikon and continue microwaving for an additional 4 minutes. Check the daikon for doneness with a skewer. The skewer should pierce the daikon easily. Rinse in warm water (careful, it’s hot!), pat dry, and set aside.
  4. In a pot with a large surface area, combine 1 tbsp julienned ginger, dashi stock, sake, mirin, soy sauce, and sugar. Bring to a simmer over medium high heat. Add daikon and cook until the daikon begins to turn amber, about 15 minutes. Add more dashi stock if the sauce evaporates too much. Turn the daikon over periodically to ensure even cooking.
  5. Move the daikon aside to make room in your pot. Add yellowtail in an even layer in the sauce, cover, and cook at a low simmer for 12 minutes, flipping the fish halfway through the cooking time. When the fish is just cooked through, gently remove yellowtail from the pot and set aside.
  6. Spread the daikon out in the pot and continue cooking until it is amber and golden, and the sauce has reduced, about 20 – 30 minutes. Again, turn the daikon over periodically to ensure even cooking.
  7. Clear room in the pot by stacking the daikon, and add the cooked yellowtail back into the pot. Continue gently simmering until the yellowtail has heated through again, about 5 minutes. Turn the fish over once to ensure an even coating of sauce.
  8. Taste sauce and adjust seasonings as needed.

Serve with Japanese short grain rice and top the plated buri daikon with the remaining finely julienned ginger and mitsuba.

Source: Adapted from this recipe on Cookpad.

Buri daikon - Koufuku Graffiti 12 - 11

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5 thoughts on “Home (and Buri Daikon) is Where the Heart is…

  1. My goodness, this looks delicious!! I’ll have to definitely try. I love that you included notes on your changes and your reasoning behind them. It gives the recipe much more care and respect to the ingredients 🙂

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    • Thank you for your lovely comment 😀 I guess I don’t talk about my recipe process much, so I’m glad you enjoyed reading about it. I hope you can give buri daikon a try some time! It’s especially satisfying to eat this dish in the fall and winter… But, I eat it all year because it’s yummy, haha.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I loved simmered daikon in Japan and when I saw how it is made in Koufuku Graffiti I realised it requires quite a bit of work and skill to prepare! So might have to make do with drooling over it in anime until my next Japan trip! Congratulations on a gorgeous, very cute blog.

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  3. Shame most of you foreign or non Japan people only view or know Japan from animations. All time if foreigner talks to us always get the same words like all of us like omarice, takoyaki, okonomi and mugicha. Or that we all love anime honest truth is only a small part of Japan is into anime in fact its only tiny part of our media industry. I mean not to offend and pardon for my english I am 19yo female university student and only comment here as I really get tired of the limited knowledge of foreigners I do know some from school and I am trying to show that Japan is not only animation. Please stop with moe or sugoi and kawai also snack food and so on. Lastly try to learn Japanese as one big thing is many of you again know only words and things from anime remember anime is tv show or not real. I do like you page and one of my foreign friend show me here. Yes one more thing this recipe or dish is mainly enjoyed by older people like Namasu or Oden. I myself hate ketchup and so omarice I also do not watch anime but like how you show it with recipe ( ‘-‘ )

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    • And no this dish is very very easy to make in fact the main thing is Daikon not the fish. Also it is just regular white radish not Japan special.

      Like

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