Kanako's Kitchen

Nanohana Ohitashi: Seasoned Rapini

Posted in Chopstick Vacation, Recipe, side dish, today's meal by Kanako Noda on August 9, 2010

I have a vivid memory of the instant I realized that Nanohana Ohitashi – a dish made by seasoning the young green shoots of the plant we get Canola oil from – is one of the most delicious and refined side dishes in the Japanese repertoire. I was still a university student. That day, I went to a restaurant in Kyoto with my parents, but without my sisters. I remember it clearly, perhaps because it was rare for us to go out without them. It was a classic Japanese restaurant: very sober, very refined.

The Nanohana Ohitashi was served to us in a big bowl to be shared. We were a little taken a back, at first, by the size of the portion. It was really a lot; actually, it seemed a little bit too much for three people. But as we started in on it, we quickly understood that finishing it wouldn’t be a problem: it was just so fragrant, so elegant, so stylish. Slightly piquant due to the mustard, and bitter but also sweet thanks to the contribution of the rapini. It was perfection in a side dish.

By the end, there was none left.

Ingredients: (for four)

  • A bunch of rapini (Nanohana)

For the sauce

  • Water – 100 ml
  • Dashi – 1/2 tea-spoon
  • Mirin – 1/2 table spoon
  • Soy sauce – 2 table spoons
  • Musutard  – as much you like (If you use Japanese mustard, one teaspoon)


Make the sauce

  1. Microwave 100 ml of water until boiling hot
  2. Dissolve the dashi in the hot water
  3. Add the soy sauce and mirin
  4. Stir

Prepare the rapini

  1. Wash the rapini without taking them apart and bring a quart of water to a boil
  2. Dunk the rapini in the boiling water, base first, leaves on top
  3. Mix in and boil for about 1.5~2 minutes.
  4. Drain and run under cold water to cool.
  5. Squeeze out the excess moisture with your hands and cut the greens into 4 cm. long segments.
  6. Dissolve the mustard in the sauce.
  7. Place in a bowl, add the sauce and mix a little bit.
    Serve as side dish.

Even if this is a side dish, I like to eat a lot of  nanohana ohitashi. So I prepared a very simple lunch with takikomi gohan and nanohana ohitashi.

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