Aku nuki is the process of removing
harshness or bitterness. It is impotant to do in order to lock in the true
flavor and colors of vegatables. It is done during preparation and cooking,
depending on the ingriedent.
The basic procedure of akunuki for vegetables is to boil them
in hot water to remove harshness then soak immediately in cold water to
set color. Ash water, rice bran, wheat flour can also be used to set color.
Cold water, vinegar, lemon juice also prevent colors from fading.
Boiling in hot water with salt.
Boil ingriedents in 5 times the amount of water with a dash of salt.
Then soak immediately in cold water to set color.
Boil in hot water with salt, stem down, then soak in cold water.
- French beans:
Peel strings. Boil in hot water with salt. Then drop into cold water and
place on strainer.
- Green asparagus:
Keep stalks together place into boiling water added with salt and a thin
slice of lemon. Remove before they become too soft.
Add lemon juice to fresh mushrooms, when eaten raw or in salad.
Peel and cut bananas, sprinkle lemon juice on before cooking. Use for making
Vinegar and water
Vinegar bleaches vegatables
- Gobo: (burdock)
Remove skin with the back of the knife, soak in vinegar. Add a little vinegar
- Renkon: (lotus root)
Peel and soak in water with a bit of vinegar. Add a little vinegar while
Peel and soak in water with a bit of vinegar.
Itazuri is the technique of removing the harshness from cucumbers
or other cylinder shape vegatables.
Place vegetables on cutting board, put salt on hands and board, roll vegetables
and lightly press. This action is Itazuri.
Cut fuki into pot size pieces, sprinkle with salt on the chopping
board roll and press lightly. In a large pot bring water to a boil . Add
fuki. When color becomes very green, drain, set in cold water. Remove
skin by peeling with fingers.
Using Nuka (rice bran)
To remove the bitterness from takenoko (bamboo shoots) boil in
rice water. Use komenuka powder and takanotsume (red pepper),
boil, remove from heat, wash and peel skin. Togijiru is rice bran
water and can be used too.
Using wheat flour
Boiling in flour and water whole brings out white color. Soak in cold water,
drain, cut into pieces. Or use vinegar in water to boil. Keep califlower
in the same water until it cools down. When eating raw, soak califlower
in vinegar water for a while before eating.
Using water with ash
Wild vegetables like warabi, zenmai, yomogi all
have a lot of fiber. To make them tender, cover with ash, pour boiling water
over them. Use water with 0.2-0.3% baking soda instead of ash when it is
difficult to find ash. Make sure not put too much soda in water otherwise
shape will be spoiled.
Soak in water
To avoid vegetables from changing color after peeling or cutting, Soak
them immediately and completely covered in water. Soak potatos, chestnuts,
other starchy vegatables.
Immediately after peeling potatos, soak in water. When eaten raw change
water several times to insure crispiness.
- Sweet potatos:
Thickly peel sweet potatos and soak before making Kinton.
Boil in a soup
- Green leaves:
Chinese vegetable's harshness can be removed by frying in oil and adding
soup or water then brought to a boil. Skim the fine scum that float to