The name ‘Nanban-zuke’ may sound unfamiliar but this is one of our popular seafood dishes. Nanban indicates that the dish has its origin from 16C Europe. Considering the history of Japan, ‘Europe’ in those days means Portugal and Spain at many cases.
I assume the process of deep frying and marinating afterwards with leek and other vegetables may be the ‘Nanban’ character. But this is a typical home cooking food for us today and it goes nicely with white rice or a glass of Sake!
I often use swordfish for Nanbanzuke. It is a white meat fish, tender like chicken breast but also is easier to handle, because you don’t need to pinch tiny bones.
First you deep fry the pieces of swordfish powdered with potato starch. Then marinate them in soy sauce, rice vinegar, mirin etc. Lots of vegetables are also put in this marine sauce, such as carrot, celery, leek, spring onion etc. So it almost looks like a salad with fried fish.
You may be afraid that anything deep fried is not good for your health, but I think if you eat them with lots of vegetables, no need to be scared at all.
If you choose more vegetables for side dishes, such as spinach with sweet sesame sauce (another very popular dish at our classes), accompanied with Dashi soup of mushrooms & rice, your meal would be rich in fiber and quite nicely balanced.
On this March 8th cooking class of Nanbanzuke, I welcomed a family from Sydney. Mama (means Mum in Japanese) is obviously a very good cook so everyone in the family loves to cook, too. It was actually a lot of fun to exchange some interesting information on ingredients and cookery with this foodie family!
I hope they enjoyed their time at my kitchen as much as I did.
Many thanks for coming!