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Sunday, January 26, 2020

Making Futomaki To Celebrate Setsubun


My mom was Japanese.  That meant that half of our family lived in Japan.  And lucky for me and my sisters, we spent entire summers living in Japan.  Because of that, I get so homesick for my second home, when summer arrives each year.  I miss our family and friends, the lifestyle, the celebrations and the food that we eat as we celebrate.  Although, we can't travel to Japan for every holiday, we can celebrate and keep the traditions alive in our homes here in the US.  One of our favorite holidays is Setsubun because we can eat one of favorite foods, futomaki.

Setsubun is celebrated one day before the start of spring, which in Japan is February 3.  One custom that is practiced during this holiday is throwing roasted soybeans.  You throw beans inside the home, usually at a family member who is wearing a demon mask and running around the house, to chase away any demons.  After the bean throwing, you have the bean eating.  Everyone eats the amount of beans that corresponds with their age.  Without revealing my age, I can tell you that if I had to eat that many beans, I would never be able to eat the delicious futomaki after!  So, needless to say, we skip , this part of the celebration.

After the bean throwing fun, comes the eating!  I would like to share our recipe for futomaki.  It is called ehomaki when made to eat for Setsubun and should contain 7 fillings.  The 7 fillings represent the Seven Deities of Good Fortune.  They can be any filling you choose.  Our recipe has only 5 but you can add shrimp, imitation crab meat or a number of other ingredients if you want your roll to be officially Setsubun ready.

There are a couple of things you need to know first though before you make and eat your own futomaki, if you are making it to celebrate Setsubun.   You must keep the roll whole and not sliced like you would see it in your favorite sushi restaurant.  If you slice your roll, you will be slicing away good luck.  Next you will have to face the lucky direction which this year was east northeast.  (You can find the direction of the year and more information about Setsubun here.)  Then you will eat your futomaki in silence as you contemplate the events of the past year and look forward to enjoying the new year.  If you eat your futomaki correctly, you will have good fortune.



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Futomaki
(makes 4 rolls)


Ingredients:


Yaki sushi nori - roasted seaweed 

Prepare the following ingredients:

1 cup uncooked rice (I use genmai but short-grain Japanese white rice would make a better roll) - makes 3 cups cooked
Cool rice.  Mix 2 Tbs. sugar, 1/3 cup rice vinegar and a dash of salt in a medium bowl.  Add and gently mix in cooled rice and set aside.

Soak mushrooms in 1 1/4 cup water.  Do not discard water.  After mushrooms soften (about 30 minutes) squeeze out excess water from the mushroom into the water they were soaking in.  You should have about 1 cup of water.  Add 2 Tbs. sugar, 1 Tbs. mirin and 1 Tbs. soy sauce to the water.  Pour the flavored water into a frying pan.  Slice the mushrooms (discard the stems) and add them to the frying pan.  Cook mushrooms, stirring occasionally and watching carefully, until there is no more water left in the pan.  Set cooked mushrooms aside.


Tomagoyaki
Break 4 eggs into a bowl and mix together with 1/2 Tbs. mirin, 1 tsp. sugar and 1/4 tsp. kosher or sea salt.  Spray frying pan with Pam or use a small amount of oil if you prefer.  When pan is heated, add a thin layer of egg, rotating pan to spread egg over entire bottom of pan.   When egg is almost cooked, but still wet, fold one edge of the egg over about an inch or two and and keep folding until the egg ends up on the opposite side of the pan.  Add another thin layer of egg and when egg is cooked as before, fold the folded egg over the new layer of egg.  Continue cooking the egg in this manner with the remaining egg.


Allow tomagoyaki to cool, then slice into approximately 1/2 inch wide and the length of the seaweed sheet.



Kampyo
One 2.1 oz package of prepared kampyo.  You can find this in the freezer or fridge of your favorite Japanese supermarket.  If you find dried kampyo, or prefer to use it dried, follow the same cooking directions for the mushrooms to prepare the kampyo for your roll.

Slice the pickled radish to about 1/2 inch by 1/2 inch thickness and the length of your sushi nori (seaweed sheet).

Cucumber
Slice the same as the takuwan.



Place the sushi nori on a bamboo mat made for sushi rolling.  Spread rice over your seaweed sheet to about an inch from the edge of the top and bottom of the seaweed.  Place the prepared ingredients side by side on top of the rice.


Now you are ready to roll your futomaki.  It is very hard to describe how to roll sushi and I haven't made a video to demonstrate this technique.  I would like to direct you to where I was directed by DIL Nicole.  Yuko and Noriko from Japanese Cooking 101 helped me roll my first futomaki!  Go here for their tutorial.

Enjoy and Happy Setsubun!


The post was featured at:

Pretty Pintastic Party

22 comments:

  1. love finding new to me recipes and trying them out adding this to the list thanks for sharing
    come see us at http://shopannies.blogspot.com

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  2. What a fun tradition and a great recipe to go along with it! Thanks for sharing with us at The Blogger's Pit Stop!

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  3. It was nice to see some very traditional Japanese ingredients in your maki, such as kampyo, and the way you dressed the sushi meshi with the sugared vinegar, mmm, lovely!

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    1. Sounds like you know a little about Japanese cooking yourself! Glad you liked our recipe. Hope you will make it to enjoy yourself one day!

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  4. Well, that's different. I wonder if my hubby would like that! hmmmm Maybe I should try that one day. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. I hope you get a chance to try it. I think you and your hubby will like it!

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  5. oh wow, I've never heard of futomaki but it sounds delightful. I did wonder why you hadn't sliced up your maki, but your story makes sense. I know of all the ingredients but kampyo, and I've never made tamogoyaki but I've tried it in a bento box. I think I will have to try this with my daughter. We are expert at rolling sushi, so no problem there. Oni wa soto! Fuku wa uchi (hope that's right!)

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    1. That is right! Have fun making your futomaki. Make sure you face west-south-west when you eat it! Thank you for stopping by!!

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  6. What a wonderful tradition! Thank you for sharing at Party In Your PJ's.

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  7. Fascinating, especially the history/background behind this festival of Setsubun. An occasion I never have heard about until now. I'll make a note to plan for it next year, as I'm too late for this one. Thanks for posting this!

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    1. Thank you for stopping by! I hope that you will try this recipe next year!!

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  8. My sister is married to a Japanese man so we have had much exposure to the culture, which I am thankful for (especially the food and dramas!). Thanks for sharing at Tuesday Turn About!

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    1. It is so nice to have family of different cultures isn't it? It gives you an opportunity to experience things you wouldn't even know about.

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  9. So interesting. I haven't heard of this dish before thanks for sharing with the #DreamTeam

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    1. I don't think I would know anything about futomaki if I didn't have a Japanese mom!

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  10. Oh yum! That looks so good. I've not heard of this particular dish before but it's got to be one to try in the future. Thanks so much for sharing with the #DreamTeam

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    1. I hope you get a chance to try it one day. It is yummy!!

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  11. I've never heard of futomaki but it sure looks good!! Thanks for sharing at last week's What's for Dinner party - hope to see you there again this week. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

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    1. Thank you for hosting every week. I love finding new recipes at your parties!

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