Steamed dishes that enhance the flavor and retain the nutrients are becoming popular again. Cooking expert Atsuko Matsumoto introduces a dish with pork fillet, potatoes and umeboshi, or picked plum. "By adding katakuriko starch to the seasoning, the pork and potato will stick together through steaming and the flavor will blend nicely," she says.
Matsumoto recommends using umeboshi pickled only in salt and "shiso" leaves, instead of those immersed in seasoning liquid. Serves five.
400 grams pork fillet block
4 (net weight of about 400 grams) potatoes
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp cooking oil
Seasoning (3 Tbsp soy sauce, 2 large pickled plums, 1 Tbsp sake, 1 Tbsp sweet mirin sake, 1 Tbsp sugar, 1 Tbsp ginger juice, 1 Tbsp sesame oil, 2 Tbsp katakuriko starch)
Peel potato and cut into sticks that are 1 cm square and 5 cm long. Immerse in water to remove starch on surface. Slice pork into thickness of little less than 1 cm.
Stone pickled plums, chop with kitchen knife into mash. Place mashed plum and all ingredients in bowl and mix thoroughly. Add pork and mix so that seasoning coats meat.
Drain potato well, coat with salt and oil.
If earthenware pot with perforated inner dish is available, fill pot with boiling water. Spread a third of potato on dish. Then cover with a third of meat. Repeat the process. Steam in heatproof dish if regular steamer is to be used.
Place lid and steam over high heat for a little over 20 minutes. Garnish with mitsuba cut into length of 5 cm and serve.