Lamb Shanks, Japanese Style

japanese-lamb-shanks_3759Lamb shanks so tender you can eat them with a spoon make a noteworthy meal without requiring a lot of attention, only a block time for a slow braise. Because they can be prepared a day ahead, lamb shanks can be part of a dinner for guests even the hostess can enjoy. While lamb is not widely eaten in Japan, this recipe illustrates how well basic Japanese ingredients (sake, mirin, shoyu, miso), and Japanese cooking techniques can make this dinner unique but familiar enough to be comforting.

Braised Lamb Shanks
Happy New 2011 Year to all!

My husband and his step-father took their traditional New Year’s Day walk, and J. invited him for dinner. This post is about how I served leftovers to guests. Twice! and about how I now have two legs of lamb…
—we’ve come to a point in this moving house business where some things are here, some there…
I had to go out to buy a can opener, the coffee grinder is at the wrong house, the blankets are lost, what happened to our towels?
These braised lamb shanks played their role exceeding well (a nice Christmas Eve dinner), becoming stew (for my brother and his wife), then soup (for my father-in-law), making some unexpected guests warm and happy!

Nizakana: Braised Fish

nizakana braised mackerelBraising fish is a nice way to cook it without added fat. The fish can be whole, filleted, or cut into steaks. I’ve made this recipe with salmon, saba, and now yellow-fin tuna. For mild-flavored fish, make a broth seasoned with sake, mirin, and soy sauce. With strongly-flavored or oily fish, use stronger flavors such as miso, vinegar, salt, pickled plums, herbs, and spices.