Japanese food is supposed to be a feast for the eye, but my skill at fruit and vegetable carving is limited. I saw a YouTube video about how to cut beautiful cupped flowers which looked easy. I had the fattest carrots I could find (from the video, Japanese carrots look very thick) and some slender zucchini for my victims. Peel the carrot, then mark 5 lines down its length. Make two cuts for each petal to remove a ‘v’ shaped shred. The idea is that you want a flower shape on each end. OK. Trim one end like a blunt pencil. Cut, or shave around all five petals, and continue to a sixth. Remove your first flower. Well, I’m not putting the video up: this is not something to try at home! You notice my flowers are flat—a homey touch, those irregularities.
This recipe is a re-do of a recipe in my project-book, which demonstrates how a vegetable not usually found in Japan, can be cooked in a Japanese way. The original recipe uses fennel, but I had a nice zuchini! Why not?