Quickly boiled vegetables (ohitashi お浸し)

***** Location: Japan
***** Season: Topic
***** Category: Humanity


Ohitashi, o-hitashi is a preparation of quickly boiling vegetables, most often spinach leaves
and add soy sauce and other flavors.
Sometimes the vegetables are left soaking in cold water over night.

Leaves of mustard greens, kale, yaakon ヤーコンの葉 and others are also prepared in this way.
The boiling is very short, sometimes just two minutes.

The verb HITASU 浸す (ひたす) means soaking or steeping.

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Sansai 山菜  Mountain vegetables are often prepared as ohitashi.

. . . . . Including
Kogomi こごみ kind of fern
Nobiru のびる (野蒜) wild rocambole
Ooba giboshi おおばぎぼうし (大葉擬宝珠) Hosta


Spinach Ohitashi

What you need:

A pound of fresh spinach, well cleaned. Young spinach is preferable.
2 tbsp of soy sauce (if desired)
2 tbsp of water (if desired)
Sesame seeds or other condiments to taste

Bring some water to a boil. Hold the bunch of spinach by the leaves, and dunk it the stemmy end into the boiling water. Hold it there for about half a minute, then push the spinach all the way into the water. Boil it until the stems soften, but not until the spinach turns into mush; about 2 minutes.

Drain the spinach and rinse with cold water until it's cool enough to handle. Squeeze the spinach into an orange-sized ball, then squeeze some more to get all the water you can out of it. Put the ball into a bowl, mix the water and soy sauce, and pour that over the spinach ball. Let the foliage sit for 10 or so minutes. Then squeeze out the excess moisture, gently pull the ball apart, and find four large, wide leaves. Set these aside; you'll use them as wrappers.

Separate the spinach well enough that you can line up the leaves. Put down one of the large leaves you separated out and spread the leafy part out. Put down the other one on top of the first with the stem pointing in the opposite direction, so it's on top of the first one's leaf, and spread out its leaf similarly. Now lay out the rest of the spinach leaves on top of the first two, but don't spread out the leaves; instead, make a kind of log shape the length of the spinach leaves. Have some stems on one side and some stems on the other. When you've got them all in place squeeze them together, then roll them in the first two leaves. Set out the other two leaves you set aside, unfolding them on top of the log, stems pointing in opposite directions, then roll the log up so it has another layer of leaf wrapper.

Now take a very sharp, nonserrated knife - a sushi knife works for me - and cut this into cylinders about an inch long. Set these upright and sprinkle with sesame seeds or serve with any other condiment you like.

source :  Kim McFarland


Watercresson, kureson クレソン

Watercress is one of the edible plants from Europe that found a home in Japan, flourishing in the wild after its introduction in the late 1870s. Originally called oranda garashi (Dutch mustard), now the peppery perennial is generally called kureson (from the French cresson).

Kureson no o-hitashi
This has been translated as "soused greens" — meaning greens that are plunged or immersed in a liquid. Traditionally the greens are spinach, and the liquid is dashi-flavored with a bit of mirin and usukuchi shoyu, but there are variations on the theme. Here we keep the flavoring simple and just replace the greens with blanched kureson. When doubling or tripling the recipe, you will only need to increase by half the liquid portions since the dish is not meant to be soupy.

1 bunch kureson
1 cup dashi
1 teaspoon mirin
3 teaspoons usukuchi shoyu
pinch salt
hana katsuo

1) Wash the kureson and blanch it by plunging it in lightly salted boiling water and immediately removing it to ice water.

2) Drain, cut the kureson into 5-cm lengths and gently squeeze out excess water.

3) In a medium bowl combine the dashi, shoyu and the greens. Toss well and add a pinch of salt if necessary.

4) Serve garnished with hana katsuo or any other finely shaved kezuri bushi like ito kezuri katsuo. May be made in advance. Serve well-chilled.

Japan Times 2002 : Rick laPointe

Worldwide use

Things found on the way


yasashisa ni kaesu ohitashi tamago yaki     

Senryu by Matsuoka Mizue 松岡瑞枝

Related words



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