Broccolini karashi-ae is a dish that falls into the category of Japanese dishes known as aemono. This roughly translates to "something dressed". The -ae ending references that it is a dressed dish and the word preceding the ending is the base of the dressing. You will find countless variations, but this one is karashi-ae which signifies that the dressing is made from karashi, Japanese mustard. Unlike the majority of Western mustards, karashi has an undeniable kick to it. If wasabi were a mustard it would be karashi. But just like wasabi a little bit goes a long way, so buyer beware.
Typically this dish signals the beginning of Spring in Japan, where na-no-hana, or rapeseed, is the star of the dish. So why am I suggesting this dish as an option in the midst of the Pacific Northwest Fall? Because broccolini, unlike na-no-hana, has a Fall season, beginning mid-November and running through December.
But there are other reasons. Did I mention the fact that it is packed with vitamins A, C, and K, as well as iron, calcium, potassium, vitamin B6 and fiber? Or its anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties? The list goes on and on. In short: it's good for you. That's why I am offering this recipe to you. It's good for you. One of the main focuses of this website is the idea that we can eat well, while eating for wellness. This recipes stands out to me as emblematic of that concept. A proper place to start if any. So what are you waiting for? Let the healing begin!
1 bu broccolini, thick fibrous ends trimmed
1 t kosher salt
2 qt water, for blanching
For the Dressing:
2 T soy sauce
1 T sake
1 t karashi mustard (buy the prepared tube variety)
1 bu broccolini, thick fibrous ends trimmed1 t kosher salt2 qt water, for blanching
Bring the water to a boil, add the salt and cook the broccolini briefly to set the color. It doesn't need to cook for any longer than a minute. Broccolini can be eaten raw; we are just setting the color here. Shock in ice water or run under cold water for a minute or two to stop the cooking.
Squeeze the broccolini well to eliminate any excess water, then cut into bite-sized pieces and set aside while you make the dressing.
For the dressing combine the remaining ingredients in a bowl and mix them until homogeneous. Add the broccolini to the bowl and toss well to ensure an even coat of dressing. Arrange in small bowls and serve as part of a vegetarian menu or as an accompaniment to fish or meat.