If you’re looking for something fun, easy, and delicious, then this kohakutou recipe will fit the bill.
What Is Kohakutou?
Kohakutou is a Japanese dish that originated from Okinawa.
It has been popularized by American chefs as well.
This dish can be made with many different types of seafoods, but it typically consists of tuna or salmon.
In Japan, kohako (魚丸) means fish ball, while kohaku (魚貝) means shellfish.
Kohaka is also used as a general term for any kind of small fish such as sardines or mackerel.
The name “kohakutou” was coined when the chef at an Okinawan restaurant decided to combine both terms into one word.
The dish itself comes from the island of Okinawa, which lies between Taiwan and mainland Japan.
However, most Americans think of kohakutou as being synonymous with sushi because so much of the food served there resembles the style of sushi.
What Are The Ingredients In Kohakutou?
This dish contains two main ingredients that give it its name: Kohaku (Japanese term for “top”) and tōtō (a type of vegetable).
Other than those, there are also some other minor ingredients like soy sauce and mirin but these aren’t necessary for making kohakutou.
- Kohaku – Vegetables such as spinach or broccoli can be used here. The vegetables should be cut into small pieces so they cook evenly. They don’t need to be cooked before adding them to the pan.
- Tōto – These are usually daikon radish or turnip which have been peeled and sliced into thin strips. You could use any variety of root vegetables if you prefer. Just make sure they are all about the same thickness when slicing.
- Soy Sauce – A Japanese soy sauce with a salty taste is ideal for kohakutou, but regular soy sauce would work just fine too.
- Mirin – Mirin is another Japanese cooking ingredient that has a sweet taste. If you want your kohakutou to be sweeter, add more mirin instead.
- Shallots – Shallots are tiny onions that are commonly available at supermarkets. They add great aroma to kohakutou.
- Mushrooms – Mushrooms are an optional addition to kohakutou but they bring out the best flavor from the rest of the ingredients.
- Dried seaweed – Dried wakame seaweed can be found at Asian grocery stores. It adds saltiness to the kohakutou. I recommend using 1/4 cup of dried wakame per serving.
- Rice – Rice is needed to soak up all the liquid created by boiling the ingredients. Soaking rice overnight is recommended for better results.
- Salt – Salt helps preserve the freshness of vegetables while reducing their water content, thus giving them a crunchier texture. For optimal results, use kosher salt because it won’t affect the food after being cooked.
How Do You Make Kohakutou?
Kohako is a Japanese dish that translates as “cabbage roll.”
Kohako literally means cabbage wrapper but it more commonly refers to a type of dumpling that contains ground pork or other meat inside.
The name comes from the Chinese word meaning “to wrap up.”
In Japan, they call them kohako because they typically have a thin outer skin made from rice flour.
Kohako are usually eaten at New Year celebrations, festivals, and on holidays like Shichi-Go-San (the first day of spring).
They can also be used as part of bento boxes for school lunches.
The original recipe for kohako was brought over by immigrants from China during the Edo period.
There are many variations of kohako recipes throughout Asia but today, the most popular method of making kohako involves using a special machine called a tsukemaki maker.
You can buy one online or find an inexpensive model at your local Asian grocery store.
Step 1: Making dough
- Mix all of the dry ingredients together in a bowl.
- Add cold water until the mixture forms a shaggy ball of dough.
- Place the dough onto a flat surface with a piece of plastic wrap underneath. Flatten out the dough into a circle about 2 inches thick.
Step 2: Filling
- Cut a small square of tofu so that it fits snugly in the center of the circle of dough. Set aside.
- Spread some sesame seeds across the bottom half of the circle. Place the sliced eggplant along the edge of the circle where there aren’t any seeds.
- Now add the ground beef, onions, green peppers, mushrooms, and soy sauce. Make sure everything is well mixed.
Step 3: Rolling & Baking
- Flip the dough over and place another round of plastic wrap underneath it. Roll the dough back onto itself and gently twist it in the middle to seal it tightly.
- Take both ends of the rolled dough and fold them toward each other, pinching them closed. Repeat this process three times to form a nice bundle.
- Roll out the kohako on a cutting board to flatten it slightly.
- Using a sharp knife, cut off two pieces of parchment paper about 6 inches long.
- Lay a sheet of parchment paper down on top of the flattened kohako. Now lay the folded kohako down on top of the parchment. Use the remaining parchment paper as a guide to help create even edges around the outside of the kohako.
- Fold the sides of the kohako over the filling to cover it completely. Using scissors, snip off excess dough from around the edges of the kohako.
- Use the leftover scraps of dough to make little ears and mouths if desired.
- Bake the kohako for 10 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Step 4: Enjoy!
Once baked, take the kohako out of the oven and allow it to cool before unwrapping it.
Then fill it with whatever stuffing you want.
I prefer my kohako filled with sweet potato mash, spinach, and garlic chives.
What Is The History Of Kohakutou?
Kohakuto, or “dried squid,” is a Japanese dish that has been around since at least the Edo period (1603-1867).
The preparation method was originally used to preserve food during the winter months while it was scarce.
Kohaku means “cased in lacquer,” which refers to the process of drying out the squid by coating them with an edible substance called nuka, which hardens when dried.
In modern times, kohakuto can be found on store shelves year round as a snack item.
There are two main methods of preparing kohakuto.
One way involves grilling the squid over hot coals until they turn black, after which they are left to dry completely.
Another method consists of soaking the squid in soy sauce before cooking them.
When cooked, the soy sauce gives the squid its distinctive color and flavor.
The word kohakuta comes from the verb kohaku, meaning “to cover and cure.”
As such, one could say that kohakuto is made by covering and curing the squid.
However, kohakuto does not need to be cured in order to taste good.
If you don’t have time to go through the whole process, you can still enjoy a tasty treat without much effort.
What Are The Different Types Of Kohakutou?
Kohakutou (拡鶏蛋) is an egg-based Japanese dumpling that has been around since ancient times.
In fact, it was originally created by Buddhist monks as part of their diet during religious ceremonies.
Today, kohakutou is eaten at New Year celebrations across Japan, but can also be enjoyed year round.
There are several varieties of kohakutou including maki (巻き), tōfu (取り), and chūka (中耳).
Each type of kohakutou comes in its own unique shape and size.
Some people prefer one over another depending on personal preference or what they have available.
Although there are many variations of these popular dumplings, each version contains some common ingredients that make them all similar.
Kohakutou recipes often contain eggs, flour, rice, vegetables, and seasonings such as ginger, soy sauce, sake, sugar, mirin, salt, and pepper.
One thing that makes kohakutou so special is how well the flavors complement each other.
For example, the sweetness from the sugar brings out the natural flavor of the rice while the savory taste from the soy sauce balances out the sourness from the vinegar and adds tanginess.
Here we go!
Let’s get started with our first recipe for kohakutou!
- Step 1: Add water to your pot and bring to boil. While waiting for the water to come to a rolling boil, crack two fresh eggs into separate bowls and begin beating.
- Step 2: Once boiling starts, stir vigorously until the mixture reaches 165℉ temperature. At this point, pour the hot water into a mixing bowl. Be sure not to add cold water because that could cause the eggs to curdle.
- Step 3: When the water is ready, slowly drop in the beaten eggs one at a time. Make sure to keep stirring constantly so that the eggs don’t stick together.
- Step 4: After adding the last egg, continue to mix the dough until it forms a sticky ball. If you let it sit too long before cooking, the balls won’t cook properly.
- Step 5: Remove the dough from the bowl and roll it into a rope about ¾ inch thick. Then cut the rope into equal pieces and place them onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
- Step 6: Now that everything is prepared, preheat the oven to 400℉. Cook the kohakutou for 15 minutes.
- 1 cup of water
- 4 large eggs
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ tablespoon white vinegar
- 1 ½ tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/3 cup all purpose flour
- Vegetables, herbs, etc.
- Step 1: Bring the water to a boil in a medium sized pot.
- Step 2: Crack four eggs into individual bowls and beat gently using hand mixer or whisk.
- Step 3: With the mixer still running, gradually add the hot water to the eggs until the liquid reaches 165℉.
- Step 4: Transfer the eggs to a mixing bowl and add remaining ingredients except vegetables and herbs.
- Step 5: Mix thoroughly until a smooth paste forms.
- Step 6: Using damp hands and working quickly, form small balls about ¾ inches wide and transfer them to a lightly greased pan or cookie sheet.
- Step 7: Bake for 15 minutes at 400℉.
How Do You Serve Kohakutou?
Kohaku means “ditch,” while tou means “to boil or cook.”
Thus, kohakutou literally translates as “boiled ditch.”
A kohakutou is a dish that uses boiling water from a nearby river or stream in order to make it into an edible food item.
The name comes from Japanese folklore where people would use their own well-being to protect themselves by creating these underground wells that were used to store drinking water.
In Japan, there are many places throughout the country where residents can find a kohako.
These small holes dug below ground level have been used to collect rainwater during times when rivers and streams cannot provide enough water for daily consumption.
In fact, they are often located near rivers, ponds, and other bodies of water.
The idea behind using a kohako was simple—people could easily access fresh water without having to go outside in order to get it.
Kohakutou has since evolved over time to include not just cooking with the water but also eating it.
While most restaurants sell kohakutou on its own, the traditional way it is eaten is by first making soup out of the boiled ditch water.
Then, the customer eats the soup along with the dried fish (also known as umi) found inside the kohako.
Here at Chowhound, we love learning about new foods and how to prepare them perfectly so our readers can enjoy them too!
Today, we want to help you learn more about one such unique culinary creation.
What Are Some Common Kohakutou Dishes?
Kohako refers to a type of Japanese rice dish that originated in Okinawa, Japan and was brought to Hawaii by immigrants from Okinawa during World War II.
Kohako literally means “grilled eggplant (or zucchini)” in Okinawan, but it can also refer to any vegetable that has been grilled or sauteed with oil and seasonings.
This kohakutou recipe uses roasted eggplants as its main ingredient, which makes it unique among other kohako recipes because most people don’t usually find their way into an oven to roast vegetables.
However, if you have access to gas-fired grills, you could use them instead of your stovetop burner.
If not, there are plenty of ways to get the same results without using a grill!
For example, you could turn on your broiler while baking sheets heat up on your stove top.
You could even use the microwave to speed things along.
The recipe below calls for two types of seasoning: sugar, salt, and soy sauce.
As you may know, these three ingredients go great together, so they make for a tasty combination when combined.
There are no hard and fast rules about how much each one should be used, so feel free to adjust according to your personal taste preferences.
The original version of this recipe requires four servings, but I found that three servings were more than enough for me.
- 1 medium eggplant (about 2 pounds)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ⅓ cup soy sauce
What Are Some Kohakutou Pairing Ideas?
Kohakutou (also called “dried seaweed salad”) has been enjoyed in Japan since ancient times as an appetizer or side dish.
Kohakutou can be eaten alone but it really shines when paired with other foods such as sushi, tempura, noodles, rice, grilled meats, and even desserts like ice cream!
Here are just a couple of options on what to pair your kohakutou with:
- Sushi—sliced raw fish and vegetables wrapped in dried seaweed sheets that have been seasoned with soy sauce, wasabi paste, and sugar
- Tempura—a deep-fried Japanese cuisine made from battered pieces of seafood and vegetables coated in egg batter and fried until golden brown
- Noodles—thin strips of Chinese noodles served cold, usually topped with kohakutou
- Rice—rice is one of the most popular ways to enjoy kohakutou
- Grilled meat—grilling fresh meats over charcoal gives them a smoky taste which pairs well with kohakutou
- Dessert—sweetened kohakutou sprinkled on top of ice cream, cakes, cookies, or candy
What Are Some Kohakutou Serving Suggestions?
Kohakutou (pronounced “ko-ka-tow”) is an Okinawan dish that originated in Okinawa Island from where it was brought over to Japan during World War II.
Kohakutou means “raw fish or shellfish grilled on skewers,” which gives us a good idea as to what we can expect when eating this dish.
This dish is usually eaten with rice but it also goes well with noodles or any other starch.
You can find this dish at many Japanese restaurants and even at supermarkets.
There are various ways to cook this dish so make sure you try them all out if you decide to give it a shot!
If you want to learn how to do it yourself, check out our guide here.
Here’s what you need to know about making kohakutou:
- Ingredients: The key ingredients for making kohakutou are ikan dory (Okinawan name), salt, sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil, and ginger.
- Procedure: To make your own kohakutou, start by slicing up the seafood into small pieces. Once done, place them onto wooden skewers along with seasonings like ginger and onions.
- How long should I grill my kohakutou?
The amount of time depends on the size of your skewer, how big your skewer is, and the thickness of your fish fillet.
You can either use a meat thermometer to measure the internal temperature of your kohakutou or simply cut open one end and insert a bamboo stick to see whether there is still liquid inside the fish.
If the water has evaporated completely, then your kohakutou is ready to eat.
However, if not, continue grilling until the fish reaches 145 degrees Fahrenheit.
Then, remove the kohakutou off the fire and let it rest before enjoying it.
What Are Some Kohakutou Garnish Ideas?
Kohaku means “dried gourd,” while tou means “soup.”
Therefore, Kohakutou refers to dried gourds cooked in soup.
The dish was originally served as a way to use up leftover vegetables or meat from previous meals.
However, since it can be prepared quickly and requires very little effort, today many people enjoy eating it on its own.
The most common preparation method involves cooking the gourds over low heat until they become soft enough that they can easily be peeled off the bone.
You can then chop them into smaller pieces and add them back to the broth.
Some recipes also call for adding other ingredients like mushrooms, garlic, peppers, etc., but those aren’t necessary if you want to stick with just gourds.
You can serve kohaku hot or cold, depending on what time you have available.
If you choose to make it ahead of time, though, remember that it keeps best when refrigerated.
For more details about how to store and reheat your kohaku, check out our article here.
- 1 Mixing bowl
- 1 cup water
- 4 large egg
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon white vinegar
- ½ tbsp granulated sugar
- ¼ tbsp vegetable oil
- ⅛ tbsp ground black pepper
- ⅓ cup all purpose flour
- Add water to your pot and bring to boil. While waiting for the water to come to a rolling boil, crack two fresh eggs into separate bowls and begin beating.
- Once boiling starts, stir vigorously until the mixture reaches 165℉ temperature. At this point, pour the hot water into a mixing bowl. Be sure not to add cold water because that could cause the eggs to curdle.
- When the water is ready, slowly drop in the beaten eggs one at a time. Make sure to keep stirring constantly so that the eggs don’t stick together.
- After adding the last egg, continue to mix the dough until it forms a sticky ball. If you let it sit too long before cooking, the balls won’t cook properly.
- Remove the dough from the bowl and roll it into a rope about ¾ inch thick. Then cut the rope into equal pieces and place them onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
- Now that everything is prepared, preheat the oven to 400℉. Cook the kohakutou for 15 minutes.