Okara or Unohana

Sorry, there's no way to make this family classic Whole30 or paleo. So make a batch, share it with your friends and family, and ENJOY yourself!

okara.jpg

Ingredients:
- 1 pound okara
- 1/2 small onion, chopped fine
- Half bunch string beans, chopped on a bias
- 1 medium carrot, julienned
- 1 small (6 inch long, 1 inch wide) gobo, julienned
- 1 package konnyaku (9 ounces), chopped into small squares
- 1 package aburage, chopped into small pieces
- 4-6 dried shiitake mushroom caps, rehydrated and julienned (see step 3)
- 2 tablespoons cooking oil

Sauce Ingredients:
- 5 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 cup shoyu
- 1 cup shiitake water (see step 3)
- 1.5 teaspoon dashi or one small packet of dashi
- 1/2 cup sake
- 1 teaspoon salt (optional - use if you are using low sodium shoyu and salt free dashi)

Directions:
1. In a small pot, bring about 3 cups of water to a boil. Blanch the konnyaku for about 30 seconds, then drain.
2. Blanch the aburage for about 30 seconds as well. Drain and squeeze the excess water.
3. Add the shiitake mushrooms to the pot of boiling water, and turn off the heat. Let the shiitake rehydrate until plump. Remove the mushrooms, squeeze the excess water into the pot.  Save the water.
4. In a non-stick pan, heat 2 tablespoons of cooking oil over medium heat. Add all ingredients except the okara. Saute until brightly colored and slightly soft, about 4 minutes.
5. Add all the sauce ingredients to the pan, reduce heat to medium-low and mix well. Let the vegetables simmer for about 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
6. Add the okara and mix well, until all the sauce and vegetables are distributed evenly.
7. Continue cooking over medium-low heat for another 5-10 minutes, until the okara is at your preferred texture. I like my okara a little on the moist side so it sticks to the rice, so I don’t cook it very long.

Eat hot or cold with hot white rice!