Konnyaku has been used in Japan for over 1500 years, and in recent years, loved for its low carb and low fat content. It has an interesting texture; chewy and bitey with the ability to soak up flavours from stews and sauces. If you missed it, read up on my previous post on konnyaku's benefit.
The great news is that this once hard-to-buy product in the UK will now be available to buy in the main supermarkets like Waitrose/Sainsburys/Tesco where Yutaka products are available.
I was taught how to make a homestyle stew using chicken and potato by a Japanese friend a long time ago, and loved the simplicity of it. The taste was very homey and comforting, and so I decided to use the same method but with beef and konnyaku instead. The result is tender beef, and konnyaku that has soaked up the lovely flavours of the stew.
The method of cooking is very simple, although it does require 1 hour of stewing to really let the beef tenderise and for the konnyaku to soak up the flavours. Even after an hour's cooking, the konnyaku is very much intact and holds it's unique chewy texture.
This dashi soup-stock can easily be bought in Japanese supermarkets. I got mine from Japan Centre, who also offers an online service with nationwide delivery.
Drain the konnyaku and give it a quick rinse. Slice into 5-7mm thickness.
If you want to make the shape a little more interesting, you can make a slit in the middle.
Push one end of the konnyaku into the slit.
Tuck behind the slit and pull backwards.
You should have a shape that resembles this.
I gave up after making 2! Haha
Add a little oil to a pan and sear the beef on both sides to seal in the juices. The middle should still be pink.
Blanch the konnyaku in hot water for around 5 minutes, then drain the water away. Give it a quick rinse with cold water.
Add the beef to the konnyaku. Add water to the dashi soup-stock, pour over the beef and konnyaku. Simmer for an hour and when almost done, add 1/2 packet of miso soup and mix well.
You can dish up some of the konnyaku slices and pan fry them to give it a blistered crispy skin.
Beef and konnyaku Japanese homestyle stew done. I like mine served with fluffy white rice.
500g stewing beef
2 blocks of konnyaku
1/2 packet of miso soup paste (I used red miso)
100ml dashi soup stock
1 tbsp oil
1. Cut the beef into roughly 1 inch cubes
2. Drain the konnyaku and give it a quick rinse. Slice into 5-7mm thickness
3. Add 1 tbsp oil into a pan, heat and then sear the beef on both sides to seal in the juices. The middle should still be pink
4. Blanch the konnyaku in hot water for around 5 minutes, then drain the water away. Give it a quick rinse with cold water
5. Add the seared beef into the stewing pot with konnyaku
6. Make up the dashi soup stock with water and pour into the stewing pot
7. Bring everything to a boil and then simmer on low heat for 1 hour
8. When it is almost done, stir in half a packet of miso soup paste
9. To pan fry the konnyaku, heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan and fry on both sides til the skin blisters
8. Serve stew with rice!
Shirataki noodles, like konnyaku is also very low in fat. Here's my recipe from the previous post.