What I introduce today is a super simple Japanese side dish. It is really simple, but somehow, it is surprisingly tasty. I am quite obsessed with this dish at this moment since I wonder what makes it so tasty…
It is Okinawa Style sauteed carrot called “Ninjin Shirishiri”. Ninjin is carrot in Japanese, and “Shirishiri” comes from the sound of slicing carrot with a slicer in an Okinawa dialect. I think even the name is quite cute and obsessive to repeat!
While all prefectures in Japan have their own uniqueness, I think that Okinawa’s culture is quite different from others. Okinawa is the southernmost prefecture in Japan. It used to be an independent kingdom called “Ryukyu Kingdom” before officially becoming a part of Japan in 1879. The warm climate and the unique culture attracts us, and it is always one of the popular holiday destinations. In recent years, its healthy and happy lifestyle has gotten attention from home and abroad, and since then, Okinawa food has become popular.
It was a couple years ago when I heard about Ninjin Shirishiri for the first time. It was introduced on some media as a popular Okinawa’s home-cooked dish. I actually did not get what the fuss about this dish was, since it sounded TOO simple. How simple? It is just sauteing carrot, canned tuna and eggs all together. That’s it! I just could not understand why everyone talks about it so much.
I gave it a try anyway (it is very easy anyway), and I fell in love with it!
I still don’t know why though… Maybe the sweetness of carrot stands out in the simplicity. It must also be something about the combination of tuna and eggs as well… There is nothing special in it, but all ingredients are well balanced. It is just a really nice side dish! It is like something which doesn’t get immediate attention, but everyone keeps coming back to.
So, regarding the recipe…, I do not have much to explain as all you have to do is saute all ingredients… However, throughout my experiments, I figured out the seasonings of my choice (only salt, cooking sake and soy sauce – usual suspects!) and some tips to make the dish greater.
Here are the Tips for Ninjin Shirishiri:
- Cut carrot in a REALLY FINE julienne – thinner is better!
- Beat eggs with salt together before adding – salt works better!
- To finish, drizzle soy sauce from the edge of the frying pan – not directly onto the carrot. This gives the perfume of soy sauce to the dish without making the carrot salty.
Ninjin Shirishiri can be served both warm and at room temperature. You can prepare it in advance and keep it in the fridge for 3 days. It is handy for any occasion such as lunch box, home party, something Japanese or when you feel like you need one more dish to add onto the dinner table.
Please give it a try when you have a lot of carrots to consume or when you have only carrot in the fridge. It is quick and easy to make anyway…
- 3 Carrots (about 400-450 g) – finely julienne
- 1 can (185g) of Tuna
- 2 Eggs
- 1/2 Teaspoon of Salt
- 2 Teaspoons of Cooking Sake
- 1 Teaspoon of Soy Sauce
- Prep for the ingredients. Finely julienne the carrots. Remove the liquid of canned tuna and separate into flakes. Beat eggs and salt in a small bowl.
- Saute the carrot over a medium heat with a small amount of oil. Cook it for about 1-2 minutes or until the carrot has just started softening.
- Add the canned tuna. Stir all together for about 1 minute while flaking the tuna.
- Add cooking sake. Stir for about 30 seconds.
- Add the eggs and stir all together until the egg is cooked
- Drizzle soy sauce from the edge of the frying pan and mix all together.