Another colorful, flavorful combination of rice taffy and soup—here plump, pink shrimp, black mushrooms and bright green spinach garnish each bowl of amber broth. A final decorative slice of lemon peel lightens and brightens each serving.
Soak the dried mushrooms for at least 20 minutes in
Shell and devein the shrimp, leaving the tail pieces intact. Blanch the shrimp for 2–3 minutes in boiling salted water, then drain and reserve.
In another small saucepan, blanch the spinach leaves in fresh boiling salted water for 30–40 seconds until barely wilted. Drain, rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process, and drain again. Squeeze out all excess liquid from the greens and set them aside.
Cut the lemon peel into 4 decorative pine needle shapes ( for matsuba cutting), and set them aside.
Soak the rice cakes in a saucepan of warm water for 5 minutes, then bring the water to a boil. Cook for 1 minute if necessary to make them soft and stretchy. Drain off the water and transfer 1 cake to each of 4 individual bowls. (If using freshly pounded rice, just place 1 cake directly in each of 4 deep bowls without soaking and cooking.) Place a single shrimp on each of the cakes, then a few spinach leaves. Add 2 mushroom halves to each bowl and a single decorative pine needle lemon twist. Pour hot soup over all and serve immediately.
© 1986 Elizabeth Andoh. All rights reserved.