HOME > Chowhound > Los Angeles Area >
Are you making a specialty food?
TELL US

Izayoi chirashi, what's that pink sugar?

r
RicRios Nov 8, 2006 01:20 AM

Had chirashi for lunch today at Izayoi.
Mixed with the rice was a pinkish shugary substance, didn't blend at all with the rest of the dish.
I asked the server what it was, she didn't know but would ask, she never came back with the answer.
I assume it was just some kind of pink sugar.
Any ideas?

  1. paulj Nov 8, 2006 01:34 AM

    One of my Japanese cook books has a recipe of 'lunch box rice with 3 toppings', a bento box for children. It has yellow, pink, and beige toppings.

    The pink topping is 'denbu', consisting of cooked cod, caster (fine) sugar, salt, sake, and red food coloring. The result is supposed to be 'very fluffy and fibrous' pink cod flakes.

    paulj

    2 Replies
    1. re: paulj
      r
      RicRios Nov 8, 2006 02:17 AM

      This is most probably it!
      I can understand in a children's bento box, but for adults, and as accompaniment of raw fish?
      Unless it's some kind of traditional chirashi ingredient...

      1. re: RicRios
        E Eto Nov 8, 2006 02:26 AM

        It is a traditional chirashi ingredient.

    2. liu Nov 8, 2006 04:51 AM

      In addition to its use in chirashi, 'denbu' is also used in making vegetarian futomaki (the one with the Japanese gourd and omelette).

      I purchased some at the Nijiya market on Sawtelle with the intention of using it liberally on everything; I really thought it might kick up a rice dish. However, it has a very "fishy" edge which grew stronger with time, and I wasn't sure how long I could safely use it. I don't have it anymore.

      1. m
        Marco Polo Nov 8, 2006 06:00 AM

        I have always heard it called OBORO and I can't stand it. Places like MORI SUSHI never use it, but when I went to NOMA I always had to ask them to omit it. I thought it was a ginger sugar powder, but looking it up on the Internet it is apparently it is some kind of dried fish powder.

        1. c
          Chubbypanda Nov 9, 2006 04:46 PM

          It's good stuff. I used to get it in my bento boxes and futomaki as a child. It might be one of those things you have to grow up eating to like.

          Storage tip: Put it in your freezer. It'll last a lot longer.

          - Chubbypanda

          http://epicurious-wanderer.blogspot.com/

          2 Replies
          1. re: Chubbypanda
            liu Nov 9, 2006 04:55 PM

            Chubbypanda -- thanks for the freezer tip for "denbu." It did not do well in my spice cupboard. I think it was still good, but it seemed to grow more pungent as it sat. One day it blew me over with its "fishiness" and I tossed it. I think the freezer is a great idea. Does it remain powdery so that it can be used right out of the freezer, or does it harden like an ice cube?

            1. re: liu
              c
              Chubbypanda Nov 10, 2006 02:50 PM

              Unless you put it in on a really warm day (condensation), it stays nice and powdery. Even if it does seize up a little, a few stiff raps to the side will break it up again. I store shredded or powdered hard cheeses, like Parmesan, the same way.

              It can't stay in there indefinitely, though, or you risk the funky flavor of feezer burn. But, it'll buy you another month or so.

              - Chubbypanda

              http://epicurious-wanderer.blogspot.com/

          2. i
            ickster Nov 9, 2006 05:42 PM

            It was also included in the chirashi at Sushi Gen, alongside shizo, salmon skin, assorted fish, squid tentacles, roe. Good stuff. On a side note the Hamachi Kama at SG was really good. As was the miso soup with shrimp head.

            Show Hidden Posts