Chikuwa is popular seafood of Japan. This dish is shaped like a tube with a small hollow center in between. Since the dish resembles a bamboo ring, it is called chikuwa which means bamboo ring in Japanese. This fish cake has a spongy texture and is salty in taste. Mostly eaten as a snack item, it can also be used for stir fry preparations and for various soup recipes.
Method Of Preparation And Ingredients Used In Chikuwa Recipe
Chikuwa is made by using surimi, salt, egg whites and sugar. Surimi is the Japanese word for meat paste. Though, this fish cake can be made with any type of meat, fish is the most preferred option. White fleshed fish make the best choice for making these bamboo shaped cakes. The surimi is prepared by mashing and pureeing the fish meat. Salt, sugar and egg whites are added to the prepared surimi and a mixture is formed. This mixture is wrapped around the stick of a bamboo and then grilled or steamed. After the stick is removed, the result is a food shaped like a tube and is called Chikuwa. The hollow center of this cake can be stuffed with meat or vegetables like carrots, bell peppers and broccoli.
Variations In Chikuwa Recipe
Kamaboko- It is a variation of chikuwa recipe, which makes use of white fish paste. MSG is added to prepare kamaboko and brick shaped mixture is formed, which is steamed, sliced and served with dips.
Satsuma age- It is a fried fish cake popular in Kagoshima, Japan. The minced meat called surimi is mixed with flour and fried. It is also called Chigiage in Okinava.
Neriseihin- These are the precooked fish cakes made from fish paste. Neriseihin means kneaded products in Japanese. These cakes are beneficial to those who do not cook fish. They are precooked and thus easy to be consumed.
Serving Suggestions For Chikuwa
Chikuwas are mostly served as a snack item. Usually Japanese like to eat this fish cake as a chilled finger food. Dips enhance the taste of these fish cakes. When eaten raw, these tube-shaped fish cakes can be relished with or without seasoning. These fish cakes when used in stews such as oden taste amazing. Cheese and sliced cucumbers also taste well with chikuwas. It is also a popular food includedin bento boxes which are square Japanese lunch boxes often comprising of rice, vegetables, and fish.
Popular Chikuwa Recipes
Fried Chikuwas with Green tea leaves – This chikuwa recipe is mostly used as a side dish with main course meals. Green tea leaf and mashed potatoes are coated on these fish cakes and deep fried. These fish cakes with green tea leaves are served hot with dips.
Cheese and chikuwa fish roll skewer recipe- it’s an easy recipe which makes use of cucumber strips and cheese. Cucumber and cheese are seasoned and stuffed in the chikuwa tubes. The dish is served by skewering on a bamboo stick.
Nutritional Value Of Chikuwa recipe
The Japanese fish cake dish, chikuwa is a rich source of protein and has a low fat content.
The commercial production of these tube shaped fish cakes began in the year 1830. A bamboo ring is commonly made on the packs of commercially sold chikuwa.