Cucumber with Sugar and Miso on top of Rice – I saw this recipe for the first time in the anime Barakamon, and then started craving it everytime I rewatchee it. Barakamon means energetic one, and it is one of my most favorite anime/manga. It is about a calligraphy genius named Handa Seishuu trying to get past his insecurities and living a simple yet busy life (mostly through the many escapades that often end with a bruise or utter embarrassment) by experiencing life with and through the eyes of the villagers in a remote island.
The villagers range from primary school children to over-the-top dramatic middle-agers to the goofy yet calm grandmas and grandads. This is a manga that will forever give you a feeling of hope and fill you with unbridled joy. It will gently remind you that even though we are in a rat race, to always take the time to enjoy the simple pleasures in life. As Yasuba says, “It’s no good if you are always looking up to catch mochi. Wait up, and get it once it hits the ground. If someone is getting ahead of you, just say – Be my guest and go ahead- and find your own pace”. That being said, the manga and anime are goofy and will make you guffaw! The scene with the Miso-Cucumber gave me a deja vu of my lousy cooking days –
This cucumber dish is a rather simple dish, with not too many complicated steps. But, it is a very summery dish with a balance between salty and sweet, and between earth and water (refreshing). I hope I did justice to Hiro-nii with this dish!
Slice of Life
It lies with the crackle of a child,
The warm summer wind,
The flowers sprouting each spring,
And the first snow.
It’s the shades of green,
The sea reflecting the sky,
Getting drenched in the rain,
And making paper boats
And letting our hearts sail.
It’s the sudden music
In the subway,
The smell of a new book,
And your heart thumping
With every chapter update.
It’s the carefree running
Which do give the summer tans
And sunburns (Hey! Aloe Gel),
And the coolness of Watermelon.
It’s the simple pleasures,
The unnoticed joy
From the changes in time.
If you can, cherish them with a smile.
- 1 cup – Cooked Rice
- 50 grams – Thinly Sliced Cucumber (as thin as you can go, but try not to do what Handa sensei did in the illustration above)
- 3 grams – Awase Miso
- 2 grams – Sugar ( I prefer brown sugar, but white sugar works too!)
- Mix cucumber and sugar together and let it sit for two minutes. This step draws the water out for easy mixing with the miso
- Add miso, mix well, and serve on top of rice!
You can have this with your favorite soup, a nice side salad, and Watermelon for dessert! Happy Summer!!