The following is a nishime recipe that is light and refreshing for the start of warm weather. This nishime recipe comes from Susan Waxman, acclaimed chef and macrobiotics expert at the SHI Macrobiotics. Susan modifies traditional recipes to increase nutritional benefits and ensure proper cooking.
What is Nishime?
Nishime is a style of cooking that creates a settling energetic effect. Vegetables are cut into medium to large chunks and steamed until they become meltingly soft and tender. In nishime-style cooking, a small piece of kombu seaweed is cooked with the steamed vegetables. The use of kombu together with the longer cooking time brings out the protein and carbohydrate qualities in the dish.
Nishime is also a layered dish: lighter vegetables are layered on the bottom, followed by round vegetables in the middle, and the root vegetables on top. From an energetic perspective, laying this dish enhances its settling qualities. Nishime cooking method provides us with lasting energy, harmonizes our central organs, and keeps our blood sugar stable.
Step-by-Step Nishime Recipe
A 1 quart pot yields approximately 4 to 5 servings
1 square-inch piece of kombu or kelp sea vegetable, rinsed and/or soaked
1/16 to ⅛ teaspoon sea salt
⅛ to ¼ teaspoon shoyu
Water to cover the bottom of the pot by
A variety of vegetables cut into 1 to 2 inch chunks. I recommend using sweet vegetables with this this, such as squash or sweet potato.
Round vegetables, cut into wedges or half rounds.
Root vegetables, cut using a partial or full roll cut about 1 to 2 inches in length
Hearty style leafy greens (such as celery or leeks)
On occasion you can also use dried shiitake mushrooms in nishime cooking
Best Cookware for Nishime
Nishime recipe works best using a heavy pot with a tight-fitting lid. The nishime will also turn out much better if the steamed vegetables fit tightly into the pot, leaving very little space. As mentioned above, a 1 quart pot will yield 5 to 6 servings.
- Place kombu on the bottom of the pot.
- Add the first layer of vegetables
- Add the water to cover fill the pot by ¾ of an inch.
- Continue layering the vegetables
- Add a tiny pinch of sea salt, cover and bring to a boil over a medium flame.
- When the water begins to boil, steam will begin to build inside the pot. You may see the steam or notice a little condensation on the side of the pot. All of these signs are an indication that the water inside the pot is boiling.
- After the water starts boiling, turn the flame down and simmer on low for an average of 25 to 30 minutes, or until the steamed vegetables are tender. (The cooking times will vary depending on the vegetables you use and the size of the pieces. We recommend smaller cuts for the summer nishime recipe because it will create more juice.)
- Remove the lid and lightly season the steamed vegetables with a few drops of shoyu.
- Place the lid back on the pot, then pick up the pot and give it a gentle shake to blend the shoyu with any liquid remaining in the pot. Return the pot to the stove and cook the steamed vegetables for another 4 minutes.
- Remove the pot from the stove and let it stand for a few minutes before placing the steamed vegetables in a serving dish.
Copyright: Susan L. Waxman her recipes from “The Complete Macrobiotic Diet”
Copyright: Susan L. Waxman June 2018
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