Green peas are a classic culinary symbol for spring, and cherry blossoms are the classic symbol for spring in Japan. I am introducing a lovely rice dish that combines them both in a visually appealing and subtly flavored spring celebration. The color is amazingly beautiful and the fragrance of the cherry blossoms makes my heart sing.
In this recipe I have added salted cherry blossoms to green peas rice. The salted cherry blossoms I use are homemade. Every year, I try to collect and make the salted cherry blossoms. The life of a cherry blossom tends to be very short so we collect and pickle the flowers to be used for various Japanese desserts and dishes throughout the rest of the season.
Green Peas Rice with Cherry Blossoms
· 3 cups of rice
· ½ lb (220g) of green peas (preferably fresh peas, but frozen is fine too)
· 540ml of water
· 1 teaspoon of salt
· 1 tablespoon of sake
· 5 to 6cm length of dry konbu seaweed
· optional: 3 tablespoons of salted cherry blossoms, rinsed to remove salt
1. Rinse the rice until the water is not cloudy, drain well.
2. In a pot, put the rice and water, and soak for 20 to 30 minutes.
3. Add salt and sake then mix well. Add kombu, green peas, and cherry blossoms on top of the rice.
4. Put the lid on the pot and cook for over high heat. Once it starts boiling, lower the heat and cook for 13 to 15 minutes.
5. Turn off the heat and steam for 10 to 15 minutes then mix well and serve.