Okazu A Japanese word meaning a dish to accompany rice. This has nothing to do with strawberry fields, most would say but to me it does. I believe that some memories accompany scents. Growing up I will never forget, endless summers of picking and eating fresh strawberries out of the fields near our house and the smell of delicious Ocazu. My grandfather, Shinobu, was a second generation strawberry farmer. Today, I am honored and privileged to be a part of my family’s business that has survived four Generations.
This is my second year learning the family business. Boy, did I strawberry shortcake it! I thought, no problem! I will have this job down in a year! The first time I realized I knew nothing about the strawberry business was during my first week of work I asked... “Why are these plants stuck together?” Little did I know! They are called runners… they are suppose to be stuck together. Well…this is my second year and I am still vigorously learning. There are already bets going around on how long it will take me. 3 years some say… I hope 3 years at the least... Ok, here is a recipe for Ocazu:
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
1. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the ground beef until evenly brown; drain excess fat.
2. Stir in green beans and about 1 cup water. Cover, and cook until beans are tender, 15 to 20 minutes.