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Japanese Cooking at Home


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#1 Gabriel Lewis

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Posted 15 September 2007 - 10:44 AM

In the spirit of the original dinner thread and the related threads it has spawned, I thought it might be nice to start something similar in the Japan forums. A place where members could post about Japanese food they have made recently, share ideas and techniques, and celebrate the beauty of Japanese cooking.

I recently purchaseed a copy of Shizuo Tsuji's Japanese Cooking: A simple Art, and have begun to stock my kitchen appropriately. I haven't managed to track down everything I want yet, but things are coming along. I know there a lot of people cooking Japanese food on these forums, and I know I will be cooking a lot myself in the future. I would love to see what everyone else is making!

#2 Gabriel Lewis

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Posted 15 September 2007 - 11:37 AM

Here are a few of the things I've made in the past few days, and some commentary on them. As my Japanese pantry is as of yet incomplete, I have tended to gravitate towards the simpler recipes.

親子丼Oyako Donburi, Chick-'n-Egg on Rice
Posted Image
This was very tasty; simple, homey, and delicious. I especially liked the way the eggs soaked up so much flavor. The only thing I wondered was how to improve the presentation, but perhaps this is a dish where presentation isn't so important?

牛丼 Gyudon, Beef Bowl
Posted Image
This was quite good as well, but I was a bit puzzled by the amount of water specified in the recipe, with the sauce seemed so heavily diluted it seemed to take far too much sauce to flavor the rice enough, and this made the rice a bit gluey.

ほうれん草ごまあえ Horenso no Goma-Ae, Spinach with sesame dressing
Posted Image
Tasty, but I think I failed to squeeze the spinach sufficiently, as the dressing seemed too diluted.

三度豆胡麻味訴曾あえ Green Beans with Sesame-Miso Dressing
Posted Image
This one tasted a bit of alcohol and seemed a little overdressed. I'll try tweaking it next time with less dressing, and boiling my mirin longer.

#3 rykomatsu

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Posted 15 September 2007 - 12:45 PM

しゃぶしゃぶ - Shabu Shabu on Tuesday
Light kelp/flying fish/bonito stock
Thinly sliced beef, napa cabbage, shiitake, enoki, tofu, mizuna, gobo
Cook the veggies in the stock first, once they're ready, take the beef and just dip it into the simmering stock for a few moments. Consume with Sesame sauce or ponzu.

At the end, with the beef/seafood stock add salt, pepper, and udon to finish off. For me, I make shabu shabu for the udon at the end :P

湯豆腐 - Yudofu, literally hot water tofu
Tofu, napa cabbage, enoki, mizuna, gobo in similar stock to shabu shabu, but a little more intense. Stick the items that take longer to cook into the pot first, then add tofu/enoki in towards the end. It's common to add chicken or white fish in as well. I added matsutake this time so it was a slight cross between Yudofu and Dobinmushi.

I make a lot of nabe-mono (hot pot) since I'm single, it's easy to prepare, and it heats up your body on cold autumn and winter nights :)

#4 Hiroyuki

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Posted 16 September 2007 - 12:33 AM

親子丼Oyako Donburi, Chick-'n-Egg on Rice
Posted Image
This was very tasty; simple, homey, and delicious. I especially liked the way the eggs soaked up so much flavor. The only thing I wondered was how to improve the presentation, but perhaps this is a dish where presentation isn't so important?

View Post

For donburi dishes, I usually use a soy sauce, mirin, and dashi ratio of 1:1:10 to 1:1:12, as I mentioned here, and I like them soupy, as I mentioned in the donburi thread.
As for the presentation, the ingredients should cover the rice completely, as you can see here.

#5 smallworld

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Posted 26 September 2007 - 05:47 PM

In the spirit of the original dinner thread and the related threads it has spawned, I thought it might be nice to start something similar in the Japan forums. A place where members could post about Japanese food they have made recently, share ideas and techniques, and celebrate the beauty of Japanese cooking.

View Post


Great idea Gabriel! I love the dinner threads and agree that we should have one here for Japanese cooking. Anyone have any dinners to share?

Here's a recent one of mine:

Posted Image

Rei-shabu (a cold version of shabu-shabu) with pork on top of thinly sliced daikon, myouga and onion; kinoko no takikomi gohan (rice cooked with mixed mushrooms); miso soup with tofu, okra and negi; and goma-dare (sesame sauce) and ponzu for dipping the rei-shabu.
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#6 Ce'nedra

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Posted 27 September 2007 - 08:50 AM

THIS THREAD IS ACE! EXCELLENT IDEA! :biggrin:

I'm looking forward to some more postings :)
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#7 Ce'nedra

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Posted 28 September 2007 - 12:36 AM

Here are a few of the things I've made in the past few days, and some commentary on them. As my Japanese pantry is as of yet incomplete, I have tended to gravitate towards the simpler recipes.

親子丼Oyako Donburi, Chick-'n-Egg on Rice
Posted Image
This was very tasty; simple, homey, and delicious. I especially liked the way the eggs soaked up so much flavor. The only thing I wondered was how to improve the presentation, but perhaps this is a dish where presentation isn't so important?

View Post


How did you get your Oyako Donburi to get so flavoursome? I'd love to have the recipe because mine was sooooooooooo bland!!! :sad:

Here it is:
Posted Image
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#8 Hiroyuki

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Posted 28 September 2007 - 07:44 PM

How did you get your Oyako Donburi to get so flavoursome? I'd love to have the recipe because mine was sooooooooooo bland!!!  :sad:

Here it is:
Posted Image

View Post

I'm not Gabriel, but what is your recipe, especially the dashi, mirin, and soy sauce ratio? As I mentioned elsewhere, the 7:5:3 ratio results in a sweet donburi. I can see from the photo that yours is much less soupy and the beaten eggs are cooked too much.

#9 Ce'nedra

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Posted 29 September 2007 - 12:09 AM

I'm not Gabriel, but what is your recipe, especially the dashi, mirin, and soy sauce ratio?  As I mentioned elsewhere, the 7:5:3 ratio results in a sweet donburi.  I can see from the photo that yours is much less soupy and the beaten eggs are cooked too much.

View Post


Hahaha well the recipe I followed was according to this blog --> http://cookingismypa...-katsu-don.html in fact, I dont remember using dashi :laugh:

Edited by Ce'nedra, 29 September 2007 - 12:23 AM.

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#10 Hiroyuki

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Posted 29 September 2007 - 12:54 AM

I'm not Gabriel, but what is your recipe, especially the dashi, mirin, and soy sauce ratio?  As I mentioned elsewhere, the 7:5:3 ratio results in a sweet donburi.  I can see from the photo that yours is much less soupy and the beaten eggs are cooked too much.

View Post


Hahaha well the recipe I followed was according to this blog --> http://cookingismypa...-katsu-don.html in fact, I dont remember using dashi :laugh:

View Post

What a recipe! It's more like chicken teriyaki donburi with beaten eggs... And, add sushi vinegar to rice!?

Do you want to make oyako don or katsu don (donburi with breaded pork cutlets and beaten eggs)?

I will post a photo of my oyako don when I make it. I can't promise when I will do it, though.

#11 Ce'nedra

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Posted 29 September 2007 - 07:31 AM

What a recipe!  It's more like chicken teriyaki donburi with beaten eggs...  And, add sushi vinegar to rice!?

Do you want to make oyako don or katsu don (donburi with breaded pork cutlets and beaten eggs)?

I will post a photo of my oyako don when I make it.  I can't promise when I will do it, though.

View Post


Oyako donburi please :)
Though I wouldn't mind katsu don either :raz:
Thank you!
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#12 Hiroyuki

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Posted 30 September 2007 - 03:57 AM

OK, here it is:

Oyako-don

Ingredients for 1 serving:

100 ml broth
Combine:
60 ml dashi
20 ml mirin
20 ml soy sauce
that is, dashi, mirin, soy sauce ratio of 3:1:1
You my want to try other ratios such as 4:1:1, which is for ten tsuyu (dipping sauce for tempura), and 7:5:3, which results in a sweet broth.

100 g chicken thigh, thinly sliced
1/4 onion, thinly sliced
2 eggs

Options:
Mitsuba, cut to 3-cm lengths
http://en.wikipedia....ki/Cryptotaenia
Sansho

Ingredients for 3 servings:
Posted Image
Eggs are not shown.
Sansho is in the small bottle.

You will need a special pan called oyako nabe (16 cm in diameter) and a lid:
Posted Image
I got mine from a 100-yen shop (100 yen each).

At a restaurant, the pan is used from start to finish for one serving at a time, but I made a short-cut by first cooking the chicken and onion for three servings with the broth in a pot for 3 min.
Ingredients for 3 servings, cooked for 3 min.:
Posted Image

Put 1/3 of them in the oyako nabe, and add beaten eggs.

Caution: DON'T beat the eggs thoroughly. The beaten eggs should look something like this:
Posted Image

Put the lid on, and cook on high heat for 30 seconds (or for up to 1 min. depending on the hardness of the eggs you want):
Posted Image

Put some hot rice in a donburi, and transfer the whole ingredients on top of the rice. Put some mitsuba on top.
Posted Image

My two children both said it was good, and I liked it, too.

Edited to add:
I found this video showing how to make oyako-don:
http://www.manma-miy.../2416/2416.html
To view it, click it, scroll down, and click PLAY.
Not exactly the same as what I did, but close.

Edited by Hiroyuki, 30 September 2007 - 07:33 AM.


#13 Ce'nedra

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Posted 30 September 2007 - 04:37 AM

Hiroyuki: Thanks so much! :)
For the broth, is it chicken broth? And also, is it better to use the store bought one (stronger in flavour)? Or is home-made better?

Also, for the dashi, I think I have that in either powder or block form...so how much do I use to mix it up with water?
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#14 Hiroyuki

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Posted 30 September 2007 - 07:45 AM

Hiroyuki: Thanks so much! :)
For the broth, is it chicken broth? And also, is it better to use the store bought one (stronger in flavour)? Or is home-made better?

Also, for the dashi, I think I have that in either powder or block form...so how much do I use to mix it up with water?

View Post

First of all, I made some additions in bold to the poorly written description above.

Almost all recipes call for dashi, i.e., Japanese bonito and kombu dashi. I did find one recipe that called for chicken broth, though. As for store-bought vs. home-made, I'd say home-made is better, but it's also time-consuming and costly. Store-bought dashi is stronger in flavour because of the SMG it contains, right?

That being said, I must admit that I almost always use instant dashi. :raz:

I'm not sure what you mean by dashi in block form. I use instant dashi in powder form, 1 tsp per 600 ml of water.

#15 Ce'nedra

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Posted 30 September 2007 - 09:45 AM

First of all, I made some additions in bold to the poorly written description above.

Almost all recipes call for dashi, i.e., Japanese bonito and kombu dashi.  I did find one recipe that called for chicken broth, though.  As for store-bought vs. home-made, I'd say home-made is better, but it's also time-consuming and costly.  Store-bought dashi is stronger in flavour because of the SMG it contains, right?

That being said, I must admit that I almost always use instant dashi. :raz:

I'm not sure what you mean by dashi in block form.  I use instant dashi in powder form, 1 tsp per 600 ml of water.

View Post


Thanks so much for all your help :)
Oh and I'm mistaken -you're right; it was dashi powder that I have hahaha!
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#16 Ce'nedra

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Posted 30 September 2007 - 09:49 AM

Also, is it ok if I don't have an 'oyako nabe'? Can I juse use an ordinary pan?

Edit:
Also, I'm a bit confused here...excuse me for my stupidity but here you write:

At a restaurant, the pan is used from start to finish for one serving at a time, but I made a short-cut by first cooking the chicken and onion for three servings with the broth in a pot for 3 min.
Ingredients for 3 servings, cooked for 3 min.:
Posted Image

Put 1/3 of them in the oyako nabe, and add beaten eggs.


Does that mean I can add 3 servings of the chicken, onions and eggs in the pan (if I chose to follow the short cut route)? Or 1/3, as you listed at the bottom? :unsure:

Edited by Ce'nedra, 30 September 2007 - 09:56 AM.

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#17 rykomatsu

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Posted 30 September 2007 - 02:31 PM

just a trivia tidbit, but the nabe design that Hiroyuki has is commonly used in restaurants. The handles are bent straight up so you can place multiple ones over heat at the same time. Ones commonly used at home have handles that stick out like a regular frying pan :)

cheers!

#18 Hiroyuki

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Posted 30 September 2007 - 03:50 PM

The oyako nabe is not necessary but preferred. The beauty of the oyako nabe is that it's so shallow you can transfer the ingredients to a donburi as a whole, without impairing the shape.

Sorry for having confused you again. Here's a better version:

Oyako-don for 1 serving

60 ml dashi (or water and instant dashi)
20 ml mirin
20 ml soy sauce

100 g chicken thigh, thinly sliced
1/4 onion, thinly sliced
2 eggs

Options:
Mitsuba, cut to 3-cm lengths
Sansho, to be sprinkled by each diner immediately before eating

1. Combine dashi (or water and instant dashi), mirin, and soy sauce in a shallow pan, preferably an oyako nabe, and bring to a boil.
2. Add chicken and onion and simmer for about 3 min.
3. Put rice in a donburi. Set aside.
4. Beat 2 eggs lightly in a bowl.
5. Pour the beaten eggs over the chicken and onion.
6. Put on the lid, cook on high heat for 30 seconds to 1 min. depending on the desired hardness of the eggs.
7. Transfer the whole ingredients to the donburi.
8. Dress with mitsuba.

Oyako-don for n servings

Simply multiply each ingredients by n.

1. Combine dashi (or water and instant dashi), mirin, and soy sauce in a pot, and bring to a boil.
2. Add chicken and onion and simmer for about 3 min.
3. Put rice in a donburi. Set aside.
4. Beat 2 eggs lightly in a bowl.
5. Transfer 1/n of the chicken, onion, and broth to a shallow pan.
6. Pour the beaten eggs over the chicken and onion.
7. Put on the lid, cook on high heat for 30 seconds to 1 min. depending on the desired hardness of the eggs.
8. Transfer the whole ingredients to the donburi.
9. Dress with mitsuba.

#19 Gabriel Lewis

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Posted 30 September 2007 - 04:03 PM

Sorry about that Ce'nedra, didn't realize you were curious about oyaku donburi. My recipe is from Japanese Cooking: A simple art, and differs a bit from Hiroyukis'. It uses sugar instead of Mirin, and the ratio is roughly 9:4.5:1.5; dashi, shoyu, sugar. It also calls for a mix of light and dark shoyu (soy sauce). I find using these ratios can be tricky scaling up though, and always taste to check. Just remember that it should taste too strong so as season the rice enough without making the dish too soupy. I found Shizuo's version a bit brothy actually, so I might try a version with next broth next time more similar to Hiroyuki's. I used Dashi but shizuo notes that chicken broth/stock is fine for this dish as the main ingredient is chicken.

It's about a simple as a dish can get. With your cooked rice ready, prepare the broth in those proportions. Bring to a simmer and simmer chicken until almost cooked (3-5) mins, add the onions and simmer for a minute more, and then add the eggs like Hiroyuki showed. Be sure not to stir the eggs initially; only stir them once they start to bubble at the edges and are almost set (they will finish cooking over the hot rice).

The recipe calls for japanese long onion (naganegi), but those are pretty hard to find here, so I just used to the suggested substitute green onions, cut into 1 inch diagonal slices. The japanese tend to be very specialized in terms of equipment, but you should be just fine with a regular saucepan; but do try to use something large enough for the eggs to lie in a single layer over the broth.

#20 Hiroyuki

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Posted 30 September 2007 - 04:52 PM

Sorry about that Ce'nedra, didn't realize you were curious about oyaku donburi. My recipe is from Japanese Cooking: A simple art, and differs a bit from Hiroyukis'. It uses sugar instead of Mirin, and the ratio is roughly 9:4.5:1.5; dashi, shoyu, sugar. It also calls for a mix of light and dark shoyu (soy sauce). I find using these ratios can be tricky scaling up though, and always taste to check. Just remember that it should taste too strong so as season the rice enough without making the dish too soupy. I found Shizuo's version a bit brothy actually, so I might try a version with next broth next time more similar to Hiroyuki's. I used Dashi but shizuo notes that chicken broth/stock is fine for this dish as the main ingredient is chicken.

It's about a simple as a dish can get. With your cooked rice ready, prepare the broth in those proportions. Bring to a simmer and simmer chicken until almost cooked (3-5) mins, add the onions and simmer for a minute more, and then add the eggs like Hiroyuki showed. Be sure not to stir the eggs initially; only stir them once they start to bubble at the edges and are almost set (they will finish cooking over the hot rice).

The recipe calls for japanese long onion (naganegi), but those are pretty hard to find here, so I just used to the suggested substitute green onions, cut into 1 inch diagonal slices. The japanese tend to be very specialized in terms of equipment, but you should be just fine with a regular saucepan; but do try to use something large enough for the eggs to lie in a single layer over the broth.

View Post

Considering the fact that sugar is twice as sweet as mirin, the ratio you mentioned translates into a dashi, soy sauce, and mirin ratio of 9:4.5:3, or 3:1.5.1, which is quite similar to mine. In Japanese cooking, sugar and mirin are often used in combination, the former providing an acute sweetness and the latter providing depth because it contains nine or more types of sugar.
As a Kanto man, I really don't think that the use of both light and dark soy sauces is necessary for making a donburi dish.
Lastly, the beaten eggs should be partially runny!

#21 Ce'nedra

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Posted 01 October 2007 - 12:52 AM

Gabriel Lewis and Hiroyuki: Thanks alot for all those tips, recipes, and other write ups! :biggrin:

*copy, paste, save*
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#22 Hiroyuki

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Posted 01 October 2007 - 08:16 PM

I made katsu-don for lunch today!!
I never thought about making it until I found from today's flyers that tonkatsu (breaded port cutlet) was on sale at a local supermarket, 155 yen per piece. I decided to buy some and make katsu-don for supper. But, rather than waiting for my children to come home and asking if they wanted to have it as katsu-don, I decided to make katsu-don for lunch for myself first.

Tonkatsu, other ingredients, and utensils:
Posted Image

I decided to try the 7:5:3 ratio for my katsu-don.
Thus,
45 ml dashi
30 ml mirin
20 ml soy sauce

I decided to use green peas for a topping.

1. Combine the dashi, mirin, and soy sauce in the oyako nabe, bring to a boil, add the onion in the oyako nabe, and simmer for 3 min.
(I put the lid on.)
Posted Image
The aroma filled the kitchen!

2. Put some rice in a donburi.
3. Add tonkatsu (previously cut to bite sizes) to the oyako nabe, pour bean eggs, put on the lid, and cook on high heat for 30 seconds.
Again, never beat the eggs thoroughly!
4. Transfer the contents of the oyako nabe to the donburi.
5. Top it with some green peas.
Posted Image

Incredibly good!! It was gone 3 minutes later. A very satisfying lunch! :wub:

Edited by Hiroyuki, 01 October 2007 - 10:04 PM.


#23 yunnermeier

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Posted 02 October 2007 - 01:34 AM

My best friend from when I studied in Japan e-mailed me last week and made me nostalgic so we had Oyakodonburi on Friday:

Posted Image

and Gyudon yesterday:

Posted Image

The oyakodonburi was especially good.. I should've sliced the beef a little thinner or bought better grade beef as it was not as soft as the ones from Yoshinoya. I bought beef for braising (cheap, 4.65 euro for 388 grams) and sliced the first piece thinly but was getting tired and pissed off by piece 2!

Edited by yunnermeier, 02 October 2007 - 01:34 AM.


#24 Hiroyuki

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Posted 02 October 2007 - 03:57 AM

Hi, yunnermeier, it's good to see you again in the Japan Forum! But, you became nostalgic and made oyako-don, not sushi, sashimi, or sukiyaki? :biggrin:

Your oyako-don looks much soupier than mine and those of two other members here. Could you provide some basic data, especially the dashi/mirin (sugar)/soy source ratio?

It's good to see beni shoga on the gyu-don!

#25 yunnermeier

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Posted 02 October 2007 - 04:35 AM

Hahaha I think I ate donburis a lot more often than sushi when I lived with my Japanese host families! I love sukiyaki but it's hard to get really fatty beef here and I don't have a hot pot (I live in a 2-pan household :D) plus these Dutch people would probably consume a kilo of beef each :P .

Yes the oyakodon was a little soupy because I put in too much dashi (I added one extra egg to counter this effect but still too soupy!). I liked it though.

Dashi: 1 +2/3 cup
Mirin: 4tbs
Shoyu 7tbs
Sugar 3 tbs (I think I only put 2 tbs)

I didn't see your tip until today so my eggs were beaten a lot more throughly than recommended.

Edited by yunnermeier, 02 October 2007 - 04:42 AM.


#26 Hiroyuki

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Posted 02 October 2007 - 03:47 PM

Dashi: 1 +2/3 cup
Mirin:  4tbs
Shoyu 7tbs
Sugar 3 tbs (I think I only put 2 tbs)

View Post

Thanks. Your dashi, mirin, and soy sauce ratio is 400:150 (= 4 + (3 x 2) x 15):105, or 3.8:1.4:1, approximately 4:1.5:1.
I can imagine what it tastes like. Similar to my 4:1:1 tentsuyu (dipping sauce for tempura) but a little sweeter.

#27 Ce'nedra

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Posted 02 October 2007 - 08:10 PM

Hiroyuki: Your katsu-don looks delish! Shall copy save again hehe :)
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#28 smallworld

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Posted 03 October 2007 - 05:55 PM

A recent dinner: rice, miso soup (instant-- I was afraid to clutter up the stove while deep-frying), tofu salad, and kara-age:

Posted Image

I couldn't find my old kara-age recipe-- I could have sworn I posted it right here on eGullet but a search didn't help. Anyway, it's been a few years since I made kara-age and I seem to have lost the touch, as it was a bit disappointing. One of the problems was that the flavour was far too light, so I guess I need to fix the marinade.

Luckily I was able to whip up a couple of dipping salts, which solved the problem nicely. Both are made with yuki-shio (a fine powdery salt from Okinawa), one with black pepper and one with sanshou. Sanshou goes so nicely with fried chicken.

Does anyone have any favourite dips, or tips for better kara-age?
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#29 Ce'nedra

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Posted 03 October 2007 - 09:33 PM

smallworld: Is there another full picture of your tofu salad? It looks really delicious from the little that I can see of it (on the left right?). How'd you make it?
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#30 Hiroyuki

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Posted 03 October 2007 - 10:33 PM

I like to use the marinade liquid (1:1:1 mixture of mirin, soy sauce, and sake) as a dipping sauce. Just put the liquid in a pan and bring to a boil. I also like to use yuzu kosho sometimes.

Today, I bought a whole mackerel and a whole young yellowtail for 198 yen each. The former is for miso ni (simmered in miso) and the latter for sashimi. My Global santoku is no good for making sashimi. I really need a good deba.

Edited to add: I stopped using the double deep-frying technique long ago. Simply deep-frying for 4 minutes or so.

Edited by Hiroyuki, 03 October 2007 - 10:46 PM.