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  1. Interesting! I often broil fish at home using the broiler and it is actually my preferred method for grilling fish "shioyaki". I usually try to use fillets of fish, or failing that, smaller whole fish like aji. If I grill saba, it's always filleted. Larger fish like salmon or gindara (which I sometimes do "yuan" style) are also done in slices, usually with part of the skin on. I'm not very good at explaining it, but the Japanese supermarket always sells fish cut just nicely for broiling. It seems to be slanting, with a strip of skin left. If I can't find that though, I've also grilled Western style fish fillets (either cut like a steak, or a big piece of salmon with skin on) under the broiler with no problems (so far). The way I do it is very simple. I rinse the fish, pat it dry, and put it on a shallow baking tray lined with tin foil. I stopped bothering with the grill pan because it doesn't seem to make too much difference and the clean up is more messy. Then I salt the fish, rubbing sea salt into the flesh. If there is skin, I tend to put a little bit more salt on the skin. It seems to make it bubble up nicely. For salmon, I don't even wait. I just salt the fish and pop it under the broiler. I try to put the pan on the top setting, as close to the broiler as possible. If the fish is thicker than e.g. 1.5 to 2cm ( like a steak cut) then I start broiling it on the side that is not so important first, i.e. the side with no skin on. Depending on the thickness of the fish, I might broil the underside for about 4-5 minutes, then flip it over and finish on the skin side for 4-5 minutes. For a thinner cut, e.g. the typical slanting fillet cut of salmon from the Japanese supermarket, I don't even bother to flip anymore. I just put it under the broiler and let it broil for ~6 minutes. Watch carefully at the end because your fish skin can go from nice and crispy to burned very quickly! I don't like to overcook my fish, so when it is just cooked and the skin starts to bubble and brown, I take it out. A fatty fish like salmon or mackerel gets pretty crispy and juicy like this. Oh! I forgot to say that if the fish is at room temperature you will get more even cooking results. If you can take your fish out of the fridge even 15 minutes earlier and rinse it well in room temperature water, then pat and salt, you're less likely to end up with cold spots that stay raw while the rest of it burns. Though if I'm lazy and I only have thin fillets, I'll just rinse in warm water and pat dry before broiling. Sometimes if I'm broiling salmon I'll put a little bit of mayonnaise mixed with lemon juice at the end on it, but my husband actually prefers it plain "shioyaki" style, even though he loves mayo on almost everything else... Hope this helps, and I'm interested to hear how your grilling is turning out!
  2. Yes, the new book is "Everyday Harumi". In the end I couldn't resist and went back to buy it, though I haven't read it yet because I was so excited to also buy one of Kentaro Kobayashi's cookbooks! It was translated into English and called "Bento Love". I later found more books of his on the internet and ordered them, and some have already arrived. Besides "Bento Love," I received one about noodles and another called "Donburi Mania". There is also an appetizer book and veggie one that I have on back order. I am so glad that I heard about Kobayashi on this board. His recipes are great! Simple, tasty and fresh. I've already made a number of dishes (chicken with eggplant and basil, mentaiko mayonnaise potatoes, renkon with umeboshi, and spaghetti carbonara) and they all turned out delicious. My husband and kids were very pleased and so am I, since they feel like new and non-boring classics. I can't wait to get the appetizer and vegetable books. Thanks Helen for the other suggestions! I will go and look for them at Kinokuniya, though I have been buying way too many books there recently...
  3. I just bought a book that might help you! It's an English translation of a Japanese bento book for kids, called "Kawaii Bento Boxes". ISBN 978-4-88996-260-4. I bought it at Kinokuniya and was really happy to find it. There are lots of ideas for tiny side dishes, and even groupings by colour etc. I noticed that many recipes are microwave friendly too, and they even have a little time stamp to tell you how long it takes to make a bento (e.g. 15 min/20 min). Of course, it does assume that you have access to Japanese ingredients, but I don't think that would be too difficult for you. If you have a Kinokuniya near you I'm sure you can find it, or you can order it on the internet. I must admit I've had a lot of fun reading this book over the last two days!
  4. Wow, I was excited to see a number of my favourite cookbooks mentioned! I have Hiroko Shimbo's Japanese Cooking, as well as Tokiko Suzuki's and a number of other books. The problem I encountered after a while is that many cookbooks tend to be repetitive and give the same standard Japanese recipes, e.g. sukiyaki etc. Nowadays, I like to look for cookbooks with an interesting and fresh take on things to inspire me. I have a number of the Nobu cookbooks but found that after the first one, the recipes seemed rather contrived. I also have the Shunju cookbook, but that is more like a fantasy cookbook for me. I have two of Harumi Kurihara's cookbooks, and I think she has a third one out in English. I flipped through it in the bookstore but it seemed to repeat some of her earlier recipes. I do like the books of hers that I have however. The recipes really work, although I have to confess that nowadays I tend to look at the ingredient lists and just eyeball measurements. Another cookbook I found in English is Amy Kaneko's "Let's Cook Japanese Food", which is a book about homestyle yoshoku or Japanese style Western food. I really wish that I could read Japanese better. I bought a cookbook (or "mook") in Japanese but my reading is so poor and so slow that in the end I gave up and just looked at the beautiful pictures. I'll certainly try to track down the Homma book. Thanks for the great suggestions!
  5. YSC


    I'm glad this thread got bumped up because I'm currently going through a natto craving. I just went home to visit my parents and while I was there my dad was eating natto all the time. I hadn't eaten natto in years but of course I had to join him... now that I'm back I have a strange craving for it. I went to the local Nijiya supermarket and they sold some in the refrigerated section. However, I could not find any expiry date on it. I've heard that you have to eat it fairly soon if not frozen. How long can refrigerated natto last? Also, I like to make maguro natto and when I do I use wasabi instead of karashi. Does it make a difference?
  6. Hi Sanrensho, Thanks for getting back to me. The shokupan we buy is pretty "typical" regular shokupan -- very much like your description of a lean, fluffy white bread. In this case, they also make a wholewheat version but now that I think about it, it is probably what Prasantrin mentioned -- possibly just wheat bran added... I don't have the exact proportions because I don't happen to have a loaf in the house right now, but I'm pretty sure that it has no egg in it. I was just wondering about that because previous posters had talked about challah in comparison to shokupan. Like you said, it's soft and pulls apart easily. Perhaps if I do go ahead and get the bread maker I will try the included recipe first to see if it works. I did consider the standing mixer but have no space for it. The bread maker seems like it would also help with the rise times etc. so I wouldn't have to rush back to tend to it. My sister in Singapore just did an experiment for me in which she used a shokupan recipe for a 1.5 lb loaf in her 2lb bread maker. The recipe (which was published in Singapore) called for bread improver but she skipped it because I told her I wasn't sure I could get any here. She said it worked quite well although because it baked in her bread maker and not in a loaf tin with lid, it rose up really high and fluffy and filled the whole 2lb pan. I wonder if I make it (assuming I get the 1lb Zojirushi) whether I can just halve the 1.5 lb recipe? As you can probably tell, I have very little experience with bread making...
  7. I love kabocha too and I've recently been eating it roasted as a change from simmered. I cut the kabocha into about 1-1.5 cm thin slices (a very sharp knife works well -- I find my carbon steel nakiri bocho is more effective than a cleaver because it gives you more control). Then toss with some olive oil and a little salt and roast in the oven with medium heat until soft (about 45 minutes depending on your oven & thickness of kabocha etc.). It's nice plain but I also sometimes make a yogurt cilantro sauce to go with it. (yogurt, cilantro, salt and lemon juice to taste, then blend in a very small blender). Today I wanted to make this again but felt bad about using the oven for so long, so I sliced the kabocha and tried to see whether I could pan fry it. I put some olive oil in a stainless steel pan and put the kabocha slices in. After they began to caramelize and stick to the pan, I added a little bit of water and put a lid on it. This steamed the kabocha and cooked it very quickly. I opened the lid at the end so the water would boil off. It turned out quite well -- not as sweet and crispy as the oven roasted version but pretty good. Plus it used a lot less electricity... I sprinkled a little sea salt, sliced some cooked beets on it and served it as a colourful vegetable dish. My husband ate almost half a whole kabocha for dinner!
  8. Thanks everyone for the helpful info. I went to Mitsuwa today and saw they had the Zojirushi mini breadmaker for sale so I took the opportunity to read the enclosed recipes for bread. They have basic white/wholemeal bread and also "soft" white/wholemeal bread. I wonder whether the soft bread would be equivalent to shokupan? The ingredient list had flour and butter but I don't think they had any egg or bread improver mentioned. I also wonder whether I can use the bread maker to mix the dough for soft Japanese pan, like raisin rolls and kani-tobiko-mayo bread (I just ate that today -- it was sooo rich but absolutely delicious. I only meant to eat half but before I realized it, it was all gone )
  9. Hello! I'm new to eGullet but I'm very excited to read all the interesting and useful information that people have been sharing. I lived in Japan for a few years as a child and still enjoy cooking Japanese food for my family. I have two questions: 1. Can you make shoku pan in a breadmaker? I am seriously considering buying the Zojirushi mini bread maker if it will help me make shoku pan. My kids are addicted to it and I've been buying wholemeal shoku pan for them which is both pricey and inconvenient as it's only available 2 days a week. 2. Does anyone have a good wholemeal shoku pan recipe? Thanks!
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