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Gabriel Lewis

Japanese Cooking at Home

190 posts in this topic

Dashi: 1 +2/3 cup

Mirin:  4tbs

Shoyu 7tbs

Sugar 3 tbs (I think I only put 2 tbs)

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.

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

1466148504_71217d085d.jpg

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?


My eGullet foodblog: Spring in Tokyo

My regular blog: Blue Lotus

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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?


Musings and Morsels - a film and food blog

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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 (log)

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gallery_16375_4595_25496.jpg

Top: Saba (mackerel)

Middle: Inada (young yellowtail)

Bottom: Blobal santoku

Thus, yesterday's supper

gallery_16375_4595_64410.jpg

Ara jiru,made with saba and inada trimmings and yuugao (a type of gourd).

Inada sashimi

Saba no miso ni (mackeral simmered with ginger, miso, mirin (and/or sugar), water, and sake)

I need to get a good deba and learn to fillet and cut fish more beautifully. :sad:

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I noticed wonderful, fresh, yellowtail and mackerel in my local supermarket yesterday too! Unfortunately dinner was already cooked when I spotted it (Late guitar lesson = western food!).

If you don't have a knife you like for slicing fish thinly, in a pinch you could try a ceramic knife ( tend to be a bit small for the job, but excellent for cutting soft things neatly). The deba will do a good job of filleting, but not so handy for slicing. A good pair of sturdy fish tweezers is handy for pulling out bones.

Did you grow the yuugao yourself? It's never sold around here as a vegetable.

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I  noticed wonderful, fresh, yellowtail and mackerel in my local supermarket yesterday too! Unfortunately dinner was already cooked when I spotted it (Late guitar lesson = western food!).

If you don't have a knife you like for slicing fish thinly, in a pinch you could try a ceramic knife ( tend to be a bit small for the job, but excellent for cutting soft things neatly). The deba will do a good job of filleting, but not so handy for slicing. A good pair of sturdy fish tweezers is handy for pulling out bones.

Did you grow the yuugao yourself? It's never sold around here as a vegetable.

Unfortunately, I don't have a ceramic one... :sad: I think I'll buy a deba first, and then a sashimi slicer (yanagi? ro something). I have already bought one pair of tweezers, but I had difficulty pulling bones with it yesterday.

Yuugao (pronounced you-goh here in the Uonuma region) is very popular here. My sister-in-law gave some to me the other day.

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ara jiru, is that the method of placing mackerel in vinegar and then eating it? If so, I have yet to do that. There is no way I am going to take all of the bones out of the mackerel before eating it :/

That's why I am a huge fan of salt grilling mackerel, or eating it out of the can (this way the bones are soft enough to chew).

I really do need to try the vinegar method, cause it sounds very tasty and refreshing.


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ara jiru, is that the method of placing mackerel in vinegar and then eating it?  If so, I have yet to do that. There is no way I am going to take all of the bones out of the mackerel before eating it :/ 

That's why I am a huge fan of salt grilling mackerel, or eating it out of the can (this way the bones are soft enough to chew).

I really do need to try the vinegar method, cause it sounds very tasty and refreshing.

What?? Ara jiru is a type of soup that you make using what's left of a fish after you fillet it.

We even have a thread on arajiru here.

You are probably referring to shime saba.

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ara jiru, is that the method of placing mackerel in vinegar and then eating it?  If so, I have yet to do that. There is no way I am going to take all of the bones out of the mackerel before eating it :/ 

That's why I am a huge fan of salt grilling mackerel, or eating it out of the can (this way the bones are soft enough to chew).

I really do need to try the vinegar method, cause it sounds very tasty and refreshing.

What?? Ara jiru is a type of soup that you make using what's left of a fish after you fillet it.

We even have a thread on arajiru here.

You are probably referring to shime saba.

haha, whoops! I knew I was wrong, but I guess I thought I would just wing it and assume you were talking about the vinegar marinated fish. Sorry about that :raz:


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Dinner...sanma (saury) grilled with salt, served with grated daikon and soy sauce, spinach and enoki hitashi topped with yellow chrysanthemum petals in amasu

Miso soup with sweet potato and green pepper, rice.

gallery_7941_961_18266.jpg

The "circular" grilled saury means the fat along the spine drips off instead of lying on top of the fish, but the shape also makes it harder than usual to remove small bones!

P.S. cell-phone photo sorry, still haven't figured out where son put digital camera cable...


Edited by helenjp (log)

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That fish looks lovely, helenjp. Is that a flower garnish next to it? I was so surprised to see flowers for sale in the produce department in my local grocery store. Are they edible, or just for looks?

Here's yesterday's lunch, made with some leftover curry rice I had from earlier in the week, and some rosu katsu from the supermarket. I also included some cucumbers as a side, so I felt like I was eating something healthy. It's the first time I'd tried Japanese cucumbers, and they're fantastic! I'm not sure if I can ever go back to North American ones.

gallery_41378_5233_1451074.jpg

gallery_41378_5233_56772.jpg

Apologies for the tonkatsu sauce and the curry sauce. Appalling, I know, but I can't give up an opportunity to have it.

I wanted to post a picture of tonight's dinner, which was nikkujaga following Torakris's recipe from the eGCI course, but Image Gullet isn't letting me upload, for whatever reason. I'll try again tomorrow, I guess.

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Dinner...sanma (saury) grilled with salt, served with grated daikon and soy sauce, spinach and enoki hitashi topped with yellow chrysanthemum petals in amasu

Miso soup with sweet potato and green pepper, rice.

gallery_7941_961_18266.jpg

The "circular" grilled saury means the fat along the spine drips off instead of lying on top of the fish, but the shape also makes it harder than usual to remove small bones!

P.S. cell-phone photo sorry, still haven't figured out where son put digital camera cable...

I've never seem a sanma presented like a circle. I must say that's very innovative. Besides, this doesn't require a long, sanma plate.

nakji, pouring tonkatsu sauce (and other types of sauce like chuunou) over curry is not unusual in Japan. Some Japanese even do it without tasting the curry first!

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Glad to hear it! I don't feel so decadent now. With Torakris's help, I finally uploaded my nikkujaga picture. I cooked this meal on Sunday - Canadian Thanksgiving! Not exactly traditional, but I had just come from seeing a hockey game, so I guess that was Canadian enough for the day.

I made nikkujaga, and cut the carrots into flowers, because I know Hiroyuki is looking.

gallery_41378_5233_149412.jpg

I made it on the soupy side, but I liked it.

Side dishes were fusion-y. I made stir fried bean sprouts with sesame oil, something I ate a lot in Korea, and spinach with sesame dressing, a kind of spin on the traditional spinach with sesame.

gallery_41378_5233_1008220.jpg

gallery_41378_5233_1345265.jpg

I think there was a bit too much orange on the plates, but there you go.

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Thank you for cutting the carrots into flowers especially for me, they are beautiful to look at, but I myself have never cut carrots that way. :raz: I usually cut them into "icho giri" (quarter circle) shapes. Icho literally means gingko or gingko leaf. Also popular are "han getsu" (lit. half moon) or semi-circular shapes and "ran giri" shapes.

For ran giri, cut a carrot diagonally, turn it so that the cut end faces upward, cut it again, and repeat the cutting and turning. The results are like these.

Be sure to make a pork version nextt time!

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Just wanted to post this chicken breast kara-age photo:

gallery_16375_4595_17736.jpg

1:1:1 mixture of soy sauce, mirin, and sake for marinade liquid, as usual.

I simmered the liquid in a pan for 30 seconds or so. Nice dipping sauce for the kara-age. I also used the bottled sudachi juice (right) and yuzu kosho (left). I used them separately, not all of them at once.

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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?

Not from that meal, but this one is pretty much the same:

1539726842_0a76a5cf90.jpg

The base is spinach (as you can see, Japanese spinach has smaller, flat leaves) and wakame seaweed dressed with ponzu, ground sesame and sesame oil. Next is tofu, topped with katsuobushi and drizzled with a bit more ponzu.

This is my standard salad, with the greens and dressing changing depending on what's available (ponzu and olive oil is also a really nice dressing for tofu salad or hiya-yakko).

It's important to use good tofu-- here I've used one from my favourite tofu maker, Otokomae Tofu, called Masahiro:

1539730290_c95b387eb2_m.jpg

The bottom of the package is stamped with the kanji for "otoko", or man. The tofu retains the stamp when out of its package, which looks pretty cool when splashed with soy sauce as for hiya-yakko but is invisible when covered with katsuobushi!

1539728394_85b52456c7_m.jpg


My eGullet foodblog: Spring in Tokyo

My regular blog: Blue Lotus

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Dinner...sanma (saury) grilled with salt, served with grated daikon and soy sauce, spinach and enoki hitashi topped with yellow chrysanthemum petals in amasu

Miso soup with sweet potato and green pepper, rice.

gallery_7941_961_18266.jpg

The "circular" grilled saury means the fat along the spine drips off instead of lying on top of the fish, but the shape also makes it harder than usual to remove small bones!

P.S. cell-phone photo sorry, still haven't figured out where son put digital camera cable...

Interesting! Do you cook it in the fish grill part of the stove, or on one of those stove-top fish grills?


My eGullet foodblog: Spring in Tokyo

My regular blog: Blue Lotus

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1539726842_0a76a5cf90.jpg

The base is spinach (as you can see, Japanese spinach has smaller, flat leaves) and wakame seaweed dressed with ponzu, ground sesame and sesame oil. Next is tofu, topped with katsuobushi and drizzled with a bit more ponzu.

That salad is beautiful smallworld, and I would really like to try it. I'm curious though, how is the wakame prepared exactly? Is it fresh? I'm perplexed as to how one might include dry wakame, which is the only available kind here. It doesn't seem like it would be much good without rehydrating it first, and then it seems like it would be necessary to cut it into small bits. Also, what firmness of tofu do you use? It seems like you're using something similar to what I would call silken tofu as you didn't cut it up. Silken tofu hasn't been pressed, and can easily be broken into pieces.

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nakji, did you dip the cucumbers in miso or daengjang? I love to dip cucumbers in homemade daengjang (feels like i'm eating healthy).


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That was miso. But I also love dipping in daengjang - are miso and daengjang functionally the same? I've never done a side-by-side taste test. I can't find any Korean sauces at my local grocery store - at least; not the ones in the brown and red tubs. I'm dying for some gojujang. There's probably a Japanese brand in the store somewhere, but my kanji doesn't stretch far enough to identify it.

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That was miso. But I also love dipping in daengjang - are miso and daengjang functionally the same? I've never done a side-by-side taste test. I can't find any Korean sauces at my local grocery store - at least; not the ones in the brown and red tubs. I'm dying for some gojujang. There's probably a Japanese brand in the store somewhere, but my kanji doesn't stretch far enough to identify it.

Hi nakji,

Kochujang can be found in most stores now, look in the "ethnic" section and you will see tubes or little jars that say コチュジャン on them. If you want to get the larger tubs that are imported from Korea see if you can find a Yamaya or a Kaldi near you. Then of course you could also head to Tokyo's Koreantown in the Shinokubo area just 1km away from Shinjuku.


<p><strong>Kristin Wagner</strong>, aka "torakris"

Manager, Membership

<a class="bbc_email" href="mailto:kwagner@egstaff.org" title="E-mail Link">kwagner@egstaff.org</a></p>

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miso and daengjang taste pretty much the same to me....except dangjang tastes a little beanier (if that makes any sense). Miso is also smoother and dangjang is more chunkier and of course they are prepared differently as I'm sure you know.

I think I"m going to try dipping some cold cumber in miso. Sounds like a good beer snack too.


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