Teriyaki Chicken and Potatoes

Main | March 27, 2017 | By

An easy weeknight dinner, this teriyaki chicken and potato dish is comfort food, Japanese style. 

Teriyaki chicken and potatoes- An easy weeknight dinner, this teriyaki chicken and potato dish is comfort food, Japanese style.

Teriyaki chicken and potatoes- An easy weeknight dinner, this teriyaki chicken and potato dish is comfort food, Japanese style.

Another easy weeknight meal for you guys! I love quick and easy dinners, for all of those evenings (read: every evening) where I’m just tired out from the day and not wanting to make anything fancy.

Teriyaki is a fan favorite, both in Japan and America! HOWEVER…this recipe uses teriyaki flavor that is more Japanese. Less Americanized. More authentic. How do you like that? It might be a little different from the American teriyaki flavor you’re used to, but I think you’ll like it.

Teriyaki chicken and potatoes- An easy weeknight dinner, this teriyaki chicken and potato dish is comfort food, Japanese style.

Meat and potatoes has gotta be the classic comfort food. This is one of my dinners where I can make it and know that everyone will eat it without complaints.Even my toddler, who can find something wrong with ANY meal, tends to like this one. I mean, chicken, potatoes, and a yummy glazy teriyaki sauce… what is there to complain about?

Speaking of glazy, I love pouring the very liquid-y sauce in and watching it bubble bubble bubble away until it becomes that shiny, glossy, and beautiful glaze. It’s just sort of… magical.

Teriyaki chicken and potatoes- An easy weeknight dinner, this teriyaki chicken and potato dish is comfort food, Japanese style.

Sake and mirin are readily available at any Asian market, and even at certain chain grocery stores (I think I’ve seen both at Whole Foods). I highly recommend getting some mirin and cooking sake for your pantry, because they are used in SO many Japanese dishes. Just do it!!

Also, I made another video tutorial for you to check out, below.

Teriyaki chicken and potatoes- An easy weeknight dinner, this teriyaki chicken and potato dish is comfort food, Japanese style.
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Teriyaki Chicken and Potatoes

An easy weeknight dinner, this teriyaki chicken and potato dish is comfort food, Japanese style. 

Course dinner
Cuisine Japanese
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 5 people
Calories 250 kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken breast (or thighs or tenderloin)
  • 1 1/2 pounds potatoes
  • 1/3 cup potato or corn starch

Marinade

  • 2 t soy sauce
  • 1 T sugar

Sauce

  • 6 T soy sauce
  • 2 T sugar
  • 1/4 cup mirin
  • 1/4 cup sake
  • 1 T unsalted butter
  • cooking oil

Instructions

  1. Chop your potatoes into bite sized pieces (on the smaller end, see video above), and place on microwave safe plate in single layer. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave for about 5 minutes or until potatoes are cooked through and can easily be pierced with the tip of a knife. Salt the potatoes to taste (you will be adding sauce later, so you don't need too much) and set aside.

    Cut chicken into bite sized pieces and marinate with the soy sauce and sugar for 5-10 minutes. Drain the sauce and sprinkle starch over the chicken and mix until fully combined. 

    Combine ingredients for the sauce and set aside.

    Heat a couple of tablespoons of oil in a non-stick pan over medium heat. Add the chicken and allow to cook, without mixing, until browned. Flip the chicken and place lid on pan to cook through. Add the potatoes and butter, and stir until butter is melted. Add the sauce and allow to cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is reduced to a glaze. Remove from heat and serve with rice. 

Recipe Notes

Adapted from: cookpad (japanese)

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Beef Soboro

Main | February 14, 2017 | By

Beef soboro is an easy weeknight dinner. Ground beef is flavored with a delicious Japanese sauce, and eaten over hot rice with an egg on top. This recipe comes together in no time at all!

Beef Soboro- Ground beef is flavored with a delicious Japanese sauce, and eaten over hot rice with an egg on top.

Beef Soboro- Ground beef is flavored with a delicious Japanese sauce, and eaten over hot rice with an egg on top.

I mentioned before in my Keema curry post the necessity of having easy ground beef recipes in my arsenal. I go through phases where I really plan out my week, and I know on Sunday night what I’ll be making for the entire week. Those are good good times and I feel really put together.

Aaaand then there’s the flip side. I’m scrambling around at 4 pm trying to figure out what I’m going to make for dinner. Want to know what we had for dinner tonight? Blueberry pancakes, bacon, and a kale and beet smoothie to make the meal healthy. I’m not even kidding.

Beef Soboro- Ground beef is flavored with a delicious Japanese sauce, and eaten over hot rice with an egg on top.

Actually, the kids LOVE those kinds of dinners and it usually means they will just sit there and eat, instead of getting up every 5 seconds, and complaining about how they don’t like *insert basically any ingredient* every 10.

Okay, so usually I’m in between those two extremes, and I have a decent dinner prepared. And decent dinner is really really easy when it’s this beef soboro. I always have the sauce ingredients on hand, and I always have ground beef in the freezer, so this is a meal I can make anytime. It’s definitely one of my go-to’s!

Beef Soboro- Ground beef is flavored with a delicious Japanese sauce, and eaten over hot rice with an egg on top.

Not to mention, the kids eat this one up! Well, as long as I leave the green onions off the top. Compromise, my friends.

Add this quick and easy beef soboro to your weeknight dinner list!

 

Beef Soboro- Ground beef is flavored with a delicious Japanese sauce, and eaten over hot rice with an egg on top.
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Beef Soboro

Ground beef is flavored with a delicious Japanese sauce, and eaten over hot rice with an egg on top. This recipe comes together in no time at all!

Course dinner
Cuisine Japanese
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 280 kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 T fresh grated ginger
  • 4 T soy sauce
  • 3 T mirin
  • 3 T sake
  • 3 T sugar
  • green onion for topping
  • eggs for topping
  • rice

Instructions

  1. Combine ginger, soy sauce, mirin, sake, and sugar in a small bowl. 

    Heat a nonstick frying pan over medium high heat and cook the ground beef, breaking it up into small pieces. We don't want any big chunks here! Actually, the pictures you see above are too big of chunks. I actually like mine a little more chunky, but that's technically not the correct way. Do what you want! You can either use chopsticks (a bundle of chopsticks is the traditional method), or a whisk to break the meat up into small pieces. 

    Once the meat is nearly cooked through, add the sauce and stir until the beef has absorbed the sauce and the pan is mostly dry. 

    Serve over hot rice and top with green onion and egg. I poached mine, but you can sunny-side-up it, of throw just a raw egg yolk on there!  

Recipe Notes

Adapted from: cookpad (Japanese)

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Salmon Gratin

Main | January 27, 2017 | By

This salmon gratin with broccoli and mushrooms is a healthy, nutritious, weeknight meal that your family will love! 

Salmon Gratin- a healthy and nutritious weeknight dinner!

Salmon Gratin- a healthy and nutritious weeknight dinner!

Gratin is a French dish… originally. But strangely enough, it’s really popular in Japan!

So Japan does this thing where… they take things from other countries and then go crazy with it. Liiiiike have you ever had Japanese crepes? Oh baby. And how about cars? Any type of electronic device? Yeah, Japan is all about taking things from other countries and making it better.

You might not think gratin, which is basically any dish that has either a cheese or breadcrumb (or both) topping that gets browned in the oven, would be very Japanese. But, it’s just one of those things that took off, and now it’s a typical weeknight meal.

I thought it was a popular dish in America, since I grew up eating it, but turns out it’s actually not so common. My husband had never heard of it before, which made me realize… I had eaten it because my Japanese mother made it as a Japanese dish, not an American one.

Salmon Gratin- a healthy and nutritious weeknight dinner!

Weird. I mean, doesn’t it just seem so… American? A white sauce, cheese, bread… a lot of times it’ll have potatoes or pasta in it… It seems so American! Well, I guess we DO eat scalloped potatoes a lot here. But there just isn’t the variation that you see in Japan.

The recipe I’m sharing with you is a healthy salmon gratin, with lots of vitamins and nutrients! It’s packed with salmon, mushrooms, broccoli, and onion! If broccoli and mushrooms aren’t your thing, you can substitute other veggies in there. Just make sure you cook or steam them first. The oven stage is just to melt the cheese and brown the top.

This gratin is easy to prepare, and SUCH a comfort food. Not to mention, if you make it in the individual dishes, it’s kind of a fun presentation. Of course, if you don’t have individual gratin dishes, you can make it in a bigger dish and just scoop it onto a plate!

Salmon Gratin- a healthy and nutritious weeknight dinner!

 

Look at thaaaat. Mmmsalmonyumyumyum.

Salmon Gratin- a healthy and nutritious weeknight dinner!
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Salmon Gratin

This salmon gratin with broccoli and mushrooms is a healthy, nutritious, weeknight meal that your family will love! 

Course dinner, Main Course
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 people

Ingredients

  • 2 6-8 oz salmon fillets skin removed
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 4 oz crimini mushrooms
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 400 ml milk
  • 3 T butter
  • 6 T all purpose flour
  • salt to taste
  • mozzarella or white cheese blend

Instructions

  1. Make the white sauce: combine the thinly sliced onion and flour. Heat a skillet over low heat and add the butter. Add the onion and cook until no longer powdery and white. Add the milk a little bit at a time, stirring well after each addition. Once the milk is added, continue to stir until thickened. Salt to taste.

  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cut the broccoli florets into bite sized pieces and either boil in salted water, microwave and salt, or steam and salt. Cut salmon fillets into bitesized pieces and salt. Cut mushrooms into quarters (or in half, or in sixths according to size) Heat a nonstick pan over medium heat and brown the salmon pieces. Remove salmon and saute and salt the mushrooms. 

  3. Put the broccoli, mushrooms, and salmon into either individual gratin dishes or a casserole dish. Pour white sauce on top and lightly stir to help bring pieces to the top. Sprinkle the cheese over the top and cook in oven until melted. Do a quick pass under the broiler to brown the top more, if desired. 

Recipe Notes

Recipe adapted from Mebae "&" magazine, February edition (Japanese). 

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Baked Soy Sauce Sticky Wings

Main, Side Dish | January 2, 2017 | By

These soy sauce sticky wings are baked, but SO crispy, with a sweet and salty glaze. 

Baked soy sauce sticky wings

Baked soy sauce sticky wings

I didn’t eat my first wings until college. I’m not even kidding! I grew up in America and I never ever had wings! My mom is anti having bones in chicken, so I just never had the opportunity to eat it. My husband introduced me to wings when we were dating, and I haven’t looked back since.

Well, no, that’s not completely true. My first few times eating it I was apprehensive, because… there are BONES in this chicken and I am picking meat off the BONES, whaaaat?! But then I got over it, because it’s so delicious.

Baked soy sauce sticky wings

Anyways, I don’t really like to fry food when I don’t have to because, while delicious, it’s kind of a lot of work! I’ve fried wings before and they turn out… okay. Not as crispy as I would like. So, whoda thought that BAKING wings can make super super crispy yummy wings?! I discovered the recipe on The Cookful and now it’s my go to method for making wings!

The glaze is a simple but delicious combo of soy sauce, sugar, and sesame oil. Soy sauce and sugar is seriously one of my favorite combinations (remember these gnocchi mochi?), and you basically can’t go wrong with it. Unless you burn the glaze. That would be very wrong.

Baked soy sauce sticky wings

So, one thing to note… baking wings takes time! BUT let’s not forget that it’s hands off time. You just pop it in the oven, and there’s one temperature change. That’s it! No slaving over hot oil! If you haven’t tried baking wings yet, you HAVE to give it a try!

Baked soy sauce sticky wings
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Baked Soy Sauce Sticky Wings

These wings are baked, but SUPER crispy, and tossed in an irresistible soy sauce-sugar glaze.  

Course dinner
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 20 wings

Ingredients

  • 2 lb chicken wings
  • 1 T baking powder
  • 4 T soy sauce
  • 3 T sugar
  • drizzle sesame oil to taste
  • sesame seeds

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Place a cooking rack in a sheet pan. In a large bowl, toss the chicken with 1 T baking powder (not soda!!!) to evenly coat. Place the wings on the cooking rack, and bake for 30 minutes. Then, without opening the oven, turn the heat up to 425 degrees F. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until they are crispy and golden. 

  2. When wings are done, or just about done, start making the glaze. In a small saucepan, heat the soy sauce and sugar over medium heat and stir until sugar is completely melted. Allow the mixture to simmer and thicken, about 5 minutes, and add a drizzle of sesame oil, to taste. Transfer to a large bowl and toss with the wings. Serve topped with sesame seeds!

Recipe Notes

Baking wings recipe from: The Cookful.

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Tofu Steaks with Miso Pecan Sauce (vegan+GF)

Main | November 13, 2016 | By

Tofu steaks with miso pecan sauce (vegan+GF)

Tofu steaks with miso pecan sauce (vegan+GF)
Is tofu still trendy? I mean, it was trendy right? I think it was… it probably still is. Anyways, tofu is yummy. I ate it growing up, but with three brothers and a dad that liked meat, I don’t remember us eating it much as a main dish. The primary use was in miso soup and side dishes. Lucky for me, my husband will only grumble a little bit if we have tofu as our main. Actually, I take that back. He used to grumble, but now either he has learned to like it, or he’s resigned himself to the fact that we will have our non-meat nights. I think it’s really important to take (at least!) a day or two a week where you take a break from meat. I know for sure that my family eats too much of it!

My favorite way to eat tofu for dinner is making tofu “steaks”, because it makes my husband feel a little better about not having meat on the table. Look, it’s basically steak we’re eating! Just kidding. But it’s called steaks, probably because of the shape. You know, just, slabs of tofu. It’s super easy to make, with minimal prep work and time.

You need to drain the tofu, and then drain it again using papertowels and a little bit of weight. Tofu soaks up a lot of the water that it comes packaged in, and it’s best to get a good portion of it out before you throw it on your frying pan! It’s really easy. You just cut your tofu into your “steaks” and then you place them on paper towels on your cutting board, and then more paper towels on top and a cookie sheet or something flat on top of thaaaat and then weight it down a bit, with some cans or something. I sometimes put my tofu straight on the cutting board, then do the paper towels and cookie sheet on top, and tilt it at a slight angle into the sink, so the excess liquid just drains into the sink. I guess it depends on what your sink set-up is, as to whether you can do that or not.

Tofu steaks with miso pecan sauce (vegan+GF)

Once your tofu is drained, you just heat some oil in a nonstick and throw them in! A lot of recipes I’ve used in the past have called for coating it in flour, but in this recipe, you aren’t tossing the tofu in the sauce, so I don’t think it’s really necessary! So, easy peasy. Just salt both sides and place it in your pan and cook until golden brown on both sides. If you’re up for it, you can even do the sides, but, you don’t really have to. I did this time around so give them browner edges, but that was purely for aesthetic purposes.

This topping. Oh man, this topping. It gave me a really hard time because, well, it’s delicious (obviously!)… but would you think so from looking at it? If I just looked at these pictures and saw the sauce I’d think… um… what is that. ew. I tossed around the idea in my mind to just ditch this recipe because the sauce just isn’t that PRETTY! I’m really sensitive to… little dots and holes and things. Have you heard of trypophobia? Look it up if you dare!!! I’m not even going to link you to it. I mean, I’m not like, fall to the ground screaming, but I get really uncomfortable and freaked out looking at those pictures. So maybe I’m just extra blah about the sauce and it’s little black sesame DOTS, and normal people will look at it and say, it’s fine, what’s your problem? What do you think? Does the sauce weird you out a bit, or am I the weird one?!

Anyways, the sauce is yummy, I promise. It’s made with miso, aka fermented soy bean paste, which is both delicious and totally good for you. You know how fermented foods are supposed to be the best for you? Yes, another on-trend health ingredient. And THEN you add toasted pecans to it, which gives it this great bite! And on top of that, you have sesame, which is also toasted and delicious. So many great Japanese flavors coming together in this sauce. As I was eating this (for the third time, because, well, recipe testing) it dawned on me that this would also be great on top of avocado! Mmm, creamy slices of avocado. Yup, it’d be great. Someone try it out and get back to me please!

Tofu steaks with miso pecan sauce (vegan+GF)

Tofu steaks with miso pecan sauce (vegan+GF)
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Tofu steaks with miso pecan sauce

Slabs of tofu, topped with a delicious sauce using miso, pecans, and sesame seeds. Vegan, and gluten free!

Course Main Course
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 2 people

Ingredients

  • 1 block firm tofu
  • 2 T chopped pecans
  • 1 T black sesame
  • 2 T ground white sesame
  • 2 T sake
  • 1 T mirin
  • 1 T sugar
  • 2 T water
  • 2 T miso paste
  • green onion garnish
  • 1-2 T oil

Instructions

  1. Cut your (well drained) tofu into 6 pieces by first, cutting the height into three pieces, and then cutting the block in half (see pictures above). Lay some paper towels on a cutting board and arrange tofu slabs so they are not touching, cover with more paper towels, and place cookie sheet on top, weighted with some cans. Allow to drain for about ten minutes, changing out the paper towels if soaked through.

  2. While tofu is draining, toast the chopped pecans and black sesame in a small pan over medium heat, watching closely so it doesn't burn. Once toasted, set aside on a plate and return pan to stove. Combine sake, mirin, sugar, and water and bring to a gentle simmer, stirring the sugar to melt it. Remove from heat, and stir in the miso and ground white sesame until fully combined. Stir in the pecans and black sesame. Set aside. 

  3. Heat oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add half of the tofu and fry until golden brown. Flip and cook other side until golden brown. Place on paper towel lined plate and repeat with remaining tofu. 

  4. Top the tofu with miso pecan sauce, and add chopped green onion. Serve with a side of rice. 

Recipe Notes

Adapted from:E-レシピ(Japanese)

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Keema Curry (Ground Beef)

Main | November 4, 2016 | By

Japanese Keema Curry (Ground Beef)

Japanese Keema Curry (Ground Beef)

Before I start, I gotta ask… How can you make ground beef look appetizing in a picture? I don’t know. I tried, you guys. I did. I think I did alright, but trust me when I say, this recipe is delicious.

I’m always on the lookout for ground beef recipes, because they are usually quick and easy to make. Here’s my thought process: oh shoot, dinner is in a half hour and I’m still in my pj’s (this happens more often than you would think. Is it still pj’s if you wear them all day?)… What’s in the freezer? Chicken and ground beef. Okay, we had chicken the last three nights so…

You get the idea. This keema curry recipe is meaty, spice-y (not to be confused with spicy), and a little tangy. As an added bonus, it’s got your veggies right in there, so you don’t have to make a side dish. Just cook some rice and serve. Keema is a traditionally South East Asian dish, where minced meat is mixed with spices and some veggies. This Keema curry has Japanese influence, in that it uses Japanese curry cubes. You can typically find Vermont, Golden, and/or Kokumaro in the United States. You’ll likely find all three at an Asian store, but I’ve seen Golden curry at normal grocery stores in the Asian section. My personal favorite is the green Vermont box, which is medium hot.

Japanese Keema Curry (Ground Beef)

A discovery I made wayyy too late in my life is that a fried egg is SO GOOD on curry. Now whenever I make any type of Japanese curry (once every few weeks at least), I put an egg on everyone’s dish. My mom, who is Japanese, is very unJapanese in the sense that she doesn’t like raw egg (or raw fish for that matter), so I grew up thinking I didn’t like my eggs runny. How sad. Anyways, I’ve been enlightened, and my kids will spend their childhood breaking their yolks onto toast, curry, whatever, everything. Actually, when I made this for dinner, my 2 year old picked up her egg and slurped the egg yolk out. Haha. Kind of gross when you eat it like that, but ok.

Another great thing about this curry is that it’s not soupy like your typical curry. It’s more of a “dry” curry, which means you can do something really yummy with the left overs…

Japanese Keema Curry (Ground Beef)

Yesssss, we can wrap it in filo dough and make a curry pocket! We ate these the next day for lunch. Be careful though, filo dough is messy and flaky and it gets all over! I made my kids eat theirs outside on the deck. And then when I saw the mess my husband and I were making, we went out and joined them. I don’t really have a recipe for that, but you basically just layer 4-6 layers of filo (oiled between each sheet), and plop some curry onto the center and wrap it up and bake. I used Martha Stewart’s recipe as guidance, because, Martha Stewart. Anyways, they turned out really delicious, and next time I make this keema curry, I’ll probably double the recipe so I can have more of the hand pies.

So, add this recipe to your collection of last minute ground beef recipes!

Japanese Keema Curry (Ground Beef)

Japanese Keema Curry (Ground Beef)
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Keema Curry (Ground Beef)

This ground beef "dry" curry uses Japanese curry cubes to make a quick and easy weeknight dinner.

Course Main Course
Cuisine Japanese
Servings 4 people

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 onion
  • 2 carrots
  • 1/4 cup frozen peas
  • 1/4 cup frozen corn
  • 2 T ketchup
  • 2 T worcestershire sauce
  • 150 ml water
  • 1/2 box Japanese curry
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 inch ginger
  • cooked rice
  • 4 eggs optional

Instructions

  1. Dice the carrots and onion. Mince the garlic and ginger. Heat 1 T of oil over medium heat in a saucepan. Saute garlic and ginger and for about thirty seconds. Add the onion and continue cooking until softened. Add carrots and cook for a few minutes more. Add the ground beef and cook until no longer red. Add the peas and corn, stir until heated through, and take off heat. Combine the water, curry cubes, ketchup, and worcestershire sauce, and add to meat and veggies (cubes can still be solid, they will melt as you heat it through). Place back on heat and stir until heated through and combined. 

  2. Add salt and pepper if desired. Serve with rice and top with fried egg (optional)

Recipe Notes

Adapted from: cookpad (Japanese)

 

 

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Cheater’s Japanese Omelette Rice

Main | October 27, 2016 | By

Cheater's Japanese Omelette Rice

Cheater's Japanese Omelette Rice- Known in Japan as Omurice. You don't need chef skills to make a beautiful Japanese omelette rice with this trick. An easy meal that is loved by kids to adults.

When you go to a cafe or a casual restaurant in Japan, you will most likely find a dish called “omurice”. Japanese people LOVE to combine two words (or one long word) into one short word. Here are some examples. 1. Karaoke is kara (empty) orchestra, because you sing without… an orchestra or live music I guess. 2. Pokemon- pocket monsters 3. Pasokon- personal computer. Omurice is a combination of the words omelette and rice.

The filling is chicken rice, which is basically cooked chopped chicken, veggies, and rice flavored with ketchup. In this recipe, I use a lot of veggies and chicken because I want this to be a one plate dinner… and I want my kids to eat their veggies! When it’s mixed with yummy rice, they eat it up. 

Cheater's Japanese Omelette Rice- Known in Japan as Omurice. You don't need chef skills to make a beautiful Japanese omelette rice with this trick. An easy meal that is loved by kids to adults.

What makes this recipe a cheater recipe, is the way you prepare the egg. Now, Japanese people love their eggs a little undercooked. The key to a yummy omurice is fluffy egg on the inside, and a pretty and smooth outside (note: this isn’t always the case, sometimes the outside isn’t smooth, but it’s still fluffy and delicious). The problem is, it’s hard to get that pretty egg on your rice without it ripping. This is especially the case when you are working with fluffy soft egg, which is what we want. In a lot of recipes, you cook your egg in a nonstick pan, you place the rice onto the egg (while still in the pan), you delicately flip the egg over the rice to cover it, and you carefully transfer it to a plate… and you don’t rip it, and it’s perfectly shaped! Oh, and you also don’t overcook the egg while trying to get the rice on there and shaped nicely. Well, that’s too many potential disasters for me. I know, because my omurice is usually yummy, but ugly. I always told myself, “it’s the flavor that matters!”, but lets be honest… if you can make it pretty, you’d want to right?Cheater's Japanese Omelette Rice- Known in Japan as Omurice. You don't need chef skills to make a beautiful Japanese omelette rice with this trick. An easy meal that is loved by kids to adults.

The first step is to shape your rice into footballs. Using a damp paper towel makes this easy and keeps the rice from sticking. Next, you cook up your “outer layer”, one eggs worth, swirled around the pan to make a thin layer of egg. Set aside and repeat to make enough layers for each omurice you are making. With the remaining egg, scramble in the pan until set but but not fully cooked through. Place scrambled egg over each rice football and cover with the thin layer of egg you made first. Using another damp paper towel, reshape and tuck in egg around the sides, if necessary. See how we use a layer of egg and scrambled eggs, instead of just doing the egg in one step? Sure, it’s an extra step, but it takes the headache and the need for delicate handling out of the picture. 

Now you can have fluffy omurice, and have it look good too!

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Cheater's Japanese Omelette Rice

You don't need chef skills to make a beautiful Japanese omelette rice with this trick. An easy meal that is loved by kids to adults.
Servings 3 people

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cooked rice Japanese short grain rice
  • 1 chicken breast chopped
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 carrot chopped
  • 1/4-1/2 onion chopped
  • 1/4 cup frozen peas
  • 1/4 cup frozen corn
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 3 T milk

Instructions

  1. Heat oil over medium heat in a large frying pan and saute garlic for a few seconds until fragrant. Add chopped carrots and onion and saute until onions are translucent. Add chopped chicken and cook through. Salt to taste (we're adding ketchup next, so not too salty) and stir in rice. Stir in ketchup.
  2. Take 1/3 of the chicken rice and place on a plate. Use a damp paper towel to shape rice into a football shape. Repeat with remaining rice, to make three footballs.
  3. Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Whisk eggs, salt, and milk. Pour one egg's worth into the skillet and swirl pan to evenly distribute. Cook through and set aside on a plate. Repeat two more times. Add the remaining 3 eggs worth and scramble until set, but not cooked through. Add 1/3 of the scrambled egg on top of each rice football. Place the thin cooked-egg "skin" over each football, and using another damp paper towel, fix the shape and tuck in the along the sides.
  4. Drizzle top with extra ketchup and eat while hot.

Recipe Notes

Idea from: Orange Page (Japanese)

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L. A. Kalbi- Korean Barbeque Short Ribs

Main | October 24, 2016 | By

L. A. Kalbi- Korean Barbeque Short Ribs

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Since moving to Kansas City, I’ve become a huge fan of BBQ. We’ve only been here a couple of months and we’ve gotten barbecue like, ten times probably. We aren’t planning on being here forever, so obviously we need to get our fill while we have the chance. <- That’s the excuse I give myself whenever I look at the restaurant section of my monthly budget.

But long before I fell in love with American barbecue, I have loved Korean barbecue. Kalbi, or Galbi, is a popular dish where short ribs are marinated and then cooked over a hot grill. Don’t have a grill, or don’t want to grill? Well, it’s also delicious if you just use a cast iron skillet, like I did.

dsc_0329The type of short ribs you will want for this recipe is probably different from the ones you find at your local grocery store. American or European short ribs are a hunk of meat with a bone in it, but L. A. kalbi style short ribs are cut flanken style, meaning you have a strip of beef cut across the bones, so you have a few cross sections of bone running across the meat. I tried a slightly different cut of meat this time around. I was at the Korean market and saw a package of meat actually labelled as “kalbi”. That’s all it said, so I’m not 100% sure what the cut was, but it didn’t have bone in it, which I personally prefer. This particular marinade has kiwi in it as a tenderizer, so even other tougher cuts of meat can be used (make sure it’s thin sliced). You can even use it on pork or chicken! But if you want to keep with tradition, get the flanken cut short ribs at your local Asian market (you might also be able to find it at a Mexican grocery/butcher).

You can make these on the grill, which is more traditional, or you can just cook it up on your skillet. The marinade is delicious, and the enzymes from the kiwi help tenderize the meat perfectly. Yum!

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L. A. Kalbi- Korean Barbeque Short Ribs

Flanken style short ribs (or whatever meat you want to use) marinated in a delicious Korean style marinade.
Servings 3 servings

Ingredients

  • 1-1 1/2 lb Korean style short ribs or other thin sliced meat
  • 6 T soy sauce
  • 3 T sugar
  • 3 T sesame oil
  • 2 T sesame seeds
  • 1-2 cloves garlic grated
  • 1-2 green onions chopped
  • 1 kiwi
  • pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Combine all of the marinade ingredients except kiwi in a large resealable plastic bag and mix well. Remove flesh from kiwi, mush, and add to marinade. Add meat to plastic bag, remove air, and seal. Massage the marinade into the meat and marinate for 1 hour, turning occasionally. Remove from marinade and cook over high heat.

Recipe Notes

Adapted from: cookpad (japanese).  Make sure not to marinade too long, as the enzymes from the kiwi will continue to tenderize the meat while marinating. 

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Mochiko Chicken

Main | October 13, 2016 | By

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I have a confession to make. I didn’t even make the chicken in these pictures… my husband did. Doesn’t it look good?! When he puts his mind to it, he is quite a good cook! But then he goes and does weird things like cutting onions the wrong way no matter how many times I correct him. He cuts it in half like you would cut onion rings, instead of pole to pole. Every time. Who does that? But he’s good at frying things which is one of the best skills to have, in my opinion. Anyways, it was Saturday evening and he asked me what dinner was and I said, oh… I dunno, what do we have in the fridge? And he said, I’m going to make some friend chicken. And then I said, I love you. Actually I think I said, eh, whatevs, if that’s what you want to do (I’m so ungrateful and I don’t deserve him).

So this is a Hawaiian fried chicken recipe. I guess it has Japanese roots, since it uses mochiko (rice flour) and soy sauce and things, but I had never had it until my husband introduced it to me in Hawaii. It’s one of my favorite local Hawaiian dishes, and we get it every time we go. But since we aren’t in Hawaii, thank goodness it’s easy to whip up at home. Instead of dredging it separately in flour and eggs, you just mix it all together, marinate, and fry! Because you don’t do the separate dredging, there isn’t a thick coating/crunch factor, but the flavor of the marinade is spot on. It’s really simple and tastes amazing! 

This chicken is a winner- guaranteed. 

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Mochiko Chicken

A popular Hawaiian fried chicken marinated in a mochiko mixture.
Servings 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 5 T mochiko
  • 5 T cornstarch
  • 4 T sugar
  • 5 T soy sauce
  • 2 T mirin optional
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 inches ginger
  • 2 T sesame
  • 2 scallions
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 lb chicken breast or thighs
  • oil for frying

Instructions

  1. Cut chicken into bite sized pieces. In a large bowl, combine the remaining ingredients to make the marinade. Marinate chicken for one hour.
  2. Shake off excess marinade from each piece, and fry in hot oil (about one inch deep) until cooked through and golden brown on both sides.

Recipe Notes

Adapted from: Foodland
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Hawaiian Ahi Poke

Main | October 4, 2016 | By

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Poke, pronounced poh-keh is a Hawaiian word meaning to “slice or cut crosswise into pieces”… But to anyone who is from Hawaii, poke is a popular dish made with chunks of raw ahi tuna tossed in a soy sauce based marinade. My husband is from Hawaii, so whenever we visit his family, he gets his fill of poke along with a few other Hawaiian food staples. 

Even though I’m half Japanese, I grew up in a household that doesn’t eat fish. Whaaat?! I have my siblings to blame for that. If my mom cooked fish, they would turn their nose up at it. Because of this, I always thought I didn’t like fish. To top it off, my Japanese mother doesn’t like raw fish, so I NEVER had sushi or sashimi growing up. I thought it was gross. Why would you eat RAW MEAT?! 

Anyways, after meeting my to-be husband in college, I was introduced into the world of sushi, and found out that it was actually… really good! However, after years of thinking I couldn’t eat raw fish, it’s still hard to kick that initial feeling of revulsion when I go to eat sashimi. I usually do better with maki (rolled) sushi where there’s rice and other things to balance it out. 

What I’m TRYING to say is… I like this stuff in moderation. I can eat a little bit of it, and then I’m good. I mean, it’s straight up raw chunks of fish, so I just cannot handle eating too much at a time. When I made this and we had it during lunch, I ate, maybe… 5 or 6 smallish pieces. The flavoring was really yummy! but that was enough for me. My husband, on the other hand, ate like, half of it in one sitting. I’m saying he ate a half pound of raw tuna, people. In one sitting. He loves the stuff. He finished the rest of it off within a day. 

Is it weird that I’m posting a recipe that I don’t love? I like it, but it’s not usually on my to-make list. I’m posting this because I know there are lots of people who DO love it. Including my husband. He’s so happy when he eats things that remind him of home, so I am more than willing to make something even if I just sorta pick at.  According to him, this recipe was “spot-on”, and I trust him… he grew up eating the stuff. 

I decided to make this because I saw ahi on sale for a really great price at Sprouts. I usually don’t shop at Sprouts, but I made a trip out there just to get it! 

If YOU love eating hunks of raw fish, then you should definitely make this! Look at it, isn’t it beautiful?

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Hawaiian Ahi Poke

A Hawaiian classic: chunks of Ahi tuna and onions tossed in a sesame soy sauce marinade.
Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 1 lb raw ahi tuna, cut into 1/2" chunks
  • 1/4 medium sweet onion, chopped
  • 1-2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1-2 t white sesame seeds
  • 2 T soy sauce
  • 1 T toasted sesame oil
  • 1 t honey to taste
  • 1 t grated ginger optional, to taste
  • crushed red pepper optional

Instructions

  1. Combine ingredients in a large bowl and lightly mix. Add salt to taste if necessary. Cover and refrigerate for a couple of hours before serving.

Recipe Notes

Feel free to add more of the soy sauce, sesame oil mix, or adjust the amounts to taste.  Adapted from: Serious eats

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