Japanese Fried Chicken (Salt Version) – Shio Karaage

Karaage_Shio_1[1]

Serving: 2

Ingredients

1 Chicken Breast – cut into 4-8 cm pieces

1 clove of Garlic – minced

1cm of Ginger –minced

2 Teaspoon of Chicken Stock Powder

½ Teaspoon of Salt

3 Teaspoon of Cooking Sake

1 Teaspoon of Sesame Oil

Oil for Deep Fry

Method

  1. Place the Chicken into a bowl. Add all other ingredients (except oil from deep fry) and combine them well. Cover it with plastic wrap and marinade it in a fridge for at least an hour.
  1. Now we deep fry the Chicken. Bring the oil to 180 degree. To check the oil temperature, drop a piece if batter (or piece of minced Garlic in this case) in the oil. When it goes down to the middle of the oil and quickly comes up, it is the right temperature.
  1. While the oil is heating up, put flour in a bowl and add the chicken in it. Toss and coat the Chicken with flour evenly.
  1. Deep fry Chicken. When you deep fry it, it is important to keep oil temperature as 180 degree. Do not put too many pieces of Chicken at once as oil temperature will come down rapidly, and the Chicken will get oily and not be crispy.
  1. Once the Chicken is cooked and the surface is turned to light brown, transfer the Chicken onto a wire rack of kitchen paper towel to drain oil/
  1. Serve Karaage while it is hot.

Karaage_Shio_2[1]

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Snow Soup (Mizore Jiru) – dedicated to John

Winter is coming….

What would you like to eat on a freezing cold night after coming home from work? For me, it is Daikon (Chinese radish). It might not be a commonly used vegetable here in Australia, considering that I am still facing the question of its name at the cashier in the supermarket. It is versatile as it can be eaten raw, cooked or pickled. The great news for me is that I found it much cheaper in Perth than in Brisbane. Sorry Brisbane people!

Daikon gets sweeter and juicer in winter, while in summer, Daikon contains more sharpness and spiciness. Although I like Daikon in summer as well, I just love the sweet and juicy version. I hope I can introduce as many Daikon Recipes as I can during the winter.

My first Daikon dish in the blog is Mizore Jiru (Snow Soup). Mizore is meteorological phenomenon of mixture of snow and rain in Japanese. We think that grated Daikon on/in hot ingredients looks like Mizore so we name dishes from that. It is so appropriate in winter! I call it snow in English just for convenience. I also thought that “Snow” sounds more dramatic than “meteorological phenomenon of mixture of snow and rain”….

What would you think of from “snow”? For me, especially recently, it is John (Hope a few ladies agree with me!). AS the world seems to be, my husband and I are also into GoT. The show is really addictive and we cannot stop looking forward to it. Although there are so many attractive characters, John Snow has been in charge of my visual department. It has been awhile since Season 5 finished, but I still cannot accept the fact that he is dead. All we talk about GoT is, “Do you think that he’s really gone for good?”.

So here are our speculations based on my hope.

  1. He is dead and all gone. Mo more John Show.
  2. The Red Woman will revive him.
  3. He will be back as a white walker and become leader of the while walkers.

What do you think? Or what would you like to think? I guess we have to wait for a while to find out. Until then, let’s enjoy the soup and think about him.

Beef and Green Vegetables Stir Fry with Miso Sauce

Beef_Stir_Fry_Miso_1[1]

Serving: 4

Ingredients:

250g- 300g Beef Fillet – removed fat and cut into 2cm cubes

1 Onion – sliced

6 florets of Broccoli – cut into 1cm thick

1 Zucchini –sliced into 1cm thick

2 Spring Onions – sliced with angle

¼ Cabbage (for small size of Cabbage. 1/8 for big size of Cabbage) – cut into 3cm chunks

200g Bean Sprout

For Marinade

1 Tablespoon of Cooking Sake

1 Tablespoon of Soy Sauce

For Miso Sauce

3 Tablespoon of Miso (Red or Shinshu Miso)

3 Tablespoon of Cooking Sake

3 Tablespoon of Soy Sauce

3 Tablespoon of Sugar

1 clove of Garlic

1 small piece of Ginger

Chilli Powder – as much as you like

Method:

  1. Marinade Beef with Cooking Sake and Soy Sauce.
  1. Mix all ingredients for Miso Sauce.
  1. Put a small amount of oil in a wok and heat it with high heat. Once the wok becomes very hot, cook Beef for about 10 seconds r until when the surface of Beef just turned to brown. Do not cook the Beef too long. Remove the Beef from the wok and put it aside.
  1. Add a small amount of oil in the same work and put it back to high heat. Put Onion and Broccoli, and stir fry them. When the Onion turns to clear, add Zucchini, hard part of Cabbage and white part of Spring Onions. Stir fry them until the Spring Onions become soft.
  1. Add a soft part of Cabbage and green part of Spring Onions. When Cabbage becomes soft, add Bean Sprout. Stir fry all together.
  1. Once all vegetables are just cooked, put the Beef back into the work. Add Miso Sauce and cook all together until all ingredients are evenly coated with Miso Sauce. Serve while it is hot.

Beef_Stir_Fry_Miso_2[1]

Nikujaga and Blog’s Name

My husband and I met in Kamata in 2004. If you know Tokyo, you might think that it is too “Shibui” for young people, especially for “Foreigners”. There was a pub called “Beer Factory” under Kamata station where one of our common friends held his birthday party. The greatest thing was the pub had “All you can drink “system. Yeah, you can imagine how we lived the place, hey.

We started dating mad one day I was visiting his apartment. I cannot recall why I did so, but, I decided to bring Lunch (or Dinner?) for him. I guess I liked him so I wanted to impress him. I thought that something Japanese would be good as we were in Japan, so I made a traditional Japanese dish Nikujaga (Japanese Beef and Potato Stew). And the result was…

Tah-dah” YEY! Yes he LOVED Nikujaga! YES he was IMPRESSED.

He asked me what was in it. I answered him “Sugar, Mirin and a little bit of Soy Sauce”. Again he was impressed that only 3 ingredients could bring this flavour. Maybe he might have just been impressed by the fact that I could actually cook, but this was how my husband met my food.

Time passed to Brisbane. WE started living together there. As I do not mid cooking at all, it was me who mostly cooked dinner. I loved (still love) cooking for him since he tried everything without hesitation. I mainly cooked Japanese dished during the first year. I guess I would just like to introduce where I was from. He loved my Japanese dished and occasionally asked me what the ingredients were. I answered him with what was into.

Time went by. Maybe it took only 3-4 months for him to realise my secret…. One day, as he normally did, he asked me the same question and I answered him. And he said,

Him: So everything has a little bit of Soy….

Me: …. So-yade… (That’s true in Osaka Accent).

Since then he has stopped being impressed with my food…. I guess that you show less interest in some something once you know its secret. It must be a natural human behaviour that I cannot complain about?

Anyway, this is where my blog name is from, and this is my Nikujaga Recipe. It is delicious. There are not any complicated secrets to cook delicious Japanese dishes.

Pianlu Style Hot Pot – Chinese Style Nabe with my adaptation

2015-08-09_20.02.42[1]

Serving: 4

Ingredients:

Broth

30g of Dried Shiitake Mushroom

500cc of warm Water to reconstitute Dried Shiitake Mushroom

15cm x 10cm of Dried Kelp

1000cc Water

1 clove of Garlic – minced

2cm square cube of Ginger – minced

2 Tablespoon of Cooking Sake

4 Tablespoon of Sesame Oil

Meat

300g of Chicken Breast – cut into 2cm cubes

1 Tablespoon of Soy Sauce

1 Tablespoon of Cooking Sake

A Pinch of Salt

6 slices of short cut Bacon – Each Bacon to be trimmed and cut into 4

Vegetables and Tofu

1 leak – chop the hard green part off and the rest to be sliced into 1cm thick with angle

3 branches of Bok Choy – divide into a green leaf part and a harder white part

200g Pumpkin – sliced into 1cm thick

150g Bean Sprout

1 Carrot – sliced into 0.5cm thick with angle

1 Onion – sliced into 0.5cm thick

150g of Silken Tofu – cut into 16 pieces

Sauce

1 clove of Garlic – minced

2cm square cube of Ginger – minced

½ Teaspoon of Salt

2 Tablespoon of Soy Sauce

2 Tablespoon of Fish Sauce

Topping

2 Spring Onions – finely chopped

Method:

  1. Preparation for Broth. Put 1000cc of water in a Nabe Pot (or clay pot, or deep casserole pot). Place Dried Kelp in the water and soak it for about 30 minutes. At the same time, reconstitute Dried Shiitake Mushrooms in 500cc warm water by soaking for about 10 minutes, or until they become soft. Once Shiitake Mushrooms are soft, remove the stems and slice them in half. Keep the soaking liquid.
  1. Add the Shiitake’s Soaking Liquid, Garlic, Ginger, Cooking Sake and the hard green part of Leak in the pot and bring it to boil. Once the water is boiled, remove the Kelp and Leak. Reduce the heat to medium.
  1. Marinade Chicken Breast with Soy Sauce, Cooking Sake and Salt. Rest the Chicken in the fridge until it is used.
  1. Once the broth is ready, add Shiitake, Leak, a hard part of Bok Choy, Onion and 2 Tablespoon of Sesame Oil. Put a lid on and add continue cooking until the Bok Choy becomes soft.
  1. Add Pumpkin, Carrot, Chicken (with the marinade liquid) and Tofu. Put a lid on and continue cooking until Pumpkin becomes soft.
  1. Put Bean Sprout and the Bok Choy leaves on top and add 2 Tablespoon of Sesame Oil. Put a lid back on and cook for another 3-5 minutes.
  1. While it is cooking, make Sauce by mixing all ingredients of Sauce.
  1. When you eat, put a small amount of Sauce in your serving bowl first and add the Nabe’s ingredients and soup in it. I would recommend 1/3 teaspoon of Sauce to 1.5 ladle of Soup, but it is totally up to you. Start from a small amount of sauce and add more if you like. Put some chopped Spring Onions on top when you eat.

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Sugar Butter Sweet Potatoes

Satsumaimo_Amani_1[1]

Serving: 2-4

Serving: 2-4
Ingredients
Purple Skinned Sweet Potatoes – 8 slices of 1cm thick
240cc of Water
2.5 Tablespoon of Brown Sugar
1 tablespoon of Soy Sauce
1 Tablespoon of Butter

Method:
1. Place the sliced Sweet Potatoes, Water and Sugar in a small pot and bring it to boil.

2. Once it is boiled, turn the heat to medium and put a lid on. Keep cooking until water is almost gone. This will take about 30 minutes.

3. Add Soy Sauce and Butter, and then turn the heat off. Leave it until the heat of food (aranetsu) is gone. Serve it while it is warm.

Ingredients

Purple Skinned Sweet Potatoes – 8 slices of 1cm thick

240cc of Water

2.5 Tablespoon of Brown Sugar

1 tablespoon of Soy Sauce

1 Tablespoon of Butter

Method:

  1. Place the sliced Sweet Potatoes, Water and Sugar in a small pot and bring it to boil.
  1. Once it is boiled, turn the heat to medium and put a lid on. Keep cooking until water is almost gone. This will take about 30 minutes.
  1. Add Soy Sauce and Butter, and then turn the heat off. Leave it until the heat of food (aranetsu) is gone. Serve it while it is warm.

Chicken Meatball Hot Pot – Tori Dango Nabe

Nabe_Toridango_1[1] Nabe_Toridango_2[1]

Serving: 4

Ingredients

Broth

1500cc of Water

10cm x 3cm of Dried Kelp

A small piece of Ginger – minced

3 Tablespoon of Chicken Stock

1 Tablespoon of Cooking Sake

2 Tablespoon of Soy Sauce

1 Tablespoon of Mirin

Chicken Meatballs

200g Chicken Mince

2 Flat Mushrooms – minced

1 Lear part of Celery – finely chopped

1 Egg

1 Glove of Garlic – minced

1 Tablespoon of Soy Sauce

½ Tablespoon of Shio Koji

3 Tablespoon of Flour

Vegetables for Hop Pot

½ Cabbage or Chinese cabbage – cut into 6 cm long

2 Carrots – sliced with angle

2 Onions – sliced

½ Leeks

150g of Tofu – cut into 3cm cubes

More Options for Vegetables – you can put anything you want, such as…

Zucchini – sliced, Celeries – sliced with angle, Pumpkins – sliced into 0.5-1 cm thick, Spring Onions – sliced with angle, Kale – cut into a bite size

Method:

  1. Put water in Nabe Pot (clay pot or deep casserole pot). Place Dried Kelp in the water and soak it for about 30 minutes. Heat the pot and bring it to boil. Once the water is boiled, remove the Kelp. Reduce the heat to medium and add Chicken Stock, Soy Sauce, Cooking Sake and Mirin.
  1. Prepare Chicken Meatballs. Add all ingredients for meatballs in a bowl and mix them well by hand. Put it aside until the broth is ready.
  1. Once the broth is ready, put the Chicken Meatballs in the broth. Use 2 Tablespoons to make a small ball and drop it into the broth one by one. The meatballs will come up to surface once they are cooked.
  1. Once the meatballs are cooked, add Vegetables in the pot. Add Vegetables which take longer to cook first, such as a hard part of Cabbages, Carrots, Leeks and Celeries. Once these vegetables are cooked, add Tofu and softer Vegetables, Such as Onions, Zucchinis, leaf part of Cabbages.
  1. Simmer until all are cooked.

Nabe_Toridango_3[1]