Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Japanese-themed dinner at home with Hubby

I can't believe it, I cooked two meals in Saturday. Yay! I really miss cooking lately and I would probably experiment more savory meals in the coming weeks/years? :-) There are so many recipes to try.

Next to ice cream, Hubby loves Japanese food. He would eat it everyday, if he could. Some of his Japanese favorites are sukiyaki and tempura. I've been watching a lot of cooking videos on You Tube lately. One particular cooking show caught my eye, it's called Cooking with Dog. No, she's not cooking her dog, but the dog is the host of the show and provides the voice over while she's cooking. Anyway, the recipes are quite simple and the step-by-step demonstrations are really helpful and easy to follow. The recipe for Sukiyaki is very good. Here's the link, the recipe is posted at the information section of the video.

My version turned out great (despite being less pretty, he he he). I substituted some of the vegetables with what I have on hand. Ooops, I didn't sear the tofu too. I added a bit too much noodles though, but despite that, we finished the whole pot, just Hubby and I. I substituted sake with Korean cooking wine, since that's what I have in my pantry. I also added about a cup and a half of home made bulalo soup to the broth to make it more soup-y. I would really recommend this recipe, with the addition of the bulalo soup, it's great and very satisfying.

To make bulalo soup/stock:

1. Place 1 kilo bulalo bone in a large stock pot, cover fully with water, boil for ten minutes. Discard water and re-boil in a clean stock pot. You can skip this step if you want a dark broth. Just skim off scum once in a while.
2. Add salt, pepper and sliced white onion to the bulalo. Boil for one to two hours, skim off scum once in a while to keep the soup clear. Cool and refrigerate.
3. Skim off "sebo" (hardened fat) and use.

To compliment the sukiyaki, I also made some shrimp tempura. Here's the recipe that I used. I can't remember where I got it, since it's been in my vault of recipes for the longest time. I've also used this recipe several times. It is best to use Kikkoman soy sauce when making the tempura sauce. It's not the same if you use any other brand.

Tempura Batter

1 egg
1 cup very cold water or water with enough ice to make one cup
¾ cup flour
Pinch of baking soda

1. Beat the egg and water until fluffy.
2. Add the flour and baking soda to the egg mixture and mix together just until combined. Do not over beat. Lumps are ok.
3. Batter should be thin, if it’s too thick, add more iced water or crushed ice.
4. Lightly flour your shrimps before dipping into the batter.

Always make sure that your oil is very hot before frying the tempura. Mine wasn't quite hot enough that's why it wasn't so pretty :-(

Tempura dipping sauce

1 cup dashi soup stock (half to 1 teaspoon dashi granules dissolved in a cup of hot water)
1/4 cup mirin
1/4 cup Kikkoman soy sauce
1/2 tbsp sugar
grated daikon radish (I used local radish)
grated ginger

1. Put mirin in a pan and bring to a boil on medium heat.
2. Add dashi stock, soy sauce, and sugar in the pan. Mix well until the sugar dissolves completely.
3. Bring the sauce to a boil. Turn off the heat.
4. Add grated labanos and grated ginger to the mixture.

My shrimps refused to stay straight. Arrrgh. So frustrating.

My dinner date at home with Hubby was a resounding success :-)

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