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Category Archives: Japanese

Steamed Eggplant with Garlic Soba Sauce

A refreshing appetizer is always a delightful way to begin a summer meal.  Eggplant is quite tricky to cook well, however, as it readily absorbs a lot of oil. Here, we first steam and chill the eggplants, before applying the sauce in the end to avoid the dish being soaked in oil.

Some people find eggplant is bitter.  You can remove the bitterness by salting:  first cut the eggplant in thin strips, soak them in salt water for 20 to 30 minutes.  Rinse, and squeeze out the water then proceed with your recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium size eggplant
  • 3 tablespoons Soba sauce*
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Handful of katsuobushi, bonito flakes
  • Few drops of sesame oil

*Please note that some soba sauce comes in concentrated form and needs to mixed with water. Be sure to refer to instructions on the bottle.

Directions:

  1. Slice eggplant into thin slices and place on a plate. Place plate in a steamer, cover with lid and steam for 15 minutes.
  2. Remove the plate from the steamer and let it cool down for 30 minutes and refrigerated for an hour.
  3. Combine soba sauce with garlic in a small bowl.  Pour it on top of the eggplant.  Drizzle some sesame oil and bonito flakes on top.
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Japanese Style Broiled Salmon Steak

This is a simple recipe for those days when you want some fish for a quick and healthy meal. You can marinate the fish for an extended time for the best flavor, but even a quick marinate is quite adequate in my experience. I made this for Sunday lunch, and it was both easy and delicious even though the fish was only marinated for about 45 minutes. The proportions of the marinate shown below is enough for 24 ounces of fish. If you are planning on making only 1 fish steak, you can reserve the rest of the marinade and leave it in the fridge for later use. It is a very versatile marinate that can work for different types of fish, although you would probably have the best results with oily fish such as salmon, black cod, mackerel, and Chilean sea bass.

Ingredients:

  • 4 salmon steaks (about 24 ounces total)
  • 1/4 cup mirin
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup sake
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tables grated fresh ginger

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients, except salmon, into a small saucepan and heat until the sugar dissolves. Set aside to let cool
  2. Marinate the fish in the sauce for as long as you have time for – hopefully at least 30 minutes and up to overnight
  3. Remove salmon steaks and arrange on a baking dish or fish griller, making sure to remove any excess marinade
  4. Turn on broiler to high setting. Broil fish at about 6 inches away from the fire. Turn fish over once, after about 10 minutes. The fish should be done in 15-20 minutes of total cooking time
  5. Enjoy!
 

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Sake-Steamed Clams (Asari no sakamushi)

Clams are arguably some of the most naturally sweet seafood out there. Some may think that it is a lot of work to prepare a dish from live clams, but as shown here, it is actually not that difficult. Here, we show a popular Japanese way to cook them. Sake-steamed clams is typically eaten in a Japanese izakaya setting as an appetizer or a tapas style small dish. You can think of it as a soup or broth as well, as the clam juice all end up in the cooking liquid. We always end up slurping up every last bit of liquid from the bowl!

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb clams
  • 2 green onions/scallions, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 inches long Kombu, optional
  • 1/2 cup sake
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Dash of soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Mirin, optional

Directions:

  1. Put the clams in a bowl in cold water with salt, and put the bowl in the fridge for 2-3 hours. This supposedly causes the clams to spit out any sand particles. Before cooking, scrub the shells thoroughly with a stiff brush and with plenty of water.
  2. Soak the kombu in a small pot with 1/2 cup water for about half an hour. Add in the 1/2 cup of sake and turn on to high heat
  3. Once everything comes to a boil, remove kombu and add garlic
  4. When the water boils again, add clams and cook over high heat. Add scallions, soy sauce and Mirin. Give the pot a whirl at regular intervals as the re-shuffling gives more space for the clams to open when they are cooked. It probably takes no longer than a few minutes for all the clams to be cooked. When all the clams have opened (or you’re sure that all the good ones should have opened), remove from heat, and throw away any clams that didn’t open (they have probably gone bad).

More clam recipes:

豉椒炒蜆 Clams in Black bean Sauce

Spaghetti with White Clam Sauce

 

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Pork Shogayaki

Pork Shogayaki, which literally means ginger grilled pork, is a classic Japanese dish that is great to make for a casual meal. The preparation time is short, but the dish can also be made to look fancy and tastes great. Ginger and pork go really well together, as you will be able to appreciate if you try out this recipe. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 3 pork chops
  • 2.5 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2.5 tablespoons Mirin
  • 3 tablespoons ginger juice
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon corn starch
  • 1 onion, optional

Directions:

  1. Clean and dry the pork chops. Using a meat mallet, pound pork chops until they are about 1/2 inch thick.
  2. Combine soy sauce, mirin, ginger juice and sugar in a small bowl.  In another bowl, mix the corn starch with 2 tablespoons of water.
  3. Heat oil in a medium size skillet and saute chopped onions.  Cook 6 minutes stirring occasionally or until onions are golden brown.
  4. Heat oil in skillet over high heat.  Pan fry pork chops until it is almost cooked, pour in the sauce and bring everything to boil.  Remove the pork chop.  Add the corn starch and water to thicken the sauce
 

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Ishikari Nabe (Japanese Salmon Miso Soup)

Ishikari is a Japanese version of a salmon soup served in a hot pot. The soup is miso based, and has various types of vegetables in it. The dish originated in Hokkaido, northern Japan, where winters are particularly cold. Hot pot style dishes are great for the winter as the hot soup helps warm one up. The salmon and tofu in this dish provides good sources of protein that can keep one full and feel warmer even longer. Serve with a steaming hot bowl of rice for the perfect meal.

First, prepare the dashi using the following ingredients:

  • 1/3 ounce konbu/kelp. about 3 inches
  • 4 carrots, chopped
  • 1/2 cup katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes)
  • 2 tablespoon miso paste

Soak 3 inches of kelp in a saucepan with 6 cups of cold water for 30 min. Set the saucepan over medium heat. Just before the water comes to a boil (you will see bubbles and it takes about 10 min), remove kelp. Add carrots and boil for 30 minutes.  Add bonito flakes. Remove from heat and let stand for a few minutes. Pour the soup through fine strainer, discard bonito shavings and carrots.  Bring the dashi back to to a boil.

Next, we’ll add the following ingredients to the soup.

  • 3/4 lb Sockeye Salmon, sliced
  • 1 box of firm Tofu
  • 2 cups Napa cabbage
  • 1 cup white radish/daikon
  • 2 oz enoki mushrooms, trimmed (half of a 4 oz package)
  • 2 stalks scallion
  • 1 tablespoon sake
  • 1 tablespoon mirin
  • 1 small pack vermicelli/cellophane noodles

Bring the dashi to boil, add miso paste and stir well until it is dissolved. Then add daikon and cook for 15 minutes.  Add vermicelli and Napa cabbage and cook for 10 minutes.  Add Salmon, Tofu and enoki.  Bring it to boil, add sake and mirin.  Sprinkle scallions to serve.

 

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Kitsune Cold Soba with Tororo

A refreshing and fulfilling meal in the hot weather.  First, cook the soba (Japanese buckwheat noodles) and rinse with ice cold water.  Then prepare the cold dipping sauce with wasabi, scallions, seaweed, and radish.  You may serve the noodles with flavored deep fried tofu pocket (abura age) as Kitsune Soba or simply serve with tororo – a puree of grated yamaimo (Japanese yam).  In this case, I’ve combined both Kitsune soba and Tororo soba in one dish.

Directions for cooking abura age:

  1. Blanch 1 pack of abura age (5 pieces) in hot water for 20 seconds.  Drain and set aside.
  2. In a small pot, combine 3 tablespoons mirin, 2 tablespoons Japanese soy sauce and 1 tablespoon sugar. Add abura age into the pot.
  3. Cook over medium heat for 20 minutes, or until the liquid dries up.

Directions for preparing Cold Soba dipping sauce: (for 2 bundles of cold soba noodles)

  1. Peel and grate yaimaimo. (About 1/2 cup)
  2. Peel and grate radish. (About 6 tablespoons)
  3. Chop finely two stalks of scallions.
  4. Combine 3/4 cup of cold soba dipping sauce, scallions, 2 teaspoons wasabi with the grated radish.  (grated tororo can be combined here with the sauce or served on top of the noodles)

Kitsune Cold Soba with Tororo.

  1. Cook the soba noodles according to the package direction.  Drain with ice cold water.  Set aside.
  2. Cut one sheet of seaweed into thin strips.
  3. Place noodles on plate.  Top with seaweed, abura age and tororo with the dipping sauce.
 

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日式照燒雞扒 Baked Teriyaki Chicken

The twist in this standard Teriyaki Chicken recipe is the use of a combination of searing and baking when cooking the chicken. The result is a perfectly cooked piece of chicken that has a crisp outside and a moist and tender inside. Baking the chicken enables cooking the meat slowly and helps ensure achieving the perfect doneness. Also, it allows for applying an additional layer of sauce to the chicken while it is cooking to give it more of a glazed effect.

Ingredients:

  • 1 chicken thigh, deboned
  • 1 tablespoon Japanese soy sauce
  • 3/4 tablespoon Mirin
  • 3/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sake
  • 1 teaspoon ginger juice

Directions:

  1. Remove bone from chicken thigh, dry with a paper towel.
  2. In a bowl, combine soy sauce, mirin, sugar, sake and ginger and marinate the chicken for an hour.
  3. Heat oil in a skillet over high heat.  Place the chicken on the pan (skin side down), sear for 1-2 minutes until the skin is browned.  Remove from skillet.
  4. Place chicken in a baking dish (skin side up).  Bake in the preheated over at 400 degrees for 5 minutes.
  5. Remove chicken from oven.  Brush chicken with the remaining sauce from marinate.  Bake the chicken for another 20 minutes or until no longer pink and juices run clear.

Other Teriyaki Recipe:

Teriyaki Pork Chops with Apple Chutney

 
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Posted by on May 16, 2011 in Baking Recipes, Chicken, Japanese

 

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