Sunday, August 15, 2010

Home Japanese cooking

My friend showed me how to make a simple Japanese meal at home. As far as I can see, the only specialist equipment I need is the little rectangular frying pan for making the omelette roll. I have done it with a normal frying pan, but it's just not the same. Everything else can be done with Western equipment, although a rice cooker would be handy. This was enough for three or four.
We made:
Egg roll
Daikon salad
Soy potatoes
Fish with ginger
Miso with tofu

For the egg roll: crack three eggs into a bowl and beat with 2 tablespoons sugar, 1 tablespoon sake, 1 tsp salt and 2 drops soy sauce. In a small rectangular frying pan, heat a bit of rapeseed oil over low heat. Pour in 1/3 of the egg mixture and cook until it can be lifted in one piece. Use a spatula to fold it into thirds at one end of the pan. Pour in the next third of mixture. Lift the first third to let the egg flow under. Cook and then fold the whole lot into thirds again at the other end of the pan. Repeat with the last third of mixture. Sesame seeds or nori strips can be added to form additional layers, if you like. Good for breakfast or for bento lunches. When roll is cooled, slice into fat pieces to serve, with soy sauce if you like.
For the daikon salad: place iceberg lettuce leaves whole or sliced on the bottom of a serving plate. Cover with julienned daikon, carrot and cucumber, tomato quarters and shiso leaves if you can find them. Use a good Japanese dressing.

For the soy potatoes: Peel and cut potatoes into thirds or halves. Put them into a saucepan with 200ml water and half a teaspoon of dashi granules. Cover and bring them to the boil, then simmer ten minutes. Add 2.5 tbsps of soy mixed with some water, 1.5 tbsps mirin and 1 tbsp sake. On a medium heat, uncover and cook down for a few minutes or until potatoes are tender and a little mushy around the edges.

For the rice: Using about 2 cups of short grain rice for three people, wash the rice several times very thoroughly in three or four changes of cold water. Rub the rice in your hands until the water is white and cloudy, then drain and repeat. When the water is almost clear, put the washed rice into a rice cooker or saucepan. Add cold water to the same depth as the rice. Use rice cooker as directed. If using the absorption method, bring the rice to a simmer in a covered saucepan and then switch off the heat. Let the rice stand for 15 minutes or until tender and fluffy. Use a rice paddle to lift and turn the rice.

For the fish with ginger: We used a side of skinned ocean trout. Any good white or pink-fleshed fish is fine. Put the fish on 2 sheets of alfoil with some grated raw ginger, and a couple of drops of sesame oil if you like. Wrap the fish thoroughly and cook the parcel on both sides over a medium heat on a BBQ plate or in a frying pan. Ten minutes should be fine. Rest for 3 minutes before serving.

For the miso: Use a bought miso paste: shiro miso (white) or awase miso (mixed red and white). Bring to a simmer with water: approx 1 heaped teaspoon of paste and 1 cup of water per person. Add dried wakame and simmer until hydrated. Add cubes of silked tofu and sliced shallots to serve.

No comments: