Archive for the ‘Asian’ Category
One of the most important things a kitchen when your “just messing Around in the kitchen” can have is a well stocked pantry. After all,having to shop for 20 different items before you even get started takes all the fun out of the effort, not to mention that it can also take a chunk out of you wallet. I try to be prepared to go in several directions when I’m in the kitchen. For Italian I always have staples like olive oil (extra virgin), Balsamic vinegar,Parmesan Cheese and pesto (home made). If I am feeling spicy and want to go south of the border I have Chili powder,olives,rice,beans and mole sauce,well, you get the idea!
I was making dinner and thinking of my daughter. She is still in Seoul, South Korea teaching English. Anyway, I had an English chuck roast and I thought about giving it a Korean twist. In the pantry I already had Sesame oil/seeds,garlic,green onion and sake and this was pretty much all I needed to make the marinade for the beef. I had all the makings for Bulgogi.
Traditionally this dish is made with short rib that is specially cut for this purpose (very good). In the past I have also used beef tenderloin (fabulous) but that’s not what I had. The trick to using the Chuck roast lay in slicing the beef very thinly across the grain. For this I had the perfect tool. I used my brand new food slicer. Once I had slice the beef it was time to marinate it.
4 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons Brown Sugar
2 tablespoons Maple syrup
1tablespoon pear or pineapple juice
2 tablespoons Sake
2 tablespoons Sesame oil
3 tablespoons Chopped green onion
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
1 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
1 teaspoon ground sesame seed
Mix all ingredients, making sure to dissolve the brown sugar. Marinate the beef for at least 2 hours and not more that 4.
When my beef was ready to be cooked I got the BBQ going and made sure to oil the grates properly so the beef wouldn’t stick. I then grilled the beef very quickly. You don’t want to overcook this as the beef is very thin to start with.
Instead of Banchan I made a stir –fry of Spinach and bean sprouts that I seasoned with Sesame oil. It’s a very good combination.
While I try to not endorse any particular brands I will recommend Kadoya brand Sesame oil for your pantry. It is available in most Asian groceries. The right Sesame oil makes a big difference in cooking.
Since Maple syrup isn’t produced in Korea it really isn’t part of the marinade recipe. Usually honey is used but I didn’t have any so I used the maple syrup in my fridge.
“Namwi ddeoni deo keo boinda”
“A good start is important to any effort”
I have always had a love of Japanese food and culture. As early as me teens I was going out to Japanese restaurants and slurping up sushi. My Asian journey was helped by a good friend whose nickname Red Ed. He was called due to the fact that he had red curly hair and freckles and so people would know which Ed they were talking about ( I was called …..Ed. Sorry I won’t reveal more!). The thing about Red Ed was that he grew up in Japan and was fluent in the language. Besides introducing me to Japanese food and culture he also taught me some of the language (a skill that would serve me well later). A favorite prank of ours was to go to a party and speak Japanese to each other and watch as the whole room fell silent while trying to figure out what we were saying to each other. Anyway…
Fast forward 30 years. I was hired to run the Cafeteria at a large Japanese auto concern. It was a natural. I knew food and spoke some Japanese. One of the requirements of the position was to serve authentic Japanese food. In order to fill this requirement I hired a Japanese Chef. Now my background as a Chef is pretty deep but I was in awe watching this Chef work. It was such a pleasure and I learned so much more about Japanese cuisine than I thought I knew. One of the dishes we served was called Chicken Katsu. It’s basically Japanese fried Chicken but is very popular. We served it once a week and people would line up around the building just to order it.
Without further babbling I present to you Chicken Katsu:
Chicken Katsu Dinner for Two
2×4 oz chicken Breast
1 cup flour (all purpose)
1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
Bulldog brand Tonkatsu Sauce
Finely shredded cabbage*
Nishiki brand Japanese short grain rice
Black sesame seeds
1. Butterfly both chicken breast so that they are an even thickness through out.
2.Sprinkle each piece lightly with kosher and white pepper.
3.Make a batter with the egg milk and some of the flour. It should be the consistency of a thin pancake batter.
4.Dredge the chicken in the flour and then dip it in the batter. Place the battered chicken in the breadcrumb.
5.Using dry hand coat the chicken with the breadcrumb. Allow the breaded chicken to rest fir 1o minutes so the coating will set.
6.Fry the chicken at 350 degrees until golden brown and the internal temperature is 165 degrees.
7.Place shredded cabbage on the plate in a mound.
8.Run a knife through the chicken in order to cut it in strips.
9.Put on plate with the cabbage and drizzle with Tonkatsu sauce.
10.Serve with cooked rice sprinkled with black sesame seed.
* Soak the cabbage in cold water after shredding. It will get crisp as it absorbs the water.
- Panko breadcrumbs are available in all Japanese grocery stores and most groceries.
- I am not endorsing the rice brand as I know there are other brands of Short grain Japanese rice. It is, however the most recognizable brand in the U.S.
- While it is possible to make Tonkatsu sauce nobody in Japan really does because the commercial stuff is widely available. It’s like mayonnaise…Yeah I know how to make it but why go to the trouble if I don’t have to.
- Bulldog brand Tonkatsu sauce is the most widely available brand and can be found in Most Japanese (and Korean) groceries.
Nokorimono ni wa fuku ga aru
Luck exists in the leftovers.
With the weather getting warmer my creative juices have started flowing. One of my passions is Asian cuisine. In the past I’ve worked my way through Japanese,Chinese,Korean and Thai cuisine and most recently my culinary adventures have taken me to southeast Asia and in particular Vietnam.
Vietnamese cuisine, in general, is characterized by the use of fresh meats and vegetables flavored with fish sauce (nuoc mam), along with a variety of fresh herbs. Each dish strives to achieve a balance between five elements. They are spicy,sour,bitter,sweet and salt.
For my fourth “Meatless Friday” I decided to prepare a Vietnamese Rice Noodle salad. While a lot of Vietnamese dishes are very spicy I decided to leave out the peppers. What I didn’t leave out is flavor. The balance between sweet, salt and sour along with fresh cilantro creates a salad that is remarkably refreshing. For protein I have added some cooked shrimp and crushed peanuts.
Vietnamese Rice Noodle Salad
1/4 # (dry) rice noodles ( 1/4 of a package)
2 carrots (julienne)
1/2 English cucumber ( seeded and Julienne)
1/4 package fresh bean sprouts (about 2 oz)
2 green onion sliced
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup crushed peanuts
4 medium cooked shrimp
1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
Juice of 1/2 lime
Juice of 1/4 lemon
1 teaspoon Fish sauce ( or soy sauce)
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
Place to rice noodles in a pan and cover with boiling water. When softened drain and set aside.
Combine all dressing ingredients. Stir until sugar is dissolved.
Toss the noodles, vegetables,peanuts and shrimp with the dressing and serve with a wedge of lime on the side.
- This should make 2 entree size salads or 4 appetizer size.
- If you like you spice add a teaspoon or so of sambal or a diced jalapeno.
- To make this Vegetarian/Vegan just leave out the shrimp.
- I didn’t have any fish sauce so I used soy. The change ( and the omission of the shrimp) also makes this a Vegan dish.
“Khi an trai nho ke trong cay”
“When eating a fruit, think of the person who planted the tree”
Sometimes the best creations are born out of necessity. Last Week I had occasion to make a dish that excited me enough to write about it. I was in the local supermarket and came across an item that would become part of my menu plan for the week. What I found was an English Roast on sale. It is unfortunate that at times this cut of meat can be somewhat pricy so when I find it on sale I always stock up. What made this special is how I chose to prepare it. I currently have a daughter in Seoul, South Korea and she had sent me some Taeyangcho Gochujang (Hot pepper paste). This is available in Korean specialty markets here in Detroit and across the U.S. I had been experimenting with this paste in several recipes and liked it but hadn’t found ,what I considered, the best way to use it.For a while I had been intrigued by some of the Korean simmered dishes I had been looking at online and decided to make a “Korean” Pot Roast. This turned out to be one of the easiest dishes I had ever made and it was fabulous.
Korean Pot Roast
1 English Roast (2# approx) or other cut for Pot Roast
1 Onion Chopped roughly
1 Carrot sliced in coins
1 tablespoon Garlic
1/4 cup Soy Sauce (Low sodium)
2 cups of water
1/2 tube (30 GM) Taeyangcho Gochujang (Hot pepper paste)
Sear beef for 4 minutes on each side
Add remaining ingredients
Bring to a boil
reduce to a simmer and simmer for 2 hours or until tender.
Serve with white rice
Garnish with fresh basil and cashews
The Hot Pepper paste has just enough heat and depth of flavor to make this a truly great dish.
Photo courtesy PDPhoto.org
These dumplings can be added to the soup stock (posted) or enjoyed on there own with the dipping sauce posted below.
- 2 ounce lean ground pork
- 2 ounce medium shrimp – peeled, deveined, and coarsely chopped
- 1/8 green onions, finely chopped
- 1 egg
- 1/4 teaspoon soy sauce
- ¼ teaspoon sesame oil
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 8 square wonton wrappers
- Place pork, shrimp, green onion, egg, soy sauce, salt, and together in a food processor. Mix thoroughly until all ingredients are completely incorporated.
- Have a bowl of luke-warm water available for dipping. If you are right-handed, place wonton wrapper in a triangle position on your left palm. Place a small amount of filling (about a heaping teaspoon or more) near the lower corner of wonton wrapper. Fold that corner over filling toward the opposite corner about half way, making sure the filling is securely enclosed.
- Dip finger into a bowl of water and dab left corner of wrapper with water. Fold left and right corners toward you (away from the top corner), resulting in the shape of a nurse’s hat.
- Place wontons on cookie sheets while you work, keeping them covered with a damp towel to prevent drying out. Wontons may be carefully stored in plastic freezer bags and frozen for future use.
Steam in a vegetable or bamboo steamer (with chicken broth instead of water) until wonton wrapper is cooked and internal temperature is 165 degrees.
Mix the above ingredients and stir until sugar is dissolved. Allow flavors to blend for about 30 minutes.
This recipe is provided by Jill McKeever. Jill is a fellow foodie I read online and Author of Simple Daily Recipes
Stock for Chinese Soups
This stock is very good as a basis for light Chinese soups. My particular favorite, wonton soup.
HERE’S ALL IT TAKES TO MAKE 11 CUPS
1 1/2 pounds chicken thighs
1 1/2 pounds pork spareribs
16 cups water
3-4 pieces fresh ginger root, unpeeled and crushed
3-4 green onions
3-4 tablespoons Chinese rice wine
Trim off any excess fat from the chicken and spareribs and chop them into large pieces. Place chicken and sparerib pieces in a large stockpot with the water. Add the ginger and green onions.
Bring to a boil and skim off the froth. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered fro 2 to 3 hours.
Strain the stock, discarding chicken, pork, ginger and onions. Add the rice wine and return to the boil. Simmer for 3 minutes. Store the stock in the refrigerator when it has cooled down. It will keep for up to 5 days. It can be frozen in small containers and thawed when you need it.
Recipe and photo by Jill McKeever at Simple Daily Recipes.com
The next post will be my recipe for the wontons to go with this soup. They can also be used as steamed dumplings with a dipping sauce.
Stop back in 3 days for the dumpling post!