Archive for the ‘Japanese’ Category

We had friends around for dinner the other day. The Rugby World Cup is on in NZ and The All Blacks were playing Japan – so we wanted the dinner to have a Japanese ‘flavour’.

I also wanted something I could make ahead and the crock-pot is perfect for that.

3kg Oxtail (brown it if you want – the caramelization does taste good, but I couldn’t be bothered), 1 cup fresh ginger cut into matchsticks (yes, that is a LOT of ginger – I used this toy to cut the matchsticks:

My friend Kyoko’s mother sent it from Japan for me. They are now available here and are worth looking for  – I use it ALL the time), 1 cup gluten-free soy sauce – or tamari, 1/2 cup sake and 1/2 cup mirin (you can get both of these at the supermarket).

Bung everything into the crockpot. Add a little gluten-free stock and cook for a few hours.

Turn it off, leave it to cool and fridge overnight.

Next morning, take the fat off (there was HEAPS) and re-heat in the crock.

When it is done it will be falling-off-the-bone good. I served it with the bones (they are GREAT to suck) – if you need to be a bit posh, you can take the meat off the bones. We had mashed potatoes into which I had mixed 3 tsp of wasabi paste and a salad of pickled carrots.

I forgot to take photos.

There were six of us, and I had leftovers the next-day.

This is the dining room before the candles were lit… I’m struggling here folks… 3 1/2 hours before I can get Yoshi…

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New Zealander’s play with funny-shaped balls. Like this one:


I don’t really like rugby… though there are some good bits…

Last Friday, The All Blacks (NZ’s team [called that because they wear a black uniform – usually]) played Japan.

We usually get together with friends when there is a big game on – we have dinner and watch the game together. It was  my turn, so I cooked Japanese style food – starting with Okonomiyaki – which is a Japanese-style pizza. It is nothing like pizza, and I made little ones – which would scandalize the very traditional Japanese people, but which are much easier to cook and eat.

You combine finely shredded cabbage, a raw egg and some flour (I used a mix of rice and potato flour) and water into a pancake-type dough. You can add bacon, pork, chicken, shrimp, and any other shredded vegetable you want. I added some finely shredded pickled ginger (but grated, fresh ginger is also really good). Then you fry them until golden and cooked inside

Then you top them first with a special Japanese bbq sauce (which is not gluten-free, so I googled it and found a great recipe at this beautiful blog: http://from-japan-with-love.blogspot.com/2010/06/homemade-gluten-free-okonomiyaki.html)

THEN you put on squiggles of Japanese mayonnaise (the Kewpie brand from the International section of the supermarket is gluten-free)

THEN you sprinkle on some flakes of shaved, dried Bonito fish. It is really worth getting these (from the International section again), because they make nice little fritters, into something quite special.

They went down really well. New Zealand won the game 🙂

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>BBQ Scallops with Wasabi, Soy and Ginger

2 dozen scallops
1 cup gluten-free flour
1/2 cup instant polenta
2 eggs – beaten
1 tbsp lemon pepper seasoning
1/4 tsp wasabi paste
1 tbsp gluten-free soy sauce
1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
12 wooden skewers
fresh lemon wedges to serve

Mix soy sauce, ginger and wasabi together and set aside.

Mix the flour and lemon pepper together and set aside.
Put the polenta into another dish and set aside.

Skewer the scallops, using two skewers side-by-side for each kebab, 2 scallops per skewer. Skewering them this way makes it really easy to turn them over.
Roll the scallop skewers in flour mix, then dip into the egg, then roll in the polenta, patting the mixture onto the scallops.
Grill, bbq or fry for 2 minutes until the crumb mix is golden brown and crunchy.

Turn to grill the other side for 2 minutes.
Brush the top with the wasabi mix and serve with lemon wedges.

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>One of the best things about Autumn is pumpkin. We love those little green buttercups – sometimes called Jap pumpkins. They’re sweet and dry. We try to buy heaps when they are cheap. We store them in our cool, dry garage so we can have them all winter.

Pumpkin Simmered in Soy

3/4 cup dashi stock
2 tbsp Tamari – check it is gluten-free (not all of them are)
1 tbsp gluten-free soy sauce (or just use another tbsp of Tamari)
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp sake
1/2 a small buttercup – peeled, seeded and chopped into bite-sized chunks

Put all ingredients except for pumpkin into a saucepan and simmer till slightly reduced.
Add the pumpkin and simmer until tender and the sauce is syrupy.
Serve hot with the sauce poured over.

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>…young people who stayed in our home while they studied – usually English Language, sometimes a university course of some sort. Most, but not all of these kids were Japanese. I wanted to try making food with Japanese flavours and this is the first dish I tried. Kyo ate it silently and I was quite nervous. She finished, then said “We usually make this dish with pork. This is the best thing I have ever eaten.” Success!!

Red Miso and Ginger Crusted Chicken (or Pork)

4 tbsp Aka (red miso paste) – the world will not stop if you use white miso paste instead
3 tbsp sesame seeds
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp mirin
2 tbsp sake
1 tbsp finely grated fresh ginger
450g boneless, skinless chicken thighs – cut into bite-size strips

Pre-heat the oven to 200c

In a bowl, whisk together the miso paste, sesame seeds, sugar, mirin, sake and ginger.

If you’re feeling lazy, just use whole chicken pieces

 Add the chicken strips and stir to coat.
Spread the chicken strips over a lined baking tray.
Bake about 15 minutes until golden and cooked.

This is just as good if you make it with pork instead – you just need to cook it a little longer.
Serve it with pickled ginger. Cucumber is really good with it too.

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>Teriyaki Chicken

>Black food doesn’t photograph as well as it tastes – or is that just me? I have so much to learn…
This recipe comes from Ruth Pretty. Ruth, and husband Paul, run a catering company at Te Horo – an hour north of Wellington (and an hour south of here). They also run cooking classes, which I sometimes am lucky enough to attend. They have the most gorgeous set-up, are hugely successful and are just really nice people. Check out http://www.ruthpretty.co.nz/ This recipe came from one of her classes – I don’t think she’ll mind if I share it…

Teriyaki Chicken

1 tbsp salad oil
600 – 800g (6) chicken thigh (skin on)
15 mls (1 tbsp) sake (rice wine)
60 mls (4 tbsp) soy sauce (I used gluten-free tamari)
60 mls (4 tbsp) mirin
20g (2 tbsp) sugar

Heat oil in a frying pan.
Place chicken in pan, skin side down and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes or until skin is crisp.
Turn chicken over, cover pan and cook for a further 5 minutes, shaking pan frequently.
Remove chicken from pan and discard the oil.
In the same frying pan, bring sake, soy sauce, mirin and sugar to the boil.
Return chicken to pan, skin side upwards and simmer in sauce with lid on for about 5 minutes, or until completely cooked through.

Remove chicken from sauce. Cut into slices about 1cm thick and pour sauce over meat.
Serve hot, warm or cold.

I licked the plate 🙂

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>Japanese Curry Rice

>I miss Japanese food. We used to have HUGE nights at Izakya Yatai (a sort of Japanese Tapas bar). I can’t eat Japanese food these days unless I make it myself. Back when we hosted International students while they studied English Language at the university near us, a favourite dinner for homesick Japanese students was curry rice, made with a roux mix you can get at the supermarket. Japanese curry is delicious – quite different from Indian or Thai flavours (which are also delicious), and I have missed it. THEN, I found this blog www.norecipes.com – the guy who owns this is called Marc Matsumoto – he is as cute as a button and he posts ingredients and a method to encourage you to wing it – to try something you might otherwise not even dream of. He has a post for Curry Rice. I tried it the other day – I changed his recipe a bit – used up some caramelized onion marmelade I had (so I left out the apple Marc suggests); I’d run out of cayenne – so I used a bit of curry powder… It worked just great – we both had seconds! Check him out – he’s not only into Japanese food…

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