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Posts Tagged ‘baby bok choy’

Last night I made another Japanese flavored spaghetti dish using sake hogushi and aonori. Sake hogushi is simply cooked salmon that’s been flaked into small “crumbs” and jarred. Aonori is a type of nori, Japanese algae, that’s been ground into a powder. The two ingredients can be used in a variety of ways like being sprinkled on white rice, mixed into cream sauces or dressings, or used like I did last night to name a few. Great ingredients to have on hand and available at any Asian grocer.

First thing I did was get my side vegetables ready. I had three beefsteak tomatoes and 1 large Japanese eggplant. I sliced the top off the tomatoes, sliced the eggplant in half length-wise, and then cut the eggplant into 2-3 inch pieces. I coated the tops of the vegetables with panko, then drizzled some olive oil on top, then sprinkled some aonori on top of that. I roasted them in a 350 degree oven for about 35-40 minutes, just enough time for me to get the rest of dinner ready.

To make the spaghetti I used butter, the sake hogushi, half on onion sliced, 7 button mushrooms sliced, and 4 garlic cloves. In a large hot skillet I poured about 2 tablespoons of olive oil and then melted 1 tablespoon of butter in that. I added the onion and let it sweat for about 4 minutes. Then, I added the garlic and mushrooms. At the same time I cooked my noodles in boiling water until al dente. The garlic and mushrooms needed about 5 minutes which was about the same amount of time the noodles took. After draining the noodles (I reserved about 1/3 cup of the water) I added about 1/4 cup of soy sauce along with 1/2 cup of the sake hogushi to the onions, garlic, and mushrooms. I let the soy come to boil for about 2 minutes and then added the noodles and reserved water with some black pepper. I let the noodles coat with the sauce and most of the liquid boil off then turned off the heat and covered the skillet.

Then, I took two baby bok choy that I had seperated the leaves of and put them in my steamer for about 4 minutes. That’s just enough time to cook the stems without having the leaves wilt too much.

To serve, I put the baby bok choy on the plate then the spaghetti on top of that. I sprinkled it with some aonori and then put a tomato and some eggplant on the side.

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Yesterday I saw some really nice coho salmon on sale that just came in that morning. Since I haven’t cooked salmon in a while I took that as a sign that it’s time to do it up again. I decided to keep it very simple and use some Japanese flavors to appease my wife.

After lunch I got the rice ready. I rinsed 1 cup of rice and threw it in the rice cooker like normal, then added a couple of large pinches of dried hijiki seaweed and a diced carrot. I let it sit for about a half hour to let the hijiki re-hydrate and flavor some of the water. Then I turned on the machine and let the rice cook. When it was finished I turned it off, mixed everything together, and let it cool to room temperature.

Closer to dinner time I made my teriyaki sauce. In a small saucepan I gently heated 3 tablespoons each of soy sauce, sake, and mirin along with 1 tablespoon of sugar. I let it heat just until the sugar was completely dissolved and turned off the heat before it came to a boil. I let that cool to room temperature.

Here’s my 20 ounce filet of coho salmon. I cut it into 4 equal portions and marinated it in the teriyaki sauce for about 45 minutes at room temperature.

While the salmon was marinating I got the abura-age ready. I had a pack of three here. I cut them in half and rinsed them off with some boiling water. They very oily and the boiling water rinsed a majority of that oil off. Then the packages open up nicely for easy stuffing.

I stuffed them equally with the rice mixture and then sealed them. I didn’t have any toothpicks, so I cut down some bamboo skewers to do the job. In a saute pan I brought 1/4 cup of water to boil with 1/4 cup of seasoned soy. The soy is seasoned with a little dashi and mirin. Once lightly boiling I put the packets in, covered it, and turned the heat to low. This lets the broth flavor penetrate while heating up the rice. I let it go for about 10 minutes then turned off the heat and let it sit until everything was ready.

I also placed the salmon under the broiler, starting with the skin-side up. About 5 minutes later I turned it over, basted the top with the marinade left in the dish, and let it broil for another 5 minutes.

Before cooking the salmon and abura-age I got my vegetables ready. I had two large heads of baby bok choy that I separated the leaves from the stems and chopped them all down, 1/2 onion sliced, 3 garlic cloves minced, 1 package of shiitake sliced, and 1/2 a large red bell pepper sliced.

While the salmon was broiling and the abura-age packets absorbing tasty fluids I heated up a pan and poured in 2 tablespoons of sesame oil and tossed in the onions to let them saute for about 4 minutes. Then I added the peppers and garlic. After another few minutes I added the shiitake and bok choy stems for about 4 more minutes. I seasoned with pepper and poured in about 3 tablespoons of soy sauce. Once the soy boiled off I added the bok choy leaves, stirred them in, covered the pan, and turned off the heat. I just wanted the leaves to wilt a little.

I timed it all so everything would be finished at the same time. I plated it up and scarfed it down.

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Feeling relatively uninspired for Meatless Monday last night I decided to clear some of the older veggies out of my fridge. The best way to do that is a simple stir-fry. Instead of meat I just added some cubed tofu.

I halved and quartered some shiitake depending on their size, separated and cleaned up some baby bok choy, chopped up a carrot, half an onion, 6 green onions, and a chinese eggplant.

I mixed together 1 tablespoon of paprika, 2 teaspoons of cumin, a pinch of sugar, and a pinch of cayenne. After pressing the liquid out of the tofu in the fridge for about an hour I cubed it and tossed it in the spice mix. Then, in a hot pan, I stir-fried the tofu in soy oil for about 5 minutes. After that I put the tofu back into a bowl, wiped out the pan, and then cooked the veggies.

I started by adding some minced garlic and ginger to some hot soy oil. Then every few minutes I added another vegetable. I started with the onion, then carrot, green onion, shiitake, and eggplant. Once all the veggies were in I seasoned with salt and pepper. Then I tossed the tofu back in and added the juice of one lime and 2 tablespoons of honey (I had mixed the two together beforehand in order to get the honey fully integrated). I let that cook down for about 3 minutes or so before it was ready to serve.

I steamed the baby bok choy for about 4 minutes.

To serve, I laid the baby bok choy down on the plate and then topped it with the stir-fry. White rice was on the side.

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Last night I was back at it with Meatless Monday. I haven’t used tofu in a while so I decided to make a dish with it. I treated it like a piece of fish or chicken and cooked it en papillote with some vegetables. Well, that’s not entirely accurate. I used foil instead of parchment paper. Same cooking method though.

I had some baby bok chow in the fridge, so I finished that up by separating it into individual leaves. I sliced half of an onion, a small red bell pepper, and halved some shiitake mushrooms. I picked up a block of firm tofu, I prefer silken because of its silky texture but they didn’t have any. Any kind of tofu works. I pressed the water out of it for about an hour in the fridge then cut it into 4 equal “steaks” before cooking. I also picked up some yellow string beans.

On a square of aluminum foil I first laid down a couple of bok choy leaves. On top of that some onions and then a tofu steak. I scattered some pepper slices, yellow beans, shiitake, and more onions on top and around the tofu. Then I put a couple small pats of butter on top with 1.5 teaspoons of soy sauce and 1 teaspoon of sake. A little bit of black pepper and my packet was ready to be sealed. I make 4 packets. I wanted to make sure that the foil was completely sealed so that the vegetables would steam inside and not lose any good juice.

I threw them into an oven at 425 degrees and let them cook for about 20-25 minutes. They were opened at the dinner table to keep the steam in. I used chopsticks to open mine so that I wouldn’t burn myself with the steam.

For the tomato and bread soup I used 6 Roma tomatoes, two cloves of garlic, three dinner rolls, and some fresh basil from my balcony. I started by skinning the tomatoes in hot water. Just make a small “x” with a sharp knife on the bottom of each tomato and drop them all into boiling water for about 15 seconds. The skin will come loose and you can easily peel it off. Then I chopped the tomatoes into half-inch square pieces. I also chopped up the rolls about the same size. The garlic was minced and the basil chopped.

In a hot pan I poured about a quarter cup of olive oil and threw the garlic and basil in for about a minute. Then I added the bread and let it go for another few minutes.

Then I added the tomatoes and seasoned with some salt. I poured in about a 1.5-2 cups of the water that I used to skin the tomatoes. Once that came to a boil I lowered the heat to medium, covered the pot, and let it simmer for about 20 minutes. That’s it, just check for seasoning and serve, along with white rice.

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The other night I made a Japanese classic with some of my own additions. I made Shogayaki, ginger pork. Typically made with just thinly sliced pork, ginger, soy sauce, mirin, and sake, I added a few vegetables into the mix instead of serving vegetables separately. This is an easy dish to make and very flavorful.

We picked up some really nice Kurobuta (Berkshire) sidebelly while at Mitsuwa. It came thinly sliced which is prefered for this dish. It doesn’t necessarily have to be thinly sliced, nor does it have to be belly. You could get some nice chops and cut them thinly yourself, just try to make them no thicker than about 1/8 inch. I cut the pork sliced in half since they were as long as bacon. That wasn’t necessary, just what I felt like doing.

For vegetables I sliced half an onion, cut a carrot into half moons, sliced half of a yellow bell pepper, and slices a bunch of mushrooms.

For flavorings I, obviously from the title, used some minced ginger, a couple of minced garlic cloves, and a sauce of 3 tablespoons soy, 2 tablespoons sake, and 1 tablespoon mirin.

I started by tossing the ginger and garlic into a hot pan with 2 tablespoons of sesame oil and 2 tablespoons of soy oil. I let that go for just a few minutes until it became fragrant.

Then I added the onions for a few minutes. Followed by the carrot for a few minutes. Then the pepper for a few more minutes. And finally the mushrooms for another few minutes.

Once the vegetables were mostly cooked I added the pork. I mixed it all together and let it go for, you guessed it, a few minutes.

Then I dumped in the sauce along with some black pepper. I covered the pan and turned the heat down to medium once the sauce started to boil a little. Every few minutes I stirred everything around. After about 15 minutes I uncovered the pan and let the sauce reduce a little. I served it once the pork and vegetables were evenly coated by the slightly thickened sauce.

While the sauce was thickening I put a couple of baby bok choy that I had cut in half into the steamer. I let them steam for about 6 minutes. They were served next to the shogayaki with some white rice.

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Okaka mayo, a really fun sauce to say. It’s also a delicious, very Japanese, sauce that’s easy to make. This is a dish that Yuki made the other night.

To start, Yuki steamed some vegetables. Once the steamer got going she put in a couple of baby bok choy, a carrot cut into match sticks, and a handful of green beans.

A few minutes later she threw in some bean sprouts and some fresh shiitake caps. She let everything steam for about 5 minutes or so, just so that the veggies are al dente.

While the veggies were steaming she mixed up the okaka mayo. Okaka is a sauce that is often used for onigiri. It’s simply a mixture of soy sauce and bonito flakes (available at most grocers these days in the Asian section). To that, she squirted in some mayonnaise and mixed it all up in a bowl large enough to hold all of the vegetables. I have no idea what the measurements were. Just taste it and adjust according to your preference.

Then, she got the sea bass going. In a saute pan she melted some butter and added some sliced garlic. She let the garlic cook a little in order for its flavor to absorb into the butter. The sea bass was seasoned with salt, pepper, and dried basil. She cooked it skin-side down first in order to get a nice crisp skin. After a few minutes she flipped it over to cook the top. In total, the fish only needs about 8-10 minutes of cooking. Sea bass stays moist, but you still don’t want to overcook it. It will continue to cook for a few minutes inside after you take it off the heat.

While the fish was cooking she tossed the steamed vegetables in the okaka mayo.

While she was doing all of that, I was charged with the difficult task of potatoes. I melted some butter in a large skillet and let it get ridiculously hot. Then I added thin sliced purple potatoes in a single layer. The hot butter gave it a really nice crust. After about 3 or 4 minutes I turned each slice over and turned the heat down to medium. This allowed the inside to cook while also crisping up the bottom of each slice. While that was going on I sprinkled a little salt and pepper on top of everything.

Everything was served with white rice. It was extremely tasty!

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Yuki requested a simple, lightly flavored dinner last night, so to please my wife I made a Japanese-style line up of chow. I made Hijiki Rice, Miso Soup, and Pork-stuffed Aburage.

For the rice, I made two cups in our rice cooker. I simply washed the rice and added a little less water than necessary to cook it. To get the liquid up to the right amount I topped it off with some soy sauce, no more than about a quarter cup. Then I added a couple tablespoons of dried hijiki seaweed (available at more and more groceries), about a half teaspoon of dashi-no-moto (dried, instant dashi, also available at more and more groceries), as well as half of a large carrot diced. That’s it, turn it on and let it cook.

The miso soup was also simple. I brought two and a half cups of water to a boil with 6 green onions chopped to inch-long pieces. Once it started to boil I added 6 baby bok choy and 6 quartered shiitake mushrooms. I let that boil for about 10 minutes, turned off the heat, and added a half teaspoon of dashi-no-moto along with 2 tablespoons of soy sauce. I put that aside until dinner time.

Before making everything I cooked up the ground pork. I sautéed a chopped clove of garlic with a half-inch of chopped ginger in some oil for a few minutes. Then I added about a quarter of an onion, small diced, and let that cook for a few minutes. After that I added a half pound of ground pork and cooked that all the way through. Once the pork was mostly cooked I added 1.5 teaspoons of soy sauce, 1 teaspoon of sake, a half teaspoon of mirin, and some black pepper. I let that liquid boil down and then took off the heat to cool.

To prepare the aburage I first layed them in a colander, boiled some water, and then dumped the water on them to rinse off the excess oil that they come in. Then I squeezed all of the water off. I took my sharpest knife and carefully slit open one side and then gently used my fingers to open them up. After that I just spooned the ground pork mixture and then set aside.

Once the rice was ready I put the soup back on some heat and put the aburage under the broiler. Just before the soup started to boil I added some diced tofu and some wakame seaweed. Then Yuki whisked in a couple tablespoons of miso. When the aburage was heated through, about 5 minutes, I took them out and layed them on beds of arugula and drizzled with ponzu sauce.

Dinner was served!

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