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Posts Tagged ‘eggs’

Oden is Japanese home cooking at it’s finest as well as being a favorite winter-time treat. While the ingredients can vary, the basis of oden is to have a slightly salty dashi broth filled with fish cakes, daikon, konnyaku, hard-boiled eggs, and potatoes. Slowly simmered and warm in the belly, this is true comfort food. In Japan, it’s served at home, in restaurants, at street vendors, and you can even get it warm from vending machines (you can get anything in a Japanese vending machine, and I do mean anything!).

To start I made a good dashi broth. I used about 1/3 cup of dried anchovies, 3 tablespoons of mirin, 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, and 1 tablespoon of kosher salt. Most oden sets come with their own little packets of soy flavoring. They are usually pretty good, but it’s just as easy to do it yourself giving you more control over the flavor.

I let the anchovies simmer in 4 cups of boiling water for about an hour. I wanted every last bit of flavor out of the fish and into the broth.

I strained the broth and discarded the anchovies. Then I mixed in the mirin, soy, and salt.

You can buy oden sets at any Japanese market and some Asian markets. We got two two-person sets that were on sale from Mitsuwa, each containing a variety of fish cakes. Some with carrot in them, some with burdock root, some grilled, most deep fried. We also had a package of chikuwa fishcakes that we used. I skinned and chopped two russet potatoes, medium boiled 4 eggs (just enough to peel the shell off, since they were going to simmer in the dashi for a while I didn’t want to overcook the yolk too much), 1 daikon skinned and chopped, a bunch of green onions chopped, and a couple packaged of shirataki konnyaku.

Once the dashi was ready I added the eggs and daikon and simmered them, covered, over a low heat for an hour. This allows both to absorb a lot of the dashi flavor.

Then I added the potatoes and konnyaku. If you boil the potatoes too long they will fall apart and melt into the broth. I only let them simmer for about 20 minutes. That’s also enough time for the konnyaku to take on some flavor. If you’re using sliced blocks of konnyaku instead of the shirataki noodles you’ll need to add them about 20 minutes earlier.

Since most of the fishcakes are deep fried before packaging they can sometimes have a little bit of grease residue. Because of that I boil and drain them seperately for a few minutes before adding them to the dashi, that gets rid of any unwanted oil. They also are fully cooked so just need to be heated up. After about 5 minutes in the dashi, along with the green onions, the oden is ready to go.

To serve it up I divied one of each for both of our bowls and then laddles some dashi on top. Oden is great with a cold beer and some white rice, I covered our rice with ground sesame seeds. I tell you though, oden is even better the next day. It is a stew, so once all of the flavors fully penetrate the ingredients you really have a special dish here. The daikon and egg for lunch today were outstanding!

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One of the great things about meatloaf is that you can do pretty much anything you like with it. You can use any kind of ground meat, vegetables, sauces, etc. It’s also extremely simple to make. I have some rosemary still growing on my back porch and with the weather starting to cool down here I figured I should use it up before my plant dies. With that in mind I decided to make a very straight-forward meatloaf and use up the rosemary, although I still have some left that needs to be used within the next week or so.

My ingredient list includes 1.5 pounds of ground beef (20% fat), 1/5 pound of ground pork, 2 small celery ribs diced, ketchup, 2 eggs beaten, 3 cloves of garlic minced, a bunch of green onions sliced, panko, 1/2 cup of frozen peas, and a bunch of rosemary chopped.

In a large glass bowl I mixed together the ground meats with the celery, eggs, garlic, green onions, peas, rosemary, and some salt and pepper. Once it was all good and mixed I let it sit for about 15 minutes to let the flavors settle.

 

Once the meatloaf settled a little I shaped it into a loaf and put it into a loaf pan. I squeezed some ketchup on top and brushed it to cover the entire top surface. Then I sprinkled some panko over the ketchup. I put it in a 350 degree oven and let it cook for about an hour.

For some side vegetables I used 1.5 carrots chopped, 1/2 onion sliced, a bunch of haricots vert, and some more chopped rosemary.

I simply laid vegetables out in a roasting pan, drizzled them with olive oil, and seasoned them with salt, pepper, and the rosemary. I put them in the oven for about a half hour.

Once I got the vegetables in the oven I boiled some water and salted it. I took 5 good-sized Yukon Gold potatoes and skinned them then chopped them into quarters and dropped them in the boiling water along with 2 garlic cloves cut in quarters as well. I let them boil for about 10-15 minutes. Before draining them I reserved a cup of the water. After draining them I put the potatoes and garlic back into the pot, scooped about 1/3 cup of sour cream in, about 1/2 cup of the reserved water (didn’t need the rest but had it there in case I wanted to thin out the mashed potatoes), salt, pepper, and more chopped rosemary. With my potato masher I mashed it all up till they were smooth and creamy.

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Last night we made Okonomiyaki for dinner. Well, Yuki made it, I was her sous chef. She also made a Korean spiced soup to get more vegetables into the meal. That and she loves soup.

To start off she cooked thin slices of Kurobuta Pork that we got at Mitsuwa in a little sesame oil. Any pork will do as long as it’s thinly sliced. You can also bacon or any bacon-like substance. Or, no meat at all.

Then, she poured the batter on top to make a pancake. I’m not real sure what kind of flour she used, we have a few different kinds on our pantry, but all-purpose will do, about a cup. She mixed it with about 3/4 cup water and a couple of eggs. Then she mixed in a bunch of thinly sliced green onions and a cup of thinly sliced Napa Cabbage.

Instead of making 4 smaller ones, we made two big ones. I had to use a plate to get that thing flipped over when it was time to cook the other side. It’s ready to flip when the bottom is a nice golden brown color.

While the bottom is cooking you pour the on top. First pour on Bulldog Sauce. A popular sauce in Japan commonly used on Tonkatsu, fried pork cutlet. Then squeeze on some mayonnaise.

Feel free to paint your okonomiyaki with the sauces.

Then top it with a bunch of katsuo-bushi, dried bonito flakes.

Finally, top it off with some ao-nori, ground seaweed.

For the soup, Yuki started by boiling some light dashi broth. She added some green onions, thinly sliced carrot, enoki mushrooms, aburage, broccoli, komatsuna (Japanese Mustard Spinach), and small diced tofu. Once everything was cooked  she swirled in a couple of tablespoons of tobanjan paste (Korean hot chili paste). It was that simple.

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Alright, another Meatless Monday in the books. Yesterday I made Moussaka for dinner. Traditionally made with lamb, I omitted the meat and made my own version. It was a lengthy process, but the results were delicious!

I sliced an eggplant into about 1/8th inch slices. Then I layered them on a colander and sprinkled some salt all over them. I put a heavy bowl on top and added some weight and let the bitter juices drip out for about a half hour.

While that was going on I simmered about a half cup of green lentils in vegetable stock with a bay leaf for 20 minutes, just before they became tender.

I prepped my other veggies while all of that was going on. One onion sliced, two large portabella caps sliced, two cloves of garlic smashed, two medium potatoes sliced to 1/8th inch, I opened up a 14oz can of chopped tomatoes, and one can of chickpeas.

I rinsed and dried the eggplant slices and drained the lentils. I heated a pot to medium-high and sautéed the onion and garlic in olive oil. During that time I also heated up a large skillet to medium-high. In the skillet I added a little olive oil to coat the surface and added the sliced eggplant in batches until they were all browned, about 3 minutes on each side. Then I did the same with the potato slices adding a little oil as necessary. Once the onions in the pot were soft, about 6 minutes or so, I added the mushrooms for a couple of minutes until they started to give off some of their moisture. Then I added the chopped tomatoes with a couple tablespoons of tomato paste and stirred that in. After that I added the chickpeas and lentils along with a few tablespoons of water and some rosemary and thyme, salt and pepper. I let that simmer for about 10 minutes.

In a baking dish I layered the potato slices to cover the bottom. I removed the herbs from the stew and poured that on top. Then I layered the eggplant slices on top.

Then I beat three eggs with a cup and a quarter of greek yogurt, salt, and pepper. I poured that on top. Finally, I grated a half cup of mozzarella and sprinkled that all over. I threw it in the oven at 350 and baked it for 45 minutes until the top was starting to brown.

I had some buttermilk in my fridge that needed to be used up so I made some biscuits to serve alongside.

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Alright, here’s Uichiro’s famous Kawabata-style Okonomiyaki. Okonomiyaki is Japan’s version of a pancake of sorts. It’s base ingredients are eggs, flour, and shredded cabbage. Not entirely sure if Uichiro uses water or dashi, or what else he puts in his mix (highly guarded secret but I’m sure there are green onions in it) but it sure is tasty.

You start off by getting out the old table-top griddle. Once its hot add a little oil and pour some of the batter to form a pancake. Next to it lay out some sliced pork and start cooking it a little.

Once the batter starts to cook lay the pork slices on top.

While the okonomiyaki cooks grill various veggies. We had eggplant, green peppers, onion rings with quail eggs, kabocha, matsutake mushrooms, and various mochi cakes. Once the bottom is done you carefully flip the okonomiyaki to cook the other side.

Once it’s fully cooked spoon on top some bull dog sauce (a semi-sweet vegetable and fruit sauce), mayonnaise, shredded ao nori, bonito flakes, and pickled ginger on the side. Since it’s family-style you just cook and grab as you go. It’s a ton of fun and extremely tasty.

And if you aren’t full yet, don’t worry as yakisoba is up next. Once the batter is finished cook up the rest of the pork and veggies, add some bean sprouts and noodles, then eat it up.

Please, no dessert.

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