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Posts Tagged ‘soy oil’

I was perusing my Charlie Trotter cookbook the other day and came across a recipe that uses a very similar marinade to one I often use. Since he’s the great Charlie Trotter I thought I’d give his a try. Oh, and yakigyu is simply Japanese for grilled beef.

His marinade consisted of 1/2 cup of tamari which is probably the most ancient style of Japanese soy sauce as it contains no wheat and is a little richer than regular soy (it is the byproduct of making miso), 1/4 cup of mirin, 1.5 tablespoons of sesame oil, and 2 tablespoons of grated ginger. Once I mixed up the marinade I set 3 tablespoons aside and then thinly sliced 3/4 pound of sirloin and threw that into the marinade. I covered it with plastic wrap and let it sit in the fridge for 2 hours.

Then, using some bamboo skewers that I soaked in water for an hour, I threaded the meat and got it ready for the grill. Since the meat was thin it only needed about 2-3 minutes on each side over a medium-hot grill.

To accompany the meat I made a quick vegetable saute of 5 shiitake sliced, half an onion large diced, and 5 radishes. I separated the greens from the radish and thinly sliced the radishes with my mandolin slicer. I could have used my knife, but the wife was wondering why I got a mandolin slicer if I never use it. So, there you go sweetheart, I used the mandolin.

In my hot pan I poured 1 tablespoon of soy oil and sautéed the onion first for about 5 minutes. Then I added the shiitake and let that go for about 4 minutes. After that I tossed in the sliced radishes. Those cooked for about 4 minutes until I poured in the reserved 3 tablespoons of marinade. I let that boil down for a few minutes and then added the radish greens. Once the radish greens wilted down, about 1-2 minutes, I turned of the heat as this was ready to go.

Instead of regular white rice I made hijiki and carrot rice, a recipe that Yuki taught me a long time ago and has become one of my favorite rice preparations. First, I took a heaping tablespoon of dried hijiki and soaked it in some cold water for about a half hour. I also diced up a small carrot. Once the rice was washed and in the rice cooker bowl (I only made one cup of rice) instead of regular water I poured in 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, and 1 tablespoon each of sake and mirin. Then, the get the right amount of liquid I used the hijiki soaking water to fill it up. Once the liquid was at the right level I threw in the hijiki and carrot. Hit the on button and a half hour later my rice was ready.

I have to say I was very disappointed in Trotter’s marinade. Tamari is a little bit stronger in flavor than soy sauce and it really made the beef salty. Too salty for Yuki’s taste and almost too much for mine (I tend to like food a little saltier than she does). Old Chucky Boy should know better than to have used so much tamari. I would have been much better served to have used the classic marinade I usually do, 3 parts soy, 2 parts sake, and 1 part mirin (1.5 tablespoons of sesame oil is ok). Besides the soy being a little lighter in flavor, cutting back on the amount and replacing it with sake (or vodka if you like) adds a little more depth the marinade. A little grated garlic wouldn’t have hurt either. While I have had good luck with some of his recipes in the past, this is one I will not be using again.

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I was at the store the other day unsure of what I wanted to make for dinner. I saw some beautiful fresh lemongrass stalks I immediately knew that dinner was going to be lemongrass chicken. I’ve made lemongrass chicken a hundred different ways before, and the possibilities to make it are endless, so I just kept looking at what looked fresh and built my dinner from there.

I grabbed a yellow bell pepper, just shy of 1 pound of skinless/boneless chicken thighs, a jalapeno, 4 garlic cloves, a piece of ginger, two lemongrass stalks, some shiitake mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, a carrot, and some green onions. The pepper got chopped up, the chicken thighs cut down into bite sized pieces, the jalapeno diced, the ginger and garlic minced, I removed the outer layers of the lemongrass and sliced up the soft white inner part, I sliced up 6 of the shiitake, halved 12 tomatoes, and chopped up the carrot and 6 green onions.

In a hot pan I poured in 1 tablespoon each of soy oil and sesame oil and then tossed in the ginger, garlic, and lemongrass. I let the go for about a minute until they became very fragrant. Then I added the green onions and carrots. About 3 minutes later I tossed in the bell pepper and jalapeno. I let that all cook for about 6 minutes before adding some salt and pepper. Then I added the chicken. That took about 6 minutes to cook almost completely. About 1 tablespoon of fish sauce went in to add that distinctive Southeast Asian aroma and flavor. After the fish sauce cooked for a couple of minutes I added the shiitake. About 4 minutes later the tomatoes went in. I let everything come together for about 3 minutes and turned off the heat.

To serve, I put some white rice on one corner of the plate and then fanned out a half avocado on the other half. I put the lemongrass chicken down the middle. For garnish I tore up some cilantro. There was enough leftovers for Yuki’s lunch yesterday, so this was a 3 portion recipe.

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Meatless Monday last night ended up being Yakisoba. Yakisoba is a traditional noodle dish (even though it’s origins are from China, it has become a staple of Japanese cuisine much like Ramen) that is typically served with various vegetables and pork. I omitted the pork to accommodate Meatless Monday.

First thing I did was get the protein ready. I made a thin omelet of two eggs and a little cream. In my heated large skillet I poured a tablespoon each of soy oil and sesame oil. I swirled that around to coat the entire pan and then poured in the scrambled eggs. I swirled the eggs around to make a thin omelet, much like a crepe in appearance. I turned the heat down so it wouldn’t burn. Once the bottom was cooked and the top set I carefully flipped it over to get a little crust on both sides. Then I slid it out of the pan and onto a cutting board, cut it in half, then made thin “noodles” out of it. I set this aside because this was my garnish.

For my vegetables I used 6 green onions, 1 carrot, some haricots vert, 6 ounces of bean sprouts, 1 red bell pepper, 6 cremini mushrooms (I wanted to use shiitake, but I had cremini in my fridge already), some ginger and a few cloves of garlic. I sliced everything thinly so that they would mix in well with the noodles.

The noodles I used are called Chuka Soba, which translates to Chinese Noodles. They’re wheat noodles, but honestly, you could use a chow mein or ramen noodle if you wanted and get the same results. I cooked the noodles according to package instructions.

Using the same skillet I used for the egg I heated another tablespoon each of soy and sesame oils. I threw the garlic and ginger in for about a minute and then added the haricots vert, carrot, bell pepper, and green onions. I let those cook for about 6 minutes before adding the mushrooms. I let the mushrooms cook for about 4 minutes and then seasoned with a little salt and pepper. Then I poured in about 2 tablespoons of sake and let that boil off. After that I added the sprouts and then about 1/3 cup of Bull-Dog Sauce. I don’t know if you can get Bull-Dog Sauce at many places. We get ours at Mitsuwa, but you may be able to find it in ChinaTown or some other Asian Grocers.  

Once the sauce was mixed in well with the vegetables I tossed the noodles in and let them fry a little while mixing everything together. It’s important to keep the heat on to dry the sauce up a little while the noodles absorb it. This gives a nice texture to the noodles.

To serve I simply used my tongs and put a big pile of everything on a plate. Then I topped it with some of the sliced eggs and drank a cold beer. For the leftovers today I sliced some Black Forest Ham and added it to the mix. Since it’s not Meatless Tuesday I’m cool with that.

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I had some angel hair pasta that I wanted to use up last night. Combine that with all of the Japanese ingredients I had in my fridge that needed to be eaten I whipped up a bolognese sauce with Japanese flavors. Note, I usually cook for 4 so that we have lunch the next day, but since it was Friday and we don’t need to take a lunch anywhere on Saturday this recipe was for 2.

My ingredient list for the bolognese was a package of enoki mushrooms, 1 negi thinly sliced (I had two but decided only to use one), some ginger and garlic minced, 1/2 carrot cut into quarter moon slices, 1 rib of celery cut down the middle lengthwise and then sliced, 10 cherry tomatoes halved, some wakame seaweed, 1/4 pound of ground beef, and 1/4 pound ground pork. What I didn’t get in the photo was some cooking sake, mirin, and soy sauce.

In my pot I heated up about 2 tablespoons of soy oil and 1 tablespoon of sesame oil and then let the garlic and ginger go for about a minute. Then I tossed in the carrot, negi, and celery for about 5 minutes until they just started to soften a little. After that I added the ground meats. They took about 5 minutes or so to cook and break up, I added just a touch of salt (not too much since I was about to add some soy sauce) and some black pepper. Once the meat was broken down I poured in about 3 tablespoons of sake and let that boil off for a couple of minutes before adding about 2 tablespoons of soy sauce and 1 tablespoon of mirin. Once all the liquid was almost completely boiled off, about 2 more minutes, I added the cherry tomatoes and enoki. A couple of minutes later I mixed in the wakame and then turned off the heat. The wakame doesn’t need to be cooked, so I just wanted its flavor to incorporate into the meat.

While that was all going on I cooked some angel hair pasta and drained it thoroughly.

To serve, I piled the pasta on the plate and then topped it with the bolognese. On top of that I put some katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes). Some Asahi to wash it all down and we were good for the night.

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For Meatless Monday last night I made a Cambodian-style noodle soup. It’s very similar to Vietnamese Pho, but the broth is slightly different. Pho usually has star anise and cinnamon in the broth, I didn’t use either of those. Stylistically though, their very similar. And why not? They are neighboring countries after all.

To get the Cambodian flavor I used ginger and lemongrass. I left the skin on the ginger and the tough outer layers of the lemongrass in tact. The ginger was sliced and those marks you see on the lemongrass are from banging it with the back of my knife. That loosens up the fibers and helps release the oils.

I put them in a sauce pan along with 1 quart of vegetable stock, 1/4 cup of soy sauce, 1 cup of water, and a lot of fresh cracked white pepper. I brought that all to a boil and let the flavors steep for about 20 minutes. Then I strained the broth into a large bowl and let it sit until later on in the cooking.

My ingredient list included bean sprouts, enoki mushrooms (not Cambodian, but nevertheless delicious and healthy), fresh made tofu from the HMart that I cubed, ginger and garlic that I minced, asparagus that I cut up (again, not Cambodian), half of an eggplant diced, green onions that were sliced about 2 inches in length, and rice noodles.

I started by heating up about 1/4 cup of soy oil and a few tablespoons of sesame oil. I let the ginger and garlic go until they were fragrant, about 1 minute, then added the green onion and asparagus. Once they started to slightly soften I added the eggplant. That took about 5 minutes until it was mostly cooked through. Then I added the tofu and enoki. Those both heat through relatively quickly, about 2 minutes. After all of those vegetables were heated I poured the broth in and let it come to a boil, then turned the heat down and let it simmer, covered, for only about 5 minutes.

During that time I cooked the noodles according to package instructions. Once cooked through I drained them thoroughly and divided them up into the serving bowls and ladled the soup on top. I topped all of that with the bean sprouts, some cilantro, and a squeeze of lime juice.

Half-way through eating I realized that something was missing….SRIRACHA!!! I took my sriracha out, squeezed a little into the broth, and all was good.

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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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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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