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Posts Tagged ‘thai basil’

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Here’s my first attempt at making Gyu-don, Japanese simmered thinly sliced beef with onions on rice. It’s surprisingly simple to make, yet full of flavor and easy on the wallet.

The trick is to get the beef sliced as thin as deli meat. You can get it at Mitsuwa, but I’m not sure where else to get good quality meat in this fashion. I’m sure it’s available. I do know that it’s near impossible to get such even thin slices at home with a knife no matter how sharp it is.

So, take put a little oil in a medium-sized pot and cook some ginger and garlic for a minute or two. Then add an onion thinly sliced and sweat it for a few minutes. Add a couple cups of water, a quarter cup each of soy sauce and mirin, a few pinches of sugar and let it come to a simmer. Then add your beef and let it cook until the liquid is reduced by 3/4’s.

All you have to do then is put some white rice in a bowl and top it with some Gyu-don.

I served it with a simple corn soup garnished with Thai basil and a salad that Yuki made. She tossed some mixed greens, julienned carrots, celery, and cucumber (I left the cucumber out of mine, vile phalis!) in a homemade hijiki vinaigrette. All washed down with a cold beer.

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Here’s a simple grilled fish dish. I got some fantastic fresh Halibut at Isaacson’s for $12.50 a pound. My wife and I each eat about 6oz so that’s about $4.70 per person. I marinated it in soy, mirin, sake, garlic, ginger, and fresh thai basil from my porch. Also a touch of olive oil to keep it nice and moist when it’s grilled.

For veggies we got some mixed organic potatoes that almost taste like plantains when grilled with olive oil, salt, and pepper. I also olive oiled, salt, and peppered some fresh organic hericot verts, spanish onions, and carrots. All of the veggies came from the Farmer’s Market and Stanley’s.  In total, we each ate about $2.50 in veggies.

Some white rice with grated nori seaweed (the kind that wraps sushi rolls) and seasame and a glass of white wine completed the meal.

The best part is that there were no dishes to clean up since everything was cooked on the grill.

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salmon

The other night I made another finance-efficient dinner that tasted outstanding; Cedar Plank Grilled Salmon with Soba Noodles, Roasted Orange Pepper, Pea Pods, and Shitake-Green Onion Salsa. Simple, well-balanced, healthy, organic, and delish!

I got the salmon at Isaacson & Stein Fish Company. It was wild caught at $9.95 per pound. Between my wife and I we only needed 3/4 of a pound, so the fish cost $6 even for both of us. I’ll take fresh wild caught over farmed any day of the week! Grilling it on a Cedar Plank, cost of $1.00, really adds a nice smoky wood flavor to salmon. The beauty of cedar plank grilling is that because the wood needs to be soaked in water for a couple of hours prior to grilling, the fish gets steamed while it’s grilled keeping it nice and moist.

The pepper cost me 37 cents at Stanley’s. Roasting peppers let’s the sugars come out resulting in a sweeter, softer pepper flavor. Since I roasted it on my grill I also got a bit of smokiness to it as well. While at Stanley’s I also got 4 bunches of green onions for $1.00. I only used a half bunch for this dish. The pea pods were also from Stanley’s and cost me 57 cents. You can buy soba noodles from almost any grocery store and shouldn’t cost more than a couple of bucks for 3 servings.

Shitakes can be expensive when purchased fresh, up to $5-6 a container. I do sometimes use fresh shitakes, but for this dish I used some dried ones we had in our pantry that cost $1.o0 for dozen. I only used 4, soaking them in hot water for a couple of hours. Save the water afterwords. It absorbs some of the shitake flavor and makes a great stock for later use.

When you add it all up the entire dish for 2 people only cost $10.34, or $5.17 per person. OK, I also added some Thai Basil to the Salmon when grilling, but I got that from my back porch garden. I also probably used a few pennies worth of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, salt, and pepper. Still, it’s less than five and a half bucks per person. What restaurant can give you a dish of this quality for that price? NONE! Cook at home, cook fresh, cook organic!

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