Archives for September 2010

Sweet and Sour Chicken or Pork Recipe

How to make Sweet-and-Sour

This is the recipe for Sweet and Sour Chicken or Pork. This is anther popular Japanese Chinese quick meal package. Only cut pork and vegetables and put sauce from package by Ajinomoto Cook do. Only cut pork and vegetables and put sauce from package.

Ingredients:

*Meat (Chicken or Pork)————- about 1/2 lb, or 250g

*Onion ——————————One small

*Carrots —————————–1 or 2

*Bell pepper ————————–1/2

*Pineapple —————————-1/4

*egg ———————————1/2

*salt and pepper ———————-Pinch

*Potato starch ————————2TBS




The package looks like this.

First, Cut vegetables and pineapple like this. Then cut meat almost same size as vegetables. Put meat in the bowl and put salt and pepper then put egg mix together – marinate it. Put potato starch in the meat bowl and you can deep fry it. But this time, I put oil (2TBS) in the pan and cook it. [Read more…]

Basic Japanese Recipes

Basic Japanese Recipes

This page has many Basic Japanese recipes -Japanese. Why did I put “-Japanese”? Because, Japanese people are good at adopting things and creating a better way. You may analyze some of the Japanese food you see and think “this is not Japanese food” but it actually is.

So I want to separate original Japanese recipes and other Japanese recipes. These are original Japanese recipes. This is what they call it in Japan “Mother’s Taste” or “Comfort food”. These recipes are everyday foods and original Japanese meals.

Because they are original Japanese meals, you are not familiar with some ingredients. I will put here some of what I can buy from the Asian stores in my town. My town is not big town. Not so many big Asian markets out there. Your town would be a different. You may find more ingredients, or you may not find any at all. I will list ingredients that you can buy in U.S. grocery store as much as possible.
Anyway, if you learn the basic Japanese cooking, Japanese cooking is not difficult. Like Japanese culture, buy the season’s freshest ingredients and enjoy the season’s food and cooking!




Japanese Ingredients

Japanese ingredients and seasoning – What to buy
When you go to Asian grocery store, you can find not only Japanese ingredients but also some other Asian one. You may confuse which food products you need to buy. The price is different also.

I will list basic Japanese one here. Of course, you can choose whatever you want, but it may taste different when it’s done. I suggest when you cook Japanese first time, try Japanese seasoning first and learn the real taste then change to the other one. You may end up liking Chinese soy sauce taste in Japanese food. That is OK! However, I want you to know real Japanese taste first.

Some foods are tricky. If you need to buy canned food, you usually see the pictures. However, if you are looking for dry food, you may not have any idea.

I wrote “Use Japanese spice first” but I put some foreign spice here also. Those are foreign adopted recipes. I think if you use original spice for them, it is taste better. You will see what I am talking about, maybe later.

I will list preserved foods with pictures, also. You go to store, you can easily find same one on the shelf.




Japanese Hon Mirin the Cooking Wine

Japanese Hon mirin the cooking wine

Japanese Hon mirin the cooking wine.
What is the mirin substitute? 
Is there any mirin substitute?
What is the Hon mirin and Mirin-fu chomiryo?

Mirin is an essential condiment used in Japanese cuisine, consisting of 40 to 50 percent of sugar.  It is a rice wine similar to sake but with a lower alcohol content. 

mirin

There are three basic types which is Hon mirin, Shiro mirin, and Mirin-fu chomiryo meaning mirin like seasoning.  It is less alcohol contants but same flavour.  But I will tell you what is different.




Japanese-mirin contains alcohol so when you cook with fish or meat, it helps remove the fishy smell or meat smell.  It helps penetrate the taste into the ingredients, and helps ingredients not break into pieces while cooking.  Japanese-mirin contains sugar and it helps food taste sweeter (It is a different sweetness than sugar).  If you are cooking teriyaki foods, it makes food glossy looking.  Heat draws out the mirin and gives the ingredients a great aroma.
Hon-mirin’s sweetness is different than sugar because it contains d-glucose, oligosaccharide and other kinds of sugar.  If you use Japanese-mirin, food tastes softer and elegant.

Also Hon-mirin has a different kind of sugar so it makes food shiny and glossy looking.  Sake or other kind of sugars can not make same effect.  I usually use sake for substitute but it makes taste a little bit different.  If you can get Japanese-mirin, use it instead of sake.
I use both!

Hon mirin and sake contains 14% alcohol but Mirin-fu Chomiryo has only 1%.  Hon mirin contains zero sodium, Mirin-fu Chomiryo has 1% sodium, and Sake has 2%.  So both Japanese-mirin and sake has alcohol but it is a different ingredients.

Did you learn the difference?
Now, you are ready to cook!




How to Cook Japanese Rice

 

Cooking-Japanese-rice

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How to Cooking-Japanese-rice. This page contains many pictures how to cook Japanese rice. Rice is principal food in Japan and you should know this is Japanese basic cooking.

Ingredients:

*Japanese rice 2 cup

*Water 2 cup




Ideal water and rice amount 1 cup rice to 1 cup water. So if you want to cook more, simply add the each cups amount.

How to wash Rice
Put rice in the pot and cover with tap water and drain immediately. Rice is absorbing a lot of this (clean) water, so before you swishing in the pot, dump this water immediately.
Second time, you cover rice with tap water, swishing the water through with your hands (sometimes I use plastic fork and make it like beating eggs.)

Drain water quickly. This time the water color is milky white.

Do this process until water is clean and clear.

After wash the Japanese Rice

After washing process is over cover the rice in water and let it sit at least 15 min.

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Rice is same as dry food, like beans. Same concept, if they absorb the water, cook better, right? If you don’t have any time, use warm water instead of regular tap water to wash the rice. It will help a little bit but it is still better to leave in the warm water for about 5 minutes.

Cooking-Japanese-Rice with Rice Cooker
Use your electric rice cooker – It is very easy to cook Japanese-rice. You just need to follow the instruction measurement of the rice cooker booklet.

Pressure cooker – If you have pressure cooker, use it! Ideal water and rice amount 1 cup rice to 1 cup water. If you like sofer rice, add a small amount of water. Do not add too much! L mean little bit is about 1/8 of cup or so. First, put high heat and pressure cooker start ringing, turn hear to low. Leave it at least 15 minutes. I usually leave it 20 minutes.

Regular pot – If you don’t have pressure cooker, use a regular pot. However, I recommend a heavy pot with a heavy lid. The measurement is the same as a pressure cooker: 1 cup of rice to 1 cup of water.

Why use a heavy lid? It is a similar effect to the pressure cooker. When boiling the water in the pot, the water causes the lid to make a seal whhich makes a better tasting rice the right way. Put high heat until water is bowiling and steams or bubbles are coming from the edge of the lid, turn the heat to low quickly. Be causious of the heavy lid, rice maybe boiling harder than you realize. You don’t want to burn the rice! After turn the heat low, continue to cook on low heat for 20 minutes.

<***IMPORTANT***> Once turn the heat low, DO NOT OPEN THE LID!!! Wait to open the lid at least 15 minutes!




What is polished Japanese rice?
Now, Japanese rice manufactures started polishing the rice (they used to not polish rice before they put on the shop counter) because new polishing way leaves more nutrition.
Rice bag instruction say “Less washing the rice” or “Almost no wash” but I found out I still need to wash the rice until the water is clean. It tastes better that way.

The rice taste changes if it’s getting older. Rice bran which makes water milky color when you wash the rice contains oil. Generally speaking any kind oil getting older, it makes change the food taste. If you think it is the older rice, you should wash well.

IF YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT JAPANESE RICE YOU WANT TO BUY, THOSE ARE MY RECOMMENDATION LIST. THE SHORT GRAIN TASTE BETTER THAN MEDIUM BRAIN. THOSE BRANDS ARE TASTE SIMILAR TO JAPANESE MARKET RICE IN JAPAN.

 




Yakisoba Noodle Recipe

Yakisoba Noodle Recipe

This is a recipe for Yakisoba noodle from package. This meal is popular Japanese noodle and very quick easy recipe. If you go to Japanese restaurant, you may find it – popular Japanese noodle.

It is very quick and easy recipes, you can easily cook yourself! It is packaged food; you may find frozen section in Asian super market or your own local grocery store.
The package looks like this.

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Ingredients:

*Yakisoba package
*Cabbage ————————–half of small one
*Meat —————————– anything you want, shrimp would be good also
*Bean sprouts ———————-if you buy small container, I put them all

I have a meat slicer. I use it a lot. Many Japanese cooking use very thin meat which is Philly steak cut like. (You may be able to find Philly steak cut beef at any grocery store) I start seeing Philly cut recently. I buy regular meat (steak meat) and cut it by myself.

How to cut so thin? I will write on the other page again. But easy way is freeze the meat half way, and use slicer. You can slice paper thin this way. Otherwise, it is very difficult to slice it.

This time I sliced half frozen pork chop.
1. Put oil in the frying pan.

2. Cook meats first but not all the way. Because, it is thin meat, you don’t want to over cook. It will be very tough.

3. Put cabbage and cook together.

4. Put noodle after all vegetables are cooked.

***You should have defrosted the noodles before you put them in the wok. If you don’t feel noodles are loosening, put half cup of water. Put lid on for about few minutes.

5. Mix all together and put the bean sprouts. Bean sprouts cook quickly, if you like very soft; you can put this when you put cabbage. I like crunchy, so I put it last.

6. Lastly, you put powder sauce and mix together.

It is very easy!




Japanese cooking and culture

There are not so many Japanese cooking shows on TV. I mean, those introducing Japanese foods and teaching you authentic Japanese recipes. Some Japanese recipes are even quick and easy recipes! So you can easily try them in your home.

Food is a culture – big time culture – in Japan. I believe Japanese food culture is one of the best in the world. Japanese people are pretty much gourmets. In Japan, there are many TV shows that introduce new restaurants every day. You would be surprised that almost any Japanese TV channel has restaurant or hotel meal shows every minute of air time. You often see so many people waiting in line in front of the restaurants in Japan. Those are the restaurants they just saw on the show the night before.Just like Sony, Panasonic, Honda and Toyota, Japanese people are very good to adopt foreign products and make them much better. Japan does the same for food. I heard of an Italian business man who came from Italy and my co-worker took them to an Italian restaurant in Japan. They said they liked it very much and it was better than in Italy. Do you know the Michelin Restaurant guide in Tokyo was started selling in 2007? For example, the wine, Beaujolais Nouveau, was the second most imported wine into Japan. Japanese people truly like to have good food and it has been a custom in Japanese culture.

If you love cooking, you will enjoy new tastes from Japan. I want people to know that some Japanese restaurants, they call themselves Japanese, are not even close to real one. If you know the good taste of Japanese cooking, you can choose great tasting foods and restaurants yourself.

Have you ever been in an Asian Grocery store? I bet you wanted to try some products and groceries. Maybe you saw some easy Japanese cooking products like instant or boxed foods but you were not quite sure what the package contains and were scared to try it. Or, you saw something that looked really weird and you may say “What can I do with this?” You may find something looking and sounding familiar to you, but you do not read the writing on Japanese recipes so you didn’t buy it.

Well…I feel this way! In my case, it’s not Japanese food, but some other exotic food.

So, I want to introduce you to the taste of Japanese food, Japanese cooking, Japanese recipes, quick and easy recipes, and Japanese food culture so you can cook your favorite dishes in your home and eat them. I will put a lot of pictures along with the recipe instructions. It will tell you step-by-step how to make it. Also, I’ll tell you what ingredients you need to buy, what the Japanese food culture and foods are, so you will understand more about Japanese food and cooking.

Now, you can enjoy real, authentic, delicious, quick and easy, ordinary Japanese food yourself. Eat healthy, inexpensively and enjoy Japanese cooking!