Trip to Japan

Japan: Week 5

Hey! It’s Sunday, time to review what yummy stuff I had this week.

Let’s be logical, and start from Monday. As usually, lunch at the Japanese restaurant. That day it was a meatball with a sauce that seemed to be like between goulash and Okonomyaki sauce. Reaaaally good.

For dinner, I did another try on Crispy Shrimpy in the oven, aaaand… I still don’t know how to make that bloody oven work properly. But it was fine.

On Tuesday the main dish was tempura fish. The fish was so soft that you actually eat it with the bones but don’t feel them. And as side dish there were two mini sausages and bamboo shouts salad.

For dinner I decided to make some Udon in a miso soup, with Konjaku, green onions, Wakame seaweeds, eggs and sesame oil. But I made way too much — like 1L of soup — and didn’t have any proper bowl to eat it, soooo … Simply ate it straight out of the pot =D Soooo good!

Wednesday was Katsu day. With some cabbage salad and a ball of potato salad. I really love that restaurant! And for dinner I had my team over at my place and we had a Burger party. I made 4 different kinds of burgers — Triple Crisp, Chicken Curry, Classical and an experimental pepper sauce one — and 5 burger of each kind, for a total of 20 burgers. It was a fun party with a lot of drinks — and I got a bottle of sake — and a lot of food as I additionally made some fries and guacamole, and my teammates bring chips and ice creams.

The next day — as my kitchen was a pure chaos — I didn’t have breakfast at home and just picked up some “Donuts with Bean Paste” from the convenience store. They are so yummy, not to sweet but just sweet enough.

And for lunch it was cold Soba noodles topped with Nori seaweeds and I guess grated daikon. Additionally you can add some green onions and wasabi — which I did — for more flavors. I really liked it. And as side dish, that stir-fried veggies I like and some rice topped with powdered pickled plums. I need to find this powder cause it so nice on rice. For dinner simply had some grilled fish on rice.

On Friday, I forgot that we had the lunch Seminar so didn’t have any food and had to run under the rain to get some Onigiris from the convenience store. By the way, simple onigiris but really yummy, I should try to do some at home. Then in the evening there was a “Farewell Party” at work with a looooot of food and even more alcohol. So I had some sushis, some deep-fried  potato thingy, some “Chicago style” pizza — but mainly sushis as everybody was excited about western food and I prefer sushis =D —  and drunk some beer, wine, sake — and red sake which is like a mix of rosé and sake — tequila and some Yomeishu which is like sweet sake with a ton of herbs. And most of all I discussed with a lot of people. So it was very lovely.

And during the party we decided to go out for a drink on Saturday. So Since we finish quite late on Friday, I woke up late on Saturday, and mainly took care of my flat and rested. Then I started walking to Ibaraki-shi station to go out, and instead of going through the town, I took the road passing next to the nearby Golf club. Really lovely walk, very calm but a little bit longer.

So I arrived at Ibaraki-shi station a little bit early and waited there, but nobody was arriving. I started thinking that perhaps I misunderstood something and as I don’t have a Japanese phone number I was a little bit worried. But a colleague of mine arrived soon after and explained me that it will be only us as everybody else is still hungover from Friday’s party. So we tried to go to the best Yakitori restaurant/bar of the area but it was fully booked — next time we will reserve >.< — and walked around and got to another Yakitori restaurant: とりのねぐら 阪急茨木店. It was a very lively restaurant with a lot of figurines around the shop. We got places at the bar in front of a collection of One Piece figurines.

Started with a beer and the sort of Karaage in sauce.

Then we started getting all the different dishes. With first chicken sashimi, served with soy sauce, soy and vinegar sauce, grated garlic, ginger, wasabi and chili. Just soooo good. Then we got raw octopus with diced wasabi, a must try definitely.

Then the plate of Yakitori arrived. So I guess it was 4 of simple chicken, 2 traditional scallion and chicken, 2 chicken hearts one and 2 of some other chicken organ. Everything was delicious. On the left of the picture you can also see some tofu with wasabi and sliced perilla leaf.

We had additionally some Karaage — sorry no picture — and I got some sake. And it is very interesting how they pour the sake.So you get that wooden cube with the glass inside and they pour the sake in the glass until it overflows and fill the cube to the half. Then you drink from the glass and when the glass is empty you refill it with the cube.

Then we had some chicken meatball in sauce and with cheese.

And my colleague explained me that this Yakitori restaurant does also Okinawa — that the Japanese tropical island — style food. So we shared some Okinawa style udon with pork and pink ginger. I really loved that restaurant and Yakitoris in general.

Then it was time to drink. So we went to a bar called the “Lazy Bar”. It is a very lovely bar with a big choice of drinks. And the barman was really nice. So we had a lot of drinks, like really a lot. Going from Hawaiian vodka — very good one — to whisky, awamori, sake aaaaaand I finally tried Absinthe. Really a nice evening, but the walk home is still a pain >.<

So today I woke up late again, and had a lazy day with some cleaning, watching stuff and etc… I was slightly hungover in the morning but it went away pretty fast. And as I really enjoyed yakitori, I decided to try to do some at home but without skewers and grill. So I created the “Lazy Yakitori” that you do in a pan. And I must say it was pretty good, so will publish the recipe in the next days.

Now will go to sleep so see you next time! 😉

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Recipe

Pepper Shrimp Udon

Heeeeello!

Back to the recipes today with an experiment that was not bad but had to be slightly changed. I will give you the changed version.
And as always its an idea of recipe, tweak it as much as you want — I actually change my recipes every time I cook =P.

About this dish, it is inspired from “Black Pepper Crab” — a Singaporean dish. But since in don’t have a whole crab, and it would have been sad wasting a crab in the case of a fail, I decided to try it with shrimps. And it was really nice. I am quite sure that it would work well with chicken instead of shrimp too.

And concerning the edits done on the recipe from my experiment, the main one is reducing dramatically the amount of black pepper. When I did it for myself I put about 2 or 3 tablespoons of pepper, and it was bloody strong — actually had to rinse the Udon to be able to finish them ^^’. The other slight change is when to add the spring onion, which should be done more towards the end that what I did.

So I hope you give it a try and tell me how it was 😉


Ingredients for 1 portion:

  • 1 portion of udon (or any kind of noodles)
  • 10 shrimps
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 spring onion
  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • 3 tablespoons of soy sauce

  1. Start by removing the shrimp shell, and cleaning the shrimp. I additionally like to butterfly them so it looks cooler.
  2. Cut the spring onion in small slices, separate the white part from the green one.
  3. Dice thinly the garlic, or you can even simply crush it.
  4. Cook the udon as recommended on the package.
  5. In a pan, pour a little bit of oil and put it on medium heat.
  6. Add the garlic and the white part of the spring onion in the pan. Cook for 2 minutes so it infuses a little bit the oil.
  7. Add the shrimps and cook until they turn red.
  8. Add the soy sauce, pepper and sugar and mix well.
  9. When your udon are ready, drain and rinse them.
  10. Add the green part of the spring onion right before the udon noodles and mix well.

It’s ready 😉

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Experiements

Noodle Soup

Noodle soup

Hello, hello!

I got quite sick this week end and needed something warm to feel better, so I made myself an experimental noodle soup. It resulted in something pretty yummy. But I did not write down the quantities and the time to cook everything so I will simply describe the process and approximately the quantities.

Ingredients:

  • Half a liter of water
  • 7g of dashi stock powder (I remember it because I was trying to find out if was enough for the water but could not understand anything in Japanese).
  • 2 tablespoons of dried baby shrimps
  • 2 tablespoons of dried Wakame seaweed
  • Half a teaspoon of red curry paste
  • 1 tablespoon of dark miso paste
  • 2 tablespoon of soy sauce
  • 1 egg
  • A scallion
  • 100 gr of smoked pork (I am always amaized how well pork and seafood go together)
  • Mie noodles

I started by doing the soup:
Bring the water to a boil and add the dashi powder, one and half tablespoon of dried baby shrimp and one, half tablespoon of dried Wakame seaweed and the curry paste. Cover and simmer it at medium heat for 30 minutes.
When your broth is nicely infused with all the seafood, reduce the heat to low and wait that it stops to simmer. You can then dissolve the miso. Taste it and add the soy sauce to taste to give some saltiness.

Cook the noodles as indicated on the packet. I used Mie noodles because I did not have anything better at home but if you have ramen or udon noodles, I am sure that it would be better.

Prepare the toppings:
Soft boil the egg (if you like it soft boiled, otherwise boil it properly).
Thinly slice the pork and the scallion.
I reduced the remaining half tablespoon of dried shrimp into powder and cut the rehydrated Wakame seaweed into small pieces.

Finally build your bowl:
Start with the noodles, then add the filtered soup and the topping.

Enjoy while hot 😉

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Experiements, Recipe

Spicy Shrimp Stir-fry Noodles

Shrimp noodles

It was a long time since my last post. I have way to much work in classes and at work so cooking is not really a priority lately but will still try to put some recipe.

Today’s one is an experiment that turned pretty well I must say. It is really spicy but yummy.


Ingredients for 4 servings:

  • 400 gr of noodles (I used nest noodles)
  • 300 gr of Shrimp
  • 2 chili
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 onions
  • 4 carrots
  • 150 gr of Mung bean sprouts
  • Sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon of fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of oyster sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of soy sauce

  1. Start the recipe by preparing all the ingredients:
    1. Slice the onions, the garlic and the chilis
    2. Using a peeler, cut the carrots in very thin slices
    3. Remove the shell from the shrimps  and clean the shrimps
  2. Cook the noodles as indicated on the bag. When ready drain them and leave them in the strainer.
  3. Warm up some sesame oil on high heat in a wok or a big pan.
  4. Add the diced garlic and chili, and cook for 30 seconds.
  5. Add the shrimp and stir-fry it.
  6. When the shrimp start to be golden brown add the onion and the carrot.
  7. Cook for 2-3 minutes and add the oyster sauce, the fish sauce and the bean sprouts
  8. Cook for another minute or until the bean sprouts begin to be softer and add the noodles and the soy sauce.
  9. Mix nicely and it is ready!

Bon appétit!

 

 

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Recipe

Thaï Shrimp and Lemongrass Soup

Thai soup

I discovered this dish in a little Thaï restaurant next to my work and decided to try to do it at home. And it went pretty well.


Ingredients for one bowl:

  • 120 gr of frozen shrimp without the shell
  • One lemon grass stick
  • 3 lime leaves
  • A piece of galangal (1*1*3 cm approximately)
  • Coconut milk
  • Spicy oil, if you do not have any you can make it by crushing some chili and some green peppercorn, mixing it with some olive oil and let it infuse a little bit.
  • Salt and pepper

I think that there are two schools for this recipe, the one that looks beautiful with everything in it and the one that is easy to eat. I present you the fist one here, but if you prefer the second one, simply do 4. 5. and 6. first, then seave the soup to remove the galangal, lime leaves and lemongrass and finally add the cooked shrimps.

  1. Slice or crush the lime leaves, slice diagonally the lemon grass in 1 cm pieces and cut in thin slices the galangal.
  2. In a pot, preheat some olive oil, and put the frozen shrimp in it.
  3. Stir fry it at high heat until it the shrimp are unfrozen.
  4. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the lime leaves, lemongrass and galangal. Cook it for 1 minute like this.
  5. Add 3 cups of coconut milk and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.
  6. Finally adjust the consistency by adding some coconut milk if you want it more liquid or simmer for a few more minutes if you prefer it more saucy. And adjust the taste with a little bit of salt, pepper and spicy oil.

Bon appetit!

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Experiements

“Crispy Shrimpy” burger

CrispyShrimpy

I had that crazy (or stupid) idea in my head for a few weeks: What kind of burger can I
make using shrimps as patty? So I finally decided to give a try and see what I can do.


Ingredients for one burger:

  • 250 gr of shrimps
  • A spring onion
  • An egg
  • Bread crumbs
  • Burger bun
  • Lettuce
  • Sweet sour sauce
  • Mayonnaise
  • Sesame seeds
  • Flour

  1. For the patty, I first minced the shrimps and the white part of the spring onion thanks to
    a blender.
  2. I added then some pepper and 3 teaspoons of flour, but potato starch would have been better, and mixed it properly.
  3. The result was too soft so I formed the patty on some plastic foil and put it in the fridge for 20 minutes (longer would have been better).
  4. After that, I rolled the patty in the flour, egg and bread crumbs and fried it in a pan.
  5. For the sauce, I cut the burger in two when it was ready so I could test two different sauces: sweet sour sauce and a sauce made from 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise and 2 teaspoons of sesame seeds that I crushed.
  6. I toasted the buns and sliced the green part of the spring onion
  7. Finally I build the burger(from bottom to top):
    1. Bun
    2. Lettuce
    3. Patty
    4. Sauce
    5. Spring Onion
    6. Bun

It was an interesting and promising burger but it need some more work. The sweet sour sauce seemed to be better but I still have to see how it would be with a better sesame sauce.
Some of the improvement that I already see is to perhaps not mince all the shrimps but instead mix a part that is minced with a part that is diced, it should give more consistence to the patty.
The second improvement would be to build it differently: bun, patty, sauce, spring onion, lettuce and the top bun. This way the lettuce will not be “cooked” by the heat of the patty.
Finally, adding some spices could be added to the patty.

If you have any other idea, please share them with me 😉

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Experiements, Recipe

Prawn ramen

Shrimp ramen

I never ever ate any real ramen but I always wanted to have some. So I did a few experiment to get something nice. I tried some pork based broth, some chicken one, but never managed to make something that make me say “Waow!”.
So I bought some precooked ramen, it was the only noodles that I could find with “Ramen” written on it, and used some of the leftover ingredients that I had.
The result was “WAAAOW!”.


Ingredients for one bowl:

  • Ramen noodles
  • 500 ml of water
  • Dashi powder
  • 10 small prawns
  • 1 small onion
  • A very little piece of ginger
  • 1 teaspoon of fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of oyster sauce
  • 4 teaspoon of soy sauce
  • Sesame oil (I used sesame oil infused with garlic and ginger)
  • Miso paste
  • Spices:
    • Cayenne pepper
    • Paprika
    • Curry

For the topping:

  • 1 soft boiled egg
  • 2-3 onion slices
  • Half of a leaf of nori seaweed
  • Wakame seaweed
  • Bonito flakes
  • Shrimps from the broth.

  1. First cut your onion: Keep 2-3 thin slices for the topping and dice the rest in 1cm pieces.
  2. Slice the ginger without removing the skin.
  3. In a pan, warm up some sesame oil and slowly cook on medium heat the onion, ginger and the shrimp. While it is cooking, begin the preparation of the broth.
  4. In a pot, pour the water and the dashi powder and put it on medium heat.
  5. Add the soy sauce, the fish sauce and oyster sauce.
  6. When the ingredients in the pan begin to have a nice smell, put them in the pot and let it simmer at medium low heat for 20-30 minutes.
  7. Sieve the broth to remove everything that is not liquid.
  8. Dissolve a tablespoon of miso in the broth.
  9. Taste and add the spices and a teaspoon of sesame oil.
  10. Cook the ramen as indicated on the packet.
  11. When cooked, rinse the ramen and dray it.
  12. Add them to the soup for 2 minutes.
  13. Serve:
    1. Put some ramen in a bowl
    2. Add some soup to slightly cover it
    3. Add all the topings

Itadakimasu!

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