Yakisoba noodles are commonly served by vendor booths at festivals and also when people go out camping in Japan. This is a simple, delicious and healthy recipe and you can eat plenty of healthy vegetables.
Place the Kraft paper or bakery paper in the cardboard box wrapped with aluminum foil and distribute the coarse demerara sugar or coffee sugar crystals.
Lightly beat the eggs in a bowl with a hand mixer at a low speed. Add the sugar and mix.
Float the bowl in hot water and gradually heat the egg. When it begins to slightly warm up, remove the bowl and continue mixing. Turn off the burner and heat a glass of water.
Beat the egg at high speed for about 8 minutes until the color turns white, and it reaches a soft peak stage. When you lift the mixer, the rippling pattern should remain on the surface as you see here.
Dilute the honey with the heated water. Add it to the beaten egg and mix with the hand mixer for 1 more minute at high speed. Switch to low speed and mix for about another minute until it has a fine, glossy texture.
Distribute the bread flour onto the egg mixture. At medium speed, whip the mixture for about 2 minutes until it has a smooth texture again.
Drop the bowl a few times to break any air bubbles. Then, pour the batter into the square mold. Slash the batter with a spatula to remove any air bubbles.
Place the batter into a preheated conventional oven. For the first 15 minutes, bake at 170°C (340°F). Then, reduce the heat to 160°C (320°F) and bake it for about 50 more minutes. The baking temperature and time depend on the type of your oven, so adjust them accordingly.
Pierce the castella with a bamboo stick. If the stick is slightly moist, it is ready. When the stick is dry and clean, the castella has lost its moist texture. The moist texture is essential for delicious castella so avoid over-baking.
Remove the mold and drop it on the counter a few times to prevent the castella from shrinking. Place a tray covered with plastic wrap on top. Then, flip it over.
Before placing the tray onto the castella, we recommend making a cut along the corners of the Kraft paper and folding the edges outward. This will help avoid damaging the surface of the castella. Now, remove the mold.
Wrap it with 2 layers of plastic wrap crosswise, completely covering the castella. Let it sit to cool and then store the castella in the fridge for one whole day. This will make it moist and even more delicious.
Let’s serve the castella. Carefully remove the Kraft paper and slice off the edges. For each cut, wipe the knife with a dampened towel to help make a clean cut.
Cut the castella in half. Then, slice it into 3cm (1.2") pieces. Arrange the pieces onto a plate.
We will show you how to make the homemade mold for castella. This is the Kraft paper with 4 slits.
The cardboard box is wrapped with aluminum foil.
To wrap the box, carefully cover it with a long strip of aluminum foil.
Then, cover it with another aluminum strip crosswise. If you don’t have a square cake pan, try making it as shown.
All-purpose flour or cake flour can be also used but we recommend using bread flour to help create a moist and kind of gooey texture.
You can keep the castella in the fridge for 1 week or store it in the freezer for up to 1 month.
Castella goes great with green tea, coffee or black tea and it is a perfect gift for special occasions.
Let's make the Tebasaki sauce. Combine the soy sauce, sake, mirin, sugar, and the grated garlic and ginger root in a pot. Turn on the burner. Stir evenly with a spatula.
Bring it to a boil to let the alcohol evaporate. Turn the heat to low, reducing the sauce for a few minutes. Pour the sauce into a bowl. Add the vinegar and stir with the spatula.
Let's prepare the chicken wings. Place the chicken wings onto a paper towel. Cover with another paper towel and press with your hands, removing all of the excess water.
Remove the paper towels and sprinkle on the salt. Lightly pat the salt onto the chicken. Flip it over and sprinkle on the salt again, lightly patting it.
Place the chicken into a bowl. Add the sake and ginger root juice. Rub the seasonings into the chicken thoroughly. After seasoning the chicken, allow to sit for about 10 minutes.
Press the chicken with a paper towel to lightly remove the excess liquid. Put the potato starch into a food storage bag. Place the chicken wings into the bag. Shake vigorously to coat the chicken with the starch. Place the chicken wings onto a cooking tray.
Let’s deep-fry the Tebasaki chicken. Heat the vegetable oil over medium heat. Drop in a sprinkle of sesame oil for added fragrance and taste. The amount of the frying oil should be enough to almost cover the chicken wings.
Remove the excess starch from the chicken. Place them into the pot while the oil is still cold. Deep-fry the chicken without stirring until the surface is cooked. This will help hold the starch in place while cooking.
When the temperature begins to rise, ladle the hot oil over the chicken to cook thoroughly. The hot oil tends to splash so be careful not to burn yourself.
When the edges of the chicken begin to brown, flip them over. Deep-fry the chicken evenly until golden brown. Place the chicken onto a cooling rack. Turn off the burner.
When they are still hot, put the chicken wings into the bowl of Tebasaki sauce. With a paddle, toss to coat with the sauce.
Serve the Tebasaki chicken wings on a plate. With a kitchen brush, coat the chicken with the extra sauce.
Sprinkle on the toasted white sesame seeds and a generous amount of the coarsely ground black pepper. Finally, top with the sansho pepper powder and red chili powder to taste.
Be sure to drop in the chicken when the oil is still cold. This will help the chicken heat up slowly, cooking the inside with the juices while deep-frying the outside to a golden brown.
This recipe allows you to make plenty of Tebasaki chicken wings without any trouble. You should definitely try it on Thanksgiving Day.
Drain the rinsed sweet rice with a mesh strainer for 30 minutes. As for the dried shrimp, soak them in 2 tablespoons of lukewarm water for 30 minutes. Add the shrimp liquid to a measuring cup. Fill with water to equal 180ml (6.1 fl oz).
Place the sweet rice into the inner bowl of a rice cooker. Pour in the shrimp stock. Then, cook the rice in sweet rice mode on the rice cooker. If your rice cooker doesn't have a sweet rice mode, select the white rice mode instead.
Meanwhile, let's prepare the ingredients. Coarsely chop the rehydrated shrimp into smaller pieces. As for the shimeji mushrooms, remove the stem ends and tear them into individual pieces.
Let's make the seasoning. Combine the soy sauce, oyster sauce, sake, sugar, pepper and water. Mix thoroughly.
Cut the pork shoulder into 1cm (0.4") cubes and pour the sake and soy sauce over it. Thoroughly rub the pork with the seasoning until all the liquid is absorbed.
Next, heat a small amount of vegetable oil in a pan. Place the pork in the pan. The diced pork cubes are visually appealing but you can also use ground pork. Brown the pork cubes and flip them over.
When both sides of the pork turn golden brown, place onto a tray. You don't need to cook the pork completely at this stage.
Clean the pan with a paper towel. Add the vegetable oil again and reheat the pan. Add the minced ginger root and rehydrated shrimp. Stir-fry the ingredients.
When the aroma grows stronger, add the shimeji mushrooms. Distribute the oil and stir-fry until the mushrooms are slightly softened. Stir the seasoning and add it to the ingredients. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
Then, add the shelled amaguri chestnuts. Now, add the pork shoulder. Continue to stir-fry and reduce the seasoning until most of the liquid is reduced.
Finally, add a small amount of sesame oil and distribute. This will help to bring out the aroma and the flavor. Turn off the burner and the ingredients are ready.
When the sweet rice is ready, lightly loosen up the rice with a rice paddle. Then, add the seasoned ingredients to the inner bowl. Using the steaming hot rice will make it easy to combine the ingredients.
Distribute the ingredients evenly but be careful not to crush the rice grains. Close the rice cooker and let it sit for 5 minutes to even out the flavor.
Now, the Chuka Okowa is ready. Place the mixed rice into a bowl. Finally, garnish with the chopped spring onion leaves to taste.
This recipe doesn't require soaking the sweet rice in water or steaming the rice so you can easily make Chuka Okowa.
This is a great bento ingredient since sweet rice is tender even when cold.
You can also make onigiri rice balls and keep them in the freezer on standby.
Let’s prepare the vegetables. Use the outer layers of the onion to make the dish more presentable. Slice the onion into 1.5cm (0.6") slices and then cut them in half again.
Cut the eringi mushroom or king oyster mushroom in half. Cut it lengthwise and then slice into 5mm (0.2") slices. Cut the lettuce leaves in half lengthwise and then chop them into 1.5cm (0.6") strips.
And now, let’s stir-fry the vegetables. Heat the olive oil in a pan. Drop in the onion and eringi mushroom and toss to coat with the oil. Sprinkle on the salt and brown the vegetables. Finally, sprinkle on the pepper, turn off the burner and place the vegetables onto a plate.
Remove the steak from the fridge 1 hour before you start cooking. On one side of the steak, sprinkle the salt and the pepper.
Turn on the burner and heat the vegetable oil on medium heat. Place the steak onto the pan with the seasoned side facing down. Occasionally shake the pan to help it brown evenly.
With a pair of tongs, check the under side of the steak. When it has browned thoroughly, flip the steak over.
Once both sides are browned, turn off the burner and place it onto a plate with the tongs. Cover it with aluminum foil while preparing the next step. This will help keep the steak warm and contain the savory juices while preparing the next step.
Let’s make the delicious onion ponzu sauce. Remove the remaining oil in the pan with a paper towel. Add the sake and allow the alcohol to evaporate.
Turn on the burner and add the grated onion. Stir with a spatula and cook the onion until the pungent aroma softens.
Add the citrus-based ponzu sauce, grated garlic and butter. Continue stirring with the spatula and bring the sauce to a boil. When the butter is completely melted, the sauce is ready. Pour it into a sauce boat.
Let’s make the beef steak donburi. Place the chopped lettuce onto a bowl of hot steamed rice. Next, place the onion and mushroom along the edge of the bowl.
Remove the aluminum foil from the plate and place the steak onto a cutting board. Slice the beef using diagonal cuts.
Line up the beef slices on the lettuce, presenting the pink cut surface. Finally, garnish with the watercress on top.
Just before serving, pour a generous amount of the onion ponzu sauce onto the beef, onion and mushroom. Wasabi also goes great with this recipe so try it out if you are feeling a little adventurous.
Cook the steak medium so that the beef is tender and the pink cuts are visually appealing.
Let’s make the takoyaki batter. Add the salt to the cake flour in a bowl. And thoroughly mix the powder with a balloon whisk.
Gradually pour in the cold dashi stock. Mix in the flour from the center to the outside to help avoid pockets of dry flour. Using the cold dashi stock will help avoid developing the gluten and create a soft and light texture. Add the soy sauce.
Thoroughly beat the egg in a bowl and add it to the batter. Mix to combine.
Pour the batter into a pitcher.
Let’s prepare the fillings. Cut the boiled octopus into 1cm (0.4”) pieces. Squid or scallops can also be used but then it would not be called takoyaki since tako means octopus.
Cut the shrimp in half. These shrimp are already peeled and deveined. If you’re interested in how to clean shrimp, heck out our ebi chili video.
Heat a takoyaki pan to about 240°C (464°F). Pour in a generous amount of oil. Make sure to distribute the oil outside of the holes too. Stir the batter and drop in a bit to check if the pan is hot enough. Then, pour the batter into the holes.
Immediately place the octopus and shrimp into each hole.
Sprinkle on the chopped cabbage leaves, bonito powder, spring onion leaves and the beni shoga also known as pickled ginger.
When the batter around the edges of the holes begins to cook, separate each takoyaki from the pan with bamboo sticks and tilt it 90 degrees.
When all the takoyaki are tilted, fill the holes with the batter again.
Turn the takoyaki a little at a time and shape them into balls.
Now, the takoyaki are golden brown and turn smoothly with a light flick. Place each takoyaki onto a plate as soon as it is ready.
Brush them with the okonomiyaki sauce. And sprinkle on the aonori seaweed. Finally, garnish with the bonito flakes. You can also top with mayonnaise to taste.
You can also use mochi, cheese, kimchi, sausage, or bacon for fillings and enjoy a variety of flavors.
There is a much heated debate whether cabbage leaves can be used in takoyaki. If your guests are Japanese, make sure to get permission so that nobody gets upset.
We are cooking easily available frozen salmon to make Yakizuke, in which the main ingredient is grilled first and then marinated. This is a local dish in Niigata Prefecture and it was originally made at home to preserve fresh salmon which are caught in that area.
Let’s make the marinade. In a small pot, combine the sake and the mirin. Turn on the burner. Bring it to a boil and let the alcohol evaporate until you can’t smell it anymore. Pour the mixture onto a plate.
Add the vinegar, yuzu citrus juice, dashi kombu seaweed, dried red chili pepper and soy sauce. You can use any type of sour citrus juice instead of the yuzu juice. Stir to mix.
Make numerous cuts along the long green onion diagonally. The small cuts will help it to absorb the flavor and also help soften the texture. Then, cut the onion into 4cm (1.6") pieces. As for the bell pepper, cut it the same size as the onion.
Let’s make the Salmon Yakizuke. Add the sake to the salmon. And coat both sides evenly.
Add the vegetable oil to a pan. Turn on the burner and add the long green onion and the bell pepper. Stir-fry the vegetables. You can also use asparagus, snap peas, onion or mushrooms instead.
Now, the vegetables are deliciously browned. Place them into the marinade.
With a paper towel, remove the moisture from the salmon. Then, using a mesh strainer, sprinkle all purpose flour on both sides. This will help to create a nicely browned surface and also absorb the marinade.
Add oil again and reheat the pan. Place the salmon into the pan. Saute the top side first so that you can present a beautifully browned surface. Occasionally shake the pan to brown evenly. Cover and saute on low heat.
When the bottom is golden brown, flip it over. Brown the other side. You can also grill the salmon to give the skin a crisp texture, making the dish more delicious. Now, it is ready.
Place the salmon onto the plate. Spoon the marinade over the ingredients and let them sit until cool.
Now, the Yakizuke has absorbed the flavor. Place the kombu seaweed and a piece of long green onion onto a plate. Then, lean the salmon against them.
Garnish with the bell pepper and the long green onion. Finally, spoon the marinade over the salmon.
You can enjoy the dish immediately or keep it in the fridge for several hours to help it absorb more delicious flavor.
The kombu seaweed did an excellent job! The dish absorbed the flavor well and it goes great with steamed rice.
Let’s cut the ingredients. Cut the yaki dofu, grilled firm tofu into bite-size pieces. Remove the stems of the shiitake mushrooms and cut the caps into bite-size pieces. Remove the stem ends of the enoki mushrooms. Then, tear the enoki into small pieces.
Slice the white part of the spring onion leaves using diagonal cuts. Cut the green part into 5cm (2") pieces. Slice the onion perpendicular to the grain into 1.5cm (0.6") slices.
Cut the ito konnyaku noodles in half. Heat a pot of water and place the konnyaku into it. Lightly simmer the ito konnyaku for about 30 seconds. This will help to remove the excess water and absorb the broth later. Remove and strain the konnyaku in a mesh strainer.
Let’s cook the sukiyaki. Heat the beef fat in a pan on medium heat and coat the bottom with the oil. Reduce the heat and add the sugar.
Distribute the thin beef slices. When the beef is half cooked, drizzle on the soy sauce. Then, quickly beat the egg in a bowl.
Flip the beef slices over and combine the sugar and soy sauce. The meat is the most delicious state now so make sure to enjoy it. Dip the beef into the egg and enjoy the meat!
Place the beef on the edges of the pan. The caramelized sugar makes the additional ingredients more delicious. Add the yaki dofu, ito konnyaku, shiitake, enoki mushrooms, onion and spring onion leaves.
Add more beef slices. Adjust the heat frequently and keep it below medium heat. If the ingredients come close to burning, pour in a little sake to cool things off.
Sprinkle some sugar onto each ingredient. Drizzle on the soy sauce. Pour the sake over the ingredients.
Turn the heat to medium and occasionally flip the ingredients over to cook evenly. It’s ready to serve. As soon as each ingredient is cooked dip them in the egg and enjoy the sukiyaki.
We will show you how to add the ingredients to the sukiyaki. For example, adding the spring onion leaves. When you place new ingredients into the sukiyaki, add the seasonings for them. Sprinkle on the sugar. And add the soy sauce. Combine the seasonings, and the spring onion leaves are ready.
When you’ve fully enjoyed the vegetables, add the udon noodles at the end. Add a small amount of sake, sugar and soy sauce. Allow the udon to absorb the remaining sauce and enjoy it with the egg.
You might think that seasoning each ingredient with the sugar and soy sauce is a cumbersome process but it will make it easy to achieve the best flavor.
If you can’t use sake, reduce the heat to as low as possible and avoid adding water to keep the ingredients from getting watery.
Gradually heat the whipping cream using a bain-marie (hot water bath).
Meanwhile, break the chocolate bars into small pieces. We recommend using dark bittersweet chocolate but you can also use sweet or milk chocolate.
Stir the whipping cream with a spatula 2 to 3 times. Just before it begins to boil, remove and place onto a trivet. Add the chocolate pieces to the cream.
Mix thoroughly and dissolve the chocolate. We used 36% fat whipping cream for this recipe. The light whipping cream has a rich flavor and also causes less separation. Gently mix to keep it from separating.
When it is smooth, add the brandy or rum and continue to mix.
Remove the bowl from the bain-marie and allow it to sit to cool. When cooled, firm up the chocolate completely in the fridge or freezer.
The nama chocolate is completely firm. Using a spoon, shape the chocolate into a small ball and then place it into a glassine paper candy cup.
Repeat the process and now you have 4 pieces of nama chocolate. Sprinkle on the cocoa powder.
Finally, place them into a truffle box.
Nama chocolate might separate for various reasons so we recommend making a small amount for your first time and following each step shown in the video.
We used 36% fat whipping cream for this recipe. The light whipping cream has a rich flavor and also causes less separation.