Let's make the cookie dough first. Whisk the butter until creamy. Gradually add the sugar, mix and dissolve in the butter.
When the color turns to white, gradually add the beaten egg and mix. Do not add the egg at once, otherwise the butter will separate. Bring the butter and egg to room temperature before use. This will make them easier to mix and the sugar will dissolve better.
Add the baking powder to the cake flour and mix with a spatula. Sift the flour mixture into a bowl. Sift it again.
Add one third of the cake flour to the butter mixture. Lightly mix with a spatula. Add another one third of the flour and lightly mix. Add the rest and stir until all the flour is thoroughly mixed. Be careful not to overmix the dough.
Place the dough on the cooking tray covered with plastic wrap. Rub bread flour on your hands and shape the dough into a cylinder. Cover with the plastic wrap. Cool down the cookie dough in a fridge for over 1 hour.
Let's make the bread dough next. Add the sugar, salt, non-fat dry milk powder and instant yeast to the bread flour. Whisk the flour mixture well. Dilute the beaten egg with the warm water. Gradually pour it into the flour and stir with a spatula until evenly mixed.
Clean the spatula with a scraper and place the flour mixture on a pastry board. Gather the crumble flour mixture and form it into a ball. Briefly knead it with your hands.
Throw the dough on the pastry board, fold it away, grab the side of the dough and throw it again. Gather the dough with the scraper. Knead the dough with your hands using your body weight. Repeat this process until the dough is less sticky.
Flatten the dough and spread on the butter. Gather the rim of the dough toward the center and knead in the butter. When the butter is mixed in, gather the dough with the scraper and form a dough ball.
Like shown before, continue to throw the dough on the board. Knead the dough on the board and throw again. Repeat this throwing and rolling process for 10 minutes. The dough is now smooth and glossy.
As shown in the video, shape the dough into a ball and replace it in the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let it sit in a warm place for 40 minutes. This conventional oven can keep its inside warm for fermentation.
The dough has now risen by 50% in volume. Remove the plastic wrap. Dip your finger in bread flour and make a hole in the dough. If the hole quickly disappears, the dough needs more fermentation. Measure the dough to get the total weight.
Dust bread flour on the pastry board and put on the dough. Flatten the dough and remove the gas inside. Roll the dough into a long cylinder. Divide the pre-measured dough into 5 even pieces. Make sure they are equal in weight.
Spread the dough toward the other side of the cutting surface. Shape each dough piece into a ball. Make sure the bottom is tightly closed. Line up the dough balls on the cooking tray dusted with flour. Cover with plastic wrap and let them rest for 20 minutes at a room temperature.
In the meantime, let's shape the cookie dough into round sheets. Divide the dough into 5 pieces. Measure each piece and make sure they are equal in weight. Put a bit of bread flour on your hands and shape each dough piece into a ball.
Place the ball on plastic wrap, cover with another wrap and press with the side of the scraper. Placing a three and a half inch diameter drawing under the wrap will help you get an equal set of cookie sheets.
Line up the cookie sheets on the cooking tray dusted with flour. Sit the tray in the fridge while the bread dough is resting. This will make the cookie dough easier to handle.
Let's shape the dough into Melonpan. Reshape each bread dough into a ball, cover with the cookie sheet and adjust the shape. Hold the dough upside down and stretch the cookie sheet up to the center.
Pinch the bottom of the bread dough and dip the cookie dough in sugar. Hold the Melonpan on your palm and make a diamond pattern on top with the scraper.
Line up the Melonpan on the baking sheet covered with parchment paper.
Let the Melonpan sit in the warm place for the second fermentation. This conventional oven can keep the inside at 37 °C (99 °F). After 40 minutes of the second rise, the Melonpan are almost doubled in volume.
Let's bake the Melonpan. Preheat the conventional oven at 170°C (338 °F) and bake the Melonpan for about 12 minutes. When each Melonpan gets slightly brown on top, remove the baking sheet from the oven. Cool them down on a cooling rack and they are ready to serve!
You can also let the dough rise in a styrofoam box filled with warm water. In that case, cover the bowl with a plastic bag and make sure the steam won't wet the dough.
The fermentation time depends on its temperature so be careful not to over-rise the dough.
Let's parboil the chicken. Slice the chicken thighs into bite-size pieces cutting at an angle. Make sure that each piece has about the same thickness. Place the chicken into a pot of boiling water.
Lightly cook the chicken until the surface turns white. Remove and place it onto a tray. This will help to remove any unwanted taste and smell, making the chicken more delicious.
Let's make the sukiyaki sauce also known as warishita. In a pot, combine the soy sauce, sugar, sake and water. Add the dashi kombu seaweed. If the kombu is not available, simply leave it out. Turn on the burner. Stir to mix. When the sugar dissolves, remove the pot. Let it sit to cool and then remove the kombu seaweed.
Let's prepare the ingredients. Slice the long green onion using diagonal cuts. As for the shungiku, use the soft upper half of the stalk and the bottom part of the leaves.
Here are the rest of the ingredients, enoki and shimeji mushrooms, grilled firm tofu and lightly parboiled shirataki noodles cut into shorter lengths.
Let's make the Torisuki. Pour the sukiyaki sauce into a shallow pot. Turn on the burner and bring it to a boil.
Add the shirataki noodles, grilled firm tofu cut into 1.5cm (0.6") slices and long green onion. Add the enoki mushrooms and shimeji mushrooms. Place the chicken into the pot.
Flip the ingredients over and allow them to absorb the broth. The chicken easily becomes tough so avoid overcooking it.
When the chicken is cooked, add the shungiku leaves. Lightly cook the shungiku in the broth and now the Torisuki is ready.
Dip the ingredients into the egg and enjoy the delectable Torisuki.
Using a raw egg is an essential part of enjoying sukiyaki here in Japan. When you are not sure if your raw eggs can be eaten raw, consider using pasteurized eggs.
You may also add udon noodles to the remaining broth and enjoy the last drop of delicious sauce.
Let's make tartar sauce. Slice the hard-boiled egg crosswise with an egg slicer. Remove and slice it lengthwise across the initial slices. Rotate it by 90 degrees and slice it lengthwise again. Put the finely chopped boiled egg into a bowl.
Slice the onion, stack the slices on top of each other and mince well. Put the chopped onion in another bowl and rub with a bit of salt. Rinse the onion with cold water and drain with a mesh strainer. Squeeze out the water, put them on a paper towel and remove the excess moisture. Add the onion to the chopped egg.
Pinch the parsley, chop into fine pieces and add it to the egg. Slice the pickled cucumber, stack them on top of each other and chop into fine pieces. Add it to the egg mixture. Add the mayonnaise and salt to the mixture.
Cut the lemon in half. Slice the lemon half into wedges. Squeeze the other half and add the lemon juice to the mixture. Mix evenly and the tartar sauce is ready to serve.
Let's prepare the side vegetables. Use a vegetable slicer and shred the cabbage into ice water. Let it sit in the water for 2 to 3 minutes. Drain the cabbage shreds with a salad spinner. Serve it on a plate. Garnish with the parsley, small tomamos and lemon wedges. Put the tartar sauce in a small cup and place it on the plate.
Let's prepare the black tiger prawns. Remove the sharp pointed shell from the tails. Peel the prawns but leave the last sections of the shell above the tails. Pierce the back of the prawns with a bamboo skewer and remove the sand veins.
Put the prawns in a bowl. Add a pinch of salt, potato starch and a little water to it. Gently rub the prawns with the salt and starch. Take the bowl to the sink and rinse them with running water to remove the dirt and fishy smell.
Place the prawns on a paper towel. Cover with another paper towel and press them to remove the excess moisture.
Cut the tips off the tails with a kitchen shears and remove the moist inside. Make cuts diagonally along the prawn stomachs. Press the prawns on their back and break the stringy parts. This process will prevent the prawns from curling up when heated. Finally, lightly sprinkle on salt.
Let's coat the prawns with batter. Crack the egg into a bowl. Add some water and beat the egg thoroughly with a whisk. First, dip the prawns into flour. Lightly coat and dust off the excess flour.
Second, dip them into the beaten egg.
Finally, coat the prawns with moist breadcrumbs. If they appear patchy, dip them into the egg again and reapply the breadcrumbs.
Let's deep-fry the prawns. Drop the breadcrumbs in the heated oil to check the oil temperature is around 175 °C (347 °F). Less than 2cm (0.8") depth of frying oil is good enough for this recipe. Dust off the breadcrumbs from the tails. Hold the prawn tails and gently put them into the oil one by one.
Let the prawns sit still in the oil for few seconds. Flip them over as the surface gets crispy. When the surface gets golden brown, place them on a paper towel and let them drain out the excess oil.
Serve the ebi fry on the plate along with the side vegetables and tartar sauce.
If the soft breadcrumbs are not available, mist dried breadcrumbs with water so that the ebi fry become crispy.
This tartar sauce uses less amount of mayonnaise. Adding extra mayo or a bit of mustard to the sauce also brings out the flavor.
Before you start to prepare the batter, preheat the conventional oven to 160°C (320°F). Line the bottom of the cake pan and the side with the parchment paper.
Put the eggs in a large bowl and beat them with a hand mixer at low speed. Add the sugar at once and beat the mixture for about 30 seconds.
Dip the bowl in hot water and beat the egg at high speed for 1~2 minutes. Temperature around 70~80°C (160~175°F) is ideal for the hot water. In this way, the egg mixture won't get too hot. Put your finger in the mixture. If it feels warm enough, take the bowl away from the hot water.
Add the milk to the unsalted butter and warm it up in the hot water.
Continue to beat the egg at high speed for 3~3.5 minutes until it forms a rippling pattern on the surface. As you lift the mixer, the mixture falls back slowly and seamlessly and the trail does not go away immediately.This stage is called soft peak.
Swap the hand mixer with a balloon whisk and mix the egg evenly. Shift the pastry flour into the bowl. Gently mix the flour from the bottom with a rubber spatula. Try not to break the foam and scoop up the batter about 30 times.
When all the flour is mixed in, pour the pre-heated butter mixture evenly over the batter. Scoop up the batter and gently let it fall from the spatula. Repeat this process about 50 times to mix.
When the batter gets glossy and smooth, pour it into the cake pan at once. Drop the cake pan a few times to break any air bubbles in the batter.
Place it in the preheated oven and bake at 160°C (320°F) for about 23 minutes. Remove the sponge cake from the oven. Pierce the cake with a bamboo stick and check if the batter isn't on it.
Drop the cake pan a few times to prevent the sponge cake from shrinking. Cover the cake with wax paper, flip over and let it cool down on a cooling rack. When it becomes completely cool, lift and remove the cake pan. Flip over the sponge cake and remove the wax paper.
Let's prepare the soaking syrup. Dissolve the sugar in the hot water and cool it down. Select 8 good-looking strawberries for topping and remove the stem ends. The rest of the strawberries will go between the cake slices. Remove the stem ends and slice them lengthwise into half inch slices.
Let's prepare the whipped cream. Add the sugar to the whipping cream. Dip the bowl in ice water and whip the cream with a balloon whisk. A hand mixer can easily over-whip the cream so we like to use the whisk. As shown in the video, whip the cream until in the 'soft peak stage'.
Let's frost the sponge cake with the whipped cream. Peel off the parchment paper and place the cake on a cake turntable. Before you divide the cake in half, draw a line along the side while rotating the turntable. Slice the cake horizontally along the line so that you'll get a clean cut. Place the upper cake slice on the rack with the cutting surface facing up.
Add the kirsch to the cold premade syrup. Brush the bottom cake slice with the soaking syrup. Repeat and let the other half soak the syrup.
Drop the whipped cream on the bottom cake slice. Spread the cream on the surface with a frosting spatula. Cover the cream layer with the sliced strawberries.
Drop the whipped cream on top and spread evenly. Add extra whipped cream to cover the strawberries completely.
Stack the upper cake slice on top with the syrup-soaked side facing down. Apply the syrup to the very top of the sponge cake.
Drop a generous amount of whipped cream on top. Spread evenly with the frosting spatula while rotating the turntable.
Grip the spatula vertically and cover the side evenly with the cream. Slide the spatula across the cake while scooping up the cream. Move the spatula diagonally towards your upper right, creating a decorative surface on the side. Finally, slide the spatula on top from the rim to the center, trimming the shape of the round cake.
Let's decorate the cake. Prepare the pastry bag with a star-shaped tip. Put the whipped cream in the bag. Give it a little squeeze to remove the air inside. As shown in the video, decorate the rim of the cake in a rippling pattern while rotating the turntable.
Squeeze out the cream for the strawberries to go on top later. Put the tip of the frosting spatula on the cake turntable, rotate and scrape off the excess cream.
Lift the cake with the spatula and serve it on a cake plate. Place the strawberries on top.
Sprinkle on powdered sugar to create the look of snow. Finally, place the Christmas ornaments on top and it is ready to serve!
Measuring the baking ingredients by weight is absolutely necessary so make sure to use a proper scale.
The measurements and whipping time for the batter are critical to make a sponge cake. If they are not accurate, the sponge cake will become flat.
Let the cake cool down in the cake pan as it will keep the sponge cake moist.
We recommend using the real whipping cream with no additives. It is rich-flavored and far more tastier than non-dairy alternatives.
The baking time depends on various factors for example the size of round pan and the type of oven you use. We recommend keeping your eyes on the cake while baking.
If the height of sponge cake is not enough, you might want to bake another sponge cake so that your Christmas cake will have 3 or 4 layers.
Let’s make the sushi vinegar. Combine the rice vinegar, salt and sugar. Stir to dissolve well.
Next, cut the shiso leaves in half lengthwise and remove the stalks. Stack the leaves and cut them into thin strips. Cut the beni shoga, thin strips of pickled ginger into fine pieces.
Place the fresh steamed rice into a bowl. Pour the sushi vinegar over the rice. With a rice paddle, toss to coat using a slashing motion to avoid crushing the grains.
When the vinegar is distributed evenly, slightly cool the rice with a fan. Flip the rice over and continue to cool the rice. This will help give the rice a glossy texture and remove the excess moisture.
Add the toasted white sesame seeds, shiso leaves and beni shoga. Combine all the ingredients evenly.
Place the shime saba, Japanese marinated mackerel on a baking sheet and sear the skin thoroughly with the kitchen torch. To make shime saba, fresh mackerel fillets are covered with salt and then, after removing the salt, the fillets are marinated in vinegar. Lightly cool the shime saba with a fan.
Cover a bento box with a plastic wrap and place in the shime saba with the skin side facing down.
Add a small amount of vinegar to a bowl of water and wet a rice paddle with it. Place the sushi rice onto the shime saba and distribute.
Add in the tororo kombu, thin long flakes of dried kombu seaweed softened in vinegar before shaving.
Cover with a plastic wrap. And thoroughly press the rice using a divider attached with the bento box.
Wet the paddle and place the rice into the bento box again. Distribute evenly. Cover and press it again. Let the sushi sit in the fridge for about 10 minutes, allowing the ingredients to firmly attach together.
Flip the bento box and remove the pressed sushi. Wet the blade of a knife thoroughly. Make a cut in the plastic wrap and then slice off the oshizushi. You should clean the blade each time you cut off a slice. If the blade is coated with rice, it will be difficult to make clean cuts.
Now, remove the plastic wrap. Arrange the oshizushi onto a plate. Finally, garnish with the autumn colored leaves.
Packaged shime saba is widely available in Japan and it is enjoyed as sashimi or sushi. Alternatively, you can use grilled mackerel seasoned with salt or smoked salmon.
Searing the skin of shime saba is optional but the nice and crispy outside will definitely stimulate your appetite.
If the shiso leaves are not available, you can use cucumber instead. Let salted cucumber slices sit for a while and tightly squeeze out the excess liquid before adding.
Let's prepare the ingredients. Cut the onion in half lengthwise and then slice into 1cm (0.4") slices across the grain. Slice the carrot into 4cm (1.6") slices and cut into 2mm (0.1") strips. Tear the shimeji mushrooms into small pieces. And slice the long green onion into 2cm (0.8") pieces.
Let's make the curry sauce for udon noodles. Add a small amount of vegetable oil to a pot and turn on the burner. Add in the white part of the long green onion sliced diagonally. Saute the onion to make it sweet and tender. When the onion is deliciously browned, remove and save it on a plate.
Add the vegetable oil again and reheat the pot. Add the onion, carrot and shimeji mushrooms. Lightly cook the ingredients. When the oil is distributed evenly, add in the beef slices. Continue to saute the ingredients.
When the redness in the meat has disappeared, reduce the heat to low. Then, add the curry powder. Stir-fry and bring out the aroma. The curry powder will easily burn so turn the heat off or maintain the lowest possible heat.
Now, pour the dashi stock into the pot. The curry has a strong flavor so you should use a relatively rich and savory broth to compensate. Add the sugar and usukuchi soy sauce. Combine the sauce. The usukuchi soy sauce helps to retain the presentable color of curry sauce but you can also use regular soy sauce.
Bring it to a boil on medium heat. Then, remove the foam. When the vegetables soften, reduce the heat to low. Thoroughly stir the diluted potato starch and add it to the broth a little at a time. If the heat is too strong, the starch will instantly clump up before it can be distributed.
Now, the sauce slightly thickens. Bring it to a boil on medium heat. Then, add the long green onion. Now, the curry sauce is ready.
Let's make the curry udon. Place the frozen udon noodles into a pot of boiling water. Loosen up the noodles. Then, boil for 30 seconds.
Remove the pot and quickly place the udon into a mesh strainer. Remove the excess water thoroughly and place the noodles into a bowl.
Pour the hot curry sauce over the udon along with the ingredients. Finally, top with the chopped spring onion leaves.
Usukuchi soy sauce is both saltier and lighter in color than regular soy sauce. It is often used in dishes that feature the colors of ingredients to help keep them from darkening.
Some people may have difficulties to find mirin so we intentionally made this recipe without using it. Hope more people can enjoy this delicious curry udon noodles!
Let's prepare the lotus root. Thoroughly rinse the lotus root and grate it along with the skin. The grated root should make approximately 50g (1.8 oz).
Slice about 100g (3.5 oz) of the lotus root. Then, coarsely chop the slices into small pieces.
Let's make the sauce. Combine the vinegar, sake, sugar and soy sauce. Stir to dissolve.
Let's combine the meatball ingredients. In a large bowl, season the ground pork with the salt and pepper. Add the soy sauce and sake. With your hand, squish the mixture to combine the ingredients. Then, loosely spread your fingers forming a rake shape to thoroughly mix the meat until the mixture becomes sticky. This will make it easier to combine other ingredients later.
Add the chopped ginger root, coarsely chopped long green onion, grated lotus root, and coarsely chopped lotus root. Add in the potato starch and sesame oil. Squeeze the mixture so all ingredients are well incorporated. Even if you use lean meat, adding the grated lotus root will give it a tender texture. The crispy chopped lotus root also adds a pleasant texture to the dish.
When the meat mixture is thoroughly combined, shape them into balls about the size of ping pong balls and place them onto a plate. You'll have about 12 meatballs in total. Now, remove your kitchen glove. Wet your hands with vegetable oil and roll each meatball between your palms to make a smooth surface.
Let's cook the meatballs. Heat the oil in a pot to 170 °C (340 °F) and reduce the heat to low. Gently place the meatballs into the pot. Then, bring to medium heat. Don’t touch the meatballs until the surface firms up. Occasionally shake the pot to keep the bottom of the meatballs from burning.
When the surface firms up, turn the meatballs over. Keep turning them to brown evenly for 5 to 6 minutes. They will turn to a delicious golden brown color. Remove the meatballs and place them onto a cooling rack.
Let's coat the meatballs with the sauce. Heat another pot on medium heat. Stir the sauce and pour it into the pot. Bring it to a boil and reduce the sauce. When the sauce begins to thicken, add the meatballs. Coat the meatballs with the sauce.
Place the meatballs onto a plate along with the sweet and sour sauce.
You can also top with shichimi chili pepper, sansho pepper or a generous amount of chopped seasonal kinome leaves to taste.
The meatballs are great for adding to bentos but be sure to cool them before packing.
Finally, the meatballs can be refrigerated or frozen so you can always keep them on standby.
Coat the side of the cake pan (15cm/5.9”) with a generous amount of butter. Using a pan with a removable bottom will help to remove the cheesecake. Place a piece of parchment paper cut to fit into the bottom of the pan. Then, cover the outside of the pan with a large piece of aluminum foil.
Bring the cream cheese, sour cream and butter to room temperature and combine them in a bowl with a balloon whisk. Add one egg yolk and mix thoroughly. Then add the other egg yolk and mix.
Sieve the cake flour into the bowl. Combine the mixture until there are no pockets of dry flour.
Add the milk a little at a time and mix thoroughly. Be sure to bring the egg yolks and milk to room temperature also.
Add the vanilla extract and mix. Finally, sieve the mixture into a bowl.
Let’s make the meringue. Lightly beat the chilled egg whites with a hand mixer. Then, add the sugar in 3 steps and beat the egg white for a total of one and a half to two minutes. Avoid over-beating otherwise it’ll be difficult to combine the meringue and the egg yolk mixture, leading to more mixing and eventually breaking the foam.
Just before the meringue is ready, switch to a balloon whisk and check its consistency. Beat until the meringue reaches a firm peak stage and has a glossy texture.
Add one third of the meringue to the egg yolk mixture.
Mix thoroughly. At this stage, you don’t need to worry about breaking the foam. Then, add another one third of the meringue. This time, gently mix and avoid breaking the foam.
Finally, place all the egg yolk mixture into the bowl with the rest of the meringue. Like shown, lift the whisk from the bottom to gently combine the batter. Be sure not to break the foam. Mix until all of the white lumps of meringue have disappeared.
Pour the batter into a pan and place it into a deep tray. The pan has a removable bottom so be sure to cover it with relatively thick aluminum foil to avoid wetting the cheesecake. If your aluminum foil is too thin, you should cover the cake pan with 2 or 3 layers, making absolutely sure to avoid any leakage.
Slash the batter with a spatula to remove any air bubbles. Pour hot water into the tray about 2 cm deep.
Place the cake pan into the preheated oven and bake at 160°C (320°F) for 10 minutes. Then, lower the temperature to 150°C (300°F) and bake for additional 40 to 50 minutes.
Pierce the cake with a bamboo stick. If the stick is clean, it is ready. Remove and place the cake pan onto a cooling rack. Let it sit to cool and then chill the cake in the fridge for over 2 hours.
Remove the soufflé cheesecake from the pan. Gently lift the bottom. Be careful not to damage the side of the cake. Run an icing spatula along the bottom. Remove the bottom of the pan and place the cheesecake onto a cutting board. Dampen the blade of a knife to help make a clean cut and cut a piece of cake.
Place the souffle cheesecake onto a plate. Finally, coat the top with the apricot jam diluted with rum.
Be sure to bring the refrigerated items to room temperature before combining.
The refreshing aroma of lemon also goes great with the cheesecake. If you’re interested, add lemon zest to the batter after straining with a mesh strainer.
Alternatively, you can sprinkle icing sugar on top. It will be visually appealing and also delicious.