Let’s season the chicken drumsticks. Make sure to prewash the chicken and remove all the excess moisture. Sprinkle on the salt, pepper and curry powder. Flip the chicken over and then sprinkle on the salt, pepper and curry powder again. Toss to coat evenly.
Let’s grate the onions using a food processor. Cut the onions in half and then into rough pieces. Put the pieces into the bowl and cover with a lid. Pulse several times and then turn on the processor. And now the onion is grated.
Let’s saute the chicken. Add the olive oil to a pot and turn on the burner. Dust the chicken pieces with all-purpose flour, flip them over and dust again. Toss to coat evenly.
Line up the chicken in the heated pot. Lightly brown the surface and flip them over. The curry powder easily burns so keep your eyes on it.
Remove the chicken and set aside.
Add a little more olive oil to the pot and drop in the grated onion. Stir the onion on high heat and reduce the liquid.
Continue scraping the scorched onion off the bottom and sides and brown the onion on high heat for about 30 minutes.
When it comes to the end, reduce the heat to low and carefully caramelize the onion. Add the cumin seeds, grated ginger and garlic. Stir the mixture and allow the aroma to grow stronger.
Add the curry powder and saute for 2 to 3 minutes until aromatic.
Add the diced tomatoes and continue sauteing the mixture.
Add the water and crumble in the chicken bouillon cube.
Add the yogurt and distribute it evenly. Place the chicken into the pot.
Bring it to a boil on high heat and remove the foam. Cover and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes on low heat. This will allow the bone marrow to melt into a savory broth. Occasionally stir the bottom of the pot to keep it from burning.
Add the salt, pepper, curry powder, garam masala spices, and the fruit jam, and distribute evenly.
Cover and simmer for 2 to 3 more minutes. Turn off the burner and now the curry is ready to serve.
Place the steamed rice with mixed grains and seeds onto a plate. Ladle the chicken curry next to the rice. And now, the chicken curry is ready.
Sauteing the onion for 30 minutes is quite a bit of work but your effort will be rewarded by the delicious chicken curry.
Add the powdered spices again in the final stage since they easily lose the aroma when cooked thoroughly.
When rushed, you may use ready to cook fried onion paste to save time.
Remove the firm stringy fibers of the snow peas. You can also use snap peas or string bean pods instead. Add salt to a pot of boiling water to help keep the peas from getting soggy. Boil the snow peas for about 1 minute. Remove and strain the peas with a mesh strainer.
Boil the firm tofu in the same pot. As shown, tear the tofu and submerge it in the boiling water. This parboiling process will reduce the water in the tofu and also help it absorb the flavor.
When the inside becomes hot, remove and strain the tofu with a mesh strainer.
Let's cut the ingredients. Cut the snow peas into 1cm (0.4") pieces using diagonal cuts. Slice the carrot into 4cm (1.6") slices. Then, cut into relatively thick strips.
Rehydrate the dried shiitake mushrooms and squeeze out the excess liquid. Save the shiitake liquid for later use. Remove the stems. And cut the caps into fine strips.
As for the chicken breast, cut into 1cm (0.4") cubes. Cut the white part of the long green onion into thin circular slices.
Let's make the Iri Dofu. Heat the sesame oil in a pan. Add the white part of long green onion. Stir-fry until the onion is slightly browned and it starts to grow more fragrant.
Add the carrot. Then, add the shiitake mushrooms.
When the sesame oil is distributed evenly, add the chicken. Continue to stir-fry.
Now, the chicken is cooked. Remove the excess water from the tofu with a paper towel. Then, add the tofu. Roughly break the tofu into smaller pieces while sauteing.
Lightly season the tofu with salt. If you are a health-conscious person, you can definitely leave it out but a pinch of salt makes a big difference and brings out the savory flavor. Stir-fry on high heat and reduce the liquid.
Add the sugar, salt, soy sauce and shiitake liquid. The savory shiitake broth should be about 2 to 3 tablespoons. If you add too much liquid, you will need to spend more time to reduce it.
Thoroughly stir-fry the ingredients and reduce the excess broth. Then, pour the beaten egg over the mixture.
When the edges begin to firm up, gently distribute the egg. Add the snow peas and quickly mix.
Now, it is ready. Ladle the Iri Dofu into a bowl.
When you use the Iri-Dofu as a bento ingredient, be sure to stir-fry thoroughly to reduce the broth and cook the egg completely.
To rehydrate the dried shiitake mushrooms, soak them in water and store in the fridge overnight. You can also freeze the rehydrated shiitake to keep them on standby.
Let’s make the mango pudding. Heat the water in a pot. When small bubbles begin to form around the entire bottom surface, remove the pot.
Add the sugar and mix to dissolve. The sweetness depends on the type of mango so adjust the amount of sugar accordingly.
Add the gelatin powder and completely dissolve it. There are many types of gelatin powder so be sure to follow the instructions on the package.
Add the gelatin mixture to the bowl with the mango puree and mix. Add the heavy cream also. Combine the mixture thoroughly.
Add the lemon juice to taste. If your mango puree is very sour, you should skip the lemon juice.
Pour the mixture into 5 small cups. Chill them in the fridge for over 2 hours. If you are in a rush, place them in the freezer for 40 to 50 minutes.
Now, the mango pudding is firmed up. Spoon the lightly whipped heavy cream onto the pudding.
Slice off the mango along the flat seed and make cuts in the flesh in a grid pattern. Be sure not to cut the skin. By the way, this mango is from Miyazaki Prefecture. It is sweet and juicy but also expensive so we only used it for the topping.
Cut the mango in half lengthwise and peel off the skin. Looks so delicious!
Place the diced ripe mango onto the pudding. Finally, garnish with the mint leaves.
The type of gelatin we used is widely available in Japan and you can directly add it to hot water approximately 80 degrees Celsius. Make sure to follow the instructions for your gelatin powder.
To get the most out of the appetizing mango color, we didn’t add any milk at all and minimized the use of heavy cream.
We used a minimal amount of gelatin so it has a puru-puru, jelly-like texture.
Let's drain the firm tofu. Remove the tofu from the package. Wrap the tofu with a thick paper towel. Use a dish as a weight and let the tofu sit for 20 minutes. If the room temperature is high, let the tofu sit in a fridge.
Let's cut the vegetables. Remove the root end of the garlic clove. Crush the garlic clove with the flat side of a knife. Remove the skin and chop the garlic into fine pieces.
Slice the ginger thinly. Stack the slices on top of each other and cut them into fine strips. Turn the strips and chop across the ginger.
Remove the root ends of the garlic chives. Cut the chives in half and chop them into half inch pieces.
Here is the Chinese-style chicken stock powder. Pour hot water in the heatproof measuring cup. Stir and dissolve the chicken stock well.
Dissolve the potato starch in twice its volume of water.
After 20 minutes of draining, gently remove the paper towel from the tofu. Be careful not to break it. First, slice the tofu horizontally and divide into 2 blocks. Next, cut vertically across the tofu. Finally, dice up the tofu into 3/4 inch cubes.
Let's make Mapo Tofu. Heat up the pan and pour in the sesame oil. Swirl the pan to coat it with oil. Stir-fry the ground pork at hight heat while breaking it into small pieces.
When the pork is thoroughly cooked and the color of pork fat becomes clear, add chopped garlic and ginger and reduce the heat to medium. Stir-fry until aromatic.
Move the pork to one side and make an extra space on the pan. Put the doubanjiang and tian mian jiang directly on the heated surface and fry at low heat to increase the flavor. Stir constantly to avoid burning.
Mix the condiments and pork together and stir-fry until evenly browned. Add the sake and stir until the moisture is gone.
Add the chicken stock, soy sauce and sake to the mixture and stir lightly.
Put in the tofu cubes and gently spread them in the pan. Bring the sauce to a boil at high heat. When it boils, reduce the heat to medium low and simmer for two to three minutes. The tofu's moisture gets reduced and it will absorb the flavor of the sauce. This process will reduce the tofu's moisture and let the tofu absorb the flavour of the sauce.
Add in the garlic chives and gently stir with the wooden spatula. Mix and dissolve the potato starch evenly before adding it to the Mapo Tofu. Lift the pan from the burner and pour in the potato starch while swirling the pan.
Gently mix the content by sliding the spatula away from you, otherwise the tofu easily breaks into pieces. Heat over high heat for around 30 seconds and it's ready to serve.
Turn off the burner and serve the Mapo Tofu in the bowl. Sprinkle on Sichuan pepper if you like the unique aroma and flavor.
After adding the potato starch, heat the Mapo Tofu well until thickened, otherwise it will get runny when served.
You can also serve the Mapo Tofu on a rice bowl, making it Mapo Tofu donburi.
Doubanjiang, Tian Mian Jiang and Sichuan Pepper are found in the Chinese food section of most major grocery stores.
Drop-lidotoshi buta, substitute: aluminum foil or parchment paper with several half inch holes
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Let’s prepare the saba, mackerel fillet. With kitchen tweezers, remove the small bones from the middle of the fillet.
Flip the mackerel over, cut it in half and make a shallow diagonal cut in the skin of each piece.
Add water to a large amount of boiling water to bring it just below the boiling point. With a mesh strainer, submerge a piece of mackerel into the hot water. When the surface turns white, immediately drop it into a bowl of ice water. Repeat this process for the other piece of mackerel.
Gently rinse the surface of the fillet and remove the moisture thoroughly with a paper towel. This process will help remove the fishy smell and clean the surface.
Let’s simmer the mackerel. Combine the water, sake, sugar and mirin in a pan. Dissolve half of the miso in a ladle and then distribute it into the mixture. Turn on the burner and bring it to a boil.
Place the fillet into the miso sauce with the skin side facing up. A pan or shallow pot is easy to use when simmering fish. Bring the sauce to a boil again and remove the foam with a mesh strainer.
Drop in the ginger root slices and the green part of the long green onion. The onion will help cover the fishy smell.
Place the dampened wooden drop-lid called otoshi buta onto the fillet to help it cook evenly. Simmer for 5 minutes on medium heat.
Uncover and remove the long green onion. Ladle the broth into a bowl and dissolve the rest of the miso and then distribute it back into the pan. Adding the miso in 2 steps will help prevent the miso from losing its aroma.
Add the bell pepper, cover and simmer for 2 to 3 more minutes.
Uncover and remove the bell pepper before it fades in color. Ladle the miso sauce over the fillet and reduce the sauce without the drop-lid.
Turn off the burner and place the fillet onto a plate. Put the bell pepper next to it and ladle the miso sauce over the mackerel. Finally, garnish with the shiraganegi, the shredded white part of the long green onion.
For the drop-lid you can substitute aluminum foil or parchment paper with several half inch holes. In that case, you should place some kind of small weight on top, for example a light plate.
We are making soft-cooked omurice where the top is covered with the egg instead of being wrapped completely. The combination of the soft-cooked egg and the thoroughly stir-fried rice is very delicious!
Let’s make the omurice sauce. Using a hand blender, make the tomato sauce smooth.
Pour the sauce into a small pot and turn on the burner. Heat the sauce while stirring. Then, add a splash of soy sauce. This will bring out the flavor and give the sauce a touch of Japanese style. This simple sauce goes great with omurice.
Let’s make the chicken rice. Lightly season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper. Then, toss to coat. Heat a pan and add the vegetable oil. Add the coarsely chopped onion and the mixed vegetables. Saute the vegetables for about 1 to 2 minutes.
When the pungent taste of the onion disappears and it starts to grow more fragrant, add the chicken pieces. Continue sauteing.
When the chicken is almost cooked, add the button mushrooms.
When the mushrooms are coated with oil, add the white wine and stir. Then, add the ketchup. Distribute the ketchup and allow the excess water to evaporate. A tip to making this dish delicious is to reduce the moisture of ketchup here.
Add the hot steamed rice. Coat the rice with the sauce but be careful not to crush the grains.
Season with salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Place the chicken rice onto a plate.
Let’s make the soft-cooked omurice. Break up the egg white with chopsticks and then lightly beat the eggs. Avoid over-beating the egg to give it a pleasant texture. Add the milk, salt and pepper.
Heat a pan and add the butter. Melt the butter and distribute it on the pan.
Lightly stir the egg mixture and quickly pour it into the pan.
When the edges begin to firm up, keep moving them to the center of the pan to give the egg an even silky texture. Keep watching the consistency of the egg and remove the pan from the burner to adjust the heat. Cook the egg halfway through and now it is ready.
Gently place the egg onto the chicken rice.
Pour on the tomato sauce. Finally, sprinkle on the chopped parsley leaves.
Bacon, ham or sausage can be also used instead of the chicken pieces.
The tomato sauce is easy to make and it is full of savory tomato flavor.
If you are not sure about the quality of your eggs or want to cook the egg completely, please check out our previous omurice recipe.
Let's grind the coffee beans to make fresh coffee. Using a hand-cranked coffee grinder is fun and gives you a special hands-on feel!
Place the coffee into the filter in the dripper. Even out the grounds making a flat surface. The water should be about 90°C (194°F). Slowly pour just enough water in the dripper to moisten the grounds. Let it sit for 30 seconds.
Then very slowly drip the hot water over the grounds.
Continue to slowly drip the water over the grounds until you have about 250ml or 1 cup of coffee. Remove the dripper to avoid the last few drops as they can add a bitter astringent taste to the coffee.
Add the sugar to a bowl and pour the coffee over it to dissolve it thoroughly. Then, add the gelatin powder and stir it into the coffee.
Pour the mixture into a chilled square mold. Make sure to remove any surface foam or bubbles. Let it sit to cool and then chill the jelly in the fridge so it firms up.
When the jelly is firm cut it into cubes as shown. To remove it easily, warm the bottom of the container with hot water.
Place it into a bowl and then spoon the coffee jelly into individual cups. Pour a little of the whipping cream over the jelly or top with a dollop of whipped cream. Sprinkle a little cocoa powder on top and it's ready to serve!
Regular milk, evaporated milk or sweetened condensed milk can be used instead of the whipping cream.
Make sure it is well chilled. The jelly will begin to melt if it gets too hot.
The aroma of the coffee and the refreshing texture make the jelly so delicious.
Let’s make the batter for okonomiyaki. Combine the cake flour and water in a bowl. Mix it with a balloon whisk until there are no pockets of dry flour. Let the batter sit for ten minutes in order for it to reach the correct consistency.
Meanwhile, remove the core of the cabbage. Take out the center part and then shred the leaves.
Let’s make Hiroshima Okonomiyaki. Preheat the griddle to a high heat. Coat a heated griddle with vegetable oil. Stir the batter and then pour it onto the griddle.
Spread the batter into a round shape using the back of the ladle. Make sure to leave a bit of batter in the bowl for later use.
Sprinkle on the bonito powder. Place the shredded cabbage onto the batter and sprinkle on more bonito powder.
Layer the moyashi bean sprouts on the cabbage. Crumble on the ikaten, deep-fried dried squid coated with batter.
Line up the pork belly slices on top and cook for about 5 minutes. Make sure the okonomiyaki isn’t stuck to the griddle.
Season the pork slices with the salt and the pepper. Stir the remaining batter and pour it onto the okonomiyaki. This will help to combine the vegetables and also prevent the pork from getting tough.
Flip the okonomiyaki with the turners. Gather the scattered vegetables and reshape the okonomiyaki.
Coat the griddle with vegetable oil and add the fresh yakisoba noodles. Sprinkle on the sake, salt and the pepper. Divide the noodles in half and stir-fry the yakisoba.
Add the okonomiyaki sauce, continue to stir-fry, distributing the sauce evenly. Shape the noodles into a circle, and brown the other side.
Lift the okonomiyaki with the turners and place it onto the noodles.
Clean the griddle with a dampened kitchen towel and then recoat it with oil. Add the egg, break the yolk and shape it into a circle.
Quickly place the okonomiyaki onto the fried egg and then flip it over.
Coat the okonomiyaki with a generous amount of okonomiyaki sauce. Sprinkle on the bonito powder and the aonori seaweed. Finally, top with the chopped spring onion leaves and now it is ready to serve.
Preheat the griddle to a high heat to fully cook the inside of the okonomiyaki.
You can also use udon, soba or pasta instead of yakisoba noodles.
We are making hearty Japanese-style Scotch Eggs, in which half boiled eggs are wrapped in ground meat, breaded and deep-fried. The combination of the crispy outside and the gooey inside is so delicious. These are great for Christmas dinner. You should definitely try it out.
Let’s make the half boiled eggs. Reduce the heat to low and carefully place 2 eggs into a pot of boiling water. During the first 2 minutes, gently rotate the eggs to help the yolks to stay in the center. Boil the eggs for a total of five and a half minutes.
Place the eggs into a bowl of ice water. Remove the shells in the water. The eggs are soft and delicate so be careful not to break them.
Look at that! The soft-boiled eggs have a jello-like texture!
Let’s make the scotch eggs. Add the breadcrumbs to the beaten egg and stir to moisten.
For the batter, combine another beaten egg and the flour in a bowl. Stir to mix. Add a small amount of water until the batter has the desired consistency like shown.
Place the mixture of ground beef and pork in a bowl and sprinkle on the salt and the coarsely ground black pepper. Add the Japanese Worcester sauce or regular Worcester sauce and the tomato ketchup.
Combine all the ingredients with your hand. Make sure to thoroughly mix the meat until it becomes kind of gooey.
Add the egg-moistened bread crumbs and the chopped cabbage leaves.
Combine the ingredients again. Take half of the meat in your hand.
Toss it from one hand to the other to remove the air inside. Then, flatten the meat.
Dust the boiled egg with flour and wrap the egg with the meat. The flour between the egg and the meat will help to attach them firmly together. Make the thickness of the meat even and shape the scotch egg into a ball.
Coat the meat with the batter.
Coat it with the bread crumbs. Repeat the procedure and you’ll have 2 large scotch eggs.
Let’s deep-fry the scotch eggs. Heat the oil to 170°C (338°F) in a pot. Adjust the shape and place each scotch egg into the oil.
Don’t touch them until the batter firms up otherwise the outer layer will break apart. Then, with kitchen chopsticks, gently rotate the pieces to brown evenly. Deep-fry for about 5 and a half minutes until golden brown.
Remove and drain the excess oil.
Place the scotch egg onto a plate along with the salad. Enjoy the dish with mustard or you can add your favorite sauce to taste.
Scotch eggs are an English dish and authentic recipes use a hard boiled egg and sausage meat. This version is inspired by a Japanese dish called Menchikatsu, a breaded and deep-fried ground meat.
Thoroughly mixing the meat and removing the air inside will help prevent the meat from cracking while deep-frying.
The meat is well seasoned in this recipe so you should be able to enjoy it with only mustard.
Let's prepare the ingredients for Gyudon. Cut the onion into 1cm (0.4") wedges. Separate the layers with your fingers. Grate the ginger root. Cut the scallions into fine pieces.
Let’s make Onsen Tamago, which means hot spring egg in Japanese. Place 2 eggs in either a heavy pot or an earthen pot. Add enough boiling water to submerge the eggs. These eggs are often heated in Japanese hot springs.
Cover and let the eggs cook for 20 minutes. Remove the eggs, and let them cool in icy water.
Let's crack the eggs into a bowl and see how they look. The egg white will be softer than the yolk.
Let’s parboil the beef. This will bring out the flavor and remove unwanted smell along with the excess fat. Bring water just to a boil, turn off the burner and parboil the beef.
When the beef loses its red color, remove and drain well. Do not overcook the beef or it will lose its savory flavor.
Let's make Gyudon. Add sake, mirin, soy sauce and sugar to a skillet. Turn on the burner and stir the mixture on medium heat.
When it starts to sizzle, add the beef. Toss to coat evenly.
Before the liquid evaporates too much, turn off the burner and remove the beef.
Reheat the skillet and add the water, dashi stock powder, grated ginger and onion to the mixture. Stir lightly and cover.
When the liquid boils, reduce the heat to low and cook for about 5 more minutes. Remove the lid.
Mix in the beef. When the beef is cooked, put steamed rice in a bowl.
Spoon the beef and onion along with the juices on top of the rice.
Sprinkle on the spring onion leaves. Garnish with beni shoga, pickled ginger and Onsen Tamago. Finally, top with shichimi, seven flavored chili pepper.
A tip to making delicious Gyudon is using the thinnest possible beef slices and finding the right balance of sweetness and saltiness.
If sliced beef isn't available, partially freeze a block of beef and slice it as thin as possible.