*August 2010 COTM - COMPLETE ASIAN: Japan
Our cookbook for August is The Complete Asian Cookbook, by Charmaine Solomon.
Please use this thread to discuss recipes from the chapter JAPAN
There are a variety of editions and publishers of The Complete Asian Cookbook, although it appears that the recipes for the most part are unchanged between them. Please mention the edition you are using along with the page number when you report on recipes.
The Chowhound Team has asked me to remind you that verbatim copying of recipes to the boards is a violation of the copyright of the original author. Posts with copied recipes will be removed.
Chicken Stock, Pg. 476
This stock reminded me of the Vietnamese poached chicken stock I make from Andrea Nguyen's book, Into the Vietnamese Kitchen. The exception, this stock uses fresh ginger slices and that changes the whole aspect.
The recipe calls for 1 whole chicken, half with flesh and bones, the other half with bones only. I used 5 drum sticks and reduced the amount of the rest of the ingredients. That worked very well. The other ingredients are 3 or 4 fresh ginger slices (3), 1 1/2 t salt (3/4 t), 8 cups water (5), 2 spring onions (3 very thin scallions). All is put into a saucepan, brought to boil, then heat is reduced and the pan covered. Reduce heat and cook for an hour. Skim surface as stock cooks if necessary. Cool, strain, store.
This was a very well flavored stock. Clear and tasty. In fact, I've been cooking my morning bowl of oatmeal in it and adding the shredded meat from a drumstick. Absolutely delicious.
Dashi (Basic Stock), Pg. 476
A necessary stock to have on hand for many Japanese recipes, dashi is very easy to make and can be kept refrigerated for 2 days or frozen up to 3 months. This recipe can be used at once as a base for soups or stored.
Ingredients: 6 cups water, 2 inch square kombu, 3 T katsuo-bushi. Boil the water and in the meantime quickly rinse the kombu under cold running water. When water is boiling add kombu, stir, boil 3 minutes. Remove kombu from water, add katsuo-bushi. Bring this to boil but remove from heat at once. Let sit till flakes sink to bottom of pan. Strain and use.
This made a nicely flavored dashi. I used some of it to flavor an Elizabeth Andoh recipe for ginger stewed eggplant and it was perfect. The rest is sitting in the freezer in several packets waiting for future use.
Kimizu (Salad Dressing), Pg. 476
This is a quickly cooked dressing that's perfect for raw vegetables or those that have been just wilted. It's the dressing recommended for the Namasi salad.
Into a blender (I used a food processor) put all the following ingredients:
3 egg yolks, pinch of salt, 1 T sugar, 3 T white vinegar, 1/4 cup water, 1 T cornflour, 1 t wasabi paste. Whiz till smooth. Pour into a sauce pan and cook, stirring continuously , over Very Low heat. You don't even want the sauce to simmer. Keep cooking and stirring with a wooden spoon till the sauce coats the back of the spoon. Take off heat and continue to stir till the sauce cools down. Refrigerate till ready to dress salad vegetables.
This was surprisingly quick and easy to accomplish. The dressing is a little sweet but wasabi and vinegar balance that out nicely. I've never had Kewpie mayonnaise but I wonder if this dressing approximates it. Anyway, it was delicious as a dressing for the Namasi.
Namasi (Radish and Cabbage Salad), Pg. 476
This is a delightfully refreshing salad: crisp and colorful with a dressing that compliments the simple vegetables nicely. I halved the recipe for two people and used Napa cabbage, daikon, bright orange carrot, and Kimizu dressing, which directions for are given on the same page.
Quick and easy: peel radish, cut in thin strips. Finely shred cabbage. Scrape carrot, cut in thin strips. Plop all in ice water to chill for 1 hour. Drain and toss with Kimizu.
I used my nifty galifty Kuhn Rikon shredder for both the daikon and carrot. (I Love that thing)
We both liked this salad and think it's perfect for the one or two bits of carrots and radishes one might have sitting in the fridge with no where to go.
Gohan, Pg. 458
This was a resounding success for only the second time using Japanese-style rice. The first time was a near-disaster, but that's a story for another thread. The rice we bought is: Sho-Chiku-Bat, Premium Sweet Rice, CA - Koda Farms, Mochigome - Japanese - style short grain. It's absolutely delicious.
For this recipe we used 2 1/2 cups of the short grain rice and 3 cups cold filtered water. The rice was washed in "many waters" then left to drain for the better part of an hour. Next, put the rice into a heavy saucepan, I used a medium size Dutch oven, add water, quickly bring to boil. Cover pan... make sure the cover fits tightly... reduce heat to low and cook without lifting lid for 15 minutes. Turn heat to high and cook for a further 20 seconds keeping pot covered. Remove pot from heating grate and let sit 10 minutes before serving.
I love this rice. G is not so sure, however. He really prefers either basmati or jasmine but is willing to go along this month (Feb 2012) with my suggestions. This recipe made enough rice for 2 separate days/menus. After the first meal the leftover rice was refrigerated for 2 days then reheated with a bit of Japanese basic chicken stock, page 476, and augmented with chopped cress, cilantro and lime juice.
So glad to read that your rice was a success. If I am reading your post correctly, it looks like you made mochigome, a Japanese sticky rice, rather than the short-grain japonica typically used to make gohan. Mochigome is a delicious rice. Not only is it used to make mochi, but it is also used to make some savory rice dishes (mochigome alone or sometimes mixed with the short-grain rice). Here's a link that has pictures of mochigome. It is opaque rather than translucent. The blogger refers to mochi-mai (aka mochigome). http://www.justhungry.com/2007/01/loo...
P.S. Nice to see more recipes from The Complete Asian. This was a nice COTM with so much variety.
Hi Sally... thank you for the clarification Re the rice. G came home from the Asian market with the mochigome and after reading about it on-line I thought it would be suitable since I wasn't going to make sushi. I have ordered the japonica from the same grower/supplier. I like that this brand is GMO free and organic. The mochigome is certainly delicious, though. I'll have to look for savory mochi recipes now...
I haven't tried this recipe, but it reminds me of one of the winter-time dishes my mom makes (maze gohan). She makes hers with bamboo shoots, carrots, gobo, shiitake and sometimes meat. http://justbento.com/handbook/recipe-.... Total comfort food. We make a big batch when she visits during Christmas and put the leftovers in freezer for later.
Sunomono (vinegared cucumber) p. 474
Peel cucumber (I do not find this necessary), cut lengthwise and seed, and cut into thin slices. Mix mild vinegar (I used rice vinegar), water, sugar, salt and grated ginger. This recipe was different than other sunomonos I have made. Typically, I sweat the cucumbers in salt to remove excess liquid and squeeze and sometimes add dash of soy or dashi. This is so quick to pull together and refreshing. Definitely on the sweet side, but a nice palate cleanser (like gari). Good and would make again had I not tried hannaone's sweet pickle recipe- my new pickle addiction.
Dashimaki tamago (rolled omelette) p. 468
Beat eggs. Dissolve sugar and salt in dashi and stir in soy and then add to eggs. I have a tamagoyaki pan and used that. You make a thin omelette, roll it up. Solomon recommends cooking this on low heat. I find it easier to cook on medium. Repeat three more times, wrapping the new omelette around the previous one, making a rolled omelette of several layers. (I would encourage first timers to watch the technique on youtube before tackling. It will help to visulaize the process). Turn the omelette on a sudare, roll and rest 10 minutes and cut into thick slices. This recipe is less fussy than Elizabeth Andoh's who recommends straining the egg mixture. Andoh's is more pleasing to the eye, but both taste good. If I were to make this recipe again, I would use usukuchi shoyu (Japanese light soy). The recipe with regular soy looks a little dingy, but still tastes good (just aesthetics).
Here's a link to Solomon's dashimaki tamago recipe. http://tiny.cc/gd4gk Please note, you only make three not four layers. And I used cooking spray.
There are a ton of videos on how to make this and many of the chefs do it with a lot of flair. This one seems a little more achievable for the rest of us. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HkbQ7V...