aburage and udon in miso soup

the udon recipe is from the complete book of japanese cooking, and the aburage recipe and the dashi stock recipe are from sushi – taste and technique, which WASN’T a borders bargain book! impressive.

aburage
from sushi – taste and technique by kimiko barber and hiroki takemura

3 pieces deep-fried tofu
1/2 quanitity dashi stock
3 tbsp sugar
4-5 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp sake
2 tbsp mirin

1. roll a chopstick over each piece of tofu to separate it. cut each piece in half, then gently open it to make a pouch. place in a bamboo strainer or colander and pour boiling water over both sides to remove oil.

2. heat the remaining ingredients in a saucepan and add the tofu pouches. simmer over low heat until most of the liquid has reduced, about 15-20 minutes. remove from the heat and drain in a bamboo strainer or colander.

aburage

comments: this one time i bought some fried tofu to put in my udon for lunch and it was so gross. i don’t know what happened. it had this nasty aftertaste. anyway, this was tasty.

dashi stock
from sushi – taste and technique by kimiko barber and hiroki takemura

1 post-card size piece of kombu
4 cups water
handful (1/3 oz/10 g) bonito fish flakes

1. make some cuts in the kombu to help release its flavor as it cooks.

2. put the water in a saucepan, add the kombu, and bring to a boil over medium heat. just before boiling, remove the kombu and discard. add the bonito flakes and bring back to a boil. do not stir.

3. remove from the heat when the dashi boils. when the bonito flakes have settles, strain the dashi through a cheesecloth-lined sieve.

dashi

comments: you can also just use instant dashi-no-moto.

pot-cooked udon in miso soup
from the complete book of japanese cooking

200 g/7 oz chicken breast, boned and skinned
10 ml/2 tsp sake
2 aburage
900 ml/1.5 pints/3.75 cups dashi stock, or the same amount of water with 7.5 ml/1.5 tsp dashi-no-moto
6 large fresh shiitake mushrooms, stalked removed, quartered
4 spring onions, trimmed and chopped into 3 mm/1/8 in lengths
30 ml/2 tbsp mirin
90 g/3.5 oz aka miso or hatcho miso
300 g/11 oz dried udon noodles
4 eggs
shichimi togarashi (optional)

1. cut the chicken into bite-size pieces. sprinkle with sake and leave to marinate for 15 minutes.

2. put the aburage in a sieve and thoroughly rinse with hot water from the kettle to wash off the oil. drain on kitchen paper and cut each aburage into 4 squares.

3. to make the soup, heat the dashi stock in a large pan. when it has come to a boil, add the chicken pieces, shiitake mushrooms, and aburage and cook for 5 minutes. remove the pan from the heat and add the spring onions.

miso mixture

4. put the mirin and miso paste into a small bowl. scoop 2 tbsp soup from the pan and mix this in well.

5. to cook the udon, boil at least 2 liters/3.5 pints/9 cups water in a large pan. the water should not come higher than two-thirds the depth of the pan. cook the udon for 6 minutes and drain.

6. put the udon in one large flameproof clay pot or casserole (or divide among 4 small pots). mix the miso paste into the soup and check the taste. add more miso if required. ladle in enough soup to cover the udon and arrange the soup ingredients on top of the udon.

7. put the soup on a medium heat and break an egg on top. when the soup bubbles, wait for 1 minute, then cover and remove from the heat. leave to stand for 2 minutes. serve with shichimi togarashi if you like.

udon

comments: we didn’t have clay pots, so we just poached the eggs and added them on top. as usual, i made more eggs than the recipe said. also, i think we could have cooked the chicken a little less so it was more tender. besides that, the recipe went well and was easy to make.

this tasted sooooo good. everything in it was delicious, and the broth was flavorful and matched the noodles well. this is the first time i’ve ever had dried udon. it’s not as chewy as fresh udon and also not so thick. i think it was good in this recipe because they seemed to absorb the soup well and had a consistency that paired well with the other ingredients.
udon

tokyo-style ramen

i bought _the complete book of japanese cooking_ by emi kazuko from the borders bargain books section for cameron a while ago. it has some nice pictures and a gigantic glossary section. last week we tried the pretty hardcore recipe for tokyo-style ramen.

tokyo-style ramen noodles in soup
(from the complete book of japanese cooking by emi kazuko)

serves 4

250 g/9 oz dried ramen noodles
for the soup stock:
4 spring onions
7.5 cm/3 in fresh root ginger, quartered
raw bones from 2 chickens, washed
1 large onion, quartered
4 garlic cloves
1 large carrot, roughly chopped
1 egg shell
120 ml/4 fl oz/1/2 cup sake
60 ml/4 tbsp shoyu (soy sauce)
2.5 ml/1/2 tsp salt

for the cha-shu (pot-roast pork):
500 g/1 1/4 lb pork shoulder, boned
30 ml/2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 spring onions, chopped
2.5 cm/1 in fresh root ginger peeled and sliced
15 ml/1 tbsp sake
45 ml/3 tbsp shoyu
15 ml/1 tbsp caster (superfine) sugar

for the toppings:
2 hard-boiled eggs
150 g/5 oz menma (pickled bamboo), soaked for 30 minutes and drained
1/2 nori sheet, borken into pieces
2 spring onion, chopped
ground white pepper
sesame oil or chili oil

1. to make the soup stock, bruise the spring onions and ginger by hitting with the side of a large knife or a rolling pin. pour 1.5 liters/2 1/2 pints/6 1/4 cups water into a wok and bring to a boil. add the chicken bones and boil until the colour of the meat changes. discard the water and wash the obnes under water.

2. wash the wok, bring another 2 liters/3 1/2 pints/9 cups water to the boil and add the bones and the other soup stock ingredients, except for the shoyu and salt. reduce the heat to low, and simmer until the water has reduced by half, skimming off any scum. strain into a bowl through a muslin- (cheesecloth-) lined sieve. this will take 1-2 hours.

3. make the cha-shu. roll the meat up tightly, 8 cm/3 1/2 inch in diameter, and tie it with kitchen string.

4. wash the wok and dry over a high heat. heat the oil to smoking point in the wok and add the chopped spring onions and ginger. cook briefly, then add the meat. turn often to brown the outside evenly.

5. sprinkle with sake and add 400 ml/14 fl oz/1 2/3 cups water, the shoyu, and sugar. boil, then reduce the heat to low and cover. cook for 25-30 minutes, turning every 5 minutes. remove from the heat.

pork

6. slice the pork into 12 fine slices. use any leftover pork for another recipe.

7. shell and halve the boiled eggs, and sprinkle some salt on the yolks.

8. pour 1 liter/1 3/4 pints/4 cups soup stock from the bowl into a large pan. boil and add the shoyu and salt. check the seasoning; add more shoyu if required.

9. wash the wok again and bring 2 liters/3 1/2 pints/9 cups water to the boil. cook the ramen noodles according to the packet instructions until just soft. stir constantly to prevent sticking. if the water bubbles up, pour in 50 ml/2 fl oz/1/4 cup cold water. drain well and divide among four bowls.

10. pour the soup over the noodles to cover. arrange half a boiled egg, pork slices, menma, and nori on top, and sprinkle with spring onions. serve with pepper and sesame or chili oil. season to taste with a little salt, if you like.

ramen

comments: this is probably the most involved recipe we’ve ever tried. for the broth, we didn’t do it exactly like the directions because cameron’s grandma already had a bunch of chicken stock made from chicken bones. so we just took that and then cooked it with some of the soup stock ingredients and poured it through the cheesecloth. for the pork, i think the stove heat was too low because when i took it out, it was still kinda raw. so i put them back into the tasty fatty liquid to cook more. we left that for a while so it got nice and tender. we cooked extra eggs too because i love the eggs.

in the end, it turned out really tasty. the only thing that wasn’t that good was the ramen :( we bought a “fresh” kind of ramen and then accidentally overcooked it so the noodles were a little mushy. but all the other stuff was really good. the pork was nice and tender and had really good flavor; the broth was not overpowering and had a nice sweet taste; and all the toppings were delicious.

lasagna, curry, and ramen

last week we made the turkey lasagna again. this time we added some baby bell papers and eggplant. for the eggplant, i boiled them whole first to get them nice and soft, and then just cut them and added them to the meat/sauce mixture. the eggplant was a nice addition.
lasagna

another meal we revisited was dinner at coco ichiban. we went there last time during spring break. this time cameron had the fried chicken curry, and i had the curry udon. his looked pretty tasty but also kind of gross:

chicken curry

mine was very delicious. this udon didn’t have a curry broth; it just had the udon swimming in curry sauce! but, thankfully, the udon came with rice so it was not overwhelming. i ordered an egg with mine because i love the eggs. i enjoyed the curry udon with rice very much. we also shared an order of cream croquettes.

curry udon

mickey mouse!

a new place (for me) that we tried was sumo ramen, near cameron’s house at the kam shopping center.  i had the sumo ramen:

sumo ramen

it was quite large, and pretty tasty.  reminded me a lot of of the bowl at had a yusura last time.  it was about the same size with similar broth and similar toppings.  pretty good for such a fast bowl of ramen.

cameron had the mabo tofu ramen:

mabo tofu ramen

he said he preferred the one at yasura.

Coco Ichiban
near Pearlridge Mall
Sumo Ramen (Kam Shopping Center)
1620 N School St
Honolulu, HI 96817

arrival and pasta

the first night we arrived, cameron’s mom prepared us yummy food again :)

sushi and stuff

we all fared pretty well on the flight, but mr. nibbles lost some weight from all the stress of travel:

nibbles

he’s doing much better now.

the next night we made some garlic bread and pasta. i can’t remember who made this for me, but one time someone cooked whole heads of garlic in the oven until they were like butter to spread directly onto some bread. anyway, that’s what we did. cooked 2.5 heads of garlic in the oven, then squeezed the yumminess into a bowl and mixed it with BUTTER :) then we spread it all over the bread and covered that with parmesan cheese. it turned out to be very tasty:

garlic bread

then we just made some simple pasta and sauce:

cameron cooking

we put sausages, baby bell peppers, tomatoes, onions, and garlic with some store bought spaghetti sauce.

spaghetti and salad

hawaii!

so i’ve been in hawaii for a week now. it is really nice here. it gets pretty warm in the afternoon, but there’s always a nice breeze at least. i’m staying in a room on the bottom floor of cameron’s house. i’ll be like bing and post pictures of it some time later. anyway, what have i been doing so far? mostly relaxing. we didn’t really have internet until the weekend, so last week i used that as my excuse not to look for a job. i started reading a couple books from the library: guns, germs, and steel by our commencement speaker jared diamond. he is a good writer but not really a good speaker. also wuthering heights by emily bronte. i almost started this book a bunch of times but never got around to reading it. and rabbit, run by john updike.

i also made some cards :) mmm… i love paper.

cards

i started a new sketchbook on the plane too. i’m trying to get into the habit of working on it everyday. mmm… also went shopping a bunch of times and went to church and stuff. been playing the wii too. grocery shopping. running. eating mangoes. organizing my room. eating toast.

in terms of food, cameron and i are cooking twice a week. i’ll post some of that later. yep, so things have been good so far. this week i started looking for a job! here’s a pretty picture i took on the freeway:

clouds