Yes I have another bonus recipe for you! The ingredients are minimal, but it does take some finesse to cook.
Tamagoyaki is reminds me of a fruit roll up (00s legendary snack) but made of egg and veggies. It’s name literally translates to “egg cooked over dry heat.” You cook the mixture in steps keeping layers thin.
I used this recipe to help me recreate the dish. Something lovely about this dish is that it can be very classy, served in high-end restaurants to an easy breakfast in your kitchen.
I tried my best folks.. It didn’t stay together like I had hoped, however I did it get to roll up successfully. I think would would have made it better is a little cheese and bell peppers. I think it is a nice change from an omelet and can see myself trying it again in the future!
5 weeks down, infinite to go (literally booked into next year). Tomorrow I will make Plov hailing from Uzbekistan 🐑🧅🥕
If your looking for a quick and easy meal that packs a tasty punch on a Friday night, Gyudon is a great option. In Japan this meal is consider a quick, comfort meal.
Although there are small variations in the recipes I found, there are consistent staple ingredients of thin slices of beef, thin slices of onion, egg, and a savory sauce that sits on top of rice. Although the ingredient list is short and simple this meal is flavorful.
Once considered lower-class budget meal, Gyudon has surged in popularity as a western influence on cuisine has increased in Japan. There was a time when consumption of beef was prohibited in Japan as it clashed with Buddhist philosophy. It has a reputation for filling your belly without breaking the bank and we found this to be true. The thinly sliced onions create bring sweetness to the dish. The simmered meat is tender and delicious.
The recipe I used can be found here. We thought this dish was worth 6-6.5/10 for a rating. It has a delicious fusion of flavor and a great week night meal. Tomorrow one more bonus dish will be made from Japan before heading to Africa.
Day 3 brings us onigiri (o-ni-ɡi-ri). I decided out of the many possible fillings I will fill mine with sha-ke and okaka (see below). Typically in Japan these snack sized treats can be found in convenience stores for an easy breakfast on the go or mid day snack. I will be pairing these rice triangles with miso soup to complete the meal.
Onigiri has a history that dates waaay back to around 800 A.D. when variations were made for travel and picnics. Wrapped in bamboo leaves they were food on the go for soldiers in the 16th century. Dried nori was then substituted in the 18th century which is still used today. Common fillings found tucked inside the rice include umeboshi (pickled plum), sha-ke (salted salmon), kombu (simmered seaweed), okaka (bonito flakes mixed with soy sauce), and tarako (salted cod roe) to name a few. When preparing this meal I referenced Kitchen Princess Bamboo (KPB) and Chopstick Chronicles. I made my own salted salmon like KPB does in her video.
The miso soup will be prepared from a packet mix to save time during the week. Miso soup is traditionally made with miso paste and dashi stock with various vegetables or tofu. I prepared my miso with spring onions and their greens.
We appreciated this lighter meal rating it mutually 6.5/10. This meal reminded us of sushi, but with more rice. I thought the okaka was especially flavorful. They were surprisingly filling and I was not able to eat all four of mine. I can see how this would be a good on the go snack and much healthier than the processed alternatives.
We will close out our week in Japan with Gyudon and a bonus recipe! Stay tuned 😊
Welcome back to day 2 in Japan! I will be preparing tempura today which is a commonly found Japanese food outside of Japan. Despite the fact I had never had it before, my taste buds were ready!!
Tempura is traditionally various seafoods and vegetables deep fried and topped among a bed of short grain rice. The origins of deep frying food actually traces back to Portugal during the time of lent. The name tempura was mistakenly taken from the Latin words ad tempora cuaresme, which translates to in the time of lent. The Japanese had thought the original dish was named this and that is where the name tempura comes from.
Today’s recipe comes from the blog The Woks of Life. I was pretty excited (when am I not excited?) to try this dish. I am a huuuge fan of shrimp and will eat it every way it can be prepared. I wasn’t able to get fresh shrimp from the store that was wild caught, but frozen worked fine.
To be honest we thought it was too much of a good, greasy thing. We would have preferred the vegetables pan fried to add a contrast to the dish and make our tummies feel better. The shrimp was perfect and the sauce also paired well. Rice helped break up the grease, but overall there wasn’t too much seasoning that the recipe called for. I added salt and pepper after the fact, but I think mixing it into the batter would have been helpful. Although it looks super appealing, I would not recommend frying all the food. We rated the dish 5.5/10 for this reason. Next up is onigiri with miso soup, talk to you soon!
Kon’nichiwa and welcome to Japan! This week we will be diving into Japanese cuisine making four traditional meals. Japan is an island country which is made up of over 6,800 islands- 430 of those being inhabited. Toyoko, the capital of this lovely country, is the most populated city in the world with a whopping 38 million citizens.
The first meal of the week will be authentic Tonkotsu Ramen executed in a modern way- time to break out the Instant Pot! Ramen is a popular noodle dish that is enjoyed around the world and prepared in various ways. The origins of ramen is debatable if you ask any food connoisseur, but it is actually thought to have come from China. Although the exact time frame is unknown, it is thought to have come to Japan when a man named Shu Shunsai escaped the Manchu rule of China with the recipe of ramen.
Another theory that has gone around is that a noodle shop of Toyoko called Rai-Rai Ken had Chinese cooks that popularized “shina soba.” Shina is a Japanese term for China, and soma was an already established dish of Japan. Ramen was referred to as shina soba until the 1950s.
If you admire ramen like us, you should check out the history of ramen at First We Feast.
So back to this recipe I tried- the use of my Instant Pot made it a breeze to prepare this meal. Traditionally it takes several hours to prepare the broth alone. The recipe I used can be found here. I was able to duplicate the recipe for the most part, but I could not get pork belly so I used pork chops.
This was another new experience for me. The broth was very rich and the pork was very well seasoned. I had never made a hard or soft boiled egg or cooked mushrooms before so again more new cooking experiences for me to store in my tool box! We thought the flavors fused together well giving it an average rating of 7/10. Next up, shrimp and veggie tempura!