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My allergies are in full force. It was so nice outside yesterday, but I couldn't even be outside for more than 20 minutes. It was bad. And it is bad today too. I am wearing a mask, which makes me look like either a shady criminal or I that I have SARS. I want to scratch my eyes out so bad. Oops, I just did. Now my eyes are so red.

Side note: When scratching your eyes, it feels so good, right? I just learned that you release the same hormones when having sex as when you scratch. Can't stop scratching...

Anyhow, I stayed at home all day yesterday, and cooked and baked.

First, I saw a recipe for dango (Japanese sticky rice balls on skewers, usually eaten with sweet soy sauce or sweet red beans), which uses ingredients one can find easily at American grocery stores. I thought the idea was brilliant. When making traditional Japanese dishes, or sweets, I usually have to go to Japanese grocery store to acquire various items, from rice flour, red beans to demi-glace sauce. But this recipe called for rice flour from anywhere, and silken tofu, and water. How easy, right?! 1lb of rice flour, 150 cc of water, and one tofu. That's it.
Mix them well, and make small balls, and drop them in boiling water. Once they float, it's done. Almost as easy as boiling pasta, right? It was a fraud. Texture and taste sucked. The person who came up with the recipe said they are as good as the ones at the stores, but no fucking way! It wasn't chewy at all, it tasted like unflavored flour and tofu in ball shape. I like the idea of improvisation, but this wasn't a good one. So they went down the garbage disposal.

At least I killed an hour making these...

Second, I had konnyaku in my fridge. According to Wiki, konnyaku appears in dishes such as oden in Japanese cuisine. It is typically mottled grey and firmer in consistency than most gelatins. It has very little taste; the common variety tastes vaguely like seaweed. It is valued more for its texture than flavor. Japanese konnyaku jelly is made by mixing konnyaku flour with water and limewater. Hijiki is often added for the characteristic dark color and flavor. Without additives for color, konnyaku is pale white. It is then boiled and cooled to solidify.

So I sliced them, and shaped like below, cooked in soy, dashi, and mirin. As Wiki says, there aren't much taste to konnyaku itself, but the texture is like, very hard jelly, almost chewy. We like weird mountainous things.

Another home cooked meal favorite, dried daikon radish with bean curd. It's very grandma's home cooking, healthy and tasty. You can buy dried daikon radish, soak it in water, then cook it with bean curd until it absorbs all the liquid (soy sauce, mirin, sake, dashi).

I didn't think my BF would eat these peculiar Japanese delicacies, so I made spicy miso flavored ground beef with lettuce cups. Brown ground beef, add chili sauce, soy sauce, sugar, garlic, ginger.

Don't think I am over with my "Battle Laduree". I have been making macarons every Sunday for the past 3 weeks, and every time, the result are different, for some reason. I use the same ingredients, same portions, but something must be different each time. But I have started to focus more on the cream filling.

I mixed peanut butter (the kind at Whole Foods, looks literally like shit, especially when it comes out of the asshole, I mean, machine), nutella, and Japanese peanut cream (peanut butter-ish, but very creamy), soften them with a bit of whip cream. They are good. Somehow, macarons are becoming a bit chewier. I don't know why.

Then comes the honey currant challah bread. I made this before, and it never fails. This time, though, I ran out of regular flour, so I used bread flour instead, but it didn't taste much different. It's as soft as the last time..

Finally, the main course of last night's dinner was salmon with citrus scallion sauce. Cut up salmon into bite sizes, then drench it in flour, and sautee them until it's crisp on the outside. Mix the scallion, soy sauce, lemon juice, sugar, ginger, rest it so that it loses raw scallion flavor, pour it over salmon. You can use this sauce for other dishes.

1 comment

  • I really loved reading about the tofu and flour balls, so funny!

    Sonja on

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