Japanese Cooking Workshop (First edition)

Update! Pictures are available at Picasa.

Last Thursday, with some friends and a lot of fun, we prepared some Japanese dishes. I learned how to cook them while I was studying in Barcelona, at a Univers course. I really enjoy it, so I was looking forward to cook again. I promised to share the recipes with the group, and (why not?) with the rest of my fans. Here are the recipes:

Miso soup

You can serve this soup as a starter. It is very simple to prepare, but it will always be better after some tries. You will need:

1 spoon of wakame seaweed
2 spoons of miso (well, now I realized the the recipe may already be available in Wikipedia)
100g of tofu, cut as small dices
1 spring onion chopped very fine
500ml of dashi (fish)

  • First, prepare the broth (caldo) in a small pan.
  • In the meantime, put the dry wakame in a glass of water, and wait 10 minutes for them to become “big”. Drain them.
  • Put the broth on the fire at slow pace.
  • Add the tofu and wakame and increase the fire.
  • Add miso, mix and taste. Add miso until you are satisfied with the taste.
  • Before it boils, add the onion and stop the fire.

Soup is ready!

Sunomono

This is a salad with cucumber, ginger and seaweeds, useful to put between different dishes. It’s very refreshing. You will need:

1 big cucumber
1 spoon of wakame seaweed
6 spoons of rice vinegar
3 spoons of sugar
1 piece of ginger

  • First, slice the cucumber very thin and add salt (to extract the water). Let it alone for 15 minutes.
  • Put the wakame weeds in a glass of water for 15 minutes. Afterwards, drain them.
  • Chop the ginger in small pieces.
  • Squeeze the cucumber pieces with your hand to extract the liquid.
  • Prepare the sauce in a bowl (where you will serve the salad) mixing the vinegar and sugar.
  • Finally, mix the cucumber, seaweeds, and ginger with the sauce.

Keep refrigerated before serving!

Karaage

That was the delicious fried chicken! It is also very simple to prepare, the only secret is to have the chicken in “adobo” for a long time. You will need:

2 chicken breasts
Potato starch (or Maizena, perhaps easier to find)
3 sheets of Nori
3-4 spoons of soy sauce
2 cloves of garlic
1 spoon of Mirin
2 spoons of Sake

  • Prepare the maceration sauce (“adobo”) with the soy sauce, garlic, Mirin and sake.
  • Cut the chicken in dices (2×2 cm) and let it macerate for at least 40 minutes. You can prepare other dishes in the meantime.
  • Get some volunteers for the last steps.
  • Cut the Nori in bands of 1×7 cm aprox, and put them around the chicken dices, like a belt.
  • Pass the decorated chicken dices into Maizena. Store them in a dish.
  • Finally, take a wok, and put vegetable oil (not olive oil) to fry. Wait until is hot.
  • Fry the chicken dices, letting the oil drain.

Enjoy!

Caramelized aubergines and peppers

This dish can be served together with the chicken, and boiled rice. You will need:

1 aubergine
2 green (or red) peppers
4 spoons of sugar
5 spoons of soy sauce
1 glass of water

  • Cut the aubergine and peppers in dices (2x2cm).
  • Fry them with olive oil until the aubergine becomes brownish.
  • Then, add the sugar and let it caramelize.
  • Before burning it, add the soy sauce.
  • Boil. Add water only if needed, as the result should be thick.

Rice

Cooking rice correctly is also important. Rice is used as Western people use “bread”. That is, at every time. To cook rice, you will need:

Round rice (usually the same used for Sushi or risotto, never long)
Water

  • First, wash the rice until the water is clear.
  • Put the rice in a casserole, and add the same quantity of cold water. Do not add salt!
  • Let it rest for 30 minutes for a better result. The rice will absorb the water. If in a hurry, just skip to next step.
  • Cover the casserole and put it on the fire until it boils.
  • Then, decrease the fire to the minimum and wait exactly 10 minutes.
  • Stop the fire. Wait 10 minutes.
  • If done correctly, you should be able to reverse the casserole, and the rice should not drop. Nor should be burned.

Congratulations! You will repeat this process several times, so you will master it quickly. Another option is to buy a rice cooker. 😛

Karee raisu

That was the rice with curry that only some people ate, at the very end of the soirée. It has no secret at all. The Dutchies even said that it was like stampot! Well, perhaps the secret is on the Curry sauce, and that you usually buy it prepared. You will need:

1 or 2 onions
2 or 3 potatoes (not the complete bag!)
Some mushrooms
1 carrot
300g of meat (chicken, beef, pork)
Rice already prepared
Japanese curry paste (Golden Curry is the brand we used at the course)

  • Chop the onions and fry them in a pan until it becomes golden.
  • Cut the potatoes in dices, and slice the carrot. Dice also the meat.
  • Add the vegetables and meat. Fry it for 5 minutes.
  • Then, add water. Let it boil for at least 30 minutes. It is not necessary to boil during the entire workshop! 😉
  • When everything is cooked, add the curry paste. Let it boil until it becomes thick.

Serve the dish with half curry and half rice.

Sushi

There are many types of Sushi. The one we prepared was Maki-zushi. Maria can explain more about it on the comments. The ingredients can vary, but you will usually need:

500g of rice (or more, but keep the proportions for the vinegar sauce)
70ml of rice vinegar
5ml of Mirin
50g of sugar
10g of salt
Fish
Vegetables (like carrot or cucumber) cut on long
Nori sheets
Wasabi, to somehow cook the fish and kill the microbes
Soy sauce
Bamboo mat

  • Prepare the rice.
  • Mix with the sauce.
  • Put a Nori sheet on the bamboo mat, and spread the rice regularly, letting 1,5cm free.
  • Put the ingredients in the center.
  • Roll the bamboo mat and give form to you sushi creation!
  • Slice the roll in 1,5cm pieces.

Serve with the soy sauce and wasabi. Be quick and enjoy! 😉

Acknowledgements

Before closing this post, I would like to thank my teacher, Miho Miyata, for her very instructive lessons. I really enjoyed her course. Then, with some other students, we kept practising and prepared some very delicious dinners. It was fun! Now I’m happy to practice again with other friends. 😀

Thanks!

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One Response to Japanese Cooking Workshop (First edition)

  1. Maria Parra says:

    Hi Xesc,

    For sure will try the chicken! It was my favorite… See you around maybe for Japanese cooking workshop part II?

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