Making sushi is harder than it looks. It might appear to be just a blob of rice with an offcut of raw fish stuck to the top, but whenever I’ve tried to make it, it lacks a certain something. (Skill, probably – I read somewhere that before they’re ever allowed to wield a knife, trainee sushi chefs spend their first few years learning how to make rice.)
However, Kim got me a gadget that promises to take the hard work and talent out of semi-decent sushi. It’s called a Rice Cube, probably because it turns rice into cubes, and as far as I can tell that’s pretty much the basis of sushi. Here’s what I managed to make with it.
Continue reading Rice cubes
This makes a great topping for tamago donburi or an accompaniment for pretty much any sort of Japanese food. It’s a bit heavy on the obscure ingredients, so I’ve suggested a few commonplace alternatives at the end of the recipe, but it’s worth seeking out the proper stuff. The actual cooking part is super easy.
Continue reading Miso braised shiitake mushrooms
I’ve never quite figured out how to make that crispy coating you get on commercially produced potato wedges (chemicals, probably) but this is my own equivalent and it’s very easy to make at home.
Panko breadcrumbs are magically processed so they’re very crispy and light, and they keep those qualities even after cooking. Even though they’re Japanese, you can get them from Chinese supermarkets, but they might be Korean or Indonesian versions not labelled as panko. Ask someone. I’ve never been to an Oriental food shop that doesn’t stock them.
Continue reading Panko-coated potato wedges
Here’s a very quick accompaniment to… well, anything. It’s sort of Japanese style, I suppose, and would probably work well with other types of greens such as pak choi, kale, chard or whatever else is in season. But I had savoy cabbage, so that’s what happened this time. Five minutes to prepare, five minutes to cook.
Continue reading Savoy cabbage and leeks
This recipe is great for getting rid of random garden vegetables. We had a load of chard that had to be harvested before it went seedy, and a few hefty handfuls of the stuff wilt down to almost nothing in a stir fry.
The earthy flavour of chard works well with carrots and beetroot, which we had a small amount of, along with peas, broad beans and whatever else you might have going spare. If you don’t have enough for a full portion of something, try this. Adjust the quantities according to whatever you’ve got handy.
Continue reading Chard stir fry
A useful standby, as it takes less than half an hour to make, tamago donburi is one of my favourite dishes. It can and should be topped with all sorts of delicious extras, but the main bulk of it is hot rice and a raw egg.
Sounds horrible? Well it does depend in part on your appreciation for slimy textured food, but it’s a superb combination that’s well worth trying. With every mouthful the rice grains get coated in slippery egg and, well, I just think it’s the best thing ever. If you’ve eaten fresh mayonnaise or Caesar salad, you’ve already tried raw or semi-raw egg before, so why not give this a go?
Continue reading Tamago donburi – Japanese rice bowl