Miso, a traditional Japanese soup

Label from AWASE MISO Soybean Paste

Miso soybean paste


I had never had Miso soup before. I tried it a few days ago and loved it.

Miso soup is a go-to item on oriental menus for a reason. Even though I am NOT a tofu eater, it was not bad in this soup.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of water.
  • 2 tablespoons of Miso paste.
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Dashi (optional, feel free to vary amount).
  • 1 sheet of Nori, roasted seaweed (optional, torn into tiny pieces).
  • 1/3 block of Tofu cut into 1/2″ blocks.
  • 1 or 2 Green Onions (optional).

Steps:
Put water, Miso paste, and Dashi powder into pot.
Bring to boil.
Add Nori sheet, torn into tiny pieces, into pot.
Bring heat very low.
Add Tofu and heat until hot.
Turn off heat.
Add Green onion(s)
Serve.

The AWASE MISO label points out that tofu and wakame can be replaced by other vegetables, meats, and fishes.

I added a handful of frozen oriental vegetables and think that it really added to the soup!

Where do I get my Japanese Recipes?

The Manga Cookbook: Japanese Bento Boxes, Main Dishes and More!

I would love to tell you that the recipes are all ancestral secrets, but I’m not oriental. I would tell you that I had a dream that involved two dragons. The white dragon gave me the recipes and the black dragon gave me ninja-like cooking skills. Nope. No dream. No Dragons.

What I do have is a book. The book is fun and VERY simple. It is targeted in such a way that a child, with appropriate adult supervision, could pull off most of the recipes. I got this book from Manga University, which has some interesting products. Along with a couple of simple manga cookbooks, they also have a fun manga kanji book series and a “Kana de Manga” book which teaches both Katakana and the Hiragana characters. They also have manga drawing tutorials and supplies.

While checking out the website to make sure it was around before publishing this article, I found out that they now have a second cook book! Before finishing this article, I have already ordered it!

Language geek note: I used the “Kana de Manga” to learn the basics of Katakana and Hiragana characters. For learning the more challenging Kanji, I chose to go with “Remembering the Kani 1” by Heisig. Note, the Heisig approach also means that one learns the meaning of the character without learning how to pronounce it. That means one can hold off determining whether Chinese or Japanese is more in line with their goals until they already have the meanings down.

Gyudon

I have cooked this meal so many times and LOVED IT EVERY TIME!

2/3 lb. thin sliced beef
1/2 Onion
1/2 Cup Teriyaki sauce
1 tablespoon of sugar
3/4 cup of Dashi
1 Teaspoon vegetable oil
3 cups of steamed rice

Slice onions into strips.
Heat oil in pan.
Add onion to oil and cook until semi-transparent.
Add Teriyaki, Sugar, and Dashi and bring to a slow boil.
Once it is simmering, add meat and cook for about 5 minutes.
Serve meat on top of steaming bowl of rice.

Do NOT hesitate to add frozen veggies! I liked mixed stir-fry, but snow peas are always welcome!

Note: Dashi powder can be purchased amazon.com. The dashi really gives it that Japanese zing.

According to Google, Gyudon is Japanese for “dumplings”. It is pronounced “goo-don”, making sure to soften the “n” sound.

Instant Japanese Curry

Am I the last person to hear about Instant Curry? All you do is cook meat, carrots, celery, onion and add a gel-like roux brick of this stuff to the pan. Stir, simmer, eat. A lot of people add potatoes with the onions as well.

Roux

Instant Golden Curry Sauce Mix

I became aware of it because of an article on Buzzfeed. No, that is not a usual food hangout for me.

I tried it for the first time today, and I loved it. I added a bit of pickled ginger on the side and a bit of Soy Sauce. It was WONDERFUL! The Buzzfeed article also likes sour pickled scallions, but I didn’t have any laying around.

The article at Serious Eats has a wonderful comparison of the five most common brands. It is well worth reading.

Two pieces of trivia from the serious eats article;

  • Typical Japanese families eat Curry two to three times a month.
  • Standard meal for Japanese Navy on Fridays.

Give it a try, you will NOT be disappointed.

10/24/2017 update: I just tried another batch with Fukujinzuke of Osawa added. It added a little bit of taste, but if you are already using pickled ginger, it isn’t really needed.

Sous-vide Petite Chuck Steak

Another sous-vide triumph.

I looked up Petite Chuck Steak on the Joule program. I couldn’t find anything close, so I went with rib-eye as the template. The texture is close enough that I thought the numbers should work.

I went with Petite Chuck Steak at 136 degrees for two hours.

DELICIOUS! I had hash browns with the steak and thoroughly enjoyed the meal.

I may try 138 next time? I will have to think about it.