Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Beer-Battered Karaage (Japanese Fried Chicken)

Many people have asked us to do a recipe for Karaage for the longest time. The only reason I can think of is that there are so many recipes out there for Japanese Fried Chicken, which is probably why we weren't that enthusiastic about putting a recipe out. We already have one version of this popular dish albeit a spicy version.

However we recently decided to experiment with the typical Karaage recipe by adding beer to the mix. Yes that's right. Beer! If you already watch our YouTube channel, you know that Satoshi likes beer. He loves beer. In fact, he NEEDS beer! So one day, he wondered what would happen if he added his favorite drink to a Karaage recipe? It turns out that adding beer actually helps in tenderizing the chicken! We also double-fried the chicken to make it extra crispy.

The recipe turned out so good, we finally decided to share it with you guys! So without further ado, here's Satoshi's recipe for Beer-Battered Karaage.


INGREDIENTS:

2/3 lb/300g chicken thigh
1 large stub ginger, grated (use the juice only)
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp beer
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup potato starch

DIRECTIONS:

Cut chicken into 1-inch pieces and combined with soy sauce, ginger juice and beer. Marinate for 20 minutes. Drain chicken of excess liquid. Coat with flour and give it a quick massage. Coat with potato starch. Deep-fry in hot oil until crispy and golden brown. Take out and drain on paper towels. Crank up the heat to high and fry the chicken again for 30-60 seconds to make it extra crispy. Drain off excess oil and serve with lemon wedge if desired.

WATCH THE VIDEO TUTORIAL




Tuesday, March 14, 2017

How to Make the Perfect Bowl of Miso Soup


Too many times, we encounter a mediocre bowl of miso soup, even at restaurants in Japan. It's one of the simplest things to make, yet too many people don't take great care in making this humble soup. I hate to say this, but even my mother kind of sucks at making miso soup but that's because she's lazy and even she admits it.

Today we're going to show you how to make the perfect bowl of miso soup from scratch. Of course if you follow our tips, you can just use the packaged dashi stock to save lots of time.


INGREDIENTS: 

2-3 sticks of Konbu (dried kelp) 3 inches in length
2 cups water
2 cups bonito flakes
1/2-1/3 block tofu 
2 tsp dried wakame 
2 tbsp miso
green onions, chopped

DIRECTIONS: 

We’ll use 2 to 3 sticks of konbu, 3 inches in length. Wipe the surface with a damp paper towel. Do not wash in water as this will take away the umami that’s necessary for the dashi. Put 2 and ½ cups of water in a saucepan along with the konbu and let it soak for 30 minutes. Turn on the heat and remove just before boiling. Don’t discard the kombu as we’ll use that later. Once it comes to a boil, turn off the heat. Add in 2 cups of bonito flakes and let it sit for 2-3 minutes.

Set a colander on a bowl and lay a couple of sheets of paper towel on top. Pour the stock into the colander. Do not push or squeeze the bonito flakes. Just let the stock filter naturally. Keep the bonito flakes for later use. We’ll show you what to make with the leftover konbu and bonito flakes at the end of this video. This will make approximately 2 cups of dashi stock. Pour dashi back into the saucepan. If you don’t have time to make dashi stock from scratch, just use a pack of instant dashi. If you do, make sure to add it to water that has been boiled, never before.

Let’s prepare the wakame and tofu. Soak 2 teaspoons of dried wakame in water for 5-10 minutes to soften. If you don’t have time, you can simply add it directly into the soup. Depending on the type of wakame, soaking may be necessary to remove excess salt so be sure to read the package. Next let’s add the tofu. You can use ⅓ to ½ of one block of firm or soft tofu, whichever you prefer. Today we’re using soft tofu because I like the smooth texture. Cut the tofu into small thin blocks for easy heating.

Now that the ingredients are ready, bring the dashi stock to a boil one more time. If you’re using ingredients that you need to cook longer like carrots or radish, boil it with the stock at this time. Tofu and wakame is very easy to cook and edible as it is, so I recommend adding them after the miso. Once the dashi comes to a boil, turn off the heat. How much miso to add really depends on the brand, but a good rule of thumb is to add 1 tbsp miso to a cup of dashi stock. You can always add more if necessary.

If you have a misokoshi, a tool specifically used to make miso soup, that’s great. But if you’re like us and don’t own one, just use a ladle and chopsticks. Make sure to dissolve the miso completely or else you’ll get lumps of salty miso in your soup. Once miso is dissolved, heat until just before boiling. You don’t want to boil the stock at this point as this will change the flavor of the miso.

Add in the wakame and tofu at this point. Tofu and wakame is very easy to cook and edible as it is, so I recommend adding them after the miso. If you like your miso soup very hot, heat gently until just before boiling. And your miso soup is done! If you are using the instant dashi, add a pinch of it at this point to add additional aroma and flavor. Pour into individual bowls and add chopped green onions if desired.


So what do you do with the leftover konbu and bonito flakes? Here's a simple recipe for tsukudani, which is best eaten with hot rice and is delicious!


First, cut the konbu thinly. Squeeze the bonito flakes of excess moisture, then roughly chop into smaller pieces. Put them into a saucepan and add a quarter cup of water. Once it has come to a boil, add in 1 tbsp of sugar. Simmer for 2 to 3 minutes. Then add in 2 tbsp of soy sauce. Simmer over low heat until the liquid has evaporated. This keeps in the refrigerator in an air-tight container for few days and is great on steamed rice! Enjoy!

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Incredible Kit Kat Pancakes


Probably the best tasting pancakes ever to be created! At least that's what I thought as soon as I took a bite of these bad boys! Seriously have you seen anything more beautiful?

I'll admit this is more like dessert than a proper breakfast but if you've been good all week long, you deserve a break. Seriously, just go make a batch this weekend. I promise you'll thank me!

Watch our video tutorial here and you'll be drooling by the end!

INGREDIENTS: (makes 4-6 pancakes)

3/4 cup milk
1/2 lemon juice
1 tbsp butter
1 1/4 cup flour
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/6 tsp salt
1 egg
2 packs kit kats
confectioners's sugar
sliced strawberries
caramel sauce

DIRECTIONS:

Combine the juice of half a lemon with the milk and set aside. Melt the butter in the microwave. Chop your kit kats into small pieces making sure to keep some big pieces for texture. Into a bowl, sift in flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, salt and cocoa powder. Mix to combine. Add in your egg, milk/lemon mixture and melted butter and mix to combine. Melt some butter in a heated frying pan. Drop about 4-5 tbsp of pancake batter and cook for 3-4 minutes on medium heat. Once bubbles start to appear on the surface and the edges start to dry, flip it over and cook for an additional 3 minutes or until cooked. Repeat with the rest of the batter. Arrange sliced strawberries on top. Sprinkle with confectioners's sugar. Top with whipped cream, more kit kats and caramel sauce.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Mac and Cheese Pies-RECIPE


INGREDIENTS:

2/3 cup macaroni
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
2/3 cup milk
1 egg yolk
2 slices ham
dried parsley
salt and pepper
3 sheets puff pastry (to make 6 pies)

WATCH VIDEO TUTORIAL

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Whisk one egg yolk and set aside. Roll out your puff pastry on a floured work surface. Poke holes with a fork to prevent too much puffing up. Cut the puff pastry in half. Repeat with the rest of the pastry to make 6 in total. Cook the macaroni until al dente.

To make the cheese sauce, melt some butter in a frying pan. Add the flour and cook until thickened, stirring continuously. Add the cheese and cook until smooth and the cheese is melted. Add the macaroni, ham, salt and pepper. Stir to combine.

Fill the pastry puffs with about 2-3 tbsp of macaroni and cheese. Fold in half. Secure the edges by pressing with a fork. Place the pies onto a baking sheet. Brush them with the egg wash. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Home Made Okonomiyaki-Easy and Delicious Soul Food


Delicious savory pancakes recipe that everyone loves. Try this traditional Japanese dish that's especially popular in Osaka. 

INGREDIENTS: (makes 2) 

4 leaves cabbage, washed and dried 2-4 stalks green onion 2 eggs 3/4 cup bonito flakes 1/4 pound sliced pork 2 tbsp deep fried tempura batter (tenkasu) 1 tbsp pickled ginger (beni shoga) 1 tbsp dried seaweed (aonori) 1/2 tsp dashi stock powder 1 cup water 1 cup flour okonomiyaki sauce mayonnaise.

PURCHASE HARD TO FIND PRODUCTS ONLINE:

Okonomiyaki Sauce
Aonori Dried Seaweed
Beni Shoga (pickled ginger)
Tenkasu (fried tempura batter) 
Okonomiyaki Kit

DIRECTIONS: 

First chop the cabbage and green onions and set aside. Combine water with the dashi stock powder in a bowl and mix well. Add the flour and mix until no lumps. Add in the cabbage, green onions, deep fried batter, pickled ginger and eggs. Mix until ingredients are evenly distributed. Put some oil on a frying pan and add half the batter on. Flatten out into a circle. Place 3-4 slices of thinly sliced pork on top and cook for 2-3 minutes on medium heat. Flip it over. Cover and cook for another 3-4 minutes. Flip again and cook for a further 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a plate and pour on the okonomiyaki sauce and mayonnaise. Sprinkle on the aonori seaweed and a generous portion of bonito flakes.

Friday, April 1, 2016

2-Ingredient Chocolate Cake


Can you make a cake with just two ingredients? After we tried making this the other day, our answer is a resounding YES! Just two ingredients unless you count the egg white and egg yolk as two separate entities. The confectioners' sugar is for decoration so that doesn't count in our book.

The end result all depends on the quality of chocolate that you use. The better the quality, the better the taste. It really doesn't get any easier than this!

INGREDIENTS

6 eggs
3 bars chocolate

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 325F/170C. Break the chocolate into small pieces. Place a bowl over a pot of hot water. Melt the chocolate in the bowl stirring until completely melted.

Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites. Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Set aside. Add the egg yolks to the melted chocolate and mix until well incorporated. Mix in 1/3 of the egg white meringue mixture into the chocolate mixture. Add the rest of the meringue and gently fold into the chocolate mixture.

Line your cake pan with parchment paper or use a non-stick cake pan. Tap the pan a few times to release any air bubbles. Bake for 35 minutes. Cool on wire rack and unmold the cake. Sprinkle with confectioners's sugar.

Serve with a dollop of vanilla ice cream and/or whipped cream to make it extra special. Enjoy!

Thursday, March 10, 2016


OmuRice is a very popular Yoshoku Dish, which is a Japanese-style Western Dish. It can be found at many restaurants throughout Japan. This also happens to be one of my favorite comfort foods. It's pretty easy to make if you already have cooked rice lying around at home. But if you don't this is hands down, the easiest way to make it, especially if you only need one or two servings.

Here in Japan, our microwave allows you to choose the wattage. However if you don't have one of these, you could experiment with the times. Just keep checking your rice to see if it has finished cooking! Once you get it right, you'll have a difficult time going back to the old way of cooking.

INGREDIENTS: (makes 1)

1 1/2 oz chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/8 onion, chopped
2 tbsp mixed vegetables
3 tbsp ketchup
salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp butter
1 egg
1/2 cup japanese rice, washed
1/2 cup water

DIRECTIONS:

Put all ingredients into a large mug, with the exception of the egg. Give it a good mix around so the ingredients are combined. Crumple a sheet of parchment paper and lay it on the surface of the rice mixture. Loosely cover with a sheet of plastic wrap. Microwave for 2 minutes 30 seconds at 600 watts. Carefully open the plastic wrap and give it a quick mix. Cover and microwave at 200 watts (low temperature) for 10-12 minutes.

Depending on your microwave, you can use defrost mode. Carefully peel off the plastic wrap and take out the parchment paper. Whisk one egg and pour it over the top. Microwave for 2-3 minutes until egg is cooked. Don't overcook! Serve with a spoon of ketchup and garnish with peas. Enjoy!


Here's the video tutorial to make it easier!



If you prefer to make it the traditional way, check our Omurice video above.