Cameras, games, Japan stuff.

Thursday 17 March 2011

やきとり (yakitori)

Well, I ordered my konro from Chef's Armoury the other day, so in anticipation of its arrival I decided to cook some yakitori.  Just to clarify, a konro is a small coal fired stove well suited for barbequing - particularly yakitori. 
So I skewered some chopped chicken thighs with sliced leek, and prepared the sauce from a combination of soy, mirin, castor sugar, water and a little corn starch dispersed in cold water.  A good quality soy sauce always helps towards achieving a rich flavour.
The chicken was grilled on a cast iron hibachi with occasional basting with the sauce.  Sitting out on the deck with a cold beer, this was the perfect way to cook dinner on a lazy afternoon.
This particular cast iron hibachi is not an authentic Japanese stove, but the konro will be, and I will post about that when it arrives.


Saturday 12 March 2011

あかみそらーめん (red miso ramen)

My first taste of authentic ramen was during my second trip to Japan in July 2010.  In a small, smoky, down stairs restaurant in Harajuku I was served up steaming miso ramen in a large stone bowl.  The miso stock was extremely salty, and would have been a nightmare for anyone taking medication for hypertension. 
Prepared by combining a large amount of miso paste with chicken or fish stock along with pork fat, the result is a thick soup that is then combined with sliced pork, cabbage, bean sprouts, spring onion and a sliced hard boiled egg.
In my opinion, ramen is a great comfort food, and like any comfort food, does not rate high in the health stakes.
A few days ago I had decided to have a go at making miso ramen myself.  Having to make do with what I had on hand, I made the soup by combining chicken stock, red miso paste, dark soy sauce, mirin, garlic and ginger and allowed it simmer until reduced to a thick liquid.  In a wok I briefly fried one carrot sliced thin, and two sliced bok choy and transferred this to a bowl along with ramen noodles, firm tofu and a hard boiled egg sliced in half.  The soup was poured over and garnished with furikake and shichimi togarashi.
The result wasn't exactly authentic, but it was hot, salty, comforting, and a warm reminder of my first authentic ramen experience in Japan.


Saturday 5 March 2011

Tequila Friday

Last night was Tequila Friday.  This involves heading over to a friends house after a long week at work, eating Mexican food and knocking back some tequila.  The tequila of choice is Jose Cuervo Especial, and our preferred method of consumption is to take it with a dash of salt and a wedge of lime.  However if you are lacking these two ingredients do not dispair, as Jose Cuervo goes down quite nicely on its own.  In keeping with the Mexican theme sereral Corona's were enjoyed in between tequilas.  Tequila Friday was a frequent event back in our university days, so it was good to bring it back after such a long absence.