Asian-Mexican Soup

Yesterday afternoon I washed the stove, including the burners, and left them hoping they would dry enough by dinner.  I got home from the gym at 8pm and tested the stove out.  No go. I waited twenty more minutes and tried again.  No go.  One burner was a bit puzzling because the flame wouldn’t even light while the other front burner only lit half way around.  I took the cover off, put it on again and bingo, back in service.  I was relieved because for the entire way home from the gym I was planning an experiment – a tomato-base soup with taco seasoning, hamburger meat and Asian vegetables.  To be specific, kabu (similar to a turnip), enoki (long thin mushrooms) and Chinese cabbage.  I though it might be good.  I tried it and was pleasantly surprised.

Asian-Mexican Soup

Asian-Mexican Soup

1 kabu (turnip), cubed

1/4 head of Chinese cabbage, cut into small pieces

1/2 package of enoki mushrooms, cut into one inch pieces

1 can of diced tomatoes

2 1/2 tomato cans of water

1 packet taco seasoning mix

1 small onion, diced

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

1/2 cup lentils

100g ground beef/pork mix

salt and pepper to taste

In a frying pan brown the meat, garlic and onions.  When cooked, add the taco seasoning mix and stir.  Add everything else and bring to a boil.  Simmer until the lentils are cooked.  It took about 30min.  I like Chinese cabbage when it is over cooked.  If you don’t, add the stalks at the beginning and keep the leaves until the last five to ten minutes.  Served topped with a bit of cheese.

A Tajine-Nabe Hybrid

My favorite winter food in Japan is nabe (hotpot), especially kimchie nabe.  My current favorite kitchen tool is my tajine.  I decided to try a hybrid that saves time.

IngredientsKimchie Nabe Tajine

Three servings

1 block tofu, cut into large pieces

1/2 carrot, sliced

3-4 Chinese cabbage leaves. cut into bite sized squares

10cm of negi, cut diagonally

10cm daikon, sliced

50-100g shaved pork

1 handful bean sprouts

1/4-1/2 cup kimchie nabe sauce (the bottles contain a concentrate, I used it straight)

Directions in picture form:

Step one Place daikon, tofu and stalks of Chinese cabbage into the tajine and microwave for four to six minutes.  My microwave took six minutes to cook the daikon.  I like tofu that has lost a lot of water so I put it in from the start.  If you like more watery tofu, put it in in the next step.

Step twoAdd the rest of the vegetables and meat.  Drizzle the kimchie nabe sauce over top.  Microwave for a further 3-4 minutes.

The final productThis is what you get.  Serve alongside rice or by itself.

Okonimiyaki and something a little different

One of my friends is in town and she wants to learn how to cook some Japanese food that she can make back home.  We decided on Okonomiyaki which is like a savory pancake.  There are many different ingredients added to okonomiyaki.  For some interesting pictures look here (Japanese page).   We also decided to experiment with the concept and try some atypical ingredients as well.  The result was kimchi pork okonomiyaki and basil chicken okonomiyaki topped with sweet chili sauce.

Typical Okonomiyaki

Typical Okonomiyaki

Kimchi Pork Okonomiyaki
Based on Japanese Family Recipesby Hiroko Urakami p. 195<— great bilingual cookbook
serves four
230g thinly sliced pork
10 large cabbage leaves, slivered 
150g kimchi
4 eggs
1/3cup flour
Okonomiyaki sauce (for topping) – apparently you can mix 4tbsp Worcestershire sauce and 4tbsp ketchup for a similar effect
Aonori flakes (nori seaweed flakes – note: these are bright green, not dark like sushi nori) for topping
Katsuo bushi (dried bonito flakes) for topping
Mayonnaise for topping (best in a squirt bottle)
Beat eggs and flour in small bowl.  Place slivered cabbage in a large bowl and add egg and flour mixture.  Toss. Saute pork and kimchi in a frying pan – depending on the fat content of the pork you may need oil.  Once cooked, add to cabbage mixture and toss.  Heat a frying pan with oil (you can use the same one) and add some of the mixture to reach your desired size.  They are usually the size of a large pancake and rather thick.  Cook on medium low for about five minutes until you see small bubbles form around the edges.  Flip over and cook for two minutes more.
Place the okonomiyaki on a plate and spread okonomiyaki sauce on it, follow by mayonnaise (see picture).  Sprinkle nori flakes and bonito flakes.  Cut like a pizza or into squares and serve.
 
 

A twist on typical Okonomiyaki

A twist on typical Okonomiyaki

Basil Chicken Okonomiyaki

 
Based on Japanese Family Recipesby Hiroko Urakami p. 195<— great bilingual cookbook
serves four
 
230g chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces (I used chicken breasts)
10 large cabbage leaves, slivered 
1 handful fresh basil (feel free to add more)
4 eggs
1/3cup flour
Thai sweet chili sauce for topping
 
Beat eggs and flour in small bowl.  Place slivered cabbage in a large bowl and add egg and flour mixture.  Toss. Saute chicken in olive oil in a frying pan .  Once cooked, add to cabbage mixture and toss.  Heat a frying pan with oil (you can use the same one) and add some of the mixture to reach your desired size.  They are usually the size of a large pancake and rather thick.  Cook on medium low for about five minutes until you see small bubbles form around the edges.  Flip over and cook for two minutes more.
 
Place the okonomiyaki on a plate and spread sweet chili sauce on it.