Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Tokyo-Style Ozouni

“Ozouni” is the traditional Japanese mochi soup for New Year’s. There are many regional versions of “Ozouni” in Japan and the flavors vary greatly so it is always important to indicate where the “Ozouni” comes from. Some are soy sauce based, some are sweet miso flavor, some uses fish broth, some uses kelp broth, and some uses chicken broth. Within the soup are veggies and meat, which also vary, as does the shape of the mochi itself. Even with Tokyo style “Ozouni” there are some variations depending on your family. Therefore I will call my “Ozouni” Tokyo style Sullivan Ozouni!

Tokyo-Style Ozouni

·      1000ml of bonito dashi broth
·      ½ lb of boneless chicken thighs
·      2 to 3 inches of Daikon radish
·      1 carrot
·      5 shitake mushrooms
·      6 tablespoons of Japanese sake
·      6 tablespoons of light color soy sauce
·      6 tablespoons of mirin (Japanese sweet wine)
·      ¾ to 1 teaspoon of kosher salt
·      some mochi
·      optional: mitsuba parsley
·      optional: yuzu peel

1.     Cut the chicken thighs into small bite size pieces. Cut daikon into quarter rounds and ¼ inch thick. Cut the carrots into round ¼ inch thick slices. Cut shiitake into thin slices, about 10 slices per inch.
2.     Combine cut boneless chicken thighs and broth in a pot and heat to a boil.
3.     Add daikon radish, carrots and shiitake mushrooms, and simmer until the vegetables turn soft.
4.     Add sake, light-colored soy sauce, mirin, and kosher salt and simmer on low heat to allow the taste of the broth soak into the vegetables.
5.     Grill the mochi in a pan or broil them in the oven until puffy and slightly browned.

6.     Put some broth in the bowl first before adding the mochi. Then add the mochi to the individual bowls. This will help to prevent the mochi from sticking to the bowl. Then finish serving the soup with veggies and meat over the mochi. Garnish with mitsuba parsley and/or yuzu peel.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Scallion and Ginger Sauce for Roast Beef

With the Holidays coming I am sure that a lot of people are thinking about roast beef. If you are up for something new, then try adding this Japanese influenced sauce to your table. This sauce will be a hit for those that consider themselves soy sauce lovers. I usually make this sauce with my roast beef for Japanese celebration parties, and it is always a popular dish that goes very quickly. This sauce keeps well and can be served cold at room temperature so it goes great with roast beef leftovers the next day.

Scallion and Ginger Sauce for Roast Beef
(Serves 6 to 8)

·      4 to 5 stalks’ worth of scallions (white part)
·      2 tablespoons of minced ginger
·      2 tablespoons of oyster sauce
·      1 tablespoon of soy sauce
·      2 tablespoon of Japanese sake

1.     Mince scallions and ginger.

2.     Put all ingredients in a bowl, and mix well.

3.     Serve the sauce with your roast beef.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Homemade Meyer Lemon Ponzu

In japan, we often use ponzu as a sauce for many dishes such as hot-pot, tofu, gyoza, salad, hamburg, steak, grilled chicken, pickles, and so much more.

We can buy ponzu sauce at the Asian supermarket or sometimes even the local supermarket, but I still prefer to make my own homemade ponzu. I enjoy the fresh taste and I know it has healthy ingredients. It is difficult to get our hands on fresh yuzu so I use Meyer lemons as a substitute. Meyer lemons have a beautiful fruity scent and are less sour than regular lemons (Meyer lemons are cross between lemons and oranges). We can make delicious homemade ponzu using Meyer lemons.
Meyer Lemons as Substitute for Yuzu

You can add 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of olive oil to 2 tablespoons of homemade ponzu, mix well and you have a nice refreshing salad dressing.

Homemade Meyer Lemon Ponzu

·      120ml of strained Meyer lemon juice (about 3 Meyer lemons)
·      60ml to 120ml of Mirin (Japanese sweet wine)
·      120ml of soy sauce
·      3 to 5 inches of “Kpmbu” Kelp
·      3 to 5g of bonito flakes (put bonito flakes in a tea bag)

*If you like sour, then use 60ml of Mirin, otherwise use 120ml of Mirin. My family prefers the 120ml of Mirin version.

*Remove the “kombu” kelp and bonito flakes after one night. This can be stored in a sterilizer jar in a refrigerator for up to 2 months.

1.     In a jar or bowl, put all the ingredients, and mix well.

2.     Leave it for few hours or overnight before using.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Meyer Lemons as a Substitute for Yuzu

If you are familiar with Japanese food, I am pretty sure you have heard about the citrus called Yuzu. Yuzu has a very aromatic rind that wakens up the senses. We often use the rind to brighten up the flavor of our dishes and to enjoy the pleasant fragrance it brings. The yuzu juice has a fruity scent but the taste of the plump is rather tart and tangy, so it is sometimes used to add an acidic touch to meals. The most common ingredient using yuzu juice is ponzu. Ponzu is a delicious citrus-flavored soy sauce that has many uses. We can get ponzu at the Japanese or Asian supermarket or sometimes even at the local grocery store.

One day, I happened to come across Meyer lemons while grocery shopping and their fruity fragrance immediately reminded me of yuzu. It is a little less sour than yuzu but still fruitier than regular lemons. Since that day I have been using Meyer lemons as a yuzu substitute. Since we can’t get yuzu easily around here I have been recommending my cooking students to use Meyer lemons for yuzu as well. Meyer lemons are in season during the winter. But good news is that these days we see them at the supermarket all year round so it’s not too difficult to get them. Whenever you find yourself craving a dish with Yuzu, remember that you that you have access to a great substitute.

I’ll be introducing a delicious homemade ponzu recipe that uses Meyer lemons instead of yuzu. Stay tuned!