Tag Archives: miso soup

Chicken Katsu

chicken katsu

My mom is here visiting again!  When she arrived from a day of traveling, I served Chicken Katsu for dinner (with rice, miso soup, and miso green beans – not a low sodium meal!).  It was comfort food Japanese style.  When I lived in Japan, this was a favorite dish to order at a mom and pop type of restaurant –the equivalent of a nice, hot diner meal here in the U.S.

Basically Chicken Katsu is breaded chicken served with a Japanese savory sauce made up of ketchup and Worcestershire sauce.

I like to trim the chicken breasts to make them thinner using kitchen shears.  Then I pound them to an even thickness in a Ziploc bag.

cooked

 

To bread, I simply coat in flour, then egg, then panko (Japanese bread crumbs).

breaded

Then, I fry them up in a skillet and keep warm in the oven while I continue to cook all the chicken pieces.

chicken katsu

Slice the chicken into strips at a diagonal and serve with sauce and hot rice!  Perfect comfort food. 🙂

Chicken Katsu

 

4 chicken breasts

kosher salt

½ cup flour

2 eggs or 1 egg + 1 white, beaten

1 ½ cups panko

about 1/3 cup canola oil for frying

 

¼ cup ketchup

1 ½ tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

 

  1. Trim tenderloin from chicken breasts. Place breasts and tenderloin pieces in a large Ziploc bag and lightly pound until each piece of chicken is uniform thickness, about 1/4 –inch.
  2. Measure flour and place in shallow dish. Beat eggs in another shallow dish. Measure panko and place in third shallow dish.
  3. Pat chicken dry, place on plate and lightly sprinkle with kosher salt.
  4. Dredge a piece of chicken in flour. Coat in egg. Coat in panko. Set on clean plate. Repeat with remaining chicken pieces.
  5. Preheat oven to 200 degrees F.
  6. Heat a large skillet with about 1/3 cup canola oil. Test with a few crumbs of panko. When it sizzles, the oil is ready.
  7. Place a few pieces of the coated chicken in the oil being careful not to crowd the pan. Saute on each side until golden, about 1-2 minutes per side. Drain on rack set over a baking sheet. Place chicken in warmed oven and continue to cook remaining chicken in skillet.
  8. To make sauce, stir ketchup and Worcestershire sauce together until fully combined. Serve with chicken.

 

Yield: 4 servings

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Filed under chicken

Tex Mex Tofu Scramble and They Draw and Cook

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Hope everyone had a good one! 🙂  

I’m still recovering from a Hidden Pictures Retreat at Highlights this past weekend–lots of work to catch up on!   It was wonderful to see old friends and make new ones.  The folks at Highlights are the best.  I stayed in the cutest little wooden cabin, and we artists spent all day Saturday learning all about Hidden Pictures!  I have done a few of Hidden Pictures for the magazines for the younger set, Hello! and High Five.  But I grew up with Highlights for Children (the most popular of their magazines), as did almost everyone else in this country.  It is such an honor being able to contribute to the magazine from my childhood.  🙂  I will have to do a post about it in the future.  But this one is the one I started before I left for Honesdale, PA last week!

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tofu2


Quite frankly, I would probably never have made this Tofu Scramble had it not been for the They Draw and Cook Glad Party.  I submitted an illustration there, and the requirement was to come up with three different recipes using the same ONE ingredient.  I usually only eat tofu with Asian flavors or in Chocolate Mousse, which I included in the recipe below.  After illustrating it though, I decided I had to try it.  And you know what — I love it!  I’ve been eating it several times in the past week — it is so yummy with refried beans, cheese, and salsa!  I also garnish with lime juice, plain yogurt (I can’t eat sour cream), and chopped cilantro.

For the concept, I knew I wanted to include animals, becauseI love drawing them, and I wanted characters and a story in the piece.  Since there had to be three recipes, I thought it would be fun to do three different courses: A soup, a main entree, and a dessert.  Then I came up with the Fox’s Cafe and went from there!  I realized each recipe kind of has a different cultural background as well, so I incorporated that into the design with each animal saying how delicious tofu is in three different languages.  At the end I have instructions for storing tofu.  It’s important to keep it in fresh water.  I actually have some leftover tofu in my fridge in water in a Glad container just like the little guy in my sketch:

sketch1c

And this is the final piece which I submitted:

Click to view larger

Click to view larger

It pretty much was the most difficult thing I’ve ever attempted, though it doesn’t look so complicated…  It’s made up of several files, one of which — just the ingredients in the recipes—was over 550 layers!  Crazy, huh?  That’s what happens when you import something from Illustrator.  Lol.  Every sliver of scallion had its own layer.  The animals (yes, I am obsessed with the bunny and the bear — they keep showing up) are a separate file, and I assembled everything together in one big Photoshop file.

I realized that working this way (using several flattened files to make one big file) is a LOT like baking a complicate dish– something like the German Chocolate Cake we made for Denis’ birthday last weekend!  There are also three stages to making the cake:  First there is the cake component, then the  filling component (which needs to be cooked and coddled and babied at the stove for 20 minutes), and then assembled all together later when everything has cooled!

This year, I had a baking assistant, which I was very grateful for!

Cracking the eggs...OMG, this cake has 3 eggs, and 4 egg yolks!!!  It's kind of scary like that.

Cracking the eggs…

OMG, this cake has 3 eggs, and 4 egg yolks!!! It’s kind of scary like that.  But if you are brave, here is the recipe.  I only make it exactly once a year, and only for the man I love!

Tex Mex Tofu Scramble

1 block of tofu

1 teaspoon oil

1/2 onion, diced

1/2 green pepper, diced

1/4 teaspoon or to taste of ground cumin, chili powder, and dried oregano

dash of kosher salt and pepper

1/4 cup chopped cilantro and more for garnish if desired

1.  Wrap block of drained tofu in a paper towel and weight under a heavy pot for 30 minutes.

2.  Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Saute onion and pepper until softened, about 3-5 minutes.  Crumble pressed tofu and add to skillet.  Season with spices, and saute for about five more minutes.

3.  Remove from heat and stir in cilantro.

4.  Serve with grated cheese, lime wedges, refried beans, sour cream, salsa, and warm tortillas if you’d like.

Makes about 2 servings.

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Filed under Art Related, Vegetarian

Asian Chicken Salad with Peanut Sauce and Soba Noodles


Last week, we’ve so enjoyed having my mom visit us from California.  She came to celebrate her 82nd birthday. 🙂

Denis did not photoshop this photo. His comment: What 82 year old woman has that jaw line!??

Other than when we took her to visit Denis’ lovely parents in Shelter Island, she’s been in our garden weeding, picking up leaves, pruning plants–basically working her green thumb magic on it (which I sadly did not inherit)!

I wish I had “before” pictures to contrast this with! There were less flowers all around, and the rocks and back were covered in leaves and weeds!

We call her the Energizer Bunny.

Instead of eating out, she preferred me to cook “things from [my] blog” for her, so all week, I prepared various dishes for her and revisiting some old recipes.

Lots of smoothies:

A ton of sushi, of course (click on each image for recipe):

With Miso Soup:

For her 82nd birthday which was the same day as Father’s Day, I made Reese’s Pieces and M & M waffles for brunch using our trusty Cadbury Egg Waffle recipe:

I bought a small bag each of Reese’s Pieces and plain M & Ms and scattered them on the batter before cooking in waffle iron.

And Crispy Fish Tempura Bites for dinner:

with Miso Green Beans:

And Rich Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Ganache Frosting for dessert:

I used a double amount of  Chocolate Ganache Frosting in place of this frosting

Other meals were quick Chicken Quesadillas using cooked rotisserie chicken (after a long day of shopping–not much time to cook!):

I filled ours with cooked chicken, cheese, onions, and salsa

and Creamy High Protein Avocado Dip:

I discovered I don’t have to spend a lot of time searching for favorite recipes anymore — I can just do a search on my blog!

For her last night here, I decided to make something special and created my version of a chicken salad with peanut sauce, because she had mentioned she had had a great one awhile back during her many travels.  It is a quick and easy when you have leftover cooked chicken! We used more of the rotisserie chicken.  I also used my favorite peanut sauce recipe using roasted peanut flour (if you can’t find this, just peanut butter is fine–use this recipe instead minus sesame seeds) and coated cooked soba noodles and chicken with it (angel hair or vermicelli would work too).  Then I made a salad with shredded Napa cabbage, romaine lettuce, shredded carrot, julienned daikon radish, cilantro, green onions, and snow peas.  I topped the salad with the peanut sauce coated noodles and cooked chicken and garnished with more chopped cilantro and chopped roasted peanuts.

It was really good!  We had leftover sauce which I diluted with a bit of rice vinegar and used as a salad dressing over the course of the week –sans mom.  😦
We miss you obaachan! (Japanese for “grandma”)  Thank you for all your hard work here!!


Asian Chicken Salad with Soba Noodles and Peanut Sauce

Peanut Sauce:

¼ cup peanut butter (or 1 tablespoon peanut butter plus ½ cup peanut flour and 2 tablespoons water)

1 garlic clove, minced

1 tablespoon ginger, minced

3 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 teaspoon sesame oil

Salad Greens:

4 cups shredded Napa cabbage

2 cups shredded Romaine lettuce

1 cup sliced cucumber

1 cup julienned carrot

1 cup julienned daikon or other radish

1 cup blanched snow peas

2 scallions, sliced

¼ cup chopped cilantro, divided

Vinaigrette:

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

1 teaspoon sesame oil

4 oz. soba noodles

2-3 cups cooked chicken, shredded

¼ cup peanuts, chopped

  1. Make peanut sauce.  Process all ingredients (peanut butter to sesame oil) in a food processor until smooth.  Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
  2. Prepare vegetables.  Mix salad greens together in a large bowl, reserving about 2 tablespoons of the chopped cilantro for garnish.  Set aside.
  3. Make vinaigrette.  Whisk soy sauce, rice vinegar, and sesame oil together in a small bowl.  Toss salad greens with vinaigrette to taste.
  4. Cook soba noodles according to package directions.  Drain.
  5. Assemble salad.  Toss cooked soba noodles with shredded chicken and prepared peanut sauce (use as much sauce as you want depending on how dry or wet you prefer the noodles—you will probably have some leftover!).  Divide salad greens into four bowls.  Top with noodles and chicken.  Garnish with reserved cilantro and chopped peanuts.

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Filed under Appetizers, Breakfast, Desserts, Dinner, Fish, Pasta, Sides, Snack, Vegetables

Ebi Fry and Re-ment (Exquisite Fake Japanese Miniature Food)

Ebi Fry is basically breaded and fried shrimp –a diner-like comfort food I was introduced to while living in Japan.  It’s commonly served with rice, some shredded raw cabbage, and miso soup as a “set” meal.  I like to eat it with thick Worcestershire sauce or tartar sauce.

Jamie helped me make Ebi Fry for dinner yesterday.  He’s been wanting me to make it ever since he received the most amazing gift from his “Auntie Cheryl”, a close friend of ours who grew up with Denis.

I present to you….. RE-MENT!

If you are not familiar with these amazing miniature Japanese foods you MUST– I implore you, you MUST check out the You Tube videos of RR Cherrypie!  We first saw Re-ment models in these crazily hypnotic and soothing videos and then saw the real thing at Mitsuwa in NJ!  Jamie loved them and wanted a set, but they are a bit pricey and really — they aren’t a toy!

It says it right on the box!

Cheryl found them on ebay and presented Jamie with not ONE set but TEN!

Plus, a kitchen!

Examining the loot.

Check out the cuteness:

Storage drawer

This toaster oven looks just like the one I used to have in Japan!

One of the sets is a miniature Ebi Fry.

The amazing thing about these miniatures, as you can see from the videos, is that they show the foods at different stages of cooking and they are SO life-like!

Comes with raw shrimp, breaded shrimp, and fried shrimp.

Frying oil has a little hole in it so you can fit shrimp in.

It even comes with a little paper towel roll on which to “drain” your fried shrimp.

Each set also comes with a recipe to make the dish.

For our (real) Ebi Fry, we used a combination of large and jumbo shrimp.

Lego Batman is impressed by the jumbo shrimp on the right!

You can find Panko at Asian markets and sometimes in the International sections of grocery stores.

Jamie did all the breading himself:

I’m not sure which looks more tasty — the real version or the miniature version!

All I can say is:  Everyone should have an Auntie Cheryl in one’s life!  Thanks, Cheryl!!

Ebi Fry (Breaded Fried Shrimp) loosely translated from Re-ment Set

Ingredients (4 servings)

12 shrimp  (jumbo size works better)

2 teaspoons oil (we omitted this)

1 tablespoon milk (we omitted this as well)

flour for dredging ( we used about 1/3 cup)

1 egg, beaten

Panko (Japanese bread crumbs)

Oil for frying

  1. Devein and clean shrimp, but leave tails on.
  2. Place shrimp on backs and make small diagonal slashes on the shrimp bellies (this will help it to stay straight when fried). Chop tips off of shrimp tails and squeeze out excess water with the side of the knife (this will prevent splattering when frying).
  3. Season with salt and pepper.  Let sit in oil and milk for awhile to remove any odors (I skipped this step because my shrimp was really fresh and I didn’t think it was necessary).  Pat dry.
  4. Dredge shrimp in flour, dust off, then dredge in egg, then coat in Panko.
  5. Heat oil to 355 degrees F.  Slowly ease in shrimp from the tails. (I actually didn’t deep fry ours — I just sauteed in about 1/2-inch of oil.)
  6. Fry shrimp for about 1 minute turning once or twice until golden.

Direct translation:  When oil makes a sound like “juwajuwa” and becomes like “pichi-pichi”, it is OK (done)!

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Filed under Children, Dinner, Shrimp

Trader Joe’s Roasted Seaweed Snack and Miso Soup

True story:  A few months ago at our local Trader Joe’s, I spied a young woman sitting on a bench at the entrance of the store in a trance-like state eating something from a hurriedly ripped open green package.  With a faraway look in her eyes, she was munching on thin sheets of roasted seaweed, one after another without stopping.  I glanced at her two shopping bags propped up in front of her.  They were filled to the brim with the same green packages–perhaps 20 per shopping bag?  I was intrigued.

They come in paper thin strips.

I grew up eating seasoned roasted seaweed.  My relatives from Hawaii would send large canisters of it every year.  My family never seemed to finish all of it, and most of the strips would always turn soft in defiance of the little white packets of desiccant that came in the container.  I believe they were loaded with MSG so it is probably just as well we never ate the entire batch.

“Was there something different about the Trader Joe’s roasted seaweed?” I wondered.  I decided to see for myself.

What I discovered is that these strips are less salty than the ones I have had in the past, and they are made of only natural ingredients (seaweed, safflower and sesame oil, and salt).  And because they come in a small container of two servings, it is easy to finish it in one sitting with another person when the seaweed is at its peak of crunchiness and freshness.  I have to say that these seaweed snacks are addictive.

Though I don’t sit eating them trance-like, I do love them.  It has even caught on with my son who previously would never eat dried seaweed.  He eats these seaweed strips by the stack full like potato chips.

Recently he’s taken to combine them with his other favorite foods, creating truly Asian-American fusion meals.  He urged me to post it on this blog.  Hee hee.

I present to you — Jamie’s Pizza Sushi (pizza piece rolled in seaweed):

This one is his latest:

Open faced PB and seaweed sandwich

Believe it or not, these inventions of his taste really good!

I’m more of a purist though.  My favorite way to eat them is with hot rice.  The clean flavor and combination of crunchy and soft and sticky textures brings me back to when I lived briefly in Japan.

Paired with a freshly made hot bowl of miso soup and salad, it makes a nice light meal.

Miso Soup

Note:  If you want to make the dashi (Japanese stock) from scratch, kombu (dried kelp) and katsuo boshi (dried bonito flakes) can be found in Asian stores.  You can also make dashi using instant dashi powder– just add water!

Kombu (dried kelp), Wakame (dried seaweed), Katsuo boshi (dried bonito flakes)

Dashi:
4 cups water

1 to 2-inch piece of kombu

Large pinch of katsuo boshi

1.   Heat water and kombu in a saucepan.  Just before water boils, remove kombu and discard.  Add katsuo boshi.  Boil for 30 seconds.  Turn off heat.  Let flakes settle to bottom on pan.

2.  Strain liquid into a bowl or measuring cup (I use the same one I used to measure the water), pushing down on solids to remove as much liquid as possible.

Makes 4 cups.

"shiro" (white) more mild than "aka" (red) -- the darker the miso paste, the stronger the flavor

Miso soup:

4 cups of dashi

4 tablespoons miso paste

Pinch of wakame (dried seaweed — also found in Asian stores)

1 ounce of tofu cut into small cubes

1/2 scallion, finely sliced

1.  Pour about 1/4 cup dashi into a small bowl.  Add miso paste to bowl and whisk until mixture is free of lumps.

miso whisked in a bit of dashi

2.  Pour remaining dashi into sauce pan.  Add whisked miso slurry to pan.  Add tofu, wakame, and green onions.

wakame, tofu cubes, and sliced green onion

3.  Gently heat miso soup over low heat until it is ready to be eaten.  Do not let it boil or simmer.

Makes about 4 servings.

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Filed under Children, Condiments, Lunch, Sides, Soup