Pacific Rim, Week 10: Japanese

Again, my classmates and I were pleasantly surprised at how different Asian cuisine is from country to country--similar ingredients and cooking methods, but slight changes in ingredients, and the difference was inspiring.

Here's my to-go box (a.k.a. Hun's dinner and the next day's lunch for both of us), upward from chicken teriyaki at bottom: pork tonkatsu, asparagus and carrot tempura, beef sukiyaki, with more chicken teriyaki at top right
Pacific Rim, Week 10: Japanese food



Horenso and tomago soup. Tomago is egg, and horenso is spinach, through in some Hondashi, and you basically have egg drop soup with spinach and a dominating fish flavor--yum yum yum! Chef had us add some red, white, and green Kamobongo fish cakes . . . he's Italian.
Pacific Rim, Week 10: Japanese food

Japanese sticky rice. Using short grain rice, it could be nothing but sticky!
Pacific Rim, Week 10: Japanese food

Tempura veggies
Pacific Rim, Week 10: Japanese food

Teriyaki beef
Pacific Rim, Week 10: Japanese food

Pork cutlet Tonka(t)su Japanese style. Chef added the "Japanese style" because, as Hun and I learned during dinner at a Hawaiian joint the day before, Hawaii has tonkatsu, too (and they're both delicious). Yay with the tasty crispy breading!
Pacific Rim, Week 10: Japanese food

Teriyaki chicken stir-fry. Mmm, sugar-sweetened sticky sauce!
Pacific Rim, Week 10: Japanese food

Yakitori, now with pineapple hat! Fitting, I guess, because it tasted pineapply!
Pacific Rim, Week 10: Japanese food

Benihana fried rice. Of course, we didn't actually cook it on a hibachi--it's just Benihana's recipe.
Pacific Rim, Week 10: Japanese food

Japanese potato dumpling (curry Korokke)--yes, once again, we made curried potato croquettes. Yum yum yum!, and uber hooray for crispy coating.
Pacific Rim, Week 10: Japanese food

Beef sukiyaki (with shirataki, aka yam noodles)
Pacific Rim, Week 10: Japanese food

Notes:

Shirataki are low-carb, low-calorie noodles made from a tuber called "Devil's Tongue." They're low on flavor, meaning they're highly efficient and soaking up the flavor of the ingredients you cook them in, but they're ... well ... high in texture--chewy can be an understatement. Not that I was turned off by their texture--I thought it worked well with the beef!

Panko! When I was taking French Cuisine classes, our chef-instructor told us that panko was made by shooting batter at a super-heated steel wall. The batter would cling to the wall, cook, then fall as panko crumbs. He was full of crap. It's really just a coarse grind of usually crustless bread, though if crusts are included, then it's tan panko.

"So what's the secret," Hun asked. "Why is tempura batter so light?" Maybe it's the cornstarch, maybe it's the baking powder. My learnings say it has to do with the cold water in the batter. Wikipedia agrees!

Chef drew a loose comparison of tonkatsu sauce to Heinz 57. It's not the same, but if you're desperate, it will do in a pinch.

Comments

Marvin said…
I've also heard that story about panko, I think Alton Brown has even said it before, so I've always believed it.

If that's Japanese style tonkatsu, what is Hawaiian style?
Julie said…
Hawaiian katsu comes with two scoops of rice, a scoop of macaroni salad, and a bed of steamed cabbage. Just kidding (kinda)--from what I can figure, Japanese katsu is usually pounded pork, while Hawaiian katsu is usually chicken, although I've seen one serve the other.
kamilah said…
Is that yakitori? My understanding was that yakitori is supposed to be grilled chicken on a stick...
Julie said…
Kamilah, do you mean the tonkatsu? Just as it's labeled? It's served as breaded cutlets, just as you see. Yakitori is indeed cooked and served on skewers, though. =)

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