Sukiyaki, Japanese big dinner

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As Christmas is approaching, I wish you a nice holiday season. So let’s have a sukiyaki party !
It’s a party meal designed to showcase delicious premium Japanese beef and season produce. A hot pot to cook and share on the table.

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The ingredients are cut, cleaned, prepared and presented on big trays on the table.
First tray : fungi, konnyaku noodles and grilled tofu.
There were 4 types of mushrooms : shimeji, enoki, dry and soaked maitake and fresh kikurage.

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Second tray : negi leeks, onions, soaked yakifu (gluten croutons) and kikuna (chrysanthemum greens).

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Third tray : the beef. Wagyu, Japanese traditionally raised cows. Beside you can see cubes of beef fat.

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Each eater is given a bowl with a good fresh egg. Whisk your egg with the chopsticks and get ready to dip you ingredients in this sauce.

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First step : greasing the pot with fat and roasting the first slices. They can be enjoyed this way as the beef is delicious, just on its own.

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That’s the technique : melt some fat, add some meat, pour a little sugar, then a little shoyu (sauce sauce), a little sake. Mix and cook.

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All the other ingredients are added in small batches…

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For dessert… well, there are no desserts for Japanese meal. So that’s a French tarte Tatin, made with Japanese apples.

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Konnyaku and eringii in ginger nikomi

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An easy Japanese dish.

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Konnyaku (konjac). You can use blocks too, just cut them in slices or cubes.

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Eringi mushrooms, cut in cubes.

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Ginger. Minced. I put a good amount.

Kombu seaweed. A small cut. Later after cooking, I cut it into ribbons.
Soy sauce and mirin (or sake + sugar), 3 tbs of each. A little red hot chili if you want. Cover with water. Let simmer. I cooked 30 minutes.

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Reheat the next day. Enjoy as a rice topping, a side dish or in negiyaki.

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Saba no misoni (miso mackerel)

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鯖の味噌煮 saba no misoni, mackerel simmered in miso.
Mackerel is a smelly fish, isn’t it ? Not in this recipe. The rich sauce perfectly show-cases this rich fish.

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I first bring to boil 1/2 cup of sake with a few slices of ginger and a piece of chili pepper. On low hear, add the fish, cover. When the fish is done, add 1 tbs of miso, 1/2 tbs of brown sugar, simmer a little.

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Serve with fresh ginger on top.

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Renkon, lotus root. It’s a common vegetable in Asia. It is sold fresh or pre-boiled. That’s very different.

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It has to be well washed, peeled. Then you can cook like a carrot, in multiple ways.

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I stir-fried it. I sprinkled on it sudachi lime juice, and cut skin of sudachi.

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4 sides : steamed green peppers,
wakame konnyaku with fresh wasabi,
suimono (soup of shiitake mushroom,
hijiki seaweed and goji berries),
silky tofu.

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A multi-dish quick lunch.

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Yakitori tsukune

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Tonight yakitori !
But the photos are… night photos. Sorry.

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You’ll see nicer in this post with 2 more versions of this basic skewer. And a mini-compil :

other yakitori

Soft tsukune recipe :
-For about 150g of meat (not too lean ground chicken), I’ve added a 1 tbs of ginger (minced), 1 tbs of leek (minced), 1 ts of soy sauce, a pinch of sugar, 2 tbs of sake, 1 tbs of sesame oil, plus a little more salt. After adding the previous ingredients and kneading, I’ve mixed in 2 big tbs of potato starch and about 1/2 cup of water. I let it rest 2 hours so flavors can mix.
-Then the balls are formed and boiled. Bring a pot of water to ebullition, pass on medium heat and throw in freshly made balls. When they are done, they are white all around and they come afloat. Take them away. They can be cooled and stored for a later meal, or used immediately.
-Put balls on skewers, oil, salt and grill. It’s the simple “salt grilled style”.

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Yuzu citrus and togarashi hot chili pepper tsukune. I also made nira tsukune by adding minced nira (garlic chive) to the mix.

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With the broth I made a soup, adding slices of ginger, shimeji mushrooms and negi leeks.

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Lacquered yakitori balls and grilled kabocha

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Sauce tsukune.

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Sesame tsukune.
Two more variation of tsukune (meat balls) of yakitori (grilled chicken skewer bars). For simple “salt” version, see here.

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Yep, they are painted…

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The boiled balls (preparation here) are put on skewers, then painted several times with sauce, before, during and after being grilled under the broiler or on a brasero. I have not made my sauce, I’ve used the fruity Bulldog sauce (more here). Some yakitori shops use that, but most make their mix.
For the sesame ones, after 2 or 3 times, I stopped adding sauce but passed the skewer in a mix of white and black sesame seeds.

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As I used the oven-toaster, I also grilled thin slices of kabocha pumpkin. Just like that, no salt, no oil. It’s delicious.

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Vegetables (raw red onion, blanched and cooled okra and ninniku-no-me garlic stalks) and the leftover of creamy pesto dressing (preparation here). I mixed and let one hour.

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Then 2 appetizers, I kept them “nature” without adding salt :

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The seeds of kabocha, baked with the rest.

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Edamame.

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So I had a small casual dinner… well, that was a lunch.

other yakitori

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Kibinago no nanban-zuke (fishbait in sour marinade)

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Second visit of kibinago fish bait.

南蛮づけ nanban zuke. It’s fried fish, then marinated in a sour sauce. The result is very light on the stomach.

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kibinago (silver stripe round herring) are these small mini-fish, often to small to cut them. Perfect for frying.
Wash the fish and drain well water. Sprinkle black pepper and chili pepper or other spices (optional).

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Heat frying oil. Pass the fish in potato starch, fry them.

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The fried fish, onion, carrot, ginger (grated) a chili pepper.

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For the sauce : 1/2 cup water, 2 tbs mirin, 1 tbs soy sauce, 2 tbs sake brought to a boil. Then add 4 tbs of black rice vinegar. Pour on fish and veggies. Cover. Let 30 minutes minimum. I prefer overnight.

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The next day.

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Renkon (lotus root) in black vinegar with ginger. Green beans and edamame in yuzu citrus juice.

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Genmai (brown rice) and miso soup with wakame seaweed.

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Buta no shogayaki – Ginger pork

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Two easy and tasty Japanese dishes.

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Of course, the most important ingredient is ginger.

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You can use any cut of pork that can be cooked quickly in a pan, but the easiest is to use these very thin slices.

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Here are the proportions of the sauce. You need about 1 tbs per person, but use as much as you wish. The ginger is peeled and grate, you can also mince it thinly. Just mix.
First, you can stir fry onions, and keep them aside.

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Cook the meat fully on both sides. Add the sauce, and a little water, let simmer about 10 minutes. Put back the onions. Reheat together.

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Serve with raw veggies. Here cabbage and kintoki red carrot.

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Furikake is a dry powder mix used to give flavor to white rice, or other plain food. There exist many types. This one is called yukari (purple), it is made of mostly dried akashiso (red shiso). The other ingredients of the mix vary. Here : umesu (pickled plum vinegar), salt, sugar, yuzu lemo. It’s ready to use. So just put on boiled spaghetti and that’s a side dish.

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