Thursday, 22 November 2012

JAPANESE FOOD REVIEW: MICHIE SUSHI


If you like good quality sushi in a casual setting then you'll love Michie Sushi. It's not an easy place to find if you're not familiar with the Ranelagh area so make sure to look up the address before going there. It's located down a narrow lane called 11 Chelmsford Lane just off Ranelagh village. 

I went there for the first time last month with my husband and little boy. We started with the the salmon and tuna combo (€13.80) and miso soup. We enjoyed this so much that we decided to order more sushi!


My husband ordered the Michie Special (€13.80).



And I ordered the Ebi Fry Roll (€11.95). Our little boy tried a bit of everything!


I can honestly say this is one of the best sushi experiences that I've had in Ireland. 

Michie also serve traditional hot Japanese dishes. They provide a takeaway, delivery and catering service and won various awards including "The Bridgestone Best in Ireland 2011 & 2012" and the "Regional Winner Dublin Best Casual Dining 2011". 

I was delighted to hear that they recently opened another restaurant in Dun Laoghaire in Dublin. I've no doubt Michie's new venture will be a success and wish them the best of luck.

Website: www.michiesushi.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/michiesushi
Twitter: @MichieSushi
Email: info@michiesushi.com
Phone: (01) 497 6438
Location: 11 Chelmsford Lane in Ranelagh, Dublin 6 and Dun Laoghaire 

NOTES: All restaurant reviews posted on this blog are written by me without the prior knowledge of the restaurant. I visit the restaurant as an average customer and always pay for the food! 

Thursday, 1 November 2012

JAPANESE MISO SOUP RECIPE: WHITE MISO SOUP WITH CARROTS & BEANSPROUT

White miso paste is a nice introduction into the world of miso if you don't eat miso regularly. This miso paste has a mild taste compared to darker coloured ones. Once you've managed to source miso paste and have it in your fridge it takes little time to make miso soup. It's traditionally served with a main meal however depending on what you put in the soup it could be served as a light lunch or main meal!

I buy Japanese miso paste in my local Asian market, however you can also buy it in health stores. I haven't seen it in supermarkets in Ireland yet but I think they sell it in supermarkets around the world including the UK, America, Australia etc.


Serves 4

Prep time 10 mins
Cooking time 15 mins

Ingredients:
1 litre homemade dashi stock or 1 litre water and 1 tbsp dashi granules
200g carrots (peeled and cut into julienne strips)
100g beansprouts
2-3 tbsp white miso paste
Sesame seeds (optional to garnish) 
Spring onion (optional to garnish)

Instructions: 
  1. If you're using homemade dashi then click here to see how to make homemade dashi. Once the homemade dashi is ready put it in a medium sized saucepan and bring to the boil. 
  2. If you're using dashi granules then put 1 litre of cold water into a medium sized saucepan and bring to the boil. Then add 1 tbsp of dashi granules to the water and stir.
  3. Once the dashi is boiling add the carrots. 
  4. When the carrots are nearly cooked add the beansprouts and continue to boil for one minute (I like the vegetables to be crunchy rather than overcooked).
  5. Before adding the miso paste lower the heat allowing the dashi to simmer only. 
  6. Dilute the miso paste in a cup of dashi taken from the saucepan. Then, add to the saucepan and gently mix all the ingredients.
  7. Garnish with spring onion and sesame seeds if you can. 

How to eat:
Japanese people drink soup directly from the bowl and then use chopsticks to eat vegetables in the miso soup. 

Tips:  

Once you add the miso paste never boil the miso soup only allow to simmer.
    Why not: 
    Add pork to this recipe.

    Saturday, 27 October 2012

    PUMPKIN (KABOCHA) & PEA RICE


    Prep time 15 minutes
    Cooking time 30 minutes


    Serves 4

    INGREDIENTS:
    320g Japanese rice (or other type of rice), uncooked
    Sesame oil, for frying
    Thumb size piece of fresh ginger, finely diced
    2 x garlic cloves, finely diced
    200g pumpkin, peeled and cut into 1/2cm cubes
    100g fresh or frozen peas

    INSTRUCTIONS:
    1. Cook rice (please click here to see my post on how to cook Japanese rice).
    2. Pour 1-2 tsp of sesame oil on a frying pan and turn the heat to medium. When the oil is hot add the garlic and ginger. Slowly cook for a few minutes on low/ medium heat.
    3. Add the pumpkin cubes and continue to cook for another few minutes.
    4. Season with salt and pepper. 
    5. Turn the heat to medium/ high and add a few tbsp of water to allow the pumpkin to cook faster. When the water has almost reduced turn the heat to low/medium.
    6. Add the peas, stir and continue to fry for a few more minutes.
    7. In a large saucepan mix the hot cooked rice and pumpkin mix together and drizzle 1-2 tbsp of soya sauce evenly over the rice.

    HOW TO EAT:
    You can eat this dish as a main course or a side dish served with other dishes.
    TIPS:
    Try not to add too much soya sauce as it will over power the rest of the flavours.
    WHY NOT:
    Add king prawn or shrimp to this dish.

    Friday, 19 October 2012

    Healthy Japanese Spinach Salad Recipe: Ohitashi Horenso




    A traditional Japanese meal consists of rice, fish or meat, soup and then side dishes called okazu. These delicious okazus take little time to prepare once you have the basic ingredients. I find this recipe a great way to use leftover vegetables in the fridge. One of my favourite toppings for this side dish is sesame seeds but I also love garlic and ginger fried in sesame oil. I'd love if you'd share your favourite topping with me once you've tried this recipe!


    Prep time: 5 minutes
    Cooking time: 1 minute

    Ingredients:
    Bunch of fresh spinach, washed 
    Salt (pinch of salt)
    Soya sauce
    Sesame seeds (optional for topping)
    Bonito flakes (optional for topping)

    Instructions:

    1. Blanch the spinach in salted boiling water for less than 1 minute.

    2. Remove from the water and drain in a colander. Use your hands to gently squeeze any excess water.


    3. Place the spinach leaves in a serving bowl as they are, or alternatively shape the leaves with your hands into a roll and cut as shown in the picture above.
     
    4. Lightly drizzle soya sauce over the spinach.

    5. Sprinkle sesame seeds or bonito flakes over the spinach.

    How to serve:
    Goes really well as a side dish with boiled rice.

    Tips:
    Depending on the type of spinach it may take less or more time to cook.

    - To make perfectly rolled spinach rolls use a sushi mat to form a nice firm spinach roll.


    Why not:
    Finely chop garlic or ginger, fry with sesame oil and use as the topping.


    Wednesday, 17 October 2012

    HALLOWEEN - ROASTED PUMPKIN SEEDS



    This recipe is perfect to use when you have leftover pumpkin seeds during Halloween and the pumpkin season. Pumpkin seeds are full of nutritional benefits and not surprisingly a popular healthy snack in Japan. 

    Japanese people don't celebrate Halloween however they have a Buddhist celebration called O-Bon (Festival of Souls) which is celebrated in July or August for three days. During this time they return to their hometowns as they believe that the souls of their ancestors will return home at this time. They welcome their ancestors home by placing lanterns outside their houses and offering food to them. 

    Ingredients:
    Leftover pumpkin seeds from one large pumpkin 
    Rapeseed oil/ Vegetable oil

    Seasoning options
    1. Freshly ground salt & pepper
    2. Cayenne pepper
    3. Nana togarashi/ Shicimi togarashi (Japanese mixed seasoning available in Asian markets)

    Instructions:
    1. Wash the pumpkin seeds in water removing any pulp attached to the seeds.

    2. Dry the pumpkin seeds using kitchen towel.

    3. Season with a small bit of oil and your preferred seasoning option listed above. 

    4. Place the seeds evenly on a baking tray in a preheated oven (150°C) for about 40 minutes when the seeds have a nice golden brown colour.

    How to eat?
    Serve as fingerfood at a party or eat as a healthy snack instead of peanuts or crisps.

    Tips:
    1. Try not to overcook the seeds as they will become hard and won't taste great.
    2. Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

    Why not:
    Add the pumpkin seeds to a salad or rice. 

    Wednesday, 10 October 2012

    MATCHA - Japanese Green Powder Tea


    Matcha has grown in popularity throughout the world in recent years due to it's undeniable health benefits. Traditionally, matcha was only consumed by the elite and used in formal tea ceremonies. Today, it is consumed daily like a regular tea and also used to flavor other foods and drinks such as desserts and lattes. 

    There is an Irish company called "The Matcha Tea Company" and they sell a wonderful range of products including matcha porridge and matcha flapjacks (www.thematchateacompany.ie).

    Here are some interesting facts about matcha:
    - contains virtually no calories
    -
    full of antioxidants which prevent cancer
    - 10 times more concentrated that regular green tea
    - delays the signs of ageing
    - burns calories
    - aids digestion
    - relieves stress
    - contains caffeine but unlike coffee energy is released slowly into the body
    - energy booster
     

    HOW TO MAKE JAPANESE GREEN POWDER TEA

    1. Put 1/4 tsp of green tea powder into a cup. 




    2. Use a bamboo whisk (called chasen) to get rid of any lumps in the powder.


    3. Pour a little hot water between 70°C(158°F)-80°C(176°F) into a cup and whisk. Do not use boiling water.


    4. Pour the remaining hot water into the cup.

     

    Tips:
    1. Use more than 1/4 tsp of green powder tea depending on your taste
    2. There are different grades of matcha, a good quality matcha will cost a little over 20 euro. 

    Where I buy good quality matcha and traditional matcha utensils: 
    Koyu Matcha sell different grades of matcha tea and the traditional utensils used to make matcha
    http://koyumatcha.com/wp

    Les Palais  Des Thes (Wicklow St Dublin 2) sell a range of different teas from around the world including matcha and other types of Japanese teas. They also sell beautiful tea canisters and traditional Japanese tea utensils.
    www.palaisdesthes.com

    Wednesday, 3 October 2012

    JAPANESE FOOD REVIEW: MUSASHI NOODLE AND SUSHI BAR, CAPEL ST, DUBLIN 1


    After reading several good reviews about Musashi I was excited to go there and check it out for myself! I popped into Musashi with my husband for a quick lunch on a Friday afternoon. We were greeted by friendly staff and asked to wait for a table as the restaurant was full. While we waited we enjoyed soaking up the bustling atmosphere. We were seated after 5 minutes and given complimentary green tea. When I asked the waitress for a refill she returned with a small pot of Japanese green tea which I thought was a nice touch. At first glance, I wanted to order everything on the menu! Then, I promised myself that if the food was good I'd return and work my way through the menu. Finally, I decided on the bento box special which included Japanese style breaded chicken on a bed of stir fried vegetables, lightly fried squid with a Japanese style salad, 2 pieces of maki sushi and rice (miso soup was served with the bento box). My husband ordered the seafood miso ramen. We love authentic/ traditional Japanese cuisine so this was a big treat and brought us right back to our time in Japan. Our lunch cost just over 20 euro which is more than reasonable for an enjoyable lunch in central Dublin. The whole experience surpassed our expectations and we'll definitely return again soon to try the sushi and sashimi.
    BENTO BOX SPECIAL
    SEAFOOD MISO RAMEN

    Website: http://www.musashidublin.com
    Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/musashisushibar
    Twitter: @musashi_sushi
    Phone: 01 5328068

    Irish times article on Musashi:
    http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/magazine/2012/0/1224314064951.html

    NOTES: All restaurant reviews posted on this blog are written by me without the prior knowledge of the restaurant. I visit the restaurant as an average customer and always pay for the food!

    Monday, 1 October 2012

    Japanese Chicken Teriyaki

    Chicken teriyaki is probably one of the most well known and liked Japanese dishes in the West. So it's not surprising that since I started this blog I've been asked many times to post a recipe for chicken teriyaki! I got this recipe from a Japanese chef called Seiya Nakano during a cooking class in the Dublin Cookery School. I was impressed to hear from him that Gordon Ramsay travelled to Galway to meet him to learn how to make the perfect Japanese sushi.
    I've changed his recipe a little as I thought the original recipe was a little too sweet and I replaced clarified butter with rapeseed oil. If you'd like the sauce to be a little sweeter just add more sugar.
    Ingredients:
    2 chicken breasts (skin on preferably)
    Vegetable oil/ Rapeseed oil (for frying the chicken)
    Teriyaki sauce
    8 tbsp soya sauce
    4 tbsp sake
    4 tbsp mirin
    2 tsp sugar

    Serves 2


    Instructions:
    1. Mix all the ingredients for the teriyaki sauce in a bowl and set aside.
    2. Heat the oil in a heavy based saucepan (medium to high heat).
    3. Place the chicken breasts skin side down in the saucepan.
    4. When the skin has become brown and crispy turn the chicken over and cook the other side.
    5. When the chicken is almost cooked pour the teriyaki sauce over the chicken. At this point reduce the heat (medium to low).
    6. While cooking the chicken and teriyaki sauce together use a spoon to pour the sauce over the chicken to ensure the flavour is fully absorbed.
    7. Continue to cook until all the sauce is forming tiny bubbles and resembles a syrup.
    How to eat:
    Cut the chicken breast into slices as shown in the picture above. Pour the remaining sauce over the chicken. Serve with rice and vegetables.
    Tip:
    Be careful not to let the teriyaki sauce get too thick and syrupy.
    Why not:
    Try this dish with beef, salmon or vegetables.


    Sunday, 30 September 2012

    Japanese Rice Balls Recipe - Onigiri

    Now that the children are back to school I started to think about the challenge that faces parents to pack a healthy and appetizing school lunch for their children. In recent years, schools have started to play a role in encouraging parents to pack healthy lunches by not allowing children to have sugar filled snacks as part of their lunch. My sister actually mentioned in passing the other day that her son's school gives awards for the best packed lunch!

    Japanese rice balls called onigiri in Japanese are a popular lunchbox filler in Japan. So if you're stuck for ideas when packing your children's lunch or your own lunch for work then try these easy to make and very healthy rice balls! Since Japanese rice is very sticky the rice balls won't fall apart so it's easy to eat these with your hands. You can wrap them in cling film in your lunchbox so that they keep their shape and stay fresh.  

    The recipe below is very basic using only rice and seaweed with some seasoning on top but you can add whatever fillings you like in the middle or mix the filling with the rice and then shape the rice ball. Tuna mayo is a popular filling for rice balls and generally liked by most people.

    Ingredients:
    Japanese sushi rice (320g uncooked)
    Pinch of salt  
    1 Nori sheet (roasted seaweed)
    Dried shiso leaf (optional for seasoning)
    Roasted sesame seeds (optional for seasoning)

    Makes 6-8 rice balls


    Instructions:
    1. Cook rice (please click here to see my post on how to cook Japanese rice).

    2. Fill a small bowl with cold water and then add the salt. Use this water bowl to coat your hands before you start making the rice balls. I tend to use sushi rice seasoning to coat my hands if I have the ingredients and time, click here to see how to make sushi rice seasoning.

    3. Coat your hands in the seasoned water and take a handful of warm rice. Start to shape the rice into a oval or triangular shape. Make sure you hands are firm when shaping the rice to ensure that the rice ball won't fall apart.

    4. Place a sheet of nori on a chopping board. Cut off a small piece of nori and wrap it around the bottom of the rice ball as shown in the picture above. 

    5. Sprinkle dried shiso leaf or sesame seeds over the rice ball.

    How to eat:
    Eat with your hands like a sandwich.

    Tips:
    1. Don't try to shape the rice ball when the rice is hot as you'll burn your hand!

    2. Don't put the nori on the rice until you're ready to eat it if you like the nori crispy.

    3. Only use Japanese sushi rice as the rice has to be sticky to make rice balls.

    Why not:
    Cover the rice ball completely in nori if you like the taste of nori.

    Thursday, 23 August 2012

    Japanese Style Fried Rice Recipe

    Although fried rice is traditionally a Chinese dish it is extremely popular in Japan. If you want to use leftovers in the fridge this is a great way to do just that. This is a basic fried rice recipe adding just egg and spring onion, however you can add a cup of your favourite seafood, meat or vegetables cut into small pieces.

    Prep time 5mins
    Cooking time 5mins
    Serves 4 

    Ingredients: 
    Japanese rice 320g (uncooked)
    Rapeseed oil (for frying)
    2 eggs (beaten) 
    Spring onion (two stalks cut finely)
    Salt (to taste)
    Soya sauce (to taste)
    Sesame oil (to taste)

    Instructions: 
    Most of the time I use leftover rice to prepare this recipe. Please click here to see my post on how to cook Japanese rice if you need to make the rice from scratch. You can use other types of rice apart from Japanese rice for this recipe. However, my instructions on how to cook rice apply to Japanese rice only.
    1. Add rapeseed oil to a heavy based saucepan on medium heat. To check if the oil is hot enough scrap a thin line of beaten egg across the saucepan using chopsticks or a spatula. If the egg cooks straightaway then the saucepan is hot enough.
    2. Pour the beaten egg into the saucepan and using a spatula cook in the same way as scrambled egg. Once the egg is cooked (try not to overcook the egg) remove from the saucepan and transfer to a small clean bowl. If there is some egg stuck to the saucepan then wash or wipe clean.
    3. Pour more rapeseed oil into the saucepan and return the heat to medium. Once the oil is hot add the spring onion and cook quickly for a minute and then add the rice. Use a spatula to turn the rice getting rid of any lumps.
    4. Toss the cooked egg into the saucepan and mix with the rice and spring onion.
    5. Season with salt and soya sauce and continue to stir for less than a minute.
    6. Finally, sprinkle sesame oil over the dish and stir again for a minute or less making sure not to overcook as this can easily happen. 

    How to serve: 
    The rice is now ready to serve as a main dish or as a side dish with other dishes. 

    Tips:
    Add a cup of your favourite seafood, meat or vegetables cut into small pieces to
    turn this dish into a main course.

    Why not:
    Cook this dish when you have leftover rice to avoid waste!






    Sunday, 29 July 2012

    EASY TO MAKE ROLLED SUSHI - MAKI ROLL/ MAKIZUSHI

    The thoughts of making sushi at home sounds daunting but once you make sushi a few times you'll realise it's not as difficult as it looks. There are many different types of sushi but today I'm going to focus on maki rolls. A maki roll is a sheet of nori (roasted seaweed) rolled in sushi rice and different fillings. There is such a wide selection of fillings that I decided to make 3 different types of fillings that work well together and are reasonably easy to get in the shops. You can change these and replace them with your favourite ingredients or simply add what you happen to have in the cupboard or fridge at home. 


    WHERE TO FIND THE INGREDIENTS: 
    Nowadays, all the basic ingredients that you need to make sushi can be found in larger supermarkets, health stores and Asian supermarkets. Most larger supermarkets in Ireland like Tesco and Superquinn have a designated Asian/ Japanese food corner. The most well know Asian supermarkets in Dublin include The Asian Market (Drury St Co. Dublin and Merrywell Business park, Ballymount Dublin 22) and Oriental Emporium (Jervis St. Co. Dublin, George's St. Co. Dublin and Unit C, Aerodrome Business Park, Collegeland, Rathcoole, Co. Dublin). Click here to see my post on "Basic Japanese Ingredients - what they are and where you can find them".

    HOW MUCH WILL IT COST TO MAKE SUSHI AT HOME? 
    Sushi has developed a reputation for being an expensive food to eat and this can be true when you eat sushi in sushi bars or restaurants. However, it is relatively cheap to make sushi at home. In the last few years all the ingredients to make sushi have become readily available in our supermarkets and ever-growing selection of health stores and Asian supermarkets. I've listed the individual prices from Tesco and Superquinn of the items to make sushi (this price was collected in July 2012 and may change). Once you invest in these ingredients you'll be able to reuse them to make different sushi recipes making it even cheaper to make sushi at home!
    TESCOPrice1SUPERQUINNPrice2
    Sushi Bamboo Mat€1.79 Sushi Bamboo Mat €1.61
    Sushi Nori (roasted seaweed sheets) €1.79 Sushi Nori (roasted seaweed sheets)€1.99
    Wasabi (Japanese horseradish)€1.79 Wasabi (Japanese horseradish)€2.19
    Japanese Sushi Rice (500g) €1.79 Shinode Japanese Rice (1 kilogram)€3.19
    Japanese Sushi White Rice Vinegar (150ml)€1.79 Japanese Sushi White Rice Vinegar (150ml) €2.99
    Pickled Ginger €1.79 Pickled Ginger €3.19

    INGREDIENTS: 
    Sushi rolling mat
    4 x Sushi Nori Sheets (roasted seaweed sheets)
    Japanese Sushi Rice 320g (uncooked)

    Sushi rice seasoning 
    Japanese Sushi White Rice Vinegar 100ml
    Sugar 2 tbsp
    Salt half tsp

    Serve with the sushi 
    Wasabi (Japanese horseradish)
    Pickled Ginger
    Japanese soya sauce (Kikkoman preferably)

    - Type 1 Sushi Filling
    Cooked prawns (pull to straighten)
    Avocado (cut into long strips)
    Pickled Ginger 
    - Type 2 Sushi Filling
    Tinned tuna mixed with mayonnaise
    Cucumber (cut into long strips)
    - Type 3 Sushi Filling
    Carrot (cooked and cut into long strips)
    Egg (omelet style cooked egg cut into long strips)
    Cucumber (cut into long strips)
    Pickled Ginger

    STEPS TO MAKE SUSHI:

    1. Click here to see how to prepare sushi rice


    2. Putting the sushi rice on the nori 
    Place a sheet of nori shiny-side down and the lines in the nori running vertical on a rolling mat. Cut off the top piece of the nori as shown in the picture below to get the perfect sized maki roll. Put a few drops of vinegar in a bowl of water and use this to wet your hands when applying the rice to the nori to avoid the rice sticking to your hands. Using the spatula divide the rice in the tray into four quarters using one quarter for each nori sheet. Gently spread the rice over the nori sheet trying not to press on the rice too hard. Spread the rice to the edges of the nori and leave a 2 cm gap at the top of the seaweed as shown in the picture below.
    

    

     3. Put the fillings on the rice as shown in the pictures below.



     


    4. Start to roll

    Using both hands hold the filling in place with your fingers then use your index fingers and thumbs to start to roll the mat forward and bring the nori over the filling. Now, press down firmly but gently to create a roll shape. To form the complete maki roll pull the end of the mat with one hand and continue to push the roll forward with the other hand (if some ingredients fall out the sides just push them back in and don't worry if the edges of the roll look untidy as this is ok). Remove the mat from the roll.





    5. Cut the roll
    Place the roll on a chopping board and using a sharp knife cut in half (try to only cut in one direction). Then, using a damp clean cloth wipe the knife clean and continue to cut the two halves into four pieces and then cut the four pieces in half leaving you with eight pieces altogether.

    Place on a plate and serve with pickled ginger, wasabi and soy sauce.


    Monday, 2 July 2012

    Japanese Style Fish & Chips Recipe

    A few weeks ago I had traditional fish and chips in the Waterloo Restaurant and Bar on Baggot Street in Dublin. I just happened to be in the area around lunchtime and was looking for somewhere nice to have a quick lunch. The restaurant looked modern and clean and the menu choice was excellent so I thought I'd give it a try. I ordered fish and chips and I have to say it's one of the best fish and chips I've ever eaten! The dish was beautifully presented with the chips in a mini metal bucket, the fish on a wooden chopping board and a lemon wedge cleverly wrapped in cheesecloth.
    After eating this lunch I got thinking about how popular fish and chips is in Ireland and around the world. In Ireland we even have a National Fish and Chips Day! The funny thing about fish and chips is that you can order this dish in the local chipper or in a Michelin star restaurant and sometimes the chipper is just as good!

    I've added a Japanese twist to the traditional fish and chips to create this recipe. It's a healthier option compared to traditional fish and chips, just as tasty and nice to try for a change.

     
    Serves 2
    Prep time 15 minutes
    Cooking time 30 minutes

    INGREDIENTS: 

    Sweet potato chips 
    2 medium sized sweet potatoes (cut into chips)
    2 tbsp rapeseed oil and 1 tsp sesame oil
    Freshly ground salt and pepper for seasoning 

    Fish
    300g white fish (including cod, pollock, haddock etc)
    2 tbsp sake (Japanese rice wine) 
    Freshly ground salt and pepper for seasoning 
    Plain white flour (for coating the fish pieces)
    2 eggs, beaten
    Panko (Japanese flaky breadcrumbs)
    Vegetable or rapeseed oil for frying

    Wasabi mayonnaise 
    Wasabi is made from the root of the wasabi plant. It has a similar taste to hot mustard and is regularly used in Japan. It is best known for being served on the side with sushi. If you can't find wasabi for this recipe (big supermarkets like Tesco and Superquinn stock wasabi) then Hellman's recently launched Hellmann's wasabi mayonnaise.  
    1 tsp wasabi
    3 tsp mayonnaise

    Japanese seaweed seasoning 
    Half a sheet of nori (type of seaweed used to make sushi)
    1 tsp sesame seeds (ground using pestle and mortar)
    Freshly ground salt and pepper for seasoning
       
    INSTRUCTIONS:

    Sweet potato chips 
    Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Place the roasting tin in the preheated oven for 5 or 10 minutes until it's red hot. Put the sweet potato chips in a bowl and add the oil and freshly ground salt and pepper. Take the hot roasting tin out of the oven and put the seasoned sweet potato chips on the roasting tin. Cook for 30 minutes or less in the oven until the chips are golden and cooked through.

    Fish
    1. Quickly wash the fish under a cold tap and then dry with kitchen towel (you can leave the skin on the fish or remove it. I prefer to leave the skin on the fish). 
    2. Cut the fish into a little larger than bite-size strips. 
    3. Place the fish in a bowl and season with sake (Japanese rice wine), freshly ground salt and pepper and mix together. 
    4. Coat the fish pieces in flour (shaking off any excess flour).
    5. Dip the fish pieces in the beaten egg. 
    6. Finally coat in panko (rub the panko gently onto the fish pieces).
    7. Heat the oil in a heavy base saucepan or wok to 170 degrees Celsius.  
    8. Place a bit of panko into the oil to check if the oil is hot enough. 
    9. Gently place the fish pieces into the oil. Fry for a few minutes until the panko turns a nice golden brown colour and then turn and fry for a few more minutes.
    10. Remove the fish pieces from the oil and place on kitchen towel
    Wasabi mayo
    Mix the mayonnaise and wasabi together until you get a nice green mayonnaise. Add more or less wasabi depending on your liking. Serve on the side with the fish and chips. 

    Japanese seasoning
    Crush the nori seaweed sheet into small pieces and mix with the freshly ground roasted sesame seeds and freshly ground salt and pepper. Sprinkle over the fish and chips and serve the rest on the side with the fish and chips. 

    Tips:
    1. To save time prepare the sweet potato chips first and while they're cooking in the oven prepare the fish, wasabi mayo and Japanese seasoning. 
    2. To get nice crispy chips do not overcrowd the roasting tin. Place the chips on the roasting tin in a single layer. 

    Why not:
    Try Japanese style chicken goujons and sweet potato chips instead of fish!

    Monday, 18 June 2012

    Kinpira Renkon - Sautéed Lotus Root and Carrot


    I decided to post this recipe because I'd love to see more people eating lotus root. Lotus root is very popular in Asia however most Irish people are not familiar with this vegetable. Although it's relatively difficult to find in supermarkets in Ireland many Asian markets have started to stock fresh lotus root. I bought this one in the Asian Market on Drury St in Dublin. 

    Lotus root (renkon in Japanese) is a vegetable that has amazing health benefits. It's low in calories, aids digestion, increases energy levels, helps treat lung related illnesses such as asthma and lots more! Lotus root like other vegetables can be cooked in a variety of ways. In Japan it's often added to salads, soups, stews, fried dishes, tempura etc.

    If you can't find lotus root for this recipe then try to replace it with another vegetable or seaweed to go along with the carrots and use the same seasoning to enjoy a traditional Japanese sautéed vegetable dish. 


    Prep time: 10 mins
    Cooking time: 15 mins

    Ingredients:
    1 tsp vegetable or rapeseed oil
    1/2 tsp sesame oil
    300g Lotus root (peeled and thinly sliced)
    1 Carrot (peeled and thinly sliced into strips)
    1 tbsp sake
    1 tbsp soya sauce
    11/2 tbsp mirin
    1 tsp roasted sesame seeds (to garnish)


    Instructions:
    1. Place the lotus root in a bowl of cold water for about 10 minutes to get rid of the bitterness and the excess starch. 
    2. Drain and dry in kitchen towel.
    3. Heat the oils in a heavy-based saucepan or frying pan on high heat for a minute or so.
    4. Turn the heat down to medium-high, add the lotus root and carrots and fry for about 10 minutes.
    5. Pour the sake over the vegetables, stir and fry for about 1 minute.
    6. Add the soya sauce and mirin, stir and fry for a few minutes.
    7. Remove from the heat.
    How to eat:
    Serve as a side dish on a small plate with sesame seeds sprinkled over the dish.

    Tips:
    1. Store it in an airtight container in the fridge and eat it the next day or a few days later (it tastes even better!!).

    2. Make homemade lotus root chips using any leftover lotus root.

    Why not:
    Use the same seasoning but different vegetables if you can't source lotus root.


     

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