Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Pappardelle with scallops, broccoli, fava beans with lemon zest in a Pinot Grigio butter sauce ホタテ、ブロッコリー、ソラマメとレモン、ピノグリジョ、バターソースのパッパデッレ

Made this with a few frozen scallops I still had in the freezer, and ingredients purchased at the local Trader Joe's. Thawing, drain/drying and cooking the scallops so that they are neither raw or overcooked and rubbery is the hardest part - but if you want to avoid that hassle you can use shrimp instead. Goes really well with dry Pinot Grigio - yes, the same wine used for cooking.

  1. Defrost, drain, and dry (with paper towels) the scallops' surface
  2. Chop broccoli into bite sized pieces, include the stem if you like
  3. Prep fava beans - I microwaved frozen fava beans from Trader Joe's
  4. Grate lemon zest, mince a clove of garlic, finely chop parsley, and set aside
  5. Have some butter, dry white wine (Pinot Grigio), salt and pepper ready
  6. Get water boiling to cook the Pappardelle (flat pasta works better - I used the lemon-pepper flavored noodles from Trader Joe's), add salt
  7. Cook the broccoli in the boiling water for a minute or two, remove, drain, and set aside - of course, keep the water to a boil
  8. Heat canola oil in a pan, sear scallops to desired doneness on both sides
  9. Remove scallops from pan and cover with foil to keep warm
  10. Start cooking the Pappardelle
  11. Add cooked broccoli and fava beans to pan, season lightly with salt and pepper and cook briefly, adding oil if necessary
  12. Add garlic, cook some more - be careful not to burn the garlic
  13. Add some wine and pasta cooking water, bring to boil and scrape off any brown flavorful bits off the bottom with a wooden spatula
  14. Add butter, further season with salt and pepper - take off from heat if the Pappardelle is not done to "al dente minus 1 minute"
  15. Drain the Pappardelle, add to pan, with the lemon zest, toss well - if there's excess juice from the scallops, add it to the pan
  16. Transfer to warm plates, place the scallops on top, sprinkle with parsley to finish, squeeze lemon juice if desired
  1. ホタテを解凍し、良く水分を切り、ペーパータオルで表面を乾かす
  2. ブロッコリーは一口大に切っておく(茎も食べられるので入れてしまう)
  3. そら豆は今回は冷凍のものを使用、電子レンジで解凍
  4. レモンの皮を摺り下ろし、ニンニクをひとかけ刻み、パセリも適量刻んでおく
  5. バター少々、辛口の白ワイン(ピノグリージョ使用)、塩コショウを用意しておく
  6. パッパデッレ(平たいパスタが良いです。今回はレモンとコショウを練り込んだパッパデッレを使用)を茹でるためのお湯を湧かす
  7. パスタ用のお湯でブロッコリーをさっと茹で、取り出したら水分を良く切っておく(お湯は湧かしたままにしておく)
  8. フライパンにキャノーラ油を熱し、ホタテを両面こんがりと、焼きすぎぬよう焼く
  9. ホタテを取り出し、アルミホイルで包んでおく
  10. パッパデッレを茹ではじめる
  11. ブロッコリとそら豆をフライパンに加え、必要に応じ油を足しつつ、軽く塩コショウしてさっと炒める
  12. ニンニクを加え、焦がさぬようにこれまた軽く炒める
  13. 白ワインとパスタの茹で汁を適量加え、フライパンに焦げ付いたホタテの旨味などをこそげ落としつつ沸騰させる
  14. バターを足し、塩コショウで味を整える(パッパデッレが「アルデンテ1分前」に茹で上がっていなければフライパンの火を止めておく)
  15. パッパデッレをざるにあけ、レモン皮の摺り下ろしと共にフライパンに加え、良く混ぜる(ホタテから汁が出ている場合はここで加える)
  16. 温めておいた皿に移し、パセリを振って完成(お好みでレモンを絞りかける)

Monday, August 25, 2014

"Goya Chanpuru" - stir fried biter melon, tofu, pork belly, and egg ゴーヤチャンプル

Stir fried biter melon, tofu, pork belly, and egg ゴーヤチャンプル
A traditional dish from Okinawa. Harmony of bitterness (from the goya bittermelon), sweetness (tofu and egg) and pork flavor.


Spaghetti in pesto sauce made with home grown basil 自家栽培バジルのペストソーススパゲティ

Spaghetti in pesto sauce made with home grown basil 自家栽培バジルのペストソーススパゲティ
Basil pesto made with basils grown in our "garden" (more of a balcony).


Avocado and salmon roe over rice アボカドいくら丼

Avocado and salmon roe over rice アボカドいくら丼
Sliced avocados (in lieu of fish) and ikura salmon roe over sushi-style rice flavored with vinegar, garnished with cut nori seaweed and flavored with soy sauce and wasabi.


Curry over rice, Chinese style 中華風カレー丼

Curry over rice, Chinese style 中華風カレー丼
Very quick yet tasty one-pot dish. Curry with pork, bell peppers, and onions - sesame oil and cornstarch give this a Chinese twist.


Stewed beef Achilles' tendon 牛すじ(アキレス腱)の煮込み

Stewed beef Achilles' tendon 牛すじ(アキレス腱)の煮込み
A staple of Japanese izakaya taverns. Stewed the tendons slowly in soy sauce, sake, mirin, sugar, garlic, and ginger.


Elbow pasta with cabbage, spring garlic, anchovies, and bread crumbs キャベツ、アンチョビ、春ニンニク、パン粉とマカロニ

Elbow pasta with cabbage, spring garlic, anchovies, and bread crumbs キャベツ、アンチョビ、春ニンニク、パン粉とマカロニ
Again, just as the title says.


Seolleongtang (stewed oxtail with daikon radish and noodles) ソルロンタン

#seolleongtang #ソルロンタン 完成
Slow cooked oxtail with daikon radish and wheat noodles.


Almost there #seolleongtang #ソルロンタン

Oxtail and broth stewed for 4 hours.


Prepping for #seolleongtang #ソルロンタン 仕込み中
Start of the stewing process - the oxtail was bathed in boiling water to clean before entering the pot.


Fried udon noodles with cauliflower, garlic chives, kimchee, and pork キムチ、ニラ、カリフラワー、豚肉入り焼うどん

Fried udon noodles with cauliflower, garlic chives, kimchee, and pork キムチ、ニラ、カリフラワー、豚肉入り焼うどん
Just as the title says. Quick cooking yet tasty.


Spaghetti aglio e olio with arugula スパゲッティペペロンチーノ、ルッコラ入り

Spaghetti aglio e olio with arugula ルッコラ入りスパゲッティ・アーリオオーリオ (返す刃で)
A twist on a classic pasta - made regular aglio e olio and tossed in a handful of arugula just before serving.


From the Farmers' Market to the Table - an eight-course improvised meal ファーマーズマーケット調達食材による即興料理8品

Been a while since I last posted -- here's photos from a "farm(ers' market)-to-table" dinner party we had recently with a few friends. Detailed writeup (in Japanese) on this blog. All vegetables and the pork belly from Oakland's Lake Merritt Farmers' Market. All meals were improvised at the kitchen. First course, steamed okra with sesame oil and soy sauce, and olive oil marinated roast bell peppers.

Second course, kale "chips" - kale tossed with olive oil and baked in the oven.

Third course, roasted Jerusalem artichokes (sunchokes). Just olive oil and salt.

Fourth course, vine ripened cherry tomatoes with basil. Seasoned with just salt.


 Fifth course, roasted zucchini and assorted squash. Olive oil and garlic.

 Sixth course, pan roasted broccolini with garlic.

Seventh and "main" course, roasted pork belly seasoned with herbs and spices and pan cooked scallops. Followed by penne alla gorgonzola (no photo).


Thank you Mariko for the photos!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Fried Udon Noodles with Kale, String Beans, Scallions, Eggs and Pork with Bonito Flakes and Sesame Seeds ケール、インゲン、青ネギ、玉子と豚肉入り焼きうどん、鰹節と白ごまのトッピング

Fried udon noodles with kale, string beans, scallions, eggs and pork with a garnish of bonito flakes and sesame seeds ケール、インゲン、青ネギ、玉子と豚肉入り焼きうどん、鰹節と白ごまのトッピング by naotakem
Made this as a way to use up leftover pork, eggs, and vegetables in the refrigerator, and a pack of frozen udon noodles from the freezer. Turned out much better than I intended or expected so thought it merits a post on this blog.


To prep:

  • Slice the pork into thin strips
  • Chop the kale, string beans, and scallions into bite size pieces
  • Lightly beat a whole egg in a small bowl
  • Microwave the frozen udon until soft and separated (don't have to be fully cooked as it will be stir fried)
  • 豚肉は細切りにする
  • ケール、インゲン、青ネギは一口サイズに刻む
  • 容器に卵を一個軽く溶いておく
  • 冷凍うどんを電子レンジでほぐれて柔らかくなるまで加熱する
To cook:
  • Heat sesame oil in a frying pan or skillet (with some depth)
  • Cook the pork, seasoning with salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes as you go
  • Add the chopped vegetables and continue to cook until tender
  • Add the udon and toss well with the pork and vegetables
  • Add a mix of soy sauce, sake, and a dash of water, continue to toss
  • Add the egg, mix well and cook until the egg and udon is fully cooked
  • Transfer to platter, sprinkle dried bonito flakes (katsuobushi) and sesame seeds on top to serve
  • 深さのあるフライパンにごま油を熱する
  • 豚肉を炒め、塩、黒コショウ、粉赤唐辛子で味付けする
  • 野菜を加え、柔らかくなるまでさらに炒める
  • うどんを加え、肉・野菜と良く混ぜ合わせる
  • 醤油、日本酒、少量の水を加えてさらに混ぜる
  • 溶き卵を入れ、卵とうどんに火が通るまで良く混ぜながら炒める
  • 皿に盛り、かつお節と白ゴマを振って食べる

Friday, January 3, 2014

Stir-Fried Beef, Onion, and String Beans 牛肉、タマネギ、インゲンの炒め物

Stir fried beef, onion, and string beans 牛肉、タマネギ、インゲンの炒め物 by naotakem
Part of a series of attempts to replicate typical Chinese restaurant fare without using any mass produced pre-mixed sauces. Those sauces do make cooking easy and I'm not too squeamish about using them, but I just wanted to see if I could do without them.


It goes without saying that stir-fry dishes like these are all about prep - the ingredients should be flavored and cooked separately and assembled for a quick mix and heat-through with the finishing flavors and oil in a well-heated wok (which I didn't have so I used a large frying pan). This ensures that the vegetables are crisp, not oily and soggy, and the protein is flavored and cooked thoroughly, not bland and raw.



  • Beef - slice into strips, place into bowl and add small amounts of soy sauce, sake, garlic and ginger (both grated), sugar, salt, black pepper, and a bit of potato or corn starch, massage thoroughly, let marinate for 10-15 minutes
  • String beans - remove inedible parts, blanch in boiling water with a pinch of salt for 2-3 minutes (adjust according to thickness of beans), drain, cool with cold water, drain well - watch out for overcooking, you want some crispness in the beans after cooling
  • Onions - slice into thin wedges
  • Sauce - mix Chinese oyster sauce, Chinese hot chili paste, chicken broth (again, used a powder dissolved in water), rice wine (ideally Chinese, but sake will do), salt, and black pepper to taste
  • Dissolve a small amount of cornstarch or potato starch in cold water - this is added at the end to give the dish a nice, thick consistency
  • 牛肉は細切りにし、ボウルに入れて醤油、日本酒、下しニンニクとショウガ、砂糖、塩、黒コショウ、そしてコーンスターチか片栗粉をそれぞれ少量加え、良く揉み込んで10分から15分寝かせておく
  • インゲンはへたや筋を取り、軽く塩を効かせた沸騰するお湯で2〜3分(インゲンの太さ次第で加減)茹で、ざるに空けたら冷水で冷ます(しゃきっとした感触を残したいので茹で過ぎに注意)
  • タマネギは細めのくし形に切っておく
  • オイスターソース、豆板醤、中華鶏ガラスープ(「素」を溶かしたもので十分)、酒(紹興酒があれば良し、無ければ日本酒)、塩コショウを好みの量混ぜて合わせ調味料は作る
  • 「とろみ付け」用にコーンスターチ、あるいは片栗粉を少量水で溶いておく
  • In a large wok or frying pan heat a good amount of of sesame oil (enough to coat the entire inside of the pan) until smoking, add the marinated beef and cook until browned, remove and set aside
  • Add some more oil into the pan, heat well, add a whole dried red chili pepper if you want extra heat, add the onions, cook briefly (this should get rid of any brown bits at the bottom of the pan) until slightly soft
  • Add the cooked beef, string beans, and sauce, toss well and heat through; be careful not to put in too much sauce - you don't want the beef and vegetables swimming in a watery mess
  • Add the starch water in small amounts and continue to toss until you see some overall thickness in the sauce glazing the meat and vegetables
  • Transfer to serving platter
  • 中華鍋か大きなフライパンを熱し、ごま油を鍋全体に行き渡らせ、十分熱くなったら下味をつけた牛肉を投入してしっかりと炒め、別の器に移しておく
  • 同じ鍋に油を足し、再度加熱したら(辛味を増したい場合はここで赤唐辛子を丸ごと一本加える)タマネギを入れてさっと炒める(この過程で鍋底の残滓が取れるはず)
  • 牛肉とインゲン、合わせ調味料を入れ(入れ過ぎてびたびたにならぬよう注意)、加熱しながら良く馴染ませる
  • 水溶きコーンスターチ(片栗粉)を少量ずつ加えながら肉と野菜の表面にとろみが付くまで炒める
  • 盛り皿に移す
When executed successfully, you'll have something that's pretty close to what your local Chinese restaurant or takeout joint serves - don't expect perfect replication, though.


Ginger-Garlic Roasted Chicken 生姜とニンニク風味のチキンロースト

Ginger-garlic roasted chicken with kale and tomatoes 生姜とニンニク風味のチキンロースト、ケールとトマト添え by naotakem
Ginger-garlic roasted chicken with kale and tomatoes 生姜とニンニク風味のチキンロースト、ケールとトマト添え, a photo by naotakem on Flickr.
Made this with inexpensive chicken drumsticks I found on sale, but should work with thigh meat or wings - breasts may not provide enough flavor (i.e., umami from fat).


Wanted a strong flavor that goes well with rice so made a marinade of of soy sauce, sake, mirin, Sriracha hot sauce, grated ginger, crushed garlic, sugar, minced scallions, and salt and black pepper - basically, what I had on hand. Didn't measure anything when making this marinade except for being careful about the amount of soy sauce, salt, and Sriracha to avoid making it too salty or too hot. Put the marinade and drumsticks (pierced some holes with a skewer to allow penetration of flavor) in a plastic bag, massaged some, sealed, and marinated in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours.


When cooking, first seared all sides of the marinated drumsticks (taken out of the fridge about half an hour before cooking) in a oiled and well-heated cast iron pan to get a good color, then placed the pan into a 350F oven to cook for 20 minutes or so. Served with some sautéd kale and tomatoes, and a bowl of rice.


Pan Roasted Broccolini and Breadcrumbs パン粉とブロッコリー二のロースト

Pan roasted broccolini and breadcrumbs パン粉とブロッコリー二のロースト by naotakem
An easy and pretty tasty vegetable side, despite the lousy photo.


Remove the hard parts from the stem of the broccolini, wash, drain well. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper and chopped garlic (if desired). Place in oiled oven proof pan, place in 375F oven, roast until tender, turning a couple of times to ensure even cooking. Chop up some leftover bread to make rough bread crumbs (smaller than croutons but not powder-like), add to the broccolini, toss and heat several minutes more to finish.


Thursday, January 2, 2014

Stamina Domburi ("Sutadon") すた丼

すた丼 Stamina Domburi - pork belly and onions in garlic-ginger sauce with an egg over rice by naotakem
A domburi (a dish that serves cooked meat, fish, and/or vegetables over rice in a bowl) that originated at a college town in Western Tokyo to match the appetite of hungry students. Called 'stamina domburi' due to its liberal use of meat (pork belly) and garlic and flavored primarily by soy sauce - a tasty, albeit calorie rich dish. It has since become more mainstream and could be found at Japanese style fast food outlets around Tokyo.


The original recipe has never been published, but many people (especially former students) have reverse-engineered the dish; the following a combination of a few of them.
  • Cut thin-sliced pork belly strips into easy-to-eat lengths (3 inches would do - if not available, slice a block of pork belly yourself)
  • Slice onion into thin wedges
  • Prep the sauce by mixing soy sauce, a lot of finely minced/grated garlic, grated ginger (just a small amount - garlic is the main flavor here), sake, mirin (Japanese sweet rice cooking wine), Chinese chicken broth (I used the powdered type dissolved in hot water), sugar (a pinch for me, but if you want sweet you can add more), and black pepper in a small bowl; aside from the soy sauce, the liquids should be used sparingly
  • Boil water in a pan and cook the pork belly until it turns white, drain and set aside; this allegedly reduces the fat content somewhat and avoids overcooking after the sauce is added
  • Heat sesame oil in a frying pan, sauté the onions until slightly soft and fragrant, add the pork and the sauce, mix well and heat through
  • Serve over a bowl of rice with a boiled egg (probably my largest deviation from the Japanese recipes that call for a raw egg, but I live in the States)
  • Eat with abandon
  • 豚バラ肉の薄切りを食べやすい長さ(7-8センチぐらい?)に切る(薄切りが入手できない場合はブロックを自分で適宜切りましょう)
  • タマネギを薄めのくし形に切る
  • 醤油、たっぷりの刻んだ、または下ろしたニンニク、下ろし生姜(ニンニクが主役なので控えめに)、日本酒、みりん、中華鶏ガラスープ(今回は顆粒を溶かしたものを使いました)、砂糖(好みで加減)、黒コショウをボウルに混ぜ、タレを作る(醤油以外の液体調味料は少量づつ)
  • 鍋に湯を沸かし、豚肉をさっと茹で上げて脂を少し抜いたら湯から上げる(タレを加えてからの炒め時間を短縮して具材が硬くなるのを防ぐ、とのこと)
  • フライパンにごま油を熱し、タマネギをさっと香りが立つまで炒めたら茹でた豚肉とタレを加え、よく混ぜ、全体に火を軽く通す
  • 丼にご飯を盛ったところに載せ、ゆで卵を添える(日本発のレシピでは生卵、となってますがいかんせんここはアメリカなもので…)
  • ためらいなくかき込むように食す

Crispy Roasted Kale ケールのクリスピーロースト

Crispy roasted kale ケールのクリスピーロースト by naotakem
Made this as a side for the Chicago style hot dog in lieu of the traditional potato chips to get some greens into the meal (have I lived in California too long?).


Chopped fresh kale into bite sized pieces, tossed with a small amount of olive oil, and spread evenly over a roasting pan lined with aluminum foil. Placed into a 350F oven and cooked until crispy (toss every now and then to prevent burning). Seasoned with salt and pepper before serving. Not quite potato chips, but surprisingly satisfying.


Chicago Style Hot Dog at Home 家で作るシカゴ式ホットドッグ

Chicago style hot dog at home! 家で作るシカゴ式ホットドッグ by naotakem
Visited Chicago for the first time in August - was awed by the architecture (including those by the great Frank Lloyd Wright) but really came home with a taste for good hot dogs.


Here's my attempt at replicating it - albeit with a pretzel roll which is non-traditional yet provides a good foundation for the sausage and abundance of condiments in my opinion (one of the places we ate in the Windy City served their dog on a pretzel roll to great effect).


Materials: boiled beef frankfurter, sliced tomatoes, sweet relish, chopped white onions (not visible in the photo but present), sliced pickle spears, yellow mustard, and warmed pretzel rolls (deliberate omission: pickled hot peppers)Put a slice into the roll, assemble the 'dog,' squirt some mustard, and enjoy. 


Spaghetti in Two Sauces - Pesto and Pomodoro ペストとトマトソースの2色スパゲッティ

Spaghetti in two sauces - pesto and pomodoro ペストとトマトソースの2色スパゲッティ by naotakem
Sometimes I have a craving for the comfort that spaghetti with simple pomodoro sauce provides. I also occasionally find my taste buds seeking the mildly stimulating taste of pesto simply tossed with pasta. This is my solution when those events coincide.


Pomodoro sauce (said I'd write about this some time ago but failed to deliver until today - here we go):

  • Sauté finely chopped onions in extra virgin olive oil until transparent and golden, then add a bit of minced garlic and sauté a few more minutes (don't burn the garlic!)
  • Add hand-crushed canned Italian San Marzano tomatoes, a pinch of sugar, mix well, and simmer until desired texture is achieved.
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper
  • みじん切りのタマネギを柔らかく、キツネ色になるまでエキストラバージンオリーブオイルで炒めたら、ニンニクのみじん切りを少量加え、数分さらに炒める(くれぐれもニンニクを焦がさぬように)
  • 手で潰した缶入りイタリアントマト(サンマルツァーノ種)と砂糖を一つまみ加え、よく混ぜたら好みの質感になるまで弱火で煮込む
  • 塩コショウで味を整える
Pesto (made this with homegrown basil, no pine nuts in this one):
  • Roughly chop a bunch of basil leaves and a few garlic cloves, add to blender and blend until creamy
  • Add grated Parmigiano-Reggiano as much as you like and a bit of olive oil, blend until cheese is incorporated into sauce
  • Season with salt if necessary (the cheese could provide enough saltiness)
  • バジルの葉たっぷりとニンニクを数カケを粗く刻み、クリーミーになるまでブレンダーにかけます
  • パルミジャーノ・レッジャーノを摺り下ろしたものを好みの量と、オリーブ油を少量加え、良く馴染むまでブレンダーを回す
  • チーズからの塩気が足りなければ塩で味を整える
To finish, cook spaghetti to al dente, separate into two saucepans, add olive oil and a dash of cooking water, toss, add the sauce, toss until coated. Serve both flavors on single plate, garnish the pomodoro pasta with chopped basil.