Monday, August 27, 2007

A quick Japanese meal

I finally went grocery shopping at a Japanese grocery store near my house and got inspired (read: hungry) to make a quick Japanese meal for myself. As I usually get too bored and lazy cooking for myself, I like to make quick, easy stuff.

Also I am woefully inept at grocery shopping -- that is, I am somehow incapable of planning for a week's worth of meals on the spot, so I usually end up either with enough to make just three meals, or once I ended up buying a lot of lunchable type items like apple sauce, juice boxes, jellow, etc., all things that came neatly, individually packaged. These recipes don't call for much but just the staples in your pantry.

Japanese sauteed ginger pork

  • 3 tablespoon grated fresh ginger root
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sake
  • 2 tablespoons mirin (do not subsitute Chinese cooking wines. It doesn't work!)
  • 1 pound thinly sliced pork loin or pork for sukiyaki (as labeled at my supermarket. It's a little fatty so I trimmed some of the fat off)
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup scallion, cut in 2-inch pieces
  1. In a large bowl, mix together 2 tablespoons of the ginger with soy sauce, sake and mirin. Add the sliced pork, cover, and marinate for about 15 minutes.
  2. Heat the oil in a skillet or wok over high heat. Add the scallion pieces and the 1 tablespoon of reserved grated ginger, stir until fragrant, about a minute. Add the pork and lay them flat on the pan and fry until brown. The pork should have a brown, crispy look to it. Do not cook on low or medium heat, as the juices will not cook fast enough to get a crispy texture.
  3. Serve over hot steamed rice.
note: I think whisking in maybe half a tablespoon of miso into the dressing could be good. Will try that next time.

Eggplant with Sesame Dressing

2 small Japanese eggplant, sliced in the diagonal into 2 inch long pieces
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
Sesame dressing (see below)
2 teaspoons toasted white sesame seeds

Rub the eggplant slices with salt. Let them sit on a plate lined with paper towels for about 15 minutes. Some liquid will come out of the eggplant. Rinse the eggplant slices and pat dry.
Over medium heat, add the oil to a flat sautee pan. Cook the eggplant until brown on all sides.

Drizzle with dressing and a sprinkle of toasted white sesame seeds.

A note about the sesame dressing:
Ok I cheated. I used bottled dressing! I know that is not in the spirit of this blog but here is the dressing that I used:

But I HAVE made sesame dressing before, I swear. And here is the recipe for the sesame dressing:
* 3 tbsps rice wine vinegar
* 1 tbsp sesame oil
* 1 tbsp soy sauce
* 1 tsp sugar
* 1 tsp ground white sesame seeds

Whisk all ingredients together except the oil. Add the oil slowly and whisk into emulsion.

1 comment:

Jennie said...

I want to try making this next time! I am a big fan of quick, easy meals, because, as you know, I'm not one to cook!