Saury three ways

Saury are wonderful. A Korean grocery store nearby were selling 10 for $8, which meant that I was able to escape from my seafood deprived state, and that I needed to keep eating saucy for several meals. This did not pose a large problem for me, since I love blue fish and their intensely fishy flavor. If white fleshed fish were coffee made by drip systems, blues are the less refined yet robust and strong french press coffee. Blue fish are not for everyone, but people who like it, love it.

Day 1, Grilled saury

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Wash, dry, salt on both sides, let sit for 30 min, create shallow incisions on both sides (as you might when baking a baguette), and broil on high, with the fish sitting at least 6 inches apart from the heating element. Common garnishes are grated daikon (highly recommended) and citrus (sudachi, if you can get your hands on it).  You can gut the fish if you want, but enjoying the bitter, rich taste of the fish offals are considered to be a marker of mature taste.

Day 2, Stewed.

Lay sliced ginger in the bottom of a pressure cooker, pour some sake, sugar, soy sauce, and a bit of water. Cook under pressure for 15 min. Or, stew for a while in a regular pot. The pressure cookers thoroughly softens the bones, making the fish much easier to eat.

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One added bonus is that you can add stewed saury on top of soba noodle in dashi based soup, and the soup gets enriched with saury fishiness.

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Day 3, saury onion pasta with garlic, garlicky toasted breadcrumbs, and italian parsley

Saury, breadcrumbs, garlic, onions, and italian parsley

 

The whole thing tastes like a large mass of saury and garlic. Wondefully tasty, but horrible for your breath. Sauté breadcrumbs with garlic until a bit browned. Sauté garlic, add filleted saury, fry in couple tablespoons of oil. When the thing’s crisp, throw in pasta water, toss with pasta, cram everything into a dish, and sprinkle some italian parsley on top. Filleting saury may be tedious, but this dish is well worth it.

 

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Filed under Fish, Japanese, Japanese noodles, pasta, Uncategorized, Western stuff

Flying To Taiwan

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The way to get the most out of your in-flight meal is: out of the two choices, choose the less appealing options (cheaper ingredients, less innovative quality, or sounds just plain weird).

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Although this has proven successful many times for myself, I cannot get other people to try this.

This is perhaps due to people’s fear of choosing the less appealing option and actually receiving an unappealing dish.

The irony of the situation is that whatever you choose for your inflight meal, whatever investment you have for your choice, the difference in quality is marginal.

This quality, this critical “choice” during the flying experience that proves to be have little substantial difference makes me feel that I have learned a life lesson every time.

 

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Today’s food: squid leg kara-age

Squid leg kara-age

One of the best izakaya style dishes. Low cost, low class, and delicious.

With recent discussions of mouth impregnations by eating raw squid and antibiotic resistant viruses from Korean squid, there may be some fear towards this trending ingredient. But rest assured, separating the legs from the innards will eliminate the possibility of insemination, and deep-frying will hopefully kill off most bacteria. In addition, this dish does not suffer too much from over-cooking, if you are paranoid and tend to cook the shit out of your food.

To make, just marinate in a soy sauce, sugar, sake (or mirin), and ginger mixture for 20 minutes or so. Drain, and toss in cornstarch and flour mixture (50-50 is fine). Let it rest, and meanwhile, heat up oil to about 180c or 360f. Fry until golden. I like double frying, so I throw it in until the batter solidifies, take it out, wait for the oil to heat up again, and throw it in until the color becomes right.

Serve with a wedge of lemon.

 

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Today’s food: Gazpacho sômen

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Sômen are Japanese wheat vermicelli, eaten cold (in a bowl of cold water to prevent sticking) with a dipping sauce made out of bonito and kelp broth with soy sauce and mirin.

This version subs out the dipping sauce with Asian gazpacho, with bread, tomatoes, onions, garlic, ginger, stale bread (all tossed with salt and soy sauce infused with kelp and dried shitake mushrooms) and a bit of sesame oil. The infused soy sauce can be subbed with some menmi.

Toppings (usually julienned omelette, grated ginger, scallions, and myôga herb) are the best part of sômen. This one comes with minced parsley and a poached egg.

Sômen works best, but vermicelli pasta or ramen noodles will work too.

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Today’s food: penne with kabocha sauce

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Kabocha roasted with butter in  400f oven until soft, puree with soy sauce, sake, a bit of sugar.

Boil penne, sautee oyster mushrooms, pour in kabocha puree, toss everything together, and serve with a dusting of parmesan.

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Today’s food: stir-fried udon (yaki-udon)

Years of living alone has made me develop the uncanny ability of cooking while nursing a heavy hangover.

Yaki-udon

Fry sliced onions, bok choy, and pork slices. Add butter, grated garlic, soy sauce. Garnish with bonito flakes.

The most popular version is seasoned only with soy sauce. But my hangover demanded a bit more grease and substance. Hence, the garlic and butter. I recommend adding those two things.

 

I also cannot get the Luke Haines album title out of my head.

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Filed under Food, Japanese, Japanese noodles, udon

Today’s food: Pork kheema curry

Korma curry

Minced onions, garlic, and ginger. Sauté. Sauté ground pork. Throw in turmeric, paprika, and hot pepper powder. Diced tomatoes, until they lose shape. Water, boil, garam masala. Throw it on rice.

The sushi rice in the bowl is a throwaway of the lack of authenticity in my dish.

I sometimes add a bit of soy sauce, to match the gravy with the rice. My dirty soy-sauce covered secret. And it’s not the only one.

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