Why, yes, I'm totally loving the H-mart near my house.
Why, yes, I'm totally loving the H-mart near my house.
Here we've got chicken donburi served with Alaskan Cod miso soup, edamame, and seaweed salad. Overall, the meal was great, though the soup was a bit more one-dimensional than I'd anticipated.
Dinner aside, I had a great day. I've returned to my daily morning gym workout routine (now without having to make sure I don't tire myself out before classes), which felt pretty good. My own time, my own pace, my own focus. Afterwards, I returned home to assemble an elliptical bike we acquired from friends and spent some time playing Dark Souls II. Hooray for free time!
Yeah, I don't know what you all are having for dinner, but over at Casa de Monkey we're having tempura! Battered and fried daikon, squash, bell peppers, and shrimp lightly coated in matcha salt, served with cucumber and daikon sunomono and rice.
You may seethe with envy now.
This week, I went with a variation on my Niku-jaga Kurokke recipe that adds a touch more hamburger and includes diced up shiitake mushrooms. This is served with sunomono lightly topped with sesame seed and a small bowl of rice with just a touch of furikake. This one was a bit labor intensive, but still worth it.
Since we woke up to thunder-sleet this morning, I chose to make an appropriate dish tonight. Behold!
Gyoza! Shumai! Oden hot pot stuffed with salmon, cabbage, tofu, fish cakes, and mushrooms! Our warm bellies are now prepped to fight off the autumn chill!
A Somen noodle stir-fry with chicken and red bell pepper, coated in a sauce of roasted garlic, chili paste, green onion, fish sauce, and peanut oil. This sweet and spicy dish is served with cool cucumber slices.
While tasty, it's a bit fugly. The somen didn't fry quite right, the bell peppers were far too large, and Beemer kept adding fish sauce to enhance the flavor. Sigh.
I'd say that the meal was good, but not great.
Dinner tonight: spicy nikujaga croquette, steamed veggies, and deep fried okra! The croquette consists of boiled potatoes, cooked hamburger, chopped garlic, and chili paste mashed together into a patty, then breaded and deep fried. Topped lightly with some Japanese mayo.
Korean Pork & Spinach - roasted sesame seeds, garlic, cayenne pepper, spring onion, and pork loin cooked in sesame oil, later adding spinach, soy, and sugar result in a lightly spicy meal!
Thai Cucumber Salad with Peanuts and Chile- cucumber, chopped chiles, red onion, and cilantro saute in vinegar and sugar, later adding in peanuts, fried garlic, and fish sauce. Quite the spicy salad!
This recipe from Laos was an odd one. It started well by frying scallions, ginger, and chopped chili peppers, and then adding these to a mixed sauce of coconut milk, tomato paste, and fish oil. Finally, fish, ham, and beans were added to the soup, and this was poured over rice vermicelli noodles topped with peanuts, mint, and bean sprouts.
While this seemed okay in practice, the sauce was FAR too thick, the noodles ablated most of the flavor of the sauce, and the ham was a bit too strong for my tastes. Beemer liked it more as a soup, but I felt that it needed more alterations to become nicely palatable.
Tonight on Monkey's Experimental Dinner, I try to replicate one of the odd, yet tasty, MOS Burgers I had in Japan! Wrapping teriyaki beef strips and drops of mayo in a large leaf of lettuce, and this then placed between two tightly pressed rice paddies which were then fried on one side. It's a bit of a tricky process, but was pretty close to the original.
On a more positive note, tonight's dish was a complete success! Coconut gravy (coconut milk, cinnamon, turmeric, ground ginger, and a touch of sugar) poured over an egg and green onion mix containing BBQ chicken, chopped tomatoes, and fresh dill. OM NOM NOM NOM!~
This salmon nabe pot mixes Napa cabbage, salmon, sweet corn, bamboo shoots, daikon, potato, shiitake mushrooms, and leeks in a dashi, miso, soy, mirin, and sake sauce for a lightly sweet but filling meal! Perfect for those cold winter nights.
You can find the original recipe here:
I did omit the bok choy, tofu, arrowhead noodles, kamaboko, salmon roe, and red miso from this recipe to make my shopping easier, so it's not quite authentic, but that's okay as my alterations had flavors which worked just as well together.
As today was hot, I chose to serve a group of cold dishes. The main course was green tea soba noodles served with two types of soy/mirin/sugar based dipping sauces. Thin beef strips were cooked in sake and garlic chunks, rinsed with cold water, and served chilled. The Sunomono consists of sliced daikon and cucumber that were salted, rinsed, and then mixed with rice vinegar and sugar. Optional toppings included sliced green onion, shredded ginger, sesame seeds, and wasabi. Dessert consisted of green tea mochi filled with azuki bean paste.
A fun, but labor intensive, dinner tonight! I offered three varieties of onigiri (rice balls); one with no ginger, one with mild ginger, and one with strong ginger. All were filled with a mix of shredded chicken and mayo. I used a variety of nori strips, nori flakes, and sesame seeds to distinguish each type. These were served with edamame and miso with green onion and water chestnut.
I tried an experimental dish tonight. Following a recipe using layered pork and cabbage, I steamed the two using plum sake. Robb dislikes ginger, so I removed it from the original recipe, replacing it with slices of pickled garlic. The Ponzu sauce (citrus flavored soy) should be lightly poured on top. It turned out quite well.
The Gobo Salad mixes boiled, thinly sliced Burdock Root (known as Gobo) with carrot slices. These are added to a mix of mayo, soy, sesame seeds, rice vinegar, and sugar. I added peas for flavor, but that didn't work so well with chopsticks.