Showing posts with label raw. Show all posts
Showing posts with label raw. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Morimoto's Hawaiian Poke-Style Tuna Rice Bowl (Tekka Don No Poke) from the "Mastering the Art of Japanese Home Cooking" Cookbook {#JapaneseHomeCooking}

I am a huge Chef Morimoto fan from years back, ever since discovering him on the original Iron Chef on Food Network. I have spied him at the airport, eaten at his restaurant here and generally will watch anything he is on, including episodes Hawaii Five-O. So when I had the opportunity to take part in The Book Club Cookbook's Japanese Home Cooking Party and to review Morimoto's new cookbook, Mastering the Art of Japanese Home Cooking, I immediately jumped on board.

Whether it be the skillful and detailed presentation or the often exotic and hard-to-find ingredients, Japanese cuisine has a reputation for being difficult to cook. In this new cookbook, Morimoto sets out to show the American home cook that Japanese dishes, especially recipes from Japanese home cooks, can be surprisingly easy to prepare. Having taken a few classes in Japanese home cooking and trying my hand at different dishes over the years, I agree and while I don't claim to be an expert and my dishes are often a mix of cuisines rather than authentic Japanese, I have found that it doesn't have to to scary to cook delicious Japanese dishes at home.

Still, it's nice to have such an expert guide in the kitchen and Mastering the Art of Japanese Home Cooking is a cookbook that is useful, beautiful, and interesting to read. It is divided by category; Dashi (the basic soup stock, Gohan (rice), Supu (soups), Yaku (grilled, broiled or seared), Musu (steamed), Niru (simmered), Itame Ru (stir-fried), Men (noodles), Ageru (to fry), Ae Ru (dressings) and Tsukeru (pickled). It also starts off with Morimoto's thoughts about Japanese cooking and how to create a Japanese meal from the different recipes, and it includes a glossary of Japanese ingredients and sources to find them. 

The recipes are made up of classics--ones that are popular here in America, as well as dishes that are lesser-known here, and many recipes include the chef's clever spins that make the dishes fun. It's a beautiful book--almost every major recipe has a gorgeous color photo and an introduction from Morimoto about the dish. The recipe instructions are clear and there are even some "Japanese Grandmother Wisdom" notes included with tips and explanations sprinkled through the book. 

Having spent time in Japan for work years ago, reading it took me back to so many delicious meals I enjoyed. I found myself tabbing many of the recipes to make like Ohitashi (dashi-marinated kale), Furikake with Shrimp Shells and Potato Chips (I tend to buy my fuikake seasoning!), Chahan (Japanese-style fried rice), Asari No Miso Shiru (miso soup with clams), Tamago Supu (Japanese egg drop soup), Sake Shioyaki (salt-grilled salmon), Sakana No Sakamushi (fish steamed in kombu with spicy soy sauce), Oden (Japanese-style hot pot with sesame aioli), Kinpira (stir-fried parsnip and carrot), Zaru Udon (chilled udon noodles with scallions and ginger), Kaki Age (shrimp and vegetable fritters), Ingen No Goma Ae (green beans with sesame dressing) and Tataki Kyuri (smashed cucumber pickles).  
Even with all of the choices, it was not hard for me to decide on a dish to try out this fabulous cookbook for the #JapaneseHomeCooking event--it just had to be the Tekka Don No Poke or Hawaiian Poke-Style Rice Bowl. I live in Hawaii and love poke, so it had to be made!

Morimoto says, "Once you secure sushi-grade tuna, this meal in a bowl takes almost no effort to make. I upgrade the typical tekka don--sliced raw tuna, often briefly marinated in soy sauce--by merging it with the Hawaiian dish tuna poke (pronounced PO-kay) which I fell for while opening my restaurant in Waikiki. The cubes of luscious crimson fish dressed with a little salt, sugar, and spice taste great over wonderfully plain white rice or less traditional but no less delicious sushi rice."

Tekka Don No Poke or Hawaiian Poke-Style Rice Bowl
Adapted from Mastering the Art of Japanese Home Cooking by Morimoto
(Serves 4)

1/4 cup Japanese soy sauce
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp mirin (sweet rice wine)
2 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 to 2 tsp tobanjan (chile bean sauce) preferably a Japanese brand
1 tsp granulated sugar
1 lb sushi-grade tuna, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 medium Haas avocado, peeled and pitted, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
6 cups cooked short-grain white rice or cooked vinegared short-grain white rice
1 nori seaweed sheet
1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh shiso leaves (also called Japanese mint or perilla) or scallion greens (I used fresh mint and scallions)
1 tsp toasted sesame seeds

Combine the soy sauce, mirin, sesame oil, tobanjan, and sugar in a medium mixing bowl and stir until the sugar dissolves. Add the tuna and avocado to the bowl, toss well, and set aside to marinate for a few minutes but no more than 5 minutes.

Divide the rice among 4 wide bowls. Top each bowl with the tuna and avocado, leaving the sauce behind. Then drizzle the sauce over the tuna and avocado. Tear the nori into small pieces and scatter some over each bowl; top with the shiso and sesame seeds. Eat right away.

Notes/Results: This was a delicious poke-style bowl--a great combination of flavors and textures and just enough spice to make it interesting. As Morimoto stated, it is quick to put togethe--once you have your rice cooked and tuna secured. With the exception of picking up the fresh ahi tuna and an avocado, I had most of the rest of the ingredients in my pantry. I was bummed that although I can usually find fresh shiso leaves at my neighborhood grocery store, of course the moment I wanted them for this recipe there were none to had at any nearby store. I made do with a combination of some fresh mint leaves and green onion. The tobanjan or Japanese chile bean sauce is pretty spicy but I used 1 1/2 tsps (the recipe called for 1 to 2 tsps) and only marinated the tuna in it, figuring that it is was too spicy, the avocado chunks and rice would cool things down--and they did nicely. I was extremely happy with this delicious meal-in-a-bowl and I will happily make it again.  

You can see the recipes and cookbook reviews from the other nine bloggers participating in the Japanese Home Cooking Party on the Book Club Cookbook website.

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Note: A review copy of "Mastering the Art of Japanese Cooking" was provided to me by the publisher and The Book Club Cookbook in return for a fair and honest review. I was not compensated for this review and as always my thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Mastering the Art of Japanese Home Cooking is my fourteenth foodie book entry for the Foodies Read 2016 event. You can check out the November Foodies Read linkup, hosted by Heather at Based on a True Story, to see what everyone is reading this month. 

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Zucchini-and-Mint Gazpacho with Radish Salsa: One Last Cold Summer Soup for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

I had planned on making a hot soup this week since I have been on such a cold soup kick lately. Then I stumbled across this Zucchini-and-Mint Gazpacho in the September 2012 issue of Coastal Living magazine. It was just so pretty and fresh-looking and a great way to use up late-summer produce. It's good to finish out August with something cool and refreshing.

Zucchini-and-Mint Gazpacho with Radish Salsa
Aran Goyoaga, Coastal Living, September 2012 
(Makes 6 Servings)
Prep: 15 Minutes / Chill: 1 Hour

1 lb zucchini, cut in half lengthwise and sliced 
1/3 cup sliced green onions
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, plus more for garnish
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 slice gluten-free bread, torn into pieces
1 tsp fine sea salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup olive oil, divided
1/2 cup finely chopped radish
1 Tbsp finely chopped red onion
1 Tbsp finely chopped chives
1 Tbsp finely chopped cilantro
optional garnishes: fresh chives and parsley flowers

Combine the first 8 ingredients with 3 tablespoons oil and 3/4 cup water in a blender; puree until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary. Cover and chill 1 hour.

Combine radish and next 3 ingredients in a small bowl. Add remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, tossing to coat. Pour gazpacho into bowls, and top evenly with radish salsa. Garnish, if desired 

Notes/Results: This is a great little soup--simple to make and full of layers of delicious flavor. The radish, onion and herb salsa adds a nice little contrast in texture too. I didn't have gluten-free bread on hand so I just used a piece of sourdough and it worked just fine. I didn't have any chives or parsley that had gone to flower, but I think the contrast of color between the soup and salsa topping is quite pretty on it's own. I liked this soup a lot and would make it again.

It's a summer slowdown and very quiet here in the Souper Sunday kitchen this week, but I can always count on Janet from The Taste Space to join in. She is here with a pretty purple Blueberry, Lentil and Walnut Spinach Salad and she says, "I first tried tarragon last year and since discovered it is an easy-to-grow perennial. Tarragon has a subtle anise flavour that I like, even though I don’t like licorice. Here, I pair it with blueberries in a delicious dressing sweetened by dates. Coconut-sauteed onions make this a luscious dressing with a hint of citrus from the lemon.Wanting a hearty main-course salad, I paired it with French du Puy lentils and spinach. Toasted walnuts add a satisfactory crunch and fresh blueberries provide bursts of sweetness. Definitely one of my favourite salads, to date, I feel like this is definitely the summer of salads!"

Thanks to Janet for keeping me company this Sunday. If you have a soup, salad or sandwich that you would like to share, just click on the Souper Sundays logo on the side bar for all of the details.

Have a happy, healthy week!