Posts tagged ‘Soy sauce’

April 12, 2011

Korean Short Ribs | Galbi Jijm

I’m always honored and humbled to cook food with such proud, venerable, even ancient roots.  Korean food is no exception.  Thousands of years of refinement has led to a breathtaking marriage of flavors.  This dish is a perfect example.  The sweet of the mirin joins the depth of the soy and the earthiness of the mushrooms for a bit of kitchen alchemy.  I compulsively tasted it as it simmered away, and I struggled to remember a more delicious sauce.  It was beautiful.

Again, its a recipe that takes a while, but there’s not a lot of hands-on time.  There are some moving parts at the end, but it is so – I repeat – so worth it.  It’s comforting, traditional, and special.  Those eating with you will feel loved.

Persephone’s Galbi Jijm

2 pounds of bone-in short rib

1 medium onion, roughly sliced

1 clove of garlic, diced

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February 11, 2011

Simple Suppers | Hainanese Chicken Rice

This is perhaps one of the simplest recipes I’ve ever posted.  It is one that requires almost no effort when it comes to dinner time.  One that everyone in my family loves.  One that requires only a few ingredients and some spices. (Have you been building your spice cabinet?)  It has taken over as my favorite way to utilize a fresh, locally-raised speckled hen from North Market Poultry and Game.  I will suggest that you get the freshest chicken you can lay your hands on.  Pay a little bit more for the chicken than you think is reasonable.  Trust me that it will make a difference in this dish.  Because chicken rice is about two things: chicken and rice.  They need to be good.

The ease of this recipe is that the chicken is poached and then allowed to cool in the stock over several hours.  It’s also sometimes called white chicken.  Essentially, you cook it for 30 minutes in the morning and then when it’s time for dinner, make a pot of rice and gather some soy, vinegar and spices for your condiments.  Dinner can be on the table in fifteen minutes and is a symphony of Singapore flavors.

Ingredients: Ginger, whole chicken, rice, soy sauce, a green onion, vinegar, a spicy chili, coarse salt, Szechuan peppercorns, fresh cilantro.  Optional lettuce.

For the chicken:

Take a whole chicken, 3 to 4 pounds, and remove the giblets.  In a deep stock pot fill with enough water that will cover the chicken.  Into the water

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February 7, 2011

Variation on Dashi | Egg Drop Soup or Tamago Toji

I have met some of the nicest folks because of writing this blog.  One such person is Spenmax.  I first ran across her writing when I was looking for bento box ideas for Cherub.  She posts regularly about the authentic Japanese lunches that she carefully and lovingly packs for her little ones.  I have found a lot of inspiration from her posts to fill the adorable box I bought for Cherub at Tigertree.  She also has a delicious wealth of knowledge about Japanese food and is kind in sharing what she knows.  She gave me the extra details I needed to transform the egg drop soup I had planned for dinner into something similar to what she might have grown up eating.  It was, I’m sure, a pale imitation, but I do always try to honor the heritage of the food I’m making.  And I’m happy to highlight my blogging friend.

Spenmax’s Tamago Toji, serves 2

6 c. dashi broth

4 inch piece of daikon radish, sliced in small batons

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February 1, 2011

Two Minute Solution to Elevating Your Game | Dashi

We do a lot of Asian cooking here in Persephone’s Kitchen.  I’ve said before that I regularly whip up some version of a stir-fry noodle dish once a week.  I love them because they’re so fast and so delicious.  But I think I found a new secret weapon to really improving the flavor of my dishes.

Two ingredients that can be purchased not just at an Asian supermarket like Tensuke here in Columbus, but at Whole Foods: bonito flakes and kombu.  I know, these ingredients have been around, well, thousands of years.  But that such a simple solution to authentic flavor for my Japanese noodle dishes could be found so easily and took the addition of almost no time to dinner has just left me kind of giddy.  Yes, let’s all discuss it again: Persephone is such a nerd.  Laugh if you want, but dinner tonight took about 20 minutes and had a depth of flavor that was almost staggering.  So there.

Ichiban-Dashi with Salmon, Shrimp and Noodles, serves 2 to 3

1 six-inch piece of kombu

1/2 c bonito flakes

8 cups of water (although I used a lovely vegetable stock, water is just fine)

Soy sauce and Mirin to taste (about 5 T of soy and 3 of Mirin)

1 bundle of udon noodles (I have some that take 12 minutes, check your package, yours might take less time, add them in at the right time)

1/3 pound salmon

1/3 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 carrot, peeled and sliced into thin batons

3 green onions, thinly sliced on the diagonal

1/4 c shiitake mushrooms, torn or sliced into small pieces

3 inch piece of daikon radish, peeled and sliced into thin batons

2  ribs of bok choy, thinly sliced

Sesame seed oil, optional

In wide, deep pan, add the water and the kombu.  Over medium heat, bring to a boil.  Add the bonito flakes.  Turn off the heat, let the flakes settle to the bottom of the pot.  Strain the solids and return to the same pan.  Add in the soy sauce and mirin.  Taste and adjust seasoning. Bring up to a nice low simmer: bubbles, but not boiling away like mad.  Set a timer for 12 minutes.  Add in the salmon and udon.  At ten, add the carrots.  At eight, add the green onions and mushrooms.  At six, add the bok choy ribs, reserving the leafy greens. At five, add the shrimp. At four, add the daikon and remove the salmon to remove the skin, if you have a piece with skin, and flake into large pieces.  Return to the pan.  At two, add in the green tops from the bok choy.  Simmer the rest of the time.  Taste for seasoning and add a bit more mirin or soy if you think it needs it.  I added a few drops of sesame seed oil just before serving.

Divide between bowls and slurp loudly.  It’s only polite.

Playlist included Wait Up (Boots of Danger), by Tokyo Police Club.

January 27, 2011

Monday Night Brunch | Pork Belly Bibimbap

I recently followed a debate/skirmish happening in the Atlanta area between a restaurant critic and some local chefs.  Let’s just say the chefs carried the day.  One wonderful chef who responded quite eloquently was Ron Eyester, or The Angry Chef of Rosebud in the ATL.  I discovered, not only is he tremendous in an argument, but he’s doing something fun at his restaurant: Monday Night Brunch.  Well, why on earth not, I asked myself?

So here’s Persephone’s version.  It’s a Korean, Seoul-food classic called Bibimbap.  With braised pork belly, a completely naked salad and a beautiful sunny side up egg on top, it’s a well-balanced dish that’s colorful, light, fresh and fun.  It’s bacon and eggs, kids, just with some Far Eastern flair.  So grab a Bloody Mary and some coffee and you’re good to go all night long.

Pork Belly Bibimbap

1 1.25 lb pork belly, seasoned with salt and pepper (There’s lots of fat, so you’ll only wind up with about 1/2 – 2/3 lbs of meat)

For the Marinade:

3 cloves of garlic, smashed

1 thumb of ginger, roughly chopped

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November 11, 2010

Spicy Skirt Steak with Far Eastern Flair

Cherub was at school this morning so I had time to peruse the aisles at New Asian Supermarket without worrying that she would try to “pet” a fish in the tanks or topple a display of gigantic bottles of Squid brand fish sauce.  Good times. 

But as I was doing this, I was realizing just how important it is for anyone with a desire to eat well, but on a budget, to become friendly with their local ethnic grocery stores.  Oh.my.gosh.  People!  Such a resource for inspiration and flavor and ingredients!  I saw some gorgeous Chinese noodles (it felt like a three-pound package, or at least 12 servings) for $2.49.  The three bands of Japanese noodles, made in Australia, I pick up at Fresh Market (God love ’em) are $4.99.  I suck at math, but that’s way cheaper.  And there are things you can find in the produce section that you can’t find other places.  The baby bok choy was real baby bok choy.  We were at Whole Foods a bit later and saw what was called baby bok choy and it was four times the size. 

I’m not suggesting that you go all non-local with all your produce shopping.  Not at all.  You know P loves her local farmers.  But for a change every once in a while, take a stroll through the aisles of your local market and see what you can find that gets you excited.  Don’t know what to do with it?  PK tip: Get it anyway.  Do a bit of Googling or heck, send me an e-mail.  I love a challenge.  Let’s get cooking!

Tonight’s dinner was a quick one.  (I was fortunate to be invited to a little lunch with super chef and super nice guy David Tanis who’s on a tour for his new book The Heart of the Artichoke.  I’ll post about that in full later.)  Anyhoodle, I marinated some grass-fed steak in vegetable oil, lemon grass all bashed up, ginger, garlic and Chinese chili paste.  This was served with some fresh mung beans (remember the just buy it advice???) and that baby bok choy that was pickled.  Awesome.

Quick Spicy Skirt Steak with Fresh Mung Beans and Pickled Baby Bok Choy

For the steak:

2/3 to 3/4 pound skirt steak (this was grass fed from White Oak Pastures, available at Whole Foods)

1 stalk lemon grass, cut crosswise in thirds and then bashed thoroughly (soooo satisfying)

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October 18, 2010

Miso Salmon with Soba and Spring Onions

Weeknight meals are awfully quick around here.  As fast as I can bring a pot of water to a boil and cook some Japanese noodles (about five minutes), dinner is more or less served. 

Start thinking about beefing up the East Asian section your spice cabinet (that may already contain some soy sauce) to also include a bit of miso, a small bottle of fish sauce and some mirin (a rice wine).  If you’ve got these three elixirs at the ready, a salmon dinner for three can be yours for under 10 bucks and on the table in under 15 minutes.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Heat a wok on high heat.  Add in a tablespoon of vegetable oil, a dash of sesame oil,  a heaping teaspoon of miso,

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