“Is this chicken or is this fish? I know it’s tuna, but it says Chicken of the Sea.” – Jessica Simpson
“I’ve never really wanted to go to Japan. Simply because I don’t like eating fish. And I know that’s very popular out there in Africa.” – Britney Spears
Can you tell that I had a difficult time with “food for thought” today? Several dumb food quotes, but the two above are priceless.
Perhaps because I lived in Japan, I now crave certain things like teriyaki, yakitori, garlic ginger, sashimi, sushi, miso, etc. Today was one of those days and while I was in one of our local Marine towns that luckily have a few Asian Market and restaurants; I chose to finish my Asian list with a few ingredients that I missed on the last trip and cook and Asian dinner at home. I’m so lucky to have a well stocked Asian pantry and access to so many fine fresh ingredients that cost an arm and a leg in the other grocery stores.
I didn’t get home until 2’ish, but the plan for the chicken was already in place, just needed to make the miso soup and salad, some days Asian is so time consuming, but not today. The chicken was wonderful and I thoroughly enjoyed the miso soup with lots of little additions. The salad dressing came out very good after several tastes until I got the taste that I prefer…not your average bottled dressing for sure.
Garnishes for Miso soup sliced green onion, tofu cubes, thinly sliced mushroom, wakame seaweed shreds, shredded carrots, and Japanese pepper.
Place a block of firm tofu on a cutting board raised at one end. I place it close to the sink edge so the water can drain from the tofu, place a heavy plate or bowl on tofu block and drain for about 1 hour.Heat 7 cups water with 1-1/2 large sheet of konbu, do not bring to hard boil, but stay on lowest setting and gently simmer for about 40 minutes to 1 hour, remove from heat. Add ¼ cup prepared bonito or ¾ cup bonito flakes and allow to sit covered for about 15 minutes, strain broth and add back to the pot. Add a about a cup of broth to a bowl and whisk in 1-2 tablespoons miso paste and dissolve before adding back to the pot of broth, taste and add more miso if you like. Sprinkle shredded wakame into hot bowls of broth and garnish with your favorite goodies.
Ginger Dressing: Blend all with a stick blender.
3 ounces rice vinegar
3 ounces soy sauce
3/4 cup canola or soybean oil
1/2 cup diced celery
1/2 cup diced carrots
2 cloves minced garlic
1 small onion diced
1/2 cup sliced peeled fresh ginger
Fresh lemon juice from 1/2 small lemon
Sesame oil, to taste (1 teaspoon was enough for me)
Tiny squeeze of wasabi paste
3-4 ounces cubed tofu to thicken (optional)
dash of Japanese pepper
Prepare all ingredients. Place them in a sick blender container or large 4 cup measuring cup or use a blender. Mix on high-speed until the dressing is smooth.
Chicken Teriyaki-serves 4
Adapted from Canal House Cooking
Teriyaki Sauce: Simmer all ingredients until slightly reduced and thickened.
1 cup soy sauce
½ cup mirin
½ cup Sake
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
pinch of japanese pepper
1 tablespoon ground coriander (I had seeds and ground them in small grinder)
1 cup brown sugar (I’m going to try Splenda Brown Sugar Blend)
½ cup peeled and chopped ginger
Dissolve the sugar in soy sauce on medium heat, stirring and then add all of the other ingredients, simmer on low for about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Roast at 400°
Clean and half a 3-3-1/2 pound chicken, removing back bone, season with salt and pepper and place on a small rack over a baking sheet or pan. Preheat oven , add about a cup of water to pan then roast the chicken for 45 minutes without opening the door, reduce heat and baste chicken with sauce every 5 minutes for another 15 minutes. Allow chicken to rest for 15 minutes brushing with more sauce a few times before serving
I did rotate the pan ½ ways through the 45 minutes and yes I did open the oven door!