My Japanese Menu

My mom introduced me to Japanese food at a young age. I remember my whole family watching as I ate my first raw tuna dipped in soy sauce and wasabi. Surprisingly, I liked it immediately. My parents used to take us to the Old Kamameshi House in Quezon City Circle. Later on, my Mom took cooking classes and learned how to make our favorites from the restaurant. She passed on the recipe to me, and we've made these meals at home countless times. Whenever I go back to the Philippines, I am always tasked to prepare our "Kamameshi" meal.

Now that I have my own family, I make it a point to make this for them too. My son loves Nasu Dengaku. I don't know how authentic this is if I ever serve this to a Japanese person, but every time I eat it, it feels like home. Enjoy!



Kamameshi Rice

1. Soak 1 1/2 cup of Japanese/Calrose rice in water 1 hour before cooking
2. Marinate sliced shitake mushrooms and chicken in the following :
1/8 kikkoman soy sauce, 1/8 c mirin, 1 T sugar and cook under low fire until the chicken is cooked.
3. After 1 hour of soaking the rice, drain off water, then put 1 1/2 cup of water, and marinated shitake mushrooms and chicken. Also add 1 t fine salt, 1 T hondashi (fish granules), sliced carrots, green peas and sliced shrimp.
4. Boil over high heat for 20 minutes.
5. Lower the heat and cook for another 10 minutes. Do not open the lid. When you think it is ready, add 1 T of butter and mix the rice. Close the lid until you are ready to serve it.

Tempura sauce
Put all ingredients in a sauce pan and simmer on low heat.

2 c water
2 T sugar
2 t Hondashi
1/3 c Kikkoman soy sauce
1/3 c mirin
1 tsp grated daikon radish
1 tsp grated ginger

Tempura Batter

1/2 c flour
1/2 c cornstarch
1 tsp baking powder
1 c ice cold water

Shell shrimp but leave the tail on. Devein and butterfly the shrimp. Add calamansi, salt and pepper. Dip each shrimp in flour, eggs then the tempura batter. Deep fry. The oil must really be hot. Take out shrimp as soon as it is golden brown. Drain in paper towels to remove excess oil. Serve with sauce.

Eggplant with Miso Sauce (Nasu Dengaku)

2-3 Japanese eggplants (slice lengthwise, marinate in soy sauce, and pan-fry)

Sauce :
2 Tbs miso paste
2 Tbs mirin (rice cooking sweet wine)
2 Tbs sake or Chinese cooking wine
2 Tbs sugar

Spoon sauce over fried eggplant.

Sukiyaki

Not authentic, but very close. :) Usually, Japanese people make their sukiyaki sauce months before serving it, and store it in jars. When they are ready to eat, they put the sauce in a wok, let it boil, then they just cook the thinly sliced beef and vegetables in the boiling sauce.

The taste of this recipe is very close. This has been what my mom and I have been cooking since I was in high school. :)



Ingredients :
Leeks – diagonally cut in 2 inch lengths
Shitake mushrooms – soaked in warm water, slice thinly
Carrots – flowerettes
Tofu – 1 inch cube
Chinese pechay – 1 1/2 inch thick
White onions – round

Sauce :
2 c hot water, 1 knorr beef cube
1/3 c Kikkoman + 1 T regular soy sauce
1/4 c sugar
1/4 c mirin

In a skillet, saute sukiyaki cut beef for 1-2 minutes, remove from skillet.
Saute leeks, carrots, mushrooms and onions
Pour sukiyaki sauce, simmer for 5 mins.
Add beef, tofu and pechay. Simmer over low heat.

GOMAE

Tim and I tried this dish in our favorite sushi restaurant in Washington DC - Sushi Taro. It's located in 16th St. NW. It's pricey, but it's very, very good. I found this recipe online, edited it a little bit, and found the taste very close to the dish we order in DC.



3/4 pound fresh spinach (10 0z bag) 

3 tbs. White sesame seed 

2 tbs. Sugar (use more or less to taste) 

2 1/2 tbs. Kikkoman soy sauce

1. Toast sesame seeds in high heat.
2. Grind (I use a coffee grinder) the sesame seeds.
3. Add sugar, soy sauce. Sauce should be a little runny. Set aside.
4. Cook spinach. 2-3 minutes in boiling water, or 1 1/2 minutes in the microwave.
5. Take off excess water by squeezing out water with a dry towel.
6. Serve spinach in a plate, topped with the sesame sauce.

TEMAKI SUSHI WITH GARLIC GINGER CHICKEN

I experimented on this during our picnic at the Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington DC. It was my first time to see the beautiful flowers. Who would have thought we would actually end up in Japan?



1. Heat the oil in a wok over medium heat and stir fry 2 cloves garlic crushed, 1 1/2 in fresh ginger thinly sliced, 2 small red chilies (pulang sili lang po). Add 1/2 c finely diced water chestnuts and 1/4 kilo boneless chicken breast, cut into thin, long strips.

2. When all the ingredients are cooked, remove from heat and drain.

3. Season the cooked food with 1 t sake, 1 t salt, 1/4 t pepper, 1/4 t fish sauce (patis po), 1/2 t sesame oil.

4. Set aside and cool. When completely cold, stir in 2 spring onions sliced at an angle

5. Cut nori sheets into squares. Place 1 nori square diagonally in your left hand, shiny side facing down.

6. To make the rolls, moisten right hand with some water to prevent sushi rice (previous post) from sticking. Place 2 T of sushi rice on the nori square. Spoon 2 T of chicken mixture on top of the rice and fold the edges of the nori in to form a cone-shaped roll. Use a little water to seal the nori. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.

Serve with soy sauce and wasabi.