All about Food. B:9 Most of the blog will be about my various cooking experiments with some reviews of local restaurants thrown in once in a while. Reviews/food experiences from other place will be included also.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

A Typical Japanese Dinner (for us)

Last night I cooked Japanese food for the family. We were supposed to go to an arisan at the Hong Kong Garden, but we weren't in the mood. Besides, earlier in the day Wid's mom requested us to make a Japanese dinner for them. She "ordered" donburi, goma-ai, and miso soup. Wid and I went out to look for gifts for my family, and on our way back we stopped by at our favorite Japanese grocery store Papaya to buy, among other things, tofu skin and fresh tuna. We decided to make spicy tuna and inari for Wid's parents even though Wid's mom was worried that it might be too much work for us.

First, I made sushi rice using the freshly cooked Japanese rice. While waiting for the rice to cook down a bit and for the sugar and salt to dissolve in the rice vinegar, I chopped veggies and stuff for the other dishes. Once the rice was ready, I showed our awesome cook how to fill the inari. Wid made the dressing for the goma-ai and the spicy tuna mix. Wid's spicy tuna is a huge hit with the family, but he's still constantly trying to perfect it. I think he's trying to recreate his favorite spicy tuna sushi at our favorite Michigan restaurant Yamato. His goma-ai (spinach and green bean topped with sesame dressing) is a crowd pleaser too.

Since I didn't have to keep an eye on the sushi rolling, I started on the hot dishes. While boiling the hot water for the miso soup, I started cooking the donburi. Oyako donburi (chicken and egg) was one of the very first Japanese dish I learned to cook, and to this day it's still one of my favorite dishes. The dish is chicken, shiitake mushroom, and onions cooked in a soy sauce/mirin mixture. To finish the dish, beaten eggs are added to the top and cooked slowly. Miso soup is the usual stuff (bonito flakes, a tad of dashi, shiro miso, tofu, wakame seaweed, and scallions).

Once I finished cooking the dishes, Wid was done with his stuff and the cook finished rolling the spicy tuna. She and her assistant were inspired by the picture on the nori pack and made a couple of hand rolls using the last bit of the spicy tuna mix. They also places one of those plastic grass sheet on the plate. I have no idea where they found the plastic grass. Hehe. For the final touch, the cook placed a tomato flower on the platter.

Everyone enjoyed the dinner. We went got out the brand new ceramic soy sauce dishes that we bought earlier that day (hurray for the anniversary sale at Jenggala). Wid's mom said that now she's less tempted to go to Japanese restaurants because I can make all these dishes at home. I think her favorite is still Wid's spicy tuna, followed by my donburi. Wid's dad always wants goma-ai and inari. All the dishes turned out ok, but that's because I had plenty of practice already. Haha.

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