Monday, 18 July 2011

Japanese Celebrity Chef Harumi Kurihara

Harumi Kurihara
 A few weeks ago I was trying to escape from the hacking scandal and get some fresh news when I landed in the NHK channel now in HD with SkyHd and discover that the channel is just not another news channel where they repeat again and again the same information. NHK offers  you a complete set of programmes  that will help you understand the Japanese culture and their landscaping.
One of the programmes is Your Japanese Kitchen where the chef Harumi Kurihara famous in whole Asia for her several bestselling cook books  and cooking programmes where fusion typical Japanese food with western style. She is like our Nigella and Jaime Oliver all together. Without doubt Your Japanese Kitchen shows very interesting recipes, the big shames are the two co-presenters Daniel Khan and George Williams who  are a real pain to watch like some of the program guest stars.
Today I leave  you some recipes I have tried recently from Your Japanese Kitchen but you have a lot more on their webpage and also in the TV channel which I highly recommend to record and just watch the last 3 minutes where it is quickly explained  the ingredients and how to cook the dish.

I need to admit as well that at the beginning I think will be more easy to get all the Japanese ingredients, the big English supermarket´s  have some but the best is go straight ahead to an Asian Market Shops,  this little corner shop in your commercial street can really surprise you! And also you will need some basic Japanese cooking utensil also easy to find in Asian Market, in general the prices are accessible for any economy, the more complicate to find and also more expensive are the traditional Japanese vegetables.
In Brighton not far from our favourite Chinese restaurant on Preston Street is a Chinese supermarket where I find all the ingredients that I need for recipes below (apart from the bonito flakes).

More Celebrity Chef recepies: Carluccio - James Reeson - Jaime Oliver

Uramaki –Zushi . Inside-out sushi rolls

Sushi Vinegar
300g sushi rice
1 avocado
Nori seaweed sushi sheets
8 crab sticks
Shiso leaves (perilla leaves)
Toasted sesame seeds.
100 ml rice vinegar
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt.
Put these 3 ingredients in a bowl or jar and mix until dissolve.
Utensils: Sushi mat. Cooking paper

1.       Cook the rice and put on a wooden surface, pour over the vinegar mix very well and at the same time try to cool the rice to room temperature using a fan. That will prevent the rice to be too sticky.
2.       Peel and Slice the avocado in strips
3.       Put the paper and nori in the sushi mat. With a tablespoon put a few rice over the nori and spread very well all over the surface. Turn over the nori with the rice. And now put the avocado and shiso leaves over the nori just in the middle, and spread over the leaves a few mayonnaise and then the crab sticks.
4.       Roll tightly making sure ingredients stay within the roll and do not spill or ooze out.Nex t unroll and if the mixture is firm remove slowly the paper.
5.       Spread the sesame seeds in a big plate and coat the sushi roll in the sesame seeds.
6.       Cut the sushi into rolls. You need to press  the knife very firmly  to get a clean cut.
Uramaki –Zushi Step 1

Uramaki –Zushi Step2
Uramaki –Zushi Step3

Uramaki –Zushi Step4
Rolling Uramaki –Zushi 

Press firmly
Rolling in the sesame seeds

Ready to eat!

 Simmered pork with carrots

Simmering pork with carrots
1 carrot (diced)
100g thinly sliced pork belly
200 ml Dashi stock
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp mirin

1.       Combine dashi stock, soy sauce, sugar and mirin in a pan and bring to boil.
2.       Put the pork slices in the pan Spread the pork piece by piece in the pan and simmer 4 minutes
3.       Put the pork aside and introduce the carrot into the pan. Then spread the pork over the carrots again.
4.       Now you need simmer the pork the Japanese use an Otoshibuta (a drop lid), really is a wooden lid that you can put right over the food to hold the ingredients together and keep them from scattering and help the ingredients absorb the seasoning. You can buy one or make one for yourself using aluminium foil, or instead you can  use a pan lid just one size less to your actual pan.
5.       Time to time baste the pork with the juices. Simmer for 10 minutes
6.        Turn off the heat and let absorb all the seasoning for another 10 minutes. Serve with rice.

 Quick Milk bread
Barbacuing Milk bread
100g plain flour
100g strong flour
2tsp baking powder
2tbsp sugar
Pinch of salt
100ml milk (room temperature)
2tbsp plain yoghurt
1tbsp vegetable oil

1.       Sieve the plain, strong flour and baking powder in a bowl. Add the sugar and salt.
2.       Pour over the milk and yogurt  and finally the oil, and mix with your hands very well until make a dough, work the dough for a couple of minutes.
3.       Now cover  the dough with cling film and leave rest for 10 minutes
4.       Put the dough over a working surface, sprinkle some flour over the dough and the surface. Spread the dough using your hands or with the classic rolling pin until you flat the dough until 2 cm approx.
5.       Cut it with a knife in pieces any size you like and shapes you like.
6.       Cook in a medium heat BBQ, grill or even pan fry!
Rolling the dough
Cut the dough in any shape

Okonomiyaki Japanese Pancake

Okonomiyaki Japanese Pancake


3 cabbage leaves (shredded very finely)
100g taro (genteelly grated)
200 ml plain flour
100ml dashi stock
5 eggs
150g shrimps (shelled)
5 squid rings (cut into pieces)
12 slices of bacon
1 tbsp ginger(minced)
Spring onions (chopped)

Sauce: Mix 2tbsp of ketchup and 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce.
1.       In a bowl combine the taro with dashi stock and beaten egg. Add the flour, mix, add the cabbage and mix again.
2.       Now add and mix the shrimps, squid, ginger and spring onions.
3.       Heat a tbsp. vegetable oil in a medium size pan in a medium heat. Add part of your cabbage batter, spread in the pan and top cover with some bacon slices.
4.       After 4-5 minutes turn over the pancake. Cook for another 5 minutes.
5.       In another pan heat 1 tbsp of vegetable oil and, add 2 eggs, as soon you put in the pan break the yolk and immediately pass the pancake to the egg pan with the bacon side up. Cook for 1:30 minutes.
6.       Put the pancake in a plate with the egg side up and spread a tbsp. of mayonnaise and do the same with the ketchup Worcestershire sauce.. Add some dried green laver and top with dried bonito flakes if you can find it, if not  don’t  worry because already the dish will taste gorgeous!

Okonomiyaki  batter
Adding bacon to the pancake

I hope you have enjoyed  the recipes and it will be good idea if you try some of them. To be honest if you have been cooking traditional British and European food without influences cooking in Japanese food it  can be at the beginning  a bit tricky, but with practice you will master dishes like sushi and you will learn which condiments you can use a bit more or not. But at the end Japanese food is a great fun and is always good to know how to cook your food in a different way, sooner  or later you will find yourself fussioning your dishes with Asian flavours  and if you learn to cook some Japanese dishes the next time  you will appreciate more the food of a Japanese restaurant.