Archive for the ‘Japanese Cooking’ Category
The reason that the word homemade is in quotes is because this ramen was technically made at home, but isn’t actually homemade (from scratch). I can’t remember the brand name that I buy, but there is a pretty decent ramen that is sold at Mitsuwa, Marukai (Cupertino) and Nijiya in the cold foods section. It comes in a 2 pack and includes the soup base and the noodles (crinkly kind). They have 3 flavors to choose from: Shoyu, Tokotsu and Miso. I usually keep the shoyu and tokotsu versions in my fridge for lazy days, which came last night. Also on a recent trip to Marukai, they had a new charsu available, so I picked up a pack of that and put it in the freezer for another day.
Last night seemed like the perfect night for it. After a wonderful brunch at Absinthe and our very first experience at the ballet, plus a little impromptu shopping in Hayes Valley, lounging at home in our pjs and slurping up noodles sounded like a great idea. I defrosted the charsu and popped it into the oven to heat up. To the ramen I added shimeji mushrooms, sauteed bean sprouts, roasted garlic cloves, bamboo and kimchi. Topped it off with a handful of chopped scallion. Not bad at all for store bought ramen!
Have you ever been asked what your last meal on this earth would be? I have… In fact, it’s a profile question on one of my favorite social networking sites, Yelp. I don’t think I would be able to pick just one thing as my last meal, but I definitely have a last meal list and on that list is katsu curry. This dish is comprised of flavorful, savory curry that is full of spice, pork cutlet that has been battered and breaded and deep fried, steaming short grain rice and usually accompanied by takuan (pickled radish, usually yellow in color) and fukujinzuke (variety of pickled root vegetables, usually red in color) or other types of tsukemono (japanese pickled veggies served as okazu).
I love trying new recipes at home, from all different types of cuisine, but when I can’t seem to figure out what I want to cook, or when I have those days when I just don’t have a craving for anything in particular, katsu curry always comes to the rescue. One bite and I am immediately comforted. So in my pantry, you’ll find several boxes of Kokumaro Curry, in mild, medium and hot. There are a few popular brands of curry, including Vermont and S&B Golden, but for no reason in particular, I usually buy Kokumaro.
For this dish, I used pork tenderloin purchased from Golden Gate Meat Co. in the Ferry Building, generously seasoned with salt, pepper and garlic salt, dusted with katakuriko which is a Japanese potato starch, dipped in beaten Marin Sun Farm eggs and then breaded with Japanese panko and deep fried in vegetable oil.
I prefer my curry to have chunky vegetables so I usually cut my potatoes into chunks with carrots and lots of mushrooms. Sometimes I will also put corn or english peas in the curry as well. The great thing about curry is you can put any type of veggie in it and really make it a personal dish. I had curry with lots of spinach once at a place in Honolulu and it was amazing. Just keep in mind cooking times when adding your veggies. You wouldn’t want to add spinach, which cooks very quickly, at the same time with your potatoes since potatoes take at least 15 minutes to cook.
One thing to consider when serving your curry is how you and your dinner companions prefer to have it served. Typically the rice is placed on one side of the plate with the sliced tonkatsu resting on top of the rice and the curry is poured into the empty side of the plate. When served this way, the rice always reminds me of land and the curry reminds me of a muddy pond. hah.. I personally prefer for my rice to be placed in the bottom of a bowl, the sliced tonkatsu to be placed on top of the rice and then big heaping spoonfuls to be poured right on top, allowing the tonkatsu and rice to be submerged in curry.
Whether cool and sunny or dark and rainy, katsu curry is the perfect, versatile comfort food that is sure to warm your bellies and satisfy any craving.
I don’t know about you, but I’m starting to drool a little right now just looking at this picture…