This ended up being something I threw together pretty quickly, as I wanted to use the fish while it was still fresh, and I was originally planning on being out tonight (short story, didn’t end up happening, yay for sleep debt and introversion overcompensating for being social the night before).  Either way, simple flavors and quick prep time, combined with a quick pan sear, make this pretty spectacular.

Japanese Glazed Pan Seared Salmon
Lasts 2 lunches as a main

Ingredients

  • 1 lb salmon
  • olive oil
  • .25 c soy sauce
  • .25 c brown sugar
  • 1 T rice vinegar

Combine the soy sauce, brown sugar, and rice vinegar in a bowl, stirring until the brown sugar is dissolved, and then place your salmon in the bowl, marinating for about five minutes on each side.  You could probably go for longer, if you wanted more flavor infused.  

Heat your olive oil over high, and then sear your salmon, cooking for three minutes on each side, enough to turn it lighter pink, but not enough to cook it all the way through.  While your salmon cooks, take the remaining marinade and bring it to a simmer over medium high heat, simmering for five minutes. Then, pour the glaze over the salmon, and enjoy!

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So, the two most recent things that I cooked didn’t end up going quite right, but at least with this one, the recipe is pretty salvageable.  Also, I didn’t get as many process pics as I would’ve liked, but ah well.  The amount of heavy whipping cream that is used in this makes this a bit closer to liquid than a solid, so what I’ll probably end up doing next time is doubling the amount of potatoes.

This recipe comes from Everyday Harumi, and again, it could use a little bit of tweaking before it’s perfect, but it’s still pretty damn good.  I also used the homemade dashi recipe I used earlier for the chazuke, which added to it.

Mashed Potatoes with a Japanese-Style Mushroom Sauce
Lasts 4 lunches as a side

Ingredients

  • 1 2/3 c water
  • 1 inch piece dried konbu seaweed
  • 1 handful bonito flakes
  • 2 T soy sauce
  • 1 T mirin
  • pinch sugar
  • 1 container shiitake mushrooms, washed and quartered
  • 1 package enoki mushrooms, washed, roots cut off, and chopped into half-inch pieces
  • 1 pound potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 2/3 c heavy whipping cream
  • (original recipe recommends 1 T corn starch to 1 T water as a thickener, I think you could go without it)

To make your broth, take your piece of dried konbu and soak a bit in the water in a pot, until it expands a bit (appx 5 mins).  Then, turn the heat on to medium high, and watch the pot until you start to see small bubbles around the konbu (see pic 2 on the chazuke recipe linked earlier). Remove your konbu from the pot, and then add your handful of bonito flakes and simmer for 8 mins.

While you make your stock, take your potatoes, soak them briefly in water in a pot, drain, and then bring the pot to a boil.  Boil your potatoes until they’re good and soft and fork tender.

After 8 mins of simmering your dashi stock, bring to a boil, and add the soy sauce, mirin, and sugar.  Once the sugar has dissolved, add your enoki and shiitake mushrooms, and boil until the mushrooms soften, then reduce the heat.  The original recipe recommends adding the thickener at this point, and I did, but honestly, all it did was clump the sauce.  Will probably skip it.

Once your potatoes are boiled, mash them (I used a mixer to do so), and then add the cream.  Be aware that the ratios given (1 lb potatoes to 2/3 c heavy whipping cream) will give you really silky potatoes; if you like more potato to your potatoes, I’d double the potatoes in here to 2 lbs.

Pour your mushroom sauce over your potatoes, and serve!

Looking for a quick late night snack that’s pretty filling?   Make up some rice however you choose to make it (I did 1.5 c short grain rice, to 2 c water, and I used about a third of it in this bowl), take an egg, crack it over your hot rice, and pour some soy sauce on top of the egg.  Mix the egg and soy sauce with the rice using your chop sticks, and then enjoy.  For yea, you have hot rice, a fairly cooked egg (the hot rice semi cooks the egg yolk, so if you’re worried about salmonella, let your fears be put to rest) to coat the rice, and a bit of soy sauce to add even more flavor.

So, this is what I started on Sunday!  Behold, ajitama (味玉), aka soy sauce soaked soft boiled eggs, that are typically served with ramen!  These will be a great side, especially with the hotter days that are coming.  

Ajitama (味玉)
Makes however many eggs you want it to make, though you may lose a few in the soft boiling process!  Just be prepared for a three day wait.

Ingredients

  • ¼ c mirin (Japanese rice wine, can be found in grocery stores)
  • ¼ c soy sauce
  • ½ c water
  • Several pieces garlic and ginger, peeled and chopped
  • Dash sesame oil
  • Eggs (however many you like, plus a few just in case you lose any in the soft boiling process)

Combine everything except the eggs in a plastic container.

Meanwhile, to soft boil the eggs, bring a pot of water plus 1 T vinegar (whatever type you have on hand works) to boil, with a ice water bath on the side.  Once the water is at a soft boil, add your eggs, boil for six minutes, and then remove the eggs and put in the ice water bath.  Peel your eggs, and then add to the sauce bath.  You will probably lose a few eggs in this process (I lost two to peeling).  This is okay!  Unless you’re superhuman.  If you are, come peel my eggs.

Put the peeled eggs in the fridge for three days, occasionally rotating them to make sure they are soaking up the sauce bath.  And then, eat as a side, or with your ramen, or anything else you may so desire!