This is a great grill recipe with strong Japanese flavors. The charred Eggplant and Skirt Steak combined with the smoothness and sweetness of the Miso makes a perfect dinner course. It is easy to make and fast to serve which makes it perfect when hosting guest. Getting a good Skirt Steak cut is key since Skirt Steak needs to be cooked to medium-rare to have great texture. If you cook it to rare, it is too raw and chewy, if you overcook it - it is tough and dry..
Start the preparation by finely mincing the garlic. To make the skirt steak marinade, mix together the Garlic, Red miso, Mirin, Rice Wine, Tobanjan, and sugar in a bowl. Make sure it gets thoroughly mixed.
Trim the Skirt Steaks. Remove some of thicker parts of fat and try to remove as much of the silver-skin as you can. pan. Lay the skirt steak in the marinade and flip it a couple of times to generously coat all over. Vacuum-seal and marinate the steak for a minimum of 1 hour in the fridge. Turn a couple of times.
Start by trimming both ends of each eggplant so you have pieces of similar size. Slice the eggplants in half.
Combine the Miso Glaze ingredients and whisk to combine and remove lumps. Taste the glaze. If you want a sweeter glaze, add more sugar.
Set up the grill for two heat-zones. One side should be set to medium (eggplant) and the other to searing hot (Skirt Steak).
It's important only to use medium heat for the eggplant because otherwise it will char too much before it cooks through.
While the grill is heating up, brush the cut side of each eggplant with the oil. Do it 2 to 3 times to use up all the oil.
When the grill is heated on both sides, start with placing the eggplant cut side down on the grill and cook for 4 minutes until it turns a light golden brown.
After 4 minutes, turn the eggplants over, and cook for an additional 3 to 4 minutes. While it is cooking, use a brush to spread a generous amount of Miso Glaze on the cut side of each eggplant. When the eggplant is squishy and soft, turn over on final time and caramelize the miso-glaze side for 30 seconds.
Remove eggplants from grill, garnish with green onions and sesame seeds.
Two minutes after you put on the eggplants, add the skirt steaks on the grill (on the hot side). Grill the skirt steak for about 3 minutes per side, to medium-rare. The steak might stick to the grill because of the miso, so ease it off carefully. When the steaks are done, let them rest for a few minutes.
Slice the skirt steak thinly and against the grain. Serve with eggplant.
Korean seasoned raw beef (yukhoe) is a delicious variation of steak tartare. Raw beef is fantastic but has a bad reputation. A lot of people think that eating raw beef will make you sick. Like with any food, you have to be careful but if you follow these two rules, you will be safe:
1. Buy fresh, good quality beef that’s tender and has almost no fat. Talk to your butcher directly and tell him that you will be eating the meat it raw, so the butcher can recommend the most suitable and freshest cut.
2. Make sure everything is cold. Keep the beef in the freezer for an hour or two before and try not to handle it too much with your warm hands when you cut it, so it stays cold.
This recipe is adapted from Maangchi, and it is really easy to make and even more tasty to eat.
Start by freezing the beef for 1 to 2 hours. While you wait for the beef to be ready, making the liquid mix for the Yukhoe. Slice the green onion thinly and mince the garlics. Make sure that you mince the garlic finely. You can also microplane the garlics.
Next, prepare the pears. Mix 2 cups of cold water and 1 tablespoon sugar in a bowl with a spoon. Peel the pears and cut it into matchsticks. Soak them in the sugar water for about 10 minutes. Drain the pear sticks and dry with paper towel. Put them on a plate, clearing out a spot in the center to put your Yukhoe.
After two hours, start preparing the tenderloin steaks. Move fast so that you don't heat up the meat too much. Take the beef out from the freezer and rinse it in cold running water. Pat dry with paper towels. Trim off fatty parts and the silver skin. You want lean and tender beef without any fat. Cut the beef into thin matchsticks and then slice them to small beef cubes. Smaller is better but remember to move fast or chill the meat again before you continue.
Make the seasoning sauce by combining garlic, green onion, soy sauce, agave honey, ground black pepper, sesame oil, and sesame seeds in a bowl. Mix it well. Mix the cut beef with the seasoning sauce. Mix it well again. When mixed, place the Yukhoe in the center of the plate of pear matchsticks. Sprinkle with pine nuts and add the egg yolk in the center of the Yukhoe. Serve right away.
Mackerel is an oily fish but extremely rich in flavor. This is a super easy recipe adapted from Uchi - the cookbook. The richness of the Mackerel pairs perfectly with the acidity of the Sabazu and the freshness of the cucumbers.
Start with preparing the preserved lemons. Slice the lemon thinly, and mix sugar and salt in a container. Toss lemons in the salt/sugar mixture and then place them in a vacuum seal bag. Pour remaining mixture in bag and vacuum seal. Preserve for a minimum of one hour. When finished, remove lemons from bag and keep refrigerated.
Next step is to prepare the marinade for the mackerels. Mix wine rice and apple cider vinegar in a container and add the dried kombu. Set aside for later use.
Next step is preparing the Sabazu broth. Slice the green onion thinly, white stalks only. Mix all the ingredients in a medium bowl. Refrigerate for later use.
Rinse and clean the mackerels thoroughly. Filet the fish and remove any bones. There are great videos available on YouTube if you want to learn how to clean and filet mackerels.
Placed the clean fillets, flesh side down, in salt. Make sure that the salt cover the whole side of the fish. Let the fillets cure for about 30 minutes. Rinse of the salt carefully. Place the Mackerels in a container and cover with the marinade. Let it soak for at least one hour. After the fish has been marinated, remove and place on clean towel. Optionally you can also score the skin side in a small criss-cross pattern for a better sear.
Dice cucumber in medium sized dices. Also pick some fresh parsley that you will use to garnish the cucumber when plating. Use Italian parsley for best flavor.
Season the fillets with a pinch of salt and black pepper. Either grill or saute in butter the mackerel fillets over medium-high heat. Sear with skin-side down first for about 1 minute. Then move to medium heat and cook until skin is crispy. Carefully turn the fillets and cook the fleshy side for another minute.
Place 2 oz of Sabazu in a deep bowl and place the fillets in the liquid pool. Lay lemons wheels along the fillet in a row. Place cucumber along the other side and finish with some parsley. Serve immediately!!
9 oz Tahini
10 Medjool Dates
5 Mint leaves
3 Cauliflower heads (yellow, purple and white for nice colors)
2 Tbs Olive oil
2 Tbs Soy sauce
This is wonderful vegan course, either to be served by its own as a nice appetizer or as a side to a good steak or chicken. It has a nice creaminess to it that compliments the charred flavor of the roasted cauliflower.
Start by pitting the medjool dates. Mix the dates with the Tahini and the mint leaves. Puree at high speed until it reaches a fine puree texture. Set aside in the fridge while the cauliflowers are roasting.
Trim the cauliflower so you get nice florets. In a large metal pan, toss the cauliflower with the olive oil and the soy sauce. Make sure that the oil and the soy sauce is evenly distributed amongst the cauliflowers. In an over-proof pan, place the cauliflowers on a silpat sheet or baking sheet. Set the oven for Roast at 350 degrees. Put the pan in the oven and roast for 40-50 minutes .
While the cauliflowers are roasting, crush the pistachios and tear the dill sprigs. Make sure that the pistachios isn't too fine in texture. You want some small pieces and chunks in there. Don't chop the dill sprigs, tear the sprigs by hand.
When the cauliflowers are finished, toss them in the Tahini mix. Plate the cauliflowers and then sprinkle some crushed pistachios over the cauliflowers and place sprigs of dill. Serve hot.
Start with the black garlic, peel and finely mince. Put garlic, rice wine, hoisin sauce, honey, sugar, bean sauce, and spice in a blender and puree.
Simmer the mixture in a large saucepan over medium heat for 10 minutes until it bubbles and sauce begins to thicken. Alternatively, cook in Thermomix for 10 minutes, 212 degrees, speed 1. Set aside and start preparing the Sunchokes.
Set the smoker at 350 degrees and use fruitwood for flavor. While you wait for the smoker to heat up. scrub the sunchokes thoroughly. Make sure that you rinse of all the dirt. When clean, cut the sunchokes in half. Pour 3 Tbs of Olive oil into an over-proof pan.
Place sunchokes cut-side down in the pan and insert into smoker. Smoke the sunchokes for 20 minutes until they have softened slightly and browned. Turn and smoke for another 15 minutes.
After about 35 minutes, remove pan from smoker. Dip the sunchokes into the BBQ sauce and make sure that they are covered in sauce. Place them in the pan again and smoke for 5 minutes. Repeat this procedure one more time. Cut the thick stalk from dill and chop. Sprinkle dill over sunchokes.
Serve while hot. This is a perfect appetizer or a side dish for Asian short-ribs, pork-belly or even steak. The smoky flavor, together with the sweet sauce and the crispness of the dill makes this an all-time favorite. And it is 100% vegan!!
Hot and Sour Soup with Chicken (Tom Yum Gai) is probably the one of the most famous Thai dishes in the world. There are hundreds of variations, like Tom Yum Goon which uses shrimp instead. It is a wonderful dish and I prefer it spicy. You can sieve out the parts of this soup you don't eat before serving - like lemongrass stalks, galangal, and lime leaves. If serving this to guests who are unfamiliar with Thai food, you may want to let them know what to eat and what not to eat before serving. It is an easy soup to prepare but so flavorful if you have the right ingredients.
Start with preparing the ingredients for the soup.
Remove the outer layer of the lemongrass stalks and cut off the end. Cut into 1-2″ pieces and smash with the side of a heavy knife to release flavor. Peel and slice your galangal into thin slices. Tear the center vein off the Kaffir lime leaves. Tear each leave half into two pieces , this will help release the flavors quicker into the soup.
Cut the tomato into 6 pieces lengthwise and cut each slice into two . Peel the skin off the shallots, slice it thinly and smash lightly. Finally press the limes.
Cut the stem of the chilies and cut each chili in half lengthwise.Smash the fresh chilies with the back of a heavy knife, or in a mortar and pestle. The amount of chili you use will decide how spicy the soup will be. If you like it less spicy, use only 3-4 Thai chilies and remove the seeds.
Thinly slice the chicken breast and rinse the mushrooms in water. Bring a large pan filled with water to boil, and put in the chicken and mushrooms. Boil at medium-high heat for 12-15 minutes. Discard the water.
Pour the chicken broth into a large pan and bring to boil. Add the lime leaves, lemongrass, galangal, shallot, chilies and tomato. Boil for 6-8 minutes until the broth tastes herbal. if you’re using fresh ingredients, 4-5 minutes might be enough. Add a pinch of salt and then add mushrooms and chicken slices.
Cook for another two minutes and then add fish sauce and lime juice. Stir and remove from stove. Taste and add more lime juice or fish sauce if needed. Add cilantro leaves. Serve hot!!
3 Lemons cut into eights
4 seeded Lemons
10 seeded Sour Oranges
5 lbs White Sugar
5 oz Lemon Juice
In January, citrus fruits are in abundance in Arizona and a lot of people have Sour Oranges in their backyards that carries a lot of fruits. The fruits are bitter and often just thrown away. However, mixed with lemons and a lot of sugar you can turn these oranges into marmalade gold. This recipe is adapted from the Blue Chair Jam Cookbook.
The Lemon eights needs to be prepared two days before you cook the marmalade.
Start with the 3 Lemons cut into eights. Place in saucepan and add enough water for the fruit to bob freely. Cover tightly and let rest overnight in room temperature. The following day - bring the pan with Lemon eights to boil over high heat and when boiling lower heat to medium. Cook the fruits for 2-3, until the lemons are soft and liquid has become syrupy. Add water of necessary, the fruit should be submerged throughout the cook. Strain the juice when finished and let it rest overnight at room temperature.
On the second day, also prep the sliced lemons. Cut each of the lemons into halves crosswise, and then cut each half into slices lengthwise and finally slice thinly across each slide. Place the slices in a stainless kettle and cover with water. Bring to boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Drain, return the slices to the kettle and refill with water. It should be enough to cover the slices with an inch. Bring to boil, then simmer for 30-40 minutes. Stir it gently every 10 minutes or so. Add water if needed. Remove pan when fruit is tender, cover and rest overnight at room temperature.
Prepare the orange slices in a similar way. First, juice the oranges, cover the juice and refrigerate overnight. Cut the oranges the same way you cut the lemons.
Place slices in kettle and cover with water. Bring to boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Drain, return the slices to the kettle and refill with water. It should be enough to cover the slices with two inches. Bring to boil, then simmer for 1 to 2 hours. Stir it gently every 20 minutes or so. Add water if needed. Remove pan when fruit is tender, cover and rest overnight at room temperature.
Day 3 is the day when you finalize your marmalade. You need some fresh lemon juice so juice about 3 lemons - that should give you the five ounces you need. In a large kettle, add the sugar. Strain the juice with the lemons eights well. Remove all plastic wraps and pour the orange and lemon juices, the lemon slices with liquid and orange slices with liquids into the sugar. Mix thoroughly. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Cook at a rapid boil until the setting point is reached - which will take a minimum of 25 minutes. You have to be observant how the marmalade mix reacts during this part of the cook.
Initially, the mixture will bubble gently for several minutes. This is the part where the moisture cooks out of the mix and the sugar concentration increases. Do not stir the mixture during this phase.
Suddenly it will start foaming and rising in the pan. Make sure that your pan is high enough for these part. Stir gently every few minutes during this phase. As it get closer to being done, the foam will start receding again and you might have to lower the temperature somewhat to prevent burning. The marmalade is ready for testing when it darkens and the bubbles become very small. Test doneness with a spoon that has been in the freezer for at least an hour. Put a halfspoon-full of marmalade on your frozen spoon, and return to freezer for 3-4 minutes. After this time, remove spoon and tilt vertically. If the marmalade doesn't run and the top layer has thickened, it is done. If not, keep cooking some more.
When done, turn off the heat, do not stir, and skim off any surface foam. Pour the jam into sterilized jars. Enjoy!!
Steak is one of the most popular foods to cook sous-vide, and with good reason. Cooking steak in a skillet or on the grill the traditional way leaves lots of room for error and an over- or undercooked steak is a big mistake to make when there's a super-expensive dry-aged ribeye on the line. Sous-vide cooking takes all of the guesswork out of the process, delivering steaks that are cooked to precisely the temperature you like each and every time. We are doing this recipe with two small addition, reverse sear using a torch and putting an exclaimation point on it with a puff of smoke.
Start by trimming the steak so it has a nice shape. Look for steak with great marbling and without big chunks of fat. Spice rubs behave quite differently under sous-vide conditions than standard cooking conditions soanswer it's very tough to predict exactly how spices are going to react in a sous-vide bag. With sous-vide cooking, there's no way for that flavor to escape the bag. Meanwhile, spices rubbed on the surface of the meat have a tendency to get rinsed off by any juices that are being expressed. If you want spice flavor, rub some on before you vacuum seal and then add an additional layer of spices after you have cooked it sous vide.
Set your waterbath to 132 degrees Fahrenheit for medium rare. Vacuum seal your steak and then insert the sous vide bag into the waterbath. With steaks around 1 1/2 to 2 inches thick, cook for about 2 hours. Thinner steaks needs less time, but who wants a thin steak in the first place. Cooking time is also one of the benefits of cooking a steak sous vide, you dont have to time it perfectly. If you cook the steak between 2-4 hours, it should come out perfectly medium-rare.
Sprinkle some additional spices on top of the steak. If you've got a high-output torch, now is the time to break it out to add some steakhouse-quality char. Start torching the first side working in slow, even strokes back and forth across its entire surface until it is pale brown with a few darker singed spots. Repeat the torching process with the other side.
You should now have a nice char on the steak. Let us add one final touch to the steak while we let it rest. USe a smoke gun and blow hickory smoke into a glass bowl and cover the steak. Let it rest for 2-3 minutes under the smoke. When you remove the glass bowl, the steak has taken on a slight smoke flavor. Serve immediately.
You should now have a great steak - cooked medium rare throughout. Enjoy!!
This is a great recipe for Grouper, a fish belonging to the Seabass family. The grouper has a mild but very unique flavor, somewhat of a cross between bass and halibut. It is best cooked Sous Vide and then quickly seared before serving. The Saffron Fumet adds a wonderful richness to the dish and the Cannellini bean puree adds texture.
Start with the saffron fumet. In a pot over medium heat, melt butter and sweat shallots with the saffron until tender. Deglaze with the white wine and the vermouth. Reduce until almost dry. Add the fish fumet (can be bought at Whole Foods or other good grocery stores). Reduce by half.
Add the cream and reduce to about 1 1/2 cups. Season with some salt and lemon juice. Pass through a chinoise.
Stir in the tarragon and the red bell pepper. Kepp warm until time to serve.
To make the Cannellini puree, pour 2 1/2 cups into a pot over medium heat. Make a satchet by wrapping garlic, carrot, onion and thyme in a piece of cheesecloth. Add the satchet to the beans, bring to a simmer. Cook until tender about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Remove and discard the satchet and puree the beans in a blender with 1/4 cup of cooking liquid and olive oil. Season with salt. Set aside in a plastic bottle and keep warm.
To make the tarragon oil, bring a pot of salter water to a boil. Add the leaves and cook for a minute. Transfer to bowl of ice and once cold, drain. Dry and transfer the leaves to blender. Add oil and blend on high speed for 4 minutes. Strain the oil and set aside.
Heat chicken broth and pour peas into broth. Add butter and bring back to simmer. Remove and keep warm.
Trim the Grouper into good sized filets. Season with salt and pepper. Vacuum filets individually and seal with butter. Cook the Grouper in a water bath at 135 degrees Fahrenheit for about 30 minutes. While the Grouper is cooking, mix water and lemon juice with the Soy Lecithin Powder. Using a handblender, make a foam by tilting the blender at a 45 degrees angle with a small part of the blender being out of the liquid. When foam is made, set aside. Quickly sear the Grouper on one side for 30 seconds over high heat.
Plate all the ingredients and serve!! Enjoy
Japanese flavors are amazing and if you combine it with fresh vegetables you can create some amazing tapas with almost no effort at all. Most ingredients are available at any asian market.
How to make the Shishito Peppers:
Rinse the peppers and toss them with the olive oil - make sure that they are evenly covered. Set the grill on high. Use a vegetable tray so the peppers dont fall through the grill grates.
Grill on high until the peppers are roasted and browned, about 5-6 minutes. Take the peppers of the grill and toss them with the Ponzu sauce. Season with the flaked sea salt. Serve immediately and sprinkle the bonito flakes on top of the peppers. If you want to make the Japanese tapas completely vegan - skip the bonito flakes.
How to make the Asparagus:
Rinse the asparagus and cut the hard bottom part of the asparagus off. Pour the olive oil in a large sautepan and heat on medium high. When the pan is hot, add the asparagus.
Saute for 5-6 minutes on medium-high until the asparagus are nicely browned and has softened. When ready, pour the Chuka dressing into the pan. The dressing will start caramelize almost instantly so be careful so you don't burn the dish. Toss the asparagus in the dressing, add the sesame seeds and then quiuckly toss one more time. Remove from the burner and serve immediately.
How to make the Brussel Sprouts:
Rinse the Brussel Sprouts and remove the harder outer leaves. Also remove the hard stalk at the bottom of the sprouts. Quarter the Brussel Sprouts.
Add oil to large saute pan on medium heat. Slowly saute the Brussel Sprouts until they are slightly browned, make sure that you dont burn the leaves. This will take about 4-6 minutes. When slightly browned, add the vegetable stock. The stock should just cover the base of the ban up to 1/16 of an inch. Give the pan a good stir and then allow to steam-fry until all the liquid has cooked off and the sprouts are tender.
While the Brussel Sprouts are slowly steam-frying, mix the Dijon Mustard and the Wafu dressing together. When the Brussel Sprouts are soft and cooked through, add the Mustard-Dressing mix and stir thoroughly. MAke sure that the Brussel Sprouts get covered evenly. Serve immediately.
This is a great trio of appetizers to serve together. The Shishito Peppers adds sweetness and acidity to the dish, the asparagus with the Chuka dressing adds some heat and finally the Brussel Sprouts adds richness and creaminess. Enjoy!!
Cooking at home
In this section you will find recipes and food experiments that I have tried at home. Some successfully.
Cooking at home