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Monday, September 24, 2018

The Tonkatsu Ramen

Our recent trip to Japan has us obsessing over Japanese food and sake! On my husband's demand, here's my first attempt at a chashu tonkatsu ramen; please forgive my gross estimations with the recipe adapted to be made in an hour instead of 6, as is traditionally demanded by this dish. I have so much more respect for ramen now!

This recipe will serve 3.

In a pressure cooker, boil a cup and a half each of pig bones and chicken bones. Since those are hard to come by, I just bought some pork ribs and chicken necks and used them instead. While that's happening, heat a spoon of vegetable oil in a fry pan and saute together a half cup of chopped scallions, half of a leek (chopped), 7-8 cloves of garlic (chopped), an inch of ginger (chopped), and a cup of chopped mushrooms. Once the bones are boiled until the meat is white, drain the water and wash the bones and pop them back into the pressure cooker along with the sauteed chopped vegetables. Add 6-7 cups of water, put the lid on and cook for 30 min or until the broth is milky and opaque. (This is, unfortunately,. a replacement for the 5 hours of low-heat boiling that creates a beautiful ramen; if you have the time, do that instead).

During those 30 min, place a 300g chunk of pork belly skin down in a lightly oiled pan and cook for 15 min on high heat; then flip sides and cook the other side for 6-8 minutes. Remove from the pan and add to pan a half onion (chopped), a half leek (chopped), half a cup of chopped mushrooms, 4 chopped cloves of garlic and half an inch of ginger (also chopped). Add a spoon of miso, a dash of mirin, a teaspoon of granulated sugar, a little chilli oil (optional) and soy sauce to taste, and add the pork belly (skin down again). Add 2 cups of water and let simmer until the pork is absolutely tender. Remove the pork from the pan and the sauces and slice thinly.

Soft-boil two eggs on the side.

Once the broth is ready, add two packs of cooked ramen noodles, add salt/soy sauce/chilli oil/fresh chopped garlic to taste. Divide into three bowls. Add a half soft-boiled egg, some shiitake mushrooms and bean sprouts, chopped scallion greens and a third of the sliced pork to each bowl. Consume!

Sunday, September 9, 2018

The Fenugreek Curry

Methi paneer, or methi mushroom, or methi chicken - have it your way!

Sauté 2 diced onions in 2 tablespoons of melted butter. Add 4 cloves of garlic, two green chillies and a spoon of chopped ginger. Once the onion is cooked, add two diced tomatoes and half a cup of cashews. As they cook and melt together, add a spoon of tumeric, a spoon of cumin powder, a spoon of smoked paprika, salt to taste and a spoon of garam masala. Add very little water to stop madalas from burning and to let the onions and tomatoes melt together. Transfer the mix into a blender and blend into a smooth paste.

Meanwhile, in the same pan, heat another 2 tablespoons of butter and lightly fry 250-300 grams of diced paneer (or 500-600g chicken). Add the paste and a cup and a half of water and simmer together. When the gravy texture seems right to you, add half a cup of kasuri methi. Simmer for another 5 minutes and take off the heat. Serve hot with your choice of carb!