Archive for the japanese Category

When In Doubt; Ramen

Posted in asian, eggs, japanese, noodles, pork, soup, stock with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 18, 2016 by oskila

I think I might have triggered myself with the last post… Here’s an actual dish.

Went to seldom visited grocery store. Found soft ramen noodles and big bottle of inexpensive fish sauce. Cogs started turning again.

Fast forward a few days and found myself without dinner late at night after struggling considerably with putting the child to bed (and falling asleep myself)

A vision of Tonkotsu Ramen noodle soup appeared for my inner vision. Problem is, while it’s street food in Japan, the broth alone takes over 12 hours to prepare and the eggs at least four. So I had to wing it and cheat.


In a pot I combined finely sliced onion, carrot and ramsons (aka wild garlic), a handful of edamame beans and a small amount of ground up dried mushrooms. A cup of chicken stock followed, seasoned with soy sauce, mirin and fish sauce.

Broth brought to a simmer I added paper thin slices of brined pork neck that I had set aside while making pulled pork the night before.

In another pot an egg was boiled for six minutes and then fished out and peeled while the noodles cooked in the same water for two minutes.

Noodles transferred to bowl, broth poured over, egg sliced and plopped on top (without marinating for four hours), various condiments sprinkled.


While obviously a weak, adulterated shadow of the real thing, I found this bowl of food incredibly tasty. Further attempts to home in on the original are in pipeline.

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More Noodly Frolicking: Soba

Posted in asian, cabbage, condiments, crossover, discount, eggs, japanese, korean, mushroom, noodles, preserve, side dish, vegetarian with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 11, 2013 by oskila

As said before, I got hold of a lot of interesting stuff at that Asian store recently. One of them was Soba noodles, which are made with buckwheat (perhaps something for gluten sensitives to look into?) In addition, the little supermarket on the way to work had dirt cheap button mushrooms. Like so often before, the resulting food is  some kind of general fusion of Japanese and Korean, interpreted by someone with limited actual experience of either.

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Frying up a considerable amount of sliced mushrooms, along with a bit of carrots, shallots, garlic sprouts and a little bit of celery

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Plop slightly undercooked noodles into pan. Season a bit, with for example light soy and Worcestershire sauce (sitting in for mirin. That stuff is really expensive)

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Served up with a fried egg and a knob of ssamjang. For a proper Korean meal one should have kimchi. I didn’t feel like doing a weekend of fermenting napa cabbage, so I cheated a bit and just pickled some white cabbage. Just mix up one part distilled vinegar with two parts sugar and three parts water. Add salt, chili and garlic to taste and chuck in cabbage, onions or whatever tickles your fancy. The resulting condiment could be regarded as something halfway between Korean kimchi and Japanese tsukemono.

Exploring Udon and Dashi

Posted in asian, condiments, crossover, japanese, lotus root, mushroom, noodles, peppers, soup, stock, vegetarian with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 3, 2013 by oskila

Raided the recently mentioned Asian grocery store again, and came home with five different kinds of noodles, frozen okra, some instant dashi granules and ssamjang. Since noodles obviously are one of my favorite kinds of food I thought I’d make some.

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Leek, dashi, mushrooms, red chili pepper, carrot, garlic sprouts, ssamjang, udon noodles and lotus roots. Since udon noodles are commonly served in soup that’s what I’m going to do. Ingredient-wise this dish has roots in Japan, Korea and probably China too, so I’m ending up with a general Asian concoction again. This doesn’t really bother me, since the main objective is to simply make tasty food.

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Noodles boiling away. I put them in a sauté pan only in order to be able to put them in whole. Most of my other pots except the really huge ones aren’t wide enough to do that. Save a pint or so of the water after the noodles are cooked, in order to save time and power when making the broth.

For some reason I forgot to take pictures of the broth, but on the other hand it wasn’t very visually enticing. Simply put the hot liquid back in the pan on the hob and sprinkle instant dashi in it to taste. Season with soy and vinegar (ideally rice vinegar, but I used white wine vinegar and a hint of sugar.)

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Meanwhile, the vegetables are jumbled together in another sauté pan. I only used a bit of the green part of the leek and sliced the carrot with the help of a vegetable peeler. Since the lotus root slices were still frozen I simply microwaved them along with a spoonful of water for some time instead and then chopped them up a bit.

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To assemble dish, simply scoop noodles into bowl with vegetables on top and then pour dashi broth over the whole thing. I topped with a dollop of ssamjang and black and white sesame seeds for additional tastiness.

Ramen, We Meet Again.

Posted in asian, discount, japanese, leftovers, mushroom, noodles, soup, vegetarian with tags , , on July 8, 2012 by oskila

Ramen noodles – especially the instant variety, is in my opinion quite strongly connected with geek culture. In Sweden they’ve been associated with geeks and students (especially of sciences) in general since before most of us knew what an otaku was.

I’ve expressed my appreciation for instant noodles before but will today give the non-instant type (which also takes 3-4 minutes to cook but isn’t deep fried) because the grocery store had a sale on all brands of Asian food, to make room for their own upcoming line, which resulted in me scurrying homewards with a loot of ramen, miso paste, sambal oelek and sweet chili sauce after having parted with surprisingly little cash.

I’ve never been to Japan and most Japanese style restaurants I’ve been to serve almost exclusively run of the mill sushi – stemming from the fact that foreign food arriving in Sweden will quickly develop into a slightly bastardized, watered down and in one way or another standardized image of its former self, which is true for for example pizza (looks the same everywhere) Chinese (most menus are more or less copied off the first restaurant’s) and sushi (salmon, tuna, scampi and little else). I also think (not that it matters) that most Japanese restaurants here aren’t run by actual Japanese. What I’m getting at is that while I’m going to make something fairly Japanese today, my experience with Japanese food outside instant ramen and Swedish sushi is limited.

Now I’m of course contributing to the problem (if it is one) by calling a dish Japanese without proper knowledge. Ramen, miso and shiitake are obviously typical of Japanese cuisine and scallions and carrots frequently occur, but in my inadequately educated opinion, garlic and chili pepper adds a Korean influence to the dish. I don’t know at all whether leaf spinach occurs in either cuisine, but I wanted to use up the leftovers from the last post.

Chop what can be chopped, except the mushrooms and put in a pot to sweat. Since my purpose more typically is to inspire than to tell readers exactly how to cook a specific dish, I seldom write down specific amounts, but a word of advice; if you don’t appreciate a bitter and iron-y flavor, don’t use as much scallions as I did in conjunction with spinach.

Like this. (image added mostly for being pretty)

Shiitake sliced and browning in a separate vessel.

The stems are often a bit woody, but they can be dried and ground up for later use.

Mushrooms to the left, veg pot to the right, with miso paste, water and ramen added.

Chop the spinach roughly and add to the broth together with the mushrooms.

Done. Serve before stuff goes wilted, soggy or overcooked.

One could also add basically any type of animal protein with good benefits, but I didn’t, becausen neither bacon nor ground beef (which is what I had in the fridge) seemed very appropriate. The chili peppers, despite being yellow and fairly mild, add quite a punch, so I’d suggest accompanying this dish with a beer.

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