30th August 2016
My husband and I are headed to Japan this October so we’re currently in the midst of researching where to go and what to do – but most importantly what to eat!
One of our destinations is Osaka, Japan’s second largest city located in the Kansai region (also home to Kyoto). Known as the “nation’s kitchen” there is so much food to discover and taste! Koen and I were even more excited to visit once we learned of the saying “Kyotoites are financially ruined by overspending on clothing, Osakans are ruined by spending on food.” This is our kind of city.
Osaka is known for a lot of different dishes, but one of its most famous is okonomiyaki. It’s mostly described as a savory pancake and is so delicious! Of course I can only vouch for the okonomiyaki I’ve made at home, but it’s definitely worth trying if you want to venture further into Japanese cuisine! This recipe is a favorite of mine from Food 52.
The sauces: okonomiyaki sauce, Kewpie mayonnaise, and sriracha (extra hot!)
Okonomiyaki, makes 12 pancakes (perfect for dinner for 2 (4 pancakes each), and lunch the next day (2 pancakes each))
Traditionally it’s with okonomiyaki sauce and mayonnaise, and a spicy sauce if you like it hot. I’m lucky to have a great Asian supermarket closeby, but if you can’t find the sauces, you can make your own!
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons sriracha, more or less to taste
- Whisk together the ingredients and your sauce is ready!
- 5 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/3 cup flour
- 2 cups cabbage, finely chopped
- 1 bunch scallions, trimmed and chopped
- 3/4 cup (roughly) chopped shrimp
- Oil for frying
- 1-2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk eggs with the soy sauce, sesame oil, and salt. Gradually add the flour until incorporated. Fold in cabbage, scallions, and shrimp.
- Warm a couple glugs of oil in a skillet over medium-high heat until glistening. Ladle the batter into the skillet as you would for regular pancakes, about the size of saucer. Cook on each side for about 3 minutes or until golden brown. Keep pancakes covered in a warm oven as you make the rest. Scatter sesame seeds on top of pancakes and serve with lots of sauce!
12th April 2015
Every once and a while we have warm, sunny weather in Antwerp. During this time I am always craving Vietnamese summer rolls! Summer rolls are lighter and healthier than their fried brethren. The shrimp with rice noodles, crunchy vegetables, and fresh herbs combined with a spicy peanut sauce is so refreshing.
Making summer rolls requires quite a bit of prep work – cutting and organizing all of the fillings – but once that is done, they’re super easy to make!
This recipe comes from chow.com.
Vietnamese Summer Rolls
- 3/4 cup natural-style creamy peanut butter
- 1/3 cup water
- 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
- 4 and 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 and 1/4 teaspoon (at least!) sriracha
- 1 clove of garlic mashed into a paste
- 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
- Whisk all of the ingredients together in a medium bowl; set aside.
- 12 shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 2 oz. rice vermicelli
- 8 round pieces of rice paper
- 1/2 cup mung bean sprouts
- About 16 mint leaves
- About 16 basil leaves
- 8 cilantro sprigs
- 1 medium English cucumber, peeled and cut into small sticks
- 3 medium scallions, quartered lengthwise, then cut crosswise into 2-1/2-inch pieces (white and light green parts only)
- 8 leaves of soft leaved lettuce like Bibb
- Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil over high heat. Add the shrimp and cook until bright pink and just opaque, about 1 1/2 minutes. Drain in a colander and run under cold water until cool. Pat the shrimp dry with paper towels and place on a cutting board.
- Holding your knife parallel to the cutting board, halve each shrimp horizontally. Place in a medium bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate.
- Cook the rice noodles according to the package directions. Drain and set aside.
- Place all of the ingredients in separate containers and arrange them in the following order around a work surface: rice paper wrappers, shrimp, rice noodles, bean sprouts, mint, basil, cilantro, cucumber, scallions, and lettuce.
- Place a clean, damp kitchen towel on a work surface. Fill a medium frying pan or wide, shallow dish large enough to hold the rice paper wrappers with hot tap water. Working with 1 wrapper at a time, completely submerge the wrapper until it is soft and pliable, about 15 seconds. Remove the wrapper from the water and place it on the towel.
- Working quickly, lay 3 shrimp halves in a row, cut side up, just above the center of the wrapper, leaving about 1 inch of space on each side. Layer a scant 1/4 cup of the rice noodles over the shrimp, followed by a few bean sprouts, 2 of the mint leaves, 2 of the basil leaves, and 1 sprig of cilantro. Place 4 of the cucumber sticks and 2 of the scallion pieces on either side of the noodle pile. Roll one piece of lettuce into a cigar shape and place it on top of the noodle pile.
- Fold the bottom half of the rice paper wrapper over the filling. Holding the whole thing firmly in place, fold the sides of the wrapper in. Then, pressing firmly down to hold the folds in place, roll the entire wrapper horizontally up from the bottom to the top.
- Turn the roll so that the seam faces down and the row of shrimp faces up.
- Serve with the peanut sauce for dipping.