Monday, October 16, 2006

Daikon Salad

This past weekend we already started shopping for Halloween. Every year my wife and I try to get our friends to dress up in the similar theme we come up with. Last year we pulled off The Simpsons, and this year we are going to try for fast food chain characters such as Ronald McDonald, Burger King King, Jack from Jack In The Box, and Colonel Sanders, just to name a few.

Last year there were six people doing the Simpsons, but this year we may have up to twelve people doing the fast food thing with us (are there that many characters?) We went to some used clothing stores and dollar stores to pick out some stuff. Last year my wife sewed Marge and Lisa Simpson's dresses, but this year we may not need to sew anything.

IN JAPANESE: Daikon Salad
CATEGORY: Vegetable
SERVES: 2 people

Daikon (1/2 lb should do it)
1 umeboshi (sour plum)
2 shiso leaves
1 tsp salt
2 tsp sake
2 tsp mirin

The only tough thing about making daikon salad is shredding the daikon into super thin slices. The easiest way to do that is to use the vegetable peeler (but be sure to wash the daikon and peel off the outside skin off first!)

After the daikon is sliced into thin slices, place them into a bowl. Take the seed out of umeboshi (I normally get the honey flavored since they are not as sour) and finely chop that into tiny pieces. Also slice the shiso leaves into tiny pieces as well and mix all of those in a bowl.

Add salt, sake and mirin into the bowl as well and mix well. After that put it in the fridge for a few minutes to let the flavor soak in, and it's ready to serve!

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Kimchee Pork

August and September were really busy for me. Since I started working in June, and I come home late around 8pm, my wife has been cooking 90% of the time, and on the weekend, we were out on BBQ or outdoor festivals. There were also lots of weddings and we were traveled to Las Vegas, Vancouver and Detroit.

Finally things have slowed down, and we are ready to get back to our normal life. After all those traveling, my wife and I were a bit worn out, so I decided to make some kimchee (kimchi) pork. While I was in Japan, a lot of people told me that if I was feeling weak, I should eat kimchee pork. I never really found out why, but I assumed kimchee gave more energy. Now that I think about it, I recall reading some article about some university in Korea was doing a research feeding kimchee to mice (I'm serious). The study found that mice that ate kimchee on a regular basis were healthier and had much smoother skin. Has anyone else heard about this?

IN JAPANESE: Buta Kimuchi
SERVES: 2 people

5-6 thin sliced pork
Half a container of kimchee (about 7 oz/200g)
5-7 leaves of lettuce (iceberg or leafy, your choice)
1/2 TBsp sesame oil
1/2 TBsp vegetable oil
1 TBsp sake

Warm up your wok and pour 1/2 table spoon of sesame oil and vegetable oil. I like to mix oils like that since that gives better flavor. Keep the heat to medium-high.

After the oil is well heated, cook the thinly sliced pork until mostly cooked (when not much pink is seen), and then add a tablespoon of sake. This will keep the pork from becoming too tough.

While the sake is still evaporating, add kimchee to the wok. If you have the kind that came with a lot of juice, pour some of those in for more flavor.

When the kimchee is mostly heated, add leaves of lettuce teared into size of your palm (remember they shrink a lot, so you don't need to tear them too small!). Lettuce only needs abuot a minute to cook, so mix well quickly so the kimchee flavoring is spread throughout the wok.

Serve with a bowl of rice and get energized! But remember to have some gum or Altoids afterwards since it can leave quite a stench in your mouth!