Three recipes from Japanese Women Don’t Get Old or Fat: Secrets of My Mother’s Tokyo Kitchen tonight. The tricky part is always timing things. The Zojirushi 6 Cup Rice Cooker / Steamer I bought a while ago comes in handy here, as I don’t particularly have to worry about the timing of the rice so much as when I cook it on the stove.
I thought it might be useful if I sort of detailed how I approached this whole meal first, then gave the individual recipes in separate posts. When I was first learning to cook, I could manage any individual recipe. The trick was learning how to get 3 dishes on the table at the same time! I had 4 recipes I made tonight:
- rice (using a rice cooker simplifies this tremendously, although you can get along without)
- Miso soup
- Eggplant and green peppers cooked with miso
- Tokyo fried chicken
I soaked the eggplant in salted water while I prepared the miso sauce and chopped the green pepper. Set everything aside (on a large dinner plate), while I went onto the next thing I could prep.
Started the Dashi broth (I’m using these instant packets) which meant bringing 3 cups of water to boil, then adding the packet and cooking for 10 minutes. Sliced some green onions to garnish the soup with.
Cut the chicken in bite size pieces and began it marinating in the ginger/soy/mirin mix. in a small bowl. Put some cornstarch in a small bowl.
Peeled and sliced the daikon into matchstick sized slices. Cut some tofu into small cubes.
I placed each of the piles of little things (green pepper, daikon, tofu and green onions) onto a large dinner plate, just separated into piles as I prepped them.
I started a cup or so of canola oil heating in a small saucepan. I wanted the depth and don’t have a wok so I opted for a saucepan so I could get by with using less oil while still having some depth.
At some point the rice needed fluffing and the dashi broth was done. I fluffed the rice, took the dashi bag out of the water and added the sliced daikon into it to simmer for 5 minutes or so.
Drained the eggplant and started frying it. I had the oil too hot so lowered the heat a bit and watched it. Removed the eggplant bits as they were done onto their eventual serving dish, lined with paper towels. Did the eggplant in batches until done. Heated a small saucepan with some oil in it and started the green pepper cooking for a few minutes.
I drained the marinade from the chicken and dropped large spoonfuls at a time into the cornstarch and mixed until coated, then added the chicken to the hot oil.
At some point, I added the tofu into the soup while lowering the heat as I just wanted the tofu to get warmed up.
As the chicken finished, I pulled it out onto a paper towel lined serving dish and then started another batch of chicken frying
When the green peppers had cooked a few minutes, I put the eggplant in the pan and poured the miso sauce I’d mixed up earlier into it and stirred it together.
I stirred the miso paste into the soup during the final batch of chicken.
The rice was done and waiting.
The soup was nearly done, just needed to mix in the miso paste.
The eggplant and pepper dish was done.
I finished the last batch of chicken and dinner was ready!
I’m linking to the individual recipes as I post them, but I just thought this might help someone learning how to pull multiple dishes together. Basically, I looked first for what I could that could wait. Prep all the vegetables, marinade the chicken, get the cornstarch ready, make the dashi broth, make the miso sauce for the eggplant (which was delicious, by the way!). Then I thought about what could wait. Rice, especially in a rice cooker, can wait. Soup, to a point, can wait. I figured the one thing that really needed to be served fresh was the chicken so I backtracked from that. Even the eggplant and peppers could wait a bit.