Another part of the Young Family Dinner Challenge… Making a version of Inspired Japanese Curry with no Roux Cubes, no artificial flavorings seemed like a very long challenge. I did my research and used the following ingredients for my Japanese Curry.
1 Pound of very very sinewy beef shank
A mix of Veggies – 1 Onion, Baby Potatoes, 3 Carrots, 20 Baby Carrots — Depending on Taste & Haricot Verts Beans quarter of a Pound & 3 Apples for the Sweetness & Sauce Thickness. Half a Pound of Chopped tomatoes – Skin Removed.
Curry Flavor – Tumeric Powder, Cumin Seeds, Mustard Seeds, Paprika, Saffron & Dark Chocolate. I flavored as i went no measurement but roughly 2 heaping table spoons of each except for the saffron – Maybe 5 strands.
First up the beef: – Marintate with Pink Himalayian Salt and Black Kampot Pepper and lightly dust with rice flour.
Sear on High Heat with Rice Bran Oil until browned – Stir in Onions for 10 mins until softened.
Add water and simmer with apples and chopped tomatoes. – Let Simmer for 2 Hours Low Heat stirring gently.
Add all the seasonings and stir to combine. The color should now turn quite dark. Let simmer on the same low heat for another 2 hours – Try smushing the apples into the sauce after the 2 hours. As it’s on low heat the cooking time is much longer. I prefer the oven but this time i wanted to try using the stove which i thought worked perfectly fine.
Enter into the 5th hour. Add Carrots and Potatoes – Always cut potatoes larger ad carrots smaller to ensure similiar cooking times. Taste after almost done – 45 minutes – At this stage i add in brewers yeast for a darker flavor and color. You can leave this step if you prefer and add in some chicken stock if you like. I like my curries sweet and light.
Add in the baby corn and beans – 5 Minutes and close the lid, turn off gas and leave over night.
The Beef sinews becomes like a fatty expensive cut. It melts and breaks in the mouth with a rich fatty mouth feel without the fat. Really nice.
The secret to congee is low heat and constant stirring. Low heat and constant stirring. For hours and hours, in this case around 4. There is another trick however that i learned, if you set your rice cooker on warm and bring it to boil every hour it also works with less effort!
Egg Yolk in miso works if you leave it over night. The egg yolk turns jelly like and with a creamy rich consistency. Drop it in the piping hot congee which helps cooks it and eat right away.
4 Cups of Rice – Warm on Low in Rice cooker and bring back to boil every hour and stir (Min 4 Hours)
4 Fillets of Salmon – I used Organic Raised
6 Tablespoons of Miso
6 Egg Yolks
Salmon – Rub Miso on Fillet and Keep in Fridge over 24 hrs / Draining Water off every few hours
Egg Yolk – Line a small tupperware box with miso – separate the egg yolks and gently add the miso to cover. I left mine over night. Gently remove the egg yolks and drop in hot congee.
Everyone craves a good homemade sausage roll once in a while, yet no one who has a job, family and a bunch of dogs should even have to time to act Martha Steward and roll her own puff pastry. Guilt as charged. Buy a roll of ready made puff pastry from the freezer section, in Bangkok we have a great brand that made fresh with no preservatives – hence the short life span. Usually i made a mixture of pork, carrots, potatoes as the mince but after a hectic week i just grabbed a package of Cumberland sausage, a few carrots and potatoes. I thawed my pastry overnight in the fridge. Makes it easier to roll without breaking.
Dice the carrots a bit smaller than the potatoes so you have an equal cooking time, saute them in some olive oil and garlic. Season well with salt, pepper, paprika and a tiny hint of sugar. Just a small touch to offset the saltiness of the pork.
I unwrap the baking paper on the baking sheet and unroll the puff pastry directly on the baking sheet. I mix the sausage mixture into the cooled veggie mixture and mix well gently. I dont season anymore now as sausages tend to be quite salty. Shape into logs on the puff pastry and roll it over. Leave a bit of space before cutting it. No need to be neat. Roll it over again so the edges are on the bottle. Flatten slightly and cut into pieces with a wet knife wiping in between. As you see i cut into different sizes and they bake at the same time.
Rub a bit of beaten egg and throw in oven with fan at 125 degrees. Rotate tray after 15 mins and brush some more egg wash and they are ready to be eaten hot in 10 – 15 mins.
Looking through the fridge there was an assortment of leftovers bits of this and bits of that. Some udon, pumpkin, roasted eggplant and bacon. Dinner time in 30 mins let’s create a semi healthy stir fry.
Started with the bacon, I tried to remove as much fat as possible and then added in the pumpkin which i cut into small pieces to mesh into a thick gooey sauce to coat the noodles. A quick spin of Kampot pepper, salt and olive oil and the piping hot udon which i boiled for 5 mins was added in. It still had some water in the noodles so i it helped make the sauce more light, quick chopsticks and wrist action to coat the noodles. Last sprinkling of pepper, chilli flakes, and a quick snip of spring onions from my pot and ready to go.
I think quick meals are possible, incorporating vegetables into our diet is also quite important, I can’t claim to be miss healthy but I think baby steps!
The udon was firm and chewy, the pumpkin added a nice sweetness to the dish while the bacon helped with the savory and salty. The eggplant was just another texture, spongy mushroom like. The spring onion was the bit of green, i didn’t use any garlic or onions as i wanted each of the flavours in the pot to shine, garlic and onion usually dominates in simple dishes and i wanted only flavours of the 5 ingredients to really have their own part. Everyone liked the colors and balance of flavours. Leftovers done, let’s see next week!
Located near our new office on Pridi Road, Phrakanong is an old old shop selling clear broth noodles with either morning glory or mung bean spouts. It doesn’t look appealing probably for caucasians but this shop has been making their own fish balls, wontons and egg noodles for many many years, kind of a fusion between chinese and thai tastes. It costs about 50 baht for a bowl of noodles, not cheap but rather filling and delicious.
As you can see their cooking station, they have all the types of noodles on show in the glass showcase, from “sen lek” thinnish rice noodles, “sen mee” round super thin rice noodles, “sen yai” wide ride noodles and egg noodles or “bamee”. You choose your noodles and your toppings which comes with a choice of fish balls, Ue Guay which is Fish Paste in a long tube with some spring onions and fried and then sliced, crispy wontons, fried taro sticks in a mound shape, spring rolls and little prawn wontons and shrimp balls. I’m not a bean sprout fan so i always ask for other green vegetables instead. In all those bowls of condiments that you see, there are salt, sugar, pepper, garlic oil, spring onions, preserved vegetables, msg (most likely) and the pinkish thing is called Yen Ta Fo which is a fermented bean paste which makes your soup pink and has a sweet beany tofuish taste.
Again it’s a rarity you can’t find these toppings anymore in Bangkok, I’m sure there are some left but i dont know where they are. Fish balls are common but all these other toppings are special and must be tasted when you are in Bangkok!
It’s easier to see the noodles without the soup or broth on top so we ordered it separately. The fish balls was delicious, the spring rolls crispy and the moo daeng or red sauced roasted pork has a nice texture to it. really Yummy, and all for 50 baht or less than 2 USD!
Pridi – Near Gas Station. You can park at the gas station for 20 baht.