Chicken and Greens
Set out to make a vibrant Japanese dish. Discovered I had basically, only green and black things in the cupboard. Make it work in your favour.
Ingredients (for 2)
Two Chicken thighs, butterflied out.
1/4 cup Japanese Cooking Soy Sauce
1 Heaped Tbsp Raw Brown Sugar
1/2 Bulb of garlic, minced
3 Tablespoons of Mirin
2 tablespoons of Rice Wine Vinegar
Black Sesame Seeds
Peanut Oil or other mild oil
Roasted sesame oil
1) The romanesco is very easy. In an oven tray, put a large sheet of baking paper. Put the whole romanesco head in, and drizzle with about 3-4 tablespoons of mirin. Salt, then wrap in the baking paper (from bottom to top). Put into the oven and turn the temperature to 180 for 1 hour. Halfway through, take the time to roll the romanesco so it gets re-coated in any mirin that has dripped to the bottom. After the hour, open up the paper, and allow the tips to get nice and brown.
2) The aubergine - bang one aubergine in the oven (with the romanesco is fine). After an hour, slice it open and scoop out the flesh. Mix with a half a teaspoon of white pepper and a dollop of roasted sesame oil. Salt to taste for a rich, slightly sweet side. You can also add a splash of mirin to this if you like it on the sweeter side.
3) Pickled courgette, simply finely slice courgette lengthways into a bowl, then grate in a couple inches of ginger. Salt well (a few good pinches of sea salt) then mix well. The salt will extract some of the juices, then will pool in the bottom of the bowl over the course of about half an hour. Transfer to a sieve and rinse under a running tap. Squeeze out the water with your hands, then add two tablespoons of rice wine vinegar. Mix, then let it sit until serving.
4) To make the teriyaki sauce: a small dollop of oil on a low heat in the pan. Add the minced garlic and about a 3cm thumb grated ginger. Simmer until the garlic begins to brown, then add the soy, followed by the 2 tablespoons of rice wine vinegar, 3 tablespoons of mirin and the raw brown sugar. Ad a splash of water, then reduce on a low heat until syrupy. Set aside, let it cool. Give it a taste- I like mine to be very well balanced between salty and sweet, but verrrry forward with the ginger. Adjust it to you tastes. If you find it is too salty, add a splash of water, and a little more sugar. Too sweet, a splash of water and a little more soy.
Mix together a 50/50 mix of cornflour and flour (a couple of tablespoons of each) with a teaspoon of white flour. Whisk together well, then dredge the chicken thighs in the mixture until well coated. In a seperate bowl, whisk the egg, and dunk and coat the chicken thighs in, until well coated. Toss in the bread or panko crumbs.
Put on a rack, and put them into the oven. After five minutes, brush with a little bit of peanut oil, leave for 2 minutes. Then, flip, and dab the other side with oil. Then start the lacquering process. In the oven for 2 minutes, brush with the teriyaki, flip - repeat until you have a nice, thick, sticky lacquer. (I usually get about 3-4 coatings per side).
Finally, the rice: WASH YOUR RICE Until the water runs clear. Cook the rice, salted, using your preferred method. (*AHEM* Rice cooker *AHEM*). this is what I use for two cups of rice (not quite sushi strength, but good for general purpose eating). 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar, 1/8 cup of mirin, 1 teaspoon of caster sugar, a good pinch of salt. Mix until sugar is dissolved. Sprinkle over the sushi rice after its done cooking then mix in well.
Serve everything as above with avocado, a sprinkle of sesame seeds, nori sprinkle and sliced spring onions.
By all means though, go crazy with the additions. I did mine just with what was available in my fridge/pantry, but I seriously encourage to branch out and go crazy!