From Tokyo with Love (for Food)

Archive for February, 2014


My Pepper Steak

My Pepper Steak

Green pepper steak, or chinjaoroosu in Japanese, can be arranged according to what you have in your fridge. This time I had some leftover shiitake mushrooms, so I threw them in, and ended up with nice bento lunch for work. Lately I have started experimenting with brown rice, and replacing half of the portion with it seems to work well.

Chinjaoroosu (for 2 persons)

100g beef steak
1/2 tsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp sake
hint of salt
hint of white pepper
1/4 egg
1 tsp potato starch
1/2 tsp vegetable oil

2 green bell peppers
1/2 red pepper
1/2 yellow pepper
1/2 onion
2 shiitake mushrooms
1 cm piece of ginger
1 garlic glove

Tare sauce
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp sake
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tsp oyster sauce
hint of chicken broth powder
1 tbs water
1/2 tsp potato starch

1) Rinse the peppers and take the seeds out. Cut in 1/2cm thick slices.
2) Take out the stems of shiitake mushrooms and cut the caps into thin slices.
3) Peel and mince the ginger and garlic.
4) Peel the onion and cut to half. Mince the other half as small as possible and cut the other half to 1cm slices.
5) Cut the beef to 1/2 cm slices.
6) Mix 1/2 tsp of soy sauce, 1/2 tsp of sake, and salt & pepper. Marinade the beef in the mixture about 10 mins.
7) Mix the ingredients of tare sauce.
8) Add the egg, potato starch and 1/2 tsp of oil to the meat slices and mix well.
9) Put 1 tsp of oil to a frying pan and fry the beef over high heat about 2 mins. Remove form the pan.
10) Put 1 tsp of oil to the frying pan and add minces onion, garlic and ginger. Fry over low heat until the aromas come out.
11) Add sliced onions and fry quickly. Add the peppers and mix well. Add the shiitake and fry quickly over high heat.
12) Add the beef and tare, mix well.
13) Turn off the heat and pour 1/2 tsp of sesame oil to give nice aroma.



Japanese Style Spaghetti with Perilla Leaves & Whitebait

Spaghetti in Japanese Style with Perilla Leaves & Whitebait

Some time ago I had a wonderful shiso (perilla) pasta at one restaurant here in Tokyo, and thought that I should try to make it at home too. Shiso is an aromatic Japanese herb, which you might know as a decoration of sashimi, but it goes well with western style foods too.

Shiso & Shirasu Spaghetti (for 2 persons)

160 g spaghetti
1 garlic clove
20 shiso (perilla) leaves
2 tsp soy sauce
2 tbs shirasuboshi (partly dried whitebait)
Good olive oil

1) Boil the spaghetti in salted water.
2) Peel and grate the garlic clove. Rinse the shiso and chop finely.
3) Put 3 tbs of olive oil to a frying pan and fry garlic over low heat until the aromas come out. Add the chopped shiso and fry quickly. Add 3 tbs of pasta’s boiling water and mix well.
4) Add the boiled pasta and mix with the shiso sauce. Add the soy sauce and mix quickly.
5) Place the pasta on serving plate and top it with 1 tbs of shirasu per portion.




Lately I have been trying out different nimono, simmered dishes. Nimono are considered a bit tricky by some, but preparing the vegetables properly, and adding the stock ingredients in right order is a big part of the process.

Chikuzen-ni (for 4 persons)

200g chicken thigh
1/2 carrot
100g boiled bamboo shoot
1/3 burdock
1/2 lotus root
12 snow peas
4 dried shiitake mushrooms
1/2 block of konnyaku
1 tbs sesame oil
1/2 cup of water where shiitake were soaked
1 cup dashi stock
3 tbs sugar
2 tbs sake
3 tbs soy sauce
2 tbs mirin

1) Soak the dried shiitake in cold water to soften. Cut the stems off, and cut diagonally to half. Keep 1/2 cup of liquid for later use!
2) Cut konnyaku to 3 cm thick bars, and teat into bite-sized by hand. Rub some salt on the cubes and rinse in cols water. Put in a pot with plenty of water and bring to boil. Simmer for 5 mins, then drain on a sieve.
3) Boil the bamboo shoots quickly to take off the bitterness.
4) Peel the carrot and lotus root. Cut the two and the boiled bamboo shoots into bite-sized pieces.
5) Scrape off the skin of the burdock with a piece of aluminum foil, and cut to bite-size. Put in a bowl with water and little bit vinegar for 4 mins to take off the bitterness. Rinse in cold water.
6) Take off the excess skin and fat from the chicken, and cut to 3 cm sized cubes. Pour a small amount of sake on the meat and let stand for 1-2 mins.
7) Cut off the stalks off snow peas and remove the strings. Boiled quickly in salted water and rinse in cold water. Cut in half.
8) Heat the sesame oil in a pot, add burdock, lotus root, carrot, konnyaku and bamboo shoots in this order, and fry over high heat. When covered in oil evenly, add shiitake and chicken, and continue to fry.
9) When chicken is heated through, add water used to soak mushrooms, and dashi stock. Reduce heat to medium, and skim the foam when comes to boil. Add sugar, and then sake, and simmer for 10 mins.
10) Add the soy sauce and cover with a drop lid made from aluminum foil. Let simmer until the liquid has been reduced to half.
11) Turn the high heat and add mirin to give the dish glossy appearance. Add the boiled snow beans and mix lightly.