Soft and fluffy Hokkaido milk bread

Milk bread recipe

Holy Moly, if I had just known about Tangzhong earlier, I would have used this method when baking sweet buns a long time ago, worst of all I lived in Asia during the 1990s when this japanese technique got popularized through the book The 65° Bread Doctor. Using this method allows bread to stay fresh longer without needing to use artificial preservatives. I used to enjoy savory filled milk bread while living in Hong kong and little did I know back then that the technique used was quite new, I learnt this method much later.

Tangzhong-water roux is usually one part flour to 5 parts water, but you can use milk or a combination of both. The best ratio for using this is, for every 100 g of flour you need 35 g of Tangzhong

These Hokkaido milk bread are the mother of all fluffy buns.

What is Tanzhong? Well it is just a simple paste made out of flour and milk that you heat up, it is similar to a roux when making sauce, but without the butter. The paste which is the starter, is then mixed into the dough and will produce the most soft and bouncy bread.

Why that happens, I do not know, but I experimented with something similar a little while ago, I made sour cream doughnuts and used a choux pastry base and got super fluffy drop doougnuts see recipe HERE

FLOUR PASTE
5 tbsp milk
1 tbsp flour
DOUGH
5 dl flour
0,6 dl sugar
1 packet active dry yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1,25 dl warm whole milk
4 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces and softened at room temperature, plus a little extra for buttering baking pan.

EGG WASH
1 egg
1 tbsp milk

 

First you make the starter, in a small pot, whisk flour and milk together until smooth. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat and cook, stirring often until it thickens. When it’s ready, the spoon will leave tracks on the bottom of the pot. Put the mixture in a cup and lightly cover the surface with plastic wrap. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

Mix all the dry ingredients in a baking bowl .

In a separate bowl mix the milk, egg and the Tangzhong and then pour it into the bowl with the dry ingredients. Mix and knead until everything is combined for 5 minutes or so. (I used all of the tangzhong I made I did not weigh it, but I guess the amount was in the vicinity of 35%)

Add the soft butter and knead another until the butter is incorporated and then knead 10 minutes until the dough is smooth and springy and just a bit sticky.

Shape the dough into a ball and cover with a kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, 40 to 60 minutes.

Punch the dough down and knead lightly and reshape the dough into a ball, cover again and let rise 15 minutes.

Butter a cake tin.

Tip the dough out on a lightly floured work surface and roll it in to a sausage and divide into 9 equal parts.

Shape each part in to round balls. Loosely cup hand around dough and, without applying pressure to dough, move hand in small circular motions. Place the buns into the prepared pan. Cover the pan loosely with plastic wrap and let the rolls rest for another 30-40 minutes, until puffy.

Japanese milk bread

Pre heat the oven to 180 C.

Brush the tops with the egg wash and bake in the middle of the oven until golden brown, 25-30 minutes

Let cool in the pan 10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack and let cool at least 1 hour, to let the crust soften and keep the crumb lofty. (If cut too soon, the air bubbles trapped in the bread will deflate.)

Hokkaido milk bread

 

 

Homemade udon noodles

 

Udon noodles in a delicious broth with a few veggies and meat, is a little piece of heaven. Japanese comfort food at its best.

Making handmade udon noodles, thick chewy Japanese noodles made from wheat flour, water, and salt, is easier than it looks, you just need your feet to help:)

This recipe makes 4 servings

Continue reading “Homemade udon noodles”

Scruptious sushi sliders

Instagram is a cornucopia of inspiration and a little while a ago I saw a picture of a sushi burger that looked so delicious and delicate and I thought that it would give it a try. I have used my usual sushi rice recipe and( see further down) and soon found out that small mouth full was the best to make than big burgers that falls a part after a bite or two.

These small sliders are easy to make and I used:

Sushi rice
Salmon
Scallop
Crab
Wakame
Wasabi pearls
Pickled ginger
Nori
Sesame seeds
Soy sauce
A small bowl
 .
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Start by preparing all your ingredients.
Pack the rice into a small bowl and tip them out and place them ona tray or dish.
Add the toppings and top with a rice pillow
,
On some of the sliders I put a band of nori on to make it easier to pick them up with your fingers.
.

Drizzle some sesame seeds and chopped nori on the sliders. Serve them with pickled ginger and soy sauce. The only thing to do now is to enjoy your meal.

Sushi rice:

400 g sushi rice
750 ml water

Vinegar Mixture:

5 tbsp Rice vinegar
1 tbsp mirin
1.5 tbsp sugar
1 tsp Salt

Rinse the rice until the water is clear and let the rice drain in a fine mesh strainer for about one hour.

Boil the rice in a saucepan until the water begins to boil, reduce heat to medium and cover with the lid, let it boil for 5 minutes. Reduce the heat again at the lowest temperature and let the rice soak for 12-15 minutes.

Remove the saucepan from the heat, remove the lid and cover the pan with a tea towel and replace the lid and let it stand for 15 minutes.

While rice is cooking, mix vinegar mixture and boil gently until the sugar is completely dissolved, stirring occasionally. Once the sugar has dissolved remove it from the heat and allow mixture to cool.

Spread rice in a non metallic tray with a wooden spoon. Run the wooden spoon through the rice to separate the grains and slowly add the vinegar mixture, the rice should me a little moist and not wet.

Fan the rice with a fan or with a piece of cardboard until the rice reaches room temperature.

Cover the rice with a clean towel until ready to use. This rice keeps a about a day.

Chicken Karrage, fried marinated chicken nuggets

Yummy juicy and tasty chicken nuggets marinated before they are coated and then fried.

Karaage is a Japanese cooking technique were you marinate smaller pieces of meat, by massaging the marinade into the meat, and then lightly coat them with  seasoned wheat flour or potato starch mix before frying in a light oil.

500  g boneless chicken meat, diced

Marinade
0,5 dl salt reduced soy sauce
0,5 dl mirin
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp fresh grated ginger
3 cloves minced garlic
citrus

Coating
1,5 dl potato starch
1,5 dl wheat flour
0,5 dl sesame seeds
I sheet of nori finely cut
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp ginger powder
1/2 tsp ground pepper

Vegetable oil, for frying

 

Cut the chicken.

 

Combine the marinade ingredients in a zip lock baggie and add the chicken. Close the bag and massage the marinade into the chicken, then leave for about 30 minutes.

Combine all the coating ingredient in a bowl.

Heat a large saucepan with about 2 inches of vegetable oil and heat over medium-high heat to about 180 C.

Dip the chicken in the flour mix, put the chicken in the saucepan and cook until golden brown and cooked through.

Serve with rice or noodles and some teriyaki or tonkatsu sauce.

 

Melon pan, Japanese cookie crusted buns

Melon pan

Melon pan a sweet bun popular in Japan and they resembles a bun (Roti bun) I got to know when I lived in South Korea. The difference is that the topping on the Japanese bun is a short crust pastry and on the Korean bun topping is a cake batter.

Contrary to the name there is no melon in this bun, it was only its appearance that resembles a melon. Today melon pan comes in different flavours and filled. I made vanilla flavoured buns and some of them I added some grated chocolate on top.

Bun recipe:

1 sashet active dry yeast
2,5 dl  whole milk, warmed to 110 degrees F
50 g melted butter
100 g sugar
3 Tbsp non-fat dry milk powder
450 g flour
1 egg

Toping:

100 g softened butter
100 g powdered sugar
150 g  flour
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract

Whisk together yeast, warmed milk, melted butter and one teaspoon of sugar in a bowl. Let sit for 5-7 minutes until mixture is bubbly.

Add bread flour, sugar, milk powder, salt and egg mixture. Mix untill dough starts to come together, then knead until dough is smooth.

Cover the dough and allow to rest in room temperature for one hour or until dough has doubled in size.

While dough is resting, making cookie crust topping.

Cream together butter and powdered sugar. Once smooth, add egg and vanilla extract and mix until both is incorporated in the butter and sugar mix, lastly add flour. Mix together until cookie dough forms. Transfer cookie dough to a piece of plastic wrap, roll the cookie dough into a log, then wrap tightly and keep in the fridge until the buns are ready to be covered.

Melon pan recipeDivide dough into 12  equal parts. Roll dough into rounds and place on a baking paper lined baking tray. Cover dough balls with plastic wrap to prevent dough from drying out.

Divide the cookie dough into 12 pieces. Gently roll out the cookie dough until it is large enough to cover the bun. Place cookie dough over the bun. Use a knife to gently score the cookie dough into some sort of criss-cross pattern. Cover the buns and allow to rest for 30-45 minutes until buns had doubled in size.

Melon pan recipe

Preheat oven to 180 degree C, if you like, top some of the buns with shredded chocolate before you bake them.

Bake them for 10-15 minutes or until golden. When they are finished, let them cool a bit on a rack, they are best eaten warm.

Japanese melon pan recipe

Okonomiyaki, Japanese pancakes

Japanese pancakes

Savory delicious Japanese pancakes, these pancakes can be made with anything your hearts desires.

The name is derived from the word okonomimeaning “what you like” or “what you want”, and yaki meaning “cooked”or “grilled”. So basically cook what you want. Okonomiyaki is mainly associated with the areas of Kansai or Hiroshima in Japan, but is widely available throughout the country.

Make individual Okonomiyaki or a big one for sharing.

 

Ingredients

3 eggs
3,75  dl vegetable broth or dashi
5 dl all-purpose flour or whole-wheat pastry flour
5 dl finly chopped/thinly sliced cabbage
1 onion finely sliced
4 dl prawns, sliced in two
Chopped nori
Chuno Sauce
Mayonese

Quick Chuno sauce
1/2 cup Ketchup
1/4 cup Worchestershire Sauce

In a large bowl whisk together flour, stock and eggs. Add chopped cabbage and mix so that the cabbage is gently crushed into the batter, fold in prawns and season with salt.

Heat 1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium high heat until shimmering. Add 1/4 of the batter, gently pushing the batter down with a spatula until flattened. Cook for about 4 minutes on both sides. Serve immediately with mayonnaise, Chuno sauce and a sprinkle of finely shopped nori on top.

Or pour all the batter in the pan and make a big one.

Okonomiyaki

Share and enjoy with others.

 

Tonkatsu, Japanese schnitzel or Dongas in Korean

Exploring some of my Japanese heritage, funny thing though, I was 14 when I first ate at a Japanese reataurant. My great great grandfather was Japanese, unfortunately I do not know his name, but my great grand father was Pedro Nakamura y Gonzales. There can’t be that many Filipinos back then with that name so if anyoneelse has ties to him or know of him please let me know. He was married to Gabina Platon Burgos. One of my many hobbies is geneology, but I am sort of stuck with my side of the tree. My childrens three on their father side I have been able to go back centuries.

Tonkatsu is the japanese version of a Schnitzel, made with thin slices of pork sirloin. Originally these were made with beef and called Katsuretsu. It is said that the pork version was invented at a restaurant in Tokyo called Renegatei in 1899. The dish was seen as a “Yoshoku” a Japanese version of European cuisine. Some say that it was the Portuguese who brought Tonkatsu to Japan in the late 1800s. The portuguese arrived much earlier and at the end of the 1800s. In this period of history many countries had attempted to get a foothold in Japan, so who brought the dish to japan is somewhat uncertain, my theory i that it was those who invented the wiener schnitzel.

Tonkatsu is usually served with thinly sliced cabbage and a dark sauce called Tonkatsu sauce, a type of mustard (Karashi) and preferably with a slice of lemon or two along with rice and miso soup.
When we lived in South Korea we got it served with kimchi and kim and the dish is called Dongas. Kim is the same as Nori, the difference between Kim and Nori is that Kim as a side dish is often toasted with a little oil and lightly salted.
We often bought kim in little rectangular pieces, you it by placing a pice on top of your rice and pick up a mouthful of rice with chop sticks. If you want to eat this with kimchi, HERE is a recipe.

Tonkatsu sauce

1 dl ketchup
1/2 dl Worchestershire sauce
1/2 dl sake
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
1 tbsp grated fresh garlic
1-2 tsp of sugar
3 tbsp mirin

Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil and stir-
Turn down the heat and simmer for 25-30 minutes. Remove the foam that forms on top and let the sauce cool slightly before serving.

Tonkatsu
500 g pork sirloin
salt and pepper to taste
2 eggs
4-5 tablespoons flour
salt and pepper to taste
4 dl panko crumbs
Oil for frying, not olive oil

Cut the meat into thin slices, about 1/2 cm thickness. If you want you can give the pieces a couple of whacks with a meat tenderizer. Salt and pepper slightly or to taste.

Pour oil in a deep sauce pan and set on medium heat.


Beat the eggs, salt and pepper in a bowl.
Put the flour and panko in separate bowl.

Flour both sides of the meat and make sure it is completely covered, then dip it in the egg and finally in panko crumbs
Fry until golden.
Keep the meat warm in the oven in an ovenproof dish at approximately 150 ° C while you fry the rest.
If you are going to eat this with chop sticks, cut the Tonkatsu into strips before serving.Plate the tonkatsu and serve it with rice and miso soup, and other side dishes you want.

Thin slices of fresh salmon with a pozu-ish sauce

I served this dish as a starter last time I had the girls over for dinner.

There is supposed to be mango and avocado under the salmon, but you can’t really see them.

For 4 persons I used


200 g Fresh salmon, thinly sliced

1/2 mango

1/2 ripe avocado

1 spring onion

1/2 Chili

Sesame seeds

Chives for decoration

Pozu-ish sauce

0,5 dl lime juice or lemon juice or mix the two

0,75 dl light soy sauce

2 tbsp mirin

2 tbsp rice wine vinegar

1 ts sesame oil

Peel the mango and use a peeler to shave thins slices on to 4 plates and do the same with the avocado.

Spread the salmon slices over the mango and avocado.

Pour the amount of sauce you want over the fish and garnish with spring onion, chili and chives

I served this with a special sushi wine developed by Jacob’s Creek and one of Japans great Sushi chefs.

Prawns and veggies tempura

Tempura is one of the family’s favorite dish. I usually use prawns, sweet potatoes, onions, mushrooms and bell peppers. I am a little boring that way, but since we do not have this that often I make it safe.
This dish is easy to make, it is just a little time consuming, specially frying. I always keep a bag of prawns in the freezer for days I want to make something yummy and easy.
I suggest that you make it first.

Tempura dipping sauce
2 dl water
0.5 dl mirin
1 tablespoon soy sauce
Dashi powder, if you do not have any use a little vegetable broth.

Boil and serve warm
Prepare everything that you are going too fry.
Use at least
20-24 Prawns
1 onion
1 bell pepper
1 sweet potato
4 mushrooms
Oil for frying
1 slightly beaten egg yolk
250 ml ice-cold water
400 ml flour
100 ml cornstarch
1 small package with Panko crumbs.
Heat the oil for frying
Cut vegetables into slices or rings
 –
Butterfly shrimp along the back.
 –
In bowl, fold together flour, salt, eggs and water. It’s OK to have lumps. Add 1 cup of ice to the batter. Fold gently.
 –
Set each shrimp into the batter and coat everything but the tail. Shake off the excess, and dip into a bed of panko bread crumbs.
 –
Do the same with the vegetables
 –
Place shrimp into 375 F deep fryer for 1-2 minutes minutes at the most, or until golden brown.
Serve with your favorite dipping sauce or my tempura sauce, and enjoy:)

Salmon teriyaki

This dish is one of my family’s favorite a norwegian and japanese fusion perhaps.
I usually make this with ready made teriyaki sauce, but it is quite easy to make the sauce your self. This dish takes about the same time to make as it takes to cook the rice.

Dinner for 4

800 g Filet of bone and skinless salmon
2 Onions
2 Bell peppers
2  dlSoy sauce
1 dl Mirin
4 tbsp Rice vinegar
5 tbsp Brown sugar
4 Cloves  of minced garlic
3 tsp Grated fresh ginger
1 dl Water
2 tsp cornstarch
Toasted sesame seeds and chopped spring onions to garnish
Serve this with cooked rice
Start by boiling the rice and follow the instruction on the packet.
Slice the onions and bell peppers and saute them until the onions are glossy but still firm.
In a pan add soy sauce, mirin, ricevine vinegar, sugar, garlic and ginger and give it a boil untill the sugar is dissolved. At this stage you add cornstarch and water to thicken the sauce, when the sauce is a bit thick reduce the heat ad lett it simmer.
Place the salmon pieces in the sauce
Then put the vegetable on top of the fish, cover and let it simmer untill it is done. The fish is done when it is slightly pinkish and glossy on top.
Plate 4 plates with the vegetable and place two pieces of fish on top and pour a few spoonfuls of the sauce on over the fish and finish by sprinkling sesame seed and spring onions on top. Enjoy this with a serving of rice and a glass of white.