Juicy Tonkatsu Bite                                      

Men love tonkatsu. I understand the excitement that the juice of pork comes out from the crispy deep fried crumbs when you bite it.

As Mr. Husband strongly requested tonkatsu for dinner with enormous expectations, I got  nice pork loin pieces from Hampstead Butcher.












                                                                      



In Japan, we serve tonkatsu with shredded cabbage topped with tonkatsu sauce. In tonkatsu restaurants, they usually have a big basket of shredded cabbage so that customers can get extra cabbage for their tonkatsu. Please visit their website of Tonkatsu Wako, one of the largest tonkatsu restaurants in Japan.

I followed the Japanese tonkatsu culture as presented here.


Ingredients

Pork Loin (400-500g)
salt and black pepper
flour to dust the pork
1 egg
bread crumbs 1 cup
vegetable oil 600cc
Large leaves of pointed cabbage (5-6)
Tonkatsu sauce (or you can mix HP Sauce with soy and ketchup)


Directions

1. Slice pork in large bite sized. Make thin lines over the surface to make the thickness of the piece even. Sprinkle pinches of salt and black pepper. Leave them for 10 mins

Extra portions were stored in freezer

2. Wash cabbage leaves in water and drain
I stored roughly cut cabbage to freeze in a bag.
Frozen veggies are nice for stir fry and pickle.
Since the fibre is broken through freezing,
they get easier to be seasoned!!

Pile leaves and cut into quarterly. Roll the portion and slice from the edge in the way shown in the video below. If you are too scared to do this, please use a slicer.


video

video


3. Dust the pork pieces with flours. Prepare beaten egg in a bowl and bread crumbs in a tray

4. Dress each pork piece with the order of egg
and bread crumbs

5. Heat up vegetable oil in a middle depth pan over medium temperature. If you put a wooden stick into the pan and bubbles come out from the bottom, it's a sign that the oil is ready

6. Deep fry pork pieces for 2-3 mins in both sides

7. Serve tonkatsu with cabbage and some veggies (as tomatoes) topped with tonkatsu sauce.


Direction of disposing used oil

As I repeat elsewhere, I use juice packs to dispose used oil.

When the oil gets cool, open the top the pack and pour the oil in it. Better to do it in a sink
I also used a small portion of bread crumbs left from tonkastu. 
Dust the pan with crumbs to absorb the oil
I often make pieces of cloth for wipe from the worn out t-shirts. 
Wipe the pan to clean with it.
Put the cloth and the crumbs into the juice pack. Fold the mouth of the pack to close and bind it with rubber band. Dispose the pack in a plastic bag.

Total time to prepare: 30 mins
Total cost: 6 pounds (5 for pork loin, 1 for the rest of veggies)

Deep Fried Spring Rolls

Deep-fried spring rolls, miso-cod, salad, miso soup with deep fried tofu and spinach and rice

Making spring rolls takes time and energy. However we can add any veggies found in our fridge and can make a lot in one time to store in freezer.

It is a nice, rescue dish when we need something one more in our dinning table. It is also very popular party nibble as well as for bento.

Ingredients

  • Spring roll pastry (8-10 sheets)
  • Spring onions (2 pieces)
  • Chicken breast or pork loin (100g)
  • Garlic (1 clove)
  • Ginger (grated, 1 teaspoon)
  • Shiitake mushrooms (3-4 pieces)
  • Bamboo shoot (100g) (I forgot to add!!)
  • Rice vermicelli (20g)
  • Iceberg lettuce (3-4 large leafs)
  • Chinese chives (4-5 stems) 
  • Vegetable oil to deep fry (200cc or 1cm depth in a frying pan)
  • flour (1 tablespoon) dissolved into 1/2 cup of water to glue the pastry

<Seasoning> 

  • Sesame oil (1 tablespoon)
  • Oyster sauce (1 teaspoon)
  • Soy sauce (1/2 tablespoon)
  • Chinese chicken soup stock (1/2 tablespoon)
  • Sugar (1/2 teaspoon)
  • Cornflour (1 tablespoon)
  • Cold water (200cc)



Bamboo Shoots that I forgot this time!!

Directions

1. Prepare boiling water in a pan and cook the rice vermicelli for 1 min. Drain the water through a net and set aside

2.  Slice spring onions and mushrooms thinly. Process the meat into mince (or instead, you can use minced meat). Chop garlic into small pieces. Cut the chive, vermicelli and lettuce into 3 cm length

3. Combine all seasoning ingredients in a bowl and mix well

4. Heat up a large frying pan over medium temperature and grease the surface with vegetable oil. Add garlic, meat and mushroom and stir well until the minced meat get separated. Then add vermicelli, lettuce and  chinese chive. Once the chive half done, add the seasoning and cook it for 1 min until the sauce gets thick. Once the stuffing done, set it aside in a plate to cool down
5. Prepare a sheet of spring roll pastry on a large cutting board and glue that 1 tablespoon of flour is dissolved in 1/2 cup of water.  Place 2 tablespoonfuls of stuffing on the corner edge of spring roll sheet
6. Lift up the nearest corner and cover the stuffing over with it. Then fold the sides of spring rolls to envelope the stuffing
7. Roll up the piece until before to the end of the corner. Spread the flour glue over the sides of corner with fingers and then roll it up to the end

8. I cut a pastry into quarterly and made mini-spring rolls for Bento


9. Heat up a large frying pan over medium temperature and add vegetable oil until to 1cm depth. Deep fry spring rolls for 2-3 mins in both sides. Serve the portion with the mixture of soy sauce and vinegar as well as mustard

10. Store these un-deepfried portions in freezer.

Time to prepare: 1 hour
Total cost: 1.7 for 11 spring rolls (0.7 for chicken, 0.5 for the pastry, 0.5 for the rest of veggies), 6.5 for miso-cod, 1 for the rest of veggies

Chocolate masterclass at Fortnum & Mason, Piccadilly

The shop of Fortnum & Mason locates at the heart of London in Piccadilly. F&M shop is famous for the window decoration. 
This time was to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee
The colourful Queen's Beasts were guarding and celebrating the Queen and F&M with melodies.  


Halloween items were also featured.


My friend brought me here to attend a chocolate masterclass held on 18th October from 6-8pm.

The pastry chef, Tal Hausen went through three different recipes: chocolate tartelets, parfeit and fondant from the book "Cooking with Chocolate:Essential Recipes and Techniques" by Frédéric Bau, Clay McLachlan, Pierre Hermé, L'Ecole Du Grand Chocolat Valrhona - Random House Incorporated (2011).


For tartlet and parfait, we made chocolate crémeux, the mixture of custard and melting chocolate. 


I learnt that the best temperature of custard to add to chocolate is 82C (degree centigrade). 


Chocolate fondant was more exciting and complicated. 
The chef showed how to cool down the chocolate butter by using marble board and spatula. To make a perfect fondant, 28C is the best condition of chocolate that the molecule is ready to be combined with whisked egg and flours.

Perfectly-made chocolate butter was combined into the whisked egg and sugar
The fondant batter settled in fridge over night was poured into molds 
10 mins later, fully raised fondant chocolat came out from the oven!!

The fondant chocolat was served with caramel ice cream with crashed biscuit
Mmmmmmm.....
Speechless......

The class was completed with a glass of champagne as well as with a surprising goody bag.
Goody bag contained a F&M apron and three different cacao strength chocolates from Valrhona
Very useful!!

It was a fantastic event!!
I enjoyed every moment and learnt a lot about the art and the technique of chocolate. 
It was a great value (25 pounds for 2hours course with 3 recipes).

Thanks to my friend!!


Fortnum & Mason's Autumn and Winter Events detail is available here:


Udon de luxe when too tired to cook                

I believe many housewives sometimes feel tired to prepare or even to think about dinner of the day. Take away food could be a solution. However, in my case, if the take away food is not good, the heavy stomach (from the over used grease and salt) makes me feel more tired and much worse than before dinner. Of course kids always enjoy pizza or tandoori chicken. However, after aged 35, when I am tired, I need something warm, soupy, certainly not heavy. 

In that case, UDON DE LUXE is my solution. 

Udon de luxe is my coined word that udon with veggies are prepared in a large hot pot pan and is served at the dinning table like hot pot

Udon is usually served in a deep large soup bowl for each person. 
Udon from Wikipedia

However instead, by serving in a large hot pot with large portins, Udon de luxe entertains family visually to show all the contents and processes to be taken to one's own portion. 

Udon deluxe binds up and warms up family effectively and then the fatigue goes off instantly!!

This time, I got pieces of rice cakes so I deepfried them and added to Udon de luxe.


Ingredients:

  • Udon (dry or ready made, 200-300g)
  • Chicken thigh (150g, cut into large bite sized pieces)
  • Shimeji mushrooms (1/2 portion)
  • Spring onions (2 pieces)
  • Spinach (boiled and cut into 4cm length, 50g)
  • Deep fried tofu
  • Mochi/rice cake (2 pieces)
  • Soy sauce (3 tablespoons)
  • Mirin (3 tablespoons)
  • Salt (1 teasoon)
  • Dashi/Japanese soup stock (2L)

Directions

1. Add dashi, soy sauce, mirin, salt and chicken into a hot pot (if not cast iron pan) and bring it into gently boil. Skim the scam from the chicken

2. While boiling hot pot stock, cook udon in large deep pan with prenty of boiled water (2L). This process will be skipped if you use ready made raw udon

3. Cut mochi (rice cake) into roughly 1.5cm cube. 
Heat up a small frying pan filled with vegetable oil into 1cm depth, deepfry mochi pieces slowly for 3-4 mins in two sides 


4. Add all ingredients into the stock and gentry boil the contents until raw veggies cooked.


This  article doesn't mean that I am against take away food. 
In fact, I enjoy pizza occasionally especially when I am not tired. 


Total time to prepare: 25 mins
Total cost: 4.3 pounds (1.5 for chicken, 1.8 for udon, 1 for the rest of veggies)