Saturday, December 18, 2010

Seafood "Bento"

I made this a while ago, so I'm a little bit guessing on how I made it, but I know I'm really really close.  This is another one of my "bento" recipe ideas for when you have lots of rice and want to jazz it up a bit.  The crab topping was really good, although if you can't find the dried shrimp it will still taste fine without them.  I love these sweet egg crumbles, however I think they're a pain to eat with chopsticks.  Oh, and I was talking to a Japanese exchange student (who also happens to be my next-door neighbor) and he told me that my recipes remind him of home.  *blushes* 


Seafood "Bento"

Ingredients:

3/4 c. hot cooked white rice
2 imitation crab sticks
3 snow peas, trimmed
sprinkling of dried baby shrimp
3 - (1/8 in.) slices takuan (pickled daikon)
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 tsp. sugar
pinch of salt
vegetable oil
2 tofu puffs
1 tsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. mirin
2 umeboshi, yasai fumi furikake, & shichimi togarashi (optional, to serve)

Heat a dry frying pan over medium low heat, and add the crab sticks.  Cook until browned on each side, then remove the crab to a cutting board.  Using a fork, shred the crab into long stings, then chop in half to make them more manageable.  Set aside.

Pour 1/4 in. water in the frying pan and bring to a boil.  Add the snow peas and blanch for 1 minute.  Removed the peas from the pan and cut into strips on the diagonal.  Set aside.  Dump the water from the pan.

Heat a little oil in the pan.  Beat the sugar and salt into the egg until dissolved.  Add the egg mixture to the pan and scramble.  Using a spatula, continue to stir and cut the egg until it has fully cooked into little crumbles.  Remove from pan and set aside.

Cut the tofu puffs into 4 slices each.  Add to the hot pan and cook until warm.  Add the soy sauce and mirin.  It should start to froth.  Stirring with a spatula, cook until nearly all the liquid is absorbed.  Remove from pan.

To serve, lay the rice down as a bed on a plate.  Add the crab shreds to one side and top with the snow peas and dried shrimp.  Cut the takuan slices in half and add a row of them next to the crab.  Sprinkle the egg crumbles next to the takuan.  Place the tofu pieces in a small separate bowl.  Sprinkle the egg with yasai fumi furikake and the tofu with shichimi togarashi.  Garnish with umeboshi.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Peeling a Grapefruit--the RIGHT way!

Hi yinz!  My finals are officially over, so I can breath now!  I took some photos of my finals display, so when I get around to getting them off my camera, I'll share them with you.

In the meantime, while I haven't been able to do any real grocery shopping because I've had no time to cook, I have gotten some fruit to munch on as snacks.  I don't know what it's like where you live, but grapefruit has been the thing here in NYC.  Now, I love grapefruit, but I know many people say that they hate the taste because it is so bitter.  Actually, grapefruits aren't quite as bitter as you think they are.  I would describe them as having a pleasant sour taste, but not bitter.  If you find grapefruit bitter, I think you're peeling it wrong.  You see, the skin, pith, and section membranes are where the bitterness are.  You can get around it a little by cutting the fruit in half and scooping it out with a spoon, but that's a pain to eat and it's very messy.  Instead, I'll share with you a way of peeling grapefruit that's guaranteed to remove all those bitter parts and allow you to really enjoy the fruit part.  Yes, it takes a while to do, but trust me, it's worth it and you'll thank me in the end.  I can't take credit for this method, though.  My father showed me how to do it.  I heart Daddy!  ^_^


Peeling a Grapefruit--the RIGHT way!

Step 1:  Peeling the Skin

Start peeling off the skin of the grapefruit--you may have to slit it with a knife to get it started.
After the peel has been completely removed, the whitish pith should still remain.


Step 2:  Scrape off the Pith

Using your knife, carefully scrape off the pith so that you can start to see the fruit membrane, but don't pierce the fruit.
Peel the pith away from the membrane beneath.
After the pith is removed, it should look somewhat like this.


Step 3:  Pull the Fruit Open

Carefully pull the fruit apart in half (mine wanted to come apart into 3 sections).


Step 4:  Slit and Peel Back the Membrane

Insert the tip of your knife between the fruit and the section membrane and slit the membrane open.
Gently pull the section away from the membrane.


Step 5:  Remove the Section

Remove the section as intact as possible from the rest of the fruit.  Set aside.


Step 6:  Peel Away the Section Membrane

Pull that section's membrane from the rest of the fruit, otherwise it gets in the way when you go to slit the next piece.


 Step 7:  Repeat Steps 4-6 Until Finished

When finish, you will have a whole grapefruit minus all of the bitter stuff!  Enjoy!
Just to show you, this is all the bitter skin, pith, and membranes you got rid of.