What’s Cooking In The Weeb Kitchen?: Canned Mackerel Burger

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oogsskmarjygic82divpLast night I decided it was time for another round of weeb kitchen goodness and I readied myself to make some delicious mackerel burgers. My ingredients however had other ideas and I had my first minor anime cooking disaster.

This recipe makes it debut in the show when our young chef is put on the spot with a dormitory entrance exam and no ingredients. A raid of the cupboards and a quick survey of the leftovers and kitchen staples available produces a delicious looking burger made entirely of fish and as a mackerel lover I had to try it. foodwars29-mackerelburgerEasy right? Apparently though making burgers with anything but mince is a bit of a struggle for me. I gathered my necessary ingredients with a few minor changes. Namely, canned mackerel in brine and no ponzu sauce. Tesco had no mackerel in water left and I hadn’t found ponzu sauce. I didn’t use that entire onion either, honest!IMG_3107

Following the simple manga recipe I bunged everything in a bowl ready to be mixed together. I tend to use my hands a lot with fish, just to be sure there are no bones. I also just really like mixing things by hand, it’s fun!

IMG_3108Mistake number one is probably the onion, it’s fairly chunky. I personally like large pieces of onion so I do tend to chop on the chunkier side. On this occasion though I was actually crying so badly I gave up. This onion was an assault on my delicate peepers. Undeterred I went for it, fat onions and all.IMG_3109Mistake number two became evident after the shaping and frying came into play. My mixture was just too dry. I managed to make patties but as soon as they hit the frying pan they cracked and crumbled. Unfortunately I had run out of eggs and honestly, I was hungry. I didn’t want to faff about trying to find a substitute so I did what any good chef would do, I improvised.

In lieu of making patties I just fired the entire mixture into a pan and fried until crispy. Shoyu soy sauce, mirin and red wine finished the dish off. From disaster to delicious in one swift move, the mackerel donburi was born!IMG_3110Not exactly what I had planned to be eating for dinner but tasty nonetheless.

I will try the canned mackerel burger recipe again and when I succeed I will triumphantly share it with the world!

 

What’s Cooking In The Weeb Kitchen?: “Gotcha” Roast Pork

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GotchaThis weeks weeb kitchen experiment was “Gotcha” Roast Pork. It’s the first successful visual metaphor inducing dish you see in Shokugeki No Soma and it looked mighty tasty.

The secret of this dish is the fact it’s not really strictly speaking roast pork. In the show Sōma is challenged to make a meat dish by an incredibly unpleasant woman looking to forcibly take over his family diner. The catch is she’s already had her goons destroy all the meat they could find on the premises. Undeterred our valiant food hero sets to work making this dish with goods he picked up for breakfast. Needless to say a fabulous visual metaphor followed and the diner was saved. Hooray!

Gotcha Roast porkI know what you’re thinking, ‘If it’s not really roast pork then what is it?’. Mostly it’s potato. Mashed potato, onions and mushrooms wrapped in thick cut bacon to be precise. Slow roasted and finished with a red wine based sauce and it tastes good. A lot better than I necessarily thought it would.

Unable to find this particular recipe in the manga I pretty much just chucked things into pots and pans and hoped for the best. In more precise terms these ‘things’ were:

  • four potatoes
  • a sizeable onion
  • a handful of chestnut mushrooms
  • a large pack of thick cut bacon
  • some rosemary for the roast itself
  • a small bottle of red wine
  • mirin
  • soy sauce and…
  • butter for the finishing touch

IMG_3022In terms of cooking skills this is an easy one, there’s really not too much to it. Peel and roughly chop the potatoes for boiling/steaming, whichever you prefer, and dice the onions and mushrooms to sauté those bad boys in some butter. Personally I’m a steam kinda gal, I find the potatoes mash a lot better because they haven’t retained excess moisture like they would from boiling but as long as their soft that’s all that matters.

IMG_3023After your potatoes are soft and lightly mashed, you’ll need some texture to shape the log, it’s time to mix in your cooked onions and mushrooms. For the love of God please DO NOT try to shape the mixture until a good 15-20 minutes have passed. Otherwise your hands will lose the motivation to work. Trust me on this, it’s bloody hot. After a suitable time period has passed you just shape it into an unappealing looking log like shape. Simples.

IMG_3024Next comes the bacon. Everybody loooves bacon, it’s delicious. When you wrap up the log just to be sure to try to have it all covered in the meaty goodness then get it all nice and snug in a lightly oiled tray. In hindsight I would also advise potentially wrapping this bad boy with string. I didn’t think it would matter too much but mine kind of exploded on one side in the oven. Still delicious, just a little messy. As you can see I also haphazardly stabbed mine with rosemary sprigs as per the vague instructions from the show.

IMG_3026My little meaty baby was fired in the oven at around 190 degrees Celsius/374 Fahrenheit/Gas Mark 5 for around 40-45 minutes and then it spent a few minutes under the grill for extra crisping. Now for the sauce! It’s super easy; pour that whole small bottle of red wine into a pan, I think it was roughly 180ml of wine I can’t really remember, and let it boil for around 5-10 minutes to reduce it. Bung in a knob of butter and a splash of mirin and soy then pour over your fake roast. Voilà, the finished product.

IMG_3030They say looks can be deceiving and that is certainly the case here. I know it doesn’t look all that fantastic but it tastes great. Not quite the meaty wonder it’s made out to be in the show, the filling certainly soaks in some of the meaty flavour but the star for me was the sauce. The accidental splits in mine gave it room to soak into the filling which really spruced the whole thing up.

IMG_3031(1)I served my “Gotcha” Roast Pork with steamed sugar snap peas and asparagus but really any veg will do.

Get your butt in that kitchen and see for yourself!

What’s Cooking In The Weeb Kitchen?: Chaliapin Steak Donburi

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Sōma_vs_Ikumi_(anime)For as long as I can remember I’ve loved cooking and as such I’ve also loved cooking shows. My partner however not so much. Meaning I usually find time when he’s not home to get my fix. Recently I found a way around this, in the glorious form of cooking anime!

Food Wars!: Shokugeki no Soma is my saviour. Having just started its second season Crunchyroll has it front and center as part of their simulcasts, which is actually how it came to my attention in the first place. How no one thought to tell me this show existed is beyond me but no harm done, I’ve found it now. For anyone who hasn’t watched it, do it. Seriously, it’s amazing. It’s the perfect combination of food, bewbs and lewd visual imagery. What’s not to love?

1424538355427_imageAnime tropes aside, the food in this show looks spectacular. So much so that I decided it was about time I dived into the world of anime recipes; thus a kitchen weeb was born.

The first recipe choice has been heavily influenced by the fact I just purchased a multi-cooker. Cooking perfect rice is a pain, so this was my solution. I was yet to test it though so as a result, I picked a donburi. Chaliapin Steak donburi to be precise. Chaliapin was a Russian opera singer who suffered from a toothache while touring Japan in 1936 and as such requested an extra tender steak. A hotel chef devised a way to make this happen and the dish is known in Japan as a Chaliapin Steak to this day.

Onions are supposedly the key to this extra tender steak. Red onions were my weapon of choice and boy did I use a lot. You will cry making this don.

image2I’ll be honest, I did deviate from the anime recipe but I think Soma would have approved of my improvisations.

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Chaliapin Steak Don recipe from the Shokugeki no Soma manga.

Rather than use sirloin steak I actually opted to use rump. There were two reasons for this; flavour preference and the fact that as a cut it actually requires tenderisation. Void of red wine, because I forgot to buy any, my sauce was just an onion shoyu sauce but it was delicious nonetheless. My last deviation was the umeboshi in the rice. Pickled plum, that’s what umeboshi is. I absolute hated it when I had it in Japan and I didn’t really fancy putting it in my mouth again. Ever. Shichimi sprinkled rice for me thanks. I love spicy food and I wanted a kick in my don.

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Ita daki mas!

This recipe was a simple one to start me off and it was genuinely fun to make and tasty to boot! The steak was wonderfully tender although I suspect it had slightly more to do with the beating it took than the onions. Why not experiment for yourself?