May 4 Menu

One of my closest friends is a Japanese architect in Cambridge. They came over for dinner last week and shared some kalbi with us. We don't get to see him as often these days so in order to encourage them to take the hike across Harvard Square to our place, I'm putting together a menu of japanese comfort food. Many thanks to his wife (who will go nameless here but shall I refer to her as Mrs. Greencard?) who provided me with some ideas/ recipes of what they usually have at their home. She's not Japanese but does all the cooking, who would've "thunk it". On another note, this week would also be an homage to Kotobukiya in Porter Square. For those of us not in Cambridge, Koto is the much frequented Japanese grocery store in the much beloved Porter Exchange building which hosts a panoply of small Japanese restaurant kiosks as well. Koto will be relocating to Medford, supposedly close by, but for us pedestrian Cantabrigians anything off of the Redline is too far. So long, Koto. In fact, I think I'll get everything from Reliable in the "fashionable" Union Square of Somerville - once the most dense city in the nation (yeah like in the '70s).

Monday - Miso Based Soup Tonjiru

Tuesday - Omurice or rice covered by an omlette (hence omu-rice, yes, the japanese frequently add syllables to english words, don't believe me? ask one)

  • Even as a korean kid, I've had omurice many times growing up, and probably isn't unique to my household since the imperial island is just a stone throws from the mainland.
  • Instead of ham, use leftover pork loin from Monday. And use ketchup to make it a super comfort food.
  • I would throw in some extra vegetables too, just for my growing daughter.
  • And to really adulterate this dish, serve with a side of kimchee!
  • Here's another slightly more intricate version of the omurice which substitutes ketchup with tomato sauce and worcestershire.
  • Remember to move the chicken into the fridge to defrost for tomorrow.
Wednesday - Chicken Katsu and Miso Soup
Thursday - Curry Over Rice and Hiyayakko (Cold Tofu)
  • This is not a cop-out. This is a legitimate recipe especially for my site, which tries to balance taste and time. Try this with whatever meat you have on hand - beef, chicken, pork. Or even vegetarian, really.
  • Fine, it's a cop-out, but boy is it good. And yes, before this menu site, I used to have this all the time. Okay, here's a tofu recipe to go along with the curry.
  • Honey, where's the kimchee?
Friday - Pizza Takeout
  • What, did you think I'd forget?
  • Okay, how about served with a side of kimchee?
Shopping List for Me:
  • Vegetables, Fruits, Herbs - gobo (burdock root), enoki mushrooms, green onions
  • Meats, Poultry, Fish - 1/2 lb pork loin,
  • Dairy, Eggs, Soy - tofu
  • Condiments - worcestershire sauce (I didn't buy it last time)
  • Specialty Store - dried bonito flakes, karashi mustard (???)
  • Other - cereal bars, oatmeal (not steel cut because that takes forever)
Shopping List Addtl:
  • Vegetables, Fruits, Herbs - daikon, carrots, onions, potatoes, ginger
  • Meat, Poultry, Fish - chicken (I kind of like chicken tenders, easy to cook with)
  • Dairy, Egg - eggs
  • Baking, Dried Goods - white/brown rice
  • Condiments - ketchup
  • Specialty Store - dashi powder, red miso paste, panko bread crumbs, curry cubes in box

Notes of the Week:
1. I learned a huge lesson - sticking with one cuisine for the week really makes the most of all your groceries.
Tonjiru served us well for several days. It was just luck that I scheduled it on Monday and it kept going (by regularly adding water, miso, and vegetables) right up to Wednesday.
3. Omurice was good, but for some reason didn't bring back those memories as best as I thought it would.
4. The chicken katsu was wonderful. The quoted recipe wasn't very specific on the measurement for seasoning the flour, so I resorted to Ina Garten's oven fried chicken recipe that basically is 2 cups of flour with 1 tbsp of salt and 1 tbsp of black pepper. This amount is perfect for about 1-1/2 to 2 lbs of chicken. Also, the recipe had an imperfect tonkatsu sauce recipe. So I went with - good sauce. Finally, without a deep fryer, I set up a deep sauce pan with an aluminum foil cover as a deep fryer.


johanna said...

nice new look! i'm planning my menu for the week, too. we're headed to russo's with the thought of cooking japanese this week. pretty easy ... veggies with rice. oh, and if we have time, we'll head to koto. if they are still open or have anything left. :(

boston chap said...

Next week, I'm doing a thing on superfoods. Any ideas on that?

johanna said...

most of that is on the sweet side, no?

i always think of avocado and kale as superfoods. are they? salmon, too?