Thursday, October 11, 2012

Japanese Beef Rice Bowl

I've run out of ideas of what to cook for lunch and dinner. I want something simple to prepare and cook and yet delicious and appetising at the same time. I was at the library and chanced upon Harumi's Japanese Home Cooking cookbook. I looked through the recipes and they appealed to me. I have to try out some of the recipes in it and so I borrowed it. I have her other book - Everyday Harumi. The recipes in her cookbook are easy to follow and prepare and I've tried out a few recipes from this cookbook. Most important of all, they all turn out beautiful and scrumptious. Also, it has lots of cooking tips and ingredient substituition. What a great find!
I started to flip through the book and decided on this Japanese Beef Rice bowl. It's really easy to prepare. Beef is nutritious - lots of proteins and irons. The other ingredient needed is onions and pickled ginger. Simple. It is also healthy as no oil and frying are needed. So I went to the supermarket to look for sliced beef. I asked the meat expert what type of beef to use and he recommended me this Wagyu sliced beef for shabu shabu. It's not very expensive and I picked up 2 packets of it.
This beef was really good. Very tasty and tender. I did not have any pickled ginger and so I omitted it and replaced it with green spring onions. The whole cooking time took only about 30 minutes, excluding the cooking of Japanese rice. No mess on the kitchen stove. The family fell in love with it and I will definitely cook this more often. I will experiment it with pork shabu shabu the next time. Go ahead and try cooking this. You will not regret it.
Japanese Beef Rice Bowl

500g onion
1 cup (200ml) white wine
1/2 cup (100ml) water
500g thinly sliced beef
1/4 cup (50ml) soy sauce
1/4 cup (50ml) mirin
4 tbsp caster sugar
600g hot cooked rice
Pickled ginger (beni shoga) - to taste
  1. Cut the onions in half lengthways and then slice into half moons 1cm wide.
  2. In a medium saucepan, bring the wine and water to the boil over a moderate heat. Add the beef and simmer for a few minutes, skimming the surface of the broth as it foams. Add the soy sauce, mirin and sugar and cover with a drop lid of aluminium foil (see cooking note) and simmer for a few more minutes.
  3. Remove the lid, add the onions and again simmer until the onions are transparent and soft.
  4. Put the hot cooked rice into 4 bowls. Ladle the beef and onions, together with some soup from the pan onto each rice bowl and garnish with a little pickled red ginger.
(Serves 4)
Cooking Note:
An otoshibuta, or wooden drop lid, is one of the essential Japanese kitchen equipments. We can easily make one using aluminium foil if we do not have the otoshibuta. Make the diameter of the lid slightly smaller than the saucepan. Let the aluminium foil drop lid float just above the simmering food. This way of cooking ensures that the heat is evenly distributed and the can cook quickly and evenly.

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