Thursday, October 16, 2014

[RECIPE] Baked Tonkatsu - Japanese Pork Cutlet

My children love this Japanese pork cutlet dish - tonkatsu. Very often, it is paired with Japanese rice and a side of salad. We don't have this very often when we eat out. Not so much because it is unhealthy (cos it's deep fried), it can be quite costly to eat a good quality one too.

I honestly didn't think it would be so easy to create this dish at home. What's more, it is baked and yet able to maintain the crisp on the outside and juicy on the inside? I was amazed and very impressed with the recipe I adapted from JustOneCookBook. My husband was even more impressed that not a single drop of oil was used and we all ate it without guilt!

As advised in the blog post, for a successful crispy baked tonkatsu, pork slices should not be too thick, otherwise it will take a long time to cook it through in the oven. I've kept mine roughly about less than 1.5cm thick. Let the skilled butcher do the slicing for you.

Most most importantly, I find that it is the pre-cooked bread crumbs that made this oil-free tonkatsu possible. Pre-cooking the bread crumbs would mean that there's no need to baste or spray your pork cutlets in oil and wait for it to turn golden brown while it's baking in the oven. How clever is this!

Preparation time : 15 minutes  Cooking time :  20 minutes  Serves : 4-5
Set oven temperature to 180 degree 

Ingredients :
- 1.5cups of bread crumbs (get Japanese bread crumbs. Can be found along designated Japanese condiment aisle at the supermarket)
- 8 pcs of pork loin, about the size of your palm. I've chosen to use shoulder collar meat cos I think we can afford a little fat in the meat, which would make a juicier option.
-salt and pepper for seasoning
- 1/2 cup plain flour, on flat plate
- 2 eggs, beaten

Method :
1) Toast the bread crumbs on pan on medium heat till golden brown. The original recipe calls for oil to be used while doing this. I chose to skip this step instead. It still came out nicely toasted. This took about 5 minutes or so. Do keep an eye on this step because it can burn quite fast if left unattended. When it's done, transfer to a flat dish to cool.

2) Score the meat - this step ensures that it stays nice and flat during cooking time, otherwise it may curl up. Then pound the meat (with the back of your knife if you don't have a meat pounder) which will give you a tender finish when it's cooked.

3) Sprinkle small amount of salt and pepper on each piece of meat before coating it in flour. Shake off the excess flour before dipping into the beaten egg and then coat it with the bread crumbs. Do the same for each piece.
4) Place the ready coated meat onto the baking tray, lined with baking paper. Cook for about 20 minutes, or till the meat is no longer pink inside.

5) Drizzle or prepare a dip to enhance the flavor of the tonkatsu. We used barbeque sauce here. Enjoy!

Till the next post, have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

[RECIPE] Creamy Forest Mushroom Soup

We have almost, completely wiped out our intake of canned soup, whenever possible. *clap clap clap* I am happy that I can monitor what goes into our tummies at home especially when there's a fair share of yucky (but some not so yucky) food intake from outside too.

Creamy soups are not impossible to make when you have a blender on hand. If you, like my family who simply adores mushroom soup, then you may be keen to try this out in your kitchen the next time. It's simpler to prepare than you think and this is my 5th time making it. It will definitely go well with your, pizza, pasta, roast chicken or shepherd's pie. Or any western meal for that matter!

Preparation time : 20 minutes  Serves : 4 small soup bowls

Ingredients : 
- 1 box white or brown button fresh mushrooms (about 10 pcs) + 1 box shitake mushrooms (about 12-14 pcs) + 1 box small portobello mushrooms (about 10-12 pcs). Washed and cut to smaller size.
- 1.5 tbsp butter
- 1 tsp garlic 
- 1 cup chicken stock (or vegetable stock if you prefer)
- 2 tbsp white wine (optional or adjust to your preference)
- 3/4 cup milk (or you can use 1/2 part milk and 1/2 part cooking cream)
- salt and pepper to taste

Method :
- melt butter in pot and add in garlic. Saute till fragrant.
- add mushroom and saute till its limp. (approx.8 minutes)
- add stock and milk. Bring it to a boil then reduce the heat to simmer.
- Once the mushrooms are tender, remove from heat and transfer everything from the pot into a blender.

- Process till smooth consistency, before returning into the pot again. If it's too thick, add a bit more stock.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve while it's hot!


Till the next post, have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

[RECIPE] Mini Chocolate Buttermilk Waffles or Pancakes

I have a love-hate relationship with waffles. You see, when I crave for one, there's no cafe in sight for me to satisfy the craving. When I don't crave for it, waffle cafes are everywhere!

I've ever thought of getting myself a waffle machine maker. But nope, it does not make financial sense. Not only does it cost a bomb, it WILL end up as the biggest-test white elephant in my kitchen. So when I chanced upon this waffle griddle, I was simply ecstatic! Make my own waffles whenever I want to? It couldn't be any better. No waffle griddle? No worries! This recipe also works well with pancakes! Just a short of the crisp edges you find in a waffle.

Recipe adapted from Savory Simple
Preparation time : 5 minutes  Serves : 8 mini waffles (will defer if its pancakes)

Ingredients :
- 1 cup flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 egg
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 tbsp melted butter

In a medium bowl, sift the dry ingredients together and set aside.

Beat the egg separately till light and fluffy and add to the dry mixture, together with buttermilk and butter. Mix well till blended.

Heat up the pan with butter or oil. If using the griddle, spoon about 2 tbsp of batter into each cavity. Once the waffle bubbles (about 2-3 minutes), flip it over to the other side and continue cooking till brown (about another 2 minutes). Repeat process for the remaining batter.

Best served with a light drizzle of maple syrup or honey, fresh fruit toppings and vanilla ice cream! This combination together is simply mind-blowing. Enjoy!

Till the next post, have a wonderful day!


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