had a delightful homecooked 8pax japanese-themed dinner on 12.12.2013. every dish turned out wonderfully, though wagyu was still not ideal – conservatively cooked more than medium rare. my miso belly pork, nobu miso cod & pan-fried steak were generally good dishes, though still made the occasional mistake. for this evening, i varied the recipe for miso belly pork with great results, and did char siu for the excess belly cut using the same slow oven cook method. i also added a curry miso mulligatawny & hata no nitsuke (simmered teriyaki garoupa fillet). the nikujaga this time was a failure though, so i did not serve the brisket but only the very tasty potato ratatouille.
the miso belly pork was slow-cooked for 4hrs in a 60degC oven, then pan-charred when ready to serve the first course. the char siu was done likewise in a lower rack in the same 60degC oven (save time & electricity).the char siu sauce was then reduced & coated on the char siu then broiled at 250degC 10mins on 1 side & 5 mins the other side. both miso belly pork & char siu were melt-in-the-mouth tender. most like the miso belly pork more though. 🙂 i also made a very simple cheap salad. just cut 1/2 a cabbage in very thin slices & added a yuzu salad dressing. just a small salad serving sufficed to balance the meaty dish.
the curry miso mulligatwany was the best i did, intense & flavourful, and the prawn & squid were excellent! (this my 3rd try). the sotong (squid) & devein medium prawn was fried in butter on high heat, just the right doneness, & the mussels also. the hot soup was then added to the individual bowl & served (lack garnishing this time – should have added coriander).
my miso cod had been consistently good. this evening it was wonderful, the moist tasty cod with just the right miso flavour.
my wife who did not join dinner had made a pumpkin tofu salad, tossed with extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, sea salt & agave nectar. it was delicious & went nicely with the cod & wagyu.
i did the wagyu over intense heat, but made the mistake again of frying a second time as 2 of the guests didn’t really take medium care. it was erring on the safe side but didn’t really work with such marbled meats. must remind myself to be bold & keep to very well charred & medium rare – they always turned out great! for this evening wagyu was slight more than medium rare, still very good but perhaps underachieved!
my hata no nitsuke was ok though the reduced teriyaki sauce was not strong enough. the nikujaga though was a failure & i did not serve the beef briskets but only the potato ratatouille. everyone liked this as the potato & sauce had excellent beef flavour.
N.B. I repeated the menu for a couple friend on 17.12.2013 (mostly, though i added a miso scallop & ebi miso yaki as 1 could not take much fatty stuff like belly & wagyu). also i replaced the rice dish with a seafood alio olio spaghetti as my wife didn’t like the nikujaga & simmered garoupa much, and also my friend liked my pasta dish. this couple friend did a really excellent homecooked 5-course fine dining meal for my wife & me recently so it was our turn to return the favour. I made more misses than the 8pax dinner. the curry miso soup was rather more intense & slightly salty. the nobu miso cod was also a bit salty (this was a rare miss for me). the pumpkin was somehow not as sweet as it normally was. the wagyu was nearer to medium rare but still not quite my ideal. the rest though were quite good – miso belly pork, char siu, miso scallop,ebi miso yaki & also the seafood pasta which my friend evidently enjoyed very much! anyhow it was really good fun for me, both the cooking & just getting together for a meal. there will always be things to learn, improvements to make in my cooking. 🙂