did a modern japanese course dinner for some friends last saturday on 5.12.2015. ^^
i did the flamed squid dish for a friend who bought me a handheld butane torch when he came for dinner almost 2 years back.
i chanced upon a photograph of this dish in a cookbook at porthminster cafe, st ives, cornwall.
i could not find any recipe on the net so i fashioned my own flamed squid in spinach veloute.
i made very narrow chequered cuts on the squid. when charred by the torch, it curled nicely & looked wonderful. they were then fried in butter at high heat for a short period, so the squid was just succulent, not rubbery & chewy. i used kitchen scissors to cut a slice to test to make sure.
the veloute was made with spinach leaves, green pepper & yellow onions. they were fried to soften then blended with 2 tbsp of olive oil, slight salt & pepper to taste.
a bit elaborate perhaps (especially when the friend i made it for could not attend this evening), but a very enjoyable dish none the less. 🙂
nothing particularly japanese in the dish, mostly western. however japs do love aburi (flamed) dishes, so this could count as one.
the second course, chawanmushi (japanese of course), was my usual preparation. a friend lent us her chawanmushi cups, always look & taste better with better presentation. 🙂
egg was smooth, but i thought the taste was not as good as what i made previously. i was nursing a flu & my tastebuds were a bit off so couldn’t tell. my wife thought so too.
prawns & scallops were ok, chicken seemed a bit over.
3rd course was pan seared scallops in prawn vegetable bisque.
scallops were very good, even though i did not pan sear them well this evening.
the bisque was very smooth, sweet & balanced with prawns & vegetable stock.
i used a smaller amount of prawn stock & added carrot, red pepper, red onion & the unused spinach stalk, blended & added 2 tbsp thickened cream before serving.
this was again the western interlude, only the IQF (individual quick frozen) hokkaido scallops were japanese. 🙂
for the 4th course, i served a wafu 和风 pasta+wafu 和风 eggplants+teriyaki cod. 🙂
teriyaki cod is my usual recipe.
this evening it was done to perfection, almost. ^^
slightly firmer because of marinade, lightly flavoured, bringing out cod’s natural sweetness. quite a beauty to behold. 🙂
to add a veg to the pasta dish, i made wafu 和风eggplants.
this evening i think it was ok, but maybe not so tasty, or my tastebuds were off.
this a really simple dish to make-
- cut 2 medium eggplants in 1/2, make diagonal cuts to help the sauce infuse
- fry medium fire both sides, add 1 tbsp tsuyu, mirin, sake, 1/2 cup stock & stew. just make sure it’s not overcooked & still firm
for the carbs, i made a wafu 和风 pasta.
japanese make great italian food too. i especially like their mentaiko pasta & uni ikura pasta.
this wafu 和风 pasta was done with just bacon, yellow onions & shimeji mushrooms. i guess the only thing wafu 和风 about it was the use of mirin & tsuyu instead of white wine. basically it was a alio olio done al dente with a bit of butter added at the end to coat the pasta.
it did taste kind of oriental, haha! 🙂
for the second main, basically a gohan (rice) dish, i had a beef don, but added some miso salmon belly & miso belly pork for friends who don’t take much beef.
i had some seared scallops actually but forgot to serve them. 🙂
& i did the beef wrongly, medium well mistakenly thinking that some friends preferred well done steak where actually all of us preferred it medium rare. well at least, the beef was a pretty ok ribeye cut so still passable.
& it was really tender, the skin, fat & all. good miso flavour on the lighter side. later i did another one with a bit more miso. 🙂
the miso salmon belly was very good too.
main problem was getting the meaty belly parts.
the usual packets i got from giant & sheng shiong came with a lot of bones, so had to pick out the meat belly parts.
i like this quite a lot especially going with the sushi rice don. 🙂
a friend made tiramisu. she had 5 sets dusted with pistachio & another 5 with chocolate flakes.
a piece of trivial. my tiramisu was inspired by a friend, the same one i created the flamed squid dish who could not attend this evening. he brought an awesome tiramisu when we had smoked meats dinner at another friend’s house some years ago (too long leh…why huh? just kidding la..)
& she just had her birthday recently. so i made a banoffee (banana toffee) cake instead. birthday girl didn’t like my banoffee though. another friend brought some home & seemed that her children liked it.
the other friends brought a lot of fruits.
we had some to go with the cake.
it looks like many dishes but with planning they were actually quite easy to execute. cod & salmon belly were marinate & only needed 12mins & 15mins respectively in the oven (together at 250degC). spinach veloute & prawn veg bisque were done before hand in the morning. miso belly pork was done 7hrs in the oven at 90degC. eggplants were done beforehand in the afternoon. now i am able to make all kinds of pastas before hand (afternoon also) & serve them still al dente just reheating. & flamed squid also done about 1+hr before dinner.
so only chawanmushi were steamed & scallops were pan seared just before guests arrived, and steak only when serving. & the guests helped to serve the dishes. 🙂
it was great fun for me preparing this dinner. only a bit tired especially sitting under the air-con for few hours because still recovering from flu..many things can be improved of course like the beef, the scallops, the chawanmushi & the eggplants.
still overall it was a very fun dinner for me & i believe our friends enjoyed the evening & food too.