Tag Archives: 焼き鳥

Japanese Cuisine: Kakuni-Recipes 3

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This is the third of a series of recipes for preparing Kakuni.
This particular recipe can be considered as the basic “professional” one, altough it is open to variations as far as spices and presentations are concerned!

INGREDIENTS;

-Large raw pork belly lumps: 1 kg
-Fresh ginger, finely chopped, 1~2 tablespoons
-Japanese sake: 2 cups
-Soy sauce: 2 cups
-Sugar: 2 large tablespoons
-Salt: 2 pinches

NOTE:
One can and ought (according to prefences) to add mirin/sweet sake, star anise, lemon zest, green parts of leeks and so on!

RECIPE:

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-Get everything prepared first!

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-Cut the pork into about 6cm wide slices.

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-Fry pork on both sides first. This will help the meat suck in the “juices”!

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-Fry until the colour above is reached.

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-Scoop out the excess fat, taking care not to run it over the meat.
The picture above shows how much fat can scooped out!
If you use a non-stick frypan, there is no need to add oil before frying the pork, meaning less fat to scoop out!

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-In a large and deep pan, drop in the meat. Add water just to cover meat. Switch on the fire. You can add water later litle by little to keep it above the meat.
Add ginger, leeks (green part), lemon zest (whole or minced) and star anise.
If you want to make it sweet, add a whole sliced onion!

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-Make sure that all ingredients are clean. Check that the lemons are not waxed (in that case clean it out!)!

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-Once brought to a boil, add soy sauce, Japanese sake, mirin/sweet sake and sugar.
Last, add salt (important!).

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-Lower fire to low and continue scooping out any scum.

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-When no more scum appears, cover with lid or a large piece of foil paper and simmer for a whole hour.
Check from time to time if there is enough soup in the pan. If the soup level goes under that of top of the meat, the taste will become too strong. Add water and Japanese sake until the soup reaches the meat level.

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-Above picture shows starting point of the simmering process.

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-Above picture shows the finished product inside the deep pan!
Check if the meat is well cooked. A pointed (Japanese-style) chopstick should easily go through the meat all the way.
But this does not mean you can eat it at once.
It is best to switch off the fire, let the cover on, and let it cool completely. Only then, the meat will be fully impregnated with the taste!
It will taste a lot better re-heated before serving it!

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Japanese Cuisine: Kakuni-Recipes 2

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Here the second of a series of recipes for Kakuni, a bit more sophisticated than the first one, but still very easy!

INGREDIENTS: For 4 people

-Large raw pork belly lumps: 1 kg
-Fresh ginger: choose a root (or part of), about 5cm long and 2 cm thick/Sliced
-Brown sugar: 50 g
-Honey: 50 ml (liquid)
-Japanese sake: 60 ml
-Soy sauce: 120 ml
-Water: 600 ml
-Star anise: 1

RECIPE:

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-Steam pork in steamer on a low fire for 2 hours.

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-Cool down pork completely. This is important as this will help tenderize the meat!
Cut in bite size.
Put all the pork in deep pan. Add water, Japanese sake, sliced ginger, brown sugar and honey.

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-Add soy sauce and star anise. Simmer on a low fire for 30 minutes. Keep taking out the foam to remove harshness.

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-When ready serve with its juices/soup and strong mustard.

NOTE:
Do not add star anise at once as the taste might become overwhelming for some people.
Of course, this recipe is adapatble.
You may add chili pepper and other spices of your preferences, or even Chinese ingredients!

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Japanese Cuisine: Kakuni-Recipes 1

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Here the first of a series of recipes for Kakuni, that is a very basic one!

INGREDIENTS: -Large raw pork belly lumps: 1 or 2 (depending on thickness and width)
-Fresh ginger: 1 or 2 pieces (5×5 cm)
-White leek: 1
-Rice vinegar: 50 ml
-Soy sauce: 50 ml
-Sweet sake/mirin: 50 ml
-Honey: 1 tablespoon
-Water: 4–~500 ml

RECIPE:

-Thinly slice the fresh ginger. Cut the leeks into small trunks. Punch holes in the pork with a fork to help “taste going inside”.

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-Fry pork on a frypan on all sides on a strong fire until all colour has completely changed and fat has changed colour.

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-In a large pot, drop/pour all ingredients, add por, cover with lid and simmer over low medium fire for 60 minutes.
If meat does not cook as quickle as wanted, raise fire after 30 minutes.
Simer until juices have reduced as low as on pic.

-Cut the pork into large size bites and simmer again for 5 minutes.

-Place on a serving meat cuts on a serveing dis. Pour juices/sauce all over and add some chopped thin leeks.

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Japanese Cuisine: Kakuni

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Kakuni (角煮) is a Japanese braised pork dish which literally means “square simmered”.

Kakuni is a meibutsu (名物/famous regional product) of Nagasaki.
Actually this is not a strictly traditional Japanese dish as its most likely Chinese, similar to Dongpo’s pork, though not as heavy in sauce.

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Kakuni as served in some restaurants cut and cold

During the Ming Dynasty and Song Dynasty, the main Sino-Japanese trading route existed between Hangzhou and Kyūshū. Many Chinese lived in major Kyūshū port cities, such as Nagasaki and Japanese in Hangzhou. Therefore pork, was popularized in major Kyūshū cities.
These days kakuni is popular all over Japan with very many varieties depending on the region, climate and prevailing tastes.

KAKUNI-RAFTI

Okinawa, probably the region in Japan consuming the largest quantity of pork in Japan has its own recipe called “Rafti”!

PREPARATION:
Kakuni is made of thick cubes of pork belly simmered in dashi, soy sauce, mirin, sugar and sake. By cooking it for a long time over a low temperature the collagen breaks-down into gelatin keeping the meat moist while becoming extremely tender allowing it to be consumed with chopsticks easily. The dish is often served with scallions, daikon and karashi.

Will publish a recipe soon!
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DONG PO ROU

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For the record, as it is the origin of Kakuni, Dongpo’s pork is a famous Hangzhou dish which is made by pan-frying and then red cooking pork belly. The pork is cut to around 2 inches square in dimensions, consisting of half fat and half lean meat. The mouth feel is oily but not greasy, with the fragrance of wine.

ORIGINS:
Legend has it that while Su Dongpo was banished to Huangzhou, in a life of poverty, he made an improvement of the traditional process. He first braised the pork, added Chinese fermented wine and made red-braised pork, then slowly stewed it on a low heat. This dish was first launched in Huangzhou, then spread to Hangzhou, the capital of the Southern Song Dynasty, flourished, and then became one of Hangzhou’s most famous dishes.

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Japanese Cuisine: Yakitori-Tsukune

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Modern tsukune at Japanese Izakaya

Yakitori is not only all parts of a chicken (or other bird, actually) on sticks or skewers.
One very popular yakitori is “Tsukune”!
Tsukune (つくね) could described as a japanese chicken meatball either on stick or completely separate.

Whereas usual yakitori requires fine products and sauce (and a cooking skills) only, tsukune calls for a real recipe.

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Traditional tsukune serves with egg yolk and chopped leeks.

Traditional tsukune are presented as a single larger sausage-shaped “ball” grilled around a skewer and will be served with some sauce and an egg yolk (either chicken or quail). A good amount of chopped leeks is always welcome.

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Home-made tsukune will be simpler and served as chicken meat balls with home-made or bought tare/sauce.

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Modern tsukune seem come in many varieties all on the same plate. Actually the toppings are different but the meat balls are the same.

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They certainly look appetizing!
Thay are fine, but as a purist I still prefer the traitional ones!

Next, I will publish a recipe!
You will find out there more ingredients included than in simple chicken balls!

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Japanese Cuisine: Yakitori-The Basics

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Yakitori (焼き鳥 やきとり), or fried chicken, is a Japanese type of skewered chicken that is found everywhere in Japan and i many countries abroad.
They are served all year round and have the advantage not only to be tasty but very healthy as meat comes by.

It is made from several bite-sized pieces of chicken meat, or chicken offal, skewered on a bamboo skewer and barbecued, usually over charcoal.

Diners ordering yakitori usually have a choice of having it served with salt (and sometimes lemon juice) or with tare sauce, which is generally made up of mirin, sake, soy sauce and sugar. The sauce is applied to the skewered meat and is grilled until delicately cooked and is served with the tare sauce as a dip.

Ways of serving naturally vary with regions.

YAKITORI-MURORAN

As served in Mururoran, Hokkaido.

YAKITORI-EHIME

As served in Ehime Prefecture, Shikoku Island.

One can order for sets or individually.
In the later case, you would do weel to remember basic names:

YAKITORI-HATSU
hatsu (ハツ) or kokoro (こころ), chicken heart

YAKITORI-LIVER
rebā (レバー), liver

YAKITORI-SUNAGIMO
sunagimo (砂肝), or zuri (ずり) chicken gizzard

YAKITORI-TSUKUNE
tsukune (つくね), chicken meatballs
Great served with an egg yolk and tare!

YAKITORI-KAWA
(tori)kawa ((とり)かわ) chicken skin, grilled until crispy

YAKITORI-TABASAKI
tebasaki (手羽先), chicken wing
The same can be ordered whole.

YAKITORI-BONCHIRI
bonjiri (ぼんじり), chicken tail

YAKITORI-SHIRO
shiro (シロ), chicken small intestines

YAKITORI-NEGIMA
ikada (筏) (lit. raft), Japanese scallion, with two skewers to prevent rotation. Also called negima (ネギ間)

YAKITORI-AOTO
Aoto (青と). Here the leek/scallion is rolled insde the chicken

YAKITORI-KASHIRA
Kashira (かしら) made from the tender par of the breast.

YAKITORI-SESERI
Seseri (せせり) similar to kashira

nankotsu, chicken cartilage
toriniku, Free Range “Chicken of the Earth” (all white meat on skewer)

Common kushiyaki (non-poultry) dishes:

atsuage tofu (厚揚げとうふ, deep-fried tofu)
enoki maki (エノキ巻き, enoki mushrooms wrapped in slices of pork)
pīman (ピーマン, green pepper)
asuparabēkon (アスパラベーコン, asparagus wrapped in bacon)

YAKITORI-BUTABARA
butabara (豚ばら, pork belly)

gyutan (牛タン), ox tongue, sliced thinly

Naturally if you take purely regional specialties in account, there are many more!

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Shizuoka Izakaya: Hayase

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Izakayas have been “sprouting” all over Takajo Machi in Shizuoka City, an area recently referred to as the “Shizuoka Daikanyama”.
My better (worse?) half and I found this little place called Hayase along a fairly large street and decided to give a try.
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An unprepossing, almost discreet, izakaya, it was open in February this year. Apparently it is already quite popular and were lucky to enter it around 19:00 as it got full within half an hour.
The inside is extremely clean for an izakaya specialized in “yakitori”. It sits about 8 people at the counter, 6 more at tables and chairs and a dozen on tatami floor.
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We found ourselves in a little dilemna as Hayase also proposed some sashimi we just could not resist. The bonito was absolutely excellent.
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After that we started ordering yakitori in earnest, and I just did not have enough time to take all the pictures I wished to. Which will give me a good excuse to come back, especially considering the reasonable prices for such a place which could become quickly expensive at other establishments.
The service is attentive and generous and the sake (and other drinks) are great:
4 jizake from Shizuoka Prefecture:
Karakkaze (Hana no Mai Brewery/Hamamatsu City)
Kikuyoi Tokubetsu Honjozo (Fujieda City)
Takasago Homare Fuji Junmai (Fuji-Takasago Brewery/Fujinomiya City)
Garyuubai Junmai Muroka (Sanwa Brewery/Shimizu Ku)

Look forward to my next visit report!

Hayase
Shizuoka City, Aoi-Ku, Takajyo, 3-22-7
Tel.: 054-221-9480
Business hours: 17:00~23:00 (Off on Sundays & National Holidays)