May 19, 2009
I’m very picky when it comes to food; I’m extra sensitive to foul odors and staleness. That being said, this Japanese restaurant in Costa Mesa “I love Sushi” had a great thing going for it when it came to my patronage. That is, until the entire service staff got horrible. The food remained great but it was painful to go there and sadly I haven’t gone back since 2006. I crave the food there every now and then, but the horrifically pathetic service has successfully kept me away.
In my quest to find a good replacement for this restaurant, I went to several restaurants. I think I need to come clean right now before the comments are flooded with sushi suggestions: I don’t eat sushi at all. If my food smells like the ocean (seaweed), I’m outta there. On the contrary, I should try sashimi and I do enjoy the seaweed in Miso soup. Sue me. Now back to this elaborate rambling that I’ve somehow gotten myself into…yes. Anyway, I haven’t found a replacement restaurant in terms of taste and I’m sad about that but I finally took matters into my own hands and tried making dish #1 : Chicken Sukiyaki.
Here is the recipe (guesstimated), adjust condiments according to your taste.
Ingredients for the broth:
1.5 cups Chicken Stock ( I used a pinch of Bouillion cube which had salt in it).
6 Tablespoons Japanese Soy Sauce (I used Kikkoman)
5 Tablespoons Mirin (sweet rice wine type thing. Sugar is NOT a good enough substitute)
6 teaspoons sugar
5 Tablespoons Sake (mmm after eating a big bowl of this, I was passed out for a good 2 hours)
Other Ingredients all of which can be got at a Japanese Store :
Glass Noodles – made out of potato starch [Shirataki] 4-8 oz.
Shitake Mushroom (I hate these Fungi but it’s always added)
Grilled Tofu [Yaki-Dofu]
Thin Slices of chicken (marinate thin slices of breast meat in mirin, soy sauce, sugar and ginger for about 1.5 hours)
Vegetable oil- about 2 tbspns
1. In a saucepan, add the broth ingredients sequentially in the order listed above. Let it heat up at each step and taste. Adjust quantity of sugar etc. according to taste.
2. In a separate pot, add some vegetable oil, just enough to coat the bottom. To this add the chicken and cook it until semi-done.
3. Toss in the Tofu, veggies, and noodles (can cook noodles before hand or it will cook in the broth) and let it gel for about a minute and then add the prepared sukiyaki broth.
4. Let all the ingredients simmer and veggies cook—takes about 10-15mins (also ensure chicken is now cooked).
5. Serve over sticky Japanese rice!
6. Also if you know how to make tempura, topping your bowl with sweet potato or pumpkin tempura = FOR THE WIN!
You can make a vegan/vegetarian version by omitting the chicken and chicken stock. I made a vegan version and it was freaking delicious.