Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Peanut Shiokoji Yogurt Sauce

Yesterday I made chicken nanban for dinner, so hubby's lunch today came out a chicken nanban bento straight. I mean I didn't give it extra effort or even any twist. Ah poor hubby teehee.

chicken nanban

For the bento, I just put the leftover chicken nanban right out of the fridge on a bed of rice, then a bit of mayo and pink ginger. Eh I didn't notice, but I did make a bit of effort decorating it, lucky you Hubby!


In the meantime spinach is so good in winter. I came up with a perfect sauce for boiled winter spinach using shiokoji, which I put on the broccoli in the bento too. This sauce goes with boiled moyashi sprouts as well.

PSY sauce

PSY sauce
2 tablespoon peanut butter
3 tablespoon shiokoji
3 tablespoon plain yogurt
1-2 tablespoon sugar depending on your peanut butter

You can add chili oil if you like. So, do you know the name of the sauce? Not to mention, it's PSYCHO sauce!! Lol!

PSY sauce-1

Let's have some spinach everyday! You could become Popeye!...!?!?

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Using The Bento Stashes

Using the bento stashes I'd made the day before, I made these bentos. My hit in this one is a curry shiokoji egg. I said "Uh oishiiii!!" I was kind of impressed how yummy it was. You know what, Yuppi said dryly "I like shoyu eggs better". Ehhhh!? Haha, yeah I know, shoyu eggs are surely oishi, but I believe these curry shiokoji ones are as good as they are. The curry flavor makes shiokoji eggs even better. Plus, I think maybe the enzymes in shiokoji make yolks in soft-boiled eggs curdy and creamy like soft cheese. What's more, shiokoji eggs keep at least for a week in the refrigerator. They taste good themselves, but you can use them in sandwiches or salad as well. Now do you want to make some shiokoji eggs?

Meanwhile, the days here are getting longer bit by bit yet steadily these days. It seems like we can finally feel the smell of the spring coming before long. Spring vegetables are sweet and flavorful right now. I've been eating spring cabbage and snap peas everyday, which are delish! Look at the snap peas in the bento, pretty cute, huh? Nothing can beat the natural prettiness of food, don't you think so?

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Salmon Flake and Shiokoji Egg

Look. Good shio zake (salted salmon) was cheaply sold at the grocery, so I got one. Have you ever seen a jar or pack of salmon flakes? I made it myself, because I didn't think we could eat up the whole fillet within a few days, this was big! Salmonflakes are very handy, you can use them in onigiri, fried rice, ochazuke, chirashi zushi and so on. It keeps for a while in the refrigerator, and saving it in the freezer, you can use it whenever you want.

I first steamed these in a bit of water instead of broiling.

Then I removed the skin and all the bones, and chunked the meat.

Added a bit of sake (rice wine) and cooked stirring gently for a while.

Cooled then packed.

I made some onigiri with the homemade salmonflakes later. You'll see it on the next post.

Besides, I made shiokoji eggs for a bento stash. This time I added a bit of curry powder to flavor.

4 - 5 boiled eggs, shelled
4 tablespoon shiokoji and water
1/2 - 1 teaspoon curry powder

Keep it in the refrigerator more than half a day rolling the eggs a few times.

Friday, March 08, 2013

How to Increase Shiokoji

Hey there. It's been a long time again!! It's a pity I've hardly had a chance to post my bento lately, but you can check out on Tumblr and Flickr if you miss stuff I've made that much, hehee.

Today, not a bento, but I'm going to write how to increase shiokoji. Lately shiokoji has come to stay in many Japanese kitchens as one of everyday-seasonings along with shoyu, miso. This time I'm going to omit to write about the use and effect of shiokoji because you can easily find it if you google. My post about making shiokoji is here if you haven't checked it out yet.

Shiokoji is a very useful seasoning/condiment, I consume it so fast. I thought that I would have to make it very often, and since komekoji (the base of shiokoji) was fermented rice grains I might be able to increase my shiokoji using rice, like how I made yogurt. With it, I wouldn't have to buy komekoji anymore. Not to mention I tried out that idea and it worked!

This is my shiokoji made out of rice, ready to be used.

Before use I smooth my shiokoji in the food processor. Shiokoji made with rice is more grainy than normal one is, so this process makes it much handier with the smooth texture. It will work on normal one as well, so you should use a food processor or blender before using your shiokoji for cooking, but of course you can skip it if you don't have those machines.

After smoothing I put my shiokoji in a jar to save for my cooking, leaving some in the food processor for the next batch.

Now it's time to make the next batch with the rest of the shiokoji! You wouldn't have to go buy komekoji every time. All you need to prepare are salt and cooked rice besides shiokoji. I feel kind of bad for those komekoji makers promoting komekoji by introducing shiokoji cooking on TV or food magazines teehee.

Some shiokoji
About the same amount of cooked rice as three times of the shiokoji by eye at most, room temperature, not stale
The same amount of salt as 12% weight of the cooked rice at least

I know, that sounds complicated. For example...
3 tablespoon salt for 400 gram cooked rice,
or about 3 and 1/2 tablespoon salt for 1 pound cooked rice,
and it's fine if there is enough shiokoji to soak the rice grains in without air.

Does that sound alright??

Mix the ingredients together using a food processor or stick blender, or you can mix well with a spoon or something instead. At this point the rice is still grainy and not as smooth, but the mincing helps it ferment faster. Although it doesn't call for any water, if needed, you can add a little. In that case, don't forget to add 12% salt for the water, which would be a tiny bit.

Then put the mixture in a clean container, ferment it in a warm room stirring once a day for 4 - 10 days depending on the room temperature, until it's like oatmeal or more soupy.

Then go back to the first photo. That is the way it turns out.

This recipe, come up with by me who is not a professional or anything in that field. I don't think it's a perfectly certain or the best way. Mind you, with this way if your shiokoji turns out strange-looking/smelling/tasting compared to the usual, never use it! Good one generally smells like bread dough or kind of fruity. During the ferment if you forget to stir shiokoji for a few days, stuff like white mold may appear on the surface of it, but no worries, it's a sort of yeasts which it's okay even if you eat. However, it's unnecessary in shiokoji so you can scoop it up and throw away, and then stir well the rest. Anyway my Rice-shiokoji chan survived all in one piece the insanely hot and looong summer last year lol! I didn't even put it in the fridge but stirred everyday. I guess, as I wrote above, it needs at least 12% salt to keep bad bugs away from growing in shiokoji. Also, I say, adding some komekoji once in a while may help keep it in good condition for a long time if you feel uneasy.

I will be showing my favorite sauces with shiokoji next time!