Crunchyroll #99: Meat Bun from “Kakuriyo no Yadomeshi”

Click here to read.

OR read below!

Portable meat snacks are probably one of my favorite things to lust over… in a purely food sense, of course. Maybe it’s the secret wanderer in me, but food you can easily pack up and take on an journey has always really appealed to my sense of adventure and excitement. I mean, cut me some slack – I read a lot of the Redwall series by Brian Jacques when I was younger, and those stories were overflowing with descriptions of delectable camp food, among other things. And seriously… meat buns! You can eat them on the go, with your hands, and still have a tasty and exciting meal! That kind of stuff just makes me happy.

 

Continue reading

Advertisements

Crunchyroll #96: Fried Eggplant from “Kakuriyo no Yadomeshi”

Read the original post here.

OR read below!

If you haven’t been watching Kakuriyo -Bed & Breakfast for Spirits-, I suggest you jump on that before we move in earnest into the new season of anime. To say that it’s been very inspiring to me is a bit of an understatement- I’ve been loving every single episode. This will NOT be the last food I make from this anime…. Sorry, not sorry.

 

I can hear you asking me: Emily, fine, whatever, watch all the anime you want, but why are you so obsessed with this one meal Aoi made once for a couple who’s not even that big of a deal???

 

WELL, thank you for asking. The truth is, I’ve always been really enraptured with kaiseki, a traditional Japanese form of dining where the guest is presented with multiple small dishes, often in courses. These meals are complex and a great way to highlight unique flavors, specific ingredients, and beautiful presentation. The problem is that kaiseki meals take a long time to make. they require a ton of ingredients, and also require multiple preperation steps just to get through so many different dishes. So, for me, who lives by myself, that kind of cooking just isn’t worth it.

 

Continue reading

Crunchyroll #95: Cucumber and Okra Salad from “Kakuriyo no Yadomeshi”

Read the original post here.

OR read more below.

Aoi-chan, from Kakuriyo -Bed and Breakfast for Spirits-, really knows how to wow with her cooking, which is probably why I’ve been obsessed with her food lately. A week or so ago I showed you how to make the stewed pork belly, the highlight of the meal for the important ayakashi couple, but also served with that meal were some side dishes that looked quite delectable.

 

Today we’re focusing in on the miso-plum salad. At its essence, it’s composed of blanched okra, cucumber, shio umeboshi, and dressed in a mayonnaise flavored with plum and miso. The mayonnaise is what really stood out to me as being bizarre – I’d never heard of such a flavor combination in what is essentially an egg- and oil-based sauce. I decided I really wanted to try it and see what I could come up with, especially since I’d never made mayonnaise before.

 

Continue reading

Crunchyroll #94: Aoi’s Stewed Pork Belly from “Kakuriyo no Yadomeshi”

Read the original post here.

 

OR read below!

 

Everyone loves bacon. This is an unequivocal fact. It cannot be denied.

Well, even if it’s not true, bacon went through a huge cultural reckoning in America from about 2005–2015, and honestly I’m surprised that pork belly, the cut of meat bacon hails from, didn’t become more popular as a result of that. The whole slab of pork is delicious – a pretty even distribution of fat to meat that lends itself well to crisping and slow cooking – bacon is just slices off the slab that have been cured for extra flavor.

Aoi, from Kakuriyo -Bed and Breakfast for Spirits-, clearly capitalizes on the flavor potential of pork with this stewed pork belly recipe. She makes the stewed meat for Tenjin-ya, the owner of the inn she works at in the spirit world. He calls her his Ogre Bride… she’s not really about that. So, as a result, they have a cute relationship where she tries to pretend she doesn’t like him like that, and he lets her pretend they’re not going to end up together. And, in traditional couple fashion, she of course makes a bento box for him, as thanks for sharing bottled spring water and onsen tamago with her.

Continue reading

Crunchyroll #93: Onsen Tamago from “Kakuriyo no Yadomeshi”

Read the original post here.

Or read below!

Onsen tamago is a dish that’s a bit confusing when first translated. It means “hot spring egg,” which you’re probably thinking is a fancy name for a special kind of egg dish, but actually, it just means that it’s an egg cooked in a hot spring. Yes, you heard me right. Just as some Americans try to fry eggs on sidewalks (though admittedly for fun, no so much to eat), some onsens in Japan make eggs cooked in what is essentially bath water. Fun, right?

Continue reading

Crunchyroll #89: Oyakodon from “Kakuriyo Bed and Breakfast”

Kakuriyou -Bed & Breakfast for Spirits- initially intrigued me because of the odd premise – a girl’s grandfather basically her off to an ogre lord – but I’ve stuck around for the cooking in the show. What initially appeared to be a story about a girl who has to learn how to survive in the spirit world has transformed into my own personal bizarre quest to figure out what, exactly, Japanese spirits like to eat.

There’s lots of talk in the show about how Aoi is great at making food that appeals to the spirits, which begs the question – what makes her cooking so great for spirits? Through the course of the show thus far, she makes some really traditional Japanese foods, so I’m not exactly sure what sets her cooking apart from the average Japanese home cook. Most spirits admit they enjoy eating humans, and apparently her cooking is a great second choice to that. The flavors are *kisses fingers* delicious!

I have no idea what that means. Does the taste of her cooking resemble that of human flesh? Unlikely, as most of the dishes she makes keep to pretty traditional Japanese foods. I mean, seriously, I just took a cooking class while in Japan and we made half of the dishes she feeds the Tengu lord. So I sort of think that what Japanese spirits really prefer is just good old traditional home cooking. Which makes sense, if you think about it. Traditional spirits… Japanese comfort foods… of course!!

One of the dishes Aoi makes is the Oyakodon for the O-Ryo and Akatsuki in order to help replenish their spiritual energy. Apparently, the right foods can increase the very spirit-ness of your soul, and the O-Ryo requests this delicious meal. Oyakodon is an egg and chicken donburi, cooked to perfection with onions in a savory sweet sauce that is really common in Japanese cooking. It’s a bit like the chicken pot pie of Japanese food – warm, vaguely healthy, and comforting in the extreme. The perfect recovery food!

And, amazingly, it’s incredibly easy to make. I love Japanese cooking because it focuses on simple, clean flavors, crafted to be at their peak deliciousness. This applies here in every way. Don’t skimp – make your dashi from scratch. It’s easy and barely takes any time, but the flavor benefits are obscene. The mirin, soy sauce, sake, and sugar are perfect in proportion. Don’t change a thing – even if the sugar seems a bit odd. Sugar is pretty normal in Japanese cooking, and you should try it before you decide to axe it from the recipe. It compliments the onions really well, and gives the eggs a complexity totally foreign to an American palette.

Try this dish out – the whole thing took me less than 30 minutes to make, making it the ultimate quick meal. It’s really satisfying, too. Not just the taste, but the fact that it comes together in a snap and the flavor payoff is uniquely Japanese. Watch the video below to get more pointers on how exactly to make this dish!

Continue reading