Crunchyroll #102: Duck Yakisoba from “Food Wars! Third Plate”

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NENE vs SOBA vs SOMA! A battle to end all Shokugeki! Going in, we all knew what the outcome had to be- of COURSE Nene would win, she’s a master at this stuff! Right? WRONG. Soma did the impossible- beating out a Soba champ at her own game with a revolutionary and mind blowing dish- the Duck YakiSOBA!

HAH! What a concept. Well, I’m here to tell you that Soma is not the only person to have had this idea. In fact, I, your beautiful, charming, intelligent, and humble food blogger have mused the possibilities of this dish long before I saw them in an anime. I mean, it’s in the title. Yakisoba. You’d think that just meant fried soba noodles, right? Well, no.

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Crunchyroll #92: Hachis Parmentier from “Food Wars! Third Plate”

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Well, well, WELL, here we are again with another Food Wars recipe and a brand new opportunity to lose my mind cooking. This recipe, the product of Soma, his dad, and Erina, is a recipe for insanity! It’s a take on Hachis Parmentier, which is basically the French verson of Shepherd’s Pie. But, of course, these three decided to up the ante and turn out something that only faintly resembles the original dish, while providing a million times more impact.

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Crunchyroll #88: Gousetsu Udon from “Food Wars”

Ah, Food Wars! recipes! I feel like I always end the experience in a love-hate relationship. I love the final product, but the process to get there. Holy cow. And this particular dish is no exception. Soma and friends whip it up in order to pass the second stage of their exam. They ingeniously realize how to use their remaining supplies to craft together a delicious dish that will impress the examiner… but is it even possible to cook this particular dish in the time frame allotted?

Maybe. The dish, special Gousetsu Udon, requires a few moving parts. The soup base, thickened with potato shavings, comes together in a snap. The potato mochi too is brilliant in its simplicity; it comes together without a fuss. It’s the udon noodles that are the issue. Having never made udon before, I needed to learn two things: a recipe, and the technique. I was unsure where to start, but I found this guide to be invaluable when it came to forming the noodles. However, finding a recipe was nearly impossible. At least in English, this is a recipe that simply doesn’t exist. Luckily, my slight knowledge of Japanese helped me search, but even there I found only one recipe. I’m sure there’s more out there, but this is where my search capabilities ended.

So, I had a technique guide and a recipe… but I still needed to cobble together something that would work for this variety of noodle. The recipe below is based on a combination of the technique guide as well as the Japanese recipe. The thing with udon, though, is that it’s quite difficult to knead (requiring the use of feet) and require resting time – more time than Soma and friends had in the challenge. You can get away with resting the udon only a few hours, as opposed to overnight, but even so that’s cutting it a bit close for the time limit. Theoretically, it’s possible… if everything goes perfectly. And the team did waste time in the beginning attempting to go out to look for other ingredients.

A note on the potatoes- in the anime, they use Irish Cobbler potatoes, which are high in starch content. I couldn’t get the same potato in any of my local stores, so I settled for Russett potatoes, which are also high in starch. However, I’d love to try this recipe with the Irish Cobbler, if I could get my hands on some! It might change some of the proportions of the flour and potato starch, but it would be more authentic. In any case, this is a good base recipe to start with- if you’re able to experiement, let me know how it turns out!

In any case, is this dish even worth making? Well, yes. I was pleasantly surprised! My own noodles were nothing to write home about (honestly, unless you’re a master noodle maker, it’s always easier to buy pre-made noodles), but the broth was fantastic, as was the potato mochi. For me the mochi was actually the stand-out topping. It was creamy in the middle, yet crunchy on the outside; my favorite part of the whole dish!

If you make this at home, I’d advise buying pre-made fresh udon noodles (the potato flavor of the Gousetsu udon is really fun, but I’m not sure if it’s worth the trouble). Everything else I’d make from scratch – you won’t be disappointed! Watch the video below to get more pointers on how exactly to make this dish!

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Crunchyroll #86: Tempura Egg Don from “Food Wars”

I don’t know about you, but if you watched the first episode of the second part of Food Wars! The Third Plate and was shocked and awed like I was, I am going to assume it’s because you also never knew that you could freeze eggs and then COOK with them. RIGHT? I was just so fascinated by cooking with frozen eggs, I immediately bumped the scheduled post that was going to go up today in order to make this and share it with you guys.

Eager as any beaver that ever lived, I went out and got all the ingredients, and then came home and immediately put my eggs in the freezer. All 12 of them. Even though I was only planning on making one bowl. I was excited.

I waited a solid 24 hours, and went to check my eggs, under the mistaken impression that they would be good to go. They were not good to go. I was flabbergasted. My resolve dwindled. How could I mess up freezing an egg? I knew there was hope as one egg had frozen completely. It had also cracked open. One out of 12. Not the best odds.

I kept cooking. Everything else went to plan. The single frozen egg peeled beautifully. The sauce came together in a snap. The tempura batter was really easy. The oil got up to temperature and stayed up to temperature (a true feat for me, as my oil seems to constantly fall below the temperature it SHOULD be at). For a Food Wars! recipe, this dish came together incredibly easily. Except for the frozen egg SNAFU. What did I do wrong??

48 hours later, I came back to find my eggs completely frozen, and all cracked. As it turned out, my eager beaver attitude actually hurt me here. These eggs need a solid two days in the freezer to get rock hard, as they should be when you cook. They will crack open, which seems somehow wrong, as I’ve been taught never to eat eggs that are cracked, but it should be ok as long as you cook and eat the eggs directly after peeling them. If you don’t keep up with my Youtube channel, I post Making-Of videos two days before the recipe goes live here. One of my commenters on the Making-Of video for the Egg Tempura assured me that in the manga, Soma has the same problem occur with his eggs. So, it turns out I was doing it right all along. How nice.

So, the star is obviously the egg, but what about the other ingredients? The shiso leaf is a really nice, mellow complement to the egg. If you haven’t had shiso before, it is sort of similar to perilla leaf, which is much more common in Korean cooking. If you can’t find shiso, you can use perilla. However, perilla definitely has a stronger, more peppery flavor, so it will have a bigger impact on the dish. The sauce is a very traditional Japanese flavor and works really beautifully against the egg. Definitely let it thicken in over low heat, and don’t use it sparingly over the rice, as it will soak in and sink to the bottom of the bowl.

Will this dish crack the heart of a stone-cold maiden like Erina? It is almost guaranteed. If the impressive cooking technique doesn’t get them, the delicious flavor of the dish will do it.

I really hope you can try this out! Watch the video below to get more pointers on how exactly to make this dish!

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Crunchyroll #78: Soma’s Venison from “Food Wars!”

Learn how to make it here.

Here we are again, another one of Soma’s recipes, another chance for me to lose my mind, cooking my life away in my non-professional grade kitchen. I gotta say, I love cooking food from Food Wars! because of the challenges it presents, but I also have to say that it can be really tough trying to recreate the food from this show using a kitchen that is barely adequate for more than the basic home cook would need, let alone an aspiring gourmet chef.

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Crunchyroll #73: Salmon Coulibiac from Shokugeki no Soma!

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Seriously, three days of effort went into this. Mostly it’s because I have a day job and I wanted to do a really thorough preparation. I just couldn’t fit all the steps into one evening. Nonetheless, all told, I think I spend about 6 hours actively preparing the various parts that go into this. Which brings me to my next question…HOW ON EARTH DID KUROKIBA MAKE THIS DURING ONE SHOKUGEKI?!?!?

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Crunchyroll #72: Wing Gyoza from “Shokugeki no Soma”!

Learn how to make it here!

First big thing we need to address: Erina’s father somehow thinks it’s a good idea to shut down one of the dormitories that houses students at his own academy. His justification is that the house is set apart from the school and therefore hard to control, which is all well and good, but let’s be real…WHERE WILL THE STUDENTS LIVE INSTEAD? Seriously, you don’t just shut down a dorm because you don’t like that you can’t control the kids there. Logistically, you then have to find housing for these students and seriously, how easy is that? The school can’t just build a new dorm for these kids, so where will they go? It just doesn’t make sense to close down a dorm to get kids to conform.

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