Saturday, 29 March 2014

Chicken Teriyaki & Miso Soup

So these are two of the recipes from the cookery class I took in Tokyo: both quite simple, I have made my own version of Teriyaki Chicken loads of times and am quite partial to a bit of miso but in either case I have never really known how to make properly authentic versions. Especially in the case of the miso where I have only used the ready to go powder or paste stuff.

You could of course cut a corner and use ready made dashi soup stock granules for the miso but the flavour you’ll get from using the kelp and bonito, if you can get it, will be far superior. Both can be found quite easily in Asian supermarkets.

If possible when making the dashi soup stock, try and soak the kelp overnight where possible but in any case make sure it is soaked for at least 30-60 minutes. Making slits down the side of the dried kelp (see pics) will also help to further release the flavour

To the miso you can add whatever vegetable you like such as diced potato, mooli, onion and so on as well as tofu: either cubed, puffed or strips of tofu skin. I just used enoki mushrooms here but really you can use whatever you like.

When making the miso soup, it is traditional to use brown miso in Tokyo: use to taste as different brands will have different strengths so add in a spoon at a time tasting as you go.

Chicken Teriyaki
serves 2

300g chicken thighs
pinch of salt
3 tbsp sake
1 leek, cut into 4 lengths, and slashed lightly at a diagonal across the surface
For the sauce

1½ tbsp soy sauce
1½ tbsp mirin
3 tsp sugar
3 tsp sake
3 tsp honey

Remove any excess fat, but not the skin, from the chicken thighs, then using a fork prick them all over the skin side. Season with the salt and sake which will help tenderise them.

Mix the sauce ingredients together.

Heat a little oil in a frying pan or wok and over a medium high heat cook the chicken skin-side down until browned.

Flip over and add the sauce ingredients and leek.

Continue to cook over a medium heat until the sauce is thickened and the chicken cooked through. About 20 minutes.

Dashi Soup Stock
10g konbu (dried kelp)
20g katsuobushi (dried bonito shavings)
4 cups of water

Cut the edges of the konbu down both sides.

Leave to soak in the water in a saucepan for at least 30 minutes but preferably overnight.

When you are ready to make the stock heat the konbu and water until you can see small bubbles start to rise.

Add the katsuoboshi and just at the point that it will start to boil turn off the heat.

Let it sit for a little while: the bonito should settle at the bottom and when it does you can then easily remove it and the kelp.

Miso Soup

Handful of enoki mushrooms, trimmed
Brown miso, to taste
3-4 cups dashi soup stock

Bring the dashi stock to a boil in a saucepan then immediately turn down to a low simmer and add whatever vegetable and / or tofu you are using.

Add the miso gradually and let dissolve into the soup (a good trick here is to add a little miso onto a wooden spoon, hold it just on the surface of the stock and then using chopsticks mix it up with a little liquid to let it melt - otherwise you may get big clumps of miso that are hard to dissolve).

Be careful not to boil - the temperature needs to be at around 90C.

When you have added the miso to taste and it is properly dissolved serve immediately.

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