A chef friend of mine recently gave me the book “Japanese Women Don’t Get Old and Fat: Secrets of My Mother’s Tokyo Kitchen” to read. She knew that when I’m cooking at home, I like eating “clean” dishes - not too oily, not too seasoned - just good food that feels good going down. I also happened to tell her I wanted to find more “home-cooked” Japanese recipes and so she dropped this book off for me. I didn’t care too much about the “Japanese women don’t get fat or old” - part. That’s true up to a point, but I read the book more for the personal accounts the author had growing up in Japan and the dishes her mother would make for her. There are several good recipes in the book that is definitely home-y and simple, and also super delicious.
Japanese home-cooking definitely has its similarities to other East Asian home kitchens in that it usually consists of rice, vegetable, and a meat. True, the Japanese do eat more fish on average, but the types of dishes seem similar. What I do like is that the foods aren’t prepared with a ton of oil and most of the dishes seemed filling without making you feel stuffed. Sake, miso, dashi, sugar, and soy sauce seem to be the predominate ingredients and flavors in the Japanese kitchen, so if any of you are interested in cooking Japanese dishes, it may not be that hard to get started. You can definitely find a lot of these ingredients at Asian and American grocery stores.
The recipe I made today was based out of a recipe from the book called “Fluffy Eggs and Ground Beef.” It was actually a breakfast recipe that the author adapted from what her mom used to make. It’s fluffy eggs and beef sweetened with sugar, soy sauce, and sake, so you’re getting a sweet, but also slightly savory flavor. Now, I don’t really eat beef, so I substituted for ground turkey, which I feel for this recipe, really didn’t impact the dish. You serve it on a bed of warm rice. I topped it off with scallions, but the author recommended sweet peas. I do think the scallions add a nice additional layer of flavor because the meat and eggs share that common sweet and savory taste. I really think it’s a recipe a lot of people will like. It’s easy to make, filling, and just very good.
####1. Marinate ground meat with sake, soy sauce, 2 tablespoons of sugar, and salt. Put to side.
####2. Whisk eggs with 1/2 tablespoon sugar.
####3. Over medium heat with a tablespoon of oil, cook eggs for 3-4 minutes, using a whisk to break it apart as it cooks.
####4. On medium to medium-high heat with another tablespoon of oil, cook meat and scallions for about 5 minutes. Use wooden spoon to continually break apart the ground meat so that it is in small pieces.
####5. Scoop prepared warm rice into a bowl.
####6. Put eggs on one side and ground meat on the other. Top the dish with scallions.
(Makes 2-3 servings)
Ingredients - 1/2 pound ground turkey - 1 tablespoon sake or rice wine - 2 teaspoons soy sauce - 2 1/2 tablespoon sugar - pinch of salt - 3 eggs - 2 tablespoon canola oil - 1 cup rice, cooked - 1 stalk scallions