Friday 14 March 2014

Yakitori and tonkatsu and cherry blossom and spring

Cherry bonsai, Japanese quince and hazel
The spring-like weather has continued, and the little cherry bonsai has put out some more blossoms, so we have indulged in a couple more Japanese meals.
We've been watching the Hairy Bikers in Asia. Other than the cringe-inducing bits where they sing, I like their jovial approach, their enthusiasm and even their willingness to show a bit of scepticism sometimes. Anyway, last week they were in Japan and made pork tonkatsu. And Paul, somewhat predictably, asked me why I'd never made it for him. So I did. The sauce is a bizarre substance, strangely compelling. I'm not sure I would make it again, but I am not sure what I would serve on the pork if it wasn't that.
The tonkatsu was a pretty straightforward weeknight meal (if any dish requiring the mess of applying breadcrumbs can be said to be straightforward) but I was determined to take advantage of the weather to do a long leisurely Sunday lunch of yakitori. Sitting in the garden, sipping beer and occasionally grilling a skewer or two to perfection.
As a plan, it was pretty hard to beat. I gave the bamboo skewers a long soak (although the barbecue did laugh in the face of my soaking) and skewered pork belly pieces, chicken thighs alternating with spring onions, and mushrooms alternating with small pieces of the pork. I made a salad of leaves & edamame, with a sesame, soy and ginger dressing. I made a yakitori tare - a sauce of soy and mirin that the hot skewers get basted in when they come off the grill.
We nibbled, we sipped, we relished the sun.


leaf (the indolent cook) said...

Mmmmmm, all that delicious pork! The yakitori looks perfectly charred.

Bettina Douglas said...

lovely spring weather!

Kavey said...

All looks delicious.

I've found I'm not an enormous fan of the brown tonkatsu sauce.

In many of the restaurants we visited, they served two different types of sauces, one of which was a goma (spinach) one, and I far preferred that, though it was intended for the shredded cabbage accompaniment, not the katsu, I think.

I also love katsu curry rice, another popular option.

Love yakitori, want to do more of that.

We did an indoor yakiniku at home last weekend, which was brilliant, but the weather turning for the better means we can switch to outdoors, which may be much easier, to be honest. And I loved the miso marinade I made for the beef, will do that again for both indoor and outdoor barbeques!

I still find it wonderfully fun to BBQ indoors though!

Alicia Foodycat said...

Leaf - it was! Even if we didn't quite have the izakaya atmosphere!

Mother - it's been beautiful. And such a treat after all the rain.

Kavey - I'll have to try the goma (is that sesame?) dressing! Your yakinku looks wonderful.

grace said...

hairy bikers? i don't know about that, but meat on a stick is always good. :)

Alicia Foodycat said...

Grace, the hairy bikers are a semi-comedic cookery duo. Good value! Although they are very Northern, so Americans might need subtitles. Meat on a stick is brilliant!


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