Katsu Sando

No.174

 

このブログ記事『Katsu Sando』には日本語版『カツサンド』もあります。こちら
This blog post is also available in Japanese.


Yesterday I made a Katsu Sando bento. Do you know Katsu Sando? Katsu Sando is a sandwich, Tonkatsu – Japanese deep fried pork cutlet – is sandwiched between 2 white bread slices and it is a very popular food in Japan. Many people think the bread for Katsu Sando should be a white and soft and very fluffy type of toast bread and I really agree. It is this combination of soft bread, thick and sweet-salty Tonkatsu sauce and crisp deep-fried Tonkatsu that makes this sandwich so delicious. Ummm… it is so mouth watering as I am writing this but I do get a sudden craving sometimes to eat good Katsu Sando. In Norway people prefer coarse and healthier types of bread and I have to start from baking a fluffy Japanese type bread but it is worth it!

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A Japanese fluffy milk bread, I will give you the recipe in November. 🍞

While I am cutting my bread, Tonkatsu is in the hot oil. You may not associate deep frying in hot oil with Japanese cooking, but we do deep fry quite a bit. Crisp coat and juicy meat or fish is very delicious together.

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In Japan, shredded cabbage is served together with Tonkatsu. Japanese cabbage is much more tender and easier to eat raw compared with our cabbage here. I think our cabbage here in Europe is mainly for cooking, we do have summer cabbage which is tender and sweet but its season is over and I used lettuce instead. It was just an ordinary iceberg lettuce and I shredded it finely by a sharp knife.

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I did not put any butter nor margarine on the bread. Just a big big pile of shredded lettuce. A big pile. When Tonkatsu is cooled, you can put it in a small bowl and pour Tonkatsu sauce over it.

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I think Tonkatsu sauce is one of the best cooking invention in Japan. Do you agree? The photo above is showing just a little bit of Tonkatsu sauce but I used much more sauce to coat all the crisp batter of Tonkatsu. It is not so necessary to put so much salt on the pork meat before you deep fry as this sauce will give good seasoning to the meat.

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Then put the Tonkatsu on the pile of lettuce, press it down a little bit so that it will sit better. Then add another pile of lettuce on top! Wow! It is so tall! Put the other bread on and press it down softly. Do not squash it. Softly. Softly. And take the sharpest knife you have and say your prayer before you cut it in half.

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Looks yummy. 🙂

Put them in your bento box, add some more sauce if you like. As the sauce will be soaked into the bread, I think the bread should have a good thickness.  I added carrot and cucumber stick salad and some cherry tomatoes in the box.

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Bon appetite! Have a nice Katsu Sando!

xxx Rie

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Hamburger Buns

No.172

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I know some of you have been waiting for this recipe for some time, sorry it has taken many weeks for me to finish this post. I think I made these buns in August this year. The season of BBQ was in and I made a big Tonkatsu Burger bento for my husband and my daughter when they drove many kilometers one sunny day in August. I was looking for a good recipe for homemade buns for awhile but it was out of great necessity because of all these hopeless buns sold at the store here… They are so doughy in its texture that I sometimes have to wonder if they are underbaked??  When you put a hot grilled piece of meat with ketchup or mustard in between, they get soggy and crumble so easily and will not hold the meat/burgers… It is not so promising to see it when you plan to bring a good hamburger bento to a school or an office. It is a shame, as good hamburgers can make really nice bento…

I hope this recipe can help make better hamburgers for you. I do not think this is a difficult recipe if you have baked bread at home. I am using my Kitchen Aid standing mixer but you can make by hand or your bread machine. As you see, the ingredients have sugar, milk, butter and egg and they will make soft buns 🙂 Sometimes I like hard and crusty type of sandwich buns but I have to write how to make that in another post. This recipe below makes soft buns.


Ingredients  for  6 Hamburger Buns :

Bread flour      250g

A)
Water               90g (70g + 20g)
Dry yeast           3g  (fresh yeast  9g)
Sugar                18g

Milk                   55-60g

B)
Salt                       3g
Egg                      25g (about a half an egg)
Butter                 18g at room temperature

White sesame seeds

 

1.  Divide the water 70g and 20g. Add the dry yeast or fresh yeast into the bowl of the 20g water. Add sugar and mix all to dissolve well. Leave it at room temperature for 5 min.

2.  Set a dough hook on your standing mixer. Put the bread flour in a large bowl. Add the yeast mixture to the flour and the rest of water (70g). Start mixing at LOW.  As it is mixing, you can add the milk a little by little. You may not need all 60g but please see how the dough is coming. After you mix at LOW for 5 minutes, add the salt, the egg and the butter. Mix at LOW for another 5 min.

3. When the dough is shiny, smooth and elastic, and if it can stretch thinly without breaking or making holes, it is done.

4. Grease a plastic container and put the dough in it and cover. Let it proof in it for 60-70 minutes.

 

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5. Take the dough out on a clean surface. Dust with some flour. Punch it down very softly and divide them into 6 equal size (I think it is around 80g each). Cover with a damp cloth and let it rest for 10 min.

6. Flaten each ball and make it like a disk of 7cm diameter. Let it rise again for 30 min. If it has expanded to 9cm diameter, it is perfect!!

7. Turn on the oven 190°C。Spray some water over the buns and sprinkle white sesame seeds.
Rie’s Note : If you want really soft buns, brush them with milk or egg and sprinkle white sesame seeds on top before you put them in the oven. Specially a half of the egg will be remained in this recipe, maybe you like to use it as an egg wash and brush the surface.

8. Bake for 13 to 15 min. Cool well before serving.

 

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Rie’s Note : The same recipe can be used to make Hot Dog buns. The size may be adjusted according to your preference or the size of your bento box in which you intend to pack the Hot Dog for bento. I made these to hold the long sausage I bought. I don’t remember the size now but it was probably between 18 to 20 cm, and I could make 5 buns 🙂 So maybe it will be wise to buy sausages first and decide how many centimeters you want in the length of the bread. When you are shaping, it is important to remember to shape them smaller than the final size. It will expand under the proofing process.

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Also it is very nice to make mini size buns. These small hamburgers are called “Sliders” and they are very popular food at parties. The buns are about 6cm in diameter when they are baked.

Enjoy!
xxx Rie

Zucchini Bread

No.170

Zucchini is at its best season now in Norway and I love this vegetable very much. It is so lovery to see firm and well shaped zucchinis with shiny glossy skin on them! Zucchini has many names, it is also called as courgette or squash, a ripe type is called marrow in UK. Courgette is the french name for zucchini and in Norway I think it is called squash and zucchini. How is it called in your country?

While it is in its best season, why not make a loaf of delicious and healthy zucchini bread with nuts? This recipe I am writing today is the one I have had for a long long time and it is a proven and easy recipe for anyone, so I hope you will enjoy this healthy recipe. Although I say it is easy, I think the secret to make a successful zucchini bread lies in the accurate measuring and the mixing method.  All the dry ingredients should be mixed first while the fat ingredient and the wet ingredients are mixed together in a different bowl, and finally you can pour the dry ingredients into the bowl of the wet ingredients. It may sound so basic and so little important, I think this mixing method has so much to do with the successful outcome. However, please notice sugar is mixed in the wet ingredients, I think sugar’s crystalized particle is always good to mix with fat (butter for example) and water (egg or milk etc.) well together.

Zucchini Bread
for 1 baking pan of 2L in volume,
22cm x 13cm x 8cm


– the dry ingredients –

Flour  165g
Baking powder  2 tea spoons
Salt  1/2 tea spoon

– the wet ingredients –
Brown sugar   3 table spoons
Eggs     2
Lemon juice    3 table spoons
Vegetable oil   40g
Zucchini, shredded   1 cup
Walnuts, chopped     1/2 cup

Spray oil for the pan
———
Preparations :
1. Preheat your oven at 160℃. Roast the walnuts for 5 minutes at 160℃. Cool walnuts.
2. After the walnuts are roasted, increase the temperature and preheat your oven at 180℃.
3. Using a cutter, shred zucchini finely.
4. Grease the baking pan with cooking spray oil.

5. Mix the dry ingreidients. In a mixing bowl, shift the flour, baking powder and salt together.

6. Take the brown sugar on a plate and mix with a spoon to break any lump.

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7. Mix the wet ingredients in another bowl. Mix eggs and brown sugar togehter first, add lemon juice, mix well. Add 2/3 of oil and mix. Add shredded zucchini and the remaining 1/3 oil. Mix well. Add chopped nuts.

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8. Shift and add the dry ingredients in the wet ingredients. Stir and blend, do not mix too much, just fold it gently.

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9. Pour the batter in the prepared baking pan and bake it in the oven for 45-55 minutes. My oven bake this amount fine in 45 minutes but please adjust the baking time accordingly.

10. Take it out of the oven and place it to cool for 15 minutes. Slice and serve with something to drink.

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Bon Appetite!
xxx Rie