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

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

Tatami Onigiri with grilled salmon

No.171

Hello! How are you? It is almost the end of September and here I am writing a blog post. I was away for awhile but I have been working on the appearance and the template of this blog, I hope you like this new look!  Now I have 2 side bars on the right.  I wanted to make it easy for everyone to find what they like to find on this blog and I hope the widgets on the side bars will be helpful for you. If you are reading this blog on your phone or on iPad, you may see the contents of the side bars and the widgets on the bottom or on top. I hope you can take a look at my blog on PC one day and see how things are arranged.  🙂
It is a nice sunny day over here in Oslo and I really had a relaxing Sunday yesterday starting with a good breakfast of tasty Tatami Onigiri. I wrote about Tatami Onigiri for the first time 2 years ago (you can read the post here) but today’s recipe is an updated one according to my new habit of eating less rice. I now eat 100-120g rice for a lunch. While the first recipe of Tatami Onigir from 2 years ago suggests 150g rice, I use now only 100g rice and mix with some grilled salmon to  make a tasty and filling Tatami Onigiri!


Ingredients :

Fresh Salmon  110g
Salt 1/2 tea spoon
Egg 1
Cooked rice   100g
Black and white sesame seeds  1 tea spoon each
Nori   1 sheet

1.  Cut salmon in thin slices and sprinkle salt.  Put them in a container and let it rest overnight in your fridge.
2. Heat a grill pan on high heat and heat the pan very hot. Turn the heat to medium high and grill the salmon. When they are almost all cooked through, turn the heat to high again and get them crisp and well grilled on the surface. You do this for only 30-40 seconds. Be careful not to burn. Turn off the heat.
Note from Rie : When fish is grilled this way, it is not so fishy. You see I am putting more fish than rice and it should not leave any fishy smell.
3. Take a new pan and make a fried egg.
4. When the salmon is cooled, flake them up. Mix with the rice. Add sesame seeds.
5. Put a sheet of nori on a cutting board, place 80% of salmon rice in the middle. Put your fried egg on top, add the rest of the salmon rice on top of it.
6. Bring all the four corners of the nori in the center and wrap it well.
7. Seal it well and put it in a plastic bag. Close the plastic bag tight and let it rest for 5 minutes.
Note from Rie : The damp air in the plastic bag will settle the nori on the rice ball. If you are making this for your bento, it may look so handy to bring it just in this bag but please take it out and put it in a bento box. I don’t think it is wise to keep it in the moist bag until your lunch time. The nori sheet and the whole Onigiri will be so wet….
8. Cut it in half and enjoy it!!

Here are the photos from the cooking process.

 

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Bon appetite!
xxx Rie