Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Japanese Beef Bowl with Broccoli

I was thinking about describing this meal simply as a Japanese version of beef and broccoli, but connecting it in any way to the common Chinese takeout dish of soggy, over-sauced broccoli and greasy beef does it a great disservice. Very little oil is used in cooking the beef, which is simmered with the onions in its sauce until tender.  The broccoli is cooked separately so you don't end up with beef flavored broccoli.  The end result is a hearty, but light meal that is packed with flavor.  The takeout menu will have to wait for another night!

This meal also gave me the opportunity to try out the Rakkyo that I made a few weeks ago.  Pickles are a important part of Japanese cuisine, and in addition to these we also had some Takuan (pickles daikon) and Shoga (pickled ginger).  The Rakkyo turned out quite good.  The scallions had softened some, but retained a nice crunch with a slightly sweet vinegar flavor.  I'm sure they'll continue to improve as they age longer.

The broccoli we cooked very simply.  A quick dip in boiling water until crisp tender then drained and dressed with ponzu and sesame seeds.  Ponzu is a slightly lemony tasting sauce made from mirin, rice vinegar, fish flakes, seaweed and the juice of a lemon (or other similar citrus juice).  Often used as a dip for meat or sushi, it adds a nice bit of flavor that complimented the fresh broccoli without covering up the taste.

Share contents used:

Ingredients (for the beef dish)
1/3 lb of beef round, thinly sliced
½ of a small yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 tsp vegetable or canola oil
2 tbs soy sauce
1 tbs mirin
½ tbs sugar
1 tbs cooking sake
½ tsp dashi
5 tbs water

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan until hot, then add the beef and saute until browned. Add the onion and add all the other ingredients.  Stir to combine then cover and cook until onion is tender, 10-15 minutes.  Serve hot over white rice.  Garnish with chipped scallion and pickled ginger.

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