Category: Japanese

One of Us Is Lying & Spicy Hot Edamame

Let’s all imagine the typical American High School.  Five teenagers have been called into detention.  And they are:

  • A beauty queen
  • A star athlete
  • A straight-A brainiac
  • The local bad boy motorbike riding drug dealer and,

Okay I know by now most of you are SCREAMING….Yes, we all know the plot to The Breakfast Club.  Is there a point to this?  And can we get to it?  Maybe like today?

Spicy Hot Edamame (2)

Well hold your horsies because this is not The Breakfast Club.  Because the fifth member of this little team is not an introverted Ally Sheedy but Simon who is the creator of a malicious but hugely popular gossip app.

And wait for it, this is where it gets AWESOME….Because, by the end of the detention, Simon is dead. 

Murdered.

By peanut oil.

Peanut oilThe beauty  queen, the athlete, the brainiac and the bad boy are our main suspects. Because they all have something to hide. Something that somehow Simon has found out about.  Something that he is about to publish to the entire school via his vicious little app.

Did I hear someone say motive?

Welcome to “One of Us is Lying” by Karen McManus.

I loved this book. As much or maybe even slightly more than I love The Breakfast Club.  Which is immense because I adore that film.   I read this in one sitting, on route from Melbourne to London earlier this year and believe me, if anything could make that hideously long journey more enjoyable it was this.  . 

BC One of us is lyingAs soon as I began reading One of Us is Lying I knew I wanted to blog about it. And I wanted to blog about with a recipe that featured our killer ingredient peanut oil.  The Spicy Hot Edamame from the Itsu Cookbook  fit the bill perfectly.  It’s Edamame stir fried in peanut oil with garlic, ginger and a splash of soy sauce.  Quick, simple delicious!

Spicy Hot Edamame 3

One of Us is lying is an immensely enjoyable read.  There are so many reasons to love it – the Breakfast Club type plot, the murder  mystery element, the well drawn characters, the speedy pace, the foody murder weapon.  It is smart, funny and will keep you guessing.  And this is a debut novel!  I cannot wait to see what Karen McManus does next.  This is the best book I have read this year by a mile.

BFclub3You can find the recipe for Itsu’s Spicy Hot Edamame here.

It is a delicious snack or side whether or not you read the book.  But you should definitely read the book. And the edamame make a great reading snack!

Spicy Hot Edamame (2)Breakfast Club / One of Us Is LyihgLet’s end this in the only way possible – a John Bender fist pump and the strains of Simple Minds “Don’t you forget about me in the back ground. 

Have a wonderful week.

Signature 1 Vintage Valentine Quick as Wink2

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Turning Japanese – 1989 Japanese Snack Plate

Konichiwa dear people o’ the Internet. 

Today we are exploring the first part of a two-part series taken from the pages of Vogue Entertaining October / November 1989 with a gorgeous Japanese snack plate.

japanese-snack-plate

On the plate today we have Japanese Fried Chicken, Prawn Canapé’s, Radish Canapés, edamame beans, wasabi and mayo!  This is so pretty, perfect for a Spring brunch! 

The magazine comes from a time when ingenious recipes and inventive ideas may have involved giving your guests a bowl of roses to munch on.  Yummy!

vogue-entertaining-oct-1989

Roses aside,  we are putting some Spring flavours in full bloom on today’s Japanese snack plate. Just as an aside though, guess which day the J key on my laptop decided to break, meaning  it had to be hit about four times harder than all the other keys.  The sound track for the writing of this post was tap, tap, tap THUMP tap, tap, tap THUMP.

Minor typing difficulties aside, lets turn our attention to some hors d’œuvres for our Japanese snack plate.

Japanese Stuffed Radishes

Could not be simpler and the crunchy peppery radish is delicious with the salty punch of the caviar. Simply slice your radish down the middle of the stem, then scoop out a small hollow in your radish and fill with caviar.  I think nowadays if you were making this you would use tobiko instead of normal caviar but maybe that was readily available in 1989.  Come to think of it, I have no idea if it is readily available now!

japanese-snack-plate2Stuffed Prawns

Pardon me for having two things stuffed with caviar in this post but seeing as I had to buy it specially, I wanted to get some bang for my buck.  Also, if it was good enough for Vogue Entertaining in 1989 its good enough for me!

japanese-snack-plate3This is also very tasty with this time a contrast between the sweet prawn meat and the salty caviar.  Add a dob of pungent wasabi and some creamy mayo and you have perfection!  The original recipe had the prawn heads left on.  I took mine off.  I just think it is easier to eat with head and shells gone.

It is important to skewer the prawns so they stay straight.

japanese-snack-plate4To make these you will need:

  • 12 medium green king prawns
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 25g black caviar

Place a satay stick through the body of each prawn to keep it straight.  Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Drop the prawns in and cook for 3-5 minutes.  Remove from the water and leave to cool. 

Remove the satay sticks and remove the heads and shells, leaving the tail.  Split the prawns down the back with a sharp knife and remove the digestive tracts.  Fill the tract cavity with a little caviar.  Repeat.

Soy and Ginger Edamame (loosely adapted from A Moveable Feast by Katy Holder)

These are not from Vogue Entertaining Oct /November 1989 but make a tasty and colourful addition to the snack plate. 

  • 200g edamame in pods
  • 1/2 tbsp Japanese rice vinegar
  • 1/2 tbsp light olive oil
  • 1/2 tbsp mirin
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • pinch of sugar

Cook the edamame in boiling water  for 2 minutes.  Drain and refresh under cold water.  Pop the beans from their pods.  Combine all the other ingredients in a bowl, stirring well to dissolve the sugar.  Pour over the edamame and sit for at least an hour to let the flavours absorb.  Strain and add to the plate.

japanese-snack-plate5

Japanese Fried Chicken

I did not make this for the snack plate.  We had it for dinner the night before but I made extra so we could have it on the plate.  This is so good.  Huh…it’s fried chicken, like it was ever going to be bad!  This was great hot from the fryer in the evening and also super eaten cold  the next day – it was not too greasy like a lot of fried chicken as leftovers and still quite crispy, although it is not a thick southern style coating.

japanese-snack-plate6Here’s the recipe!

 

Japanese Fried Chicken
A delicious Japanese take on fried chicken
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Ingredients
  1. 500g chicken breast meat, skin on
  2. 3 tsp freshly grated ginger
  3. 1 clove garlic, chopped finely
  4. 1 spring onion chopped finely
  5. 2 tsp sesame oil
  6. 2 tsp Japanese soy sauce
  7. 1 tbsp mirin
  8. 1 tsp wasabi paste
  9. 1 small dried chilli, chopped
  10. pinch of black pepper
  11. 1 egg white, lightly beaten
  12. 2/3 cup cornflour
  13. vegetable oil for deep frying
  14. Mayonnaise, wasabi to serve
Instructions
  1. Cut the chicken into bite sized pieces.
  2. Make a marinade of the ginger, garlic, spring onion, sesame oil, soy sauce, mirin, pepper and chilli.
  3. Marinate the chicken for at least 1 1/2 hours.
  4. Mix eggwhite and cornflour well.
  5. Add the chicken and marinate.
  6. Heat the oil.
  7. Deep-fry spoonfuls of the chicken mixture until golden brown.
  8. Drain onto crushed kitchen paper and keep hot whilst the rest of the mixture is cooked.
  9. To serve, spread on platter with dobs of mayo and wasabi
Adapted from slightly from Vogue Entertaining October / November 1989
Adapted from slightly from Vogue Entertaining October / November 1989
Retro Food For Modern Times http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/
 That’s it from me, have a great week! 

Signature 1 Vintage Valentine Quick as Wink2

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