I hope you are enjoying this series of guest posts! I feel blessed to have such lovely friends that are keeping the space warm and festive during this beautiful season.
Namiko Chen, who we popularly know as Nami, is the author and photographer behind ‘Just One Cookbook‘. She is a busy mom with 2 beautiful kids and through her blog, she tells the world about Japanese cuisine and the varieties it has to offer. I have been visiting Nami’s blog for a while now and we connected pretty quickly. Just like me, she also stays in bay area and very soon, I am going to take some lessons from her on Japanese cuisine.
Today, Nami took some time out to share a little bit about her life, blog and this golden crispy flavorful Kakiage Don. Thanks a lot Nami 🙂
Nami @ Just One Cookbook
1. Tell us a little about you and your family?
I came to SF Bay Area from Yokohama Japan when I was 20 years old in order to attend college. It was supposed to be just “studying abroad” experience when I first came here. Who would have guessed I would eventually settle here, get married to a Taiwanese American man, and raise my children in the US. I really enjoy my life in the Bay Area where we have beautiful weather and cultural diversity. My children are lucky to grow up in such an cultured and rich environment. My son is 5 years old and my daughter is 3 years old. I’m a stay-at-home mom and have very active lifestyle on top of keeping a food blog.
2. Why the name ‘ Just One Cookbook’?
For many years I kept my notes from cookbooks and clippings from magazines, and they were everywhere and not organized. I thought of exactly what I needed and that was just one cookbook. The recipes that my family and I like should be in one area that I can always check. After my children were born, I really wanted to pass down my recipe collections to them, so that’s how I got the name and started my blog.
3. How is the experience of blogging been so far?
First of all I didn’t expect that I would become so occupied with blogging. It’s been a great experience meeting new blogger friends and readers. When I started my blog this past January, I did not expect that my blog will be followed and used by this many people and I met so many amazing people along the way. It was totally unexpected. I’m really hoping to improve my photography and develop many more delicious recipes in the future and that will be my new challenge.
Dear readers of Sunshine and Smile! My name is Nami and I am the author of Just One Cookbook. I’m really excited to be here and share a Japanese home cooked recipe with you today, and thank you Kankana for inviting me! When Kankana asked me to guest post on her blog, I wanted to share a Japanese dish that she would enjoy and I knew exactly what she wanted to eat from our previous conversations. It’s Tempura!
Kakiage is a type of tempura with mixed vegetable strips and sometimes it also contains seafood. Different vegetables, such as onion, carrot, and sweet potato are shredded first and then mixed all together in tempura batter. Any ingredients in the fridge can be used to make this tempura so it’s a very popular home recipe, and it is also economical. The shredded vegetables and seafood are then deep fried into small round fritters.
This particular tempura is often served over a bowl of steamed rice, and we call it Kakiage Don (Don for short of Donburi meaning rice bowl). So let’s get started!
Kakiage Don (Vegetable & Shrimp Tempura Donburi)
Difficulty: Moderate Prep Time: 40 mins |
Cooking Time: 20 mins |
Total Time: 60 mins
Yield: 2-3 servings
- 1 cup dashi stock
- 3 Tbsp. soy sauce
- 3 Tbsp. mirin
- 2 Tbsp. sake
- 2 tsp sugar
- ½ Onion (or ¼ large onion)
- 2 inch carrot
- 2 inch Japanese sweet potato
- 2 inch gobo (burdock root)
- 10 Shrimps
- Mitsuba (Japanese wild parsley)
- 50 g flour
- ¼ tsp. baking powder
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- 1 egg yolk
- 100 ml ice water
- 1 tsp sake
- 2 Tbsp. corn starch to dust
- Vegetable (canola) oil for deep frying
- 1-2 Tbsp. Sesame oil
- 2-3 servings of Japanese premium short grain rice
1. Heat all the ingredients for Sauce in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and set aside.
2. Cut vegetables into thin strips, about 2 inch long. They should all be roughly the same size. Soak sweet potatoes and gobo (burdock root) in water to prevent them from changing color. Also, marinate shrimps in sake for 10 minutes. 3. Heat the oil to 355F (180C). While oil is heating up, start preparing Batter. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl. 4. In a medium bowl, beat egg yolk gently and add iced water and sake. It’s important to keep the batter icy cold at all time. The crispiness of Tempura comes from the temperature difference between hot oil and cold batter. 5. Pour the flour mixture into the egg mixture. Using chopsticks, mix around the bowl just 10 times in circular motion. The key here is not to produce gluten in the flour. The batter can be lumpy and should be slightly runnier than regular tempura batter.
6. Add the shredded vegetables and shrimp in the empty bowl. Sprinkle with corn starch and coat the ingredients with chopsticks.
7. Pour the batter over the ingredients and mix.
8. When oil is 355F (180C), take a scoop of the ingredients with a mesh sieve and let the excess batter drip off.
9. Slowly slip the ingredients into oil. Keep the ingredients from separating and collect all the pieces into one big chunk with chopsticks. Deep fry until golden-brown. Drain excess oil on paper towel.
10. Re-heat Sauce. Prepare rice in Donburi bowl and pour just a little bit of the Sauce over warm rice. Keep the remaining Sauce in a small serving container (such as gravy boat) and pour on top of Kakiage when you are ready to eat.