Happy meal #13

One of the best cookbooks that I bought last year has to be Everyday Harumi. My purchase was entirely a fluke – I had no idea who Harumi Kurihara was prior to that, nor did I realise just how popular she was. All I knew was that the MPH store near my office was having a 20 percent discount on cookbooks and her book had caught my eye.

It turned out to be a great decision for this rabid fan of Japanese food. In the book, Harumi talks about the basics underlying all Japanese food, such as the dashi stock and awase miso. The recipes are all easy to follow, and the results are amazing for the amount of effort.

A favourite recipe of mine is the Rice with Soy-flavoured Pork and Carrots. It’s simple to put together, requires very little ingredients and is tasty to boot. I’ve adapted Harumi’s recipe by using plain rice instead of the dashi-mirin flavoured rice that she uses but the result is still good. The entire dinner, whipped together after work and a swim at the gym, took me about 45 minutes and I am a terribly slow and inefficient cook.

Rice with Soy-flavoured Pork and Carrots
(Adapted from Everyday Harumi)

What you need (serves two):

  • * 1 cup Japanese rice
    * 1 carrot
    * 200-250g pork shoulder
    * 1 tbsp + 1 tsp soy sauce
    * 2 tbsp mirin
    * 1 tsp sugar
    * Black pepper – to season
  • Directions:

  • * Wash the rice thoroughly, drain it and then let is stand for 10 minutes before cooking it in the rice-cooker.
    * Peel the carrot and cut it into 2-3cm long thin slices
    * Wrap the pork in clingfilm and bash it with a rolling pin to tenderise it (very important step!)
    * Slice the pork thinly.
    * Combine the mirin, soy sauce and sugar in a pan on medium heat. Add the pork, taking care to keep the slices from sticking.
    * Add the carrots and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated.
    * When the rice is ready, serve it on a plate and mix it with the cooked pork and carrots.
    * Season with freshly ground black pepper and serve.
  • I served it up with steamed veggies and mushrooms. Bon appetit!