Kyoto cuisine is famous for its delicate subtle flavor, just like this dish. Most of Kyoto dishes rely heavily on a good dashi stock, then subtly flavored with soy sauce (typically the light variety, or usukuchi 薄口醤油).
If you want to draw out the full flavor of this dish, you really must spend some time making your own dashi stock, but even if you opt for a shortcut using dashi stock granules, this is still a very delicious dish with a subtle flavor.
The next bit of culinary term is ankake sauce (餡かけ ソース ), which simply means dishes covered in a thick starchy sauce.
This dish is super easy and super fast to make. It took me about 10 minutes from start to finish, including all the prep work and cooking time!
The key is to start by boiling your broth, then while waiting for the broth to boil, prep the tofu, shimeji, scallions, and make the katakuriko (Japanese potato starch) slurry.
The rest of the steps are easy, just add tofu and shimeji into the broth, simmer for 5 minutes, then heat up and add the katakuriko slurry to thicken the sauce, and its done. Just scoop it into a serving bowl(s) and garnish with scallions.
If you cook this dish in a nabe (Japanese clay pot), you can serve it directly from the nabe. Easy, delicious, and healthy.
Rendang sapi (beef rendang) is probably the most well known Padang dish, and surprisingly easy to make at home, since most of the time you just need to let it simmer away on a stove.
The key to successful rendang is not to skimp on the herbs and spices, and be prepared for a long stewing process resulting in a flavorful and tender melt in your mouth pieces of beef.
In short, good stuff which I guarantee a bite of this will have you nodding in agreement with all the people who have voted rendang to be the world’s most delicious food.
The herbs and spices you need to prepare for a rendang dish
After so many years of tweaking and tinkering my beef rendang recipe, for the moment, I am highly satisfied with this version to recreate my beloved beef rendang, Padang style. But be warned, the long list of ingredients is definitely not for the faint of heart.
For me, the following is the minimum amount of herbs and spices that you definitely must incorporate in your beef rendang:
Tamarind is the easiest to procure in the United States, followed with black kokum, but in Indonesia, we usually use asam kandis, or asam gelugur to prepare rendang dishes.
The extras, but oh so worth it
And here are the list of herbs and spices that may be safely omitted, though if you are willing to go the extra mile, you won’t regret adding some, if not all, of the following:
From my own experience, other than turmeric leaves, you should be able to buy the rest of the ingredients in the United States. If you have green thumbs, you can buy some fresh turmeric roots and grow turmeric plants and harvest the fresh leaves to use for all your rendang dishes.
Which beef cut is suitable for beef rendang?
Rendang is a dish with long hours of slowly simmering away in a pot (most Indonesians use a wok actually), until all the liquid is reduced into a glaze! As such, you want to stick with beef cuts that are highly suitable for stew or braising. My favorites include:
beef shank, also known as shin
beef bottom round/rump roast (in the US), or silverside (outside of the US)
The first three are more commonly used to cook beef rendang, but you can also use brisket too. If your grocery only carries beef cubes that are labeled as beef stew, you can use that too, just make sure they are around 2-inch cubes.
What is the difference between Padang style beef rendang to others?
The biggest difference between Padang style beef rendang compared to other beef rendang is the lack of ambu-ambu, or kerisik.
What is ambu-ambu/kerisik?
Ambu-ambu, or kerisik as they are known in Malaysian, is a buttery concoction made from toasted grated coconut. It’s actually very easy to make, simply dry fry freshly grated coconut until toasty and golden brown, then ground this until the toasted grated coconut becomes an oily paste.
So, can I use ambu-ambu/kerisik for my rendang if I wish to?
If you are used to beef rendang that includes this ingredient, feel free to add some kerisik (about 4 tablespoon) near the end of your cooking, typically right before it’s done.
Summer in the US can get very hot. Instead of cooking and spending my time in front of a hot stove, I make pickles instead.
Today I am going to share a recipe for Japanese style pickled vegetables (和風ピクルス), which is easy and perfect for new cooks. You won’t need any specialized tool other than a cooking pot, a knife, and a cutting board. It is also a fun way to enjoy some fresh vegetables.
Ingredients for Japanese pickled vegetables
Japanese pickle usually contains cucumber, carrot, celery, and red chilies. And the pickling juice is a simple mix of rice vinegar, sugar, salt, and kombu.
Use Japanese cucumbers if possible. You can also use common garden cucumbers or Kirby/pickling cucumbers.
There are two kinds of Japanese rice vinegar, unseasoned rice vinegar, and seasoned rice vinegar. We will use unseasoned rice vinegar to make this pickle.
Kombu is a type of dried seaweed widely used in Japanese cuisine. If you regularly prepare homemade dashi (Japanese stock) from scratch, you should be very familiar with this seaweed.
How to prepare Japanese pickled vegetables
1. Prep the vegetables
Wash and scrubs cucumber skin to remove any wax, remove the seeds and cut into batons. Peel carrot, then cut carrot and celery sticks into batons about the same size as cucumber batons.
2. Salt the vegetables
Combine 2 1/2 cups of water with a tablespoon of salt in a mixing bowl. Soak cucumber, carrot, and celery batons in the salt solution for two hours.
3. Pickle the vegetables
To make the pickling juice, boil rice vinegar, water, kombu, salt, and sugar in a pot. Remove the piece of kombu right before boiling.
Drain and pat dry vegetable batons. Arrange into glass jars along with red chilies. Fill the jars with pickling juice and seal. You should be able to fill three 8-ounce glass jars.
Once the jars are cool, store in the fridge for at least one night before serving. The pickle should be fresh for up to 1 week.