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Harumi & Me (Week 7)

November 8, 2009

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Tonight I pushed onward with the Harumi project, but instead of our usual little têteà-tête we had a lovely group of close friends over for dinner, which was great because it gave me a chance to do take on some of the more group-oriented recipes in Harumi’s book.

Here’s what was on the menu:

Japanese Somen Noodle Salad

Gyoza (Chinese style dumplings)

Ginger Mashed Potatoes

Pot Roast Pork

We all loved the wonderful salad, which apparently out of all of Harumi’s recipes is her husband’s favorite. It is so good, in fact, that I will do a separate post on it after this so you can have the recipe.

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The gyoza was very good too, but it certainly required a formidable amount of preparation.

First you peel the prawns, mince half of it and cut the other half, then mix it all with the minced pork, sake, salt, sugar and grated ginger. (I forgot to add in the chicken stock and flour but I don’t think it really mattered since the mixture held it’s shape.) Then you add the chives and sesame oil, and fashioned small portions of the mixture into little sausage-like clumps, like so:

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After that you put each clump into a dumpling skin and close it up. Then it’s cooking time. First you fry, then you steam, then you fry again. I never made the dipping sauce because I got all confused with the number of things I had to do! But it worked out ok. The gyoza had lots of flavour on its own.

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The ginger mashed potatoes were nice – the ginger-soy-mirin sauce made it special and different than the usual.

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As for the pot roast pork – well now the entire process of making this dish right from procuring the meat was truly an experience. Harumi’s recipe asked for a 2kg joint of pork – preferably shoulder – so while I was at West Coast Plaza last night I stopped by Mmmm (Meats, Marinades and Much More =), thinking they would surely have the meat I desired. They did have a very wide selection of meat, but their staff – who are always very nice – informed me that to get a whole joint I would have to pre-order. No matter, I thought. I will get my meat tomorrow.

This morning I eagerly got out of bed, washed up and made my way to Fairprice Finest, in the hopes that their meat section, run by Culina, would surely have what I was looking for. When I got there I made a beeline for the meat, and saw to my horror that there was no joint of pork waiting for me in the display case (is that what you call it). So I wandered about the supermarket picking up everything else I needed, while wondering which meat shop to try next. Thankfully I had the presence of mind to go back to the meat department and ask if they happened to have a 2kg or so pork shoulder somewhere in back, and whaddya know – they did! I was so overcome I almost did cartwheels. And the nice fellow at the meat section also gave me a good long length of cooking twine for free – to tie up the meat with. Joy =)

So here is the awesome package – the biggest chunk of meat I have ever bought in my life:

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And I finally found a worthy first use for my new Le Creuset French oven – bought at a massive discount at the Takashimaya sale. Here, my meat getting ready to roast, though it already looks cooked on the outside because I had to seal it in a pan first (sealing = frying meat briefly in hot fat to prevent it from losing too much of its moisture during subsequent cooking):

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I wish I could tell you that was that, the hour’s cooking time went by without a cinch, and the roast was perfect. The first part was true, or at least I thought it was because the dish looked lovely, but when we served up the pork, we found the insides were still uncooked! I’m pretty sure the problem here is that I was too diligent in following the instructions to cook the meat “on a very low heat” – very low heat for an induction stove is very very very low heat indeed.

So I had to bring the pork back to the kitchen, cut it up and cook it some more on much higher heat. The good news though, is that the meat still turned out wonderfully moist, and was really quite tasty with the Japanese Style Wasabi Sauce (made from the meat juices, some stock soy sauce, and wasabi). And whatever – I cooked a 2kg hunk of pork! Whoopee!

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Lazy Susan permalink
    November 8, 2009 10:15 am

    the spread sure looks very yummy!!!

  2. mrsmultitasker permalink*
    November 8, 2009 6:22 pm

    Thanks Lazy Susan! =) It was soooo much work… I’m pooped… can’t cook for a few days!

  3. Constance permalink
    November 12, 2009 10:54 pm

    k i will try and tell u how it goes!

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