Wednesday, February 12, 2014

New Year's Feast

Ingredients for New Year's Salad - daikon, carrot, dried persimmon, salt and lemon zest

In honor of the Lunar New Year, I decided to pull out the stops and go for multiple recipes.
  • New Year's Salad
    • Sweet and Sour Sauce
  • Flash seared steak with two sauces
    • Smokey Citrus Soy Sauce and Creamy Sesame Miso Sauce

It looks like a lot, but most of the work is creating the sauces. My only tip is to watch the sesame seeds closely when you toast them, they go up in a flash!

New Year's Salad - Kohaku Namasu
The salad is pretty, isn't it?  Even though I couldn't find Kyoto red carrots, which I'm sure would have been more colorful. I also don't have the skills to shred dried persimmon, so I just cut it up small. Anyone who can shred such a gooey ingredient has my full respect. Although it's called a salad, for a western audience, it's probably more appropriate to call it a pickle. I like it, it's nice and tart, but I like it better as a condiment.

Seared steak. According to the recipe, you should use Wagyu beef, which I’m sure is wonderful. But I have a mortgage, so I used USDA Prime instead.  And as you can see from the photo, I overcooked it a little.  Don’t get distracted when you cook – bad things happen.

Flash seared steak with two sauces - Gyu suteki, oroshi ponzu, goma miso soe
I’m sorry to say, I did not like this. I like steak and I like the sauces, but I don’t like them together.

Of the two sauces, I liked citrus soy (oroshi ponzu) best, especially once I put the grated daikon in it; salty, lemony, and peppery all at the same time. It was okay on the steak, but nothing special.

The creamy miso (goma miso soe), while lovely and nutty, was like putting peanut butter on a hamburger.

So I ditched the sauces and ate the steak with some leftover pesto. (I love garlic.)

But all was not lost, because I was able to use the Citrus Soy to make Chilled Udon Noodle Salad (Oroshi Kake Udon).  I ate it for lunch for the rest of the week.  It’s a pretty good thing to pack for lunch; it’s only mildy drippy, you don’t have to heat it, and the daikon adds a nice crunch.

6 recipes down and 126 to go!

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