I've been thinking about recipes I could make ahead and take to work. Things that could be packed in a lunch box and reheated in a microwave.
I started with gingery ground chicken (tori soboro). This was a snap to make, since it's just ground chicken cooked with a marinade. The highlight of this was I got to use my Japanese grater, which is such a neat tool. If you have ever spent time trying to finely chop ginger for a recipe, this is the most wonderful thing ever invented. You just rub ginger on the tines and it practically liquefies.
The chicken itself is pleasant, mildly spicy, but nothing to write home about. But it is wonderful as part of a composed meal, so add the rice, the vegetables, the mushrooms I wrote about earlier. This is a choral meal, one where everything together creates a harmonious whole. All the components are okay on their own, but they are better in combination with other things.
Tangy seared chicken wings (tori teba saki no su itame) are soloists. They can stand alone. The wings (or in this case, thighs) have a more aggressive flavor profile. It's the same procedure as the ground chicken, brown it and then letting it complete cooking in a marinade. But with this recipe, the flavoring is much more aggressive. And once you have taken the chicken out of the marinade, cook it down until it becomes a thick, tangy, vinegary sauce. Yum!
Unfortunately, neither of these was photogenic, so there are no pictures. Well, I took some, but they wouldn't convince you to try the recipe. Pretty, they weren't. (Oddly enough, there were no photos in the cookbook either.)
Next up, Spring vegetables, which should look much better.