Tag Archives: Japanese

Memories….Teriyaki steaks a la Papa.

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Memory, is a child walking along a seashore.  You never can tell what small pebble it will pick up and store away among its treasured things.  ~Pierce Harris, Atlanta Journal

A few months ago,when I connected with one of my old school friends on Facebook, she told me how one of her dearest childhood food memories was of the  ‘Teriyaki Steaks’ from my parents food store, ‘Majora.’

Then, a couple of weeks later, I got a call from a cousin in Bombay who wanted the recipe.

“I’m dying for the flavor of those steaks,” she said, “why don’t you share the recipe, now that Majora does not exist any more.”

But it obviously DOES exist in the memories of everybody who enjoyed it’s food.

It’s amazing that I had always taken Majora’s Teriyaki steaks for granted. They were marinated in-house and sold frozen, ready to broil. They were delicioso…..even if I say so myself.

It’s amazing how seemingly stray comments trigger memories. Most often these memories are multi-sensory.

You remember certain smells, textures, flavours, sights and sounds. Sometimes one of these, trigger memories that bring on many more…..of good times, friendships, special celebrations, which in turn trigger many more sensorial and emotional ones.

So I called my Dad, who was thrilled that I wanted his ‘world famous’ steak recipe.

Ofcourse he rattled off ingredients and I was left to figure off the quantities ‘andaaz sey’…..which in Hindi literally means using your own judgement.

I am pretty much someone who cooks ‘andaaz sey’……my own slap dash gourmet technique. But for the sake of putting down a recipe on this blog, here are the approximate quantities.

I urge you to please cook ‘andaaz sey” and taste as you go along. I like my marinade to lead with the sweet and then the salt.

Teriyaki is a Japanese method of cooking meat.

A piece of fish or meat which has been marinated in a sweet soy marinade (tare) and then broiled or grilled.(yaki)

TERIYAKI STEAKS A LA PAPA

Beef Tenderloin  750 gms  ( you could experiment with chicken as well, if you don’t eat Beef )

For the Marinade:

Ginger paste  1 tsp

Garlic paste 1 tsp

Mustard paste 1  1/2 tsp

Soya sauce 2 tbsp

Wine 4 tbsp

( should be rice wine but all I had at home was some French white which I added in. But red would be better with beef)

Brown Sugar 3 tbsp

Olive oil 2 tbsp

Method:

Cut the tenderloin into thick roundels and flatten using a steak hammer.

The hammering tenderizes the meat.  Covering with a piece of cling wrap, helps to prevent the meat from sticking to the hammer and damaging the steak.

In a bowl measure out the ingredients for the marinade and stir over a slow flame till slightly thickened.

When cool, pour over the tenderized steak and marinade overnight preferably or for a couple of hours at least.

Heat a skillet and when hot, broil steaks, covered,  till done and all the liquid has evaporated.

Keep basting the steaks from time to time if you are grilling them.

I served the steaks with Balsamic Roast Vegetables and a Jacket Potato.

There are so many special food memories we all have. Special treats made for special occasions or achievements.

What are yours?

Are there any aromas that trigger memories?

What about smells sights or sounds?

I’d love to hear from you.


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Aside

If you had to ask me what my favourite cuisines are, I would have to really think.

Coz I love all food, I love variety. 

I thank my lucky stars that my palate was exposed to a great variety from the time I was quite young and so am very willing to try anything new. 

But if I just HAD to, they would be Japanese, Cantonese, South East Asian and Mediterranean.

As you can see Japanese comes way up.

However, I do not cook it nor do I profess to have eaten a whole variety.

 But a platter full of sushi and sashimi always hits home.

I love its simplicity and wholesomeness.

The dominance of fish and sea food of all kinds!

The SEE food as well!

What I mean is that Japanese food is so pretty.

There is so much effort taken in the presentation that it’s hard to dig in!

Of late I have been reading a lot about FUGU.

What is it?

FUGU means, quite literally in Japanese, Pacific Ocean Native  fish.

I was familiar with it as ‘Puffer Fish’ or ‘Blow Fish’.


Eating Fugu is kind of like a gourmet Russian Roulette.

The skin, ovaries, testicles, eyes and especially the liver is extremely poisonous.

The poison ‘tetrodotoxin’ has no known antidote and is more than a 1000 times more poisonous than cyanide.

Yet this fish is considered a delicacy in Japan.

Chefs need to have licenses to just cut the Fugu to ensure that their skillful cutting does away with all the poison.

It is said that if a Fugu chef serves a piece that kills his patron, it is honourable that the chef disembowel himself. 

 JEEZ!!!

These guys spend 10 years of their life just in training!!!!

Seems like Russian Roulette and Fugu go hand in hand! Even with the chefs lives!!

Confidence is definitely a quality required if your ambition is to be a Fugu Chef!!

Well, the best part is, that the slivers of Fugu Sashimi are ironically served in the arrangement of a chrysanthemum, the national flower of Japan but also the flower of choice at Japanese funerals!!

YIKES!!!

Now apparently the ‘in’ thing is for the chefs to leave in just a trace amount of poison so that fugu connoisseurs can feel a numbness on their lips and tongue and just flirt with the danger!

Is the flavor of the fish so unique that this danger is worth it?

Apparently there are mixed reactions.

But as I think about Fugu, I think about all the things I’d love to do!

Skydiving, Bungee jumping, tight rope walking…..but have absolutely no guts to.

But one CAN dream!!

So if someone gifted me an @ 300$ Fugu meal…..well I’d definitely be looking for the exchange policy.

Could I trade that in for a meal at ‘The Fat Duck’ or ‘Noma‘ ……PLEEEAZE????

What about you?

Are you DYING to try FUGU????

To Fugu or not to Fugu? Would you?— Foodie Gyans and yarns-2