Japanese dinner: Unagi brown rice
To celebrate J's return from Japan, I made a simple Japanese dinner. Even though he had three days of Japanese food, I knew he'd want more as it's pretty much his favorite cuisine of all time. He told me that he had some good yakitori, lots of Japanese yogurt (which is, in our opinion, the best yogurt ever!) and even a dinner at the Shibuya branch of Gonpachi! So I guess he and I were at the same restaurant on the same night, but he was in Japan and I was in Los Angeles. Oh- and his food was far superoior to the just ok meal that I had. At least I could console myself with the various Kit Kats he brought back (I had requested he pick up any different flavors he saw). The macha/milk flavor was my favorite, but the chocolate banana and the chestnut flavors were good as well.
I read a few Japanese cooking blogs and am always inspired by the recipes and ideas on them. When I saw Naoko's Unagi Onigiri, I remembered that I had some unagi in the freezer and decided to make the rice.
I pretty much followed her recipe but used Japanese brown rice instead of white. After washing the rice I added the soy sauce, sake, sansho pepper and multigrain mix to my rice maker and set the timer for it to be ready when I got home from work. About 20 minutes before the rice was done, I added sliced unagi to the pot, then mixed in some mitsuba at the very end. The whole house smelled like unagi and sansho........YUM.
I didn't make onigiri out of it but instead piled the rice into bowls and topped it with some nori seaweed. A salad tossed with wafu (Japanese style) dressing, hiyayakko (cold tofu) topped with ginger, scallions and katsuobushi (bonito flakes) and some spicy eggplant suzuke (Japanese pickles) completed our meal. Oh, that and a glass of cold sake of course;).
By the way, the food came out way better than these photos!