Kitchen Invasion: Takoyaki Party Brooklyn

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Kitchen Invasion: Takoyaki Party Brooklyn

Posted on
in Features, Menus

Bookery Cook invaded the Park Slope kitchen of new friends Sam, who provided soulful jams all night, and fellow housemate Andrew, illustrator and takoyaki king! Andrew and Sam, like had also spent a year living in Japan, so it was only natural that the theme of the invasion was Nihon.

we rocked up in the afternoon with bags full of black sesame seeds, smoked salmon, rice, tahini, clams, kombu, miso paste, shallots, octopus tentacles and a few cans of Sapporo beer.

On the menu for the night…

Miso clam soup

1 pound fresh clams
8 cups dashi (see recipe below)
4 tablespoon shiro miso paste (or more to taste)

8 cups warm water
2 x 4×4 inch pieces of kombu
1/2 cup bonito flakes

Place kombu in water and allow to stand for 20 minutes. Place on a high heat. Before the water begins to boil remove the kombu (you need remove the kombu before the water boils, otherwise you’ll end up with a bitter dashi tasting like concentrated ocean). Add the bonito flakes and simmer mixture over a low heat for 10 minutes.

Mix all ingredients together in a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce heat, add clams and simmer until clams open (5 mins). Soup can simmer continously to keep warm, or served and eaten immediately.

Takoyaki: fried or grilled octopus. These are a popular ball-shaped treat made of batter, cooked in a special pan, filled  with things like diced octopus, pickled ginger and shallots and topped with mayonnaise, a special brown Takoyaki sauce, aonori powder, shallots and bonito flakes. You eat them scalding hot and try and get them down without completely distroying the inside of your mouth and throat.

Grated Diakon with Umeboshi Dressing

The boys nicknamed this dish ‘japanese sourkraut’. It’s diakon radish finely grated and topped with a delicious mashed umeboshi (pickled plum) dressing is is one of those wonder dishes that cleans your palette, satisfies your stomach and relaxes your mind.

10 umeboshi (1 jar)
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon oil oil
salt and pepper  

Remove seeds from umeboshi and place in bowl and mash with fork until they break down. Add remaining ingredients and mix until just combined. If you want the sauce to have more of a runny consistency, add a dash of water (as adding additional oil or vinegar will upset the balance of flavours and make it too rich or acidic)

Japanese rice slice

Aka a ‘japanese sanwich’ as it was dubbed during the night. Smoked salmon and japanese mayo sandwiched between 2 layers of white sushi rice. A Bookery Cook staple because of how delicious and beautiful looking it is. We like to mix up the sesame toppings with black & white sesames to create a ‘checkerboard’ look. To add another dimension, sesame seeds can also be mixed through the rice to create more of a polkadot looking rice.

You may also recognise the beverage featured in the images. Commonly known as a ‘Brass Monkey‘, this was our introduction to this inexpensive and surprisingly palatable drink.

Green beans with sesame dressing

Anything to do with sesame is a win in our books. These crispy beans doused in a generous amount of sesame dressing are the perfect way to balance out any fried good.

200g green beans
2 tablespoon dashi
2 tablespoon tahini
2 teaspoon white sesame seeds
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon mirin

Top and tail green beans (cut the top and tail off the beans) and blanch in boiling water (cook for about 3 mins, until crispy but just soft). Strain immediately and rinse with cold water. Set aside. In a bowl whisk remaining ingredients and pour over beans just before serving.

Japanese Cucumber salad 

4 small cucumbers
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
1/2 sesame oil

Thinly slice cucumber (about .1-.2mm) lengthways, place in bowl.
Mix remaining ingredients together, whisl until combined and pour over cucumber.

‘Hell of it’ sauce

We didn’t have anything specific in mind when created this sauce, in the end it was the sauce of the day and was eaten atop most dishes- especially the deep fried octopus heads!!

1/2 cup Japanese mayonnaise
1 tablesppon miso paste
1 teaspoon soy sauce
2 teaspons chilli oil 

Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl. Set aside and serve at room temperature with anything you put on the table.

Japanese 75

We had a bottle of champagne on hand and a bottle sake, so natural we combined to two to create our kitchen invasion appropriate themed beverage, a spin on the traditional ‘french 75’ that mixes gin and champagne. This beverage was really really delicious and something that will make of an appearance at many more of our dinner parties!

6 parts champagne
1 part sake

Pour sake into champagne flute, or desired drinking vessel. Top with champagne.
***Drink at your own risk.

どうぞ FEAST !

良かった !