Make restaurant-grade sushi rice in a flash
Forget the naysayers – you can definitely use a rice-cooker to make sushi rice, says Japanese chef and American Iron Chef, Masaharu Morimoto. Just be sure to use a short-grain Japonica rice or medium-grain California rice, and rinse off the starch beforehand. Then, it’s a case of perfecting your sushu-Su (vinegar mix) ratios: it’s a 4-2-1 ratio – that is, four quantities rice wine vinegar, two of white sugar and one of salt.
Make your own gari (sushi ginger)
For the real sushi treatment (or a delicious pickle to pair with anything, really), peel, slice,then boil your ginger slithers for 2-3 minutes to rid them of their bitterness. Cool and drain it, then heat 100ml of rice wine vinegar with 3 tablespoons sugar and ½ teaspoon salt, then combine with the ginger in a sterilised jar and let it pickle for a minimum of three hours, and you have a tasty condiment at the ready.
Pull off the ultimate egg party trick
When Japanese chef Yama Chaahan devised a wacky kitchen trick to flip the regular order of an egg (with the yolk on the outside and white on the inside), the internet nearly self-combusted. He used a pair of tights and a torch to carry out the coup, wrapping the egg in clear tape, placing it inside the leg of the tights, twisting it up, holding the tights at either end and spinning the egg. Because the egg yolk is denser, the centrifugal forces draw it towards the shell. Confused? Watch this:
While we're on eggs, here's how to perfect the soft boil (Hanjuku Tamago)
Used in a host of Japanese dishes like ramen, a soft-boiled egg can come down to the wire; it only takes a few seconds either way to ruin it. Try poking the top of each egg with a needle to create a small hole. Then, bring a pot of water to a boil, adding eggs and cooking for exactly 6 minutes for runny yolks. Drain them immediately and transfer to ice water to cool off before peeling.
Sa Shi Su Se So. Now say it three times.
When it comes to Japanese cooking ratios, this mnemonic is an easy way to remember the order to add ingredients to keep the flavour balance in check. It stands for: sake, shio (salt), su (rice vinegar), seuya (soy sauce) and miso sauce. If you’re only using vinegar and miso, the order still remains; it has to do with chemistry more than anything else.
If there’s one Japanese cooking gadget you buy, make it…
Cooking chopsticks! The inexpensive gadget is used to mix tempura batter, flip tempura in oil, grill, stir fry, barbecue, dip, deep-fry, flip a steak… the list goes on. They offer way more precision and control than tongs and since they’re not metal, won’t conduct heat as quickly.
Are you a ramen guru? Buffy should be slaying with this bowl...
This is an express ramen recipe that uses 44 cloves of garlic. Yep, 44 cloves! Most of the garlic is browned and braised with an obnoxious slab of pork belly until meltingly tender, then blended with chicken stock and soy milk (a great ramen cheat) to fabricate the most speedy, but intensely rich broth ramen-history has ever seen. Call it the ramen with 44 cloves of garlic. It's no wonder this bowl is called The Vampire Slayer. Get it here.