Cherry Blossoms have reached full bloom in Japan, representing the beauty of life. Japanese people celebrate this season, also known as sakura, with an annual festival called Hanami. We give you a taste of a few Japanese dishes and cocktails for you to enjoy the season with some distinct flavours.
These dishes by Vikram Khatri, business head and executive chef, Guppy, from their new summer menu is sure to leave you wanting for more. Enjoy!
Karashi Chicken and Bacon
300g – Chicken leg boneless with skin
50g – Bacon strips
2 – Carrot (cleaned and peeled)
10-12 – Cherry tomato
10-12- Broccoli flowerets of one inch
8-10 – Pok choy leavs
2tbsp – Spring onion (cleaned and chopped)
2tbsp – Garlic (peeled and chopped)
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
2tsp – White sesame seeds
For the sauce:
25g – Refined flour
25g – Butter
250ml – Stock
Soy to taste
Japanese mustard seasoning:
30g – Japanese mustard (karashi)
15ml – Vinegar
30ml – Water
For mustard seasoning:
*Mix all the ingredients to a fine paste.
For the sauce:
*In a saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Add flour to butter and mix well. Keep stirring till it starts changing colour. As it happens gradually add the stock while stirring it continuously. Whisk it well to avoid lumps and bring it to boil. Add soy to taste.
*Clean and prepare the vegetables. Cut the carrots into 1 inch pieces, and the cherry tomato in to half.
*Blanch broccoli, carrot and pok choy.
*Cut bacon into 1 inch pieces, chicken leg into cubes of even sizes. Marinate the chicken pieces in salt pepper and garlic.
*Heat oil in a pan and add bacon pieces to it. Sauté it on low heat till it gets crisp. Remove the bacon pieces and leave oil in the pan.
*Heat the oil again and add chicken pieces skin side down. Sauté it till skin gets crisp. Turn the chicken pieces over and cook from the other side.
*As the chicken stars changing colour, add vegetables to it and sauté well. Now add sauce, mix it well and adjust the thickness of the sauce (add stock or water if it is too thick).
*Lower the heat and simmer it till it’s almost done. Check and adjust seasoning. Add soy if you find salt less to your taste. Now add the mustard seasoning and mix well. Simmer it further for one minute and transfer it into serving bowl.
*Garnish it with chopped spring onion and sesame seed.
Tofu and Asparagus Steak
400g – Silken Tofu (drain and pat dry)
12-15 pieces – Asparagus (peel and cut into four pieces of equal size)
2tbsp – Salted butter
Salt to taste
Crushed pepper to taste
2tsp – Oil
10tbsp – White miso
4tbsp – Sake
4tbsp – Mirin
2tbsp – Sugar
3tbsp Spring onion (finely chopped)
2tbsp – Black sesame seeds (roasted)
*Burn off the alcohol from sake and mirin by heating it in a pan. Rest to cool it down. Gradually mix in the miso and sugar; whisk it till sugar gets completely dissolved.
*Heat water in a large pot and bring it to boil. Add asparagus to it and boil it for 30 seconds. Remove from boiling water and chill it in ice cold water to stop cooking. Remove it from water and paper dry it.
*Cut tofu like a steak into 12 equal parts of 30-35 gms each. Heat a non stick pan, add oil and lightly sear tofu steaks from both sides. Line a baking tray with heat proof butter paper/silver foil and grease it with little butter.
*Arrange tofu steaks on the greased tray and top each piece with miso mix and evenly spread. Toss the blanched asparagus in butter, season it and nicely arrange it on top of tofu. Glaze it lightly with the sauce. Cook it in a preheated oven at 220˚C or put in an OTG till the miso gratinates.
*Take out the gratinated steak from oven. Arrange three pieces nicely on a plate. Garnish it with spring onion and black sesame seed. Serve hot
8-10 – Mint leaves
15g – Gari (pickled ginger)
Lemon chunks (of one lemon)
10g – Castor sugar
45ml – Sour mix
Ginger ale (to top up)
*Muddle lemon chunks and mint with castor sugar.
*Add gari and sour mix with crushed ice in a mixing glass.
*Serve in a tall glass and topped up with ginger ale.
*Garnish with mint and gari.