Hello! Well, this has been a long time since you’ve received something in your inbox from your friendly allergy-free chef and I’m happy to say we’re back in action. These past few months have been exceptional and full of travels and finishing an album and filming music videos… so culmination of all the above left me with little time to actually put together the many many inspirations I’ve had lately. But now it’s starting. With a little musing from my trip to Tokyo.
Tokyo is a fascinating place. Of course upon return to California I cannot tell you how many times I was, and rightfully so, asked how I “liked” Tokyo. Well, I liked it a lot, but it was not at all what I was expecting it to be!
One of the best things about the place, for me, was the food. This is probably a typical thing for me to think, as I am frequently ruled by my belly, but in a very very specific and phenomenal way I was feeling complete food tourism this time. Their flavors are so refined, simple, yet contagiously different from Western ones. Everything, from simple cooked eggs to cheesecakes, tasted, just “Japanese”. Since I do have a formally trained palate now at this point, it was fascinating to pick up pourquoi. And a lot of the savory flavors came from, well, dried seafood.
They LOVE adding dried shrimp to their dishes. You might as well just call it BBQ sauce, Sriracha or garlic salt, or whatever our American version of it is depending upon where you live in America. It goes on ANYTHING that’s, like, not chocolate cake. I imagine they have chocolate cake with it too, just as I imagine someone has definitely made a Sriracha chocolate cake.
And if they haven’t, well, looks like I just made a weird promise.
Anywho, here’s my take on their noodle/savory dishes. I decided since it’s been a moment since I’ve shared a video and now you guys have probably all lost your culinary technique since of course you only watch my videos (ha) you could use some pointers. So, I threw in 3 of my favorite kitchen techniques for one and all to enjoy and benefit from.
Shout out to GK Skinny Pasta/Gabriella’s Kitchen for supplying the pasta for this video. Any of you who have followed me for a minute now know how much I adore their pasta. While the sauce/technique is certainly the highlight of my sharing, this pasta always makes any dish so tantalizing, so I hope I wasn’t cheating.
Tokyo ginger pasta
- 1 bulb shallot (finely diced)
- 3 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 inch piece ginger (cut into tiny pieces)
- 2 tablespoons olive or sesame seed oil
- 2 pieces chicken thigh (remove skin and bones if they're not already)
- 2 Large eggs
- 2-3 tablespoons tamari (gluten-free soy sauce)
- 5-6 pieces dried baby shrimps (optional, you can find them in Asian specialty stores)
- 1 cup water
- 1 packet 200g gk skinnypasta teff superfood (or use 2 servings of other gluten-free pasta of choice)
- 4-5 sprigs chives (for garnish)
- 2 tablespoons vinegar of choice (just not balsamic)
|Step 1||Prepare your shallots, garlic, and ginger. Set aside. Using a clean cutting board, cut your chicken into fine chunks, very thin for something more sausage-like, and a little bigger if you'd rather have a more chicken piece scenario. Make sure you bring a large pot of water to boil and then another medium pot with 4" deep water and 2 tbs. vinegar to simmer before you start cooking anything.|
|Step 2||Heat your olive or sesame seed oil in large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Once oil is hot but not smoking, add shallots and ginger with a pinch of sea salt. Stir a few times, and once shallots are opaque, reduce heat to medium and add garlic. Add the dried shrimps (optional but delicious) by crumbling them with your fingers and sprinkling them on top. Cook for about 30 seconds, until aromatic, and then immediately add the chicken to cool down the pan. Stir until you've seared all sides (about 45 seconds-1 minute) then immediately DEGLAZE with your tamari. Cook for about 30 seconds, and once you see it really start bubbling, to avoid burning it immediately add your water. This has properly deglazed and made your beautiful sauce. Stir to scrape the brown bits from the bottom of the pan, reduce heat to low, and let simmer.|
|Step 3||Now you're ready to cook your other things. If you use gk skinny pasta, it will only take 2 minutes to cook the pasta so you can start while your egg is poaching. If you're using another brand, it will probably take around 8-10 minutes so start right away.|
|Step 4||To poach your eggs: you've already prepared a pot with 4" deep simmering water with vinegar (no salt!) and now you're going to gently crack the eggs, one by one and far away from each other, into the water. DO NOT STIR. And let sit and simmer gently until the whites are completely opaque. It normally takes about 2-3 minutes to poach an egg, and the key is to not let the water boil (that hardens the yolk) nor to have a temperature too low (that's when they stick to the bottom). Just a gentle simmer with vinegar. Once you can see that the whites have just become entirely opaque, gently, very gently, remove the eggs with a spoon, preferably one with holes in it to avoid having a watery mess. Let sit in a bowl or on a plate room temperature.|
|Step 5||Once your pasta is cooked transfer it to your chicken sauce mixture and stir to coat. Taste for salt and add more tamari or salt if needed. You're ready to serve.|
|Step 6||Divide the pasta and sauce into two bowls and top each bowl with a poached egg. Drizzle with a bit of tamari over the egg for color. Here's our last tip: YOU CAN CUT HERBS WITH SCISSORS and they come out very clean. That way you also don't need to muddy up another cutting board. Take your chives or green onions if you'd prefer and cut them to desired thickness directly over the egg for some color. Enjoy warm!|