japanese tuna salad rolls: a bound salad set free.

if you were to wander into one of the estimated 46,000 convenience stores in japan, you would eventually come upon a section of the refrigerated shelving designated for rice balls.  some of them contain extravagent ingredients, like spiced cod roe, chopped green onions, and fresh wasabi.  others are decidedly non-japanese in flavor, such as the surreptitiously bright yellow dry curry rice balls.

but no matter where you go, regardless of whether you are in a 7-11, familymart, circle k, daily yamazaki, or lawson, you will undoubtedly find a rice ball labeled “sea chicken.”

it contains, as you might guess, a 1:1 mixture of tuna and mayonnaise.  they are the cheapest for a reason. namely, because they are just awful.

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roast tenderloin: a poor man in hog heaven.

as bobby frost, united states poet laureate from 1958-1959, once wrote:

“two roads diverged in a supermarket, and i, | i took the meat less traveled by | and that has made all the difference.”

or at least i think that’s how it went…

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kimchi fried rice: waste not, want not.

how do those iron chefs do it?

super chefs have some sort of sixth sense that allows them to recognize the exact weight of each ingredient required to prepare a single portion of their dish.  when they pull the curtain off the secret ingredient in kitchen stadium, i like to think the iron chefs are thinking “ok, i’ve got this licked.  i’m going to need one scallop, two figs, 3 grams of cheese, 5 ml of wine, and a 20cm strip of phyllo dough per plate.”  i think maybe it is a gland or extrasensory organ we normal humans just don’t have.

regardless, the portions come out perfect every time.  nobody has leftovers on iron chef.  the members of the celebrity scoring panel never take home extra black truffle and snow crab terrine to microwave the next day.

or do they?

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chicken cutlet sandwich: a cut above the rest.

some sandwich traditions are time-honored.  they whether the ages, beat the odds, and become immortalized in the proverbial sandwich hall of fame.  they become so famous we can no longer imagine a world without them.  everybody knows their names by heart.  names like blt,  reuben, hot ham and cheese, and club sandwich.

but this post isn’t about their stories.  this post is about the other guys.  the underdogs.  this post is about one of the sandwiches which is still fighting the good fight, climbing the ladder to infinite fame and eternal sandwich recognition.  this post is about a sandwich which has faced countless obstacles and still kept on keeping on.

this is the sad sad story of the chicken cutlet.

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yuzu, part deux: the fruit of my loins.

remember a few posts back when i made yuzu pasta and my girlfriend whipped up an amazing batch of yuzu cupcakes?

while i would like to pretend that culinary curiosity was the only force of nature which inspired such an amazing post, the truth is not quite as glamorous.  we cooked an entirely yuzu themed meal because we had so many yuzu we didn’t even know what to do with them.  we literally had so many we were bathing in them.

we worked hard, and when all was said and done, we had accomplished a great feat.  we breathed a deep sigh of elation and continued with our lives.  two yuzu recipes had been born out of a desire to let no fruit go wasted, and that was nothing to be scoffed at.  after all, necessity is the mother of invention.

like any normal person would after living through such a trying ordeal, i thought i was done with yuzu recipes for the year.

as it turns out, i was sorely mistaken.

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diced! (and shameless vote grubbing).

hey there, pmk readers.

i’ve been a good blogger over the past few months, haven’t i?  i’ve never asked you to do anything that might make you question my moral scruples, right?  we get along already, don’t we?  i’ve shown you all kinds of recipes.  you’ve given me all kinds of great feedback and comments.  i’ve thrown joke after crappy joke your direction.  together, we’ve transformed pmk into a budding, goofy, readable cooking blog.

in fact, i’ve gotten so almost-popular that i’m in a cooking competition for the first time ever.  the competition is called diced! and it is being hosted on Rantings of an Amateur Chef.  for round one, the competitors were asked to make an appetizer out of corn, corn flakes, and corned beef.  i thought long and hard, cooked my recipes, took some photos, and sent it into the fray to represent me in this culinary showdown.  i personally think it came out amazing.

but sadly, no matter how good my recipe looks or tastes, in the end it is the votes that count.  so i have a favor to ask of all your followers out there: pop on by Rantings of an Amateur Chef, scroll to the bottom of my recipe for inverted cumberland mini-pies, click on the tiny little like button, and tune in on the december 7th to cast your vote to keep me in the competition.

thanks guys, i owe you one.

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bread pudding, bamboo, and mount fuji.

there are people in this world who roll out of bed on saturday morning, pour some milk over stale cereal, and watch morning cartoons until their eyes hurt.  when the cartoons are over, they microwave some pizza rolls just long enough for them to stop being frozen, eat them, and then go back to bed for the rest of the day.

then there are those people who wake up with the sun, make coffee, bake a batch of bread pudding, and head out to the farm by 9:00 a.m.  those people are more my style.

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