a rouxed awakening: curry week on pmk.

yeah, i’ve been eating like a king.  i’ve made ceviche, prepared boatloads of raw food, made nine sauces from scratch in a single week, and eaten enough smoked meat in a single sitting to kill a lesser man.  i’ve made a three-course dinner and eaten it all by myself more times than i can count.

but that isn’t what pmk is about.  making a huge quantity of food that tastes so rich you can feel yourself getting gout is all well and good, but the point of pmk is to show that the average person can create kingly meals with a normal person’s salary.  i’ve haven’t truly been living like a peasant to the greatest extent possible, and for that, i apologize.

so in an effort to get in touch with my own slogan, i have officially declared this week “curry week.”  cheap, delicious, and almost infinite in its varieties, curry is the perfect dish to showcase what pmk is all about.  can i feed myself this week for less than ¥2000 (about $20) and still make food that would make your average diner jealous?  i don’t know, but i’m going to do everything within my power to make it work.

most of my money saving efforts will be concentrated on roux.  in japan, your average grocery store has so many different varieties of prepackaged roux it would make your head spin.  mild curry roux, spicy curry roux, beef stew roux, cream stew roux, tomato beef stew roux, hayashi rice roux.  you get the idea.

“wait, did he say prepackaged roux?”  yes, i did.  most people in japan use this roux for exactly what it was intended, namely to make a thick and delicious sauce with none of the waiting, ingredients, or know-how normally required.  is the flavor way too salty?  of course.  is it terrible for you to just eat vegetables boiled in a concentrated high sodium sauce?  you bet you butt it is.  so why, as a person who has no problem spending the time and using the know-how required to make a good sauce, would i choose to use a prepackaged roux?

two reasons.  one, they are crazy cheap.  two, they are one of the best thickeners on the market.  a few cubes of roux eliminate the need to reduce or dilute the flavor of your food with flour/corn starch.  think of japanese roux like condensed soup in the usa.  starting to make a little more sense?  great.

now go look into opening a new bank account, because we are about to save some serious money.

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and then countless recipes sprang out of the woodwork.

i’ve been posting and cooking, and cooking and posting, and drinking coffee, and then cooking and posting some more.  occasionally, i even sleep.

but that archiving stuff, i’ve been neglecting that.

and so, in one fell swoop, i’ve decided to upload a boatload of recipes that have been skulking menacingly on the hard drive of my computer.

give them a quick once over if you have time, and should you feel the need, try cooking them once or twice and tell me what you think.  constructive criticism only makes us better, and i could certainly do with a little improvement.

mahimahi, pan-seared and swimmingly sauced.

sauce week continues uninterrupted.

sauces 4, 5, and 6 called for a slight change of pace.  sauces 1 through 3 were given the honor of adorning chicken breasts, and i think that may have been a little too easy for me.  so tonight i decided that only my favorite fish would do.  mahimahi, referred to by the japanese as shiira, has a super fresh white meatiness that is second to none.  moreover, it is notoriously tough to cook well.  the whiteness of its meat carries a downside; when cooked too much, it becomes heinously dry and nearly inedible.

i decided to challenge myself.  for the past few days i had been thinking about which sauces would be able to transform such an already magnificent fish into a masterpiece.  i decided on a garlic cream sauce, a shiso pesto, and a spicy mango sauce with mint.  i think everything went swimmingly.

feast your eyeballs.

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