In the spirit of continuing to adapt traditional Japanese dishes to contemporary American palates, Hiroko Shimbo has created a twist on the Japanese cooking technique known as namban. Here, she infuses sweet curry flavor into boneless, skinless chicken thighs that are pan-seared and then baked.
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Traditional sukiyaki is a hot pot-style dish of beef and vegetables simmered in a broth of soy sauce, sugar, and mirin. It's a popular meal in Japan, but because of the lack of tabletop cooking vessels in the US, sukiyaki is challenging to replicate here. Hiroko Shimbo's version in Hiroko's American Kitchen drops the hot pot entirely to create a one dish meal more suitable to the American home cook.
Like many big city serious eaters, I enjoy probably more than my fair share of ramen. Until this week, all of these sips and slurps were at restaurants or food trucks; even though I cook almost everything for myself, ramen has always seemed like a dish best left to experts with plenty of time to tend a long-simmered broth. However, when I opened up Hiroko Shimbo's new cookbook, Hiroko's American Kitchen, and saw not one, but two recipes for the noodle soup, I knew I needed to give it a shot.
I've long been a fan of bagna càuda, that magical Italian elixir of anchovies, garlic, and olive oil. I figure that almost any ingredient can be made better by dragging it through the potent sauce. But seeing its name in a Japanese cookbook was, frankly, a bit of a shock. Japanese plus Italian? I had to try it.
Hiroko Shimbo's braised daikon recipe is one of the few strictly Japanese recipes in her new cookbook, Hiroko's American Kitchen. The dish is a simple appetizer of daikon "slowly bathed" in kelp stock and topped with Shimbo's spicy miso sauce. The sauce—a blend of aged miso, sugar, mirin, sake, lemon juice, and red pepper flakes—provides rich, tangy contrast to the subtle, earthy flavor of daikon.
"A recipe for dashi can be as simple as water and kelp, but adding bonito makes the dashi more complex and complete." Kelp in a pot. [Photographs: Chichi Wang] In Japanese cuisine, all roads lead back to dashi, the base...