Japanese stuffed peppers

What?  Another Japanese recipe?  YES!  Another complicated very precise Japanese recipe.  I am up for the challenge.

This next Japanese recipe comes from a cookbook I just got for Christmas from my brother Roger and sister-in-law Amy.  It’s called “Izakaya The Japanese Pub Cookbook” by Mark Robinson.  I love pub food and I love Japan so it seems like a win win cookbook for me!

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I had tagged the recipe for Deep-fried Stuffed Peppers.  Again like the ramen of the previous post, this recipe had several elements.  To start with I made dashi stock.  Dashi is used in Japanese soups, stews, stock concentrates and sauces.  To make it I put my burner on the lowest setting I could and put water and kelp in a pot.

kelp is a dried seaweed btw
kelp is a dried seaweed btw
bathing kelp over super low heat
bathing kelp over super low heat

When the water started to simmer (which was around 30 minutes later), the kelp was removed.  The water was brought to a boil then some cold water was added to the pot to stop the boiling.  The heat was also lowered and bonito flakes were added.

bonito flakes are flakes of dried fish btw
bonito flakes are flakes of dried fish btw
bonito flakes in the water
bonito flakes in the water

When the liquid began to boil again the pan was removed from heat and let to stand for 5 minutes.  Then the liquid was strained and let to cool at room temperature.

tada - dashi stock!
tada – dashi stock!

The dashi stock is used to make tentsuyu, or tempura sauce.  The stock is put in a small pot with soy sauce and mirin.  It’s brought to a boil over high heat.  Then the heat is turned off and bonito flakes are added for 10 seconds.  After 10 seconds the sauce is strained and you have tentsuyu!

blurry I know...it was still steaming when the photo was taken.
blurry I know…it was still steaming when the photo was taken.

Next I made the relish.  It was a momiji-oroshi or daikon and red chili relish.  To make it I grated a 1/2″ thick coin of daikon radish and then mixed it with red chili flakes.

momiji-oroshi done!
momiji-oroshi done!

Onto the peppers.  I took a small green pepper, cut it in half and took our the seeds and ribs.  I dusted with flour and placed ground chicken in each half.  the chicken was then dusted with flour.

I will also note that recipe had sliced scallions on the ingredients but reading through the recipe over and over again I never saw where I was suppose to use them...perhaps to mix with the ground chicken prior to stuffing the peppers?
I will also note that recipe had sliced scallions on the ingredients but reading through the recipe over and over again I never saw where I was suppose to use them…perhaps to mix with the ground chicken prior to stuffing the peppers?

I warmed oil in my deep fryer and made mixed cold water with cake flour.

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Then I dipped the peppers in the batter and into the deep fryer they went.

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This is where things started to go down hill in terms of the recipes instructions.  As I said before I had inklings of something not being complete with this recipe because the green onions on the ingredients list were never used in the text of the recipe.  The recipe gave no amount of time for how long to fry, only said when the breading began to turn golden brown.  So when the color was a golden brown I pulled the peppers out and cut them in half and….

RAW chicken interior!
RAW chicken interior!

So back in the fryer they went and cooked longer until the chicken was cooked.  At which point the green pepper was seriously over done and black…but I would rather eat black green pepper than raw chicken…choices!

The peppers were served topped with the momiji-oroshi and with the tentsuyu to dip in.

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The Verdict:  While not pretty the peppers were edible.  And the tentsuyu had a really nice smoky taste.  This was my first time making dashi stock and I feel like I learned a lot about dashi stock so not all was lost in making this recipe!  I will give Japanese pub food another chance in a few months when I am back to this cookbook again…but so far I am not convinced Japanese pub food is a thing.