Monday, February 23, 2009

Cheap Eats

Last weekend, we braved the seething masses of flesh and carts that run over your feet to shop for meat, vegetables, and fruits at the West Side Market. Bug wanted to make several dishes to feed the two of us for a few days.

Guess what this is?

Are they fish sticks swimming under water?

Close. They are korokke, Japanese croquettes, in a freezer bag.

Ingredients (prorated cost):
2 lb red potatoes ($1.75)
1/2 lb ground sirloin ($1.75)
1 Tsp S&B Japanese curry powder (pantry item)
pinch of salt (pantry item)
some flour (pantry item)
4-5 eggs, beaten (pantry item)
some panko ($1.10)
peanut oil (pantry item)

1) Prepare potatoes like mashed potatoes. Peel, chop, boil, mash, and set aside.
2) Cook ground beef.
3) Mix mashed potatoes, ground beef, and curry powder then form into whatever shape you want (patty, fingers, lobsters, Wookiee, ...).
4) Coat your potato masterpiece with flour.
5) Immerse in beaten eggs.
6) Coat with panko.
7) Deep fry until desired shade of brown.

Bug decided to make them into cylinders so they would be easier to store in the freezer uncooked. Using the ingredients above, he made enough to stuff a 1 gallon freezer bag.

Korokke with tonkatsu sauce

The korokke was a side dish to the mabo tofu, so ~8 korokke were deep fried for dinner. The rough and thick deep fried crunch contrasted the smooth potato and light curry center. The thick tonkatsu sauce adds a cool and spicy zing-tang.

Mabo tofu, tsukemono, and rice

I love mabo tofu, but mabo tofu is a sassy little dish. It's a different kind of spicy and a naughty thing to take to work for lunch. The smell of the sauce (garlic) lingers forever, not only in the office, but on you. These burps last for HOURS. No amount of gum will obfuscate a mabo aura, only time...or re-constituted dog poop wedged in the treads of your shoes.

2 packets of House mabo tofu sauce ($5.25)
2/3 lb tofu cubed ($1.75)
1 lb pork ($1.67)
1/3 cup diced green bell peppers ($0.40)

1. Cook the pork.
2. Drain the fat.
3. Add tofu and bell peppers.
4. Add mabo tofu sauce, and let simmer for 10 minutes.

Cooking oil isn't necessary as the pork provides more than enough, even after draining. This makes 8 very filling servings.

Yeah, this dish is like making mac n cheese from a box. I have no clue how to make the uhh mabo in mabo tofu from scratch. The list of ingredients is follows...

INGREDIENTS: Water, apple paste, soybean paste(soybean, salt, water, malted rice), palm oil, starch(corn, potato), autolyzed yeast extract, spices, monosodium glutamate, potassium chloride, doubanjiang(red pepper, bean, rice, salt, spices, alcohol water), seasonings(rice, malted rice, glucose, corn syrup), sugar, sesame oil, green onion, soy sauce(soy beans, wheat, water, salt), salt, coloring(caramel, paprika), xanthan gum, artificial flavor

I'll let the good people at House take care of getting it right.

And three BANZAI for Bug for making korokke from scratch for the first time, as well as gyoza, which will be discussed next!

- Cassaendra

1 deep thoughts:

Sophie 19 August, 2009 01:59  

WOW (impressed look). Your version looks so yummy.

Here I bought a sauce pack for mapo tofu so as to skip all the seasonings! and i will try this friday after work.

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