The holiday family visit of three adults and four hurricane storm of otherwise adorable kids has safely passed. Despite a bashed vintage subwoofer cone, two cracked coffee mugs (of extreme sentimental value), a permanent marker stained down blanket, a broken (also vintage) folding Danish table and other nicks and scratches on furniture too many to list, I always think positively that things could've been a lot worse. All left safe, in good health and as far as I can tell very happy, and that is most important.
Watching my sister cook for these four demanding children was quite inspiring. Ingredients chopped very fast, no more or less crudely than necessary. Simple Sa-Shi-Su-Se-So flavorings. An overall balance of Protein, Veggies and Carb. Her style is about efficient day in and day out sustenance. And while I learned a lot like how Olive Oil and Soy Sauce are great together, I managed to squeeze in a few of my own dishes during their stay.
Adapted to my family's real time demands, my EZ Hamburg Steak was a (extremely bastardized) derivative of something I learned on my favorite Japanese celebrity chef Kentaro's television show Danshi Gohan. What I got out of it was more about process rather than a list of ingredients that knowing myself will never commit to heart. What I had put together on the fly went something like this:
Aibiki Meat - 1 pound ground Beef and 1 pound ground Pork.
(I usually like a 7:3 ratio of beef to pork but this simplified things. Also the beef was an 85% lean (15% fat) grind but I prefer 20% fat content if possible.)
Sauteed Chopped Onions - 1 Large in oil of choice (done prior and cooled on plate).
Garlic - 1 clove finely minced.
Egg - 1 Large.
Panko Bread Crumbs - About a single cupped handful.
Milk - Enough to wet and saturate all the Panko (done in a small bowl prior, pretty important).
S&P - To liking.
Nutmeg - I microplaned about 1/3 of a nut.
Mix all well to a fine texture. I like to throw the huge meat ball a few times against the mixing bowl to rid any trapped air. Then best left in fridge for a few hours to set flavors but I didn't have the time for this.
When ready, form into a nice smooth shape void of cracks and bumps.
After searing well on both sides in a lightly oiled pan, the tip I learned is to pour water about half way the height of the patty to steam. Cover (I used a piece of aluminum foil) and set heat to medium-high after water reaches a light boil which should be fairly immediate.
The Hamburg is done when the liquid escaping the patty is clear. The level of the remaining water is not so important. After taking the Hamburg out to rest on a plate under the same foil, I used the left over liquid to make a simple sweet soy sauce glaze.
Sake, Mirin, Light Soy Sauce - 1:1:1 (hard to say how much).
Sugar - Enough to balance out the Soy Sauce but basically to taste.
When reduced to a light syrup texture add the Hamburg back and lightly simmer for a minute or two. When plating, a mound of grated Daikon radish is always nice (rinsed in cold water if too bitter).
I also made a spiral Norimaki Tamago one morning. The key here is to use cheap (tissue thin) Nori. A higher grade thicker Nori will be too tough when cooked with the egg.
I used a tablespoon of water per egg but my sister recommended me using mayonnaise next time for an even fluffier omelet. Really? I'll have to try that next time.
Best with Soy Sauce and not ketchup. :)