Japanese hibachi style fried rice

After a recent trip to our local Hibachi grill, we realized that copying the food at home wouldn’t be that difficult. So after a quick internet search, we found exactly what we were looking for the fried rice recipe.

Ingredients:
4 cups White Rice, short-grained, cooked
1 cup Green Peas
2 tbsp Carrot, shredded (we ended up using about one and a half small carrots)
2 eggs
one Onion, diced
bunch of scallions, diced
1 1/2 tbsp Butter
2 tbsp Soy Sauce

Directions.
The Rice: Cook rice according to package directions. Put in bowl and place in refrigerator to cool while getting the rest of the ingredients together. Eggs: Scramble the eggs in a small pan over medium heat. Separate the scrambled chunks of egg into small pea-size bits while cooking. When rice has cooled to near room temperature, add peas, shredded carrot, scrambled egg and diced onion to the bowl. Dump the bowl of rice into the pan with the eggs. Slowly add soy sauce plus a dash of salt and pepper. Mix to combine. Cook rice for 6-8 minutes over heat, stirring often. (We actually only cooked it for about another 5. This will depend on the Wok you are using and how hot your stove top gets.) Serve immediately.

My opinion:
I love this rice. It’s simple and filling enough to eat as a meal by itself.

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Mongolian Beef

The secret behind good Mongolian Beef is apparently a super heated wok to caramelize the beef. While we can’t recreate a super heated wok, J came very close to mimicking the flavors modifying this recipe from Big Oven using brown sugar.

Ingredients:
lbs Flank Steak cut into strips
1/3 cup Cornstarch
1/4 cup Vegetable oil
1 bunch Green onion, sliced

Sauce
1 tbs Vegetable oil
1 tbs Ginger, minced
3 tbs Garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon Red pepper flakes
1/2 cup Soy sauce
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup Brown sugar

Directions:
Put cut up steak into a plastic bag along with corn starch. Shake well to coat and let sit for 10 minutes. In small sauce pan, heat 1 Tbs of oil until hot. Add red pepper flakes, ginger, and garlic. Saute briefly making sure not to burn. Pour in soy sauce and water, then add brown sugar. Boil sauce for 2-3 minutes to thicken slightly. Remove from heat. Heat 1/4 cup of oil in wok or large skillet. When oil is hot, add beef and stir fry until brown and cooked through. Add sauce and green onions. Cook for 1 minute. Do not leave in pan too long or the sauce will thicken from the corn starch.

My opinion:
This rivals the best  restaurant prepared Mongolian Beef. Fair warning, though, if you do have left overs, the cornstarch will make the gravy congeal in the container. It’s still tasty the next day, just with thicker sauce.

Chinese Pepper Steak

Our culinary tour through Asia continues with this dish. Easy enough for a weeknight meal, there was more than enough left for lunch the next day.

Ingredients:
1 lb Flank steak diagonally cut (we used flat iron steak because the local grocery was out of flank)
For the marinade:
1/4 cup Soy sauce
2 tablespoons Dry sherry
1 teaspoon Sugar
2 teaspoon Cornstarch
1/4 cup Water
2 tablespoons Vegetable oil
4 Garlic cloves, chopped
2 teaspoons Ginger root peeled, grated (we used a little more)
2 Scallions chopped
2 tablespoons Vegetable oil
1 large Onion, cut into squares
2 Green peppers, cut into squares (we used a red one we had on hand and needed to eat)

Directions:
Marinate steak for at least 15 minutes, longer is better.  Add oil to hot wok. Stir  fry garlic, ginger and scallions for 30 seconds. With a slotted spoon to reserve the marinade, remove half of the meat and stir fry for 3 minutes.  Remove and set aside. Repeat with remaining steak. In the same wok, add oil and stir fry the onion and green peppers for 2 minutes.  Push vegetables to sides of wok.  Add marinade to center of wok and stir until thickened and bubbly. Blend in  vegetables, add steak and heat thoroughly (about 5 minutes).

My opinion:
The right blend of savory and sweet, this dish is lovely with a side of jasmine rice.

Modified from this recipe on Big Oven.

Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck Garlic Shrimp


The hardest part of returning to the mainland from Hawai’i is leaving behind the ocean, the views and the food. Luckily, a few of our favorite dishes aren’t that difficult to recreate. Giovanni’s Shrimp truck is legendary.  It’s in all the Oahu guide books and is worth the amazingly scenic drive. The menu is simple: shrimp scampi, spicy shrimp and lemon butter shrimp. We started our recreation with the easier scampi. With the help of Google, we found this YouTube video, which gave us the ingredients and a few tips.

Ingredients:
Extra large shrimp, deveined, shell on
1 head (10 cloves) garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
1 cup flour
2 tablespoons paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (1 tablespoon for spicier tastes)
1/2 stick clarified butter 
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 cup white wine (dry)
2 tablespoons regular butter

Directions:
Pat the shrimp dry. In a gallon zip top bag, mix the flour, paprika and cayenne pepper. Add shrimp and coat each piece of shrimp with the mixture. Heat saute pan over medium-high heat (any higher and the garlic will burn). Add clarified butter and garlic. Stir for 1 minute, then add all of the shrimp. Saute 3 minutes on each side. After 3 minutes on the second side, add the wine and 2 tablespoons butter. Saute, turning shrimp occasionally, until it reaches a caramel brown color.

My opinion:
We had way more shrimp than would fit in one pan! The next time we make this, I will be using the wok, as that would probably keep the garlic from burning. As we had about three pounds of shrimp total, we ended up using the entire bottle of wine. We’ll also probably take the shells off instead of leaving them on as we really like the coating. All in all, it was very close to the deliciousness that is Giovanni’s. Now if only it came with a side of the ocean…