DINNER in a Japanese restaurant is a pleasure. Fortunately, everyone in the family, including my young nephew Pannon, likes all aspects of this cuisine.
Most dishes feature vegetables, seaweeds and sea creatures like sea urchins. Not that Filipino cuisine doesn’t use sea urchins; in fact, we preserve the “meat” of suwaki and tuyom with salt, or eat it straight from the shell after all the spines have been shaved away.
Last Monday, Uncle Gustave dragged the whole kit and caboodle, but no one complained. We always have room for tempura, teriyaki, ramen, tonkatsu, veggie gyoza and a whole lot more.
When we got home, Pannon kept singing praises to the sushi and chahan (fried rice) we had. He particularly also liked the cabbage omelet and kept asking if we could have it at home. Not one to deny a request, I flexed my cooking muscles and got to work.
The purist would say that you can’t cook Japanese if you don’t have the right ingredients and start from scratch, especially when making miso soup. I agree, so our recipe today is only Japanese-inspired.
Pseudo Japanese Omelet. To make cabbage omelet, remember to have a very sharp knife when you shred the leaves into strips. Beat two eggs and season according to taste. Add the cabbage and mix well.
Cook over medium hot pan to make small omelets. Flip the omelet properly with an omelet turner. To serve, top with fried pork or shrimp scampi or shrimp in tomato sauce, and criss-cross with Japanese mayonnaise, oyster sauce or ketchup.
For a more Pinoy flavor, quickly saute grated garlic and add shredded cabbage just to heat through. Set aside to cool before adding to the beaten egg.
To make the pork toppings, fry pork strips marinated in homemade teriyaki sauce. To make the sauce, mix water, soy sauce, freshly grated garlic and ginger (or use powdered form), brown sugar and cornstarch. Cook over low fire so as not to burn, until it thickens. A more simple recipe uses soy sauce, sugar and cornstarch. Add sesame seeds.
Scampi is just shelled shrimp cooked in butter with olive oil. Add garlic and saute until fragrant and pinkish. Add minced parsley if you like, but you can’t skip the lemon juice to taste. Sometimes, I add parmesan cheese.
They call this Jambalaya, but this shrimp recipe is simply just peeled and deveined shrimp stir-fried with garlic, bell pepper, paprika and tomato sauce.
Published in the SunStar Cebu newspaper on September 02, 2017.
Latest issues of SunStar Cebu also available on your mobile phones, laptops, and tablets. Subscribe to our digital editions at epaper.sunstar.com.ph and get a free seven-day trial.