August 8, 2011

Subuta (Sweet and Sour Pork) and Fried Meat Balls/酢豚と揚げ肉団子

I've been a kind of busy again, but I managed to make subuta and fried meat balls as part of supper tonight.
Sorry, no description of the recipe. I used shishito instead of green peppers and instant dashi instead of chicken stock.

I made fried meat (ground pork) balls for my daughter because I thought she didn't like subuta.
I had bought a big (500 g) pre-boiled bamboo shoot, so I used about 300 g of it in subuta, and I also made clear soup with the rest of the bamboo shoot and wakame.
大きな(500 g)の茹でタケノコを買ったので、300 g程度を酢豚に使い、残りのタケノコとワカメで澄まし汁を作りました。


muskrat said...


Sissi said...

All looks delicious! You are such a wonderful cook! All the three dishes in one night!
Is the Sweet and Sour Pork a Japanese specialty or is it "borrowed" from the Chinese cuisine?

Hiroyuki said...

muskrat: Thanks you again for your very short comment!

Hiroyuki said...

Sissi: I am capable of making one soup, one main dish (shusai 主菜), and one or two side dishes (fukusah 副菜) in a period of 40 minutes to one hour, like many other Japanese housewives.

Come of think of it, I don't know what authentic sweet and sour pork should taste like!
You can learn some difference between Japanese and American versions from here:

Sissi said...

Thank you, Hiroyuki, for the link! I am not a slow cook (in fact, i don't want to boast but in comparison to all the cooks I know I cook very quickly!), but you surprise me. Especially the balls and sour pork are impressing if they are made in 40 minutes both (not to mention the soup). Now I'm not sure if I'm as quick as I thought ;-)

Hiroyuki said...

Sissi: I'm not a wonderful cook. As you may know, I'm not a professional cook, and I tend to make shortcuts and omit those steps that I don't think necessary. I'm like a bad student who never ever follows what the teacher instructs him to.

For subuta, I microwaved the carrot and onion slices to save time, and I used the shishito previously cut in half, deseeded, rinsed, and put in the freezer.

I deep-fried the pieces of pork for subuta and ground pork balls (20 or so) in four separate batches in total, which took 4 min. x 4 = 16 min. plus extra time. I often use a timer to accurately measure the time. I hate both overcooking and undercooking.

The original recipe for subuta
Japanese only
says to pan-fry the vegetables, remove it, put ketchup, bring to a boil, add other seasonings, bring to a boil again, add potato starch + water, thicken the sauce, add the vegetables and fried pork pieces. But I simply pan-fried the microwaved vegetables for a short time, added fried pork, and finally added all the seasonings at the same time, including the potato starch.
I poured some sesame oil just before serving.

Making clear soup is fairly easy, as I described here:

That evening, I also made onion slices for my daughter, and I ordered her to have them!

Hiroyuki said...

I found some stupid mistakes in my comment last night:

Not fukusah but fukusai.

Come of think of it??
Come to think of it, of course!!

In present-day Japan, ichijusansai 一汁三菜 is usually regarded as meaning 1 soup plus 1 shusai and 2 fukusai.

Sissi said...

Hiroyuki, I also try to simplify the steps, but I never use the timer. I cook my eggs too much (apart from the medium-cooked ones), burn some cookies or cakes, etc.. I simply hate the timer. I should buy a beautiful one, maybe, that I would really enjoy using for the sake of the esthetic side ;-)
Thank you for the detailed recipe! (By the way, have you ordered you daughter to eat raw onion slices? A bit of ponzu, mayonnaise and katsuobushi and it would be a delight I learnt from you...).
I see so often on your blog meals composed of several dishes that when I have a single plate of Italian pasta I start feeling something is missing :-) In fact, I realised, since I started to cook Japanese cuisine I eat more and more vegetables and more and more fish! I hope this will have an impact on my health.
PS You make so few mistakes and when you do, you notice them! I haven't even noticed the English one, not to mention the Japanese...

Hiroyuki said...

Sissi: My daughter is a picky eater, and I have to make sure she takes in enough vegetables. And, yes, she likes to have onion slices with ponzu + mayo + katsuobushi.

As you may know, a soup is not counted as a dish in Japanese cuisine, and I usually make one shusai and at least one fukusai for supper. I usually make very substantial miso soup, full of vegetables, hoping that my children take in enough vegetables.

Fish has some wonderful health benefits, but I also have to mention their potentially adverse effects because they may contain mercury.
I make it a point to have everything, meat, fish, vegetables, beans, etc. in moderation.

I almost forgot to tell you that I had some ko aji no nanbanzuke with a slice of bread with some margarine on it. Unfortunately, the supermarket I frequent didn't carry baguettes on that particular day. I had some butter left in the fridge, but I didn't use it.
The combination was good enough, but I wanted to add an additional ingredient like a slice of cheese!

Sissi said...

Hiroyuki, I use butter very sparingly, but I must say I don't like margarine... It reminds me the time when everyone started shouting how bad the butter was and my mother stopped buying it. Then a doctor told me actually butter had some precious vitamins (D I think) and that it was very wise, but in very small amounts. Crunchy bread with butter reminds me of the time when I was small and the margarine wasn't in fashion yet ;-)
A friend of mine who lived a couple of months in Japan told me Japanese bakers produced great French-style bread!
I did some more nanban zuke a couple of days ago. It was so hot I had problems with finishing (a friend offered me some chilies, looking like cherry tomatoes, and I thought they weren't very hot... actually they were!).
I have also heard about the mercury. As I see the bigger the fish more mercury it contains. Luckily I don't have a lot of big fish... I suppose ko aji doesn't have much mercury.
About your daughter... When I was small I hated almost everything apart from meat (funny no?) and I loved sour fruit oh and also chili!. I still have not very "girly" preferences, such as pickled herring, blood sausage (or black pudding), sour cocktails, etc...

Hiroyuki said...

Sissi: I hate cream made from vegetable oil, and I also hate low-sodium soy sauce because of its somewhat strange flavor, but somehow I can stand the flavor of margarine.

Crunchy, authentic-looking barguettes are available anytime even in a rural area like mine if you simply go to a good bakery. There are two or three such bakeries in my area.

Nowadays, there are many Japanese who have more meat than fish, but there are still many small children who hate meat. So, what do they like to have? Well, furikake, tarako, shirasu (baby sardines), and natto, among others.

Anonymous said...

Hiroyuki & Sissi: Looks yummy!! I need to make some subuta soon :) I think I'll put canned pineapple in mine instead of bamboo shoots, as bamboo shoots are kind of hard to come by in Australia.

Oh, by the way, I was thinking about making some Japanese omelettes, but the only Japanese yams I could find were selling for AUD$15 a kilogram! So, I decided to make kinoko nabe with some dried porcini and trompet mushrooms.

I'm not a slow cook either, but I'm not as fast as Hiroyuki... takes me about 1.5 hours at least to make dinner. I think it's because I'm not good at multi-tasking, as I prefer to do one job, wait until I finish it, before moving on to the second job. I guess I should try to be more efficient.

A good way to sneak lots of vegetables into dishes is to grate the vegetables with a grater or puree in a food processor / blender, and then add the vegetable pastes into curries, ramen, soups, stews, and gratins. It's like it's invisible! Also, adding them to cakes and muffins is a great way to go as well.

I think of Italian pasta as being the same in nature as ramen, so I don't think it's really lacking in anything, as long as you have a little of everything on the plate, like in a bowl of ramen.

But I guess for dinner, I do prefer having a variety of small dishes; whereas for lunch a bowl of ramen or pasta will keep me going!

Hiroyuki said...

Anonymous: Thanks for your comment.

Canned pineapple is also a common ingredient of subuta, but I tend to leave it out because it's very sweet.