October 27, 2017

Blind love for whales/鯨に対する盲目的な愛

Why are anti-whaling countries self-righteous, emotional, irrational, barbarous, unscientific, and culturally imperialistic? Why do they disrespect the cultures, traditions, and customs of other countries and areas? Why do they attack whaling countries verbally and in other ways? Why didn't they simply leave the IWC when they lost interest in whaling? Why does one anti-whaling country take a double-standard policy about whaling? Why does another play international whaling "police"?

I have just a lot of questions to answer for myself, and I have yet to answer any of them confidently after months of study. All I can say at this point is that love is blind. Because of their blind love for whales, anti-whaling countries are capable of doing things that decent countries could never do.

In summary, anti-whaling countries can't see the ocean for the whales, as I mentioned previously. And, not only that, they can do inappropriate things because of their blind love for whales.




October 17, 2017

Kujira Tatsuta Age and Nanban Zuke/鯨の竜田揚げと南蛮漬け

Late last month, I wanted to go to Wada town, Chiba prefecture to have some whale dishes, but I had to postpone my plan, so I decided to order some whale meat online and make some whale dishes myself, so both my parents and I could have them.
I ordered two boxes of 1 kg of fin whale breast meat online, which arrived on October 2.
ネットでナガス鯨胸肉1 kgを2箱注文し、10/2に届きました。

One box contained five blocks of breast meat, 1 kg in total.
箱一つには胸肉が5ブロック(全部で1 kg)入っていました。 
The sheet says that whale breast meat is fattier and has a better texture than dorsal (red) meat. It also says the meat is ideal for tatsuta age (a type of deep-fried dish), katsu (Japanese cutlets), and steaks.
I decided to simmer two blocks in a pressure cooker first in an attempt to make a dish similar to yamato-ni, but I wanted to season it less heavily, so I used my usual water, soy sauce, and mirin ratio for ni zakana (simmered fish), which is 5:1:1. I replaced the water entirely with sake to deodorize the whale meat.
400 g whale meat
150 ml sake (or mixture of water and sake)
30 ml soy sauce
30 ml mirin
Sake:soy sauce:mirin = 5:1:1
Relatively large amount of ginger, to deodorize the whale meat
鯨肉 400 g
お酒(または水とお酒を合わせる) 150 ml
しょう油 30 ml
みりん 30 ml
酒:しょう油:みりん = 5:1:1
生姜 鯨肉の臭みを取るため、比較的大量
I didn't dispose of the bloody drippings from the meat but put them in the pressure cooker because I didn't want to lose any balenine (anti-fatigue substance contained in baleen whales in large quantity) that might be in the drippings.

Lesson 1: Cooking whale meat in a pressure cooker (for 20 minutes this time) does not tenderize the meat. I should have cooked the meat in a frying pan or something for only a few minutes until done.
Lesson 2: Cooking a whole block is not a good idea. I should have cut each block into bite-size pieces first.
教訓1: 鯨肉を圧力鍋で(今回は20分)煮ても、柔らかくならない。フライパンか何かで、火が通るまで数分だけ加熱すべきでした。
教訓2: ブロックのまま調理するのはいい考えではない。まずは一口サイズに切るべきでした。
Next, I made whale steaks, or should I say, just yaki niku (grilled meat).

I first cut each block into bite-size pieces this time. I kept the drippings in the frying pan.

I poured a generous amount of yakiniku (grilled meat) sauce in an attempt to deodorize the meat.

I tasted one piece and found it was almost inedible! Just too smelly. I decided not to serve the grilled whale meat, cut the pieces into smaller ones, soaked them in a 5:1:1 mixture of water, soy sauce, and mirin plus shredded ginger, and microwaved for a few minutes.
Lesson 3: The drippings from the whale meat are just too much! I should have disposed of them before grilling the whale meat.
教訓3: 鯨肉からのドリップはすご過ぎる。肉を焼く前に捨てるべきでした。

For my third attempt, I made "beef" stew, using store-bought premade beef stew roux.
I grated one unpeeled potato over the pot.

I used one whale meat block.

I made sure that I didn't overcook the whale meat this time.

This is the beef stew roux I used.

The resultant "beef" stew wasn't very tasty.

Lesson 4: Whale meat does not go very well with Japanese store-bought beef stew roux.
教訓4: 鯨肉は日本の市販のビーフシチューのルーには合わない。

The next day, I decided to turn the stew into curry by adding some store-bought curry roux.

Not very tasty. I added some frozen seafood.

Still not very tasty.
Lesson 5: Whale meat does not go very well with Japanese store-bought curry roux.
教訓5: 鯨肉は日本の市販のカレールーとは合わない。
For my next attempt, I decided to make tatsuta-age.
400 g whale meat
鯨肉 400 g
Thinly slice whale meat.
Soak in a mixture of
45 ml soy sauce
45 ml mirin
Grated ginger
しょう油 45 ml
みりん 45 ml
Place plastic wrap on top, and put in the fridge for tens of minutes.
I placed mine in the fridge for more than three hours.
Put some katakuriko (potato starch) in a plastic bag, and add the whale meat.

Deep-fry for about 2-3 minutes until done.

Very tasty! The whale meat was a little chewy, though.

Lesson 6: Whale meat goes very well with traditional Japanese seasonings, particularly, soy sauce. Soy sauce has the great power to bring out the flavor of any ingredient.
教訓6: 鯨肉は日本の伝統的な調味料、特にしょう油とよく合う。しょう油はどの具材の味も引き出すすぐれた力を持っている。
Lesson 7: Deep-frying seems a great cooking method for whale meat.
教訓7: 揚げるという方法は鯨肉には、すぐれた方法に思える。

I made nanban zuke with these leftovers.

1/2 onion, sliced
1/2 carrot
玉ねぎ 1/2個、スライス
人参 1/2本
Microwave for a few minutes.
Add a 3:3:1 mixture of soy sauce, vinegar, and sugar.
Note: Nanban zuke usually contains shredded red peppers. I left them out.
注: 南蛮漬けには普通、刻んだ赤唐辛子を入れます。私は省略しました。
Put in the fridge overnight.
This morning:
Very, very tasty! The whale meat has turned very tender thanks to the vinegar. My mother, who cannot eat chewy food, had no difficulty eating it. After having some pieces, she wanted to have one more.

Lesson 8: Soaking (cooked?) whale meat in vinegar tenderizes it.
教訓8: (調理済の?)鯨肉をお酢に漬けると、柔らかくなる。

Finally, I highly recommend tatsuta age and tanban zuke. I'm going to use the remaining blocks to make these two dishes.