Category Archives: Recipes

Here you’ll find our personal recipes and those that have been requested.

Authentic Japanese Village Steak Sauce Recipe

A while back I visited our local version of the Teppanyaki steak house (a store called  Japanese Village). I’ve been there several times over the many years it’s been around and on this visit I remembered that I always wanted to know the recipe for the “Steak Sauce” they served.

After some asking around I located a fellow who knows someone who worked there and knew the recipe. Even better they’d call me and read it from the actual recipe sheet at the store. It was fun to be texting back and forth while this person was in the kitchen at the restaurant getting one or two ingredients at a time while they tried to hide what they were doing. Very cool spy stuff.   The recipe produced a very large quantity that they made for the restaurant but I’ve been able to convert it to a smaller and more manageable size for home use. This is the only alteration made.

While the brand names of the ingredients used were not given, you should be able to get the right taste if you use high quality stuff.

I’ve had many..MANY requests to find this recipe and so here it is in all it’s glory. This is the original and not one of the guesses I’ve seen online. It’s simple and has that taste that keeps visitors to the restaurant pouring it on everything they eat there.

Ingredients:

  • ¾ cup  Soy Sauce (Japanese Shoyu type)
  • 1 cup  Vegetable Oil
  • ½ cup Toasted Sesame Seeds
  • 1 Egg yolk
  • ½ tablespoon Dry Mustard
  • 1 Clove Garlic, large (Minced)
  • ½ cup Chopped Onion (One small Onion)
  • ½ cup Whipping Cream

Method:

  1. Place soy sauce, sesame seeds, onion and garlic in a blender and mix on high for 30 seconds.
  2.  Add remaining ingredients and blend until fine.

“To Die For” BBQ Ribs

Anyone who knows me and has talked about food with me will very likely be aware of my love for all things pork. Pig in it’s various forms is without a doubt my favorite edible animal.

In many ways the pinnacle of porkyness is the BBQ rib. This is a treat I’ve had the great pleasure to sample in numerous forms. I’ve come to love all of the many versions that one can find across the American South. I’ve eaten BBQ ribs from West Texas to Eastern North Carolina & everywhere in between, so while it’s impossible to say which one I like the best I will say that I tend to like sweet and sticky sauces. It’s for this reason that when it came time to come up with a BBQ rib recipe for myself I chose this version.

What follows is TRUE BBQ. I’m talking about cooking LOW & SLOW. I’ve even employed a tried and true method by which one can smoke the ribs on your grill prior to cooking them. These ribs are brined and dry-rubbed as well. This is a combination that produces an amazingly good rib. Now while it takes a great deal of time and effort is very much worth it in the end. The name says it all…

I’d like to thank MeatHead the “BBQ Whisperer & Zen Master of Ribs” for his contributions to this recipe.

The Soak

Ingredients:

  • 1 litre Dr. Pepper
  • 1 litre pineapple juice, unsweetened
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper

Method:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil over medium-high.
  2. Reduce heat to low and cook for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally.
  3. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.

 The Rub

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • ¾ cup white sugar
  • ½ cup paprika
  • ¼ cup sea salt
  • ¼ cup garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons ground ginger powder
  • 2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons rosemary

Method:

  1. Grind spices together with mortar & pestle.
  2. Mix all ingredients thoroughly in a bowl. If the brown sugar is lumpy, crumble the lumps by hand or on the side of the bowl with a fork

 The Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 2 cups ketchup
  • ½ cup yellow mustard
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • ¼ cup steak sauce
  • ¼ cup black strap molasses
  • 4 medium cloves of garlic, crushed or minced
  • ¼ cup liquid honey
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tamarind chutney

Method:

  1. In a small bowl, mix the chili powder, black pepper, and salt.
  2. In a large bowl add the ketchup, mustard, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, steak sauce, molasses, honey, hot sauce, tamarind chutney and brown sugar. Mix them until well combined.
  3. Over medium heat, warm the oil in a large saucepan. Add the onions and sauté until limp and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, and cook for another minute. Add the dry mix and stir for about 2 minutes to extract the oil-soluble flavours.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to pan. Simmer uncovered over medium heat for 15 minutes to thicken somewhat. You can remove chunks with an emersion blender if you wish.
  5. Refrigerate overnight for best results.

Hardware:

  • 1 gas grill
  • 1 tank of propane. No, you won’t need it all, however until you get used to this technique don’t risk running out by starting with a partial tank.
  • 1 in-grill smoke box.
  • 8 ounces by weight of hardwood chunks or chips. It doesn’t matter how many slabs you are cooking, 8 ounces should be enough. I prefer apple and/or hickory. Never use any kind of pine unless you want meat that tastes like turpentine. Never use construction lumber because it’s often treated with toxic chemicals. You do not need to soak the wood.
  • 1 pair of long handled tongs
  • 1 sauce brush
  • 1 good digital thermometer with remote sensor
  • 1 six pack of beer (for the cook, not the meat)
  • 1 lawn chair

Software:

  • 2 slabs of St. Louis Cut (SLC) ribs. That’s ½ slab per adult. If you use baby back ribs, get a whole slab per adult. You can use baby back ribs if you prefer. They are smaller and cook faster. Get fresh, not frozen meat if possible. Fresh meat has the best pork flavour and the most moisture. Ask the butcher to remove the membrane on the back side.
  • 4 tablespoons cooking oil
  • The Soak
  • ½ cup of The Rub
  • 1 cup of The Sauce

Prep the Meat:

  1. Skin ‘n’ Trim. If the butcher has not removed the membrane from the back side of your ribs, do it yourself. It gets leathery and hard to chew, it keeps fat in, and it keeps smoke and sauce out. Insert a butter knife under the membrane, then your fingers, work a section loose, grip it with a paper towel, and peel it off. Finally, trim the excess fat from both sides. If you can’t get the skin off, with a sharp knife, cut slashes through it every inch so some of the fat will render out during the cooking.
  2. Soak ‘n’ Rinse. Put rib racks in a large zipper bag or baking pan and cover with marinade mixture. Place in fridge for 2 hours.  Remove and rinse the ribs under cool water to remove any bone fragments from the butchering. Pat dry with paper towel.
  3. Rub. Coat the meat with a thin layer of vegetable oil. This is done because most of the flavourings in the rub are oil soluble, not water soluble. Sprinkle enough rub to coat all surfaces but not so much that the meat doesn’t show through. Sprinkle about 2 tablespoons per side of a large slab of St. Louis Cut ribs. To prevent contaminating your rub with uncooked meat juices, spoon out the proper amount before you start and seal the rest for future use. Wrap the ribs in plastic film and refrigerate them overnight

Prep the Grill:

Set up your gas grill for 2-Zone Indirect cooking. This is the method best suited for gas grills and also the one I use.

  1. Remove your cooking grates.
  2. Remove any lava rocks if you have any in your grill.
  3. Adjust the temp. Preheat your grill to about 225°F. This will take some time. Try to keep it there throughout the smoke/cook. Cooking at 225°F will allow the meat to roast low and slow, liquefying the collagen in connective tissues and melting fats without getting the proteins knotted in a bunch. It’s this magic temperature that creates great texture, retains moisture and keeps the meat tender. If you can’t hit 225°F, get as close as you can. Don’t go under 200°F and try not to go over 250°F.
  4. Place a disposable foil roasting pan full of water under the cooking grate(s) on the side you will be placing the ribs (unheated side). Make sure it’s large enough to have its edges as close to the walls of your grill as you can.
  5. Place half of the wood you chose for smoking (4oz) in the smoke box and set it over the section above where the heat will be. Put the smoke box as close to the flame as possible. Resist the temptation to add more wood. Nothing will ruin a meal faster and waste money better than over smoked meat. You can always add more the next time you cook, but you cannot take it away if you over smoke.
  6. Replace the cooking grates.

Get Cooking:

  1. Put the ribs on the grill over the indirect or non heated  area, meaty side up. Close the lid and go drink a beer, read a book, or make love.
  2. When the smoke dwindles after 20 to 30 minutes, add the remaining 4 ounces of wood. That’s it. Stop adding wood. If you have more than one slab on, halfway through the cook you will need to move the ribs closest to the fire away from the heat, and the slabs farthest from the flame in closer. Leave the meat side up. There is no need to flip the slabs. Otherwise, keep your lid on. Opening it  just upsets the delicate balance of heat, moisture, and oxygen inside your grill. It can also significantly lengthen the cooking time. No peeking. If you’re lookin’, you ain’t cookin’.
  3. Allow 5 to 6 hours for St. Louis Cut ribs or 3 to 4 hours for baby back ribs. The exact time will depend on how thick the slabs are and how steady you have kept the temp. If you use rib holders so they are crammed close to each other, add about 1 hour. To check to see if the ribs are ready. Use the bend test. Pick up a slab with tongs and bounce it gently. If the surface cracks, it’s ready.
  4. Now brush both sides of the ribs with sauce and put them directly over the hottest part of the grill in order to caramelize and crisp the sauce. With the lid open so you don’t roast the meat from above, sizzle the sauce on one side and then the other. Stand by your grill and watch because sweet sauce can go from caramelized to carbonised in less than a minute! One coat should be enough, but if you need two, go ahead, but no more! Don’t hide all the fabulous flavours under too much sauce. If you think you’ll want more sauce, put some in a bowl on the table.
  5. If you’ve done all this correctly you’ll notice that there is a thin pink layer beneath the surface of the meat. This does not mean it is undercooked. Rather it is the highly prized smoke ring caused by the combustion gases and the smoke. It’s one sign of Amazing Ribs.

Creole Crawfish and Corn Chowder

This has not been a summer of creative cooking. We did still host our annual Crab-Boil however  so I did cook. After having some crawfish and andouille sausage left over (ok, we kept some for ourselves) I thought about ways to use it that would be fairly easy and not usual for me. What I decided on was a soup and more specifically a chowder.

Below is what I came up with and it was very well received by those who tried it.

Due to crawfish being not that easy to get and already peeled meat almost impossible (and after peeling mine for over an hour) I think it would be safe to substitute shrimp and scallops to turn this into a seafood chowder. Give it a try and let me know what you think.

Ingredients:

  • 8-10 ounces of andouille sausage links
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 1 ½ cups onion, finely chopped
  • ¾ cup carrot, finely chopped
  • ½ cup celery, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, Minced
  • 2 cups red bell peppers, finely chopped
  • 4 cups frozen corn
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 2 ½ litres chicken stock (can use fish or shrimp stock if desired)
  • 2 cups russet potatoes, peeled and cut into ½ inch cubes
  • 4 Teaspoons Creole seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp thyme leaves
  • 1 ½ pounds cooked, peeled crawfish tail meat
  • 2 cups whipping cream (one 500ml container)

Method:

  1. Grill andouille until nicely browned on the outside. Does not have to be cooked through, just grilled. Halve and cut into ¼ inch slices.
  2. Warm a large pot over medium heat and add 2 tbsp butter, onions, carrots, and celery. Cook, stirring often, until vegetables are soft, about 8 minutes.
  3. Add the andouille. Cook, stirring for about 2 minutes.
  4. Add the garlic and stir in.
  5. Add the remaining butter, bell peppers and corn to the pot and cook for 10-12 minutes, stirring often.
  6. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables in the pot and stir constantly for 2 minutes.
  7. Add the chicken stock to the pot and stir to combine.
  8. Add the potatoes, Creole seasoning, cayenne, and thyme to the pot and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and continue to cook for 20-30 minutes, or until potatoes are very tender.
  9. Add the crawfish meat and whipping cream, stir and cook for 5 to 8 minutes.

Creamy Cajon Seafood Dip (Crawfish Dipping sauce) recipe

Every year we here at ChowTown hold our annual Seafood Boil. During this limited and highly sought after event we boil up a hundred pounds or so of crab, crawfish, shrimp, sausage and corn in a “just hot enough” blend of spices. This vast quantity of unspeakable deliciousness is then dumped 30 pounds or so at a time on the table in front of our guests who promptly upon seeing this wonder loose all sence of propriety and descend upon the food with their bare hands.

For our American readers this will most likely ring a bell and is not so odd since a crawfish, crab or shrimp boil as well as clam bakes tend to follow this same M.O.

Anyway, it seems that the fine folks who throw these shindigs are reticent to disclose the recipes for the dips and spice mixes they use(okay, not all of them. It just sounds better to say that). As a result I’ve come up with my own versions.

The following is a fairly close rendition of the dip I threw together for our last event and while my hope was simply that it would be gone afterwards and not make anyone vomit, it turned out that it was very well received. So much so that I’ve been pestered day and night for the recipe. While not exactly what I made this is more or less the same stuff.

This will make enough to fill a medium sized plastic Heinz ketchup squeeze bottle(very scientific, huh?)

Ingredients

  • 3 cups mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 3 tbsp Hy’s cajun seasoning (or other brand)
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tbsp creole mustard or yellow mustard
  • 1 tbsp whole grain mustard
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp basic hot sauce such as Tabasco or Franks
  • 1/2 tbsp siracha hot sauce
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

Method

  1. Add all ingredients to a medium bowl.
  2. Whisk the whole thing until well blended

Egg Salad BLT Sandwich recipe

I’ve always enjoyed sandwiches and while the cutting down of bread in my life has curbed my eating of them, sometimes I just need to indulge.

This is not a “Tried & True” recipe that I’ve used for years but rather one I came up with on the fly in order to use up some eggs in the fridge and also the bread that was leftover from some other kitchen adventures. Because of this I hope anyone who plays with this recipe will let me know what worked for them.

Why would I post a recipe that has not been tested often and proven to be great? the answer is simple…. It’s my blog and I liked this enough to want to share it. 🙂

I cannot say exactly how many sandwiches this will make but I’d go with 3 since the two I had were fairly full.

Ingredients:

For the egg mixture

  • 4 eggs, hard-boiled
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 rib of celery, chopped
  • ¼ medium onion, chopped
  • ½ red bell pepper, seeded & chopped
  • 1 tbsp dill pickle, chopped
  • ½ tbsp yellow mustard
  • ½ tsp dill weed
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ¼ tsp lemon juice
  • ¼ tsp cayenne
  • salt and pepper to taste

For the sandwich

  • 6 slices of your favorite bread, toasted
  • 3 leaves of green lettuce
  • 1 large tomato, sliced
  • 6 slices of bacon, halved

Method:

  1. interestingly it’s better to start with eggs that are several days old. Using fresh eggs will lead to them being annoying to peel.
  2. Place eggs in a saucepan and cover them with cold water, about 2 inches over the tops. Don’t salt the water or add vinegar. Place over HIGH heat.
  3. Bring the water to a boil and cook for 3 minutes.
  4. Remove the pot from the heat, cover and let sit for 8 minutes.
  5. While the eggs are cooking fry up your bacon.
  6. Once the eggs are done run cold water over them for about a minute, fill the pot and let them soak to cool off for ten minutes. They will peel better if you cool them in the refrigerator for about an hour or if you cooked them the day before.
  7. Chop the eggs and vegetables to your desired size and put in a medium bowl.
  8. Add remaining ingredients and combine well. If you mince the veggies in a machine I found the mix will be too moist.

Assembly:

  1. Place a slice of lettuce on each top half of bread and cover with 2 slices of tomato and 4 half slices of bacon.
  2. Coat bottoms with egg salad mixture and add salt and pepper if desired.
  3. Ahhh… who am I kidding? just put them together and eat ’em.

SlowCooker Back Ribs recipe

I’ll lay it out right now for everyone to read, after all they say that admission is the first step in recovery. I am, for lack of a better term “addicted” to anything pork. That’s right, give me a juicy pork roast, some crispy bacon or a heaping pile of baby back ribs and I’m in a very happy place, a pork induced nirvana if you will.

Simply put, the pig is without a doubt far and away my favorite edible animal. Any dish that uses it is generally headed right to the top of my list in many restaurants, especially if it’s had any intimate contact with a hot grill and is bathed in some sort of sauce, chief among these being BBQ. Having said that, winter is not the best time to suffer a craving for anything grilled – and let’s face it, I can be really lazy at times (ok, many times) therefore braising or any other form of cooking that involves me being vertical for what I’ll term as a “protracted” length of time (more than say 10 minutes) is occasionally completely out of the question.  So if  by terrible chance the two of these situations unhappily converge in some sort of snowy, lethargic moment of cosmic happenstance (like they have today) and I want to indulge my desire- no, my need for pig in all its tender, porky goodness I’m going to have to improvise a little.

This recipe is made for just such desperate moments. Since we do own a slow cooker- although not my favorite method of culinary creation, I will employ it here as a means to an end, namely to provide me- and perhaps you dear reader, with yummy, tender, saucy pork for dinner with as little energy expenditure as humanly possible. This meal, while certainly not true BBQ or grilling in any way will (for the time being at least) satiate my pork fueled lust.

So enough chatting, time to get started. Here piggy, piggy…

Feeds 2-4 depending on depth of “problem”.

Ingredients:

  • 2 racks (approx. 12-2 pc segments) pork back ribs, Membrane removed
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp liquid smoke, hickory (optional)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 cup/can cola
  • 1 bottle beer (nothing too heavy. I use Hoegaarden)
  • 1 bottle BBQ sauce, sweeter is better.

Method:

  1. Cut ribs into 2 bone sections and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl combine brown sugar, liquid smoke, garlic, salt and pepper.
  3. One piece at a time, thoroughly coat each rib piece with mixture and place on a plate.
  4. Cover ribs with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  5. Spray inside of slow cooker with no-stick spray.
  6. Dust ribs with cayenne and layer with onion in slow-cooker.
  7. Cover ribs with cola and beer being careful not to wash coating off.
  8. Cook for 4 hours on high or 6 hours on low setting.
  9. Remove ribs and discard fluid from cooker.
  10. Place ribs back in cooker and cover with BBQ sauce, cook for an additional 1 hour on low heat.

Korean Bulgogi (Pulgogi) recipe

Bulgogi or pulgogi as it’s pronounced in it’s native tongue is the last in the trifecta of delicious and well known dishes that are served in nearly every Korean restaurant in North America.

This is a sweet and tasty dish that despite it’s name translating to english as “Fire Meat” is not a hot and spicy item. The name most likely refers to the manner in which the beef is normally cooked in Korea where it is grilled over a wood fire as opposed to the frying I use in this recipe. If you want to experience the proper way of cooking this dish then head to a Korean restaurant that has the grill in the center of the table, this is a great way to enjoy korean food and have some fun while doing it.

Ingredients:

  • 3 lb thinly sliced beef  (8th of an inch thick, cut across the grain)
  • 5 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 onion, peeled
  • 1 Asian (nashi) pear, peeled
  • ½ cup apple juice
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp sesame seed oil
  • 3 tbsp white sugar
  • 1 tbsp ginger, grated
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 tsp black pepper

– Most butchers will slice the beef for you if you ask, and Asian markets may have it pre-cut. If not,  do it yourself by first freezing the beef for an hour or so until stiff, then use a sharp knife to slice it against the grain. If the beef thaws or becomes too soft to slice, just put it back in the freezer to firm up.

Method:

  1. Place beef slices in a large bowl and pour the apple juice over it. Using your hands, mix the juice into the beef and set aside.
  2. Grate the onion and pear and combine with soy sauce and sugar – taste it, if it’s sweet enough then continue, if not add more sugar to your liking.
  3. Combine the soy sauce mixture with remaining ingredients and mix well, pouring over beef and hand mixing until all slices are well coated (about 2 minutes).
  4. Cover bowl, place in refrigerator and marinate for at least 3 hours (overnight is prefered).
  5. Drain marinade and dispose of it, cooking beef in a large frying or sauté pan (this will not take long, watch carefully so as not to over-cook).
  6. Serve with steamed rice or as a tasty addition to Jap Chae.