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Travel from your kitchen: Japanese Saikyo Yaki Bento

When travel isn’t possible, you can still experience the best a country has to offer through its cuisine. Skyscanner has collaborated with chefs, restaurants, brands and passionate home cooks from around the world to bring you a series of recipes you can make from your very own kitchen.

Contributor

Milo Chau, Culinary Instructor, Hong Kong

I was travelling in Japan and had the most amazing Saiko yaki inside a small restaurant. It turned out to be one of my favourite Japanese dishes, and actually very easy to make. To play an interesting twist, I used the fish bone for stock to cook the rice with and I also infused elements of cherry blossoms inside my dessert as a remedy for missing the Sakura season.  

Ingredients: Gindara Saikyo Yaki 

  • Cod fillet, 200g (salt 1 pinch, sake 1 tablespoon)
  • White miso, 2 tablespoons
  • Cooking sake, 2 tablespoons
  • Soy sauce, 1 tablespoon
  • Sugar, 1 tablespoon
  • Salt cured cherry blossoms, 1 whole
  • Cream, 2 tablespoons

Instructions

  1. Cut fillet into 50g pieces, mix in a pinch of salt and 1tsp sake, rest for 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile make marinade. Mix in white miso, sake, mirin, soy sauce and sugar into a thin paste.
  3. Pack the fillet dry and do not wash them. In a zip plastic bag, add all fillet and marinade. Mix well and marinate overnight (minimum one hour).
  4. Preheat oven to 210 Celsius. Take out most marinade, and then bake fillet on a rack for 12-15 minutes.
  5. Rest for at least 5 minutes before serving.

Ingredients: fish stock 

  • Fish bone, 150g
  • Kombu, 6g
  • Water, 500cc
  • Chicken stock, 500cc
  • Cooking sake, 2 tablespoons
  • Ginger, 20g

Instructions

  1. Soak Kombu in water for 30 minutes, then heat up water to smoking point, discard kombu and keep the stock.
  2. Add oil into pan and set on high heat. Fry all the fish bone until golden brown.
  3. Deglaze pan with sake, then add Kombu water and chicken stock.
  4. Reduce the liquid on high until remaining half, cool down to room temperature.

Ingredients: fragrant rice

  • Japanese rice, 160cc
  • Fish stock, 160-170cc
  • Star anise, 2

Instructions

  1. Soak Japanese rice for 30 minutes.
  2. Add room temperature fish stock and star anise into rice cooker with soaked rice, cook until tender. 

Ingredients: Umeshu Oolong Jelly 

  • Umeshu, 150cc
  • Ooolong tea, 50cc
  • Sakura Blossom, 3-4 whole
  • Gelatine, 8g
  • Water, 32g

Instructions

  1. Mix gelatine with water, rest ten minutes.
  2. Mix in umeshu and Oolong tea, add 1/3 mixture into pot and boil it to smoking point, turn off heat.
  3. Add bloomed gelatine into unmeshu mixture, stir until gelatine disappears, mix in the remaining mixture.
  4. Pour half of the liquid into a glass cup, place a sakura blossom inside*, chill quickly in freezer until 80% set (very thickened).
  5. Pour the rest of the liquid and place 3 sakura petals on top. Chill in fridge until fully set.

*Before using the cured sakura blossoms, make sure to rinse the salt away and soak them for at least 30 mins. 

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