A month ago, when La Fuji Mama announced her Washoku Warriors challenge, I knew immediately it was something I wanted to do. I thought it would get me cooking more (something I love but don't do enough of). Once the gorgeous cookbook arrived, however, I got to thinking about what I had gotten myself into...
I was rather apprehensive about agreeing to cook alongside la Fuji Mama, and my initial reaction upon receiving Elizabeth Andoh's gorgeous cookbook from Amazon didn't do anything to relieve that anxiety. Not wanting to judge the book by its cover or weight, however, I opened it up and thumbed through to find the chosen recipe. As I read through it and made my shopping list I though - "Okay, maybe I can do this!"
Getting the ingredients proved the easy part - finding a free evening between classes and talks and general busy-ness was much more difficult. Happily once I did find the time, however, the actual cooking proved really easy. The hardest thing was doing the math to translate between the ounces called for in the recipe and the grams listed on the package I bought!
Given my penchant for not following recipes, I added more ginger juice to the chicken and also used a special sugar instead of regular white sugar. A friend of a friend of mine is married to a traditional Japanese sweet-maker and I was given a large bag of wasanbon sugar. It comes from sugarcane and is finer than regular white sugar, with a light golden-brown colour. It has a distinctive almost maple-y flavour and I thought it would go nicely with the ginger. I'm not sure it made a huge difference, however, and I'm probably going to save the wasanbon sugar for things where its flavour shines through - like my morning coffee.
All in all this was a delicious and super easy dish.
Since making it the first time for the challenge I've already followed Andoh's suggestion by making up a big batch of the chicken and putting it in the freezer for quick and easy reheat dinners. It is so nice to set my rice cooker before I leave in the morning, and then to come home and throw a packet of the chicken into the fry pan with the veggies to heat up. 10 minutes after walking in the door I've got a good meal on the table for dinner.
(Be sure to check out La Fuji Mama's blog with the round up of all of the warriors and their take on our first battle.)