Kitchen experiments

I’ve been feeling a bit more inspired than usual in the kitchen lately, experimenting with making things at home I hadn’t considered I could make myself in the past. First up: pickled daikon and carrots. I had a little vietnamese phase (as I do often) and got to thinking that it must be ridiculously easy to make. Easy doesn’t even quite describe it. Then I looked around for what else I could pickle, so I pickled some green beans.

Next on my list was to make Japansese marinated eggs, ajitsuke, after becoming obsessed this past year with finding the best ramen, and the best ramen always has marinated eggs. Not that hardboiled egg BS. No, no, and no. Gooey, delicious marinated eggs. I did some research and discovered they are really easy to make once you gather the ingredients and make them in the morning, then take them out at night in time for dinner. When Will and I sliced into them I almost cried they were so beautiful and delicious. I made a stir fry with my pickled veggies and some other veggies in the fridge, then used the egg marinade to cook some chicken in, and we ate it all with some farro (what I had around) and barely spoke we were too busy inhaling our food. I didn’t even get a good photo! Here’s an instagram.

Here’s the thing about marinating eggs: you have to be good at soft boiling eggs and peeling them. Which I’ve been doing a lot lately, so I thought I was a pro. But I made a rookie mistake and bought farm fresh eggs and immediately soft boiled them. Recipe for disaster. Old eggs are better because they peel easier, and farm fresh eggs often don’t peel great, they just fall apart and it’s tragically sad. So I found myself with three intact yolks and it felt like such a waste to toss them. So what’s a girl to make?

Duh, mayonnaise. Typically you use raw yolks, but since these were soft boiled and the yolks were quite runny, I figured it would be fine. I found a recipe and just substituted the canola oil, which I avoid at all costs, with olive oil. I never see mayonnaise with 100% olive oil (usually it’s a mixture) so I figured it was because it doesn’t work out or tastes weird. Wrong, it was perfect! It’s kind of magical to watch it come together in the food processor. It’s really not an unhealthy condiment like this, either.

So the other day I found myself with pickled daikon and carrots, cilantro, chicken, and mayo. I hope we’re on the same page.

Makeshift Banh-mi, boom. It was heavenly. Gluten-free sliced bread isn’t quite the same as a crusty baguette, but it was still great.

Pickled Daikon and Carrots
1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
1/4 cup  sugar
1 small carrot, peeled and cut into matchsticks
1 daikon radish, peeled and cut into matchsticks
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
A few shakes of crushed red pepper (optional, a little goes a long way!)
A dash or two of salt

Dissolve the sugar and vinegar in a small saucepan, remove from heat and let cool and stir your spices in. Pack your carrots and daikon into a jar. Pour your cooled liquid into the jar on top of the vegetables. Place in the fridge for at least 4 hours. I pour the liquid out into a new jar of pickles one time before tossing the liquid. You can use this exact same recipe on other vegetables, too!

Japanses Marinated Eggs (Ajitsuke Tamago)
1 cup water
1 cup sake
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup mirin
1/2 cup sugar
6 eggs

Combine all ingredients (expect for the eggs) in a bowl and set aside. [Now this is how I soft boil eggs, feel free to use your own method!] Fill a small pot of water 3/4 full of water, bring to a boil. Carefully lower your eggs into the pot using tongs. Set your timer for 6 minutes and turn the heat down so they are very gently simmering. Use your tongs to remove your eggs and place them in a bowl with cold water. I like to peel them under water to avoid burning my fingers and it creates a kind of lubricant for peeling. Once the eggs are peeled, stir the liquid you set aside to make sure the sugar is dissolved and distributed and place your eggs in. You want them to be snug. You need to keep the eggs submerged so place a double-layer of paper towels on top and push down until they are saturated in liquid to keep eggs submerged and marinated. Place the bowl in the fridge (I recommend putting it on a plate to avoid a mess) for at least 4 hours, but 10 is best. No more than 12.

3 large egg yolks
juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1 chopped garlic clove (optional)
1 1/2 cups olive oil

Place everything except the oil in a food processor and blend. Very slowly pour the oil in until it’s all incorporated and magically transforms before your eyes.


PS. Totally unrelated, but I didn’t want to dedicate an entire blog post to say that my sale on cast bronze necklaces is on until Friday before I close the shop for a bit! Get ’em while I still have my sanity, for the wedding is in 10 days. Eeep.