I have a thing for anything Asian flavored, more specifically Japanese. I mean who doesn’t love a plate of MSG + Happiness that leaves you with hulk like sweats and hot flashes?
Kidding (but not totally kidding).
Which is why I prefer to make most of my Japanese dishes at home, where I know exactly how much soy sauce (a $#IT ton) and any other ingredient that will make my hands swell into giant sausages, goes into my dish (avoiding MSG at all costs, unless I am making Ramen. that bowl just doesn’t taste the same without it).
Actually it is just straight up more affordable and less humiliating to cook asian food at home and attempt chopsticks for the 100000th time (Yes I lived in Tokyo for a solid 6 1/2 years and still can’t use those mouth splintered utensils if my life depended on it).
No but in all seriousness, I could eat Japanese out or in but prefer eating in. Because then I can eat way more than socially acceptable.
Grilled Shishito Peppers & Chicken Thighs. Probably not a combination you’ll regularly find in a Japanese restaurant, but I mean, that is the best part about home cooking….bring on the fusion and ADD.
This dish was inspired by a Japanese staple (at least when I lived there) called Tsukune, which are basically Japanese chicken meatballs served yakitori style (on a stick) with a sweet + salty glaze. That literally makes one drool. Granted I didn’t make ANY meatballs in this post, I used a sauce that is similar in flavoring and then tossed the chicken with grilled shishito peppers and garnished with some chopped green onions & black sesame seeds. I also served this dish over cauliflower rice as to keep with the whole healthy thing and because my (human) thighs literally cannot fit into my pants anymore so white sticky rice was 100 percent out of the question. Like in my dreams out of the question, womp womp.
Shishito peppers are available at most grocery stores. Try looking in the pepper section (duh) but keep an eye out because sometimes they are served by the bag in bulk… (Trader Joes sells by the bag, and the perfect amount for this recipe).
You can find “Red Chili Paste” at most grocery stores in the international section, usually next to the red curry paste. Different flavoring so make sure you pick up the right one!
Black sesame seeds aren’t necessary, but they are a pretty garnish and I feel like most people don’t regularly use/see black sesame seeds so it is fun to present the dish all fancay like and people will be totally talking about you for days.
“Hank, did you see that Julia used black sesame seeds? Wow she is like so cool”
“Yeah Sally, they sort of looked like bugs and freaked me the F out”