This entire holiday weekend, we've sort of been off-schedule at the Bear Family household. The Papa Bear doesn't get up before 10 AM unless prodded, and the Baby Bear has been catching up on her celebrity gossip in the morning hours while the Papa Bear is sleeping away. The problem with starting the day late is that our hunger level is off-schedule...
For example, we had a huuuuuuge lunch-inner at 3 PM in San Francisco on Sunday (a somewhat non-memorable tapas place, except for the fact that the owner was SUPPPPPER nice). This made us not hungry until... 10 PM? Who wants to cook a major dinner at 10 PM? Surely not this Baby Bear.
Luckily, we had some ground chicken and eggs - which is all I need in addition to my usual pantry items (which is probably worth a post of its own - the Japanese staples entry!). I threw together an Izakaya Alice specialty - 10 min dishes that is satisfying enough to be a menu item on the Izakaya Alice line-up:
1. Make tsukune (chicken meatballs) by combining and massaging together 1 lbs ground chicken, 2 eggs, 1 tbp (eye-balled) ponzu, a bunch of sesame seeds, and enough panko (JP bread curmbs) to give it enough consistency to make balls.
2. Make dashi enough to act as soup (~1.5 cups per person is more than enough; and yes, yes, I will do a dashi post when I have enough energy... You see, it's because I keep thinking the dashi post will be best with pictures and pictures take a long time to process...><). Flavor dashi with soy sauce for a touch of saltiness.
3. Add tsukune balls to dashi. I am so lazy, I don't bother making the balls. I scoop some of the tsukune material and drop it directly into the soup. It looks like an ellipical blob, but it works just fine. No mess!
4. Cook until all tsukune balls float (about 5-8 min). Chop one in half just to make sure it's cooked in the middle.
5. Add dried wakame (the kind that expands) and turn off heat. While you get all of the dishes ready for plating the soup and setting the table, the wakame will be ready!
6. I served the entire pot on the table with some grated yamaimo to top the soup (yamaimo also deserves a post of its own - my current obsession!). Add ponzu as desired while eating the soup!
This was sooooo super satisfying and it took literally 15-20 min to make. It was the epitome of Izakaya Alice - quick, healthy, and satisfying!