Transforming Furikake Gohan (Fictional Food made Real)

This dish is from an anime that we're watching. For those who don't know yet, we love watching animes! While hubs usually choose what we watch, "Food Wars: Shokugeki no Soma" (食戟のソーマ) is the first anime I demanded requested that we watch. It tells of a boy's amazing culinary journey through an elite culinary school where he encounters many other culinary geniuses and works towards his dream of one day surpassing his father's culinary skills. An anime about food! How can I not watch it?! 
When we first saw transforming furikake gohan, I was immediately reminded of the traditional Teochew's Pork Trotter Jelly (猪脚冻) which I love. I knew I had to try making this dish someday. 
Transforming Furikake Gohan (serves 2-3)
(adapted from the comic)

Chicken Aspic 
   500g     Chicken wings (4 chicken wings)
 1 tbsp     Sesame oil

700g     Bonito dashi
  50g     Light soya sauce
1 tsp     Ginger, grated
  10g     Sugar
  20g     Sake
  15g     Mirin

1. In a sauce pan, pan fry the chicken wings in sesame oil over medium-high heat, till both sides are browned. About 10-15mins. Put the sauce pan with the residual oil aside for later use.
2. Place the chicken wings and the remaining ingredients in a sauce pot. Bring the broth to a boil over high heat, skim off any scum that formed. Cover and turn the heat down to low and simmer for an hour. 

3. Remove the chicken wings and strain the broth into a tray or a rectangular container. Allow to cool slightly then place in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours or until the aspic has set. 

4. Debone the chicken wings when they are cool enough to handle, minced up the meat and reserve.
Egg Soboro
    4       Eggs
  10g     Sugar
    3g     Salt

5. Beat together the ingredients till the sugar and salt has dissolved.

6. Heat the sauce pan we used earlier on over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, turn heat down to low and pour in the egg mixture, it should start setting immediately around the edges. Use a pair of chopsticks to quickly scramble the eggs and make small nuggets of them.

Optional: chopped spring onions to garnish
7. Diced the aspic into approximately 1cm cubes when it set. 

8. To serve, place minced chicken meat, egg soboro and diced aspic over a bowl of hot rice. Garnish with spring onions (if using). Enjoy!

ThoughtsI haven't seen anything like this before, not even from Heston, so I was very excited! I really wanted to see the aspic melt over the egg soboro! It would be unreasonable to expect them to melt as quickly as we saw in the anime (I secretly hope it would), but nothing much happened after 5mins. A few cubes did slide from their original positions, I can visually tell that they had lost their "firmness" but that's about it, and I was quite disappointed.
To be fair though, the aspic were placed on top of a layer of minced chicken meat and egg which were at room temperature and acted like insulation. Unlike in the anime where they were mixed with the egg and placed directly onto the hot rice. Not discounting the fact that my day room temperature is approximately 12-15°C now, so things do get cold pretty fast. Perhaps next time, I'll try warming the chicken and egg, have them mixed together with the aspic before adding directly onto the rice. Or I'll also have the aspic cut into smaller pieces so they'll hopefully melt faster. 

Thankfully we were not let down by its taste. With 50g of light soya sauce in the broth, I thought it would make the dish way too salty but it wasn't. I was pleasantly surprised by the perfectly seasoned rice after everything was mixed together. The rice is coated with the umami goodness from the chicken bonito aspic, giving it an almost meaty taste. Sweetness from the sugar and mirin is just enough to complement the salty umami flavours, but it will be more pronounced in the original recipe if a sweeter dish is preferred. I especially love biting into the crisp spring onions, not only for the textural contrast, but more for the pungent, onion-y taste that momentarily breaks up the taste profile and makes me want to go back for more!
Contrary to my initial thoughts, Transforming Furikake Gohan is a light-tasting and refreshing dish. Savoury with a touch of sweetness, filled with umami and just barely warm from the cold aspic melting over the hot rice, I can easily see this as the No. 1 most popular Summer dish in Japan.

Maybe that's just we need in our hot Singapore weather! Give it a try, tell me if you enjoy it or share your creation with me on facebook or tag @whattobaketoday on instagram! 

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1 comment :

  1. This look really good. Like you said, it would be great if the aspic melted into the rice like in the show. I just finished watching it and now I'm so inspired to try making new dishes.


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