「鮭ときのこのバターホイル焼き」 (Shake to Kinoko no Butter Hoiruyaki)
“Salmon with Mushrooms and Butter in Foil”
Ah, February! A month of love, pride, and the second installment of Cooking with Emiya. While the last episode set the stage for what our monthly cooking lessons will be like, this one continues to build on that foundation by integrating more of the cast into the fray. What I’m loving about this spin-off is how any sense of threat is quickly set aside, and how in this universe, none of these folks are trying to murder each other. In particular, Lancer is introduced not by trying to Gae Bolg Emiya out of existence, but instead as a fishmonger who charms his way into a dinner invitation to Emiya’s estate. Saber is on-guard and is ready to fight him off as if she’s aware that his character is often a threat at the beginning, but Lancer is too laid back in this spin-off to want to do any such thing. Lancer isn’t even casting fighting aside for another day; he just wants to hang out with his drinking buddy Taiga, eat Emiya’s cooking, and sleep over. It does make me curious just how much the characters know of each other from different spin-offs or timelines. Like if Kirei comes over to help Emiya cook, will they remember everything that happened in the visual novel, or is it just a hunch they have that there is going to be some adversarial tension thrown into the mix?
Much like with most of the cast, Lancer is made to be absolutely adorable in this series as he has a sunny disposition about finding the right fish for an elderly lady, and is cheery about Emiya letting him stay for dinner. It might be the fang they gave him that amplifies Lancer’s well intentions in the spin-off as he does take it upon himself to go to his house and stay over, but is happy to see everyone, seems sad that Saber is wary of him being over, and has the perfect compatibility with Taiga. She always was one of the funner side characters, but her friendship with Lancer is actually very sweet in this adaptation, and the opportunity they get to share time together does give us a great opportunity to see how strong their bond is in times of peace.
This month’s recipe is a relatively easy steamed salmon. For those who have prepared fish before, it’s straightforward as Emiya’s instructions steer towards steaming it in foil on the stove along with some veggies and consomme. I’m actually kinda picky about salmon itself as it does have a fishier taste to it and the bones are a lot less brittle, but what I find is that I usually prefer eating it at restaurants to having to have a plain baked filet with some lemon. This recipe, however, looks like it would make some good use from how much prep work and flavor is brought out from the additions Emiya adds. I am very familiar with wasabi mayo though as it is something my university’s Chinese food counter service liked to put on fried teriyaki chicken. It was amazing, but I’m pretty sure it was one of the numerous attempts our university made to fatten everyone up. It was also something that I experimented with once I had Kewpie and some wasabi that comes with sushi rolls; just order to-go, mix a small clump of wasabi with Kewpie, and you have a nice wasabi sauce to go with any appetizers or fried rolls. Alternatively, just have your own wasabi whether its the tube or powder to mix in with the Kewpie. Or if you’re willing to thrown down big money or are living in Japan, the actual root is also an option, but real wasabi is more herbal and has less of a burn to it than the horseradish mix that goes into your standard Western sushi joint variant, so prepare accordingly. As for Kewpie, it’s the only mayo I can stand, so it was a complete game changer for how I would prep up things that would require it. There are some pre-made wasabi sauces too in some grocery stores if the ingredients are tough to get a hold of since companies have caught on to the mixture being well-received.
It has come to my attention that there are readers who would want to replicate the recipes. There are online recipes for Toshikoshi Soba alongside the first episode’s instructions, but at the same time, I realized that it’d be nice to have a transcript on-hand that is easy to reach and more convenient than re-watching the episode on repeat. From this point forward, I’ll be taking note of Emiya’s instructions, and placing them here with a few clarifications to help keep it organized, specific, and add a touch of personality. Hopefully, if there’s an episode for December, I’ll include the Toshikoshi recipe so you can prepare ahead for New Years. There aren’t exact measurements for everything, but the visual representation should give you a good feel for how much you’ll need for the recipes.
Emiya’s menu for the month of February is:
What You’ll Need:
– Salmon filets
– Cooking sake or mirin
– Carrots & Onions.
– Shimeji mushrooms (if you can’t find any, button mushrooms will do)
– Crushed consomme granules or vegetable boullion cubes
– A stick of Butter cut into squares
– Parsley for garnish.
– Wasabi for the sauce (The tube and powder are still good if fresh wasabi is out-of-reach).
– Japanese mayo for the sauce (the Kewpie brand is the most common).
1. Marinade with a little sake (the bottle looks like mirin, which is a cooking sake that is low in alcohol, but high in sugar).
2. Salt on both sides for 5-10 mins to draw out moisture, pat dry once the moisture is released.
3. Thinly slice carrot and onion, separate the shimeji mushrooms that are clumped together in the bunches.
4. Season your salmon with salt and pepper for real this time.
5. Lay your onions and carrots out on an aluminum sheet with a sprinkle of finely ground consomme/boullion.
6. Layer on the salmon and mushrooms, and top it with a square of butter.
7. Wrap them up with the sides folded tightly together and heat them on a pan over the stove.
8. Cover your pan with a lid and steam on low heat for 15-20 minutes.
9. Finish with parsley. For extra flavor, stir together wasabi and Japanese mayo.