I’m going to be really honest with you all right now. I’m just not a football fan. In high school, I went to the games so that I could see my friends and ogle the unattainable guys that I had crushes on. It’s what high school girls do, right? In college, when I met Brad, he tried making me a Denver Broncos fan by watching a game one Sunday afternoon. No more than 15 minutes into the game I was out cold. Best 3 hour nap of my life.
While football is not my favorite thing in the world, the food associated with the Super Bowl is enough to get me excited about a sport that bores me to tears. We can’t really watch the Super Bowl this year, which doesn’t make too much of a difference to me. But we can enjoy the food. So, for all of you crazy football fans out there, here is an Asian-themed Super Bowl Party menu from the kitchen of Tokyo Terrace! The great part about this menu is that if you are currently living in Japan, all of the ingredients are readily available and there is no need for an oven. Each recipe is made using a simple 2-burner stove! Nice, yes?
Spicy Whiskey-Soy Glazed Chicken Wings
The flavorful, sticky glaze on these finger-licking delicious wings is made with a simple combination of Japanese whiskey (though you can use any type of whiskey), soy sauce, chili oil and honey. It all makes for a delightful change to a classic Super Bowl dish. The nutty crunch of the black sesame seeds help to add flavor and visual appeal while the mint balances the rich, salty flavors with its bright, effervescent accent. Personally, I love the bright green leaves of the mint along with the simple black sesame seeds. You can use white sesame seeds as well if you can’t find black. The black ones are just a little sexier.
These meatballs are a variation of the Japanese Teriyaki Baaga (Soy-glazed Burger). Unlike the typical American hamburger, the Japanese version is made very much like meatloaf with panko bread crumbs, egg, dark miso paste, and a rich soy glaze. Rather than making the traditional full-size patties, I turned them into bite-size meatballs served with toothpicks for easy grazing during the game.
Fried Guacamole Wontons
Truly, this is an off-the-hook appetizer. A true fusion dish, the creamy guacamole makes a very natural pairing with crispy wonton wrappers. It’s like having your chip dipped in advance! These are addicting and easy to snack on, even without taking your eyes off of the TV!
If you have read Tokyo Terrace before, you know that a party is not complete without a great cocktail. Since this is an Asian-themed menu, I went with a simple and very flavorful mojito using the Japanese yuzu. I’m obsessed with this citrus and the season is coming to a close so I jumped at the chance to use it one last time. If you can’t find yuzu, the combination of grapefruit, orange, and lemon creates a comparable flavor and will work beautifully in this cocktail. And even though my home state of Minnesota did not see their Vikings make it to the Super Bowl this year (even after the whole Favre thing and a crazy last game) I am honoring them by using Prairie Vodka. Prairie Vodka is made in the great state of Minnesota and it has a wonderfully clean flavor that is great for mixing drinks! I am already half-way through my bottle and it’s the only one I have. Wish they would start exporting to Japan!
Add some Japanese beers like Asahi or Kirin and you are all set for a great Super Bowl Party! Even without the actual football game…
And now for the recipes:
Spicy Whiskey-Soy Glazed Chicken Wings
24 chicken wings or drummies
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup Japanese whiskey (or whatever you can find)
3 Tablespoons soy sauce
Several drops chili oil or Tabasco sauce
1/3 cup toasted black or white sesame seeds
1/3 cup loosely packed mint leaves
In a small bowl, mix the whiskey, soy sauce, and chili oil together. Set aside. Rinse the chicken with water and pat dry with paper towels and place on a baking sheet or large plate. The chicken must be completely dry or it will not brown properly.
Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a skillet large enough for the chicken to fit in one layer. Alternatively, you can work in two batches to cook the chicken. When the oil is hot, add the chicken wings and brown well on one side. Flip the chicken and brown the opposite side for about 1 minute before adding the whiskey-soy mixture. Next, add the water and immediately cover the skillet, reduce the heat to low, and allow the chicken to cook for about 15 minutes. Remove the lid and increase the heat to high, stirring to coat the chicken with the whiskey-soy glaze. The glaze will reduce rather quickly, so be sure to stir and adjust heat as needed.
Add the sesame seeds and toss to coat. Transfer the wings to a serving platter and cover with any extra sauce left in the pan. Garnish with the mint leaves and serve.
2 pounds ground beef
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 Tablespoon dark miso paste
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 Tablespoons whiskey, sake or plum wine (I’ve used each at different times and I like whiskey the best)
1 tablespoon hot water
1 tablespoon honey
3 teaspoons soy sauce
In a medium bowl, combine the ground beef, panko, egg, miso paste and onions. Use your hands to combine well. Roll into about 24 meatballs about 1 inch to 1 1/2 inches in size.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add the meatballs and allow to brown for 2 to 3 minutes. Meanwhile, combine the water, honey, soy sauce and whiskey in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside. Turn the meatballs and brown until all sides are cooked.
Add the liquid to the pan and reduce the heat slightly. Cook for 2-3 minutes then increase the heat, allowing the liquid to reduce. Coat the meatballs with the sauce. Transfer to a platter and insert toothpicks into each meatball before serving.
Fried Guacamole Wontons
For the Guacamole:
2 avocadoes, diced
12 cherry tomatoes, diced
1/2 teaspoon onion powder and garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon cardamom powder
juice from 1/2 a lime
For the wontons:
1 1/2 cups guacamole
24 wonton wrappers
vegetable oil for frying
Combine the avocado, spices and lime juice in a bowl. Gently stir in the tomatoes. Season with salt.
On a work surface, lay the wonton wrappers out 6 at a time. Leave the rest covered well so they do not dry out. In the center of each wrapper, place a small scoop of guacamole. Use your finger to line the edges of the wrapper with water and fold into a triangle. Transfer the filled wontons to a plate and cover with saran wrap until ready to fry. Do not leave them under the saran wrap for more than 15 minutes or so as they may dry out and will not turn out well.
In a heavy sauce pan, fill with oil until it reaches about 1 1/2 inches deep. Heat over medium-high heat. Text by carefully placing the corner of a wonton in the oil. If it begins to bubble it is ready. Carefully place the wontons in the oil 3 or 4 at a time. If your skillet is big enough to hold more without crowding, you can add more. Allow the wontons to fry for about 30 seconds, flip, then another 30 seconds. The wontons should be a light golden brown and will be crispy. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels.
When all the wontons are finished, transfer to a serving platter garnished with lime wedges and cherry tomatoes.
Zest from 1/2 a yuzu (or 1 tablespoon total zest from a grapefruit, lemon and orange)
cane sugar or regular sugar
3 oz. Prairie Vodka or white rum
Soda or Tonic water
In the bottom of a glass, muddle the zest with the mint leaves and vodka or rum. Add ice and fill the glass with tonic water. Serve!
Note: If you don’t like the zest floating in your drink, you can muddle the zest and alcohol in a separate glass, then strain it through a fine strainer into your serving glass. Muddle it with the mint at this point.