Tonight's dinner menu was:
- Japanese-style Hamburger Steak (or knows as chopped steak here in the U.S.)
- Baked potatoes (brushed with oil and salt before baking)
- Green salad (lettuce, baby spinach, radicchio, red pepper, and tomatoes)
- Mixed vegetables
It actually turned out to be more like a feast than just a regular dinner.
As I was making the Japanese-style Hamburger Steak, I was explaining to my friend how I make it. And then I remembered how I started making this Hamburger Steak, a long time ago...
I think I was in 2nd grade when I first read this book (picture above). I couldn't find a good translation of the title of the book, but if I try it would be like "Ms. Trouble's Hamburger Steak."
I don't remember the whole story, but I remember the impact of the story. I discovered this delicious popular item only available at restaurants can be actually cooked at home from scratch! I remember begging my mom to make it at home.
And she did. Well, she tried, just for me.
What a good mom.
She probably didn't feel comfortable making such a strange food without actual recipe with exact measurements. Because the book was not a cook book. It was a kids picture book. It was about how this Ms. Trouble tries to make stuff. You know, her name is "Ms. Trouble." It didn't occurred to me back then, but she probably didn't know how to cook that thing, otherwise she won't have such title, don't you think?
But because I begged my mom so bad, she tried and tried, with some tips that she learned from my friend's mom's experience. Bless her heart. And I remember making it with my mom.
It's a good memory.
Over the years, the recipe has evolved, to my own. Well, I don't even measure things, so I don't know if I can even call that as recipe. But here is how I make it. And this is one of my husband's favorite. J ate 1.5 serving tonight. It's THAT good. Try it, or I'll cook it for you, maybe. (I won't say it is healthy, because it probably isn't.)
2 lb. ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
1 Tbsp butter
1/4 cup Panko bread crumb
3 Tbsp milk
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp all spice
Dash of ground pepper
Saute chopped onion in a small pan with butter, let it cool. In a large bowl, moisten bread crumb with milk. Add the rest of ingredients and mix well (use your best cooking utensil - HAND!). Divide into 8, form flat oval shape, and slightly push down the middle part. Place on heated iron skillet to brown the both size, about 3 minutes each, then place the skillet in preheated oven. Bake at 350 F for about 10 minutes or till the juice is clear. Remove the hamburger steak to a platter. To make sauce, scrape the skillet and gather all the goodness left on the pan, add 1/4 cup ketchup, 1/4 cup TONKATSU sauce, and 2 Tbsp cooking wine. Stir well, cook for 5 minutes to let the alcohol evaporates.
Don't look at the amount of grease. Just enjoy it. It's really good.