So, here we are, back at the Food Wars (AKA Shokugeki no Souma) anime. Our Hero is in a contest to see who can make the best meat dish. If he loses, his club gets disbanded and he quits the school. If he wins, his bikini-clad carnivore challenger will join his club. Sounds like a reasonable bet to me.
This is a simple dish, but it takes some time to prepare. Note that I took the recipe from the manga, which adds some touches, like the ume paste and the post-onion sauce. It also changed the order of the cooking. And it changed the spelling of Шаля́пин.
1. You take a slab of cheap steak. I’m a cheapskate, so I used boneless pork chops, which is why it’s a fake Shalyapin.
Squint your eyes and pretend this came off of a pig
2. Slash it with your slasher, and beat the snot out of it with a meat-beater.
3. Chop up a couple of onions and pile them on top of the beaten meat. I did it in the frying pan I was planning on using, and put about half of the onion underneath and half on top. Let them sit for an hour, turning them halfway through.
Lots of onions, the finer the chop the better
4. Fry onions. This is harder than it looks, ’cause there’s lots onions. Took a long time. Because of this, and (3), the house will stink of onion. Pretend you’re French. Set aside. (Note: the anime did the meat first, and cooked the onions in the meat drippings.)
I wonder what the difference is between cooking the steak in the onion juices and cooking the onion in the steak juices
5. Make rice. Don’t use too much water, like I did, or you’ll end up with something more like rice paste. Add ume paste. Um …e… no ume paste. Substitute a pinch of salt instead.
6. Fry meat. Don’t get it too hot, like I did, because you are going to want unburned fond. Set aside.
7. Make sauce in the frying pan, if you are using the manga recipe. A few glugs of wine to one glug of shoyu. Cook down and thicken. They used potato flour. I used flour flour. Don’t boil it too hard, like I did.
8. Stack the results in a bowl: rice, meat, onion, sauce. They used a standard roundhead-helmet don – bowl. I used a very flat soup bowl.
It better be chopstick-tender, or the rice will end up all over the table
Results: The meal was not inedible, but I’d have been thrown out the back door of the cooking school before the sauce finished congealing on the rice. Rice was wet and pasty. Meat was not tender. No way it would have come apart with just a chopstick. You’d end up eating Shalyapin-onna-stick. Underdone onion flavor noticeable, possibly from fragments sticking to the meat. Sauce tasted burned.
Comments: Quite aside from my failures as a cook, the whole marinade in finely chopped onion thing seems much overrated. Maybe it’s because I used pork instead of beef and pork doesn’t tenderize in onion or something. Perhaps I should have used chopped turnips. Plus, the manga recipe called for ume paste mixed in with the rice. 7-11 was all out of ume paste that week (well, it was right after Easter), so the rice was plain, with salt. Maybe that was it.
Oh, that ume!
Her reaction was almost exactly, but not quite, totally unlike mine.
UPDATE: I tried it again, with a small, thin, beef, steak. Prepared it exactly as directed, except I used a little balsamic vinegar instead of ume paste. Tasted much better. Was in no way tender. Needed more sauce. Maybe do it as a gravy rather than as a sauce. And use a better cut of meat.
UPDATE: It seems that just scoring the meat improves the tenderness