I really do spend much of my free time watching cooking shows, reading and researching about food and recipes; collecting a lot of information and “tuck them away” (as my hub Andy would put it) into my little “memory drawers”. Besides my IPHONE and IPAD, I always carry an old fashion notebook with me. Hey you just never know whenever an idea hits and what you need to find in order “connect” the missing “food links”…
This was one of those times when an idea hit so quickly!
As I was “conceptualizing” my faux “omurice” dish, I was looking for a “ketchup” replacement – Besides the fact we rarely use ketchup at our household, I knew ketchup will not work as a seasoning to the “cauliflower rice”, it will make it mushy. I needed something more “adult” and sophisticated to “elevate” the dish! Through my weekend experiment, my “jam-chup” (Andy came up with this name) complimented the final dish beautifully, it was my own “Top Chef” moment (LOL)
The recipe is adapted from a great posting by Joshua Bousel (the caramelized onion method by J.Kenji Lopez-Alt), published on Serious Eats, one of my favourite online food communities. The difference is I’ve used Japanese dashi stock instead of water to “deglaze” and also add another subtle layer of flavor; I made the “switch” specifically to make it “Japanese” in order to go with my faux-“omurice” (Omelet Rice) dish. If this doesn’t work for you, please feel free to switch back and stay true to the original recipe.
I have used an organic coconut palm sugar (an absolute personal preference, I don’t use any refined white sugar), reduced the quantity and it worked just as well. I just love using fresh ingredients and watch all the flavours blend together harmoniously. It is through experimentation you will improve your kills, understand your tastes and put your own signature on any dishes.
My “jam-chup” is long-term keeper ..now what else can I use it for? (OO)
Ingredients: (yields approximately 1 cup)
1 pound yellow onions (finely sliced), 1 Tablespoon grapeseed oil, 2 pounds organic roma tomatoes (peeled, cored, seeded and finely chopped), 1/2 cup organic coconut palm sugar, juice from 1 lemon, 2 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar, 6 to 8 Tablespoon Japanese dashi (homemade, or you can use packaged stock powder), 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon red chilli pepper flakes
Remember, always adjust your seasoning according to your liking and dietary needs.
– Peel, core, seed and finely chop the tomatoes (see picture with below for peeling method). Set aside.
– Add grapeseed oil to large heavy bottomed stainless steel saucepan over high heat. Add onions and cook, stirring frequently, until bottom of the saucepan is glazed in a pale brown fond (takes approximately 5 minutes – you will see it).
– Add 2 Tablespoons of dashi stock and scrape up fond with wooden spoon or spatula. Continue to cook, and keep stirring frequently, until fond has built up again (that’s another 2 minutes). Add another 2 Tablespoons of stock and scrape up the browned bits. Repeat cooking, add stock, and scraping until the onions are completely softened and caramelized (a deep dark brown colour), approximately 15 minutes in total.
– Add tomatoes, coconut palm sugar, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, salt and chilli red pepper flakes to the sauce pan, stir to combine with the onions.
– Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce to low heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes have broken down and “jam” has thickened and developed a “jam” like consistency, this takes 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
– Remove from heat, transfer to an airtight container, let it cool completely and refrigerate (according to original recipe, this can store in refrigerator up to two weeks, for an extended period, ladle into sterilized jars and process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes to seal for self storage.