Spring Season 2017 has rolled in and, I have to say, I'm pretty happy so far. There's so many good shows out at the moment and I'm having a lot of fun watching old favorites (The Eccentric Family 2 and Attack on Titan) while also watching the new stuff that's out! In fact, my life has been so anime centric lately that I even made an effort to scrape myself off the couch and go out to watch Kimi no Na Wa or Your Name as it's called in good ole' America. It was superb- I highly recommend you see it, if you get the chance.
But back to Spring anime. I've been happily surprised by all the shows I'm actually interested in this season. Chief among them is Alice & Zoroku, a show about a cute little girl with strange mind-control type powers. She was being held at a research facility, but decided to run away. In doing so, she makes the aquaintance of Zoroku, an old man who is a florist. Shenanigans ensue, involving giant pancakes, a stampede of pigs, and several lectures by Zoroku.
The show is charming, so far, but what I think is best is the main characters pairing- old man and little girl. I haven't really seen anything like it before, and it's kind of awesome to watch this old guy basically put this trigger-happy mind-magic girl in her place after she tears up a couple of streets in an epic (and, a little unfortunately,) cringey CGI battle sequence.
It's cute, it's fun, it leaves me with questions, but in a good way. I'm excited for more! But mostly I'm excited for this week's recipe, hailing from episode one of this show. Zoroku orders mutton stir fry, and it looks really tasty.
So, I decided to give the recipe a go. Unfortunately, mutton is almost impossible to find in local grocery stores, at least in my part of America. I read somewhere that sheep never actually took off as a popular source of meat due to the overuse of mutton (sheep meat) as a ration during some war or other. Soliders grew to hate it so much, they didn't want any part of it when they came back from the war.
Lamb, however, the baby version of sheep/mutton, is typically available where mutton isn't. You can generally get specific parts of lamb (rack of lamb) year-round in America, and you can get different cuts around April, as lamb is a popular Easter dish. Having never bought or prepared lamb before, I was honestly shocked to find an entire haunch of lamb in the grocery store, along with more mundane cuts, like sirloin. I bought a pound of sirloin and asked the butchers at the grocery store to turn it into stir fry meat for me (basically just cutting it into strips, because I was feeling lazy), but you can use whatever you can get your hands on for this- chicken or beef would be great here, too. While the lamb brings a nice gamey taste to the stir fry, the sauce does a lot to bring this dish to life- I highly recommend you try this dish out for the sauce, if nothing else.
Watch the video below for full instructions!
Recipe adapted from here.
1. Mix together soy sauce, oyster sauce, sake, mirin, and sugar. Set aside.
2. Lightly salt lamb.
3. Heat 2 tbs of a neutral oil over medium low heat. Briefly sautee the ginger, onions, and garlic until fragrant, about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Then, put in lamb strips. Season lightly with pepper and salt. Cook until meat is almost completely cooked, about 7-8 minutes.
4. Turn heat up to medium high. Add in the liquid mixture we made earlier. Stir together and let boil down, another 7 minutes or so until liquid is reduced. Add a dash of sesame oil for seasoning.
5. Turn heat off and add in cornstarch mixture. Stir together.
6. And that's it!!