Dining review_ japanese comfort food hits the spot at bonjapan86

Dining Review: Japanese comfort food hits the spot at BonJapan86 The restaurant on 12 Street SE serves up Japanese comfort food such as udon, bento and donburi. Banana bread recipe martha stewart Check out this story on statesmanjournal.com: http://stjr.nl/2lFbitd

Nabeyaki Udon features shrimp tempura, egg, fried tofu, fish cake and vegetables. Banana bread recipe no butter Photographed on Wednesday, March 1, 2017, at Japanese restaurant BonJapan86 in South Salem.


BonJapan86 (Yaroku) is almost silent on a Friday afternoon. Banana bread recipe with coconut flour A drink cooler whirs behind the counter as bottled green tea and plum wine chills. Flour banana bread recipe The sushi bar and cash register are abandoned.

A woman emerges from the back: the gracious Hiromi Komoda, who serves as waitress and champion. Banana bread pudding paula deen She’s often the face of the restaurant, as owner Muneaki Sugie serves as BonJapan86’s entire kitchen staff. Martha stewart banana bread recipe If you can spot him outside the kitchen, he’s likely smiling, wiping a counter or sweeping. Banana bread cooking light Both are happy to make a suggestion, to guide you through his menu of essential Japanese home cooking.

“To me, it has that at-home feeling, Grandma’s taste, Mom’s taste,” Komoda says of Sugie’s cooking. Ingredients for banana nut bread “He makes everything fresh, nothing pre-made. Paleo banana bread recipe with coconut flour … Banana bread two bananas It’s the heart of his cooking, the behind-the-scenes stuff.”

Sugie, a Japanese immigrant who trained in Texas, opened BonJapan86 in April. Sugie didn’t want to open another sushi restaurant; instead, he focuses on Japanese comfort food, like earthy curry with thick udon noodles and yakitori grilled chicken. Organic banana bread recipe You’ll also see bento and simple rice bowls, known as donburi, with fried pork cutlets or egg. It’s the Japanese version of fried chicken and mashed potatoes.

When a bento box arrives, I’m charmed by a little sprinkle of pink on my rice: Furikake.

Furikake, a Japanese seasoning made with seaweed, sesame seeds and MSG, is a pantry staple you don’t see often in restaurants. Banana bread recipe with applesauce A single shake on fresh white rice is mindlessly tasty in the best way.

Bento boxes always come with rice, miso soup, a salad and a side (like a dumpling or a vegetable croquette). Almond flour banana bread recipe You pick the main entree, like Kara-Age, Yakitori Chicken or Tonkatsu.

The vegetable croquette, a mashed and fried potato in a crunchy panko crust, arrives drizzled in a tangy and sweet tonkatsu sauce, a zippy match for the immensely snackable bite. How long to bake banana bread muffins Sugie tosses salad in a sticky dressing, which works as a dipping sauce for fried pork or chicken. Strawberry banana bread recipe Miso soup counterbalances the sweetness of these sauces with the umami of seaweed and dashi (fish broth).

Sugie marinates his yakitori chicken in a combination of soy sauce, mirin, sake, ginger and garlic before it hits a grill. Banana bread baked oatmeal The marinade is sweet and salty, familiar to most Japanese food fans, although an unpleasant aftertaste emerges that’s hard to place. Banana bread yogurt recipe Instead, try the Kara-Age (sort of like popcorn chicken) or a fried pork cutlet known as Tonkatsu. Banana bread recipe with almond flour The meats stay juicy and tender within their crunchy shells.

Donburi is the most comforting of simple foods: a bowl of rice topped with ingredients cooked in soy sauce and mirin. Flour bakery banana bread to enjoy. Hummingbird bakery banana bread One of the most popular, oyako don, translates to “mother and child” because of its combination of chicken and egg.

BonJapan86’s charming Oyako Don or Katsu Don, with tonkatsu and egg, must be ferociously stirred with the hot rice when it arrives to finish cooking the eggs. Flour bakery banana bread recipe As the egg and meat boil in the donburi liquid, it becomes its own kind of sauce, thick and unctuous. Banana bread recipe yogurt In the vigorous stirring process, the fried crust of tonkatsu may become dislodged; it’s a lovely textural contrast to the egg and rice. Banana bread recipe with yogurt It’s sloppy, messy and deeply pleasurable to eat.

Find us on Pinterest: Pin this story and other Salem-area dining reviews at pinterest.com/SJPinner.

Udon, which traveled from China to Japan hundreds of years ago, are chewy and wide noodles often served in light broths or with dipping sauce. Sugar free banana bread recipe Delightfully slurpable, udon at BonJapan86 comes in a variety of traditional forms: as a bed for sweet fried tofu, hidden in the depths of curry or simply swirling in a clear broth.

In a not-too-thick Japanese Curry Udon, noodles stay springy, a complement to grilled chicken. Healthy banana bread recipe yogurt Japanese curry is made with a garam masala roux (you can find boxes of the roux at most Asian grocers; my college roommate always used a combo of Golden Curry and Vermont Curry bases). Banana bread recipe with greek yogurt Sugie buys boxed roux and then grates fruits and vegetables into the base. Banana bread with sour cream recipe Sweet and juicy slices of yakitori chicken marinated in soy, mirin and sake are a welcome surprise, but the curry would benefit from a few vegetables.

In Tem-Toji Udon, tempura shrimp and egg pair with udon noodles in a clear broth, though the fried tempura batter starts to disintegrate within seconds of reaching your table. Buttermilk banana bread recipe It’s hard to imagine how this would be ameliorated, though the almost porridgelike consistency of the soggy shrimp batter is its own kind of tasty. Banana bread food network It’s similar to Kitsune Udon, which has a spongy piece of aburaage (fried tofu) intended to become saturated with dashi broth.

Think about how you cook for yourself during the workweek. Banana bread donuts What are the four items in your pantry on which you rely? I use soy sauce, mirin, sesame oil and garlic. Banana bread recipe using sour cream My editor uses chili powder, garlic, chicken stock and rice vinegar. Banana bread with sour cream and oil Reporter Carol Currie uses basil, garlic, curry powder and fortified wine (marsala or sherry).

Most people cook this way: An arsenal of secret ingredients that become your go-to cooking style.

Sugie’s arsenal is clearly soy, mirin and sake. Original betty crocker banana bread recipe You see at least two of those ingredients in most dishes: as a marinade for chicken, a dressing for salad, the base for donburi.

Sugie’s food comes across as authentic because it’s recognizable as the dishes Japanese Americans ate at home. Banana bread 1 egg You see evidence from Yelp reviews, in eavesdropped conversations, from the multiple people who suggested BonJapan86 because it was the only place to find this facet of Japanese cuisine.

The restaurant’s imperfections, then, feel more forgivable, the way you forgave your mother’s overcooking of pasta. 4 ingredient banana bread The odd aftertaste, the shortcuts, the occasionally slow service become soothing: This restaurant, regardless of your background, feels like home.

Email Brooke Jackson-Glidden brookejg@statesmanjournal.com or call 503-428-3528. Moist banana bread recipe with sour cream Follow her on Twitter @jacksonglidden, or like her Facebook page www.facebook.com/BrookeJackson-Glidden.

When: 11 a.m. Banana bread sour cream recipe to 2 p.m. Chocolate banana bread pudding and 5 p.m. Banana bread recipe taste to 10 p.m. Betty crocker banana nut bread recipe Mondays-Fridays and 5 p.m. Banana bread recipe buttermilk to 10 p.m. Best moist banana bread Saturdays

(Four stars: exceptional; three stars: good; two stars: fair; one star: poor)

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