Our ideas for what to cook this weekend include everything from tamago kake gohan or Japanese egg on rice, a classic Japanese breakfast for egg lovers, a Vietnamese chicken salad recipe with crunchy cabbage and crispy fried shallots, and Thai chicken satay skewers in the Southern Thai style of the kind that you’ll find at street food stalls all over Thailand.
If you’re a first-time visitor to Grantourismo, What to Cook this Weekend is a weekly-ish series with suggestions for often easy, occasionally challenging, but always memorable weekend meals. Meal ideas might include dishes that we are cooking at home, which we think you might enjoy, as well as recipes that we’re developing and testing out for our cookbooks.
Recipes come from our Grantourismo recipes archives, which are heaving with thousands of recipes for dishes from around the world, beginning with recipes from our first series, The Dish, on the quintessential dishes of places we settled into when we launched Grantourismo with our 12 month global grand tour back on New Year’s Day 2010.
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We might earn a small commission from your purchases on sites, such as Amazon, and we have plenty of inspiration here in our round-ups of James Beard award-winning cookbooks, cookbooks by Australian chefs, classic cookbooks for serious cooks, cookbooks for culinary travellers, travel books to inspire wanderlust, gifts for Asian food lovers, picnic lovers and travellers who love photography. Now let’s share our suggestions as to what to cook this weekend.
What to Cook This Weekend from Japanese Egg Rice to Vietnamese Salad and Thai Skewers
Here are our suggestions as to what to cook this weekend.
Saturday Breakfast – Tamago Kake Gohan Recipe for Japanese Egg on Rice
For breakfast Saturday, why don’t you try last week’s Weekend Eggs recipe for tamago kake gohan, Japanese egg on rice – or TKG for the KFC generation – a classic Japanese breakfast for egg lovers.
This deliciously-simple breakfast egg dish of raw egg stirred into piping-hot steamed Japanese rice can be customised, served simply with soy sauce and sesame oil, or sprinkled with spring onions, sesame seeds, furikake, bonito flakes, or roasted seaweed.
If you’ve enjoyed our recipes for Japanese comfort food dishes, particularly the recipes for donburi or rice bowl dishes, such as oyakodon, the Japanese ‘chicken and egg’ rice bowl, and katsudon, the pork cutlet and egg rice bowl, then you’re going to love this tamago kake gohan recipe for Japanese egg on rice.
A quick and easy breakfast dish of raw egg stirred into cooked rice, tamago kake gohan is versatile and can be customised as you like, with traditional Japanese sauces, pickles, condiments, and toppings, such as furikake seasoning, bonito flakes and roasted seaweed, or European ingredients, such as Italian Parma ham and Parmigiano-Reggiano, which is apparently very popular.
This tamago kake gohan recipe comes with a warning, however: if you don’t like raw eggs, this dish is not for you. If you do eat raw eggs, you probably know this, but do use pasteurised eggs to be safe, make sure the rice is piping hot, and stir the egg in as soon as you plate the rice, to reduce the risk of salmonella. If you have concerns, don’t make this dish. More tips in the post.
Saturday Lunch – Vietnamese Chicken Salad Recipe with Crunchy Cabbage and Crispy Fried Shallots
Don’t even think about making anything but our Vietnamese chicken salad for lunch on Saturday – that’s assuming that you haven’t made it yet. It was our most popular recipe post this week, and will probably end up being the most popular recipe of the month.
This Vietnamese chicken and cabbage salad recipe makes a fantastic year-round salad called gỏi gà bắp cải in Vietnamese – which literally means salad (gỏi) of chicken (gà) and cabbage (bắp cải).
The healthy Vietnamese shredded chicken salad has heaps of texture thanks to shredded cabbage and carrot, crunchy peanuts and crispy fried onions. It’s also loaded with umami with a lively dressing of Vietnamese fish sauce, lime juice, sugar, garlic, and chilli.
Saturday Night – Creamy Corn Chowder Recipe with Potatoes, Parmesan and Croutons
This corn chowder recipe makes a creamy potato corn chowder with Parmigiano Reggiano, scallions and croutons and while it’s wonderful eaten warm if you’re in the chilli Southern hemisphere, it’s also a fantastic cold soup if you’re experiencing a scorching summer in the north. You’ll just want to eat less of it!
The chowder is ever so lightly spiced with a little curry powder, turmeric and paprika. A rind of Parmigiano Reggiano melts in the chowder adding a kick of umami, while crunchy croutons add texture.
Summer corn season is almost here in Cambodia and it’s one of my favourite seasons as there’s just so much you can do with corn. While I’m happy to munch into a simple piping hot cob of corn, dripping with butter and generously sprinkled with salt, I also can’t resist chilling it, and making corn salads, corn fritters, corn salsas, corn soups, and Mexican corn in a cup (my all-time favourite!). We have loads of corn recipes here.
This corn chowder recipe is also dairy-free and vegetarian, which means I’ve skipped a key ingredient of chowders and that’s pork, which in modern day chowders generally takes the form of crispy fried strips of bacon sprinkled on top. However, you could add clams instead. Mmmm.
Sunday Breakfast – Okonomiyaki Recipe for Japanese Cabbage Pancakes
This classic okonomiyaki recipe makes the umami-packed Japanese cabbage pancakes that are completely addictive. In Japan these plump savoury pancakes are eaten at any time of day, but you probably know them best served at teppanyaki restaurants where they’re made old-school style on the teppanyaki grill.
We’ve eaten them at Japanese izakayas, casual taverns where the food is served to soak up the booze. While heartier, they’re presented with more finesse. However, we love tucking into a plate of okonomiyaki for Sunday breakfast or brunch.
If you’re as addicted to umami as we are and haven’t tried these filling savoury pancakes topped with a sauce made from soy and Worcestershire, creamy mayo, umami-rich bonito flakes and nori flakes, and a sprinkle of furikake (sesame seeds, nori and chilli flakes) for more texture and flavour, make these this weekend. You’ll love them.
Sunday Lunch – Shan Tomato Salad Recipe
It’s tomato season, which means you must make this Shan tomato salad recipe which will make you a sweet tomato salad textured with crunchy purple onions, sesame seeds and crispy fried shallots and garlic, and fragrant fresh coriander.
Mostly made with green tomatoes, it’s typically eaten as a refreshing accompaniment to rich curries but can also be enjoyed with steamed rice, or simply eaten on its own, which is how I love to eat it for lunch.
Hailing from beautiful Shan State in northeastern Myanmar – a fertile region of forested mountains, rolling hills and serene lakes – this delicious Shan tomato salad is also made with red tomatoes. It’s terrific with either – or both.
Shan cuisine, like many of Myanmar’s cuisines – and all of the northern Southeast Asian cuisines, in fact – is distinguished by its fantastic salads. Over the years I’ve heard travellers praise the salads but complain about Myanmar’s oily curries, not realising that the salads are accompaniments to those curries, providing a refreshing contrast.
If you’re a salad lover like I am, I encourage you to explore the astonishing arrays of salads on a future trip to Myanmar, when it’s safe to travel there again. In the meantime, try this Shan vermicelli noodle salad recipe.
Sunday Dinner – Thai Chicken Satay Skewers Recipe for Sate Gai
Why not make our Thai chicken satay skewers recipe for sate gai on Sunday evening? It makes Thai satay chicken in the Southern Thailand style of the kind that you’ll find all over Thailand, including Bangkok.
Thai street food satay skewers are very different to the ‘Thai’ satay skewers you typically see in foreign-authored cookbooks, food magazines and food blogs, which are often enormous, with big chunky pieces of chicken meat.
You won’t find sate gai like that at street food stalls or restaurants in Thailand. Thai chicken satay skewers are small skewers with 3-4 pieces of chicken per skewer and the strips of chicken are thin.
Why? Because street food is generally snack food rather than a full meal for Thais. But if Thais wanted to eat a full meal of street food, they wouldn’t only eat chicken skewers, they’d order an array of different dishes and rice, which is how they eat.
Street food is also fast food, essentially. It’s also affordable food so that it’s accessible to everyone. All of which means smaller pieces of chicken on small skewers served in small portions. If you want more, you simply order more.
If you’re making these for Sunday dinner, make some cucumber relish and peanut sauce (I’ll be posting that recipe tomorrow morning), some steamed rice, and perhaps a Thai salad such as som tam.
Please do let us know if you make any of our What to Cook this Weekend recipes in the comments below as we’d love to hear how our recipes turned out for you.