By Quentin H. / May 12th, 2023
One of the biggest surprises for me, though, is Cooking Eorzea. I am making new dishes every week that I would never have had the courage to make beforehand. This column is helping to make me more confident in the kitchen and to help make me into a better person since I have to have patience and take care in order to make delicious things. And everything is made with Love, Eorzean Style.
If you’ve missed an installment of Cooking Eorzea, you can check out all the prior recipes here.
Recipe of the Week
This week’s Cooking Eorzea dish is the eighth recipe, Oriental Breakfast, that comes with a ‘Medium’ difficulty and hails from the Othard region. It consists of several miniature dishes inside of it: rice, tamagoyaki, green tea, salmon, miso soup, and pickled vegetables. I decided that, to make this week’s dish, I would try to have everything come up within a few minutes of each other. And honestly? I succeeded! Everything came up within four minutes of each other.
Anyway, here is how the professionals make the Oriental Breakfast dish look!
Featured Ingredient of the Week
Sake is made by fermenting rice that has had the bran removed, and for once, I didn’t pick the cheapest version of an alcoholic beverage to work with. Cooking with alcohol, and using alcohol to impart flavors to the food, is still a very surprising concept to me. The fact that I was going to be rubbing sake into the salmon fillets was something that I had honestly not considered before, and I was blown away by how it ultimately worked out. This uniqueness, at least to me, was why I chose sake to be the Ingredient of the Week.
My Cooking Attempt
As always, we start off with a picture of all the ingredients used. Yes, there are quite a few that I utilized for this week:
Sunday was all about preparing the pickled vegetables. First, I heated up the water until it was fairly warm.
While the water was heating up, I removed the end from the daikon radish, peeled it, chopped it in half, and then sliced it. I then also sliced the cucumbers.
I then measured out the sugar, salt, rice vinegar, and added it all together in an airtight container with the sliced vegetables.
I ended up not having enough liquid to completely submerge the vegetable slices, and so I added (per the recipe!) more rice vinegar and warm water until it was completely filled. I then closed the lid on and shook the container to ensure that all the ingredients were blended together.
I then placed the soon-to-be pickled vegetables into the refrigerator to…well…pickle.
On Monday, I first chopped a salmon fillet into four pieces.
I added some sake to a bowl and then rubbed it into the salmon fillet pieces.
After the sake-rubbed salmon rested for five minutes, I patted the salmon dry with paper towels.
I added salt into a bowl, and I then coated both sides of the salmon fillets with salt.
I folded over a paper towel, placed it into the bottom of a second airtight container, and then added the salted salmon fillets on top. I then added another paper towel on top and closed the lid on.
I then placed the salted salmon fillets in the refrigerator next to the pickling vegetables.
First, I added water to a pot and then added a piece of kombu to it to let it soak for four hours. I realized that in order to make all the dishes come up at roughly the same time, I had to base everything about the miso soup with tofu.
While reviewing the recipe, I realized that I needed some nonstick spray, and so I picked up a bottle from the store while the kombu soaked.
About a half hour before the kombu was ready, I washed a cup of white rice in the sink.
The rice wasn’t totally clean the first time I washed it, and so I had to wash it a second time.
I sliced the bottom and leaves off of a leek and then split it in half.
Once the four hours were up, I placed the kombu and water into a smaller pot and then turned on the heat. Once the pot was ready, I placed it over medium heat. Once the water was just about to boil, I removed the kombu.
I then placed the two leeks to simmer for a half-hour. Once the leeks went in, I started the rice cooker.
Once I started the rice cooker, I cracked four eggs into a cup and then got the other ingredients ready to make the tamagoyaki. Once the other ingredients were added to the cup, I whisked them all together.
After I prepped the tamagoyaki mixture, I heated up another cup of water for the wakame to soak in.
At this point, I added in the bonito flakes to the pot and let the whole thing simmer for another 15 minutes.
While the bonito flakes simmered in the pot, I sliced the scallions, and added the hot water to the wakame to rehydrate it.
I got out the firm tofu and sliced it into small squares.
At this point, the rice was ready, and it went to standby mode to keep the rice warm.
I got out my tamagoyaki pan, and I sprayed it with nonstick spray. I then added a small amount of tamagoyaki mixture to the pan and I waited it to solidify.
Once it was ready, I rolled it up and added another layer of tamagoyaki mixture to the pan. Once it was ready, I rolled it up as well.
At this point, the bonito flakes were done simmering, and so I lowered the heat on the tamagoyaki pan and strained the leeks and bonito flakes out of the dashi stock into a large pot. I then poured the dashi stock back into the small pot and let it cook on a low simmer.
Unfortunately, I didn’t turn the heat down enough on the tamagoyaki…because when I rolled it up, I discovered that it had burned really badly.
I turned the dashi stock down to a very low simmer, and I quickly made another tamagoyaki mixture and then started to make another tamagoyaki dish.
I kept rolling the tamagoyaki and adding more and more thin layers into the pan until I used up all the mixture. Once it was ready, I wrapped it up into a bamboo rolling mat and tightened it up to help give it a shape.
While I let the tamagoyaki rest in the bamboo rolling mat, I got the salmon fillet pieces out and placed them on a cooking sheet. I then turned on broil mode on my oven and slid the salmon fillet pieces underneath the heat for three minutes.
As soon as I popped the salmon fillets into the oven, the dashi stock was warm enough that I added in the tofu and wakame and I let all of that warm up for a few more minutes.
Once the wakame and the firm tofu were ready, I added in the shiro miso. I added in less than I did in the prior attempt, and I do think it improved the miso soup.
At this point, the timer went off for the salmon fillets, and so I pulled them out of the oven and then flipped them over. I also added loose leaf green tea to a tea pot.
As more water heated up in the microwave, I put the salmon filets back into the oven to broil.
While the fish broiled, I unrolled and sliced the tamagoyaki.
After slicing the tamagoyaki, I added the hot water to the tea pot and let the green tea steep. At this point, the salmon fillets were ready, and I pulled them out of the oven as well.
I then pulled the rice out of the rice cooker and added the sliced scallions to the miso soup with tofu.
At this point, green tea was ready and I pulled the pickled vegetables out of the refrigerator.
Finally, I sliced the lemon into wedges!
All of these dishes, with the exception of the rice, came up within four minutes of each other! And here is the final dish for this week’s Cooking Eorzea once I assembled them all together:
The pickled vegetables, despite smelling a bit…strong…were delicious. The rice was great, and the tamagoyaki was amazing, too. It had a strong, somewhat bold taste that clearly came from the mirin and the soy. The miso soup with tofu was, of course, delicious. And I think lessening the shiro miso was probably key to making it better than last week’s attempt. The green tea was green tea – nothing unique about that. The salmon was perfectly crispy, though I think I overdid it with the salt in the very beginning, because it was just a bit too salty for me to be happy about.
Overall, I loved this dish, and I would eat it even if I wasn’t writing Cooking Eorzea. That said, it took too long to make as a whole.
I don’t think I would make this dish again. Even though everything except the rice came up within four minutes of each other, it still took time over three days to prepare. Otherwise, I would definitely have not salted the fish as much as I did. It really did take away from the delicious flavor of an otherwise great meal.
I want to thank Victoria Rosenthal for writing The Ultimate FINAL FANTASY XIV Online Cookbook. This column wouldn’t be possible without her giving me the guidebook for making all of the dishes from Eorzea. I also want to thank the staff over at Insight Editions for giving me permission to use the photos from their book to show how these recipes are actually supposed to look. Furthermore, I owe Brandon Rose a special thanks for creating the logo for this series on short notice. You should check him and his works out over on Twitter.
I also want to thank both Hiromichi Tanaka and Naoki Yoshida for producing FINAL FANTASY XIV Online in both 1.0 and 2.0+. I am still playing through Endwalker, and I am absolutely adoring the story that started so, so long ago.
The next dish for Cooking Eorzea will be the Doma specialty, Oden. Due to the…uniqueness…of the ingredients involved, it may not come out next week but the week after instead. To be blunt: I am not sure that I can find everything I need to make it in time. Either way, please keep an eye on this column for the next installment!
How great are you at multitasking? How have your attempts to make sure everything comes up fully cooked at roughly the same time?
Let us know in the comments below!
CookingCooking EorzeaFFXIVFinal FantasyFinal Fantasy XIVFINAL FANTASY XIV OnlineHingashiHiromichi TanakaInsight EditionsMMORPGNaoki YoshidaPCPlaystationPlayStation 4PlayStation 5Square EnixVictoria Rosenthal