Tuesday, June 29, 2010


The last time I visited a Japadog was when I travelled to downtown Vancouver with my sisters during the Olympics. During this visit, we bought our dogs from the stand on Burrard & Smithe and thoroughly enjoyed them... they were delicious and unique and to be honest, my sisters and I simply adore anything Japanese (cuisine, manga, anime, music etc.). Here are some pictures of our culinary experience at the Japadog stand...
Their cute menu board
Their array of condiments... including: sweet chili sauce, mustard, wasabi mayo, Japanese mayo, honey mustard, dijon mustard, sriracha, ketchup and bacon bits
I decided on the Oroshi Dog (bratwurst topped with grated radish, green onions and soy sauce... the sweet chili-sauce and mayo were my additions), while my sister ordered the Okinomi dog (Kurubuta weiner topped with Japanese mayo, okinomiyaki sauce, bonito flakes and fried cabbage). My other sister remained on the less adventurous side and ordered a regular Kobe beef hot dog.

Flash-forward to yesterday, and it marks the day my sisters and I travelled downtown for another Vancouver outing. We were hankering for something to eat that was quick and affordable and as we walked down Robson Street we noticed that the Japadog sit-down restaurant was now open. So, without hesitation we headed towards the wonderful aroma of cooked meat and ordered us some tasty Japadog creations.
Signage outside of the restaurant
Look at all those hot dog buns!! Crazy!
Their Terimayo dog (teriyaki sauce, seaweed and Japanese mayo) $4.75

The Tonkatsu dog (breaded pork patty topped with red cabbage and Japanese mayo) $4.95

Once I saw this on the menu board, I knew I'd have to try it. Their Yakiniku Rice dog (pork dog with grilled teriyaki beef, lettuce and radish sprouts all in a rice-patty "bun") a bit pricey at $6.25, but totally worth it.

My sister's and I have always found that the quality at the Japadog stalls is always top-notch, and although on the expensive side (especially for a hot dog) we're always willing to pay for it. The only thing I'd have to say about the Yakiniku Rice dog is that you must eat this sitting down. Chomping at this baby is kind of a messy ordeal; and if you're like me and enjoy topping your hot-dogs off with "the works" in terms of condiments, then the drippy-soppy-messiness will be tripled. The rice "bun" of the Yakiniku dog is fairly sturdy and soaks up the meat juices and condiments well, but once it reaches its saturation point it will slowly begin to break apart. I went through my fair share of napkins while eating this bad-boy; yet, while it may have been a challenge to eat, it was really good! I highly recommend that if you're in the Downtown Vancouver area, you try Japadog at least once.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

June Daring Bakers Challenge - Pavlova

I know I've been slacking off severely in my postings. All this hectic business with trying to find a job :P AAHHH! Can't believe my last post was for May's DB Challenge. Well, at least being part of the Daring Bakers has forced me to keep up the blogging.

The June 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Dawn of Doable and Delicious. Dawn challenged the Daring Bakers’ to make Chocolate Pavlovas and Chocolate Mascarpone Mousse. The challenge recipe is based on a recipe from the book Chocolate Epiphany by Francois Payard

Chocolate Pavlovas

Recipe 1: Chocolate Meringue (for the chocolate Pavlova):

- 3 large egg whites
- ½ cup plus 1 tbsp (110 grams) granulated sugar
- ¼ cup (30 grams) confectioner’s sugar
- 1/3 cup (30 grams) cocoa powder


  1. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 200º F (95º C) degrees. Line two baking sheets with silpat or parchment and set aside.
  2. Put the egg whites in a bowl and whip until soft peaks form. Increase speed to high and gradually add granulated sugar about 1 tbsp at a time until stiff peaks form. (The whites should be firm but moist.)
  3. Sift the confectioner’s sugar and cocoa powder over the egg whites and fold the dry ingredients into the white. (This looks like it will not happen. Fold gently and it will eventually come together.)
  4. Fill a pastry bag with the meringue. Pipe the meringue into whatever shapes you desire. Alternatively, you could just free form your shapes and level them a bit with the back of a spoon. (Class made rounds, hearts, diamonds and an attempt at a clover was made!)
  5. Bake for 2-3 hours until the meringues become dry and crisp. Cool and store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Recipe 2: Chocolate Mascarpone Mousse (for the top of the Pavlova base):

- 1 ½ cups (355 mls) heavy cream grated zest of 1 average sized lemon
- 9 ounces (255 grams) 72% chocolate (I used milk chocolate), chopped
- 1 2/3 cups (390 mls) mascarpone
- pinch of nutmeg
- 2 tbsp (30 mls) Grand Marnier


  1. Put ½ cup of heavy cream and lemon zest in a saucepan over medium high heat. Once warm, add chocolate and whisk until melted & smooth. Transfer mixture to a bowl and let sit at room temperature until cool.
  2. Place the mascarpone, remaining cup of cream and nutmeg in a bowl. Whip on low for a minute until the mascarpone is loose. Add Grand Marnier and whip on medium speed until it holds soft peaks (DO NOT OVERBEAT OR MASCARPONE WILL BREAK.)
  3. Mix about ¼ of the mascarpone mixture into the chocolate to lighten. Fold in remaining mascarpone until well incorporated. Fill pastry bag with mousse. Again, you could just free form mousse on top of the pavlova.

Recipe 3: Mascarpone Cream (for drizzling):

- 1 recipe crème anglaise
- ½ cup (120 mls) mascarpone
- 2 tbsp (30 mls) Sambucca (optional)
- ½ cup (120 mls) heavy cream


  1. Prepare the crème anglaise. Slowly whisk in the mascarpone and the Sambucca and let the mixture cool. Put the cream in a bowl and beat with electric mixer until very soft peaks are formed. Fold the cream into the mascarpone mixture.

Recipe 4: Crème Anglaise (a component of the Mascarpone Cream above):

- 1 cup (235 mls) whole milk
- 1 cup (235 mls) heavy cream
- 1 vanilla bean, split or 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 6 large egg yolks
- 6 tbsp (75 grams) sugar


  1. In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until the mixture turns pale yellow.
  2. Combine the milk, cream and vanilla in a saucepan over medium high heat, bringing the mixture to a boil. Take off the heat.
  3. Pour about ½ cup of the hot liquid into the yolk mixture, whisking constantly to keep from making scrambled eggs. Pour the yolk mixture into the pan with the remaining cream mixture and put the heat back on medium. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon until the mixture thickens enough to lightly coat the back of a wooden spoon. DO NOT OVERCOOK.
  4. Remove the mixture from the heat and strain it through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl. Cover and refrigerate until the mixture is thoroughly chilled, about 2 hours or overnight.

Pipe the mousse onto the pavlovas and drizzle with the mascarpone cream over the top. Dust with confectioner’s sugar and fresh fruit if desired.

Yes, I know... I didn't put the mascarpone drizzle on top of the pavlovas. But to tell you the truth, my drizzle-sauce stuff was a bit on the liquid side and I didn't want to drown my cute little creations. So, instead I served the cream on the side so that whoever wanted some additional creamy-sweetness could just spoon some on top as liberally as they wanted. The puffy little pavlovas were a hit with my sisters and my parents. And they were almost too cute to eat!