“Chicken Teriyaki” from Tokiko Suzuki’s Japanese Homestyle Cooking. “Green Pea Rice” and “Cucumber and Wakame Seaweed in a Sweet Pickled Dressing” from Harumi Kurihara’s Everyday Harumi.
I had basically completely forgotten what it’s like to cook during the summer. It was the furthest thing from my mind when I set out to make dinner tonight. I had forced from my memory the sticky feelings, the sweaty brow (I know: gross), the standing by the open window and hoping for a breeze while the birds chirp and the exhaust fan does its dirgey humming thing and the air is exceptionally still. “No breeze for you,” one might quip.
My advice for hot days¹ if you, like me, prefer to cook is to cook in stages and to cook as little as possible. As I’m generally not a salad-for-dinner kind of person, this means something cold, something in the rice cooker and / or something that doesn’t involve standing over a hot burner.
And so, I started making dinner around 3:45PM. I prepped ingredients for the pickles at a leisurely pace, finally popping everything in a jar and sticking the jar in the fridge. A little bit later, I washed my rice and got the rice cooker going. I cut up the chicken and washed some dishes. When the rice was steaming, I blanched the peas and started the chicken. As I said last time, chicken teriyaki is a great auto-pilot dish. It cooks quickly and you don’t have to watch it. While the sticky-sweet might not fit everyone’s taste in weather like this, pickles do a great job cutting through that.