Although it might be a while before we can safely eat out again, the lockdown has certainly brought out our inner chefs, inspiring a quest to recreate restaurant style dishes at home. The latest recipe we’ve been experimenting with, is inspired by a Sunday family tradition to visit Kobe Sizzlers.
If you know, you know the thrill of a screaming hot sizzler.
It’s as fun as it is dramatic, soundtracked by the satisfying sizzle of a sauce being poured over the searingly-hot plate. I’ll level with you, it’s not the easiest dish to master with a fair level of effort involved in the assembly. However, the end result is definitely worth it! Here are a few handy tips to help you customise your own sizzler, with an Asian sizzler recipe to get you started!
What you need
You can’t have a sizzler without a sizzler tray – a wooden tray over which a cast-iron/ metal pan is placed.
Choose Your Cuisine
A sizzler is quite versatile, lending itself to all manners of cuisines.
You can prepare a quintessential Indian tandoori sizzler loaded with marinated paneer tikka, grilled until tender and drenched in a hot makhani gravy. Or if you fancy an Italian Job: pack in the pasta with boiled veggies and perhaps a baked potato, with an earthy mushroom gravy as your sizzler sauce.
Remember to always go the full monty. A complete sizzler should always have the following qualities: something(s) hearty (think carbs and more carbs) balanced by some form of protein (tofu, cottage cheese or meat) and something lean (veggies), with lots of interesting flavours at play.
At a minimum, our go-to (vegetarian-friendly) matrix at home always involves rice or noodles, sautéed greens and veggies, cutlets and french fries.
Assembling Your Sizzler
- Grease your sizzler pan with butter and line it with cabbage leaves before heating it.
- Always heat the sizzler pan over low heat, arranging the various components (cooked beforehand) on the pan while it is heating.
- Simultaneously heat the sauce (in another pan), pouring it over the sizzler pan when the pan is red hot.
- Switch off the gas and add a touch of more melted butter on the sides of the sizzler pan to make it sizzle even more!
- Exercise extreme caution when lifting the sizzler pan from the stove and placing it on the wooden tray. Serve immediately.
If you’re in need of a bit more inspiration, here’s one of my favourite go-to recipes as a starting point! The Asian sauce is the star of the show, with a depth of flavours (ginger and teriyaki) and a kick of umami.
For Sizzler Sauce
- 1½ tbsp ginger garlic paste
- ½ cup onions, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 3 tbsp vegan fysh sauce ( I get mine from from Urban Platter ; however, you can also try making it at home)
- 2 tbsp Teriyaki sauce (I use Sprig’s Ginger Teriyaki Sauce)
- 2 tbsp hot sauce (or Sriracha)
- cornflour slurry (mix 2 tbsp corn flour with 2 tbsp cold water to get a smooth paste)
- 2 – 2½ cups water
For The Sizzler
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
- 2 cups chopped veggies of choice (baby corn, bell peppers, green beans, carrots etc.)
- Handful of spinach
- Silken-firm tofu (press it between two kitchen towels to drain it of excess water)
- Noodles, cooked as per packet instructions
- 2 potatoes, rinsed, peeled and cut into sticks having 1 cm width.
Prepare the sizzler sauce
- Heat a tbsp of sesame oil in a pan on medium low heat
- Sauté the ginger and garlic paste for a few minutes before adding the onion. Sauté until onions are translucent, then add the soy sauce, fysh sauce, teriyaki sauce and chilli sauce. Add the water and stir together. Once it comes to a boil, add the cornflour slurry to thicken the sauce.
- Adjust the sauce as per taste. At this point, I usually add another tbsp of fysh sauce for an added kick of umami.
- Let the sauce simmer on the stove for a few more minutes before switching off the heat.
Double fry the french fries for the best results
- Soak the potatoes in a bowl of cold water (this helps to get rid of the excess starch), Drain in a colander, rinsing well and then placing the potato sticks on a clean cotton towel. Pat and dry the potatoes completely before frying them in a wok/ pan of oil.
- On a medium low flame, fry the potatoes (in batches if needed as you don’t want to overcrowd the wok) until the potatoes are just cooked. They will have developed a crust on the outside but will not have browned (i.e. there will be no significant colour change).
- Remove the half-fried potatoes with a slotted spoon and placed on paper kitchen towels until they have cooled down to to room temperature.
- Then, increase the flame to medium-high (high for a heavy pan). Once the oil is hot, add the half-fried potatoes. Stirring often, fry them until they are perfectly-crisp and golden on the outside.
- Remove the fries with a slotted spoon and place them on a kitchen roll which can absorb the excess oil. Sprinkle with seasonings (sea salt and paprika are our favourite), tossing well until evenly coated.
Prepare the other components
- Cook noodles according to packet instructions
- Heat a tbsp of sesame oil in a non-stick skillet, slowly adding the veggies. Sauté until cooked but with a firm bite, before seasoning with salt and pepper as per taste. Add the spinach towards the end, sauteéing until the greens have wilted.
- Heat the remaining tbsp of sesame oil in another pan. Coat the tofu in a bit of cornflour and pan-fry until firm and golden on both sides.
- Grease your sizzler pan with butter and line it with cabbage leaves before heating it over a low flame. While it is heating up, arrange the noodles, veggies, french fries and tofu.
- Heat the sizzler sauce.
- Once the sizzler pan is searingly hot, pour over the sizzler sauce. Switch off the gas and add a bit more melted butter along the sides of the pan for an extra sizzle.
- Lift the pan very carefully, placing it on the wooden tray and serve immediately.
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