video

– Thank you to Bokksu for sponsoring this episode. Bokksu is a premiumJapanese snack subscription that works with familybusinesses all over Japan to deliver a new themeof treats every month. Here are some of the snacks that I got this month. Pretty cool. And if you wanna tastethese snacks for yourself.

Or give a subscription as a gift, head to the link of the description, and use code ALVIN toget $15 off your order. (speaking in foreign language) (food sizzling) (speaking in foreign language) (speaking in foreign language) (speaking in foreign language) (speaking in foreign language).

(suspenseful instrumental music) (speaking in foreign language) (food slurping) Hello, there. Welcome back to another episode of “Anime with Alvin.” Today, I'll be making the feast from “Spirited Away” that Chihiro parents eat when you first start the movie.

I'm a fan of al the Miyazaki films, and I have to say that “Spirited Away” is one of my favorite movies of all time. A lot of the food seems to be inspired from Taiwan. So for this episode, we'll be making fiveTaiwanese-inspired dishes, the first of which is Taiwanese sausage. I'm gonna start by cubing four pounds.

Of whole pork butt along with one pound of pork fat back. Taiwanese sausage is a little different than normal American sausage. It has a different kind of seasoning, and is usually a little bit sweeter, and not as dried. Our version of Taiwanesesausage is inspired by two sources this time.

Sago Fiona and the YouTube channel, Happy ingredients. Once all the meat has been cubed up, I'm putting them on trays so that they can sort offreeze up in the fridge for a little bit 'cuz we still need to grind it like normal sausage. Moving on to our second dish,.

Grilled mochi sticks. Now, it's not mentioned exactly what every single dish on that massive feast table was, but I'm guessing it's an inspiration from Taiwanese street markets. I was able to visit those magical markets many years ago and to this day, it still remains one of my favorite,.

And strongest culinary memories. I remember eating grilled mochi sticks the first night I was there, and it was definitely one of my favorite things I'd ever eaten. So I'll use that as an excuse to make them. Quite simple, actually. Just combining 500 gramsof glutenous rice flour.

With 500 grams of water starting to incorporate and microwaving in 30 seconds to one minute intervals until the whole thing is smooth, and relatively bouncy. After kneading it for a little bit, I'm putting it into Saran wrap in order to wrap it intoa more cohesive shape. This gets repeated until we have.

Two back-to-back packages of this rice, sticky, gooey awesomeness. After hanging out in the fridge for about one to two hours, these are now ready tobe sliced and stick. I'm cutting these into approximately half inch sticks, not lengthwise, the diameter of a square,.

Whatever, not that's, I was not good at school. I'm placing them on asheep pan line with a rack, covering the wooden parts with foils so that they don't burn in the oven. Usually at the night markets, these are grilled overcharcoal or open flame. But in order to make a lot of these, we decided to use the oven.

If we grill them too early, they'll be a little bit tough. So we're gonna save thisright before we eat. One of the dishes on that feast table definitely seems to be some sort of roasted poultry. From the movie visuals, it seems to be a littletoo small for chicken. So we're going with Cornish hens.

First, I'm combiningone cup of kosher salt with two tablespoons of baking powder, and rubbing all of the hens inside and out with this mixture. This not only seasons the Cornish hens, but allow the skin to dry out, letting us get a more crispy skin after the roasting process. We're now gonna put these little birds.

Into the fridge until they're ready tobe roasted tomorrow. It's gonna be a long two days. Back to the sausage. Our mixer parts havebeen a little chilled, so has our meat. So we're now gonna start by grinding this into ground pork. Please enjoy as you wash.

The satisfying clip of meat being grounded into long strands. The meat was in the freezerfor about 20 minutes. We don't want them rock hard, but we don't want them too soft or else the fat will be a little difficult todeal with in the grinder. After the meat has been ground, I'm gonna season this with.

Three tablespoons of sugar. One and a half tablespoons of Kosher salt. Two teaspoons of white pepper. One and a half teaspoons of onion powder. One teaspoon of black pepper. Three quarters of ateaspoon of not five spice, but 13 spice, and half a teaspoon of ginger powder. Yeah.

There's a lot of seasoningthat goes into this. Once this is mixed, youcan see that I'm sort of slamming the meat down into the stainless steel bowl. This is a technique my grandpa used to do when he used to make meatballs. I've also seen some chefs in Asia do this, but essentially, we're emulsifying the meat mixture.

By slamming it. Usually, this task is assigned to the apprentices, but the modern technique is this. So use a stand mixer. So we're gonna put the meat mixture in a stand mixer and usethe paddle attachment, and emulsify this for a few minutes. This is where the liquids finally go in.

I'm adding in threetablespoons of soy sauce. One tablespoon of Shaoxing cooking wine. Three tablespoons of corn starch, and about two and a half ounces of ice water. Once to solid mollified, you'll notice that this is sort of like, a pink paste reminiscent of McDonald's chicken nuggets, if that video is real.

But now that the meat paste is ready, it is time to take on the ever so intimidating task of making sausages. Viewer discretion is advised. Unless you're into that sort of thing. Please enjoy this circus of footage. Rachel and I were trying to figure out how to make these sausages work. We soaked casings made out of collagen.

In water for about five minutes before putting themonto the meat extruder. But as you can see things, things are taking a little bit of time as we work through our mistakes. Yeah, let's just, let's just say we had a great time, and we also did not have a great time. If you're a sausage maker out there.

Or if you've made sausages in your life from scratch, I salute you. This stuff's not easy. This actually does take quite a good amount of strength, control and dexterity in both hands, which is why we have two people here. Once the sausage mixture has been extruded along the whole length of the casing,.

It's now time to tie. This part's also quite tricky because in order to roll these sausages, and get them tight, the instructions require that you alternate directions in which the sausages are twisted. Having never made sausage before, I decided to reinforce our twists.

By tying knots aroundthem with butchers twine. But after approximately one hour of the most hilarioustime we've probably had in the studio and waytoo many sausage jokes, we have our links, and we are putting them on a coat rack in order to dry them correctly for about one day or so. I gotta say, not bad.

I mean, I ain't no glitzygladiator or anything, but those look pretty solid. Moving on to another dish. In the movie, one of thedishes that the father was seen clearly taking onto his plate seems to be a sticky ricedumpling of some sort. There've also been articles that say this is actually an ancient animal from many, many thousands of years ago.

But I'm gonna go ahead and say that, we should probably dothe dumplings instead. We're taking inspiration from traditional redmeat steamed dumplings from Taiwanese cuisine. Using two recipe sources, one from Cookpad and onefrom the Walks of Life. I'm starting first with the meat filling, Dicing of eight ouncesof Shiitake mushrooms,.

And half cup of pre-cooked, and rinsed bamboo shoots for the stove. I'm sauteing the mushroomsof the bamboo shoots for just a few minutes in a tablespoon of neutral oil until the water has started to come out, and the vegetables have started to brown just a little bit. This mixture now gets added.

To two pounds of ground pork, along with half a large shallots, and fore cloves of garlic. Two teaspoons of Chinesefive spice powder. Two teaspoons of white pepper. One teaspoon of kosher salt. One teaspoon of sugar. And two tablespoons of soy sauce. Giving this a nice mix.

Until everything is evenly combined. I'm setting the meat mixture of aside so we can make the wrappers. In a bowl, I'm combining a few starches, approximately one cup of wheat starch, three quarters of a cup of tapioca starch, and three tablespoons of corn starch. This starch mixture now goes into a sauce pan.

Filled with boiling water. Approximately one and a fourth cups. This is a similar process to making Choux pastry. Once the water is hot, the starch goes in andyou have to constantly stir until no lumps remain. At this stage, it might be a little dry with a few lumps,.

So I turn off the heat and let this set and steam for about five minutes in its remaining heat. Once five minutes are up, this now goes onto a table where I'm kneading it until smooth. I'm just gonna go ahead and say, that I've never actually kneaded a baby's butt before,.

But I would imagine that the sensation is quite similar, and enjoyable. I'm rolling this dumpling dough into a large long tube so that we can satisfyingly cut them with a bench scraper into hopefully even segments. Once we have.

A little dumpling wrapper army lined up, it's time to make dumplings. Making sure that the rest of our dumpling dough boys areprotected by Saran wrap. I'm starting by using a small rolling pin andkneading one of these little babies out into a large circle. The dumplings in themovie are quite large. I've never really mademassive dumplings before,.

So this is actually quite fun. Usually when I make dumplings with my family at home, I get criticized becauseI put way too much meat filling in my dumplings, and they eventually, well, they don't look good after they've been boiled. Let's just say,.

You'll know which ones I had made not in the good way, but today, I will put as much filling in my dumpling as I want. Because that is the name of the game. In order to crimp the dumpling together, I'm putting a little bit of water around the edges and forming them into a rough circularshape as per the movie.

I'm also cutting two little ears from what it seems to be on the dumplings in the movie as well, so that we have a little cute dumplingbunny, I'm gonna call it. I think making dumplings is something that is often done with a lot of people, usually family or loved ones. I grew up personally doing it with my mom, my grandma and usuallyother family friends.

Around the dining table. It's less about actually making dumplings, and more about just inviting people over that you love and just chatting, usually gossiping about what's going on in everybody's lives. So for our dumpling-making session, I pulled in Kendall and Rachel to help while we talked some trash.

About everybody in the studio. Just kidding. We're all cool. Once our collection of oddly differently shaped animal dumplings have been made, it is now time to get ready our steamer. For the bottom of our steamer, we place down parchment paper, which has little holes cut into them.

In order for a steam to pass, and ventilate through. These dumplings are quite large, so two of these babies go on each level. Stack 'em up and get ready to steam. We first started with a wok. Pouring in a lot of water, and letting it steam, but I didn't think that it was gonna give us.

The coverage that we needed. So instead, I swapped to putting the bamboo steamers on top of a pot of boiling water. These are quite large,so we did steam them for about 15 to 20 minutes or so. Yeah, one broke. That is definitely, that's how you know that's the one I made.

That's the sign. But the other ones seem quite promising. Back to our sausages. To cook our sausages, they get placed into a hot bath of barely simmering waterfor about 20 minutes. These need to be slowly cooked or else things would go bad. After they're cooked,.

We're just gonna take them out on, oh God, that, that is not good. There is now one lesssausage for the final shot. Probably a couple things we could have done better in the sausage-making process, which is why I'm glad I have backups. These are professionallymade Taiwanese sausages, but my friend and chef Eric Sze.

Of 886 and Wen Wen in New York. He's Taiwanese and actually serves these at his restaurant, so you can guarantee that these are the real deal. I'm cooking this very similarly in barely simmering water for about 15 to 20 minutes until the casings have tighten up,.

And the meat is cooked through. After patting off excess water, these get finished in a hot pan with a little bit of oil to crisp up the skin. The color is quite beautiful. I know that Eric has spent many months, and possible years developing his recipe, and as we line them up perfectly on a tray.

Side-by-side, I think we can tell that there is a clear difference between a professionally-madeTaiwanese sausage, and a home cooks. I think there's something to be said here about when something isbetter at a restaurant, it's better to just pay for them. Our Cornish hens have been dried out.

For about one day or so. The skin is a lot more taut, and they're ready to be roasted. First, little quick brush of neutral oil to help the heat get infaster and they're off to a 500 degree oven forabout 12 to 15 minutes. To finish these off, I'm brushing this with a quarter cup of soy sauce and two tablespoons of sugar.

Mixed together as sort of a flavoring, and a darkening color for the end of the birds. Back into the oven they go. For only about five minutes this time, and for our final dish in the “Spirited Away” feast, King Crab legs. Now these are some big ones.

I like these. Now we shall go again to the stove. These usually comepre-cooked or par cooked so we only have to cook these in a pot of boiling water for about five to seven minutes with two tablespoons of kosher salt. I decided to do crab legs because at buffets or parties,.

That's kind of the thing that I feel like a lot of my Asian parents, and their friends usually go for. It's a symbol of luxury, but it's also a symbol of gluttony because if you eat that at a buffet, that's probably the only thing that they're gonna eat toget their moneys worth. But once our crab legshave been cooked through,.

It is now time toassemble the entire feast. First, our pile of Taiwanese inspired red meat dumplings filled with a pork mushroom, and bamboo shoot filling wrapped in crystal dumpling wrappers. Second, a pile of professionally, and well-made Taiwanese sausages from my friend Eric.

Then our Alaskan King Crab legs. Next, we have our soy sauce glaze roasted Cornish hens. Wow, that's a lot. That's a lot of ends. And finally, our pileof grilled mochi sticks, which we boiled in theoven quickly for about two to three minutes per side until both ends got crispy,.

And everything is nice and sticky. After a little bit morerearranging and plating, I presented you our version of the feast from “Spirited Away.” One of the first thingswe see in the movie once Chihiro and her parents enter the spirit world, and for the sake of accuracy, I will take on the heavy task.

Of eating like a glutton, just like her parents do. First, a grilled mochi stick served with a sweet soy syrup that we made last minute, as this is usually what is served to accompany the mochi. Followed by a Taiwanese sausage, which is usually served with scallions,.

And raw garlic as a compliment. A King Crab leg 'cuz why not? Then picking up a whole entire roasted Cornish hen for myself. And finally, a large steam dumpling. This is the kind of plate that you might make foryourself if you stumbled upon a beautiful and wondrous buffet with no one watching,.

And the only thing left to do is eat. The dumpling filling is very nice. The meat is tender, juicy, and the skin is still a little bit bouncy after all that steaming. Quite like it. And the Taiwan sausage, wait hold up. I'm gonna just.

I'm gonna eat this down here for just privacy reasons. Yep. Confirm the Taiwanesesausage is still as good as I remember. Eric's recipe is pretty bomb. Just gonna take a whole bite out of this Cornish hen. Yeah, I definitely overcooked this.

Not bad, but could be a little bit juicier as it is a bit dry. But I have to say that whether this is because of nostalgia or because of flavor, my favorite is the grilled mochi stick. There's something aboutcrispy chewy things with a sweet sauce thatI just can't get over, but it would not be fair.

If I was the only one eating like a pig in this episode. So Kendall, Rachel, everybody in the studio, please come and enjoy this feast with me. We made a lot of food today in the studio, and this is a feastthat needs to be shared with friends, family and loved ones. And you don't see this on camera,.

But after the shoot, I definitely forced everybody to take home way too many crab legs, dumplings, Cornish hen, sausages and mochi, whether they liked it or not. I'm gonna go take a nap now. (soft instrumental music) Thanks again to our friends over at Bokksu forsupporting this episode.

I think it's pretty cool that I can get authentic Japanese snacks that are usually hard to find, delivered from across the world. The first Bokksu youget is Seasons of Japan, and after that, there's a new theme every month. This month we received Autumn Kouyou, representing Japan's fall flavors.

Some of my favoriteswere the Red Bean Manju. The Iburigakko smokey chips and the Japanese Yuzu Financier. In every box, there's also a cute little culture guide that tells you more aboutthe theme, the flavors, and where the snacks come from. Bokksu also makes a really great gift for any friends who love snacks,.

And trying new things. Click the link in the description, and use code ALVIN toget $15 off your order. (upbeat instrumental music)

100 Comments