I'm in a big Japanese cooking phase right now for dinner and mostly using Everyday Harumi as my guide. I am finding that I'm saving a lot of money and also eating healthier. Granted yes, a lot of things are deep fried and seem to contain a lot of sodium from all the soy sauce, you eat a more diverse plate - meat, veggies and rice. Since I already stocked my kitchen with all the basic Japanese ingredients, I usually only need to pick up my protein and veggies at the grocery store.
Last night I made deep fried chicken with a spicy leek sauce and a side of quick pickled cucumbers. I don't do a lot of deep frying and I have to say, I kind of hate it. It's kind of dangerous, scary and if something has a lot of butter or oil in it, I prefer not to see how it is made. As much as I love Paula Deen, it kind of makes me cringe. Don't get me wrong, I'll eat it and love it -- I want to be ignorant to the process. The chicken was really good -- once I threw out all the undercooked pieces. One thing I dislike about Everyday Harumi is that her instructions are sometimes vague. "Deep fry until cooked through and golden brown." Apparently, my definition of "golden brown" would give you salmonella.
The pickles were pretty good, but I made it a little sweet. The recipe calls for sesame oil to taste and I would suggest a teeny tiny itsy bitsy drop of it.