Japanese Lasagna… say what?

For years I’ve been cooking for one.  Ok fine, depending on relationship status, sometimes two.  But still, there are not many things I like to cook that don’t come with a good amount of leftovers.  I also am a self-proclaimed hater of leftovers, I don’t know why really.  I think my main argument against leftovers is that I’m not really tempted by eating or reheating food I just had within the last 24 hours.  It’s a good thing I have an office full of people who like and want to eat my food; it doesn’t make me feel as wasteful.   I can only think of a few leftover foods I will eat; thanksgiving dinner- no brainer, cold pizza always,  steak, heavy on the A1 in a baguette, and lasagna.  These dishes get even better with a night in the ice box, I think. 

In an effort to waste less, spend less and eat healthier, I tried to think up a few new ways to cook more individualized meals.  You see, now that I am back on my 7am to 7pm schedule, the absolute last thing I want to do when I finally get home at 7:30pm is continue to cook dinner for myself, so I must start to get along with leftovers.

My inspiration actually came from baking cupcakes a few weekends ago.  I started thinking about savory cupcake dishes, there’s gotta be more to this 12 slot pan than just baked goods?  [Lightbulb],  Lasagna!   With a few swipes on my iPad, I quickly discovered that this was not a new idea, shocker… Apparently it was quite popular to make individual lasagna’s in a cupcake tin. Nonetheless, this great idea, whomever’s it was,  would still be a fun project to take on, and fulfill my purpose of cooking on a smaller scale, eating well, and saving me time and energy.

By no means is this a culinary breakthrough, or what I am being taught in school, this is a simple, new package design, on an American favorite.  I am cooking and tasting so extravagantly in school most of the time that offal, veal, or fish are not what I want when I am hungry at the end of the day, nor would most.

After gathering some pointers from others who have done this, I decided to take a stab at it with ingredients I like in my lasagna.

Looks good right?

Ingredients:

  • 1 package of Gyoza Wrappers. (used for dumplings and usually found in the Asian/ refrigerated section, ahh yes, the reason for the wacky title!)
  • 1 jar of pasta sauce- whatever you like best
  • 6 oz Ricotta cheese
  • 10 oz Mozzarella cheese
  • 6 oz Italian sausage, browned.
  • 6oz ground beef, browned.
  • As needed, Basil, chiffonade. (thin strips) I added this to my sauce.

Alternative Ingredients:

  • Zucchini (careful of water content, I would take out the middle seeded part and cube)
  • Eggplant
  • Carrots
  • Turkey or turkey sausage
  • Mushrooms
  • Roasted tomatoes
  • White sauce, rather than a red pasta sauce
  • Bacon, cause why not!

Okay, are you ready for how easy this is going to be?…

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 350* F
  2. Spray unlined cupcake tin with cooking spray.
  3. Put your first layer of gyoza wrappers down
  4. Add a small dollop of sauce, sprinkle in a tablespoon of browned meat, add a pinch of cheese, a tablespoon of ricotta and seal down with another gyoza wrapper.
  5. Repeat
  6. Repeat
  7. Top with cheese
  8. Bake for 20 minutes or until browned slightly.
  9. Cool for a few minutes and pop out

Obviously you can make variations of this dish based on what you like, but the idea here is to have a wholesome, quick meal, perfectly proportion, and easily totable for great tasting leftovers.  They were actually better the next day, as most Lasagna usually is!

Thanks for reading and I hope you try it out!

xo-G

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3 responses

  1. This looks great and I’m going to try it. I’m actually going to take it a step further closer to Asia, and use ground pork sauteed in a combination of peanut butter, rice wine, soy sauce, sesame oil and oyster sauce, and then mix it up with bean sprouts and scallions. Asian fare isn’t heavy on dairy, so I’m going to probably do a few without the dairy, and think about what kind of Asian dairy alternative I can do on the side. Maybe something tofu based? Let me know what you think.

    • Mac, I like your idea! Sounds like a reconstructed dumpling. I have a excellent Peanut sauce, that is out of this world. I won’t share it on my blog because it may be bottled one day, but I can share with family. I’ll send you the recipe. Let me know how this turns out, take a pic and I will repost you on undermyknife! I’m not the biggest fan of tofu, but a good Asian side could be sauteed sugar snap peas and fried shallots with toasted sesame? ..just thought of that, but could be good!

  2. Yes yes yes. Please send the recipe. I’m going to have the entire muffin tin be basically a buffet of different options and then let you know which one turned out best. I’ll be sure to keep you posted as to how this turns out.

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