Remembering V-J Day with Reverence

On August 15, 1945 the Japanese announced their surrender. This announcement signaled the end of the war. However; the official signing of a surrender did not take place until September 2 aboard the battleship USS Missouri that was docked in Tokyo Bay.

On August 6, America revealed to the world that it had developed an atomic bomb. Hiroshima paid the price. An estimated 129,000 people, most of whom were civilians, died in Hiroshima. Yet the Japanese did not surrender, believing that America did not possess a second bomb. On August 9 this belief was proven wrong at Nagasaki with the death of 226,000. While America and her allies were victorious, the human cost to Japan was great. A little known third bombing was planned, but put on hold once the Japanese had communicated their intention to surrender. The horrific bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki remain the only use of nuclear weapons in an armed conflict in history.

Many V-J Day celebrations have fallen out of favor over the years due to concerns that they may be offensive to Japan and to Japanese Americans. There are those who feel nuclear devastation should never be reason to celebrate. In 1995, on the 50th anniversary of V-J Day, the Clinton administration called the official remembrance ceremonies as “the end of the Pacific War”. That decision angered those who felt Clinton was insensitive to the veterans who were prisoners of war at the hands of the Japanese. Personally, I’ve never cared for the term V-J. It was the end of the war, and that should be all the reason needed to celebrate without gloating. Maybe we should call today J-S Day instead, in reference to Japan’s surrender.

My mother was a young girl in the Philippines during the Japanese occupation. She and her family like many Filipinos suffered greatly at the hands of the Japanese. Yet when she moved to America as a young women, her closest friend was a Japanese woman who lived up the street. I think their friendship was forged out of loneliness, since neither woman felt welcome living in suburban America in the 1950s.

Today I wish to honor those we once thought of as the enemy. We are more alike than different. We are all God’s children. That should be honored above all else.

Asian Inspired Supper
Japanese Style Seared Scallops
Glazed Chicken Drumsticks
Spicy Stir-Fry Noodles

Japanese Style Seared Scallops
1 Green Onion
12 Sea Scallops
4 tablespoons Mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Soy Sauce
Dash Asian Hot Sauce
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
1 tablespoon Butter

Trim and discard bulb end from green onion. Finely chop green tops, set aside until ready to use.

Using paper towels, pat scallops dry. Place scallops on a baking rack on a rimmed baking sheet to allow air to circulate around the scallops for further drying.

In a small mixing bowl, combine the mayonnaise, soy sauce and a dash or two of hot sauce.  Set aside.

Add olive oil to a a large skillet over high heat.  After about 2 minutes, once the oil starts to lightly smoke, reduce heat to medium. Carefully add dried scallops to the pan.  Sear for about 90 seconds or until browned. Add butter, allowing butter to melt around the scallops. Tip pan and with a spoon coat scallops in the browned butter.  Quickly turn scallops, continue to cook for about 2 minutes longer.

Transfer scallops to a serving platter. Dollop each scallop with a little of the mayonnaise mixture and a garnish of green onions.

Serve and once and enjoy.

Glazed Chicken Drumsticks
4 Garlic Cloves
1 small Hot Chili Pepper
2 Green Onions
1/2 cup Chicken Stock
3/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar
2/3 cup Japanese Soy Sauce
2-1/2 tablespoons Sugar
16 Chicken Drumsticks

Peel and bruise garlic. Chop hot chili peppers and green onions. Set aside until ready to use. Remove stem from hot pepper. Slit pepper open, scrap out most of the seeds. Set pepper aside. Trim roots from the onions. Chop remaining onion as a garnish, set aside.

In a large pot, mix together chicken stock, vinegar, soy sauce and sugar. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Add garlic and chili pepper. Stir to blend. Add drumsticks. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer for about 40 minutes.

Once the chicken is cooked through, increase the heat. Allow to cook about 15 minutes longer until the liquid has reduced, turning the drumsticks frequently to coat

Remove chicken, keep warm. Lower heat and continue to reduce the liquid to a thick glaze, about 20 minutes longer, stirring constantly to prevent burning.  Return chicken to the pot, coat well with glaze.

Arrange the chicken on a serving platter. Spoon glaze over the chicken and serve.

Spicy Stir-Fry Noodles
8 oz Spaghetti Pasta
1 cup Brown Mushrooms
4 Green Onions
1 cup fresh Snow Peas
1 Garlic Clove
2 tablespoons Oil
3/4 cup shredded Carrots
1/4 cup Soy Sauce
1 teaspoon Sugar
1/4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
2 tablespoons toasted Sesame Seeds

Bring a pot of water to a full boil. Cook pasta according to package directions.

While the water comes to a boil and the noodles cook, slice mushrooms, set aside. Cut green onions and snow peas on the bias into 1-inch pieces, set aside. Peel and finely mince garlic, set aside.

Heat oil in a large wok, sauté the mushrooms, snow peas, carrots and onions until crisp-tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Remove wok from heat.

In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, sugar and cayenne. Drain pasta. Add pasta and soy sauce mixture to wok and toss to coat. Return wok to heat, warm through.

Sprinkle with sesame seeds just before serving.

Just for the record, since today is Friday, we’ll be passing on the Glazed Drumsticks. However; there’s no reason you can’t enjoy this delicious celebration of the flavors of Japan. Have a wonderful Friday everyone!

Author: Rosemarie's Kitchen

I'm a wife, mother, grandmother and avid home cook.I believe in eating healthy whenever possible, while still managing to indulge in life's pleasures.

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