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'Top Chef Portland' star wants to spice up your taste buds with a different kind of donut at Japanese bakery Oyatsupan

KGW's monthly series, Oregon In Season, goes to Beaverton where Chef Sara Hauman creates a savory and spicy 'donut' you can dine on this week.

BEAVERTON, Oregon — Top Chef Portland on Bravo this year has really helped bring tourism back to our state. The show took chef contestants to four regions of Oregon as they whittled it down to the best.    

KGW has teamed up with Travel Oregon and Portland chef Sara Hauman, who was a fan favorite on the show and made it really far with the judges, for a monthly series we started in August called 'Oregon In Season.' Each month through December, Hauman will highlight a different region and seasonal ingredient, then pair up with a chef in that region to feature the dish on their weekly specials menu.

November is all about fall produce, so Hauman and chef/owner Hiro Horie of Oyatsupan Bakery in Beaverton teamed up to create a special savory donut with those ingredients. Oyatsupan translates to 'snack bread' in Japanese. At the bakery located next to Nike's campus at Southwest 158th Avenue and Walker Road, they combine traditional Japanese flavored treats with western baking styles.

Credit: @OyatsupanBakers/Instagram
A couple examples of the white bread sandwiches available at Oyatsupan Bakery in Beaverton.

"We started with just sweet things in the beginning but normally Japanese bakeries have lots of savory items as well," said Horie. 

Open for five years, they make everything from traditional Japanese white bread sandwiches with egg salad or pork tonkatsu to donuts with meat and vegetable fillings, to custards, chocolate and other sweets. In all, they make 70 different items, all from scratch.

"So this month we are going to be featuring kabocha squash and wild mushrooms," said Hauman, in the kitchen with Horie. "This squash is very meaty, I love pairing it with mushrooms. You can scoop out the seeds, slice it into wedges and put a little oil and salt on it and throw those on a baking tray."

Hauman further explained some of the other ingredients they use.

"We have some roasted kabocha squash here with sliced mushrooms and Szechuan peppercorns for some heat, and we mixed it a little sesame oil, ginger, scallions, garlic and we also used a secret ingredient, shiro dashi, this is very concentrated benito stock, very salty."

Credit: Nina Mehlhaf/KGW
Chef Sara Hauman and Chef Hiro Horie of Oyatsupan Bakery show off their spicy, savory squash and mushroom 'donut' fresh out of the fryer.

"What makes these super special is we're going to dunk them in water and then coat them in panko breadcrumbs and that'll make them extra crunchy when they come out of the fryer," Hauman said. "I think a beer would go great with this, a beer just sounds great in general."

"Or hot oolong tea or green tea. It has a very Asian taste so I think it really goes with a tea," Horie added.

Tingly Squash & Mushroom Filling

  • 1 ½ lb. kabocha squash flesh, roasted
  • 10 oz. shitake mushroom, diced (or a mix of wild mushrooms)
  • 1 Tbsp garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp ginger, minced
  • 2 Tbsp neutral oil
  • 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp Szechuan peppercorn, crushed
  • ½ cup shiro dashi (you can use beef broth or mushroom broth or regular dashi instead, but will need to add more salt.)
  • 3 green onions, sliced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sesame oil

To roast the squash, place on a baking sheet and bake until soft at 425F.  Let cool, remove the seeds and skin.

Heat a large sauté pan. Add in the two tablespoons of neutral oil and let heat for a few seconds. Add in the garlic and ginger and toast for a few seconds. Turn off the heat and add in the mushrooms and Szechuan peppercorn. Stir all the ingredients together and continue to cook for a minute. Add in the shiro dashi and return to the heat. Cook on medium heat until almost all the liquid has evaporated.

Mix the mushrooms with the squash. Add in the sesame oil, salt and green onions.

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