Betty Draper’s Rumaki

My all time favorite episode of Mad Men is from Season two, called A Night To Remember.  Betty hosts a dinner party for Don’s clients and The Sterlings.  She treats the guests to a “Trip Around the World” with the following menu:

  • Gazpacho from Spain
  • Rumaki From Japan
  • Irish Leg of Lamb with Mint Jelly
  • German Noodles like her grandmother made
  • Bordeaux from France and Beer from Holland

The Betty Crocker Hostess Cookbook from the era has a recipe for Rumaki and introduces it as a Japanese dish.  Rumaki actually originated in California at Trader Vic’s as part of America’s love for all things Polynesian.  My version has a few modern twists.

  • 1 lb. chicken livers, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 t. canola oil
  • 1/8 C. soy sauce
  • 1/2 t. curry powder
  • 1 t. sugar
  • 1 t. grated fresh ginger
  • 1 lb. uncured bacon
  • 1 can, sliced water chestnuts, drained

Combine the oil, soy sauce, curry powder, sugar, and ginger in a shallow dish.  Toss the livers in the mixture and marinate for at least two hours.  Put your bamboo skewers in a glass of water to soak.  This should keep them from burning, although some of mine got a little charred.  Cut the bacon into 2 inch squares.  Skewer one piece of bacon, one piece of liver, and one slice of water chestnut, followed by another piece of bacon.  Place skewers on a rimmed baking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  Continue skewering until all the ingredients are used up.  You should have enough for about twenty skewers.  Heat the broiler to high heat.  Broil for four minutes, then turn all the skewers over and continue broiling for three to four more minutes or until the bacon is cooked and beginning to brown.  Serve hot.


About swellkid recipes

I am a mother of two boys, a wife, a teacher, and an avid home cook. These recipes are written, tested and created or adapted by me in my home kitchen. All photos were taken by me with my Canon Digital Rebel XT. No filters or Photoshop, usually natural light on my kitchen table. My motto is, if I can do it, you can do it!
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3 Responses to Betty Draper’s Rumaki

  1. I so enjoy the ways you present your recipes and how you tie them into a story of interest or how and where the recipe came about!

  2. Katherine loved that episode. The idea that this isn’t Japanese makes me laugh. She thought it was funny to order Irish coffees in Ireland, since they weren’t invented there. But when she asked for a tequila drink and they gave her an odd look she just said OK, irish coffee.

  3. And yes this looks cool. Went off on a tangent there!

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