Posts tagged ‘Healthy’

June 1, 2012

Pan fried eggplants (Vegan)

by KK

Hi this is KK, Sushi Artist / Healthy Muffin Maker / Mum 🙂

Thank you for visiting my blog.

Eggplant is one of my favorite vegetables! You can eat it in many different ways (meaning, I use it to cook Japanese food, Chinese food and Italian with it!) and you can have it hot or cold.

Pan fried eggplants was served on Day 5 of the 5 day challenge, but I cook this all the time and have it with rice or with my noodles.

 It is served in the red bowl, and you can make this vegetarian or vegan, depending on how you make the “Dashi” broth. If you only use Konbu kelp, it would be vegan, if you use Bonito flakes (fish flakes), it would be vegetarian (the flakes would not be in the dish, just used to extract flavor, but if you consider that not vegetarian, you can cook with out it)


So, to make the pan fried eggplants, you would need:

-3 thin Eggplants

-2 Tablespoon sesame oil

-120cc Dashi broth

– 3 Tablespoon Soy sauce

-2 Tablespoon Mirin or Raw sugar

-1 Tablespoon Cooking rice wine (Sake)

Step 1: Cut the eggplants about 1.5 cm thick, stir fry with sesame oil until tender.

Step 2: Pour the rest of ingredients into the pan and let it simmer for 3-5min, serve hot or cold.


I sprinkled it with bonito flakes, but that’s optional too. It goes well with rice, and I enjoy the left overs even when it’s cold! Quick and easy, yet very tasty.

May 3, 2012

Healthy Zucchini Burger

by KK

Hi this is KK, Sushi Artist / Healthy Muffin Maker / Mum 🙂

Thank you for visiting my blog.


I have been cooking too many vegetarian dish, and it was about time to cook something “MEATY” for my husband. I checked what was in the fridge, and there was half a pack of chicken mince left in the freezer, so I decided to do some burgers, but in a healthy way.

 This burger is made from chicken mince, but more than half of it is made from veggies! (Yes, I weighed them to make sure that I get the ratio right)

It was nice and soft (that’s what my husband enjoyed), and good for my 19 month old daughter Yumi, who is starting to enjoy variety of foods.


You can make a bigger batch and freeze them after cooking it, or if you use a food processor, you can make it in less than 5min (+ cooking time) so it is a lifesaver dish when you are in a hurry and want to dish up something tasty and healthy for your family!


Ingredients (to make 7-8 small patties)

-180g Free Range Chicken Mince

-150g Onions (2 small size)

-120g Zucchini (1 medium size)

-1/3 cup Bread crumbs

-1 teaspoon Sage

-1 Tablespoon Soy sauce

-Olive oil for cooking



Step 1: In a food processor, combine all the ingredients and mix for 30 seconds (If you don’t have a food processor, chop the onion and zucchini and mix all the ingredients in a large bowl); Form patties


Step 2: In a non-stick frying pan, heat a tiny bit of olive oil and cook the patties with the lid on over low heat, cook for 8min, turn over once and cook for additional 5-8min


The cooking time will vary depending on the size and thickness of the patty. When cooked, it should feel firm to the touch, and clear liquid will come out when you skew it with at skewer.

I served it with rice, but I am sure this will go well with burgers too! I hope you enjoy it!


March 27, 2012

Something Purple?

by KK

Hi this is KK, Sushi Artist / Healthy Muffin Maker / Mum 🙂

Thank you for visiting my blog.

When cooking a meal, I have been taught by my mother to

“Keep your table colorful”

This means that I should have a good balance of Green/Red/Yellow/Brown on my plate. Green and Red are usually vegetables that provides vitamins for your body. Yellow are the traditional Japanese dried foods, like beans and dried daikon radish,  which are rich in minerals and fiber. Brown are meat, fish or tofu that provides proteins.

By keeping the table colorful, you will be able to eat what is necessary for your body and be happy by looking at pretty foods! This is why I try to cook 3-4 dishes every meal, using some “Jobi-Sai(foods that will keep in the fridge for few days,and can be enjoyed in many meals)” and sauces, this is quite easy!

One of the colors we didn’t eat much in Japan was Purple. OK, so we do have purple cabbage and purple onion so they became a salad from time to time, but it wasn’t very common.

The other day, I found something interesting in the market, and it became into this dish!


The vegetable I bought was “Purpler Carrot”!! Steamed with other vegetables, it stained it nice into a nice color, and gave me heaps of ideas to do other things with it. As a starter, enjoy it as is, it is sweet and tasty 🙂

Ingredients for 2

-1/2 Purple Carrot

-4 Mushrooms

-1 Eggplant (the thin type)

To make,

Step 1:Slice all the vegetable into your finger thickness

Step 2:In a heavy pot (thicker the pot, the better) lay your mushrooms first, then the onions, eggplants and finally the purple carrot. The order is kind of important because some vegetables give more water than others. Sprinkle everything with a touch of salt, add 2 Tablespoon water and cover with lid. Cook on low heat for 10min.

This is it! The steam and salt brings out the lovely sweetness from the vegetable, and you can eat it as is, or with a dash of soy sauce or lemon. The important thing is DO NOT ADD TOO MUCH WATER!! As you cook, water will come out of the vegetables and it will cook in its own sauce.

You should stay close to the stove while you cook, especially in the last 3 min, because although my pot is trustworthy enough that it doesn’t burn, if yours is not very thick, tragedy does happen 😦

Too simple? Then try it! I hope you like the new color and taste on your plate!

March 22, 2012

Takenoko-Gohan (Flavoured Rice with Bamboo Shoots)

by KK

Hi this is KK, Sushi Artist, Healthy Muffin Maker, Mum 🙂

Thank you for visiting my blog.

Finally, I had time to cook the bamboo shoot I bought at the market! 

Well, actually, on the day I bought it, I cooked it in baking soda to get rid of the bitterness, and seasoned it in Dashi(Japanese broth) and put it in freezer. Now, the time was right so I finally made my flavored rice: TAKENOKO GOHAN.

The result?



Worth all the effort. Yes, it is a hard work to make this, especially preparing the bamboo shoot in the beginning. But well worth it. This was proven by my family, my husband ate 2 bowl fulls and even Yumi, my 18 months daughter ate this for her night time snack! After eating 2 sushi rolls and 1 egg for dinner, she ate half a bowl of my rice 🙂 She goes

“Gohan (which means rice)”

and opens her mouth to be fed. Cute, but mummy was worried about the size of her tummy!

Anyway, I am not sure if I will make this again, because I can’t find the ingredient at a local supermarket to start off with, but will leave the recipe for you to all imagine 🙂

My bamboo shoot was about 700g when I peeled the skin, so I made 2 batches of stock.

Ingredients(1 stock; please keep this as the basic ratio and change it according to the size of the bamboo shoot)

-200g Bamboo shoot, precooked (*)

-700ml Dashi stock (**)

-3-4 Tablespoon Soy sauce

-1 pinch salt

-1 Tablespoon Mirin

-2 Tablespoon Sake (cooking rice wine)

-3 Japanese cups Rice (540g)

How to make it!

Step 1: Bring everything EXCEPT RICE and bring to boil, cook for 10min: wash rice in water drain and soak in clean water for at least 30min.

Step 2: Cool the bamboo shoot& liquid until completely cold (You can now separate them into smaller proportion if you are cooking more than 1 batch; and freeze!)

Step 3: Drain rice and put in a rice cooker/large sauce pan; drain and separate bamboo from soup, place on top of rice; measure 540cc from the remaining soup and add to rice; rest for 1 hour.

Step 4: Cover, cook on high heat for 8min, low heat for 12min (or press start on your rice cooker)

It is time consuming, but not difficult as it seems. You just need a long time to prepare it, so I did it on 2 different days, made 2 batches and kept them in the freeze until it was ready to be cooked.

(*) To precook  bamboo shoot, remove all the hard skin, this will decrease the size to about 2/3 , unfortunately you can’t eat the outside skin. It’s too tough. In a large pot, bring water to boil, add 2 Tablespoon baking soda and cook the bamboo for 1-2 hours until they are soft and tender, drain, cover in cold water and rest overnight.

The water I cooked the bamboo shoot turned red, you don’t have to change the water, this is to remove all the bitterness.

(**) Dashi is a Japanese broth made from dried konbu(kelp) and dried bonito flakes. If you want to make this vegan, you only need konbu kelp.

I am not sure if I can suggest ENJOY as usual, but it is worth trying if you found a bamboo shoot in the market. I know our family will be enjoying this for a while.

By the way, this does not last long in room temperature, so if there are leftovers freeze them again so you can enjoy it later!

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