Posts tagged ‘Japanese food’

June 15, 2012

Flower Sushi to brighten your plate

by KK

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

Thank you for visiting my blog.

20120615-124548.jpg June is half gone already, time flies, doesn’t it? The weather hasn’t been so great, and I thought something like this would cheer you up on a rainy day.

 

Flower Sushi Art!!

In this month’s Sushi Art class, we are making simple flowers to make your plate very pretty.  If you are interested, please join me  in my class 🙂

 

Hope to see you soon!

 

May 17, 2012

5 Day Dinner Challenge

by KK

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

Thank you for visiting my blog.

I was talking with my friend Nina, and we were discussing about what we can make with some “everyday” ingredients. I was interested in what she buys, and the result that came on the table. I decided to see what I can make with my basic ingredients, and challenge myself to creating new tastes.

20120517-203901.jpgThis is something I usually buy every week from the local supermarket.

Eggs, onions, potatoes, carrots, eggplants, corns, celery, lettuce, broccoli, capsicum, mushrooms, and tomatoes. The real basics.

 

Plus, if I can, I would pick up somethings from an Asian grocery store, like tofu, crown daisy, shiitake mushroom the odd little things.

I usually have a stock of different beans and dry goods in my pantry, and meat/fish is  bought on the day I use them. Using this, I made very different menus for 5 days, and it was great fun! Can’t wait to share all the recipes!

May 13, 2012

5 Day Dinner Challenge : Day 3

by KK

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

Thank you for visiting my blog.

It’s the 3rd day of my cooking challenge, and I’ve added 1 item, tofu! Yes, that was necessary to cook tonight’s dinner. Can you tell where it is used?

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The menu for tonight is:

-Home made fish cake with edamame

-Carrot and Celery “Kinpira”(Vegan)

-Chickpea in Miso and Mayo sauce(Vegetarian, not vegan because I used mayonnaise)

-Broccoli in sesame dressing(Vegan)

-Celery rice(Vegan)

-Tofu miso soup(Can be made vegan but I used bonito flakes today, so this is only vegetarian)

Very basic Japanese dinner, yet really easy to cook.  Full of proteins, vitamins and mineral!

Believe it or not, Yumi ate 2 bowl of rice today. It must have been yummy!

May 11, 2012

5 day Dinner Challenge: Day 1

by KK

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

Thank you for visiting my blog.
I often hear my friends saying “I don’t know what to cook for dinner”. I often tell them, “I don’t know when to stop cooking!”. Whenever I have a time to spare, I find myself in the kitchen, exploring new tastes and challenging how to make things easier and tastier.

 

From today, I’ve given myself a challenge to cook only with things that I have in the fridge and pantry. Although I will give myself an excuse at the beginning, “I will buy fresh fish/meat whenever I need it”.

So, for 5 days, I will share what I really cook at home, and the answer of what I used to cook these dishes will be revealed after day 5! Hopefully, if I succeed, I will share the recipes too!

 

In the meantime, please enjoy our daily dinner photos! (^-^)/


 

 

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April 25, 2012

Some basic ingredients

by KK

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

Thank you for visiting my blog.

 

I was looking in my pantry and wondering,

“What is the most important ingredient for me to cook Japanese/Vegetarian food?”

I’ve thought about this before, and time to time, mentioned about it in my blog, but the top 3 would be

1)Soy sauce

2)Miso

3)Sake (Cooking rice wine)

 

Today, I want to write about Miso.

Miso is a thick paste made from soy beans, salt and malt. You can make it yourself, and this year, I have “cooked” 4kg at home in Sydney.

Here, I prepared organic soy beans, macrobiotic sea salt and “KOUJI”, dried rice malt that I miraculously found in a Japanese grocery shop in Artarmon.

 

Malt is used in many forms in Japan. It is essential to create Sake(Japanese traditonal alcohol) ,Miso, Pickles, and even Soy sauce. Through fermentation, it gives a wonderful flavor that can not be expressed in words, and you can not imagine how happy I was to find this precious ingredient.

Unfortunately, I could only find it once, and is hoping that they will import it once again. Then, I can introduce how to make your own Miso on this blog too!

 

Even in Japan, not everyone makes miso at home. People like me who enjoys cooking would do so, so I do have a group of friend making miso every year. After “cooking” it, we have to wait at least 6 month for the fermentation process to happen, but I believe it’s worth the wait, and the more you wait, the better taste it becomes. It’s like wine! You need patience, love and passion to make these kind of things.

 

If you are more practical, and would like something handy, I recommend to buy either Barley miso or Shiro-miso.

 I am out of my Barley miso, so here is a photo of my Shiro-miso. Shiro-miso means “White miso” and compared to most miso, it is a bit sweeter. This is why you can use it in other cooking apart from miso soup!

 

Some of you may have realized that in Japanese cooking, we add sweetness by using raw sugar or Mirin(sweet cooking wine). In Japan, I hardly used sugar, but living in Sydney, and introducing Japanese food in English, I thought “Hey, I’m using way too much sugar”. This is because most Japanese food in Sydney is made much sweeter than it is in Japan, and I thought I should cook something to match your taste.

However, now that Yumi is eating like us, and I don’t want her sugar consumption to increase, so I am shifting a bit back to my basic cooking, and try to use less sugar. So, in that way, I would be using shiro-miso more often in my food. I hope you can find it and learn to use it!

 

Miso is not only for miso soup, it has many more possibility to it, and I hope you can find your favorite cooking with it! Enjoy your cooking!

 

NOTE: The brand I buy is called SPIRAL, and I bought it at Mr. Vitamins for under $9 a pack. You can buy other brand shiro-miso from places like Honest to Goodness, an organic shop that I buy most of my beans from. At Honest to Goodness, a 400g packet was $14.50 online, so it is not that cheap, but the taste is definitely worth it!

 

April 25, 2012

Mushroom Delight

by KK

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

Thank you for visiting my blog.

 

I came across my favorite vegetable at the market, Shimeji Mushroom and King Oyster Mushroom!

Wow, they are sooooooo good, you must try them! The one I find at the supermarkets are not so nice, but the ones I bought at the market was fresh and had lovely aroma and taste. To enjoy the most out of it, I made 2 different types of sautees and a flavored rice.

This dinner was completely vegan, with okra and round bean and bak choy as a side dish. Very typical Japanese style dinner, and very low in calories, so great for all the dieters!!

 

Today, I will introduce how to make the flavored rice. Very tasty, and Yumi’s favorite. I made small omusubi rice balls for her, and she would eat two! Holding it inside her own small hands, she gobbled down happily.

 

 

 

Ingredients (for 4-5 people, but we always freeze half and enjoy it later in the week)

-540g Medium grain rice (this is equivalent to 3 “rice” cups in Japanese standard)

-2 King Oyster mushroom (we call it ERINGI in Japan)

-4 Shimeji mushroom

-1/2 Carrot

-1 Fried bean curd (Abura-Age)

-500 cc (2 cooking cups)  Dashi broth (or water)

-3 Tablespoon Soy sauce

-2 Tablespoon Sake (cooking rice wine)

-2 Tablespoon Mirin

-1/3 teaspoon Salt

 

Method

Step 1: Wash and rinse rice several times under running water, soak in water for 30min, drain.

 

Step 2: Cut all the ingredients (mushrooms, carrots, bean curd) into thin strips, about 2cm length and 1mm wide.

 

Step 3: Put the rice in a rice cooker/heavy pot with lid. Place all the vegetables and broth on top. If using rice cooker, press start button, if cooking over stove, cook on high for 8min, and low for 12 min.

 

Once you have the rice ready, it is easy as pie! I love flavored rice, especially with mushrooms. This is made into a vegan recipe, and there are other variations using similar ingredients, which I will try making again soon!

 

 

 

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