Posts tagged ‘Vegetable’

May 24, 2012

SHIRA-AE (Vegetables with Tofu Dressing)

by KK

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

Thank you for visiting my blog.


It’s been a while since I last wrote in my blog, sorry had a half marathon to run, as well as Sushi Art classes! Now everything is done, I can go back to happy blogging again!


With my 5 Day Dinner Challenge, I chose SHIRA-AE recipe first to share. This is simple yet can be arranged with different “left over” veggies, so I think it is a handy thing to know.


I made 2 different types of SHIRA-AE on Day 5.

Although it looks a bit hidden, it is behind that red bowl!

One was with carrot and crown daisy, another one was with celery.



Here is how to make the dressing.


For carrots, crown daisy or other cooked vegetables.

-80g vegetables (carrots, crown daisy, spinach, mushroom, capsicum, whatever that’s left is OK)

-150g Firm Tofu

-1 Tablespoon Roasted sesame

-1 Tablespoon Organic raw sugar

-1/2 Tablespoon Soy sauce


Step 1: Heat tofu in the microwave on high for 2 min, drain excess water and let it cool.

Step 2: Cut the vegetables into small pieces and stir fry with a little bit of sesame oil, until they are just cooked. Do not over cook.

Step 3: Grind sesame, add tofu, sugar and soy sauce, mix and mash the tofu to make a paste. (I usually do all of this in my SURI-BACHI); Add vegetables and mix. Serve warm or cold.



For celery or other fresh vegetables.

-80g vegetables (celery, capsicum, carrots)

-150g Firm Tofu

-1 teaspoon Miso

-1/2 teaspoon Extra Virgin Olive oil

-Salt and Pepper to taste


Step 1: Heat tofu in the microwave on high for 2 min, drain excess water and let it cool.

Step 2: Cut the vegetables into small pieces and sprinkle a little bit of salt. Absorb excess water with kitchen paper.

Step 3: Mash the tofu to make a paste (I usually do all of this in my SURI-BACHI); Add olive oil, salt, pepper and vegetables. Serve cold.


In this recipe, I sometimes add chopped black olive or dry tomatoes to give it an extra flavor. Surprisingly, it matches red wine, serve it with a cracker and it will make an excellent dip!





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 16, 2012

5 Day Dinner Challenge : Day 4

by KK

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

Thank you for visiting my blog.

The 5 Day Dinner Challenge is almost coming to an end, but due to some added groceries, I think I can keep going for a bit longer.

20120516-145307.jpg Today (well, this is from yesterday), I prepared some rolled sushi to take to my friends, so it was there for our dinner too!


The menu for 4th day was:

-Inside out rolled sushi + Purple flower sushi

-Crown daisy in black sesame dressing(Vegan)

-Celery with salmon

-Steamed veggies(Vegan)

-Rolled Chinese cabbage


I made this before I did the delivery, so everything was prepared when I came home at 17:00!

Yumi loved the chinese cabbage, and she ate all the eggs from sushi, but, well if she is happy, I am happy! Can’t wait to share all the recipes soon!

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! (^-^)/




April 15, 2012

Vegetable Tempura for Parties

by KK

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

Thank you for visiting my blog.

I was changing the design for my blog, which took a lot of time from cooking, but finally it’s done! I hope you find it easier to read!

Today, I would like to introduce are recipe for parties,  a new way to enjoy Tempura.

I cook tempura often at home, but when people come over to eat, there is one small problem.

It’s about the dipping sauce! Tempura can be eaten in different ways, and at most exclusive tempura restaurants in Japan, it is fried right in front of your eyes and usually served with salt. This way, you can enjoy the crispiness and the flavor at the same time. It is difficult to do the same at home, unless you stay in the kitchen and cook as you serve the guest. I sometimes do that but you miss out on the conversation which is a pity.

So what happens is when you serve at home, you serve with a dipping sauce which is made from Dashi broth, soy sauce, mirin and raw sugar, but there are two problems for me when I prepare the sauce. One, I  never know how much to prepare because some people like to have a lot of sauce to dip their tempuras, while others don’t use much at all. And second, I don’t have enough bowls when I want to serve at a party!

To overcome this, I changed my state of mind. Instead of serving it as a sauce, I covered the tempura with it! This is good for parties, when you want to serve them on a small plate or as finger food, just place this sauce next to the tempura with a small spoon, like the way jams are served near breads on a breakfast bar.

The way to make this sauce is quite simple, just prepare the sauce like usual, and add some edible gelatine. The sauce can be used in other dishes, it goes great with eggplants, tofu and other steamed vegetables. I hope this idea help you challenge tempura at home!


-100cc Dashi broth (Soak 7cm square konbu kelp or 2 dried mushroom in water for over night, bring to boil and take out konbu/mushroom before serving)

-1 Tablespoon  Soy sauce

-1 Tablespoon Mirin

-1/2 Tablespoon Organic raw sugar

-1-2 teaspoon Edible gelatine

-2 Tablespoon water

Step 1: Soak gelatine in water and rest 5 min

Step 2: Boil dashi and add gelatine, add soy sauce, mirin and sugar, mix well and cool

Step 3: Mix with fork before serving

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!

February 29, 2012

30 min Dinner : Chicken Teriyaki, Daikon and Carrot salad with Miso dressing

by KK

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

Thank you for visiting my blog.


Chicken Teriyaki is loved by everyone! I was quite surprised to find Teriyaki sauce sold at supermarkets in a bottle. Since when did they become so internationally famous?

There are so many different ways to make this, using thigh fillets, breasts, drumsticks, having skin on or off, using mirin or sugar or honey. The combination is endless, but today, I will introduce what I make at home that my family loves.


I’ve added some eggplants to it, turned out really nice. Since the teriyaki is sweet and quite filling, I made a simple salad to go with it, and this day, dinner was served with rice and miso soup(potato and wakame-seaweed), and some left over veggies. Not bad for a 30min dinner? I hope you find it easy and tasty too!


Chicken Teriyaki (for 2 people)

-300 Chicken Thigh fillets with skin

-1 Tablespoon Organic raw sugar

-2 Tablespoon Soy sauce

-2 Tabespoon Sake (cooking rice wine)

-Eggplants (optional)


To cook;

Step 1: Cut the meat into bite size, remove excess fat but leave the skin on, marinate in sauce mixture(sugar, soy sauce, sake) for 10min

Step 2: On a non-stick frying pan, grill meat from skin first; remove fat coming out of the meat using paper towel (I used about 5-6 sheets, that’s how much fat will come out); when the skin gets crispy, turn over the meat and add vegetables

Step 3: When the vegetables are cooked, add sauce mixture remaining in the bowl, put on lid and cook on low for 5-8min.

Serve and enjoy! If there are lots of sauce remaining in the frying pan, you can add cornflour(1 Tablespoon diluted in 1 Tablespoon water) and make a thick sauce to cover your meat and veggies. Instead of eggplants, you can add onions, cabbage or anything that goes well with this sweet flavor. I think this recipe is good because you can make it without mirin! If the sauce is too sweet, change the sugar into maple syrup, I prefer it this way but my husband said he prefers raw sugar. Oh well 🙂



To make the salad, I just peeled daikon radish and carrots using a vegetable peeler, sprinkled some salt on it and let the water seep out. The dressing was really good, so I will leave it for my own future reference 🙂


-1 teaspoon Oranic tahini

-1 teaspoon  Mayonnaise

-2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

-1/2 teaspoon organic raw sugar

-Sesame to sprinkle on top


This is so similar to the sesame dressing I used to buy in Japan! It goes well with most vegetables, and makes your salad rich with flavor and minerals(from the sesame!).


I hope you enjoy it!



February 23, 2012

30 min Dinner: Sukiyaki style beef, Su-no-mono, Vegetable side dish

by KK

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

Thank you for visiting my blog.


I already introduced how to cook

Sukiyaki style beef with tofu and vegetable, and Su-no-mono already, just wanted to show you how the final dinner looked like!



The vegetable side dish that I haven’t introduced is “Itoko-Ni” , pumpkin and Adzuki beans cooked together. This is another kind of food that is there in the fridge all the time, and served to add color (the bright orange of a pumpkin always makes me happy!) and nutrients to the meal. Pumpkin is full of good vitamins, and the same with adzuki.


I hope this adds ideas to your everyday cooking! Enjoy 🙂

February 20, 2012

Gimbab (Korean style rolled rice)

by KK

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

Thank you for visiting my blog.


Weekday lunch is time to use up some of the leftovers hanging around in the fridge! On Saturday, we had Somen Noodle, and I had some dipping sauce left over from that.  Using that sauce, I cooked my leftover minced meat to give it a sweet and soy saucy taste. To utilize this Japanese flavored meat, I decided to make a roll, today in a Korean style.


Gimbab (which means seaweed and rice in Korean) is a roll similar to sushi roll, but the rice is seasoned with sesameoil and salt. Also, instead of using fresh fish, it often includes meat.

Today, I used meat, cucumbers, carrots, takuan (pickled daikon radish), avocado and cooked egg. I even used the leftover brown rice to make it really healthy.




To make Gimbab you need:

1 Whole sheet Seaweed (You can use the flavored Korean type, if you prefer. I used the regular one)

200g cooked rice

2 teaspoon Sesame oil

Salt and sesame seeds to season

For the inside, you can use basically anything in the fridge. I recommend putting in takuan, which is the pickled daikon radish. I know it’s not a very common food in Aussie households, we don’t have it often ourselves, but I made Gimbab because there were leftover takuan, and I wanted to enjoy it in a special way!

When you prepare the vegetables, be sure to cut it into thin strips. Some people recommend to cook the vegetables first and season it with sesame oil and salt. I omitted this process, and it still tasted fine.

If you don’t have the cooked meat, nor crab sticks, using tuna or the handy salmon flakes adds extra flavor!


To make,

Step 1: Season the rice with sesame oil, salt and sesame seeds.

Step 2: Spread rice evenly on seaweed, leaving 2 cm clear at the top, place ingredients in the center and roll! Cut into 6-8 pieces and enjoy 🙂


It is different to Japanese sushi rolls, the rice has no vinegar taste, but since most of the ingredients are pre-seasoned, you don’t need soy sauce to eat it. A nice change and I enjoyed it very much!


February 7, 2012

Leftover Veggie Quesadilla

by KK


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

Thank you for visiting my blog.


People ask me, “How come you have so many different types of vegetables at home?”. I never really thought about it, but in most Japanese households there are “Basic” vegetables always in stock. Well, it has always been like that at my house and Grandma’s house. I don’t think it’s just a family thing…


Anyways, I love to have a lot of vegetables in my fridge, and once in a while, it feels so good to use them all up! One of the dishes I make to do that, is this  Leftover Veggie Quesadilla. Another simple dish that is good as a brekkie or a snack in the afternoon.

Today, I used: coriander, celery, mushroom and green capsicum.

Chop the all finely, spread it on a tortilla.


Sprinkle some cheese.


Cover it with another tortilla and cook!


It’s easy if you have a sandwich maker, however I don’t have one at home.

So what I do it cook this on a big frying pan, put a pot on it as a weight, flip it over and cook the other side to make it nice and crispy! The combination of vegetable is limitless, however, try to use “dry” vegetable rather than “wet”, for example, if you want to use tomatoes, try not to put in the seed bit because it will make it go soggy.

This combination is nice and light, if you want something heavier, chicken and avocado with cheese, or shrimp and semi-dry onion with cheese will make a great party nibble. Enjoy!


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