Saturday, December 18, 2010

Seafood "Bento"

I made this a while ago, so I'm a little bit guessing on how I made it, but I know I'm really really close.  This is another one of my "bento" recipe ideas for when you have lots of rice and want to jazz it up a bit.  The crab topping was really good, although if you can't find the dried shrimp it will still taste fine without them.  I love these sweet egg crumbles, however I think they're a pain to eat with chopsticks.  Oh, and I was talking to a Japanese exchange student (who also happens to be my next-door neighbor) and he told me that my recipes remind him of home.  *blushes* 


Seafood "Bento"

Ingredients:

3/4 c. hot cooked white rice
2 imitation crab sticks
3 snow peas, trimmed
sprinkling of dried baby shrimp
3 - (1/8 in.) slices takuan (pickled daikon)
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 tsp. sugar
pinch of salt
vegetable oil
2 tofu puffs
1 tsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. mirin
2 umeboshi, yasai fumi furikake, & shichimi togarashi (optional, to serve)

Heat a dry frying pan over medium low heat, and add the crab sticks.  Cook until browned on each side, then remove the crab to a cutting board.  Using a fork, shred the crab into long stings, then chop in half to make them more manageable.  Set aside.

Pour 1/4 in. water in the frying pan and bring to a boil.  Add the snow peas and blanch for 1 minute.  Removed the peas from the pan and cut into strips on the diagonal.  Set aside.  Dump the water from the pan.

Heat a little oil in the pan.  Beat the sugar and salt into the egg until dissolved.  Add the egg mixture to the pan and scramble.  Using a spatula, continue to stir and cut the egg until it has fully cooked into little crumbles.  Remove from pan and set aside.

Cut the tofu puffs into 4 slices each.  Add to the hot pan and cook until warm.  Add the soy sauce and mirin.  It should start to froth.  Stirring with a spatula, cook until nearly all the liquid is absorbed.  Remove from pan.

To serve, lay the rice down as a bed on a plate.  Add the crab shreds to one side and top with the snow peas and dried shrimp.  Cut the takuan slices in half and add a row of them next to the crab.  Sprinkle the egg crumbles next to the takuan.  Place the tofu pieces in a small separate bowl.  Sprinkle the egg with yasai fumi furikake and the tofu with shichimi togarashi.  Garnish with umeboshi.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Peeling a Grapefruit--the RIGHT way!

Hi yinz!  My finals are officially over, so I can breath now!  I took some photos of my finals display, so when I get around to getting them off my camera, I'll share them with you.

In the meantime, while I haven't been able to do any real grocery shopping because I've had no time to cook, I have gotten some fruit to munch on as snacks.  I don't know what it's like where you live, but grapefruit has been the thing here in NYC.  Now, I love grapefruit, but I know many people say that they hate the taste because it is so bitter.  Actually, grapefruits aren't quite as bitter as you think they are.  I would describe them as having a pleasant sour taste, but not bitter.  If you find grapefruit bitter, I think you're peeling it wrong.  You see, the skin, pith, and section membranes are where the bitterness are.  You can get around it a little by cutting the fruit in half and scooping it out with a spoon, but that's a pain to eat and it's very messy.  Instead, I'll share with you a way of peeling grapefruit that's guaranteed to remove all those bitter parts and allow you to really enjoy the fruit part.  Yes, it takes a while to do, but trust me, it's worth it and you'll thank me in the end.  I can't take credit for this method, though.  My father showed me how to do it.  I heart Daddy!  ^_^


Peeling a Grapefruit--the RIGHT way!

Step 1:  Peeling the Skin

Start peeling off the skin of the grapefruit--you may have to slit it with a knife to get it started.
After the peel has been completely removed, the whitish pith should still remain.


Step 2:  Scrape off the Pith

Using your knife, carefully scrape off the pith so that you can start to see the fruit membrane, but don't pierce the fruit.
Peel the pith away from the membrane beneath.
After the pith is removed, it should look somewhat like this.


Step 3:  Pull the Fruit Open

Carefully pull the fruit apart in half (mine wanted to come apart into 3 sections).


Step 4:  Slit and Peel Back the Membrane

Insert the tip of your knife between the fruit and the section membrane and slit the membrane open.
Gently pull the section away from the membrane.


Step 5:  Remove the Section

Remove the section as intact as possible from the rest of the fruit.  Set aside.


Step 6:  Peel Away the Section Membrane

Pull that section's membrane from the rest of the fruit, otherwise it gets in the way when you go to slit the next piece.


 Step 7:  Repeat Steps 4-6 Until Finished

When finish, you will have a whole grapefruit minus all of the bitter stuff!  Enjoy!
Just to show you, this is all the bitter skin, pith, and membranes you got rid of.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Oh my!  I'm so sorry and apologize to anyone who has been wondering why there haven't been any more posts lately.  I promise, I haven't fallen off the face of the earth--the semester is running down to the final few weeks, and it's been very busy for me.  I have been cooking and I have been taking photos, it's just I haven't had time to post anything.  Here are some of the old posts, and I hope to get caught up with them and be up to date in the next day or so.  Sorry for all the delay!!

Pork, Tofu Puff, and Asparagus Soup with Lemongrass

I had three asparagus spears left in the freezer, so I used them up.  This was another meal I made late at night.  Generally speaking, if I make soup, I don't have a lot of time on my hands.  Soup doesn't require a lot of dishes and it's over and done with in a flash.


Pork, Tofu Puff, and Asparagus Soup with Lemongrass

Ingredients:

1 oz. pork belly
2 tofu puffs
3 spears frozen, blanched asparagus
2 leaves napa cabbage
1/2 stalk lemongrass
small bunch enoki mushrooms
1 c. veal stock (or use beef stock)
2 tsp. soy sauce
2 tsp. shaoxing rice wine
sesame seeds (optional, to serve)

Shred the lemongrass finely.  Cut the pork belly into 1/2 in. cubes.  Heat a pot over medium heat and add the pork belly pieces and the lemongrass shreds.  Cook in their own grease until the meat has cooked through and the pieces are browned.

Mix together the veal stock, soy sauce, and rice wine and add to the pot.  Bring to a boil.

Cut the tofu puffs into 1/2 in. slices and chop the cabbage into 1 in. squares.  Add both to the soup and simmer 1-2 minutes.

Cut the asparagus spears into thirds.  Add to the soup along with the enoki mushrooms.  Simmer an additional 2-3 mintues, until the asparagus is fully thawed and heated through.  Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.

Fish Cake & Rice Cake Soup

I got the idea for this soup from a recipe for Japanese New Year's soup.  OK, now if you really look up a recipe for New Year's soup, it's not really like this at all.  I just got the inspiration from there.  I had no chicken thawed (what a surprise) and the rice cakes I have aren't really mochi, but it works.  You can really use any sort of fish cake you have if you don't have these little cubed fish cakes.


Fish Cake & Rice Cake Soup

Ingredients:

small handful of rice cake slices
2 imitation crab sticks
2 pieces fried fish cake
2 dried shiitake mushrooms, reconstituted
1/4 sheet toasted nori seaweed
1 tsp. dashi granules
1 1/2 water
2 tsp. soy sauce
1/2 tsp. mirin
small bunch enoki mushrooms, roots removed
4 snow peas, trimmed
1 spring onion
shichimi togarashi (Japanese seven-spice powder, optional, to serve)

Bring the measured water to a boil.  Add the dashi granules, soy sauce, and mirin.  Stir until the dashi has dissolved completely.

Add the rice cakes and boil 3-4 minutes, or until the rice cakes have softened through and turned a bright white color.

Cut the fish cakes into bite-sized pieces and slice the crab sticks in half.  Slice the shiitake mushrooms into 1/4 in. strips and separate the enoki mushrooms from one another.  Add these ingredients to the soup and simmer for another 2-3 minutes, until the fish cakes have heated all the way through.

Cut the snow peas in half on the diagonal and slice the spring onion into 1 in. pieces.  Add the green vegetables to the soup and simmer an additional 1-2 minutes.

Cut or tear the nori sheet into 1 in. squares.  Add the them one at a time to the soup to keep them from sticking to one another.  Sprinkle with shichimi togarashi and serve.

Udon & Tofu Puff Stir-fry

Another thing to do with udon noodles.  I bought a bunch of tofu puffs in Chinatown and I forgot to thaw out meat at the time, so this worked out pretty well.


Udon & Tofu Puff Stir-fry

Ingredients:

3 tofu puffs
1/2 frozen udon noodle block
1/2 in. daikon, peeled
8 snow peas, trimmed
1 small sweet pepper, seeded
vegetable oil
1 Tbsp. oyster sauce
2 tsp. water
1 tsp. soy sauce
shichimi togarashi (Japanese seven-spice powder, optional, to serve)

Put the noodle block in a bowl and cover with boiling water.  Leave to soak and "cook" on its own.

Cut the tofu puffs into 1/4 in. slices, the daikon into 1/8 in. slices, and the sweet pepper into 1/8 in. slices.  Heat a little oil in a pan and add the tofu puffs, daikon, sweet pepper, and snow peas.  Cook 2-3 minutes.

Mix together the oyster sauce, water, and soy sauce.  Add to the pan and stir to coat.  Cook an additional 1-2 minutes.

Drain the noodles, rinse, and drain again.  Add the noodle to the pan and stir to coat with sauce and heat through.  Sprinkle with shichimi togarashi and serve.

Chicken, Mushroom, and Udon Teriyaki

I was have a bad day a week or so ago, and I decided to make chicken teriyaki (again), but I decided that I wanted the whole thing teriyaki.  It was late at night and I didn't feel like doing a lot of dishes, so I tried to keep it all to one small pan.  I have to say it looks a little odd with no green vegetables, but it worked.


Chicken, Mushroom, and Udon Teriyaki

Ingredients:

1/2 frozen udon noodle block (fresh udon--not dried)
2 dried shiitake mushrooms, reconstituted
1 chicken thigh, skin on
small bunch enoki mushrooms, root removed
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 Tbsp. mirin
1 Tbsp. sake
1 tsp. sugar
sesame seeds, to serve

Put the noodle block in a bowl and cover with boiling water.  Leave the noodles to soak and "cook" on their own.

Using kitchen scissors, snip the chicken meat from the bone.  Cut into bite-sized pieces.  Heat a dry pan over medium heat and add the chicken pieces, skin side down.  Cook 2-3 minutes, or until browned, then turn the pieces over and cook an additional 2-3 minutes.  Make sure the chicken is cooked all the way through--no pink!

Cut the shiitake mushrooms into 1/2 in. pieces and separate the enoki mushrooms from one another.  Add the mushrooms to the pan with the chicken and cook 1-2 minutes.

Mix the soy sauce, sake, mirin, and sugar together and add to the pan.  It should come to a frothy boil.  Continue to cook until the sauce has cooked down to a sort of glaze.

Drain and rinse the udon noodles.  Add them to the pan and stir to coat with the sauce.  Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.

Lup Cheong & Rice Cake Stir-fry

I know I've been doing a lot of things with rice cakes in soups, but I decided to also try them in a stir fry. This recipe turned out well and had some wonderful flavors, colors, and textures, but I must admit that the sauce was a little on the salty side. If I made it again, I would add a little bit of sugar to the sauce to cut the saltiness.


Lup Cheong & Rice Cake Stir-fry

Ingredients:

handful of rice cake slices
1 lup cheong
handful of frozen, blanched broccoli
small handful of baby spinach
small bunch of enoki mushrooms, roots removed
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 tsp. fish sauce
1 Tbsp. oyster sauce
sesame seeds (optional, to serve)

Bring a pot of water to a boil, then add the rice cakes. Simmer 4-5 minutes, or until the rice cakes have softened and turned a nice bright white color. Drain and rinse. Set aside.

Slice the lup cheong into 1/8 in. slices on the diagonal. Heat a pan over medium heat and add the lup cheong. Saute in it's own oils for 2-3 minutes, or until the sausage has cooked through.

Add the broccoli and cook an additional 2-3 minutes.

Add the spinach and cook until wilted.

Mix together the soy sauce, fish sauce, and oyster sauce. Add to the pan and stir to coat.

Take the rice cakes and add them, one at a time (otherwise they stick together) to the pan and stir until everything is well coated and heated through. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Miso Soup with Rice Cakes

For the longest time I had seen my Korean suitemate use these little oval shaped rice cake slices in soups, and they looked absolutely delicious.  So, I finally found a bag of them the other day at the Asian grocery store I go to in Manhattan near Union Square, and picked them up.  I tried them out for the first time last night, and I can guarantee that I'll be using them again!  They have a very stiff texture when they're cold, which I wasn't sure I was going to like, but when they cook up they get nice and soft, with a bit of a gummy texture, which I sort of liked.  They don't take long to cook and make your soups more substantial without adding any meat, so they're a must-have if you're a vegetarian looking for something new.

Last night, I tried them in a miso soup.  It turned out really well and I would certainly make it again, but oh, did I have some mishaps when I was cooking!  First off, instead of being a smart person and using a spoon to put the dashi granules in, I just tried to sprinkle the grains into the water straight from the jar, which doesn't have a "sprinkle" lid.  I tapped a little too hard and I swear an entire tablespoon went into the water!  Um, yeah, that's a little too much.  I knew the flavor was going to be way to strong, so I had to spoon half of it out and dilute the rest with water, and I'm not sure how much water I put in (I almost never measure anything).  At any rate, the final soup didn't really have enough broth and it was really thick.  I think it was from cooking the rice cakes.  I think next time I'll cook the rice cakes first, set them aside, then add them at the end like I do for noodles--and use a spoon for the dashi granules!!


Miso Soup with Rice Cakes

handful of rice cake slices
2 dried shiitake mushrooms, reconstituted
1 c. water
1 tsp. dashi granules
1 spring onion
1/2 tsp. mirin
1 1/2 tsp. soy sauce
2 tsp. red miso (or white miso)
sesame seeds (optional, to serve)

Put the measured water in a pot and bring to a boil.  Add the dashi granules, mirin, and soy sauce, and stir until the dashi is completely dissolved.  Add the rice cake slices and cook 3-5 minutes, or until they have turned soft.

Cut the shiitake mushrooms into 1/2 in. slices, then cut the slices in half again width wise.  Chop the spring onion into small pieces on the diagonal.  Add both to the soup and simmer 1-2 minutes.

Add the miso to the soup and stir quickly to dissolve, but make sure not to mar the rice cakes.  As soon as the miso is dissolved, remove from heat.  Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Seafood Rice Bowl

Why three posts all at once?  Well, I'm blaming too much homework and beer.  Homework for Thursday night and alcohol last night.  (Every time I drink I zonk out.  I woke up this morning to see my TV, DVD player, speakers, and lamp still on.  And, mind you, this is after only one (1) beer that I drink fairly slowly.  I am a fail at drinking.)  ^_^

Rice bowl!!!  I spent most of the day trailing around the Union Square area of Manhattan today, and so got over to one of my favorite Asian markets in the area.  I picked up some enoki mushrooms and these nifty little dried baby shrimp among other things, and decided to toss them all together here.  Rice bowls are super easy and delicious.  I used a lot of seafood flavors here, but you can really add anything that goes with rice and just mix it in.


Seafood Rice Bowl

Ingredients:

1/3 c. rice (rinse if white rice)
1/2 c. water
1/2 in. diakon, pealed
1 small spring onion
1 in. strip of nori seaweed sheet
1 oz. enoki mushrooms, root removed
2 dried shiitake mushrooms, reconstituted
1 Tbsp. dried baby shrimp
1 Tbsp. bonito flakes
2 pieces imitation crab
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 1/2 tsp. mirin

Put the rice in a pot with a tight-fitting lid and cover with measured water.  Bring to a boil.  When all the water has boiled away, remove from heat, but do not remove the lid.  Leave the lid on for at least 10 minutes.

Heat a dry pan and add the crab strips.  Heat on all sides until slightly browned.  Remove the crab from the pan.  Cut them in half width wise and, using a fork, shred the crab into long strips.

Gently pull apart the enoki mushrooms and cut in half.  Slice the shiitake mushrooms into 1/2 in. pieces, then cut them again in half width wise.  Heat a dry pan, then add both mushrooms.  Add the soy sauce and mirin--it should come to a frothy boil.  Continue to cook until almost all the liquid has been absorbed.  Remove from heat.

Cut the diakon into 1/16 in. strips, then cut the strips in half width wise.  Chop the spring onion into fine slices on the diagonal.  Using kitchen shears, cut the nori into 1/8 in. strips.

Remove the lid from the rice.  Add the mushrooms, dried shrimp, bonito flakes, crab, diakon, and spring onion.  Using a spatula, gently fold all the ingredients together.  Top with the nori strips and serve.

Char Sui & Vegetable Noodle Soup

This udon bowl was very easy, especially since the main ingredients were either pre-made or frozen.  You can probably pop this one off in about 20-25 minutes.  Why did I use two different kinds of broth?  Simple.  I ran out of turkey stock and I didn't feel like watering it down.  The taste comes out very well.  If you don't have turkey and/or veal stock, just use chicken and beef stock, or just one or the other.  Also, you can substitute dried udon noodles if you don't have fresh (provided that you cook them first), but the fresh udon has a better texture for this soup.


Ingredients:

1 oz. pork belly
1 oz. char sui
small handful frozen broccoli
2 dried shiitake mushrooms, reconstituted
1 small sweet pepper (or use 1/4 bell pepper), seeded
1/2 frozen corn cob (it should be cooked--or use roughly 1/4 c. bagged frozen corn), kernels cut from the cob
1/2 frozen udon noodle block
1/2 c. turkey stock
1/2 c. veal stock
shichimi togarashi (optional, to serve)

Place the udon noodles in a bowl and cover with boiling water.  Soak until the noodles are warmed up.  Separate the noodles with your hands and drain.  Set aside.

Cut the pork belly into 1/2 in. cubes.  Heat a pot over medium heat and add the pork belly pieces.  Cook 2-3 minutes, or until the meat has cooked through. 

Slice the sweet pepper into 1/2 in. rings.  Add the corn, broccoli, and pepper and cook until thawed and heated through.

Add both stocks and bring to a boil.  Slice the mushrooms into 1/4 in. slices and add to the soup.  Simmer 2-3 minutes.

To serve, place the noodles int the bottom of a serving bowl, then spoon the soup over top.  Sprinkle with shichimi togarashi.

Spicy Squid Soup

Another tom yum soup, this time with squid. 


Ingredients:

1 c. turkey stock (or chicken stock)
scant 1/4 c. coconut milk
2 tsp. tom yum paste
1 spring onion
handful of spinach
1 baby squid, cleaned and skin rubbed off
1 small sweet pepper (or use 1/4 bell pepper), seeded
1 Thai chili, seeded

Prepare the squid by removing the flippers and the two long tentacles from the tentacle ball and discard.  Insert a knife into the hood of the squid and split it so that you can lay the hood out flat on a cutting board.  Using the knife, slice a checkerboard pattern into the squid, being careful not to cut all the way through.  Then, cut the squid hood into 1 in. squares.  Cut the ball of tentacles in half.  Also, slice the pepper into 1/4 in. strips.

Heat a dry pot over medium heat, then add the squid and pepper pieces.  Saute until the squid turns from translucent to white and the checkerboard pieces curl up.  Add the tom yum paste and cook until fragrant.

Mix together the turkey stock, coconut milk, and chili, and add to the pot.  Bring to a boil.

Slice the spring onion into 1/2 in. pieces on the diagonal.  Add the spinach and spring onion to the soup and simmer until the spinach has wilted.  Serve.  (note:  if you think the soup is too spicy to eat with the chili still in the soup, fish the chili out of the soup just before serving.)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Pork & Spinach Soup with Lemongrass

I actually made this last night, but I didn't get to put up the post until tonight.  It'll serve for yesterday and today because I'm just having frozen pizza tonight.  In my latest desperate attempts to get caught up, I ended up staying up until 6 AM and got up at 9.  So, running on only 3 hours of sleep, I'm not in the cooking mood.  I just want to sleep.  I am happy to announce, though, that my sleepless night was not in vain--I may be able to call myself relatively caught up by the end of the day Thursday!  ^_^

This soup is super quick!!  I had absolutely no time to cook anything and by the time I got around to dinner all the restaurants were closed, so I whipped this out in probably about 20 minutes.  Surprisingly, it was absolutely delicious and very satisfying.  The crisp texture and flavor of the lemongrass really added a wonderful element to this soup.  I used some char sui (Chinese barbecued pork) that I had made a while ago and thawed from the freezer, but you can either purchase some from an Asian market, get the recipe from my Char Sui posting from last month, or use another protein of your choice.


Pork & Spinach Soup with Lemongrass

Ingredients:

1 oz. char sui pork
1 small sweet pepper (or use 1/4 bell pepper), seeded
4 snowpeas, trimmed
1 spring onion
2 dried shiitake mushrooms, reconstituted
1/2 stalk lemongrass
small handful of baby spinach
1 c. turkey broth (or chicken broth)
2 tsp. shaoxing rice wine
1 tsp. soy sauce
sesame seeds (optional, to serve)

In a pot, mix the turkey broth, rice wine, and soy sauce.  Bring to a boil.  Chop the lemongrass stalk into thin shreds and add to the soup.  Simmer 1-2 minutes.

Slice the char sui into 1/8 in. slices, then slice into bite-sized pieces.  Cut the sweet pepper into 1/4 in. strips and the mushrooms into 1/2 in. strips.  Add the peppers, mushrooms, and pork to the pot.  Simmer 1-2 minutes, or until the peppers are softened slightly.

Cut the spring onion into 1/2 in. pieces on the diagonal and the snowpeas in half on the diagonal.  Add the spring onion, baby spinach, and snowpeas to the pot and cook until the spinach has wilted and cooked down.  Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Spicy Mackerel & Rice Noodles

To answer your question, no, I didn't spend ages arranging this plate for the photo.  I only spent about one minute if that.  Yes, I ate rather late tonight.  I've been trying to get caught up on my work, so eating kind of got pushed to the back burner.  I'm trying to complete my portfolio book and was having issues with the paper coverings for the covers, but I finally got them pretty much finished, so I bolted into the kitchen to try to cook as quickly as possible.  I'm exhausted and I just want to go to bed.

Just yesterday I bought a ton of a Japanese spice blend called shichimi togarashi, which is a blend of seven spices including chili, sesame, ginger, orange peel, and some others that I can't remember off the top of my head.  I now have enough for the next ten years (10 oz. to be exact), so I thought I'd try it out with some pan-fried mackerel.  It turned out to be very good, although it's a little spicier than I expected.  If you don't have rice noodles, you can certainly just use plain cooked rice.


Spicy Mackerel & Rice Noodles

1/2 mackerel fillet, transparent skin peeled off and bones removed
1-2 oz. rice stick noodles
5 snowpeas, trimmed
1 small sweet pepper, seeded (or use 1/8 bell pepper)
3 slices takuan (pickled diakon)
vegetable oil
5 tsp. soy sauce
2 tsp. sake
1 tsp. brown sugar
3 Tbsp. corn starch
1 tsp. shichimi togarashi (seven spice powder)
soy sauce (to serve)

Cook the rice noodles according to package directions.  Drain, but do not rinse.  Set aside and keep warm.

Cut the mackerel into 1/2 in. slices.  Mix the soy sauce, sake, and brown sugar.  Add the mackerel and allow to marinate for at least 5 minutes.

Mix the corn starch and shichimi togarashi.  Coat the fish pieces well in the mixture.  Heat oil in a pan, then add the fish.  Cook the fish pieces on each side for 2 minutes or so (use your judgment), or until the fish is golden brown and cooked through.  Remove from heat.

Slice the sweet pepper into 1/8 in. strips. 

To serve, make a bed of rice noodles on a serving dish.  Top with the mackerel, takuan, snowpeas, and sweet pepper.  Serve with soy sauce.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Pork Ramen Noodle Soup

I don't think I know any college students who don't have at least one or two packages of ramen noodles in their cupboards.  But the seasoning packets, in my opinion. are too boring!!  So I decided to spice things up and make the soup more satisfying by adding two kinds of pork, vegetables, and a real broth--not some salty, nasty seasoning packet!  This is ramen, a little closer to the real stuff you would get at a Japanese restaurant.


Pork Ramen Noodle Soup

1/2 block dried ramen noodles
1/2 cooked, frozen corn cob, thawed (or use roughly 1/4 c. bagged frozen corn)
1/2 carrot, pealed
1 oz. pork belly
1 oz. char sui pork
1 spring onion
1 c. turkey stock (or use chicken stock)
2 tsp. shaoxing rice wine
2 tsp. soy sauce

Cook the ramen according to package directions.  Drain and rinse with cold water.  Set aside.

Cut the pork belly into 1/2 in. cubes.  Heat a pot over medium heat and add the pork belly.  Do not add oil.  Cook 3-4 minutes until the meat has cooked through.

Dice the carrot into 1/4 in. pieces and add to the pot.  Stir into the pork belly pieces and cook 1-2 minutes.  The carrot should brown slightly.

Mix the turkey stock, rice wine, and soy sauce.  Add to the pot and bring to a boil.  Simmer 2 minutes to cook the carrot.

Using a sharp knife, cut the corn kernels from the cob.  Slice the char sui into 1/8 in. slices.  Add the corn and char sui to the soup.  Simmer 2-3 minutes, until the pork is well heated through.

Slice the spring onion into 1/2 in. pieces on the diagonal, and add to the soup.  Simmer 1 more minute.

To serve, put the noodles in the bottom of a serving bowl and spoon the soup over top.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Teriyaki Chicken & Vegetables with Diakon Rice and Sweet Egg

Whooo!!  I'm back!  Sorry for all the delay.  Two posts this time because of my forgetfulness.  I'm actually posting these from the Pratt library because I'm looking up stuff about bookbinding for my portfolio, but that's another story.  What I can say is that they somehow still have the A/C on (goodness knows why), and it's blowing just about right at me and I'm cold.  *teeth chattering*  I can't feel my fingers, so if there are typos here, I'm blaming it all on that.

More chicken teriyaki??  Yes.  It's delicious.  Just because I'm posting my eating habits to the world doesn't mean I can't make something over again.  This wasn't my best version of diakon rice.  I think I should soak the diakon in the soy sauce instead of just pour it over top.  The diakon flavor was a little stronger than I would have liked.  The chicken and veggies in the teriyaki sauce is heavenly.


Teriyaki Chicken & Vegetables with Diakon Rice and Sweet Egg

Ingredients:

1/3 c. rice (rinse if white rice)
1/2 c. water
1/2 in. diakon, pealed
1 Tbsp. bonito flakes
1 tsp. soy sauce
1 chicken thigh
2 dried shiitake mushrooms, reconstituted
2 spears asparagus, blanched
for teriyaki sauce: 
     1 Tbsp. soy sauce
     1 Tbsp. sake
     1 Tbsp. mirin
     2 tsp. water
     1 tsp. brown sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 tsp. brown sugar
pinch of salt
6 snowpeas, trimmed
sesame seeds (optional, to serve)

Put the rice in a pot with a tight-fitting lid and cover with the measured water.  Boil until the liquid has been absorbed.  Remove from heat, but leave the lid on for an additional 10 minutes.

Using kitchen shears, cut the bone out of the chicken thigh and snip the meat into bite-sized pieces.  Heat a large pan over medium-high heat and add the chicken pieces.  (note:  if your chicken has skin on, do not add any vegetable oil.  If your chicken is skinless, add a little oil.)  Saute 5-6 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.  Remove the chicken from the pan temporarily.

Beat the sugar and salt into the egg and add to the pan.  Using slicing motions with a spatula, cook the egg until it forms little pieces.  Remove from the pan.

Add the chicken back to the pan.  Slice the mushrooms into 1/2 in. slices and cut the asparagus spears into thirds.  Add the mushrooms and asparagus the the pan.  Cook 2-3 minutes, or until the vegetables are cooked.

Mix the ingredients for the teriyaki sauce or use 1/4 c. pre-made teriyaki sauce.  Add to the pan.  It should get fairly frothy.  Cook and stir occasionally until the sauce has cooked down and coated the chicken and vegetables in a glaze.  Be careful not to let it burn.  Remove from heat.

Chop the diakon into 1/2 in. cubes.  Lift the lid from the rice and gently fluff with a spatula.  Add the diakon pieces, bonito flakes, and soy sauce to the rice and fold in.

To serve, put the diakon rice in a rice bowl.  Put the egg and snow peas together in another small bowl, and put the teriyaki chicken and vegetables on a small plate.  Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Pork & Vegetables with Rice Noodles

I just grabbed the first foil-wrapped thing out of the freezer, and it turned out to be ground pork.  (Just a note, you should wrap your meats with aluminum foil for the freezer, and NOT plastic wrap.  Plastic wrap doesn't get as good of a seal and your stuff has a much, much, much higher potential of getting freezer burned.  Plus, foil can be labeled and dated on the outside with a sharpie marker for easy reference.)  At any rate, I wasn't sure how this would turn out (so what else is new?), but I got the basic idea of ground pork, mushroom, and spring onion with an oyster sauce from one of my other cookbooks, so I thought I'd give it a shot.  Mind you, I didn't do this from the cookbook.  I left the book in the other room and made it up as I went along.  It came out quite delicious, so I encourage you to try it.  If you don't have rice noodles, though, you can just use rice.  It tastes just about the same, it's just one's the grains and the other has been pounded into submission and extruded into noodle-ishness.


Pork & Vegetables with Rice Noodles

Ingredients:

2-3 oz. rice stick noodles (or just make some rice)
1/4 lb. ground pork
3 dried shiitake mushrooms
2 large handfuls of baby spinach
2 spring onions
4 tsp. oyster suace
1 tsp. fish sauce
1 tsp. soy sauce
sesame seeds (optional, to serve)

Place the mushrooms in a small bowl and cover with boiling water.  Let stand until reconstituted, then squeeze out the excess liquid and chop into roughly 1/4 in. pieces.  Set aside.

Boil water in a pot and add the rice noodles.  Cook according to package directions and drain, but don't rinse.  Set aside.

Heat a dry large skillet over medium-high heat and add the ground pork.  Using a spatula or wooden spoon, stir the pork with slicing motions to break the pork up into little pieces.  Continue to cook until the pork is all cooked and browned.

Mince the spring onions into little pieces.  Add the spring onions and mushroom to the pan and stir into the pork.  Cook an additional 1-2 minutes, or until the mushrooms are cooked.

Rinse the spinach and add to the pan.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the spinach has wilted.  (I know it looks like a lot of spinach, but it won't be when it wilts down.)

Mix the oyster sauce, fish sauce, and soy sauce together.  Add to the pan.  Stir into the mixture and cook 1-2 more minutes until the mixture is well coated and the sauce is heated through. 

To serve, lay down a bed of the rice noodles on a serving plate and add the pork mixture over top.  Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Lup Cheong & Vegetable Stir Fry

Well, I don't have a whole lot to say about this one.  It wasn't my worst, but it wasn't my best, either.  I realize I've been kind of failing at this lately, but I'm going to try to do my best to get back on schedule.  I've been really exhausted lately, which is decreasing my energy and appetite--and probably not in a good way.  I'll do my best to get back on top of things, but in the meantime this is what's happening.


Lup Cheong & Vegetable Stir Fry

1 lup cheong
1 carrot, pealed
handful of blanched/frozen broccoli
handful of blanched/frozen green beans
2 blanched/frozen asparagus spears
1/4 satsuma-imo
scant 1/4 c. turkey stock (or chicken stock)
1 tsp. shaoxing rice wine
yasai fumi furikake (optional, to serve)

Chop the satsuma-imo into roughly 1/2 in. cubes.  Boil water in a pot and add the sweet potato cubes.  Boil 6-8 minutes until the potato pieces can be easily pierced with a fork.  Drain and set aside.

Chop the carrot into 1/4 in. slices on the diagonal, the green beans in half, the asparagus into 2 in. pieces, and the broccoli into bite-sized pieces. 

Mix the turkey stock and rice wine in the pot and bring to a boil.  Add the carrot, broccoli, green beans, and asparagus.  Simmer 4-5 minutes, or until the frozen vegetables have thawed and heated through, and the carrot is slightly tender.  Add the sweet potato and simmer 1-2 more minutes.

Sprinkle with yasai fumi furikake and serve.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Green Noodle Bowl

So, Emily.  Did you have any idea what you were doing when you made this last night?  No.  Will you ever make this recipe again?  NO.  Yeah... let's just say that I thought it would sort of work, but it was an epic fail.  My deepest apologies for anyone who is appalled at the way I butchered these delicious matcha somen noodles.  For real, too.  I'm not trying to make a joke.


Green Noodle Bowl

Ingredients:

3 oz. matcha green tea somen noodles
2 dried shiitake mushrooms
1 c. water
1/2 tsp. dashi granules
1/2 tsp. soy sauce
1/2 tsp. mirin
1/2 tsp. sake
handful of baby spinach
8 snowpeas, trimmed
sesame seeds

Boil water in a pot, then add the somen noodles.  Cook for 1-2 minutes, until soft.  Drain, but do not rinse.

Put the mushrooms in a small bowl, then cover them with boiling water.  When reconstituted, squeeze the excess liquid from the mushrooms and cut them into 1/2 in. slices.

Pour the measured water in the pot and bring to a boil.  Add the dashi granules, soy sauce, mirin, and sake.  Stir until the dashi granules dissolve.

Add the spinach and mushrooms and cook until the leaves have wilted.  Add the noodles and snowpeas (sliced in half on the diagonal) and cook 1 minute more.  Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Pork & Pepper Noodle Soup

Why all the soups?  Well, soup is just one of those things that's super easy to make.  Generally, only one pot is needed to cook the entire thing, and you're basically just adding ingredients in steps to a hot broth, which makes it so simple.  I don't know what it's like in your part of the world, but here in New York, it's getting chilly (and, I might add, my dorm room--probably like many others--is quite drafty).  A hot bowl of soup is welcome when it's cold out. 

What a surprise, I didn't thaw out meat again, so I pulled something out of the freezer that would thaw easily enough:  pork belly pieces.  When I bought it, it was already cut up into manageable pieces, so a hot pot was all that was needed to thaw and cook them.  Pork belly is fatty, though, so I'll just say off the bat that this isn't a calorie-conscious meal.  But yesterday (when I made this) I had only a bowl of instant oatmeal for breakfast, and then didn't eat again until nearly 11:00pm.  In other words, I hadn't eaten in over 12 hours (an I'm hypoglycemic, mind you) and I'm pretty sure I could have done with the calories, so I didn't mind.  After I made this soup, it sort of reminded me of fall leaves from the yellow and red peppers, the amber color of the broth, the tan of the noodles, and the little contrast of green from the spring onion.  It was pretty, in my mind.  I guess it fit the season?  Whether or not you agree, it's delicious!

Side note:  This is officially the last of my shanghai noodles, so if you're annoyed with the frequency that I've been using them, rejoice.  I probably won't get them for a little while until I can get back over to Chinatown.  I've been so incredibly busy that I haven't been able to go.


Pork & Pepper Noodle Soup

Ingredients:

2 oz. shanghai noodles
1 oz. pork belly
2 small sweet peppers (one red, one yellow; or use 1/4 each of bell pepper), seeded
2 spring onions
1 1/2 c. turkey stock (or use chicken stock)
1 tsp. tom yum paste
sesame seeds (optional, to serve)

Boil water in a pot and add the noodles.  Boil 5-6 minutes until they are plump and tender.  Drain well and rinse with cold water.  Using kitchen shears, snip the noodles into roughly 3 in. lengths.

Cut the pork belly into 1/2 in. cubes.  Heat the pot over medium heat and add the pork belly.  Do not add any oil!  Saute the pork belly for 4-5 minutes, or until thawed (if frozen) and golden brown.  (At this point, if you feel there is too much oil in the bottom of the pot, you can remove the pork and drain off the fat.  Then put the pork pieces back in the pot.)

Add the tom yum paste and saute until fragrant.  Pour the turkey stock over the pork and tom yum paste.  Bring to a boil.

Slice the peppers into 1/4 in. strips and cut the spring onions into 1 in. lengths.  Add the peppers only to the pot and boil for 4-5 minutes, or until the peppers are tender.  They'll still have a little crunch to them, but if you like your peppers softer, just boil longer.  Add the spring onions and boil 1-2 minutes more. 

To serve, put the noodles in the bottom of a serving bowl and spoon the soup over top.  Sprinkle with sesame seeds, if desired.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Lup Cheong Noodle Soup

Mashing up kabocha in soup?  It's a little funky in texture in the soup, but it still tastes pretty good.  Why?  Well.... OK, so my kabocha had a tiny bit of mold on the skin.  I'm just one of those people who will eat off the floor (as in if I just drop a piece of popcorn on the floor or something), and the rest of it looked fine, so I just rinsed it pretty good and cut off the rind.  (I call it strengthening my immune system.)  Usually you don't peal kabocha, but what the hey.  I'm also trying to use up these shanghai noodles because I don't know how much longer they'll last, so this is a bit of a clean-out-the-refrigerator soup.  (The satsuma-imo was juuuuust starting to get mold, too.  Call me gross, but that's how I roll.)


Lup Cheong Noodle Soup

Ingredients:

3-4 oz. kabocha, pealed and seeded
2 oz. shanghai noodles
1/2 satsuma-imo
1 c. turkey stock (or use chicken stock)
3 dried shiitake mushrooms
2 tsp. shaoxing rice wine
2 tsp. soy sauce

Boil water in a pot.  Add the shanghai noodles and boil for 3-4 minutes, or until plump and soft.  Drain and rinse with cold water.  Using kitchen shears, snip the noodles into roughly 3 in. lengths.

Put the shiitake mushrooms in a small bowl and cover with boiling water.  When reconstituted, squeeze out the excess liquid and slice into 1/2 in. slices.  Set aside.

Dice the kabocha into very small pieces (say around 1/4 in. cubes--they don't have to be perfect because you're going to mash it up anyway) and boil for 6-8 minutes, or until the squash is very soft.  Drain well.  Then, using a fork, mash the cooked kabocha into a paste.  Set aside.

Chop the satsuma-imo into roughly 1 cm cubes.  In a pot, bring the turkey stock, rice wine, and soy sauce to a boil.  Add the satsuma-imo and boil for 6-8 minutes, or until a fork easily pierces the satsuma-imo pieces.

Slice the lup cheong into 1/4 in. pieces on the diagonal.  Add the lup cheong and mushrooms to the soup and simmer for another 2-3 minutes, until the lup cheong has cooked/heated through.  Stir in the mashed kabocha and simmer for 1 more minute to heat through.

To serve, put the noodles in a serving bowl, then spoon the soup over top.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Sweet & Salty Miso Chicken

For all those times you can't decide whether you want miso or teriyaki... how 'bout both?  Seriously.  I know it sounds a little odd, and I didn't know how it was going to turn out, but this miso and teriyaki-like glaze is a lovely blend of sweet and salty.  Unfortunately, it takes a little bit longer to cook (probably about an hour start to finish, but just guessing) because the sauce has to cook down, but trust me, it's worth it.

For the chicken in this recipe, I recommend using dark meat (I used thigh meat) that still has the skin on because it doesn't dry out and has a better flavor in my opinion.  Not only does it keep you from having to add any excess oils, the chicken fat from the skin adds a wonderful flavor the rest of the vegetables and the sauce.  But if you're trying to count calories or anything, you can certainly do this with skinless bird.  Just make sure to add a smidgen of oil to the pan or else you'll be scraping burnt chicken off your pan for the next ten years... and I don't know about you, but I'll pass on scraping a pan if I can help it.


Sweet & Salty Miso Chicken

1/3 c. rice (rinse white rice before cooking)
1/2 c. water
1 chicken thigh, skin on
1/2 carrot, pealed
small handful of broccoli
1 spring onion
2 dried shiitake mushrooms
2 small sweet peppers (or 1/4 bell pepper), seeded
8 snowpeas, trimmed
1 Tbsp. miso
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 Tbsp. mirin
1 Tbsp. sake
2 tsp. water
sesame seeds (optional, to serve)
yasai fumi furikake (optional, to serve--rice seasoning)

Mix the rice and 1/2 c. water together in a pot with a tight-fitting lid and bring to a boil.  Continue to boil until all the liquid has been absorbed.  Remove from heat, but leave the lid on for an additional 10 minutes minimum.

Put the mushrooms in a small bowl and cover with boiling water.  After they are reconstituted, squeeze out the excess liquid and slice into 1/2 in. slices.  Set aside.

Using kitchen shears, snip the bone out of the chicken thigh, then cut the chicken into bite-sized chunks, keeping the skin on as best as possible.  Heat a dry skillet over medium heat, then add the chicken chunks, skin side down.  Cook 2-3 minutes until the skin has browned and the oils are released, then turn the chicken pieces over.  Cook for an additional 3-4 minutes.

Chop the carrot into 1/2 in. thick semi-circles, the broccoli into bite-sized pieces, and the peppers into 1/4 in. slices.  Add all three vegetables plus the mushrooms to the pan and cook 2-3 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables have softened and cooked.

Mix together the soy sauce, mirin, sake, and 2 tsp. water.  Whisk in the miso until the sauce is smooth.  Add to the pan and bring to a simmer.  Continue to cook the meat, veggies, and sauce, stirring occasionally, for about 10-12 minutes, until the sauce cooks down and thickens.

Slice the spring onions into 1 in. pieces and add to the pan along with the snowpeas.  Stir and cook an additional 1-2 minutes until the snow peas and spring onions are heated through and well coated in the sauce.  Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve with the rice, sprinkled with yasai fumi furikake.

Rice with Shrimp, Spinach, and Egg Sprinkles & Mushroom

Oh my!  I'm so sorry!  I actually made this last night, but I completely forgot to post it up until this morning.  I'm blaming it all on visiting the kitties in the engine room.  At least Kirby, Tubby, and Niki were grateful for the treats, and Willy got a good dinner last night....and Tubby.  But enough about kitties--I felt like having rice last night, and I always wanted to try making these "sprinkles" to put on it.  This is a modification of a classic bento lunch that moms often make for their kids in Japan.  Of course, mine's not in a box and I used shrimp instead of fish, and I added mushrooms, but who's counting?  It's the same idea, anyway.  This is super easy and just about everyone should have the ingredients for this.  The only thing you might not be able to find readily is the mirin, but I think you should just be able to substitute a little sugar water, and you can use any sort of mushroom you want if you don't like or can't find shiitake.  I know this looks like a lot of work, but each item only takes a minute or two to cook, so it's actually done faster than you would think.  (And if anyone is wondering why my egg looks a little funny colored, I used the same spatula the whole time and I had some of the sticky soy sauce mixture stuck on the spatula after cooking the mushrooms.  It tastes just fine, it's just stained from the soy sauce.)


Rice with Shrimp, Spinach, and Egg Sprinkles & Mushroom

Ingredients:

1/3 c. rice (rinse it if you're using white rice)
1/2 c. water
2 dried shiitake mushrooms
3 raw shrimp, pealed and de-veined
large handful of baby spinach
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 tsp. brown sugar (you can use white sugar, too)
pinch of salt
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1/2 tsp. mirin (or use 1/4 tsp. sugar with 1/2 tsp. water)
vegetable oil
sesame seeds (optional, to serve)
nori seaweed, cut into 1/4 in. strips (optional, to serve)

Mix the rice and measured water in a pot with a tight-fitting lid on the stove and bring the water to a boil.  Continue to cook the rice until all the liquid is absorbed, but don't let the rice burn.  Remove from heat, but leave the lid on for an additional 10 minutes minimum.

Put the shiitake mushrooms in a small bowl and cover with boiling water.  When reconstituted, slice into 1/2 in. strips and set aside.

Rinse the spinach and drain.  Heat a dry small frying pan and add the spinach.  The water still clinging to the leaves should be enough moisture.  Cook until the spinach has wilted.  Remove from the pan and set aside to cool.  When cool, mince the spinach into little pieces (sprinkles).

Heat a little oil in the pan, then add the shrimp.  Cook until the shrimp turns pink, then remove from the pan and mince into little pieces (sprinkles). 

There should be enough oil residue in the pan, so add the mushrooms along with the soy sauce and mirin.  It should come to a frothy boil.  Continue to cook and stir the mushrooms until nearly all the liquid has boiled away and the mushrooms are well glazed.  Be careful not to let it burn.  Remove the mushrooms from the pan. 

At this point, you could just cook the egg in the glaze in the pan, or you can pour water in the pan to deglaze it, then dump out the liquid.  It's up to you.

Beat the sugar and salt into the egg.  Add just a little more oil to the pan, and add the egg.  (Egg butcher-ers unite!!)  Stir the egg around as much as possible and use a slicing motion with your spatula to fully cook the egg and form it into little granules (sprinkles, about 1/8 in. diameter or so).  Remove from heat.

To serve, lay down a bed with the rice on a serving plate.  On one third, sprinkle the shrimp; on another third, sprinkle the spinach, and on the last third, add the egg sprinkles.  Top the egg with the mushrooms, the shrimp with the nori slices, and the spinach with sesame seeds.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Vegetables with Flour Slice

What a surprise... I forgot to thaw out meat again.  Veggies it is!  That's OK, though, because the produce I bought the other day is just excellent.  This is a good "clean out the vegetable bin" meal for when you've got a bin-full of veggies; low in fat and high in vitamins.  I'm using those flour slice noodles again, which I inherited from my suitemates last year.  You can certainly use any noodle you want if they're impossible to find--I'm not even sure where to get them.  Turkey stock really gives this meal a wonderful flavor, but you can always use chicken stock, or, if you really want this to be a vegetarian dish, you can certainly use vegetable stock.  Any flavor of stock with work--just use your favorite!


Vegetables with Flour Slice

Ingredients:

1/2 carrot, pealed
small handful of broccoli
1/2 in. diakon, pealed
8 snowpeas, trimmed
1-2 spring onions
2 small sweet peppers (or 1/4 - 1/3 bell pepper), seeded
vegetable oil
large handful (or 2 small handfuls) of flour slice noodles
1/4 c. turkey stock
1 tsp. shaoxing rice wine
yasai fumi furikake (optional, to serve)

First, chop up all the vegetables:  Slice the carrot into 1/8 in. slices on the diagonal, the diakon into 1/8 in. slices, the spring onions into 1 in. pieces, the broccoli into bit-sized pieces, and the peppers into 1/4 in. slices.

Heat a little oil in a pan, then add the carrot, broccoli, and peppers.  Saute for 2-3 minutes until the vegetables are softened.  Add the snowpeas, diakon, and spring onions.  Saute for another 1-2 minutes.

Mix the turkey stock and rice wine.  Add to the pan and bring to a simmer.  Add the flour slice noodles to the mixture and simmer 4-5 minutes, or until the noodles are cooked through.  Sprinkle with yasai fumi furikake and serve.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Asian Style Chicken Soup

I was so excited because I got fresh vegetables at the store today (and none of them are moldy!.... yet).  I didn't go shopping in Chinatown today, though, because I didn't really have time to.  So, patronizing the locals today.  The lady at the fruit market actually asked me if I was out of town because I used to shop their all the time before I started shopping for produce in Chinatown, then when I told her about my blog, she told me I was crazy because even she doesn't know what to make for dinner on a nightly basis!  She's so cute.  I love going there.  One of those typical Brooklyn mom & pop places that's little more than a hole in the wall, but they've got some decent stuff.  At one point (they still may, actually) they had this adorable little cat named Mi Mi (sp?), whose job I suppose was to get rid of mice.  She was so cute.  One minute she'd be rubbing up against your legs, then as soon as you paid her any attention, she'd scramble underneath the tables, which had sides on them that left only maybe 3-4 in. space between them and the floor.  I still don't know how she managed to squeeze herself so effortlessly under there, but I digress.  (BTW - anyone who knows me personally knows I'm a sucker for kitties.  For you Pratt folks:  WILLY!!!!!!!  to the nth degree)

What's up with this soup?  Well, I picked up some turkey stock today, along with chicken, these little sweet peppers (of which I'm now in love), and lemongrass, so why not?  Now, I don't think I'd recommend this as an "I'm sick and I want chicken soup" chicken soup, but it turned out pretty well.  Turkey stock.  It's sort of a seasonal thing, but when I saw it on sale I couldn't pass it up.  I think it tastes pretty good, but the flavor is a bit masked by the coconut milk and Thai chili in this recipe.  I'll probably come up with another soup that showcases its flavor a bit more later.  After I made this soup, though, I thought it was missing something:  sugar.  Just a teaspoon or so.  I think it would counteract the heat of the chili nicely.  I'll give the recipe without, but you can always add it yourself.


Asian Style Chicken Soup

Ingredients:

1 c. turkey stock (you can certainly use chicken stock)
1/4 c. coconut milk
1/2 stalk lemongrass
1/4 satsumi-imo (Japanese sweet potato)
1 chicken thigh
1 spring onion
1 small sweet pepper (or use 1/4 bell pepper)
1 Thai chili, seeded

Mix together the turkey stock and coconut milk, and bring to a simmer in a pot. Finely shred the lemongrass and add to the pot.

Chop the satsumi-imo into roughly 1/2 in. cubes (doesn't have to be perfect, just small pieces) and add to the soup.  Continue to simmer for 4-5 minutes, or until you can easily pierce the sweet potato pieces with a fork.

Using kitchen shears, snip the meat of the chicken away from the bone.  Discard the bone and any skin.  Snip the meat into bite-sized pieces, then add to the soup.  Cook 2-3 minutes.  The chicken should cook through.

Seed the sweet pepper and slice into 1/8 in. slices, chop the spring onion into 1 in. lengths, and finely shred the chili.  Add all three to the soup and simmer 2-3 minutes more.  Serve.

Pork, Konnyaku, & Flour Slice Stir-Fry

Oh, was I annoyed when I went to the fridge tonight!  It seemed like every last thing I had went moldy!  My hokkien noodles were moldy, my tofu puffs were moldy, my kamaboko fishcake was moldy, and my bamboo shoots were moldy!!!  Grrrrrrrr!!!  I think I should freeze things more often and maybe I could prevent this from happening.  So what I thought I was going to make didn't happen, but I think I did a pretty good job of creating something with what I had left.

I used what's called "flour slice" for the noodles tonight.  Basically, they're large, thin, flat noodles made from only two ingredients:  wheat flour and water (and since they're dried, probably just wheat flour).  Where do you get them?  Well, I'm actually not sure.  The only reason I have them is because one of my suitemates left them after moving out at the end of the year last year, so I took them.  I suppose you could use any noodle you have lying around--udon noodles are wheat flour noodles, so that might taste similar, anyway.



Pork, Konnyaku, & Flour Slice Stir-Fry

Ingredients:

2 oz. char sui (see Char Sui)
1/8 konnyaku cake (devil's tongue jelly/yam cake)
vegetable oil
2 spring onions
2 leaves bok choy
handful of flour slice noodles
5 tsp. soy sauce
1 Tbsp. shaoxing rice wine
2 tsp. water
yasai fumi furikake (to serve, see Note below)

Slice the char sui and konnyaku into 1/8 in. slices.  Heat a little oil in a pan and add the pork and yam cake.  Stir-fry 1-2 minutes until the pork has browned and the konnyaku heats through.

Cut the spring onions into 1 in. pieces and the bok choy into 1 in. square pieces.  Add both vegetables to the pan and stir-fry 1-2 minutes, or until the vegetables have softened and cooked.

Mix the soy sauce, rice wine, and water.  Add the sauce to the pan, then add the flour slice noodles.  Continue to cook and boil for 3-4 minutes, or until the noodles have softened well.  Sprinkle with yasai fumi furikake and serve.

Note:  What is yasai fumi furikake??  Some of you have been asking me about it.  Yasai fumi furikake is a rice seasoning that consists of dried vegetables such as spinach, mustard greens, sesame seeds, and nori seaweed, as well as dried granules of egg yolk.  It sounds a little odd, but it's quite delicious and looks pretty when sprinkled on food.  It's really an optional thing in my recipes because I just use it as a little garnishing thing, so you don't need it if you can't find it, but it really does add a nice flavoring.

 

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Tom Yum Vegetable Soup

Yaaaaayyy!!  I got around to cooking tonight.  Things have been pretty hectic for me lately, but since I don't have classes on Fridays, I was able to cook something tonight.  Lots of veggies!  (Veggies are good for you, though.) This was sort of a "clean-out-the-vegetable-bin" sort of soup, which now means that I have to pick up produce at the store tomorrow.  I don't have time to go to Chinatown, however, so I'll just have to shop locally.

When I was rooting around the fridge this evening, I just had so many vegetables, and I had also forgotten to thaw out the red snapper I bought last week, so veggies it was!  I really had no idea how this was going to turn out, but I just tried to put together flavors that I thought would go well together and look kind of colorful with one another.  (It's sometimes nice when your food looks pretty.)  So I was pleasantly surprised when it turned out really good tasting.  I think it's that tom yum paste--whenever I use it in soups it tends to always taste good.  This soup does require a little more time (roughly about 60 minutes start to finish) because you have to cook the noodles and simmer the kabocha and satsumi-imo for several minutes, but cutting them in small pieces helps to make them cook faster.


Tom Yum Vegetable Soup

1-2 oz. shanghai noodles
1 c. good chicken stock
1/4 c. coconut milk
2 tsp. tom yum paste
1/4 satsumi-imo (Japanese sweet potato)
1 oz. kabocha (Japanese squash), seeded
1/2 leek
1 spring onion
1/2 in. diakon, pealed

Boil water in a pot.  Add the shanghai noodles and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until plump and cooked through.  Drain and rinse with cold water.  Using kitchen shears, cut the noodles into roughly 3 in. lengths.

Heat the tom yum paste in the pot until fragrant.  Add the chicken stock and coconut milk, and bring to a simmer. 

Dice the satsumi-imo and kabocha into roughly 1 cm cubes.  (I know this sounds like it takes a long time, but just start cutting them up while the noodles are boiling and you won't be wasting any time.)  Add the cubes to the soup base and simmer 5-6 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft when pierced with a fork.

Chop the leek into 1/2 in. strips and cut the spring onion into 1 in. lengths.  Add both to the soup and simmer 1-2 more minutes, or until the leeks are nice and green and cooked.  Chop the diakon in half (into two semi-circles), then slice into 1/8 in. slices.  Add to the soup and cook only for roughly 30 seconds longer.  Remove from heat.

To serve, put the noodles in the bottom of a serving bowl, and spoon the vegetables and soup over top.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Busy, busy, busy!!  Canned soup tonight.  I promise I'll have something delicious to share with yinz tomorrow!!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Well, Take Out Tonight. *sigh*

I didn't have the greatest day today (will not go into details) and I'm falling fantastically behind schedule and doing my very best to catch up.  Take out Chinese tonight.  For those of you in Brooklyn, when all else fails:  New Grace. 

Dumplings & Mixed Vegetables

I got lazy with this one.  I mean really, really, really lazy.  I've been absolutely swamped these last few days, and I just didn't want to deal with making an elaborate meal.  I didn't time myself, but I'm willing to bet I whipped this out in 20 minutes or so, but that's because I used frozen dumplings.  I've made homemade dumplings in the past, and they're delicious, but making dumplings at home is a pain and is definitely not something to do on a tight time schedule.  Homemade dumplings are something you do during the summer, or spring break, or over the holidays when you have time to be dealing with all of those little gyoza or wonton wrappers.  Let's face it, if you have time to be making dumplings during the college school year, then you probably aren't working hard enough.  Frozen dumplings really aren't that bad at all, and come in lots of different flavors and fillings, including beef, pork, shrimp, chicken, and vegetable.  They're quick and easy to just toss in a pan, and very easy to eat if you're doing something else at the same time.  In my opinion, you should always keep a package of frozen dumplings in the freezer for emergency situations or when you have no energy to be making a meal.  

Just because: when I was eating my dumplings, I accidently dropped one in my soy sauce, which in turn splattered all over my desk, sprinkling my shirt, and nearly (but didn't quite reach that far) my packaging piece I had spent all yesterday working on.  Note to self and everyone else:  be careful what you have sitting around you while you're eating.  Professors tend to not like soy sauce-splattered homework.  hee hee.

Laziness can be delicious!
Dumplings & Mixed Vegetables

Ingredients:

8 frozen dumplings (any flavor, but I used beef)
vegetable oil
1 carrot, pealed
several pieces of broccoli
1 spring onion
3/4 in. cucumber, seeded
1 Tbsp. oyster sauce
1 tsp. soy sauce
1/2 tsp. lemon juice
2 tsp. fish sauce
yasai fumi fuikake (optional, to serve - rice seasoning)
soy sauce (to serve)

Heat a little oil in a pan that has a tight-fitting lid, and add the dumplings.  Try not to let them touch each other.  Cook until the dumplings have browned on the bottoms.  Add enough water to cover the bottom of the pan by 1/8 in., then cover the pan with the lid.

Slice the carrot on the diagonal into 1/8 in. slices, the broccoli into chunks, the spring onion into 1 in. lengths, and the cucumber into chunks.

After the dumpling skins have turned translucent after 5-6 minutes, remove the lid from the pan and let the rest of the liquid boil away.  Remove the dumplings from the pan.

Add a little more oil to the pan, then add the broccoli and carrot.  Stir to cover with the oil, then add water and cover as you did to the dumplings.  Steam the vegetables 1-2 minutes until softened.  Remove the lid and add the cucumber and spring onion.  Saute 1-2 more minutes until everything has softened.

Mix together the oyster sauce, soy sauce, fish sauce, and lemon juice.  Add the vegetables and stir to coat evenly.  Cook one last 1-2 minutes until everything has been thoroughly cooked and the sauce thickens just slightly. 

Serve the dumplings with soy sauce and sprinkle the vegetables with the yasai fumi fuikake.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Chicken Teriyaki & Simmered Vegetables

Lately I've been really falling behind on my homework (not necessarily from cooking, though), so I've only really been eating two meals a day, usually skipping breakfast and wolfing something down for lunch.  For someone who's hypoglycemic, that's not so good, but I'm going to blame it all on school.  I didn't get really all that creative with this one since I didn't have much time to be cooking all that much in the midst of my desperate attempts to get caught up (and my first breakdown of the school year), so it's good ol' chicken teriyaki with lots of nice veggies in attempts to lift my spirits and get some energy for the long haul of senior projects I have to be working on.  I'm not sure about anyone else, but teriyaki can be a comfort food for me because it's salty, sweet, sticky, warm, and satisfying.  I just thawed out some chicken, pre-blanched asparagus spears, and rice package and threw some kabocha and satsuma-imo in a pot.  Not rocket science tonight, so this is a good hearty meal for when you're just not feeling up to snuff.   ...I work almost constantly, so I don't know how I have this lovely talent for falling behind!!!   T_T  *cries*


Chicken Teriyaki & Simmered Vegetables

1 chicken thigh, skin on
2 Tbsp. soy sauce (see Note)
2 Tbsp. sake (see Note)
2 tsp. mirin (see Note)
1 tsp. brown sugar (see Note)
3 asparagus spears, blanched (I had blanched and frozen a bunch yesterday, so I just thawed out 3 spears)
1/2 satsuma-imo (Japanese sweet potato)
1-2 oz. kabocha (Japanese squash), seeded
3/4 c. cooked rice, reheated if frozen or left over (I had a pre-measured frozen rice packet I made a while ago, so I just thawed that out)
sesame seeds (optional, to serve)

Note:  If you don't have all these ingredients for the teriyaki sauce or if you want to save a little time (by say, 30 seconds) you can use pre-made teriyaki sauce, but the homemade stuff tastes better.

Cut the satsuma-imo into 1/2 in. chunks and slice the kabocha into 1/4 in. slices.  Put both vegetables into a pot of boiling water and cook until soft enough for a fork to pierce easily.  Drain.

Cut the bone out of the chicken thigh (kitchen shears makes this a breeze, but you can use a knife if you like).  Heat a dry pan and add the chicken, skin side down.  (You don't need any oil if your chicken has skin on--the fat from the skin will provide well more than enough oil.  However, if you do happen to be using skinless chicken, you may need to add a little oil to your pan.)  Cook until the skin has browned, then flip over.  Cook until the bottom has browned, then flip the chicken back to skin side down.  Put a lid on the chicken and cook 2-3 minutes, flip the chicken over, put the lid back on, and cook another 2-3 minutes.

Mix the soy sauce, sake, mirin, and brown sugar.  Remove the lid from the chicken and add the sauce.  It should start to froth, but be careful to not let it burn.  Continue to cook the chicken, turning every 2-3 minutes until the juices from the meat are no longer pink and the meat is nicely glazed in the sauce.  Remove the chicken from the pan, but do not cut yet.

Cut the asparagus spears into four pieces each and add to the remaining teriyaki sauce in the pan.  Cook until the asparagus is thoroughly reheated/cooked and glazed in the sauce. 

Cut the chicken into four pieces.  Sprinkle the rice with sesame seeds.  Serve with the asparagus and simmered vegetables.  Pour the remaining sauce in the pan over the chicken and asparagus, if desired.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Chili Squid with Vegetables

Squid?  Eewwwww!!  Well, then you don't know what your missing.  Squid actually has a rather mild taste, but I'm willing to bet it's the concept of a slippery, squiggling, tentacle-ly invertebrate that gets people.  And, squid sounds expensive.  Well, I guess it could be depending on where you live.  I picked up a bunch of baby squid (already cleaned and ready to go) for only $3.80 a pound.  That's comparable to chicken, even.  I noticed that squid that weren't cleaned yet were $3.00 a pound, but seriously, I'll pay the extra 80 cents just so I don't have to deal with the skin, eyes, beak, and guts (although even cleaned squid might have some bits of gut left behind).  It cuts down on the preparation time by a lot, especially when you don't have much time on your hands.  If your squid does have some guts left in, yes, it's slippery and gross, but man-up and just pull it out!!  Then make sure you rinse everything out really well and peal as much excess membrane off as possible.  You also might need to take out the clear "bone" in the body/head/hood (whichever you prefer).  Trust me, though, it's all worth it because perfectly cleaned squid is delicious.

Squid delicious and cheaper than you would expect.
Chili Squid with Vegetables

1 baby squid, cleaned
3 asparagus spears
small handful of broccoli
1 spring onion
2 leaves boc choy
vegetable oil
1 Tbsp. sweet chili sauce (with or without garlic)
2 tsp. fish sauce
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp. lemon juice
yasai fumi fuikake (optional, to serve - rice seasoning)

Snap off the woody ends from the asparagus.  Simmer water in a large frying pan, then blanch the asparagus and broccoli until just softened.  Remove the vegetables from the water and plunge into ice water to stop the cooking.  (You certainly don't have to do all this work for 3 spears of asparagus.  I actually blanched an entire bunch of asparagus at once, freezing all the spears that I didn't use for this recipe.)

After you have thoroughly cleaned the squid, insert a knife into the hood and slice it open lengthwise, so that you can spread it out onto a cutting surface flat.  Score the squid in a checkerboard pattern, but be careful not to cut all the way through.  Then, cut the squid hood into six roughly equal-sized pieces.  Remove the long tentacles from the ball of tentacles, then cut the remaining ball of short tentacles in half.

Cut the spring onion into 1 in. lengths and the boc choy into roughly 1 in. square pieces.

Heat a little oil in the same pan you used for blanching (after you've dumped the water out), then add the squid.  Cook until the scored pieces curl up into tubes and begin to turn more opaque white.  Add the vegetables and cook for another 2-3 minutes, until the vegetables have softened.

Mix the chili sauce, fish sauce, lemon juice, and red pepper flakes.  Add this sauce to the pan and stir to evenly coat the squid and vegetables.  Cook an additional 2-3 minutes, or until everything is heated and sufficiently cooked.

Sprinkle with yasai fumi fuikake and serve.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Vegetable & Noodle Stir-Fry

My favorite TV show was coming on, so I whipped this meal out in 20 minutes (start to finish) because I was so hungry and I didn't want to wait another hour to eat.  (By the way, in case anyone is wondering what show, I'm a big fan of Ghost Adventures and the new episodes come on Friday nights on the Travel Channel.)  At any rate, I went into Chinatown this morning and picked up a bunch of fruit, vegetables, and fish--all for less than $15!  That's why I bother go all the way into Manhattan from Brooklyn:  the prices are good and, in my opinion, the produce is often much fresher than what I can get in the regular grocery store.  Except for maybe the cabbages... I always find the cabbage in Chinatown is wilted, so I pick that up at M2M.  This noodle stir-fry is very easy to make and is one of my "just boil the noodles, chop the veggies, and toss it together in a pan" meals that doesn't take very long.


Vegetable & Noodle Stir-Fry

Ingredients:

2 oz. shanghai noodles
2 dried shiitake mushrooms
1 scallion
1/2  leftover satsuma-imo (Japanese sweet potato - I had some left over from the Ginger Beef & Satsuma-Imo Bento recipe)
several small leaves napa cabbage
3 tofu puffs
small handful of canned bamboo shoots
vegetable oil
1 Tbsp. oyster sauce
2 tsp. fish sauce
1 tsp. shaoxing rice wine
yasai fumi fuikake (optional, to serve - rice seasoning)

Place the shiitake in a small bowl and add boiling water to cover.  Soak until the mushrooms are reconstituted, then squeeze out the excess liquid and slice into 3/8 in. slices.

Boil water in a pot and add the shanghai noodles.  Cook 4-5 minutes, or until soft and plump.  Drain and rinse with cold water.  Using kitchen shears, snip the noodles into roughly 3 in. lengths.

Chop the scallion into 1 in. lengths, the cabbage leaves into 1 in. squares, and the tofu puffs into 4 slices each.

Heat a little oil in a pan, then add the scallion, cabbage leaves, tofu puffs, satsuma-imo, and bamboo shoots.  Stir-fry 3-4 minutes, or until the vegetables are cooked.

Mix together the oyster sauce, fish sauce, and rice wine.  Add the noodles and the sauce to the pan.  Stir until well-coated in the sauce and the noodles are heated through.  Sprinkle with yasai fumi fuikake and serve.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Shrimp & Leek Miso Soup

Tonight I didn't feel like cooking very much, so I whipped up a bowl of miso soup with veggies I found in the fridge.  I had a leek in there, which is on the verge of starting to go bad, so I tried to start using it up, and I quickly thawed out some shrimp.  Leek, shrimp, diakon, and miso sounded really good in my head.  And it even sort of looks pretty.  But this turned out to be not one of my most flavorful soups.  I think I didn't like the acidic flavor of the diakon in the soup, and I've found out the miso and shrimp is not my favorite combination.  Good flavors, just not together in my opinion.  I should probably just make a good old-fashioned wakame and tofu miso soup to share with all of yinz.  Will do, but first I need to get my hands on some tofu!


Shrimp & Leek Miso Soup

Ingredients:

4 shrimp, pealed and deveined
1/2 leek (cut the leek down the middle lengthwise), well rinsed
1/2 in. diakon, pealed
2 dried shiitake mushrooms
1 1/4 c. water
1 tsp. dashi granules
2 tsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. sake
2 tsp. red miso (white miso will work, too)
sesame seeds (optional, to serve)

Put the mushrooms in a small bowl and cover with boiling water.  When reconstituted, squeeze the excess liquid from the shiitake and slice into 3/8 in. strips.

Chop the leek into 1/2 in. strips and the diakon into 1/8 in. strips.

Boil the measured water in a pot and add the dashi granules, soy sauce, and sake.  Stir to dissolve the dashi granules.  Add the leek and cook for 1-2 minutes until softened.

Add the diakon, shiitake, and shrimp to the soup and cook until the shrimp turn pink/red.

Add the miso and turn off the heat.  Stir until the miso has been dissolved.  Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.