Aug 10, 2015

How to make Braised Radish (Daikon no Nimono)

Daikon no Nimono 大根の煮物 is one of my favourite radish dishes. It's a flavourful side dish that goes well with rice. I've always wanted to learn how to make it. Thanks to Tjin Tjin, I managed to get the recipe for this dish. The following recipe is my adaptation of the original recipe from the NHK website.



Ingredients needed

  • Half a Daikon/ Radish
  • Rice
  • Water
  • 6g of Bonito Flakes
  • 3cm by 5cm of Kelp
  • 1 tablespoon of soya sauce/ shouyu
  • 2 teaspoons of mirin

TIP
Depending on your preference, you can adjust the amount of soya sauce. My version is not as salty as the Japanese version.

Method

Rice water
1. Wash the rice.

2. Collect the water that has been used to wash the rice. I used the water that was used for the second and third rinse. Ensure that the volume is enough to cover all your daikon pieces when you boil them.

Dashi
1. Boil water.

2. Add bonito flakes and kelp into the boiled water and continue to boil the mixture.

3. Sieve out the contents, leaving the dashi soup.

Daikon no Nimono
1. Boil the rice water.

2. Peel off the skin of the daikon and cut it such that they are about 2-3cm in thickness.

3. Cut a cross across both sides of the cut daikon.

4. Add the cut daikon pieces into the boiling rice water. Boil till the daikon becomes softer.

5. Pour away about half of the rice water.

6. Add the dashi soup to the mixture.

7. Add soya sauce and mirin to the mixture.

8. Continue to cook the mixture for about 30 minutes.

And it is ready to serve~

May 10, 2015

How to make Pan-fried Scallops with Crispy Toppings

While queuing to take photographs with Rie Fu (Japanese singer who sings many famous anime songs, including Gundam Seed Destiny, Bleach etc), ah.. I sidetracked... anyway, while queuing up, I saw this video which is on loop in the JCC Library. It is a cooking programme sponsored by Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (Japan) [MAFF, for short], which shows how we can whip up many simple yet delectable dishes using Japanese agricultural and fishery produce.

And I was deeply attracted to the Herb Roasted Scallops recipe by MFAA. That led me to buy scallops from the supermarket on my way home, and the rest is history... tada...



Sidetrack: Most of my images hosted on this blog are linked via my facebook albums... so when facebook decides to change the links, my images get de-linked... :( Pardon for the disappearance of my images.. It will take time to restore them...

Based on the available ingredients & equipment (or lack-of, I do not have any oven) at home, I combined Gordon Ramsay's recipe with MAFF's recipe, to create the above Pan-fried Scallops with Crispy Toppings.

Here's how I did it:

Ingredients needed

  • Scallops
  • Cooking oil
  • Pepper
  • Salt
  • Butter
  • 1/2 clove of garlic, chopped
  • Wholemeal Cracker Crumbs ( 2 - 3 crackers)
  • Chopped Spring Onions
  • Parsley

TIP
The original recipe uses breadcrumbs. As I did not have breadcrumbs at home, I substituted with wholemeal cracker, which I pounded to make crumbs.

Method

Scallops
1. Season the scallops with salt and pepper.

2. Heat up the frying pan. Ensure that it is hot.

3. Add cooking oil.

4. When the cooking oil is heated, add the scallops in clockwise directions. Pan-fry each side for about 1.5 to 2 minutes.

Watch the video below for Gordon Ramsay's instructions:


Toppings
1. Melt the butter in the frying pan.

2. Add the chopped spring onions and garlic.

3. Add pepper for seasoning.

4. Add the wholemeal cracker crumbs. Stir and mix well.

To Serve
1. Add the toppings on the scallops. Add parlsey as garnishing to serve.

There you go~ Pan-fried Scallops with Crispy Toppings.

I will try with breadcrumbs the next time.

Hope you like this dish!

Dec 19, 2014

How to make Carbonara Pasta

If you would like to try making the carbonara pasta from scratch and not from using the readymade sauce sold at supermarkets, then do try out this recipe. This recipe is based on the Creamy Bacon Carbonara recipe from The Recipe Critic.

I always make carbonara pasta after making the non-bake oreo cheesecake, as I would have a leftover of 750ml of whipping cream. Ah.. sorry for sidetracking~

Back to the recipe~ Here's the successful product. I have made several attempts before achieving the creamy texture. Be careful not to get the scrampled-egg-like texture.


Carbonara Penne

And here's how to do it:

Ingredients needed

  • Penne
  • Boiling Water
  • 1 cup of Whipping Cream
  • 1/3 cup of Parmesan Cheese
  • A pinch of salt
  • A pinch of pepper
  • Onion Slices
  • Mushroom Slices
  • Bacon Slices (thick cut & thin cut)
  • Cooking oil

TIP
You can replace penne with any pasta of your choice.

Method

Bacon
1. Fry the bacon slices.

2. Fry the thick cut bacon slices until they turn crispy on the sides. These will be stir-fried with the other ingredients.

3. Fry the thin cut bacon slices until they turn very crispy. This will be for the toppings.

Penne
1. Add a pinch of salt and a few drops of cooking oil into the boiling water.

2. Add penne to the boiling mixture and cook for the duration that is stated on the pasta packaging. Stir at times to prevent the penne from sticking to each other.

3. Drain the penne from the mixture.

Carbonara Sauce
1. Mix the whipping cream, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper together.

Carbonara Penne
1. Add cooking oil to the frying pan.

TIP
Though maybe not as healthy, but nevertheless very delicious... try to replace the cooking oil here with 2 to 3 tablespoons of the oil retrieved from frying the bacon slices.

2. Add onion slices and fry them till slightly brown.

3. Add mushroom slices and bacon slices (thick cut) and stir-fry them.

4. Add penne and stir-fry the mixture.

5. Add the cabonara sauce mixture, and stir-fry at low heat.

TIP
Here's the most tricky part. Remember to use low heat. And stir continuously to prevent the mixture from clumping together. Else it will end up looking like scrambled eggs instead.

6. Serve, and topped the carbonara penne with thin cut bacon slides.

And there you go~ Carbonara Penne made from scratch.



How to make Soya Sauce Chicken Wings

My parents have been lamenting that I seemed to cook primarily Japanese dishes, though they prefer Chinese cuisine. So, I heed their advice and decided to check out the recipe collection at the National Library. And I got my hands on this book 《懒人最爱:电饭煲美食》. This title really speaks to me as I really like fuss-free, simple recipes. Rice cooker dishes are great, as we normally just have to prepare the marination or the sauce mixture, and then we just need to dump all our ingredients in the rice cooker, and viola~ the dish is done. And of course, without compromising on the taste too.

The recipe I picked from the book is 香菇焖鸡翅 Soya Sauce Chicken. I varied the recipe to achieve the taste that the family likes: Juicy, savory, but not too salty.

And here's the eventual product:



And how I achieve it:

Ingredients needed

  • 10 Chicken Mid Joint Wings
  • Onion slices
  • Ginger Slices
  • Mushroom Slices
  • 45ml of Chinese Rice Wine
  • 30ml of Dark Soya Sauce
  • 15ml of Light Soya Sauce
  • 50ml of Water (for soaking)
  • 50ml of Water (for cooking)
  • Pepper (to taste)
  • Sugar (to taste)
  • Sesame Oil
  • Cooking oil

TIP
If you can replace the chicken mid joint wings with winglets, that will be perfect. But of course, you will need to adjust the quantity of the wings to match the sauce mixture. Try not to use drumsticks/ drumlets though. They don't taste as good. And that's speaking from experience.

Method

1. Mix chinese rice wine, dark soya sauce, light soya sauce, 50ml of water, sesame oil, sugar and pepper together.

2. Soak the chicken mid joint wings in the mixture. Leave it in the refrigerator for at least an hour.

3. Add cooking oil and sesame oil to the rice cooker.

4. Add the ginger slices, onion slices and mushroom slices into the rice cooker.

5. Add the marinated chicken mid joint wings into the rice cooker.

6. Add the marination mixture into the rice cooker.

7. Add 50ml of water into the rice cooker.

8. Cook for about 30 minutes.

9. Serve~

There you go... Isn't it very simple and easy~

Dec 13, 2014

How to make Ebi No Umani 日本版的醉虾

Thanks to JETAA Singapore, I have learnt 3 new Japanese recipes (^_^). Thanks, Keiko-san, for teaching us these recipes!

This year's cooking workshop focuses on osechi, which is a set of special dishes that Japanese make to welcome the New Year. There are many types of osechi, and for this workshop, we learnt 3: Kouhaku Namasu 紅白なます,Ebi No Umani 海老のうま煮 and Chukuzen Ni 筑前煮.

Ebi No Umani 海老のうま煮, somewhat reminds me of a Chinese dish, Drunken Prawns 醉虾, so that perks up my interest to learn how to make this.



I revised the given recipe, to make dashi soup from raw, instead of using powder.

Here's how to make the Japanese version of Drunken Prawns 日本版的醉虾:

Ingredients needed

  • 8 Prawns
  • 500ml of Water
  • 4cm by 3cm of Kelp
  • 6g of Bonito Flakes
  • Boiling water
  • 30ml of Sake/ Rice Wine (for soaking)
  • 50ml of Sake/ Rice Wine (for cooking)
  • 100ml of Mirin
  • 1 toothpick


Method

1. Cut the tips of the prawns' heads and tails slightly.

2. Using the toothpick, poke through the shell at the second or third segment of the prawns' bodies, and pull out the dark veins.

TIP
Compare and contrast the above deveining of prawns with the Chinese method. For the Chinese dishes, we will slit the back of the prawns using a knife and then pull out the dark veins.

3. Soak the prawns in 30ml of sake.

4. Add boiling water to the mixture, just enough to cover the prawns. Leave it for 10 minutes.

5. To make dashi soup, add kelp and bonito flakes to 500ml of water. Once it boils, and the mixture turns brownish, sieve out the kelp and bonito flakes to retrieve the dashi soup.

6. Add 100ml of mirin and 50ml of sake to the dashi soup. Stir well while cooking the mixture. Cook the mixture till boiling point.

7. Add the prawns into the above mixture. Cook for 2 minutes.

8. Serve the prawns dry.

TIP
This dish is meant to be served when cooled, so it would be good to make this dish first before others, so that it has time to cool down.

There you go, do you find any similarities and differences between Ebi No Umani and Drunken Prawns?

Hope you enjoy the Japanese version of Drunken Prawns as much as I do. (^^) Bon appetit~

Other recipes of homemade Japanese food which you may like to try:


Dec 11, 2014

How to make Teriyaki Salmon

This is an improvised recipe which I learnt in JETAA cooking class last year. The recipe was originally for the making of teriyaki chicken toppings for the teriyaki chicken pizza.

After several attempts to perfect the taste, here's the recipe for teriyaki salmon. I could proudly say this is one of my most confident dishes, at least, taste-wise. It is not easy to capture a beautiful shot though.



Ingredients needed


  • Salmon fillet with skin
  • Cooking oil


TIP
Give some cuts to the salmon fillet so that it will be cooked faster.

Teriyaki Sauce

  • 100ml of Mirin
  • 15ml of shouyu/ light soya sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar


Method
1. Mix the ingredients for the sauce.

2. Add the salmon fillet into the mixture, and leave it in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours.

3. Add cooking oil and lightly pan-fry the salmon fillet (skin facing downwards).

4. Add the mixture that the salmon fillet is marinated in, and sauteed till cooked.

TIP
Be careful not to overcook the salmon fillet.

5. Ready to serve~

There you go, a very simple recipe for teriyaki salmon.

Other recipes of homemade Japanese food which you may like to try:

Jun 20, 2014

Managed to get your hands on the first 嵐 event in Singapore?

Arashi 嵐, my favourite JPop group, is finally coming to Singapore... on the big screen.

Nevertheless, this is the first time Johnny's has held an 嵐 event in Singapore.

"I hope the Shaw server can take the traffic..."

And then the battle for the tickets for the public screening for 嵐ワクワク学校 (Arashi Waku Waku Gakkou) starts this afternoon.

12.01pm logged on to Shaw Website.
- keeps hanging, keeps refreshing -
12.20pm managed to select seats.
12.21pm OMG! I was kicked out by the system! I was already at the payment stage!!!
12.24pm Keep refreshing. 嵐ワクワク学校 page is not appearing.

Verdict... 嵐ワクワク学校 tickets sold out in 24 minutes?!



***Fortunately, Lady Luck was smiling upon my two friends... 托他们的福,我也得了一票!***

Wonder if Shaw will add another screening? It is really lucrative. A theatre's worth of $50 each tickets sold within half an hour.

Wonder what the battlefield will be like if 嵐 ever has an event in person in Singapore. Will the tickets be sold in seconds regardless of price???

Nevertheless, I'm looking forward to watching 嵐 on the big screen! :D 楽しみ!