Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Pumpkin Glutinous Rice Balls N Sesame Glutinous Rice Balls in Ginger Sweet Broth ...

 Glutinous Rice Balls that look like Quail Egg Ginger Sweet Broth with Rose

  With a touch of Zen - Stacking Zen Stone (Blessing  ...) 

 Pumpkin Glutinous Rice Balls N Sesame Glutinous Rice Balls in Ginger Sweet Broth ...  

22 December 2009 - Today is Winter solstice. Instead of having the traditional type, I created a different type of Glutinous Rice Balls Dessert.  Added sesame powder with sugar to the glutinous rice flour and the other one is with mashed steamed pumpkin ...  What did you have?

Friday, December 18, 2009

Merry X'mas and Happy New Year ...

Merry X'mas and Happy New Year ...
Enjoy and Have fun ...

Miso Soup with Mashed Tofu and Edamame

I really love what I read in Shojin Ryori Cuisine where the Chef would crush the tofu used for the miso soup. It is the unique aspect of Shojin cooking that is to emphasize the practice of equanimity.  Hence, I whip up this miso soup with crushed tofu and tell this to my kid.  What I cook miso soup now, I tend to remember this crushing tofu and the association with equanimity, so it is kind of a beautiful reminder ...  
Preparation:     5 mins, Cooking time:  15 mins  
Ingredients (serves 2-4)
°         8 dried kelps in knot
°         1  thin slice ginger (optional)
°         500ml water
°         100g silken tofu, mashed
°         ¾ -1 tablespoon miso paste
°         some edamame soybean, for garnish
°         finely chopped spring onion or coriander leaves, for garnish

1.      Place the dried kelps, ginger and water in a pot. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Remove from the kelps and ginger, if desire. Stir in edamame soybean, miso paste, mashed tofu and bring to a boil
2.      Ladle the soup into individual serving bowls, garnish with spring onion or coriander leaves and serve immediately.

Aonori Ko Aglio Olio

Aglio Olio is a real simple to whip up pasta dish and yet simply great.  The minced garlic lightly stir-fry in olive oil add a wonderful aroma and taste to it.  I like to make it real spicy using chilli padi or use dried chilli flake if I run out of fresh chilli padi.  I have a similar recipe Shell Pasta with Dried Chilli Flake that used dried chilli flake but for the above Aglio Olio, I added Anori Ko to add more nutrition values to it!

There are so many way to play with food like garnish it with julienne nori  and Shichimi Togarishi or garnish with Edamame soybean with black sesame seeds,  so have fun and create your own unique or fusion  pasta.

Nori Chazuke

I had a Nori Chazuke (Chazuke) from a Japanese Restaurant, which is rice topped with julienne seaweed and wasabi where you just need to pour in some clear broth before eating it. A simple dish and I tried to re-create it using Shojin Dashi (Vegetarian Dashi) broth.  In this recipe, I added chilli flake for garnish and just a piece of nori instead of julienne nori.  As for the mushroom and kelps from the Dashi stock, used them to make side dishes.
Preparation:     5 mins, Cooking time:  20 mins
Ingredients (serves 1)
°         1 bowl cooked plain white rice
°         wasabi, to taste
°         some julienne nori
°         some toasted sesame seeds
°         some matcha powder
°         some chilli flake (optional), for garnish

Vegetarian Dashi
°         10-12 kelps in knot
°         25g dried chinese mushroom
°         1 slice ginger
°         500 ml water
°         2 tablespoons light soy sauce

1.      Place the mushroom and water in a bowl and leave it to soak for 2-8 hours.
2.      Place kelps, ginger, mushroom and water from soaking the mushroom (strain) in a pot. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Remove the kelps, ginger and mushroom. Season to taste with light soy sauce.  Ladle vegetarian dashi into a tea pot.
3.      Place a bowl of rice on a serving plate or bowl, top with nori, sesame seeds, wasabi, mataha powder and chilli flake and serve with the vegetarian dashi.

Potato and Cucumber Salad with Peanut Sauce

I like the Peanut Sauce that comes with the Vegetarian Satay that I got from Friendly Vegetarian Food Supplier.  Since there was some Peanut Sauce left, I decided to have whipped up something similar to the Indonesia dish - Gado Gado.

I steamed a potato (peeled and diced), sliced some Japanese cucumber and with some vegetarian Tapioca cracker (or papadum) and use the peanut salad as dipping sauce.  This is just one of the many ways to enjoy potato, if you like peanut sauce or not allergic to peanut.  Potatoes are not just great for any meals but are also good for you and your body.  It is loaded with a good amount of vitamin C, potassium, fibre, antioxidants, with a low calorie count of 110, yet zero fat and cholesterol!

p.s:  Vegetarian Tapioca Cracker goes well with the peanut sauce, and it adds some texture to this dish! Limit the intake or omit this for a more healthy meal.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Funori Jelly a.k.a Algae Essence Jelly

Algae Essence Jelly with Macha Soy Milk Dessert  ...
Algae Essence Drink with Ice Jelly Powder added to create a firmer texture ...
Algae Essence Drink with Fresh Lotus Seeds ...
I  bought a pack of Algae Essence (300g± @ S$5.50) from Friendly Vegetarian Food Supplier and make this jelly.  The ingredients listed are Algae, Longans, Red dates, Dark Brown Sugar.  If you want to know how this taste likes, it is exactly like winter melon drink from Yeo's or the traditional birdnest drink that was very popular in the Pasar Malam in the past (we still can find this drink in some of the Pasar Malam). 
Algae Essence (300g± @ S$5.50)

Algae Essence block (300g±)
I like making Jelly for colleagues and family members (not that I love jelly) because it is super simple and simply great. It can be made in advance and keep in the refrigerator up to a week. A small piece of chilled jelly after a meal, is so refreshing and kids love it too.  For this jelly, my young man does not really like it, as it contains Red Dates bits in it.

It is real simple to make this jelly even kid can do it.  Instead of following the instruction of using 5 litre of water, I used 2.5 litre of water to boil the Algae Essence block.  After chilling it, it becomes wobbly jelly and the sweetness is just nice.  You can also break the Algae Essence block up into smaller pieces (to speed up cooking) prior to throwing into the water and bring to a boil. Add ice jelly powder to it, if you want a firmer version jelly.

You can serve this as jelly or combine with other ingredients to make it into a beautiful and special dessert.  For a quick and no-fuss, simple and fun to serve, I added Macha Soy Milk to it.  It helps to give this dessert a contrasting color and also to create unique, random design or pattern. You can serve with Nata De Coco cubes or fruit cocktails, just like the ice jelly dessert.

If you want to taste this and not wanting to cook it, purchase the read-made jelly from the Vegetarian or Organic Eateries.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Carrot Cake with Mock Floss

Lately, there are lots of dishes using Floss - Chicken Floss, Pork Floss! Look like it is another way to market the product - FLOSS!  I chance upon this recipe - Meat Floss Carrot Cake (non-vegetarian) and modified the recipe to make a Vegetarian Carrot Cake with Mock Floss.

This is a long neglected food and is not too difficult to whip up at all and I love to add lots of ingredients to it. Other way to garnish this Carrot Cake is to drizzle some sweet soy sauce and sprinkle some sesame seeds or chopped chilli, with some Japanese Spring oil shreds and shichimi, or with some crispy shallot and chopped spring onion, or with chee cheong fun sauce and sesame seeds ...

Preparation:     15 mins, Cooking time:  25 mins 

Ingredients (makes 8 pieces)
°         200g radish weight after  peeling, diced
°         50g carrot weight after peeling, died
°         4 chinese dried mushroom, soaked and sliced
°         150g rice flour
°         1 tablespoon corn starch
°         1 teaspoon salt or to taste
°         pepper to taste
°         ½ teaspoon sesame oil (optional)
°         500ml water
°         1½ tablespoon oil

°         some mock floss
°         few coriander leaves
°         ½ fresh chilli, sliced

1.      Combine the rice flour, corn starch, salt, pepper and sesame oil with 250ml of water. Mix well and stir into a smooth batter.
2.      Heat oil in a wok. Throw in the radish, carrot and mushroom and stir fry for 1 minute. Pour in 250ml of water and bring to a boil.
3.      Off the heat and pour in the batter. Stir till the batter turn thick and transfer to a steaming container and steam for 25 minutes. Let it cools. Top with mock floss, garnish with coriander and chilli. 

Steamed Vegetarian Fish with Enoki Mushroom

Ideal for busy people who have little time to spare preparing meal especially during weekday. For this dish, the emphasis is more on the natural food like tomatoes and mushrooms, which is a little different from my earlier version of Steamed Vegetarian Fish. It required very little and simple seasoning. You can opt to sprinkle sesame oil after steaming, if desired.  

Preparation:     7 mins, Cooking time:  8 mins
Ingredients (serves 2)
°         1 vegetarian fish slice
°         2 tomatoes, cut into 4 wedges
°         100g enoki mushroom, base trimmed
°         2 thin slices ginger, finely shredded
°         1 teaspoon sesame oil
°         1/4 teaspoon salt or to taste
°         1-2 mini dried Chinese mushroom (optional), soaked
°         coriander leaves and chilli/wolfberries, for garnish

1.      Arrange the enoki mushroom, tomatoes, vegetarian fish, ginger shreds, mushroom ion a heatproof serving plate.
2.      Sprinkle salt, oil and steam for 8 minutes.
3.      Garnish with coriander, chilli and serve immediately.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Silken Tofu with Wasabi

For kid - without wasabi ... 
I read about Goma-dofu (Sesame Tofu) - a special dish where the tofu is made using sesame paste and kuzu powder (Japanese arrowroot potato). It is served with dashi and wasabi.  So, I replace the sesame tofu with silken tofu and serves with dashi and wasabi.

Preparation:      10  mins,  Cooking time:         5 mins

Ingredients (serves 2)
°         1 tube silken tofu (250g), steamed or blanched, drained well cut into six sections
°         wasabi
°         some roasted sesame seeds (optional), for garnish

Quick Dashi Sauce
°         45ml water or dashi stock
°         1½  teaspoons sugar
°         1½  tablespoons light soy sauce
°         7.5ml cooking rice wine (optional)

  1. To make the sauce: add 30ml water with sugar in a pot and bring to a boil. Stir in cooking rice wine and light soy sauce.
  2. Place the tofu on individual serving plates and pour in dashi stock.
  3. Top with wasabi, sprinkle some sesame seeds on it and serve.

French Beans Salad with Miso Tofu Dressing

Simple and fun to serve as side dish or salad! Omit tofu and replace with oil if desired.  Add few shreds of carrot for a colourful presentation.

Preparation:      10 mins  Cooking time:   5 mins

Ingredients (serves 2-4)
°         150g French bean, trimmed, cut into small section and blanched
°         Some sesame seeds and chilli flakes or shichimi for garnish

Miso Tofu Dressing
°         100g silken tofu
°         ½ tablespoon miso paste or to taste
°         1/3 - ½ tablespoon sugar or to taste  
°         Few drops of sesame oil (optional)

1.       Combine the miso tofu dressing ingredients in a bowl. Mix and mashed well.
2.       Add in the French beans and mix well. 
3.       Garnish with sesame seeds, chilli flakes or shichimi and serve. 

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Simple Gomoku Gohan (Japanese One-Pot Mixed Rice)

I had GOMOKU YASAI KAMAMESHI  @ Miyako and decided to re-create it. Well, this is like Gomoku Gohan (five ingredients mixed rice) cooked using dashi stock. To skip the process of making dashi stock, I added the ingredient for shojin dashi (fish free stock for vegetarian) which consist of shiitake and kombu plus the carrot to the rice and cooked together.

Replace chicken with king oyster mushroom or add vegetable like burdock root, bamboo shoot to it, if desired.  The light green shiraganegi (Japanese-style spring onion) thinly sliced would be the classic garnish which can impact flavour and visual appeal to this rice dish.  I had added a little too much of spring onion for garnish, reducing it a little would make it more presentable.

Kids would like this too … Serves with miso soup, pickles and few side dishes to make a complete meal set.

Preparation:     15 mins  Cooking time:            15 mins

Ingredients (serves 2)
°         200g rice, washed and drained
°         450ml water
°         4 chinese dried mushrooms, reconstituted and diced
°         25g carrot, peeled and shredded
°         10 kelp in knot
°         3 tablespoon light soy sauce
°         1 tablespoon cooking rice wine (optional)
°         ½  tablespoon sugar or to taste

°         some coriander leaves or spring onion shreds 
°         sesame seeds and chilli flakes or shichimi (optional)

1.      Combine all the ingredients into an electric rice cooker, mix well and turn it on.
2.      When done, leave the cooked rice to rest, covered, for 5-10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and garnish with coriander leaves or spring onion, sesame seeds and chilli flake or shichmimi and serve hot.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Watercress Miso Soup

Yes, it can be so simple and yet delicious. Add udon or rice vermicelli to this, you have a bowl of noodle soup.
Preparation:     8 mins, Cooking time:  8 mins  
Ingredients (serves 2)
°         100g watercress
°         500ml water
°         1 slice ginger
°         Miso to taste
°         Some sesame seeds or chilli flakes or wolfberries, for garnish

1.      Place the ginger and water in a pot and bring to a boil.
2.      Add in watercresss and season to taste with miso.
3.      Ladle the soup into individual serving bowls and garnish with sesame seeds or chilli flakes or wolfberries.
4.      Serve immediately.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Sandstorm Snack ...

Sandstorm Snack  
The original is just a simple glutinous rice ball but I shaped it to be like a cube after pressing the round glutinous rice ball at six sides to look like a mini cube. Then boil in boiling water (steam it, if desired) and place on a plate of glutinous rice flour (toasted in the oven) to coat it.

Lastly, into the Macha Peanut Coating and giving it after a sandstorm effect!
Hmmm … cooking can be a creative activity if you want it to be, so just unleash your creativities and imagination…. Have fun! 

Macha Peanut Coating ...
Kinako (soybean powder) coating is a basic ingredient for Warabi Mochi. And there is a different variant – Macha Kinako Coating,with green tea powder added to it (other spices like cinnamon can be used). Since I don’t have soybean powder in the kitchen, I used grounded peanut powder to make Macha Kinako Coating which is not as delicate and fine comparing to soybean powder …

From Essentially Japanese Cooking & Cuisine, Mattcha-kinako coating recipe – Mix 1 teapsoon mattcha (grean tea powder), 20g sugar and 15g kinako (soybean powder)

Winter Solstic Dessert ...

Abacus Shape Glutinous Rice Ball with grounded peanut powder …

 Mini Glutinous Rice Cake with Azuki Bean (stuff it in, if desired ...)

Sprinkle or sift some macho powder on it ...  
I am not a big fan of Glutinous Rice Ball or Dessert and why are there so many postings related to it?

Just that I haven’t got bore with photographing these mini creations using the ingredient glutinous rice flour. And I find that dessert and snack can be made more interesting with slight modifications that do not required lots of work or cost a bomb and yet can be served in a small portion to enhance a bento set or as a beautiful snack in any party menu.

Simple ingredients like glutinous rice flour which are not costly at all and yet it can be use to make mochi, mua chee, glutinous rice ball, kueh etc. With different ingredients added and methods used, it can make into different desserts/snacks with many different variants.

Must Winter Solstice Dessert which is the traditional glutinous rice ball be round (round shape symbolize 团圆), of standard size, in red and white colour, in sweet soup or coated in grounded peanut powder?

In fact, it can be unique and different … I have few other ingredients in mind that I wanted to test out when I am free …  It is quite fun, mixing the flour with water and shaping those tiny little balls and throwing them into boiling water and seeing them floating … sound like Clay Therapy …

So, be daring, create a new Winter Solstice Dessert this year and maybe a different one for every other year! 

Macha Peanut Coating! 
Kinako (soybean powder) coating is a basic ingredient for Warabi Mochi. And there is a different variant – Macha Kinako Coating,with green tea powder added to it (other spices like cinnamon can be used). Since I don’t have soybean powder in the kitchen, I used grounded peanut powder to make Macha Kinako Coating which is not as delicate and fine comparing to soybean powder …

Friday, December 04, 2009

Vegetarian Siew Mai ...

I just like the combination of a piece of coriander leave and just one wolfberry for garnish. Simple yet it makes a big different to the food. I saw this in a beautiful food photo of shark’s fin dish and therefore try it out on instant vegetarian siew mai which I bought from Friendly Vegetarian Food Suppliers – 25pcs for S$5.

You just have to steam them and place on a small white porcelain plate use for sauce or arrange in a row on a oblong plate, Next, just place coriander leave and reconstituted wolfberry on it (kid can help out with this).  That’s!  

Frozen Vegetable Dumping

Served in Sauces Plate with Mushroom Broth and garnish with coriander and wolfberries ...  

Served in a Chinese Tea Cup with Mushroom Broth, mini dried mushroom, wolfberries and coriander ...

Various presentation ... 

Frozen Vegetable Dumping 450g @ S$2.50
Yes! This is instant vegetarian food and with simple food presentation, it can look beautiful and use that for buffet or party food for a no-cook.

I got this from Friendly Vegetarian Food Supplier – 1 pack (450g) for S$2.50 (Product of Taiwan by Chimei). 

Macha Soy Milk with Azuki Bean ‘N’ Glutinous Rice Ball

I passed by MOF Japanese Sweets & Coffee and saw a dessert that uses Macha, Azuki Bean and Rice Cake, it is something like red bean in macha soup with few oblong rice cake (looks like mochi or glutinous rice cube). It was too early and the eatery hasn’t open yet. So, I decided to re-create it when I reach home.

I had some red bean soup in the refrigerator anyway and I scoop out the red bean and add them to the soy milk with added matcha powder. Then, I add one traditional glutinous rice ball to it (which I think I had made it a little too big for a well balanced presentation in a Chinese Tea Cup). Shape it into a cube, if desire.

It is served in a traditional Chinese tea cup and just the right portion for a small dessert. So, if you think Red Bean Dessert or Red Bean Dessert with Glutinous Rice Ball is boring. You can give it a twist, just like this or create a totally new combination … 

Azuki Bean ‘N’ Mini Glutinous Rice Cake Desset

Adding Glutinous Rice Ball to Red Soup Bean is not something new … I change the size and shape of the glutinous rice ball. Make it into a mini cube, if desired.

Recipe for Azuki Bean or Red Bean Soup and Traditional Glutinous Rice Ball can be found in this blog. 
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