Bibimbap

Posted September 30th, 2015 in Food | No Comments »

bibimba4

Surviving school holiday?  I put my 4-year-old to a school swim program but going to a pool everyday with a 1-year-old is starting to give me a headache :-{  My 4-year-old can’t swim yet and 1-year-old wants to dip in the water too, so I have to be in the water splashing around with 2 boys.  After a quick shower we head home and have lunch, and surprisingly they don’t sleep at all at home so it’s been full-day-with-2-boys this week.  I need some stamina to keep up…!

Bibimbap was one of the food that came to my mind.  I just wanted to mix up the meat, veggies, rice & gochujang chilli and eat all up with a glass of chilled green tea.  Sounds nice in a hot day doesn’t it.

“Bibimbap –  it’s a Korean dish where meat, assorted vegetables and fried egg are placed over steamed rice.  You mix everything up as you eat, and though it looks messy that’s how it’s supposed to be eaten.  Usually gochujang (Korean chilli paste) and/or sesame oil is added, but I serve this dish to my kid without any extra sauce.”

I wrote a recipe for bibimbap here before, and I’d say that is more standard way to eat bibimbap as it has kimuche on it.  I love kimuche, especially in summer.  I crave for spicy food in hot days!

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There are so many kinds of bibimbap and you can make endless variations to this dish depending on your preference and dietary requirements.  I must say this is my favorite Korean dish and I often order one at yakiniku restaurant in Japan. 🙂  I love the one with tobiko (frying fish roe) in a hot stone bowl (ishiyaki-bibimbap) but when I make at home I make everything simple.

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On this recipe I didn’t use kimuche (simply because I didn’t have it in my house) but it turned out to be a family friendly dish.  Extra gochujang chilli for adults.

 

bibimba

 

Beat the heat with chilli!

<Bibimbap>  serves 1

  • 1 cup of Steamed Rice
  • 1/2 cup of Beef mince
  • 1/2 cup of Bean-shoot & carrot, shredded
  • 1/2 cup of Broccoli
  • 1/4 cup of Green beans, shredded
  • 1 Egg
  • minced garlic, sesame oil, gochujang chilli paste, soy sauce, sake

 

  1. Beef mince :  Heat 1/2 tablespoon of oil in a frying pan, and cook beef mince over high heat with 1 teaspoon of minced garlic.  Add 1 teaspoon of Sake and 1/2 teaspoon of soy sauce, and cook until the meat is done.  Drizzle sesame oil.
  2. Bean-shoot : Blanch bean-shoot & shredded carrot.  Drain well.  Mix with 1 teaspoon of minced garlic and drizzle with sesame oil.  Season with salt.
  3. Broccoli : Blanch broccoli florets.  Drain well.
  4. Green beans : Blanch beans.  Drain well.  Shred.
  5. Egg : Fry an egg to your liking.
  6. Serve : Place steamed rice in a serving bowl.  Top with beef, bean-shoot&carrot, broccoli and beans.  Place fried egg on top.
  7. <optional> Sprinkle with sesame seeds, and serve with gochujang chilli paste.

 

 


Easy Maze-Gohan with Tinned Salmon

Posted June 17th, 2015 in Food | No Comments »

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of the things I used to do on my free-time was standing in the kitchen alone wondering what I can cook, and making whatever came to my mind.  But these days I’m finding it’s hard to spot my “free” time and I can hardly stay in the kitchen alone with two little ones nagging for food or play.  It really stresses me out sometimes, because I want to cook something for them which is nutritious and with variety of ingredients, but on the other hand if preparation takes long then they will start drag me out from the kitchen.

Here is one of my life-saving recipe.  Maze-gohan is seasoned rice with variety of ingredients.  Different from takikomi-gohan, maze-gohan is plain steamed rice mixed with cooked ingredients (where takikomi-gohan is cooked rice with ingredients and seasonings).

Maze-gohan … plain steamed rice + cooked & seasoned ingredients
Takikomi-gohan … uncooked rice + raw ingredients + seasonings cooked together

salmon-cha-han

 

This maze-gohan with salmon is a hit for my 1-year-old too.  The dish is done in 10 minutes. 🙂

<Maze-Gohan with Tinned Salmon>  serves 3~4 kids

  • 95g Tinned Pink Salmon in springwater, drained
  • 1 portion of Frozen Chopped Spinach, defrosted
  • 1 Egg
  • 2 bowls of Steamed Rice
  • 1 teaspoon Sesame Oil
  • 1 teaspoon Soy Sauce
  • White Sesame Seeds to sprinkle

 

  1. Heat a frying pan, and spray oil.
  2. Cook salmon and spinach, stirring, for 1~2 minutes.
  3. Beat egg in a small bowl, and pour into the frying pan.  Stir using chopsticks or wooden spatula to scramble.
  4. Drizzle sesame oil, and season with soy sauce.  Sprinkle sesame seeds and turn off the heat.
  5. Mix with steamed rice.

You can add small amount of oyster sauce or more soy sauce if you like.  I use leftover cooked rice from day before; warm up the rice in the microwave before mixing with salmon.  You can cook this salmon first (while your kids are taking nap or watching tv) and keep in the fridge.  When they are hungry, just mix with warm rice and done!

 

 


Takikomi Tomato Rice

Posted August 14th, 2014 in Food | 1 Comment »

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Tomato rice, often used for omelet-rice (omu-rice), is usually made with cooked rice, chicken pieces, some vegetables and tomato sauce in a frying-pan, just like stir-fried rice.  We call the rice “chicken rice”, and I love it even without a thin omelet wrapper.  The problem with cooking this rice is that sometimes the rice becomes bit mashy while stir-frying, and you have to have cooked rice to make this.  so, when you feel like omelet-rice, you first need to cook rice then stir-fry with other ingredients.

I hate mashy rice.  Especially with Japanese rice (medium to short grain rice).  It’s soggy, soft and has no texture that I love about rice.

So these days I often make this “chicken rice” in a rice cooker.  You don’t need to stir-fry in a pan as a rice cooker will do all the work.  It’s easy, time saving, and less washing to do!

The basic ingredients are medium (or short) grain rice, chicken thigh pieces, onion, carrot and sauces, but this time I made it with prawn & chopped bacon instead of chicken.  Yum!!

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I added spinach in this recipe.  You can modify this with any vegetables at least you add the correct amount of rice and sauces.

<Recipe>

  • Rice 450g
  • Tomato Sauce  4 table spoons
  • Oyster Sauce 1 teaspoon
  • Stock Cube 1 (vegetable or chicken) or 1 teaspoon
  • Frozen Chopped Spinach 1 portion
  • Chopped Carrot 1/4 cup
  • Chopped Onion 1/4 cup
  • Chopped Bacon 1/4 cup
  • some prawns, no shell, heads and tails

 

  1. Wash rice.  Level the rice in a rice cooker.  Add sauces and stock cube.  Add water to the level marked “3”, or you point your finger down inside the rice cooker, add water to the first line of your finger.
  2. Add other ingredients.  Level the surface.
  3. Turn on the cooker.

 

You should leave the lid of rice cooker closed for at least 10 minutes after the rice is cooked.  Mix the rice through within 30minutes after cooking to let the excess steam escape.

Serve with or without thin omelet, and enjoy!


Dry Curry Soboro – OmuRice Style

Posted September 21st, 2012 in Food | 2 Comments »

The title might have confused you….   the dish looks like this  ↑↑↑

Juicy dry pork curry over steamed rice with fluffy thin omelet.

Serve it on a large plate then people can dig in….   Great for kids party too.

Make omelet fluffy – not over-cook it.  Soft and runny egg goes well with curry 🙂

I used zucchini, but you can use broccoli, capsicum, peas, or eggplant instead.

 

<Dry Curry Soboro> serves 3~4 people

  • Pork Mince 500g
  • Onion 1/2
  • Carrot 1
  • Zucchini 1/4
  • Ginger & Garlic, minced, 1 tsp each
  • Soy Sauce 1 tsp
  • Mild Indian Curry Powder 1/2 tsp  (adjust to  your liking)
  • Oyster Sauce 1 tbs
  • Tomato Sauce 1 tbs
  • Salt & Pepper (optional)
  • 3 Eggs
  • Milk 1 tbs
  • Steamed Rice (to serve)

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  1. Chop onion, carrot and zucchini.
  2. Heat a frying pan and add oil.  Saute onion, carrot, ginger and garlic for a couple of minutes.  Add pork and zucchini.  Pour soy sauce over the meat, and cook until the colour of the meat starts to change.
  3. Add curry powder, oyster sauce, tomato sauce and 1 tablespoon of water.  Simmer until the liquid is almost gone and all the juice is absorbed.  Set aside.
  4. Heat a wide frying pan with oil.  Beat egg lightly with milk, and pour into the pan to make soft omelet.
  5. To serve :  Scoop some steamed rice (hot) on a large serving plate.  Place the omelet on top of the rice, and scatter the dry curry over.  Serve immediately while hot.

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Kayaku Gohan

Posted July 18th, 2012 in Food | 2 Comments »

As you may know, Japanese people eat lot of rice.  Nowadays they don’t eat as much as they used to, but rice is still a must-have food for most people there.

I was raised in a typical Japanese family who eat rice for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  My grand parents had rice fields (now my dad’s inherited them), so rice was always there in the kitchen.  Because of that, I also became a person who needs to eat rice everyday – at least once a day.  Otherwise my body doesn’t feel right.

Here in Perth, Japanese rice is so expensive.  They are available at Nippon Food and other Asian grocery shops, but I’ve only bought a discounted bag with broken packaging before.  I usually just use Sunrice medium grain rice.  It’s cheap and ok.  I sometimes mix mochi-gome (mochi rice = sticky rice) to the medium grain when cooking so that the rice becomes more like Japanese rice; sticks together. I like the mochi-mochi texture.

Kayaku-gohan is steamed rice with various ingredients and seasoning cooked together.  I must say it’s one of my favourite food.  I can go several bowls at once!

You can find abura-age (fried bean-curd) in freezer section at Asian grocery shops.  Konnyaku is usually in the fridge, or sometimes sold at room temperature on the shelves.

<Kayaku Gohan>

  • Rice medium grain 3 cups
  • Mochi Rice (sticky rice) 1/2 cup
  • Chicken Thigh 50g
  • Carrot, small 1
  • Konnyaku 1/2 pack
  • Abura-age 1/2 sheet
  • Shiitake mushroom, dried 2 〜3
  • Ginger 1 small block (about 10g)
  • Soy Sauce 2 tbs
  • Sake 1 tbs
  • Mirin 1 tbs

  1. Soak dried shiitake in 1/4 cup of water for 30 minutes.  Keep the shiitake water.
  2. Slice chicken, carrot, konnyaku, abura-age, shiitake, and ginger into small pieces.
  3. Place them in a sauce pan with the shiitake water, another 3/4 cup water (so 1 cup total), soy sauce, sake and mirin.   Bring to gentle simmer and cook for 10 minutes over low heat.  Leave to cool.
  4. Place washed and drained rice into a rice cooker.  Level the surface. Scoop the chicken and vegetables and place on top of rice – level surface – to cover the rice.  Add the stock from “3” to the rice cooker.
  5. Add more water to adjust : I always use my finger to measure the water amount when cooking rice.  Place your index finger 90° to the rice, and add water up till the first line on your index finger.
  6. Turn on the rice cooker.  When rice is cooked, leave at least 10 minutes before serving.

Enjoy!


Teriyaki Spam Onigiri

Posted May 20th, 2012 in Food | No Comments »

Little onigiri (rice balls) with teriyaki spam.  I made them in nigiri-sushi style.

To be honest, spam is not my favorite meat.  But considering that it is a long-life food and can be always available at the pantry, I’d say it’s very easy snack to prepare anytime you want to eat.

Using spam is cheap too.  I’m saying this because it is actually nicer to use ham steak instead of spam.  Ham’s got better texture and juiciness (to me).  But, ham steak is more expensive than a tin of spam, and again, spam can be available in the pantry anytime.  So here is teriyaki spam onigiri.  If you like spam then this is a perfect snack for you (?!).

The key is the teriyaki sauce.  Caramelize the sauce until spam is shiny!

<Teriyaki Spam Onigiri>  makes around 10 – 12

  • Spam 340g tin x 1/2
  • Soy sauce 1 tbs
  • Mirin 1 tbs
  • Steamed rice (cooked & warm) 1.5 ~ 2 cups
  • Nori sheet to decorate

  1. Slice spam into 5mm thick squares.
  2. Spray oil in a frying pan, and grill the spam both sides until coloured.  Remove excess oil with kitchen paper, if there is any.
  3. Pour soy sauce & mirin into the pan.  Cook over low-medium heat until the sauce thicken and the spam is shiny.
  4. Divide steamed rice into 10 – 12, and shape into flat balls.  Place spam on top of rice, then decorate with nori sheet.

Now they are ready to serve!

Onigiri always goes with Japanese tea.  I accompanied my spam onigiri with hot barley tea.

I served spam onigiri with seafood yakisoba.  D & I love yakisoba!  It’s not as oily as Chinese fried noodle (people say it’s rather dry though 😐 ) and sprinkle of bonito flake (katsuo-bushi) and ao-nori powder gives the final touch 🙂


Beef & Tofu Donburi

Posted November 2nd, 2011 in Food | No Comments »

This is one of my favorite donburi dish – beef and tofu.  It is just like beef donburi (gyu-don), with tofu.  Normally, firm tofu is used in cooking as it’s more likely to hold its shape than soft silken tofu, but I love the silky smooth texture of silken tofu and I used it in this recipe.

Donburi is like Japanese version of fast food.  Make it in one pot, and eat it all together with rice.

Mix them up and eat it like a man!

<Recipe> serves 2

  • 200g beef, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 brown onion, small
  • 100g silken tofu (Japanese)
  • 1/4 tsp dashi stock powder
  • 1 cup water
  • 1.5 tbs sake (cooking wine)
  • 1 tbs sugar
  • 1.5 tbs soy sauce
  • red ginger, chopped spring onion, steamed rice to serve

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  1. Slice onion.  Place beef, onion, water and dashi stock in a sauce pan, and bring to gentle simmer.
  2. Place tofu on your left palm, and drop into the pan as you slice.  Add sake, sugar and soy sauce.  Turn the heat to low, and simmer for about 5 minutes.
  3. Pour the beef mixture over steamed rice.  Garnish with red ginger and spring onion.

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Onigiri Breakfast

Posted September 23rd, 2011 in Food | 4 Comments »

Since my friend told me that her kids eat either toast or onigiri (rice balls) for breakfast, I’ve been having a craving for onigiri!  Why not eat onigiri in the morning?  I ask myself.  Sometimes I wake up with empty stomach and onigiri may be a good food to eat for breakfast to fill me up.

There are many many fillings and flavors for onigiri you can find in Japan.  The typical ones include umeboshi (pickled plum), katsuo (seasoned bonito flakes), konbu (seasoned seaweed), and sha-ke (cooked and seasoned salmon), and unique ones include pork katsu, raw fish roe, sweet azuki bean paste, cheese, yakisoba, kimuchi, and natto.  I like these onigiri with fillings in the centre, but also love origiri which the ingredients mixed with rice (mazekomi-onigiri).  My favorite mazekomi-onigiri is shake-wakame (cooked & seasoned salmon and wakame seaweed).  Yummmmm!  Onigiri is usually triangle shape so that you can get to the filling in the centre on each bite from any angle.

People make onigiri in different ways : some use hands, and other use plastic wrap.  I use my hands because that’s how my mum used to make onigiri for me 🙂  It may get messy, but is the original way to make onigiri.  You will need a bowl of water to dip your palms each time you make each onigiri otherwise the rice sticks to your palms.  Here is a short video of how to make triangle onigiri by hands:

This time I made onigiri with katsuo filling in the centre, and wakame & goma (roasted sesame seeds) mazekomi-onigiri.  I’ve also posted few onigiri recipes here and here.

<Onigiri  > makes 6

  • 1.5 cup short or medium grain rice
  • salt

katsuo onigiri :

  • 5g bonito flakes
  • 1tsp soy sauce
  • seasoned nori sheet (you can use non-seasened one, if you like)

mazekomi onigiri:  (for about 1 cups cooked rice)

  • 1 tsp dry wakame
  • 1 tsp roasted white sesame seeds
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  1. Cook rice according to pack instructions. (with just water) Stand it for about 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, mix bonito flakes with soy sauce, and set aside. In another bowl, soak wakame in little amount of water (about 1.5 tbs). When the wakame absorbs the water and becomes soft, drain and chop up. Mix with sesame seeds and salt, and set aside.
  3. Prepare a bowl of clean water, a bottle of salt (e.g. table salt), shamoji (a flat rice paddle), seasoned bonito flakes, wakame, and seasoned nori sheets next to steamed rice. (hot)
  4. Wet your hands and sprinkle salt over the palms. Scoop about 1cup of rice and place on a palm. Quickly make a hole in the centre, and place the filling (seasoned bonito flake) inside. Shape the rice into triangle, and decorate with nori sheets. Make two more.
  5. Mix the leftover rice with wakame mixture. Wet your hands, and scoop 1/3 f the rice into a palm. Shap the rice into triangle. Repeat to make two more.

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* You can use plastic wrap to shape onigiri instead of using your hands. The rice is pretty hot, so it may burn your hands if you do the shaping too slow.

If you are using plastic wrap:

Place about 20cm x20cm plastic wrap on the kitchen bench.

Spray water on the surface of wrap, and sprinkle salt. Place about 1 cup of rice and make a hole in the centre.

Place the filling inside the hole, and close the 4 edges of the wrap together and shape the rice into triangle over plastic wrap.

* Onigiri doesn’t have to be in triangle shape. Make them in ball or square too.

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Black Sticky Rice Porridge

Posted July 15th, 2011 in Food | 4 Comments »

This Asian style sweet porridge is one of my favourite winter sweets.

I normally eat it warm, but it can be eaten at room temperature or chilled.  It is usually eaten with dash of coconut cream.

You can cook this in a slow cooker or in a deep pan, just like making congee.  Adjust the amount of water to achieve right consistency.

It should be thick in consistency.  The chewy black sticky rice is so juicy and delicious 🙂

I added fresh persimmon to it, and the combination was lovely.  With seasonal fruit and eating it warm or chilled, this sweet pudding can be served all year round!

<Black Sticky Rice Porridge>

  • 500g black sticky rice (can be found at Asian grocery shops)
  • water to soak the rice
  • 2L ~ water
  • 3 tbs ~ palm sugar
  • a pinch of salt

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  1. Wash the rice thoroughly and soak in water for about 2 hours to overnight.
  2. Put the rice, salt, sugar and 2 L water in a deep pot on high heat until water boils, then lower it to the lowest heat your stove can do. Stir constantly.  Simmer.
  3. When the liquid is almost gone, check the rice – if it’s still too hard, add more water to it.  Keep during this until it achieve the right consistency.
  4. Serve with coconut cream.

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Creamy Curry Pilaf

Posted May 23rd, 2011 in Food | 2 Comments »

I made this creamy curry risotto to accompany the spicy roasted chicken which I picked up from a poultry shop.  It’s very easy to make, and delicious ♪  I think you should try this!

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<Creamy Curry Pilaf> serves 2

  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • 4 green beans, chopped
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 10cm spring onion stalks, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1.5 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 50ml cream

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  1. Heat 1 tbs of olive oil in a large frying pan.  Saute onion, garlic, and curry powder until fragrant.
  2. Add green beans, tomato, and rice.  Stir, and pour chicken stock.  Bring to gentle boil, and turn down the heat to simmer for few minutes, until the liquid is almost gone.
  3. Stir in cream, and season well.  Remove from the heat, and serve on a plate.

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