Chicken Hearts

Posted February 1st, 2017 in Food | No Comments »

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While I was in Japan I used to eat many parts of chicken including hearts, liver, and gizzards, especially at yakiniku and yakitori restaurants.  I love chicken hearts and gizzards as they have texture when biting.  Chicken hearts used to come with chicken livers when I shopped at a butcher near my house back in Japan.  Although I don’t hate livers, I used to pick only hearts to eat as they are chewy, and my family used to complain about it.

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When cooking livers and hearts we normally cook them with only ginger, soy sauce and mirin.  Ginger helps to remove any distinct smell that meat may have (though hearts don’t really have any gutsy smell), and the sauces give teriyaki-style sweet and salty flavour to the dish.  It really goes well with steamed rice!

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And here in Perth, I found chicken hearts and chicken gizzards at local Woolworths.  I had to buy those. (and they’re super cheap)

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How to cook… you will need:

  • Chicken Heart … 500g
  • Grated Ginger … 1 teaspoon
  • Soy Sauce … 1/8cup
  • mirin … 1/8cup

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  1. Place a frying pan over high heat and spray oil.  Cook hearts (out from the package) for 3 minutes.
  2. Add ginger, soy sauce and mirin to the pan.  Cook over medium heat until the sauce reduces and get caramelised.  Turn off the heat.
  3. Serve with steamed rice!

Mochi Ice Cream

Posted January 29th, 2017 in Food | No Comments »

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If you love Japanese snacks you may have tried Yukimidaifuku – ice cream covered with thin mochi skin.  I used to eat it while I was in Japan, especially in winter.  “Yuki-Mi” literally means “watching snow”, and this ice cream used to be on the shelves at the shops during the winter.  Now you can find it through a year.

I haven’t seen Yukimidaifuku around Perth for awhile, but today I bought a similar product from Spudshed in Jandakot.

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They are in the ice cream isle, and few kinds of flavours’re available.  Vanilla, green tea, black sesame, coconut… I forgot to take a photo. :p

Black sesame and coconut flavours were on sale and it was around $3.90, so I bought a box of black sesame. I couldn’t leave vanilla so I bought a box of those too.

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There are 5 individually packed mochi ice cream inside a box.  The original price was around $5 so they are bit pricy, but if you love mochi and ice cream I’d say you should try one.


Korokke

Posted January 4th, 2017 in Food | No Comments »

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Do you have heaps of potatoes in the kitchen?  Do you fancy of crispy fried snack?  Then look no further!  Korokke (croquette) is the dish you are after.  They can be your afternoon snack, light lunch, or even a side dish to accompany steamed rice and miso soup with special Korokke sauce. 🙂

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Korokke are deep-fried potato cake coated with panko (bread crumbs). All the coatings are same as katsu – plain flour, egg wash, and Japanese bread crumbs.

Here are the recipe :

<makes about 10)

  • 3~4 large potatoes
  • 1/2 large brown onion
  • 200g beef mince
  • plain flour to coat
  • 1 or 2 egg
  • panko (Japanese bread crumbs) to coat
  • oil to fry
  • sauce to serve (see below)

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1.

First, peel the potatoes and cut into pieces so they cook quickly.  Place in a large pot with water to cover, then cook over high heat until the potatoes are soft.

Meanwhile, chop the onion, and sauté in a frying pan with 1 table spoon of oil.   Add beef and cook.  Season with salt and pepper.

Drain the water from the pan of potatoes, and place the potatoes back into the pot.  Mash the potatoes and add the onion and beef.  Mix well.  Season to taste.

 

2.

Once the potato mixture is cool enough to handle, shape them into balls then flatten the centre.

Place flour and panko in a separate shallow plate.  Beat egg, and place in another shallow plate.

Coat the potato cakes with flour, shake the excess off, then dip in the egg wash.  Quickly place into the plate of panko to coat.  Repeat with the remaining.

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3.

Heat oil in a deep pan or a frying pan.  Deep-fry the korokke until golden.

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Korokke snowman ….  Just wanted to get a feeling of snow/cold as it’s 41 degrees today here in Perth!!!!

To serve:

Korokke are usually served with tonkatsu sauce, Worcester sauce, or tomato sauce.  Or just as is.  You can make a imitated tonkatsu sauce by just mixing tomato sauce & Worcester sauce (1:1).  Add Japanese mayonaise if you are mayo-lover!


An Dango

Posted November 13th, 2016 in Food | No Comments »

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Here in Perth it’s Spring and the weather has been strange – hot day, then rainy day, then cloudy day then again hot day! Hmmm I know Summer is just around the corner but I am not really looking forward to these scorching hot days..

Today was a hot day, and usually I would take my kids to the park in the early morning or to the swimming pool but we had someone come over to fix the garden today so we stayed home. Staying home with 2 kids means lots of food preparation. To combine the “cooking” and “playing”, I involved them in cooking and this is one of the things we made together – dango.

I love dango – I love the chewy texture! In Japan we normally use “shiratama-ko”  or “joshin-ko ” to made dango, but I do not have neither at home. Instead, I stock up this rice flour from Coles.

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Erawan Glutinous Rice Flour. It has to be this green package! It’s just over $2 a packet and so easy to make sticky dango snack.

The recipe is roughly measured, so please adjust the amount of water. And, I mixed tofu to the mixture this time, but you don’t need tofu if you don’t have. Just water and this flour is fine.

<recipe> makes around 20

• Erawan Glutinous Rice Flour … 1 cup

• Tofu (silken or momen) … 50g

• Water … around 1-2 tablespoon

Anko (or some alternative shown below)

 

  1. Drain the tofu from water, then wrap with kitchen paper. Microwave for 30 seconds ~ 1 minutes. This drains more water from tofu.
  2. Place flour into a bowl. Add cooled tofu, then smash the tofu and mix well.  Add water bit by bit to adjust the consistency of the mixture. It should be as firm as your earlobes.
  3. Boil water in a deep pan. Shape the mixture into small balls (1.5cm) then press lightly in the centre to flatten a bit. Drop the balls into boiling water.  Once the balls start to float, count 10 seconds then take them out of the water, and then drop them into a bowl of cold water.
  4. Drain the dango. Skewer them onto toothpicks, then place anko on top.
  5. Enjoy ♬

 

I made koshi-an (strained smooth Anko) but you can just buy a can of Anko from Asian grocery store, or you can eat dango with kinako (sweet soybean flour) or sweet soy sauce (Japanese soy sauce + sugar).   It’s all up to you!

 


Tempura Soba (Prawn & Vegetable Tempura)

Posted January 10th, 2016 in Food | 2 Comments »

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A summer staple food in Japan – cold soba noodle with dipping sauce.  Great to eat in a hot day!

There are few different types of noodle you can use for this “cold noodle + dipping sauce” dish.  Soba, udon, somen, and chu-ka noodle.  What are the differences?

Soba is made of buckwheat, and is grey-ish colour.  Somen is very thin white Japanese noodles made of wheat flour, less than 1.3 mm in diameter.  Udon is a type of thick wheat flour noodle.  Chu-ka noodle is egg noodle which is often used for ramen.

At my house in Japan I used to eat udon a lot.  I seldom ate soba while I was in Japan (and now still) – I’m not sure why it is, but I guess it’s because people near Kansai in Japan eat more udon than soba noodle for some reason.

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Here in Perth I got some cha-soba noodles from a local Asian shop.  Cha-soba noodles are soba noodles made from buckwheat and wheat flour with the added ingredient of fresh green tea leaves.  You can smell green tea aroma from the noodle and they are really refreshing.

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To accompany cha-soba noodles, I made some kakiage (mixed vegetables tempura) with chopped prawn.   If you have tempura flour it’s super easy to make, but even if you don’t, it’s not that difficult.

Here is the recipe for prawn kakiage:

<Recipe> makes about 10 kakiage

  • prawn (no shells & heads) … 1/2 cup
  • chopped vegetables (I used onion, zucchini) … 1/2 cup
  • plain flour … 3 tablespoons
  • corn flour … 1 tablespoon
  • salt … 1/4 teaspoon
  • water … 50ml (or adjust the constancy)

 

  1. Chop prawns.
  2. Mix flour, salt and water in a mixing bowl. Add the prawns and vegetables and stir.
  3. Heat oil in a shallow frying pan (about 3 – 5cm) to 170℃.
  4. Using two spoons, carefully drop the tempura mixture into the oil.  Fry over medium heat for both sides.
  5. Serve with cooked cold soba noodles.

 


Bûche de Noël

Posted December 23rd, 2015 in Food | No Comments »

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It’s that time of the year again!  It’s a time to express our love to family and friends, time to reflect on the past year, a time to set new goals for the upcoming year….  I wish 2015 was a great one for you.  Mine was great 🙂 Not many posting on Umeboss this year though… so it will be one of my goal for 2016 “write more posts for Umeboss”.

This month has been an event-full one for me : lots of cake-making, a family trip to a town of dolphins Bunbury, my son graduating kindergarten and family gatherings.

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After making these 4 huge cakes for my son’s Japanese kindergarten’s Christmas party, I had some leftover of sponge and whipped cream in the fridge.  Then I remembered when I was little I used to make this cake Bûche de Noël for Christmas.

Bûche de Noël  is the French name for a Christmas cake shaped like a log, and is a traditional dessert served near Christmas, especially in France.  It’s fairly easy & fun to make.  I used to just buy a Swiss roll cake from a store, and cover with whipped chocolate cream.  I loved the decorating part – making the pattern resembling skin of log using a folk, and place these “kinoko-no-yama” chocolate on top.

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It was a fun “cooking” as a little girl, and tasted good too 🙂

You may find this chocolate “kinoko-no-yama” in Perth too, (Korean version maybe available as well) but I didn’t even want to go out to buy extra ingredients for the cake – I just wanted to make now!  So here it is;

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Very simple 😀
It actually should have a Holly leaves as a decoration, but I substituted with mint leaves and M&M….   Some “kinoko-no-yama” on top and side of the log would look much nicer, I think.

You used leftover sponge for this, but you can buy a Swiss roll cake from store (like I used to do) and cover with whipped chocolate cream.  Place the cake in the fridge to set the cream (about 15 minutes) then draw a pattern using a folk.  Then, you will have a lovely0looking Christmas cake for yourself.  Please try!

 

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!


Bibimbap

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

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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.

 

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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.

 

 


Melville Matsuri 2015

Posted September 27th, 2015 in Food, Perth WA | 4 Comments »

I need some opinions please!!

 

Melville Matsuri is happening very soon and we are getting busy to sort things out. Food seems to be the high interest for people, as I received several questions about food.

What food do you expect to see at the Japan-themed festival?

So far, we have Takoyaki, Japanese curry, Japanese-style sausage sizzle, Rice balls, Rice burgers, Japanese cakes, Japanese sweets Wagashi, and Kakigouri (shaved ice).  Do you think they’d be enough?

In Japan, people expect to see Takoyaki, Yakisoba, Okonomiyaki, Crape, Grilled squid (Yakiika), Grilled corn (Yaki-toumorokoshi), Kakigouri … so on…   I wish there is a stall selling Yakisoba at Matsuri but so far no Yakisoba.

Anyway I hope the event will be a successful one!

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Potato Mochi

Posted September 1st, 2015 in Food | No Comments »

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Fun of chewy mochi-like food?  I am!  That’s why I do Bagel business, haha.

I made this for my 1 year old son, but it’s a great snack, really.  I just couldn’t stop munching!

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The key to make it chewy is mixing the potato mixture very well until it’s sticky.

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<Potato Mochi> makes 20~30 small ones

  • 2 Potatoes (about 300g)
  • 1/2cup Grated tasty cheese
  • 2tablespoons Corn flour
  • 2tablespoons Japanese mayonnaise
  • few drops of Tomato sauce

 

  1. Peel the skin of potato, and boil until soft.  Drain, and mash while hot.  Add cheese.
  2. Mix well.  Add corn flour, mayonnaise and tomato sauce.  Mix very well!  Season with salt to taste if needed.
  3. Heat a frying pan and spray oil.
  4. Shape the potato mixture into small flat coin shape, and grill in the pan over low heat.  When the bottom is coloured, flip over and cook another side.  Repeat with the rest.

 

 


Chicken Teriyaki Mayo Donburi

Posted August 24th, 2015 in Food | No Comments »

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This has been one of my regular dinner menu at home.  My family loves it, and it’s always a pleasure to see empty bowls after meal.

I’ve written few teriyaki recipes here, including spicy chilli version, salmon teriyaki, teriyaki spam onigiri, and teriyaki squid, but I realised I haven’t written the basic recipe for chicken teriyaki!  It’s so easy to make – and serving as donburi means less clean-up as everything is placed in a bowl 😉

After eating this, mayonnaise will be your best buddy whenever eating teriyaki chicken!

 

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<Chicken Teriyaki Mayo Donburi> serves 3~4

  • 4fillets (about 500g) Chicken thigh (recommend skin-on)
  • 3tablespoons Mirin
  • 1tablespoon Sugar (I used raw sugar)
  • 1tablespoon Sake
  • 3tablespoons Soy sauce
  • 2 Egg, boiled
  • 1cup Bean shoot (←optional)
  • 1cup blanched Spinach to garnish
  • steamed rice & Japanese mayonnaise to serve

 

  1. Heat a frying pan, and spray oil.  Grill chicken over high heat to colour both sides.
  2. Wipe any excess oil from the pan using kitchen paper.  Add bean shoots to the pan, and stir-fry.
  3. Meanwhile, place mirin, sugar, sake, and soy sauce in a small pan, and bring to gentle boil.  Simmer until it thickens slightly.
  4. Serve rice in donburi bowls.
  5. Place bean shoots over rice, using a tong.
  6. Place chicken into the sauce, and then place over the rice.  Drizzle extra sauce if required.
  7. Garnish with halved boiled egg and spinach.  Sprinkle sesame seeds.
  8. Enjoy with Japanese mayonnaise!