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Showing posts from May, 2007

Bento #13

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::: Today's bento menu :::
Creamy korroke
Simmered homemade fish cakes with cai xin

I've just finished my lunch, and I feel like I am about to burst at the seams. While packing the 3 korrokes, I was regretting not being able to put in more. Thank goodness, I didn't. Those korrokes are really filling.

Creamy Korokke

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While checking out some of the bento blogs, I came across this interesting entry about korokke making. From what I have read, korokke is the Japan-ised version of the western croquettes. Our little cherub loves anything that is fried with coated breadcrumbs, so I thought maybe I would try to introduce this to her. It is also a popular item for bentos, but I doubt it would stay crispy that long.


This recipe is from The Japanese Kitchen but I made a few substitutions to it. It was surprisingly simple to make, except for the frying part which is usually a messy business. Instead of using the panko breadcrumbs, I used homemade breadcrumbs which were finer, hence there were no crispy shards on my korokke. The korokkes has a tinge of sweetness on it, which puzzles me as I didn't add any sugar to it. Hmm....Anyway, once they were out of the fryer, my little cherub couldn't keep her hands off them. Let's take a smell taste first ...
Let's take a poke now!

Simmered Eggplants

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As mentioned in my previous post, this is the Simmered Eggplants which is now our favourite dish.
After that post, I bought the another bottle of soy sauce hoping to make better tasting simmering liquid. But, alas, this bottle of soy sauce is so salty and my eggplants needed lots of rice to go with them!

I'm going to get a low sodium soy sauce the next time round.

Omelette rolls

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Back to my The Japanese Kitchen.


This is my first attempt at the omelette rolls. The recipe was suppose to make only one roll, but I decided to split into 2 rolls instead cos it seems too thick just midway through. Maybe my pan is just too small.

I'm not entirely happy with my rolls as the first came out trianglar in shape and the second though is the right shape but the yolks and white were not mixed properly.


So practice and more practice!

Bento #12

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::: Today's bento menu ::: Mushroom omelette Cherry tomatoes with salad cream (in orange container beside omelette) Rice with salmon pre-mix
Today's bento is another simple, last minute thingy. Please excuse my poor photo quality as this was taken with my handphone.
In a moment of weakness, I bought 3 Japanese bento books from Kinokuniya over the weekend. Cool, isn't it? Oh, by the way, did I mention that I can't read Japanese? What a bummer! But still I am willing to pay for those interesting inspirations from those colourful pictures. I'm a cookbook addict, remember? (^.^)

25 Only?

I'm currently browsing through the copy of The Kitchen Detective by Christopher Kimball. For those not in the know, he is the founder of Cooks' Illustrated magazine which has churned out many wonderful books such my copies of Baking Illustrated, Soups & Stews and Italian Classics. I love their books for one simple reason: each book is jam packed with tons of practical tips and information in their discussions preceeding each recipe.

So what's up with this book then?

I chanced upon this small section that has a header which reads "All You Really Need Is Love and 25 Good Recipes" and it goes on to say that cooks now suffer from recipe overload and ought to shed all those recipes that have accumulated, save for 25 really good ones and prefecting them over time.

Hmm.... I wonder which 25 recipes I would choose if put to task?

By the way, I'd have to ask Hubby if he mind eating the same 25 dishes over and over again until I'm able to nail down a satisfactory v…

What's In My Kitchen?

NYTimes ran an article about what are the bare basic equipment a cook needs to do real cooking. I have to admit that I too tend to secretly envy those chefs on TV with fanciful kitchenware at their disposal. Just sit down to an episode from Nigella's cook show and tell me that you are not envious.

But after reading the NYTime article, I realised that my kitchen is not as badly equipped as I imagined after all. Or should I say that my kitchen is more equipped than this cook can handle?

Let's take a look at what I have in my kitchen.

~ KNIVES ~
8-inch Global chef knife
8-inch brandless chef knife
Brandless bread knife
Brandless fillet knife
Brandless chinese cleaver
Brandless paring knife
Brandless multi purpose knife
2 KAI Japanese vegetable knives
Brandless Japanese sashimi knife (bought last night!)
3 kitchen shears (1 KAI, 2 brandless)

~ BAKING ~
KitchenAid stand mixer
Oven thermometer
Instant read thermometer
24-inch Pizza pan
Jelly roll pan
12-cup muffin pan
8-inch round cake pan
8-inch sqaure …

Bento #11 - Utilitarian Bento

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Although the concept of bento is every bit Japanese as Mount Fuji, I feel that whilst applying the basic rules of building a bento box, the contents of it is almost anything goes.
Don't eat strictly Japanese? Just pack whatever odds and ends of leftovers sitting in your fridge. Don't have time for smiley faces on your rice dumplings? Cover them with nori or sprinkle some black sesame on it. Don't own cute little bento boxes? Any container will do. There are people out there putting a bagel into a used CD spindle. Lunch for techno geeks? But be forewarned that once you start bento-ing, all the boxes and all the accessories will accumulate.I find that my style of bento-ing thus far, and also my cooking in general, has been that of a utilitarian (ie. aiming for what's useful and practical rather than attractive). Add that with zero creativity, I think I am a bento recipient's nightmare. Despite that, I have to admit that I find bento-ing, or what I think it is, very en…

What's Zen?

I thought I was quite certain of what the word Zen means. When I was renovating my little apartment, my contractor peppered her sales pitch with Zen looking, Zen feel, Zen touch, etc. Okay, so I gathered that Zen living must be the oriental version of spartan (ie simple and severe with no comfort) living. Well, I stand corrected.

Recently, I picked up a book entitled Zen Vegetarian Cooking. Finally, the last piece of the puzzle fell into place. Zen is actually a form of Buddhism which developed in Japan and Zen cooking is actually temple cooking (shojin ryori) practiced by the Buddhist monks. Thank you very much, I just checked the dictionary.

The book doesn't have an attractive colour for its cover, please excuse my shallowness, and even the picture on the cover was so passe. But since reading about temple cooking from Japanese Women Don't Get Old or Fat, I just had to take a glimpse in it.

I think my copy is rather old as the pages are turning a tinge of yellow at the corners. …

Bento #10

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::: Today's bento menu :::
Homemade teriyaki chicken wings
Store-bought kimchi
Rice balls wrapped in nori
Tomato wedges

Another hastily thrown together bento, which failed the colour citeria again. Haven't been in much mood to pack bentos as I have been feeling rather under the weather recently. Hope I am not catching something! (T_T)
Over the Labour Day holiday, I made teriyaki sauce. The recipe calls for 8 wings to give it a jumpstart in the flavour department and the wings ended up in my bento today.