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Showing posts from April, 2010

Rounding Up 2nd "Cooking The Cookbooks"

I'm quite glad that I have started this little project to focus on one cookbook a month, and am beginning to think that I a genius. Yes, I get carried away at times. With so many cookbooks to choose from, the task of looking for one recipe for dinner can be a needle-in-the-haystack job. Just by confining myself to one cookbook makes me look harder for recipes which are (1) new; (2) interesting; and (3) really do-able.

Choice Of Book

My little princess loves all the recipes coming from this book, so needless to say that it is a good choice. The cooking methods are very straight forward and fuss free. There are very good pictures for illustration which makes this non-Japanese literate person able to cook from a Japanese cookbook.

Favourite Recipe

I think it is a tie between the freeze dried tofu (高野豆腐) and the soy sauce pork slices (しょうが焼き).

Last Thoughts

Japanese cooking is really straight forward and healthy. I find that I am very comfortable with this style of cooking and eating.

8 reci…

Last Installment of 2nd "Cooking The Cookbooks"

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I am really reluctant to put an end to cooking from this book, but I realised that I am starting to look at other cuisines. Japanese food is good, but the chilli-heads tend to get neglected. In between cooking from the book, I had to injected Vietmanese Rice Rolls and Thai-style Beef Salad just to spruce up my life.

If you are wondering why the Thai-style Beef Salad didn't make an appearance here, it was because it wasn't really a picture perfect, but tasted good. It will make a comeback on my table again, hopefully this time round I will be able to take a snap.

With this book, I have tried new ingredients such the kouyadofu (freeze dried tofu) and hijiki (brown sea vegetable). I ate hijiki when I was in Tokyo and love the taste of it. I just did a look-up on the Internet on hikiji and guess what I found? That health agencies have issued a warning against the consumption of this seaweed for the high level of inorganic arsenic. OMG! I ate a whole bunch last night!

ひじきの煮物 Stewed hij…

Mummy & Daddy By Princess

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Daddy and Mommy
What you are looking at are actually drawings done by my little princess princess in school while waiting for me to pick her up. She handed me the scraps (look at the torn edges) when I finally turned up at her school gate and pointed happily who is who. A few thoughts crashed into my half-dead brains immediately.

Firstly, my picture has a house for a backdrop. Secondly, I am wearing pants while the Daddy wears a ... sarong? Thirdly, we are all smiling. And lastly, my portrait has ears but not the Daddy's.

After pondering on it for a few moments, I think I have reasonable explanations for these innocent and subtle differences. But then again I am no mind reader and can only speculate what is the image of us that she sees in her mind's eye.

My picture comes with a house - maybe I pick her up from school and we spend alot of time at home doing nonsense?

I'm wearing pants - maybe the image of her Daddy seared in her mind is one which he wrapped a towel when walking…

Another Teriyaki Chicken

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Teriyaki chicken is one of the most common dishes outside of Japan. Ask anyone to name any Japanese food and chances are you will hear this being mentioned. Although it is available at most places selling Japanese food, it is extremely challenging to find one which is truely well done. Most of the time what I get are usually rubbery and overly sweet chunk of stringy meat. It leads me to wonder why would they think that anyone would want to eat such stuff?

According to Wikipedia, teriyaki is a cooking technique used in Japanese cuisine in which foods are broiled or grilled in a sweet soy sauce marinade. Simple as that. Just marinade the meat for a short while and it is ready to go on the grill or frying pan.

When I saw a recipe for teriyaki chicken in the cookbook for this month, I thought I won't be making it since I already have made this before. More than once, as a matter of fact. But who would ever get sick of eating teriyaki chicken? Except for those rubbery, overly sweet and s…

Stewed Raddish With Beancurd Puffs

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(picture taken from this delicious looking blog)


Back with Cooking The Cookbook 2, I made 大根と油揚げの煮物 (だいこんとゆあげのにもの - daikon to yuage no mono) which I think translate to raddish and beancurd puff stew. I stand corrected.
Although the book has called for the use of sliced pork belly, I had substituted it with chicken thighs. I thought that it would give the stew a meaty-er taste to it. What's up with the use of pork belly? It seems like that is one of the preferred cut of pork in this book. Not that I don't like pork belly, but sometimes the fatty parts could get a little too greasy.
As we head for another round of the Vietnamese Rice Rolls in bid to finish up the rice papers, I had to come up with an alternative for our little princess. Quick and easy to put together, it is a balanced meal by itself with a bowl of hot steaming rice.
********************************** 大根と油揚げの煮物 Stewed Raddish with Beancurd Puffs ********************************** 1/2 raddish, peeled and cut into bite si…

Mix-And-Match Dinner

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If you are wondering whether Cooking The Cookbook 2 is still on, the answer is yes.

Unfortunately due to the unprecedented strike by my disgestive system, things had ground to a halt. The interim management (aka Hubby) had taken the liberty to buy whatever he fancied, so I now had to clear the fridge before restarting the cooking project.

This was our dinner last night ...


Simple boiled spinach with a dab of oyster sauce and kimchi.

As I had mentioned in the earlier post, we made Vietnamese Rice Rolls and had lettuce and chicken leftover. That quickly became a salad for this meal. That's upcycling, my dear.

What's the best way to cook lots of vegetables in a pot? In a curry, of cos.


And what happens when dinner gets delayed? A grumpy princess.


And what is the best remedy? A beef bowl, of cos. *smile smartly*


I will probably have to do one more round of clearing before I can get back into the book. But I am still within the theme, right? I know, I am pushing it. (^.^)

Back From A Break

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No, I didn't go to the land of sakura.

Instead I spent my time being fearful of being too far away from a toilet.

Sigh ... If I ever complained that my life is too bored again, will someone please box my ears. Driving on a highway with a churning stomach IS VERY exciting. I highly recommend it to anyone who claims that life is too boring.

The good news is that I lost weight. But the bad news is that the Hubby had taken over the cooking. When he takes over the cooking, the food that comes out of the kitchen are edible and unique, to say the least. So hopefully, I can be back on the roll again.

Speaking of roll, I made Vietnamese Rice Rolls yesterday and it was quite good. I didn't follow any particular recipe for the rolls but I made the dipping sauce from Bon Appetit which was really good. Actually this is not exactly convalescing food but I just craved for something Thai or Vietnamese. But it is sure fast and easy to put together. Healthy, too.

(picture taken from The Star Online

Brinjal, Aubergine Or Eggplant?

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なすの炒め煮

Whatever its name is, I just love this plant. But this love didn't start immediately with my weaning. It probably really took of in my late twenties. Yeah, I'm a late bloomer. Well, better be late than never, right?

This dish calls for scoring the brinjal and then stir fry it before adding the braising liquid made from soy sauce and sake.

As I had bought the local brinjal, the thickness of the skin was much more pronounced in this delicate dish. If it has been a sambal stir fry (another of my favourite), the mouth would probably be too distracted to notice it.

A simple dish, spiked with a little chilli for the ommph, is always a welcome for a weekday dinner in this home.

Maybe I should count the number of ways to cook a brinjal?

* Sambal stir fry
* Japanese braise
* Sichuan style with minced pork
* In fish head curry
* Italian eggplant parmasan

I think I am too bored with life.

Beef Bowl

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牛丼
During our many dinners in Tokyo, beef bowl was a staple on our dining table for it was our little princess absolute favourite dish. Although she sample all our foods, she would still stay with her beef bowl. Even until today, whenever she is hungry, she would look for her "orange shop" - Yoshinoya and after one big bowl of it, she is a happy camper.
Despite decrying the local Yoshinoya's beef bowl for the lack of authenticity, and having tasted some really good ones in Tokyo, I have not thought of making my own. Well, that is so like me to complain but no action.
However, I was hard pressed to think of what to do with 2 packs of thinly sliced beef which I had grabbed from Cold Storage at a discount yesterday. Deep discount, that is. Now that I think about it, I wonder if the person tagging it made a mistake for the beef were in perfect condition. Or was there something I didn't know about? Okay, I shan't be so psychotic about it.
The recipe for this beef bowl did…