Author Archives: blackcatchronicles

Fried Quinoa

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Ohie~ Yes I know I haven’t posted anything in awhile but I decided to come back and just blog about stuff I cook normally…. Just because I can I guess.. 

So today I made fried quinoa which is variation of what Chef John made.. I previously made pork-fried quinoa with ham as suggested but today I decided not to do the pork version because I didn’t have any ham. Substituted instead with mushrooms. 😀 

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Here’s the recipe of what I made: 

1 1/2 cups of Quinoa

2 1/4 cups of water (to cook the quinoa in)

1 large red pepper

2 small onions

~1 cup of mushroom 

3-4 cloves of garlic (minced) 

1 small carrot 

Soy sauce

Tabasco sauce

Wash the quinoa, drain and let it sit for 5 minutes. Then put the quinoa into a pot and the 2 1/4 cups of water and cook over high heat. When it starts to simmer, lower the heat and cover the pot. Cook for 15 minutes. 

Chop the garlic, carrot, red pepper, onions and mushrooms. The amount of veggies you choose to add is up to you. The last time I cooked this, I didn’t feel like it was filling enough so bumped up the amount of veggies a little and added a carrot. =) 

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Uncooked, the amount of veggies looked a bit intimidating but after all of it softens and cooks, it isn’t as much as it seems. So I have to always remind myself to add more veggies without fear. 

Next let’s start making fried quinoa! Add some oil into a pan (I fried some eggs to eat with this dish, so just used the leftover oil in the pan), then add the chopped carrots, red peppers, onions and mushrooms. After all the veggies soften, add the garlic. Continue to cook for a bit and then add the cooked quinoa. Stir well then add soy sauce and tabasco! 

Continue mixing and cooking all the ingredients. I decided to replace the rice wine and hot sauce Chef John used with tabasco (coz that’s what I have) and it actually turned out quite yummy. Put as much and as little as you like. 

All the fried quinoa I made was enough for 4 lunch servings. 

Oyakodon

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Another comfort food that’s simple and easy to make. Mainly consists of 3 main ingredients, chicken, eggs and onions. There are a few other ingredients you will need for flavouring but if you cook or tried to cook Japanese food before, the ingredients should be staples in your pantry.

Oyakodon basically means parent and child rice. The chicken is the parent and eggs is the child. I got the recipe originally from here. I’ve modified the recipe a little bit and the recipe is posted below.

      Ingredients

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2-2.5 cups rice (uncooked), cook rice
400g of chicken (thigh or breast fillets) cubed into bite sized pieces
3 small onions or 1-2 medium sized onions, sliced thinly
4 eggs, beaten lightly
1 cup of dashi (stock water)
2 tablespoons Mirin
3 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar

In a large wok, add dashi and let it heat up to a simmer. Then, add Mirin, sugar and soy sauce and bring up to a simmer.

Add in chicken pieces and let it cook for a few minutes. Next, add in the onions and leave to cook for another few minutes.

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After the onions have softened, pour in the beat eggs. Let eggs cook while stirring occasionally. After the eggs have cooked, pour over warm rice.

Serve with nori (seaweed).

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Eat when warm. I think it’s a little different from the oyakodon in Japanese restaurants I think. The texture of the egg is more omelette-like and not as runny. However, I like this version as well, the runny mixture on rice is really good, flavouring the rice with a mild sweet and salty taste.

Definitely a good recipe to make for dinner after a work day.

Brown Bean Pork & Potato Soup

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This is a recipe that I got from my mum. I used to love it when my mum makes this soup before I had to cook for myself. It is a very comforting soup that will soothe your worries.

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Ingredients

500g of pork (ribs or tenderloin)
4 large potatoes (cut into bite size pieces)
2 tablespoons of ground brown bean sauce/paste
5 cloves of garlic (peeled and smashed)
3 pieces of 1 cm ginger pieces
Dash of soy sauce
Oil

In a pot, add some oil. Let the oil heat up a little bit then add garlic and ginger.

After awhile, add into pork pieces and let the pork cook. Add a dash of soy sauce and the brown bean sauce. Mix well.

Add potato pieces and mix together until coated with sauce. Let mixture cook for 2-3 minutes.

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Now, you can either take off the stove, let it cool down and refrigerate to cook at a later time, or add about 4 cups of water and let it boil.

Cook until potatoes are soft and pork is tender.

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The soup is a salty delicious concoction; great to eat with some warm white rice. I like to use pieces of pork with more flesh so it becomes an additional dish instead of just soup. I also like cooking the soup until the potatoes are soft and fluffy.

Do try it one day. 🙂

Steamed Miso Salmon

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Not wanting to repeat the same old recipes for salmon and also for more blogging material, I decided to search for more Japanese inspired ways to cook salmon. The recipe I decided on is miso in foil packets which is a simple recipe that has both protein and veggies. Simple!

I changed the recipe a little bit, so I’m posting the recipe below.

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Ingredients

1 fillet of salmon, cut into two pieces (about 250g)
1 carrot, cut into small strips
3/4 of packet of enoki mushrooms
2 tbps sake
3 tbps miso
1 tbps sugar

Mix sake, miso and sugar together in a bowl. (To mix miso well with other ingredients, I usually use the back of a spoon and smoothen the miso against the wall of the bowl).
Spread the carrots on a steel plate, then place the mushrooms on top of the carrots. Then place the salmon fillets on the veggies.
Cover with aluminium foil and steam for around 20 minutes.

I omitted a few ingredients that were originally called for in the recipe. Looking at only the recipe, I had no idea how the dish was going to taste like. So I made some judgement calls and made the dish as I thought fit. I also used a metal plate instead ad of foil just for the sake of convenience and to reduce the amount of foil.

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Here’s how the finished product looks like. It is a really tasty, quick and easy dish to make, extremely suitable for lazy weekends. 😉 Definitely give it a try.

Korean Snacks Haul

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So my bf and I decided to go for a ride around the lake this afternoon. I already decided to try a new salmon recipe for dinner tonight and needed some extra ingredients.

On our way home, I discovered a “new” Asian groceries shop, which was perfect since I needed to get some sake and enoki mushrooms. Long story short, we were tired and slightly hungry, mixed with cute packaging (that’s mostly me), we bought quite a lot of snacks at least a lot for my standards.

Photos ahead:

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Our entire “haul”

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Isn’t this the cutest thing ever?? Fishies!

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Discovered this on top when I got home!

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More cuteness inside. ❤

Taste-wise, the two cookies we bought were quite yummy. They were chewy and just the right degree of sweetness (for me, my bf reckons its too sweet). The biscuit sticks were really cheap, just $1! Not a huge portion but they taste decent.

Will be posting about the salmon dish soonish. =)

A different kind of “cake”

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I bought a pasta bake sauce just yesterday and decided to make it for dinner today. Just a simple dish that’s easy and fast to make.

    Ingredients


1 cup Dolmio’s pasta bake Creamy Sundried Tomatoes & Garlic Sauce
1 large chicken breast, diced
Pepper, to taste
Olive oil
2 cups pasta
1 cup or more frozen mixed veggies
1 cup cheese (used mixture of sharp cheddar, Parmesan & mozzarella

Preheat oven to 220 degrees Celcius. Saute diced chicken in olive oil with pepper. Prepare pasta as directed by packaging. Pour boiling water over frozen mixed veggies. Mix cooked pasta, cooked chicken, veggies and sauce in a large bowl. Transfer to baking dish (I used a cake baking tin because it fits perfectly) and sprinkle cheese over the mixture. Bake for 15 minutes.

(adapted from recipe provided on the sauce bottle)

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Pre-baking

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Post-baking

I think this is not really post-worthy material but I decided to post it anyway because I ingeniously used the cake tin to cook this in.

This recipe turned out quite well. The cheese was just enough, not too thick and cheesy, just enough to be crunchy and to add more flavours and protein to the dish. I think I would definitely turn to more shortcuts like this on weekdays.

2 cups of pasta was just enough for 2 small servings for dinner and 1 serving leftover for lunch. Next time I might increase the amount of ingredients to have enough leftover for lunch the next day.