Category Archives: Everyday Cooking

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. 

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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.

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.

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.

Miso-glazed Salmon

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It’s the weekend and that is usually accompanied by a sort of weekend-blues for me unfortunately. So what better to feel better than to have a yummy and healthy meal that’s easy to put together.

I had salmon, some chives, carrots, yellowing broccoli and a pantry stocked with white rice and miso. So I made some miso-glazed salmon with warm white rice, steamed veggies and miso soup. This is one of my favourite ways to cook salmon because it’s easy and delicious.

The recipe I used is from: myrecipes miso-glazed salmon recipe.
I halved the recipe for two servings. If you read through the recipe, it says to baste the fish which is basically scooping up juices and liquid around the cooking fish and pouring it over the fish.

So I came up with this ingenious idea of building a ford around the fish with aluminium foil. I also lined the baking pan with some baking paper.

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I should have thought of this earlier! The best thing is that I don’t have to wash the pan after cooking!

I really don’t have that many different types of utensils for cooking, I consider it quite minimal. So some times improvising is necessary. To steam my veggies, I used my large cooking pot and my strainer which actually does a very good job.

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And here is what we had for lunch, satisfying and comforting. 🙂

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Panko-battered chicken with Teriyaki Sauce

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This weekend, I decided to try making fried chicken with panko which is basically Japanese breadcrumbs. They are supposed to be crispier than regular bread crumbs but I’ve never used breadcrumbs, regular or Japanese, so I can’t really tell if that’s true.

Lunch is served!

Panko-battered chicken

Ingredients

250g boneless chicken thighs (I used 2 pieces)

1/2 cup flour
salt, to taste
ground pepper, to taste
paprika, to taste

1 egg, beaten

1 cup panko


Instructions

Slice the chicken into strips, about 1cm thick. Then, mix the flour, salt and pepper together. Cover each strip of chicken in the flour mixture and let it marinade for a few hours.

When ready to cook, beat an egg. Dip the strips of marinated chicken into the egg and then cover in panko. Leave chicken to sit for about 15-20 minutes before frying. Put about 1cm of oil into a frying pan.

Let the oil heat up before putting chicken in. When the oil is hot enough, fry the chicken in batches. Make sure the temperature does not get too high.

I made my own teriyaki sauce as well which is not hard. I used 1/2 of this recipe and added a little bit of corn flour to thicken the sauce.

The chicken is crispy and goes really well with the teriyaki sauce. I will definitely try the batter recipe with prawns to make ebi-furai in the not so distant future. =)

Happy Valentine’s!

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Happy Valentine’s everyone. =)

Many will say Valentine’s is just a ploy to sell things to the masses (my colleagues) and it’s probably true. But instead of buying expensive things and going out for an expensive dinner, I decided to cook and make something special instead. The main course I made is actually something very simple that I’ve done many times before because it’s so easy.

My Valentine's Gift

I’ve always wanted to get these heart-shaped chocolate lolis as gifts when I first set eyes on them in Koko Black . So with Valentine’s as an excuse I made my boyfriend give them to me. =) And I got 2 as well! Was really delighted.

For dinner, I made roasted chicken thighs with mashed potatoes and steamed veggies.

Main course

 The chicken thighs were seasoned with Keen’s curry powder, paprika, a pinch of chilli powder and ground pepper. I’ve always made roasted chicken parts like this and they’ve always turned out well. Roast at around 200 degrees Celcius for about 35-40 minutes.

For the mashed potatoes, I used my thermal cooker to help save cooking time . I cut up the potatoes the night before and soaked them in water. In the morning, I replaced the water, salted it and boil the potatoes. Then returned it to the thermal cooker to continue cooking while I go to work. After the potatoes have softened, to make the mash, I added butter, milk, salt and pepper and mash until soft and fluffy. No measurements because its all to taste. To make the mash fluffier, add milk until it’s the right degree of fluffiness. The gravy is made with Gravox Traditional gravy mix. I added the jus from the roasting chicken and some cream because I had some at hand and simmered to thicken.

Carrots and brocolli are the staples in my diet because I love the crunch and sweetness of both vegetables. Just steamed them over boiling water in my colander because I didn’t have a steamer.

Our Valentine's Dinner

And dessert is Tiramisu Chocolate Mousse from Chef John’s blog. I started off with the espresso, butter and chocolate, left it over the double boiler as instructed but when I started stirring it all together, it became a lumpy, grainy mess and not the silky mixture that Chef John got. Happened to me before when I made chocolate truffles a few years ago. Since then, I’ve researched and I think it’s caused by moisture in the chocolate but by adding more water it sorts out the problem. So I added a few tablespoons of water and it indeed sorted the problem, my chocolate mixture became silkier. =)

Both of us only manage to finish one of the bowls (the recipe was for 4 servings anyways). It wasn’t too sweet and tasted pretty good but I felt it wasn’t light enough which I think is caused by my over beating the cream. For a first try, it was a pass and it’s was actually really easy to make. I always thought that making mousse is complicated and tricky but thanks to the video (which is linked above), it gave me the confidence to try it myself. And below is the money shot. =)

Tiramisu Chocolate Mousse

Hope everyone has had a great Valentine’s. =) I’m going to try making some bread this weekend to have with bacon and eggs, butter and jam and just on its own. Check out Chef John’s youtube channel, many great videos and easy to make recipes.