January 22, 2011

Soba Noodles in Homemade Broth

Noodle is my all-time favorite comfort food. I can have it any day of the week. The different types of noodles come in various shapes and texture--to name a few: soba, udon, ramen, egg noodles, vermicelli. The variation of cooking them is endless, as it can be stir-fry, used in soups or made into dumplings. This is my humble oodles of noodles, perfect of this wintry weather. Enjoy!
3 cups of homemade broth
10 dried shitake mushrooms, soaked in water to soften
2 slices of fresh ginger
1 cup baby spinach (or any fresh vegetable of your choice)
1/2 lb cooked shrimp
1 tsp. Furikake (Japanese gourmet topping. I used the one with a combination of sesame seeds, nori & bonita flakes)
Cooked udon or soba noodles
1. In a large saucepan, add broth, ginger and bring to a boil. Sqeezed out most of the ater from the mushrooms and add to the soup. Turn heat to medium low and simmer for about 20 minutes.
2. Cook noodles according to the instructions on the packet. Drain and keep warm. Heat water in a saucepan and scald vegetables. Remove and drain vegetables, add in the shrimps to cook.
3. Serve noodles with hot soup, arrange vegetables, shrimps and sprinkle Furikake seasoning on top.
Printable Recipe

January 21, 2011

Sesame Balls/Jin Dui

"Jin Dui" are deep-fried balls stuffed with a sweet paste and coated with sesame seeds. It is sweet with a chewy texture. You can make it with or without the filling--it is equally enjoyable. Because of its round shape and golden color, it resembles gold coins signifying a symbol of wealth and good fortune. I'll be sure to have it this Chinese New Year in hope to increase my fortune.
3 cups glutinous rice flour
½ cup sugar
1 cup water
1 cup white raw sesame seeds
1 cup lotus seed paste or red bean
oil for deep frying
1. In a bowl, add sugar, water and stir until dissolved. Add in the flour and mix until mixture forms a ball. Dust hands with some flour and knead into a smooth dough. Roll out the dough on a flour board into a long roll and cut into 2-inches pieces. Pour sesame seeds into wide bowl and set aside another bowl of water.
2. Flatten each piece into a round and place a spoonful of fillings (red bean or lotus seed paste) into the center and gather and pinch the edges to seal completely. Roll the filled dough into smooth ball; dip lightly in water quickly and coat with the sesame seeds. Do the same with the rest of the dough.
3. Heat enough oil in a deep pan; reduce heat to medium high and fry a few dough balls until it expands and golden in color, about 5 minutes. Remove and drain on paper towels. Serve warm.
Printable Recipe

January 20, 2011

Peaceful Peas with Béchamel Sauce

This installment is inspired by my daughter, who responded to one of my recent posts. Here's an excerpt of her message. "Are you going to start adding modifiers to all of your recipe titles? Will the next one perhaps be peaceful peas in white sauce? (I hope you realize I'm just teasing you!) smile you are loved and appreciated by your family - Miska." So here you go Melissa, just enjoy it for the word play, fun and I love you :)
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp. butter
1 cup warm milk
salt and pepper
cooked peas
1. In a saucepan over medium heat melt butter and add in flour. Stir to mix until mixture is free from lumps. Gradually stir in warmed milk and whisk vigorously as it will thickens. Add more milk depending on desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper and serve warm with cooked peas.
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January 15, 2011

Tapioca Cake/Kuih Bengka Ubi Kayu

Tapioca or cassava is a tuberous root vegetable that is widely grown in the tropical and subtropical countries. The root has a thick skin and it is peeled and cooked before eating. I used to just steamed them and eat with sugar. This is another simple to prepare Malaysian snack that I love to share.
2 lbs tapioca, shredded
250 gm. thick coconut milk
50 gm. grated coconut
2 ¼ cups sugar
3 eggs, beaten
2 tsp. sago flour (optional)
pinch of salt
baking pan
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.  Lightly greased baking pan.
2. Put tapioca in a muslin bag and sqeezed out most of the water. Add this into a large bowl and mix in the rest of the ingredients.
3. Pour mixture in prepared pan and bake in oven for about half and hour until most of the liquid has evaporate. Reduce temperature to 300°F and bake for another hour until cooked. Test doneness by inserting a toothpick at the center of the cake. If it comes out clen, it is cooked.
4. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before unmolding the cake. Allow the cake to cool before cutting. (I let mine cool in the refrigerator)
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January 2, 2011

Three Grains Hopeful Porridge

These days, I am inspired to cooking healthy meals with whole grains that I buy in bulk. Grains are wholesome and nutritious—they are high in carbohydrates and fiber which provide energy to your brain and muscles. They are great with soup and stews or as a side dish. I was thinking of someone dear when making this porridge. I've added his favorite ingredients (corn and carrots) to give the porridge a natural sweetness and color.
Top: barley, millet, wheat
2 cups organic chicken broth
1/4 cup millet
1/4 cup whole wheat
1/4 cup barley
1/2 cup corn
1/4 cup carrots
salt and pepper to taste
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. dry herbs (marjoram, thyme, rosemary)
1 egg, beaten
1. Wash grains and soaked in water with a pinch of salt overnight. Rinse under running water and set aside.
2. In a large pot add chicken broth, grains, corn, carrots, bay leaf and herbs. Bring to a fast boil for about 10 minutes uncovered. Remove any foam on top with spoon. Turn heat down to simmer and cook until water has reduced and grains are soft not grainy. Stir in beaten egg and let it cook for another minute, season with salt and pepper. Dish out into individual bowls and serve warm.
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January 1, 2011

Tri-color Wishful Prawns

Hello, I sincerely hope you all had a nice holiday with your loved ones. The year 2010 was a busy and eventful one for me. Many things happened--some good and some not so well. Anyway, isn't what life is all about? With a positive outlook and faith that all bad things will come to an end--I shall celebrate this day with a simple dish using some of my favorite ingredients. To start off the New Year with good tidings and blessing, I've decided to post a few dishes with inspirational wordings.
8 whole prawns, shelled intact and deveined
1 cup baby spinach
6-8 dried shitake mushrooms, soaked with water
1/2 cup corn
1/2 cup canned kidney beans
1 pip garlic, minced
2 slices ginger, minced
1/4 cup chicken stock
2 Tbsp. oil
salt and pepper
1. Pat prawns dried and season with a dash of pepper and salt. Squeeze out most of the water from the mushrooms and slice into strips.
2. Heat frying pan with oil and fry garlic and ginger until fragrant and not brown. Add in mushrooms and some of the chicken stock and fry until mushrooms has absorbed most of the liquid. Remove and set aside.
3. Reheat pan over medium high and cook shrimps until the shells turn red in color. Add in the corn, kidney beans, spinach and chicken stock. Simmer for about 5 minutes and stir in the mushrooms and prawns to mix. Season with salt and pepper and serve warm.
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