Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Homemade Sushi For Lunch

K-drama has in a way influenced my love for Korean dishes . My daughter has played a part too in influencing me towards  Korean and Japanese food.  In the past few years , my Wildboar has taken a  liking to sashimi and kimchi too.  It makes eating so much fun now that we both have common food interest.  We eat Japanese food quite often too.  Today post is on my homemade sushi ....

We had a sudden craving for some sushi and since there is still have half a bag of short grain rice in the fridge, I made some sushi for our lunch.  It is light and easy and fun time for me too.  Jusco is nearby ,  bought some chuka idako and some japanese cucumber and I am ready to go.  I cooked some chicken kimchi and egg omelette for fillings besides the chuka idako for the WB. Sushi is such a versatile rice roll.   You can have any fillings of your choice.  Hubby loves the sushi I made . Oh well, as long as he is happy, I am happy too . I don't mind making sushi, its fun and I love eating them.

I realised I have not been active in blogging since I retired but that does not mean I have stopped cooking :) in fact I have been cooking more than before , just can't find the time to blog. I have been very preoccupied with the garden and photography :p 

fillings - chuka idako, egg omelette and chicken kimchi


this may need practice :)

I need to practice more for a perfect looking sushi roll

happy that I managed to make a perfect one and that the fillings
did not oozed out of the roll :p

serve the sushi on the new piece of pine wood for serving
from Daiso

the chicken kimchi is as good as the chuka idako maki

Sushi Rice ( adapted from Sushi Tales by Roger Wong )
250 gms short grain rice
500 ml water
1 piece 10cm x 10 cm konbu ( kelp) * optional


20 g fine salt
75 g fine sugar
100 ml Japanese rice vinegar

1. Mix salt, sugar and vinegar in the pot and simmer over heat till mixture is dissolved. Set aside.
2. Using both hands, wash rice gently for a few times till rice water becomes perfectly clear then drain. Add some water and soak the rice for 30 minutes. Drain and add 500ml water. Cook for 15 minutes in a rice cooker. When the rice is cooked, let it stand in rice cooker with covered lid for 15 minutes before removing lid.
3. Transfer cooked rice into a wooden rice tub, pour prepared seasonings mixture evenly over sushi rice and stir well with wooden lade . Use a fan to cool the rice for 5 minutes. The rice is ready for use.
** ( I used only 3/4 of the vinegar mixture )

Omelette Nigiri ( adapted from Sushi Tales by Roger Wong)

1 piece roasted seaweed sheet
400g sushi rice


12 eggs
70g sugar
2 tsp salt
40 ml Japanese rice wine (sake)
180 ml fresh milk
1 tbsp cornstarch

1. Combine all omelette ingredients and bet evenly.
2. Heat up some oil in a square pan. Swirl the pan to ensure the whole pan is glazed with oil. Pour in about 90 ml of omelette mixture and cook over medium heat till 90% done. Fold it up to the side with a thickness of about 6cm using chopsticks.

3. Heat up some oil again on the empty part of the pan and add more omelette mixture. Lift up the omelette slightly at the side to allow the newly added omelette mixture to flow underneath. Cook till 90% done then fold it up again and set it on top of the previous omelette.

4. Repeat the steps until all omelette mixture is used up. Square omelette with a wooden block and remove. Leave to cool.

Cut omelette into 20 slices. Cut roasted seaweed sheet into 20 strips of size 10.25cm X 1 cm
Mould sushi rice into 20 rice balls. Place a sushi rice ball on top of each slice of omelette and press each rice ball into rectangular shape. Flip over and press a few more times till omelette is secured to the sushi rice. Wrap rice ball with a roasted seaweed strip and serve.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Hakka Pork Belly with Taro (Wu Tau Kau Yoke/芋頭扣肉)

After the steamed yam cake that I made two days ago , I have half a taro/yam left for making another dish with it.  What better use of the leftover half yam other than to cook this dish for dinner as it has been a while since I last cooked this Hakka Pork Belly with Taro.  Though it entails a bit of work, it is worth every ounce of energy spend preparing it.  I have not lost touch as it turned out delicious....perfect taste and it is as good as those prepared in restaurant. The only thing I lose out is the presentation of course :p   Anyway, this dish is flavors packed and is an appetizing dish. I cooked enough for two servings. One serving is for one dinner and the other serving kept in freezer for another meal.  That is the beauty of this dish. The longer you keep , the better it taste .

People asked me this question very often. Why bother to cook for just the two of you when you can eat out ..."easy and cheaper to eat out " .   The answer I always give is " self satisfaction and I know what I am eating "  LOL!  Nothing beats having homecooked meals everyday.  Thus that explains why I love cooking and the self satisfaction is something money can never give you :)


ingredients used for making the sauce

use aluminium foil to cover the top to prevent
water from dripping into the bowl

let it cool down 5 mins before you invert into serving plate

you may place a bigger serving tray and invert the pork belly 
quickly so that the sauce is intact.

the yam turned out fluffy and the pork belly juicy and tender

Hakka Pork Belly with Taro (Wu Tau Kau Yoke/芋頭扣肉)


1 strip of pork belly 
1/2 yam - cut into 1/2 inch thick
enough cooking oil or  rice bran oil for frying the yam slices

pork marinade:  marinate for at least 1 hour or overnight
1/2 tsp five spice powder
2 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp soybean paste ( tau cheong )

4 cubes of red fermented beancurd - mashed
1 tbsp of sugar
1/2 tsp of salt
1 tsp of soy sauce
some white pepper
3 tbsp of Shao Sing wine
4 shallots - chopped
5 cloves of garlic - chopped fine
2 cups of water


Boil a pot of water and blanch the strip of pork belly for a few minutes to remove odour and impurities. Take out and prick holes with fork to allow marinade to be absorb into the meat. Marinate for at least 1 hour.  Leave aside while preparing the yam slices.

Heat up wok , add in enough cooking oil , fry the yam slices till lightly brown.  Place the fried yam slices on paper towel to drain off excess oil... With the same oil, fry the whole strip of marinated pork belly with skin side down first.
Turn over and  fry the other side lightly brown. Take out and drain off excess oil. Cut into 1/2 inch thick slices.

Heat up 2 tbsp of oil, add in garlic and shallots saute till fragrant. Add in mashed fermented beancurd, seasoning and the marinade water from the pork and water and bring to a boil. Taste sauce and adjust accordingly if required. The sauce should taste stronger than normal as it would get diluted once it is braised together with the rest of the ingredients.

Assemble and steam the pork belly and Taro 
Arrange the pork belly (skin side down) and alternate with yam in a bowl. Pour in sauce which should fill up to ½ of the bowl. Finally cover with aluminium foil. Bring water to boil in the wok/steamer. Place the prepared dish of pork belly and taro in the wok/steamer. Steam for about 1 hour in the medium heat or until the pork belly becomes really tender. Next, using a pair of tongs, I gently transferred a piece of pork belly together with a piece of yam and invert them on a serving tray then poured the sauce over them. Let it stand for 10 to 15 minutes. Or you may place a bigger serving tray and invert the pork belly quickly so that the sauce is intact.

Garnish with spring onions/coriander leaves and serve with rice.


Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Seafood Jjigae

I love korean food. I took a liking to Kimchi Jjigae ever since my bestie Jo introduced me to Korean cuisine eight years ago.  When your kids grew up, roles are revised, she became my  mentor and I became her student and bestie *wink.   After my first taste of Kimchi Jjigae, there was no stopping me from making my own kimchi and many other Korean dishes using kimchi .  Kimchi is not only a condiment and pickle, it is also used as an ingredient in many cooked dishes. And Kimchi Jjigae is one of them. The kimchi provides a deep favour to the broth. You can also add beef to your Jjigae  but for today , I used the leftovers seafood from the steamboat we had two days ago. Dinner was just this bowl of seafood jjigae cooked straight in my favourite stoneware bowl , from the stove to the table :)

homemade kimchi and I always have a tub ready
as I always serve kimchi as a side dish

fish and baby octopus, tofu and enoki were leftovers
from the steamboat we had two days ago

love the taste of kimchi jjigae
or kimchi soup 

Seafood Jjigae
2 persons serving


5 baby octopus -clean, wash and drain
1 small sized Ikan Senangin ( silver threadfin )- clean and cut into 2 pieces
1 soft silken tofu, cut into 1"cubes
1 pkt of enoki
1/2 carrot - sliced
half a cup of kimchi plus gravy
3 to 4 cups of chicken broth
1 stalk of spring onions - sliced for garnishing


Pour broth and half cup of kimchi into stoneware bowl or pot.  When it boils, add in the fish, enoki, carrots, and octopus. Once the seafood are cooked, add in the tofu last. Off heat once the soup boils , garnish with spring onion and it is ready for serving.


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