It was a tough week – cooking something light for Sunday dinner

The second Sunday night cooking after we came back from 2 weeks holiday in Germany. That week was so tough, as I was going through the laid off issue at work, too crazy and tired to deal with. Finally weekend, and I did feel a lot better! Craving for Japanese, and I wanted to cook this miso black cod for quite some time, why not doing it then?!

I was thinking to make the vegetable udon which is light and my husband loves it! So, miso black cod and vegetable udon for sure! Let’s see what else should I cook? The first place I go check out was that store right next door, selling Japanese imported food. I found what I needed for udon and black cod, I also found some Japanese green pepper which is hard to find in those regular super market. On top of that, I bought this chicken sausage  with chicken bone on it. Nice touch, but let’s see how does it taste.

First of all, we need to marinate the black cod. I was trying to follow the recipe of Nobu, but then I realised that I should marinate the black cod 3 days in advance!!! Errrrrr……… forget it! I am going to marinate that for 2 to 3 hours only, that’s the best I can do now, and see how that going to taste. I might try to make it 3 days in advance next time. I do not have mirin with me, so I just heat up some sake, let it burn and then add white miso paste and sugar. Cool down the mix when everything is fully dissolved, and put the black cod in the sauce and let it marinate for few hours in the fridge, of course the best would be 2 to 3 days. I am going to cook the fish with the sous vide, so place it in the vacuum bag and bathe in 50C hot water for 18 minutes. Then fry it with butter in a hot pan until both side turn brown, and I have to say it is really tasty!!! Next time I will try to marinate them for 2 to 3 days and see what is the difference.

Before eating the black cod with vegetable udon as main course, I cooked the Japanese mini green pepper and chicken sausages as our starter. I am not going to write about the udon, as I had this in one of my blog already. For the green peppers, it’s easy, instead of grill them, I fry them with hot pan, and simply season them with salt, pepper and some paprika. They are just so delicious, and we can just keep eating them if we have more! The chicken sausages are also quite tasty, I should come up with my own one next time. Keeping the bone and use the chicken meat to make my own sausage!

Go with cold sake, and what a nice Japanese dinner!!!

 

Addicted to sous vide cooking – salmon and carrot with salad

I don’t have to cook this weekend, as my husband is taking care of the Sunday night dinner. I asked him to cook us the real Chilli con Carne, as he said the one I cooked the other time was not that authentic. He still trying to find the best proportion of the ingredients, as he thought he’d put too much cumin into it. I will wait for his best recipe to share on my blog, and for the time being I would like to take care of writing this long lost Sunday night cooking, sous vide with salmon and carrot, before I totally forget what have I done.

For the salmon, season with salt, black pepper and some ground parsley. Put them in the vacuum bag, seal and cook under 56C in the hot bath for 40 minutes.

For the carrots, melt the butter and then add honey and ground cinnamon for seasoning. Dip the carrots into the mix and put them in the vacuum, seal and cook under 85C in the hot bath for 30 minutes.

Prepare the green salad as the base, mix with cherry tomatoes and some thin slices of cucumber. Season the salad with some salt and pepper and some balsamic vinegar. Sear the skin side of the salmon, and serve together with the carrots on top of the salad.

 

Cooking with healthy Quinoa – roasted with broccoli and chicken

I always try to eat healthy and explore something new. I’ve never cook quinoa, but I’ve heard a lot of good thing about it.  It is very nutritious, good for blood sugar control, gluten free, very high in fiber, protein, important mineral and antioxidants. It sounds like all you can get!!! Why not trying it out?

Find out what is good about quinoa

I grew up with rice and noodle, quinoa is definitely something new to me. I know there is a trend in the Western world to cook with quinoa, but I have no idea how should I cook them. Therefore, I have to look into some recipes, to get the idea and some inspiration. I found this recipe to roast it with broccoli and chicken, looking quite delicious. So, I am going to try my first quinoa dish with this.

Roasted broccoli chicken and cheddar quinoa bake

Of course, I always improvise the recipe a bit, to make it my own style. To add something on top, or to change the ingredients that I don’t like. But I like almost everything of this recipe, the only thing I feel missing is a bit of garlic, and to mix with some parmesan cheese, instead of having only cheddar cheese.

First of all, I would like to do the chicken with sous vide cooking. So, I’ve spent one hour to  cook the chicken breast with 60C in the hot bath, get them out and let them cool down. To cook the quinoa, more or less like cooking the rice or risotto. I am following this recipe to use 1 3/4 cup of chicken stock to cook 1 cup of quinoa. But I guess you can also cook with regular water, and I might try to cook them in the rice cooker next time and see if that works. When the quinoa absorb all the stock, switch off the heat and let it sit for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, I am getting the vegetable ready, I prefer to fry them with a pan instead of grilling them in the oven. Hit the pan and drizzle with some olive oil, put some minced garlic, and then put the chopped red onion and broccoli. Fry them with medium heat until they are half way cooked, do not oven cook them as they will still be cooked in the oven for another 25 minutes later on. Season them with some salt and red chilli flakes.

Now, let’s work on the quinoa. Mix the chopped tomato and shredded chicken in, and then add the cheddar cheese mix with parmesan cheese. Mix them well, and then also adding the broccoli mix, mix everything together in a large pan and season it with a bit of salt and pepper. Finish it by adding more cheese as a top layer, and some breadcrumbs to make it more crunchy. Roast it in the oven for 20-25 minutes under 200C.

I feel very satisfied with my first quinoa cooking and I like the texture of it, for sure will try out new dishes with it in the future.

Thai homemade dinner – Spring rolls with prawn and Chicken Thai salad

I bought this Thai cook book for quite some time, but never follow it to cook some dishes. Today, I tried to find some inspiration from the book and I ended up picking 3 dishes to cook for tonight. Unfortunately, I can only made two as we are already full after the second dish.

I always want to cook Spring rolls but I’ve never tried, so I really want to try it out today. I am not sure the Spring roll sheets that I found is the same as the one they used in Thai cuisine, this one is for Chinese and I’m not sure if there is any difference. I feel the sheet is quite thin and some how is hard to manage, and it breaks easily during wrapping. Maybe double up the sheet can help, but I haven’t tried.

First of all, have to prepare the filling. Boil a pot of hot water, and put the vermicelli in until they turn soft. Remove them and rinse with cold water. Chop the vermicelli around 3 to 4 cm long. For the prawn, cook them in hot water until they turn pink, and then slice them in two pieces right in the middle. Get a big bowl ready and just put all ingredients in after chopping, including the vermicelli and prawn. Finely chop the garlic, fungus mushroom, carrot, and some beansprouts. Season them with some light soy sauce and pepper, mix them well. Use Spring roll sheet to wrap the filling and close it with some cornflour mixed with water. It is hard to wrap every Spring roll in the same size, and please don’t be greedy, try to stay with a smaller piece instead of filling it up. Bigger Spring roll is with a higher chance to break and you will be ending up with re-wrapping. Deep fry all the spring rolls in a pot and serve them with the sweet chilli sauce. For the sauce, it’s with some white vinegar, some sugar, a touch of salt, some red chilli and some coriander. 

The best dish to go with Spring rolls is actually a salad! I’m making a chicken Thai salad, and I would like to do the chicken with sous vide cooking. Cook the chicken breast in vacuum bag without any seasoning under 61C for one hour. Remove the chicken breast from the bag and let them cool down. Use your hand to tear the chicken breast into thin strips, and place them in a large bowl. Then, chop the rest of the ingredients in the bowl, thin strips cucumber, finely chopped onion and ladyfingers, beansprouts, mint leaves and chopped red chillies. Mix everything well together, and put them in the fringe to chill. Now get the dressing ready, mix some fish sauce, light soy sauce, brown sugar and some lime juice, taste and adjust the way you like. When you are ready to serve, drizzle the salad with the dressing and add some roasted peanuts and sesame seeds for serving.

The main course I’ve planned to cook is steamed mussels with galangal. Thai way of steamed mussels, would like to try it out! Maybe tomorrow night…..

Japanese homemade dinner – sous vide miso pork tenderlion 

I don’t know how I ended up with cooking Japanese tonight, but I was all prepared with recipes in my head and planned to cook sous vide rack of lamb with greens as side dish. I went down for grocery shopping and I walked in this Japanese grocery store, I just could not help it and completely changed my mind and starting to re-generate new recipes in my head already.

So, I got edamame, clams, pork tenderlion from Kagoshima, and some udon. I also want to make this Japanese cheese cake since few weeks, maybe I should also get that done tonight as dessert. 

Steamed edamame is easy, just get them steam and then put salt as seasoning. That’s it! Could it be more simple? And that already making you feel like at the Japanese Restaurant.

Sake steamed clam, boil 1 cup of water with 1 cup of sake. Add clams into the pan when it’s boiling, cover the lit and cook until the clams are open. Add a bit of salt and some butter into the pan, and mix them well. Add some chopped leek for garnish.

For the sous vide pork tenderlion, of course it takes more time and procedure to cook. Mix 3 to 4 teaspoon of miso paste into some sake, add some grated ginger and brown sugar into it and make them well together. Use the mix and put them all over the pork tenderlion, and then place it in the vacuum bag. Cook with the sous vide machine with 61C for 2 hours, if your tenderlion is thick, the temperature has to adjust to 62C. When the pork is done, remove it from the hot bath and set it aside. 

To cook the udon, have to work on the broth first. Boil the chicken broth and add carrot slices into the broth, and then add mushroom or any other ingredients that you like. When all the ingredients are cooked, now it’s time to put the miso paste. I like a very strong miso taste, so I put more miso paste into the soup. Bring a bit of broth and dilute the miso paste in a bowl, then add everything into the pot. Now, can add the udon, cook until they are done. Serve the udon soup with pork tenderlion, some fried tofu and chopped leek. If you like spicy, can add some red pepper flakes.

Dessert is the Japanese cheese cake, the one that is so easy to make with 3 ingredients only, 120g white chocolate, 120g cream cheese and 3 eggs. This recipe is so popular on Internet and everyone is cooking this. It is so simple and I think everyone can do it, you can also give it a try!

I really love the miso flavour and my husband is also very happy, and he said the miso tastes so different than what he used to have at the Japanese Restaurant, which is usually very fishy.