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Mushroom Namul

Mushroom Namul

So when I moved to Australia, I made a commitment to eat healthier and live a little healthier than I used to. It helps that fast food in Australia is a bit different as there are healthier options conveniently available compared to Manila where vegetables with your burger goes as far as fries. A salad in a fastfood joint is a dream but not here in Australia. Still, eating out is a lot more expensive than cooking in which is ALWAYS much healthier and cheaper by my book.

Anyway, back to veggies. I’m the kind of person who enjoy the little veggie servings that come in a dish. In Japan, they have a wide array of tsukemono (pickles) or okazu (side dishes) that whet my appetite. I realise that in Korean cuisine this is the same. Outside of kimchi there’s one Korean side dish that excites me — namul. I first fell in love with mungbean sprout namul called sukjunamul or moyashi namul in Japanese. After having learned how to make this, I realise that I can literally turn any vegetable I want into a namul. Thus, I was inspired by a post from one of my Korean friends who shared a photo of their dinner which had some kind of mushroom stirfry. I thought, why not? Mushroom namul sounded like a great idea.

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Recipes

The Chinese Marinade To Win Your Mother-In-Law’s Heart

That Perfect Chicken Roast

I feel silly giving this post this title but this was how my friend, Anne from Chic-pixel, sold me on this recipe.

I can’t remember exactly how and where we were discussing this but what I do remember was that I heard her talking about roasting chicken that weekend and when I was giving her praises on how amazing she was in making chicken roast, she told me how her recipe was not difficult at all. It was in fact easy-peasy and was good enough for her husband to enjoy (and request perpetually) and one that has even passed her mother-in-law’s tastes. Caveat: Anne’s family-in-law are Chinese Malaysians so when she told me about this I was all ears. Not that other roast chicken recipes don’t matter but I trust the flavor profile of Malaysians. This roast chicken recipe must be bloody good.  And it truly is. 

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home cooking Recipes

Attempt at Pork Mee

When I was a teenager, my family partly lived in Kuala Lumpur. My father was sent by his company to Malaysia and our family shuttled in and out of that country. Living for a time in Malaysia opened my world to a different world of flavor. Suddenly, my father and I were experimenting with new cooking techniques and spices. There are some dishes which I am yet to recreate but with Malaysia so far away and with Malaysian food in Wollongong limited, I can’t help but recreate some dishes at home.

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home cooking Recipes

Starting the year with Jaga-Bata

キャベツとジャガバター

A lot has happened in a year. I can’t believe that I’ve been here in Australia for almost two years although technically I’ve actually been shuttling around here and there for the past year. 2014 was a particularly busy year for me that there was hardly any time for me to sit down and write something that’s related to this blog.

Okay. I lied there for a bit. I did write a 30++k fanfic last year and it was crazy. Feels happened. Ships happened.

But that doesn’t change the fact that I’m living quite comfortably in a new place, this time with a roommate who has benefitted from my experiments with food over the last six months. She has asked me time and time to put up the recipe here and it always slips my mind until I realised a year has passed since I’ve written anything. Hence, here I am again, trying to start anew.

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52 Noodles

Noodle #4: Nissin’s Raoh Shoyu Ramen

When your noodle sounds like a manga hero (and I think it rightfully is) it’s bound to be awesome.

It’s been a long while since I touched this instant noodle section of my blog. I’m just… well I’m busy but I’ve also been quite absentminded when I eat my instant ramen. I just eat it, basically. And then I realized “Ah! I could have blogged about that!” Hence this is the 4th of supposedly weekly adventure into ramen that just didn’t happen. Well, I’ll try to make 52. Hopefully, I do!

My good friend Yuecchi sent me a care package of what has become one of my most favorite instant ramen. I’m not a big shoyu ramen fan but this one has knocked me off my feet. Nissin’s Raoh Shoyu flavor ramen is possibly one of the smoothest and unctuous ramen I’ve ever tasted. Just… looking at the picture above is bringing back flavors in my mouth.

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home cooking

It’s a mapo rice kind of day

I think one of the things that annoys me the most about living abroad is the fact that I live alone and I eat alone.

It’s actually annoying to plan meals for one person. Sure, Jami Oliver can cook up 15 minute meals but I don’t have a processor and all his food gadgets and at the end of the day, I’m cooking just for myself. I was telling a friend that even cooking rice is a pain since if I cook a cup of rice, it’ll last me a week or three days. Sometimes, I even forget I had rice so it tends to spoil. On other days, I want to dish up something fancy only to find that the grocery sells things at cheaper prices if you buy it in bulk.

I think the last six months was a learning process on how to make the most out of my food and how to make dishes without overspending or cooking unhealthy all the time. One solution I have is to make a large batch of food which I reheat throughout the week. I usually make two dishes in big batches so that I don’t get tired of it and I cook it on the weekends so that I don’t get spent. Usually, one dish can be made for soups or salads, another is a dish I can easily mix with rice or pasta.

In this case, I had some left over rice and left over mapo tofu. Mapo tofu essentially follows the same recipe as my mapo beans. In this case, rather than beans, I used zucchini and some other veggies. I stir-fried the lot and was quite pleased with the result. In fact, I even burnt it a little to make this awesome crunchy okoge. Sorry Kimutaku, every girl just loves her okoge.

Usually, mapo tofu’s the kind that folks love rather saucy over rice but this stir-fried kind was kinda awesome as well.

experiments Food

Experiments 003: Mulled Nectarines

All the wines from Marks and Spencer

Guys, I confess… I’ve been drinking a bit. When you’re in a country like Australia where there’s lots of wine you just CANNOT take advantage of that. Right now, pantry staples include a bottle of white and a bottle of red. I’m still searching for a favorite red but so far, I simply the miss the ease of pulling out favorites from Marks and Spencer’s shelf. Back in Manila, I was pretty fine with a Rose wine. I think my friends R&R also made me taste some of their flavored prosecco too which was lovely. Anyway, in short, I’ve got wine and an excess thereof, as such, I’ve been experimenting a bit on what to do with wine.

I also tried reading a bit here. When I can. And while my interest in Game of Thrones  is mostly on John Snow, I’ve also been curious about its food. Apart from seeing or reading about mulled wine in George RR Martin’s Saga, this original English wine mix is actually a favourite in the land down under, Australia. In fact, the country has recreated the concoction with a unique Australian touch.

For wine enthusiasts who want to use a great quality red wine, here’s a useful tip from 40-year wine expert Chris Murphy who wrote on Marks and Spencer’s blog that, in finding the right red variant for your mulled wine, “you really need to taste the wine properly. This may sound simple, but there’s actually much more to tasting wine than simply drinking it.” Some of the best red wines which you may use are Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, and Merlot. For added flavor add mint leaves to give it a zesty flavour.

To give you a flavourful mulled wine with an Australian twist, a recipe from Food.com is provided below:

Roasted Nectarines With Mulled Wine Sauce

Ingredients:
· 1/2 cup of soft brown sugar
· 6 whole cloves
· 6 nectarines
· 3 cm piece orange zest
· 1 1/2 cups of red wine (Sauvignon, Zinfandel, or Merlot)
· 1 cinnamon stick
· 40 g butter
· 2 whole star anise

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven at 200C (180C).
2. In an ovenproof casserole dish, add the nectarines—make sure they fit snugly.
3. Evenly sprinkle the sugar and add butter. Pour in the wine, orange zest, and spices in the mix.
4. Cover dish with foil and roast nectarines for a half an hour, until the fruit is soft.
5. Allow the nectarines to cool in the syrup. You may refrigerate and serve it cold.
6. You may add mint leaves for a wild variety of flavors. Alternately, you may serve it with yoghurt, ice-cream or custard.

Guys, this was so good. So good in fact that I finished it all and forgot to take a picture. OTL. This happens. I just… I… I have no excuse at all. I’m thinking of alternatives to this like pineapple or maybe pears and peaches. This experiment MUST continue.