29 Jan 2014

お茶漬け ・ Ochazuke




Intouduin taas tapittamaan Cooking with Dog:n videoita. Niissä on jotain kumman addiktoivaa. Viime aikoina olen toteuttanut usean "Chefin" reseptin, mutta videolta käsin reseptin seuraaminen on mielestäni työlästä, jos (tai kun) pitää tarkistaa, miten se nyt menikään. Vai olenko vain niin muinainen, että mielestäni kirjoitettu on parempi? :D

Ochazuke on kulhollinen riisiä, jonka päälle on kasattu suolaisia aineksia ja annos viimeistellään kaatamalla päälle kuumaa (vihreää) teetä. Kuulostaa ehkä hieman oudolta, mutta jos tykkää riisistä ja japanilaisesta teestä (kuten minä), niin kannattaa kokeilla.

Riisiä kannattaa laittaa kulhon koon mukaan, jotta sekaan mahtuu teetäkin ja ottaa sitten santsikierros, jos maha ei täyty yhdestä  kulhollisesta. Ainakin perusriisikulhooni ei mahdu kuin noin puolet tavanomaisesta riisiannoksestani, jos mukaan täytyy mahtua myös teetä. Ohjeessa oli mainittu, että kulhon laitetaan 80 g kypsää riisiä, ja se vaikutti sopivalta määrältä omaan kulhooni. Suosittelen muuten lämmittämään riisikulhon ennen ainesten laittoa, koska muuten tee jäähtyy melko nopeasti ja saat lusikoida kylmää riisi-teekeittoa, ei niin herkullista.




Ochazuke

(lähes kuin Cooking with Dog sen tekee)

(1:lle)

haluamasi määrä riisiä (keitä hieman vähemmässä vesimäärässä kuin normaalisti, joko riisinkeittimessä tai esim. paistinpannussa, itse keitin 1:1, eli saman tilavuusmitan verran riisiä kuin vettä. Veden määrä kuulostaa suomalaiseen korvaan kauhean pieneltä, mutta suosittelen kokeilemaan! Tosin tällöin riisi täytyy pestä (itse pesen 4-5 kertaan) ja liottaa väh. 15-30 minuuttia ja vielä valuttaakin ennen keittämistä. En ole vieläkään saanut aikaiseksi kirjoittaa tänne japanilaisen riisin kypsennysohjetta, mutta Just Hungry -sivustolla on useita hyviä eri tapoja kypsentää riisiä, jolloin siitä saa sellaista hieman takertuvaa, mutta ei missään nimessä puuroista.

50 g (hyvin suolattua) lohta kypsennettynä
1 rkl lohenmätiä (tätä minulla ei kyllä nyt ollut)
 paahdettua norilevää, murusteltuna (1 arkki riittää ruhtinaallisesti kahdellekin)
1 rkl mitsubaa (tai persiljaa) hienonnettuna
paahdettuja seesaminsiemeniä
wasabia (maun mukaan)
(suolaa)

hojicha-teetä (tai muuta mieleistä japanilaista teetä, ensi kerralla haluan kokeilla annosta genmaichalla, sillä paahdetun riisinjyvän maku sopii varmasti hienosti yhteen riisin kanssa)

Paista suolattu lohipala kypsäksi ja anna jäähtyä hetki. Poista nahka ja ruodot ja hienonna hiutaleiseksi. Murustele nori esim. muovipussissa. Kokoa (lämmitettyyn) kulhoon riisiä ja sen päälle muut ainekset. Kaada päälle kuumaa teetä ja nauti heti.


19 Jan 2014

メロンパン ・ Melon Pan



This time I will not start this post by saying how long I've been wanting to bake these... Sometimes I get these weird (or not) cravings for Japanese food so that I spend all the waking hours (and sometimes while sleeping too) imagining what Japanese food to make next. Mostly my obsession happens during the colder months as then I start to crave for anything with a broth (Japanese foods with a broth are so yummy) and as the colder months here in Finland are also the darkest, I always crave for anything with carbohydrates and sugar (and who are better at making sweet foods (excluding the French also) than Japanese as their shops are full of wonderful pastries, sweets and wagashi.

Melon Pan is a sweet bun with cookie dough on the top. To my knowledge it doesn't have any melon in it, but the name comes from the pattern cut to its surface. In Japan you can buy melon pan from grocery stores and bakeries plus they even have specialized shops selling only melon pan (in all the colours of the rainbow, of course).



The recipe I used was clear and the buns baked perfectly, but the end product was too sweet for my taste. I think the problem might actually have to something to do with the difference in sugars. The "basic" sugar in Japan is very fine in granule and seems to be somewhat moist as in Finland the ordinary sugar is bigger in granule and dry. And as the bun is rolled in sugar before baking it, I'd guess, the coarser the sugar is, its quantity in weight will be higher on the surface (aargh, I don't know how to explain it in English, I hope you get the idea). Next time I might skip the dipping in sugar or then use the extrafine granule sugar (Siro) or then just sprinkle it on top as the sugar coating makes the surface look very nice after baking. In Happy Home Baking's recipe there is a mention you could use melon extract in the cookie dough. Maybe that is used in those storebought melon pan in Japan, as these buns I made seem to be lacking some taste. So next time I'll put some vanilla to the cookie dough. It might also be that as being a Finn, I seem to be making the assumption that a sweet bun always includes cardamom, and as it's now lacking, it doesn't seem to be a sweet bun, although it is actually cloyingly sweet. I might also next time increase the bun:cookie ratio, as I prefer buns anytime!!!

I otherwise followed Cooking with Dog's recipe, but I reduced the sugar amount in the cookie dough from 35 grams to 28.  (Gosh I'm jealous for that oven of hers!)

16 Jan 2014

Sweet & Sour Chicken


Recently I've been struggling to find a decent Chinese restaurant. Luckily I have a perfect recipe for sweet&sour chicken which tastes just like Chinese takeaway (in a good way). The only downside is that the chicken has to sit in a marinade for some time (preferably overnight). But once that is done, the dish can be prepared easily. Sorry for the awful photo, it's from last autumn. I've been planning to post this ever since and actually I cooked it again today. I have no daylight to photograph this, as when I'm home from work, it's already dark. This is so good that it really deserves to be posted NOW. I might later add nicer photos :P

Sweet&Sour Chicken 

adapted from CHINA modern by Ching-He Huang

serves 3-4

400 g chicken breast, cut to bitesize pieces
1 big red bell pepper, cut to big pieces
1-2 onions, cut to wedges

Marinade:
1-2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp blackpepper
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
4 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp brown sugar

Sweet&Sour Sauce:
1 tsp vegetable oil
1 garlic clove, grated
1 Tbsp grated ginger
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp (white wine) vinegar
2 tsp rice vinegar
3 Tbsp ketchup
2 Tbsp water (or fruit juice)
2 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp honey (or light syrup)
sriracha chili sauce according to taste ( I use 1 tsp)

Mix all ingredients of the marinade in a bowl and add chicken. Leave to marinade for 2 hours minimum, preferably over night.

Meanwhile you can prepare the sauce: heat the vegetable oil in a (small) pan, add garlic and ginger, stir-fry under 1 minute (don't let it burn). Add soy sauce, vinegars, ketchup, water, sugar, honey and chili sauce. Let it boil a bit and take the pan off the heat. (If you are planning to stir-fry the chicken in the same pan, put the sauce to a bowl.

Take the chicken pieces out of the marinade and stir-fry for couple minutes. Add the onion ja let it cook for a couple minutes. Add the bellpepper and the sweet&sour sauce, mix and let the sauce coat all the pieces evenly. When the bellpeppers are cooked but still "crunchy" take off the heat and serve with rice.


3 Jan 2014

A year of cooking


Happy New Year! 

Though 2013 is already gone, I don't want to give it up yet. As most of the bloggers have done their sum ups of the last year, I didn't have time to do this earlier. I don't want to summarize what I've posted here already (you can just shuffle the archives for that. I'm such a lazy blogger, so it can be done in an instant). This post is dedicated to stuff that didn't make it here (no comments.. :D)

Dorayaki: The batter has more sugar than ordinary pancake batter and they browned quite quickly on the frying pan...

I didn't have small enough piping tip ( Religieuse v.2.0)


Ispahan macarons - haven't had the energy to post the recipe

English muffins baked with the help of tuna cans on a hot griddle

Wagashi which look like sea creatures


Kabocha kuri kinton (the puree was way too watery)

Purple Sweet Potato & Sesame Marble Cake (the recipe had too much sweet potato powder, I'd guess, so the colour is too dark) -planning a new try

More wagashi: the rice balls ended up being rock-hard

Tomatoes in kanten jelly - tastes exactly like one would imagine...

Ukishima: I tried substituting dried fruit for sugared beans...

Pumpkin Yōkan

Snowskin moon cakes

Dōmo-kun

Purple sweet potato cookies

Yummy salmon pastrami

Matcha Black Sesame Opera


Salmon omelette...

...baked in oven - this is why I never blogged it :D

A Book Cake for my friend

Asparagus salad

Avocado risotto with all sorts of spring vegetables

Mother's Day Cake


Blanched nettles

French chocolate cookies

Rhubarb cheesecake

Foxtail's birthday cake (Mille crepe cake) 
I was superthrilled about the wild yellow raspberries we found

Coffee jelly

Soba

Kasutera (some problems with the surface... ) - trying again when I have time

Sweet & Sour Chicken -  post coming up later

Bubble Tea & bad luck cooking the tapioka pearls

Findings from IKEA: Seaweed caviar and mini croustades

Pumpkin pudding (recipe from Cooking with Dog)


1 Jan 2014

Matcha & Yogurt Minibundts



I just can't live with this. I need light!!! It's dark all day long even though (/as) Winter Solstice was 10 days ago. It's not getting any brighter at all. I need snow!!! As Christmas is over, it seems I can't deal with this snowless winter. It's just too dark. When I go to work, it's dark and when I return home it's dark. The only time I might glimpse light is during my lunch hour as my office doesn't have windows. I can't take proper photos, since I take my photos with natural light.

Sorry, that was the rant part, now back to business. Again I'm baking something with matcha *heart* I was supposed to bake these for Christmas, but then I ran out of time. The recipe is Food Librarian's  with minor adjustments: I used slightly more matcha (1 Tbsp) and instead of creme fraiche and olive oil  I used Turkish yogurt and rapeseed oil, respectively. I made one third of the original batch (and got 7 minibundts). Next time I would cut down sugar at least 20 %. My baking method also differed a bit: I beat the egg with the sugar and then added oil, after which the dry ingredients and yogurt.



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