Lotus Root Kimpira – Renkon no Kinpira

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I was so excited to find fresh Lotus Roots in a shot the other day. In Japan, Lotus Roots are very common and can be purchased throughout the seasons. Since they are so common over there, to be honest, I did not know when Lotus Roots were in season before…, whoops….

Why am I so exited? It is because not only they are rare to find here in Australia, but they are also my father’s favourite vegetable. Especially this recipe, Lotus Roots Kimpira, was his favourite veggie dish. When I cooked it for him, I remember him praising me saying “Yours is better than your mum’s”. which was the best praise you could get from him.

In the shop, I put a small fresh Lotus Root in my basket without hesitation, just to make this dish. I went to the cashier and realised that the small lady cost me $9.00…. Well…, there was no option for me not to buy it, but I felt just little nostalgic….

Here is my father’s favourite recipe. Really hope you enjoy it.

 

Ingredients (Serving 4 as a side dish)

300g Lotus Root (Renkon) – peeled and sliced into thin rounds. Soak the slices in water for 5 minutes. This is to avoid them discolouring.

15ml Dashi stock

2 Tablespoons of Cooking Sake

½ Tablespoon of Sugar

½ Tablespoon of Mirin

1 Tablespoon of Soy Sauce

½ Teaspoon of Sesame Seeds

 

Method:

  1. Drain and dry the Lotus slices with paper towels. Heat a small amount of oil (not included in the ingredients’ lost above) in a fry pan on medium heat. Stir-fry the Lotus for a couple of minutes or until translucent.
  2. Add Dashi Stock, Cooking Sake, Sugar and Mirin. Cooking them for 2-3 minutes or until the liquid is half gone.
  3. Add Soy Sauce and cook them for 2-3 minutes or until the liquid is almost gone.
  4. Turn heat off and sprinkle Sesame Seeds over the lotus. It can be served both warm and cold.

 

 

Hot and Sour Soup with Salmon

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My version of Chinese Hot and Sour Soup. It might be an old remedy, but, I somehow believe in Ginger and Garlic to beat a cold. I like cooking this soup when my family is not feeling 100% in the cold winter.

While I use Salmon in this recipe, you can use a different protein instead (I reckon Chicken works very well). You can also use any vegetables in your fridge too.

One thing I recommend not to remove is Dried Shiitake Mushrooms, since Shiitake stock adds the rich flavour into the soup. Hope you enjoy the recipe.

 

Ingredients (Serve for 3-4 people)

For Broth

500ml Chicken Stock

500ml Soaking Liquid of Dried Shiitake Mushrooms – see “For other ingredients” and Method 1 below

1.5 Tablespoons of Light Soy Sauce

A pinch of Sea Salt

2 Tablespoons of White Vinegar

3 Teaspoons of Corn Starch

½ Teaspoon of Sesame Oil

For Salmon

180 – 200g Salmon Fillet – skin removed, chopped into small bite size pieces

1 Teaspoon of Soy Sauce

1 Teaspoon of Cooking Sake

For Other Ingredients

25g Dried Shiitake Mushrooms + 500ml of Water to reconstitute them – keep the soaking liquid

1 Onion –sliced

1 Carrot – cut into long sticks

1/6 Chinese cabbage – cut into small bite size pieces

1 Green Capsicum – sliced

1 or 2 bird eye red Chili (depends on your liking) – finely chopped

2 cloves of Garlic – finely chopped

10g Ginger – finely sliced

80g Dried Potato Noodles (“Malony” in Japanese, you can use Glass Noodles instead)

10 Green Beans – ends trimmed and cut to the same length as the sliced green capsicum

5 florets of Broccoli – separate into smaller florets

1 Egg

 

Method:

  1. Preparation of Dried Shiitake Mushrooms. Rinse the Shiitake. Soak them in 500ml of water to reconstitute. This will table about 10-15 minutes. If you are in a hurry, use warm water instead of cold water. Once they are reconstituted, slice them finely. Keep the soaking liquid.
  2. Preparation of Salmon. Cut and place the Salmon into a small bowl. Marinade the Salmon with Soy Sauce and Cooking Sake. Put it aside.
  3. In a large pot, put Shiitake, Onion, Carrot, Chinese cabbage, green Capsicum, Red Chili, Garlic and Ginger with Chicken Stock and the Shiitake Soaking Liquid. Bring it to a boil. Turn heat to low/medium and simmer it for 15 minutes with a lid on.
  4. Add Light Soy Sauce and a pinch of Salt. Simmer it for 10 minutes with the lid on.
  5. Add Dried Potato Noodles, Green Beans, Broccoli and the Salmon including the marinade to the pot. Put the lid back on and keep simmering for 10 minutes.
  6. Add White Vinegar and stir gently.
  7. Take 2 ladles of the broth out from the pot to a bowl. Add Corn starch to the bowl and whisk it until the Corn Starch is completely dissolved. Add the mixture to the pot and mix it into the soup gently. Add Sesame Oil.
  8. Beat an egg and pour it over the surface of the soup. Turn a heat off. Put the lid on and let it sit for 10 seconds. Serve while it is hot.

 

Is Lupin a New Super Food? Lupin Hummus Recipe

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Since I came back from the Middle East last year, I have been really into Middle Eastern food. I have not cooked Middle Eastern food much at home, because chickpeas involves a long cooking process (soak overnight, cook long time, mush it etc… you know it!).

And then, one night in a café in Wembley, I was introduced to Lupin. The café is owned by a friend of ours and she showed it to us as her new product.

Lupin is a legume grain and is commonly used as livestock feed. Apparently, Western Australia produces a lot of Lupin. Due to its high nutritional value, it has been now introduced to us human beings.

Her café sells a 400g of Lupin flakes for $8 ish. She told me that it tastes like chickpeas, and can be used as its alternative. One big difference is how easy it is to deal with. It is already flaked so it involves none of the time consuming chickpea process.

So, this is my first Lupin recipe – Lupin Hummus. It is very easy and good if you need to bring things to a party.

Ingredients:

160ml Lupin Flakes

2 small cloves of Garlic –chopped

2.5 Tablespoons of Tahini

2 Tablespoons of White Vinegar

1.5 Tablespoons of Lemon Juice

2 pinches of Sea Salt

Olive Oil to drizzle

1 pinch of dried Oregano for garnish

Method:

  1. Put lupin flakes into a small saucepan filled with cold water (not included in the above ingredients)  and bring to boil. Simmer for a further 3 minutes. Drain and rinse the lupin a few times, and then drain off the water from the lupin very well. Place it into a bowl or a food processor if you have one.
  2. Add garlic, tahina, white vinegar, lemon juice and sea salt into the lupin. Mix together with a hand mixer (or a food processor) until it becomes smooth.
  3. Plate the Lupin Hummus. Drizzle olive oil over the hummus and garnish with oregano.

Roasted Vegetable Salad – Balsamic and Soy Dressing

Imagine the richness of balsamic vinegar and the umami of soy sauce absorbed into hot sweet roasted vegetables with the freshness of raw vegetables in your month…. This salad tastes exactly like that!

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Ingredients:

For Roasted Vegetables

3 Potatoes – peeled and cut into 3cm chunks

1 Purple Skinned Sweet Potato – cut into 3cm chunks (keep the skin on)

3 Carrots – peeled and cut into 6cm long matchsticks

1 Red Capsicum – cut into strips

2 Flat Mushrooms – cut into 8 pieces

3 + 1 Tablespoons of Olive Oil to drizzle

2 of ½ Teaspoon of Rosemary Leaves

For Non-Roasted Vegetables

1 Tomato – finely chopped

1 Onion – thinly sliced

100g of Spinach Leaves

Dressing

1 clove of Garlic – finely chopped

6 Tablespoons of Balsamic Vinegar

2 Tablespoons of Soy Sauce

1 Lemon

3 Tablespoons of Olive Oil

A pinch of Salt

 

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 200 ◦C.
  2. Place potato and sweet potato in a small pot and cover with cold water. Boil them for about 3 minutes or until the potatoes are just cooked (but still hard). Drain the potatoes.
  3. Place the potato, sweet potato and carrot into a large baking tray in single layer. Drizzle 3 tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle ½ teaspoon of rosemary leaves over them. Roast them for 20 minutes.
  4. Place red capsicum and mushroom into a medium sized baking tray in single layer. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil and spring ½ teaspoon of rosemary leaves over them.
  5. After 20 minutes roasting (Method 3), turn the potatoes and carrot. Place the capsicum and mushroom tray into the oven and roast the vegetables on both trays for 20 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, make dressing. Mix all ingredients of the dressing. Put aside.
  7. Place tomato, onion and spinach leaves in a large bowl. Add the roasted vegetables to the bowl and dress them with the dressing. Serve it while it is warm.

 

My Thai Salad

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A light and fresh salad with a little bit of kick! Thai flavor can be easily made from the ingredients available in your pantry.

Ingredients:

For Dressing

1 Red Chili – finely chopped (remove the seeds if you prefer the salad mild)

2 cloves of Garlic – finely chopped

1cm cube of Ginger – finely chopped

1 Coriander Root – finely chopped

1 lemon – juice

5 Tablespoons of Fish Sauce

4 Tablespoons of White Vinegar

2 Tablespoons of Sesame Oil

1 tablespoon of Olive Oil

For Salad

100g Rocket Leaves

2 Carrots – grated

80g of Bean Sprouts

½ Onion – sliced

2 Tomatoes – roughly chopped

½ Red Capsicum – roughly chopped

1 large brunch of Coriander – roughly chopped including the stem

Option

Very Moist Chicken or sliced Beef Steak

Method:

For the dressing, combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl.

For the salad, place each ingredient beautifully in layers in a salad bowl. Drizzle the dressing just before serving. As an option of a decent sized meal, top with Very Moist Chicken or sliced beef steak.

The Easiest Ever Quiche – Bacon,Cheese and Vegetable

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Tasty Quiche with NO FUSS and MESS! No homemade pastry or frozen pie crust is required. You can add whatever fillings you like.

Ingredients:

Egg Mixture

70g of All-Purpose Flour

4 Eggs

400ml Milk

70g of Cheese – grated (any of your favorite hard cheese. I use Parmesan. )

One or two pinches of Salt

A pinch of Pepper

A pinch of Nutmeg

Filling

5 slices of Short-Cut Bacon – trimmed and sliced into small pieces

1 Carrot – grated

½ Onion – thinly sliced

5 big florets of Broccoli – cut into small pieces

 

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180◦C
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the all-purpose flour (instead of sifting).
  3. Add the eggs one by one. Every time you add an egg, whisk and combine it well with the flour.
  4. Add milk. Keep whisking and combine all while you are pouring milk.
  5. Add grated carrot, cheese, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and then combine them together.
  6. Layer broccoli, onion and bacon in a 24cm quiche dish. Pour the egg mixture over the top.
  7. Bake for 40 minutes or until the quiche is set.

 

 

Dashimaki Tamago – Japanese Omelette

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This is my favorite egg dish. It was always in my Obento which my mum made every day for me when I was a student.

Ingredients

2 Eggs

3 Tablespoons of Water

½ Teaspoon of Fish Stock Powder

½ Teaspoon of Soy Sauce

 

Method

  1. Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl. Do not mix too well, as the Dashimaki will become hard.
  2. Pour a small amount of oil in a Tamagotaki frying pan (see note below). Heat the pan on high, and wait until the pan gets really hot.
  3. When the pan gets really hot, turn it back to medium heat. Pour 1/3 of the egg mixture into the pan. Spread the mixture evenly over the pan. As bubbles start coming up, pop them and cover the holes by the egg mixture on the pan by rolling the pan.
  4. When the bottom of the egg layer is set (make sure it is not fully set and there is still some liquid on top of the layer), start rolling the egg from the far end toward yourself. O found it is easier to “Fold” it rather than “Roll” it. Try to fold the egg layer to the middle first, and then try to fold it to the end.
  5. Slid the rolled egg back to the far edge. Pour ½ of the remaining of the egg mixture and spread it over the pan. Make sure to spread the mixture under the rolled egg too.
  6. Once the bottom of the egg is set, roll it toward you as before.
  7. Pour all of the remaining egg mixture into the pan and repeat step 5 and 6 once more.
  8. Remove the rolled egg from the pan. Leave and cook it down for 5 minutes.
  9. Cut into 6 equal prices and serve.

 

Note

A Takagoyaki Frying Pan is a small rectangular pan which is used only for Tamagoyaki. The size is 18cm x13cm.