GyozaRoo – Kangaroo Mince Gyoza

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One of the ingredients that is frequently on our shopping list is Kangaroo Mince. Apparently, there are many right reasons to eat kangaroo meat – low fat, low price, low impact to the environment etc…. However, since I am not a scientist, I really cannot say what is right or wrong. I just like to eat something fresh, healthy, tasty and seasonal that is reasonably priced. In my opinion, kangaroo meat appears “right”. I often use kangaroo mince as it is versatile and very easy to cook. The bonus is it is very reasonable- $9ish per kilo!

I have been curious if kangaroo meat works in Japanese cuisine. In this gyoza recipe, I have alternated pork mince to kangaroo. This makes gyoza light and less fatty. I spice the mince up with garam masala, garlic and ginger and it creates a nice flavour. Vegetables make the gyoza juicy and sweet. I think it works.

 

Ingredients: (about 50 Gyoza, serving 4 people, using 26cm frying pan)

50 Gyoza Wrappers (or they may be called Dumpling Wrapper. These can be purchased at most of Asian stores.)

1 Tablespoon of Oil for frying each batch of gyoza

100ml of Hoy Water for frying each batch of gyoza

Filling

130g kangaroo Mince

250g Cabbage leaves (about 3-4 leaves) – finely chopped

100g Bean Sprouts

3 Dried Shiitake Mushrooms -soak them in water for about 10 minutes to reconstitute, then chopped them finely.

Seasonings

1 Teaspoon of Soy Sauce

1 Teaspoon of Sesame Oil

½ Teaspoon of Garam Masala

2 cloves of Garlic – grated

1.5 cm cube of Ginger – grated

Dipping Sauce

1 Tablespoon of Soy Sauce

1 Tablespoon of White Vinegar

1 small amount of grounded Chili (optional)

 

Method:

  1. Place kangaroo mince and seasonings in a large bowl. Mix them by hand until the mixture become sticky.
  2. Add cabbage, bean sprouts and shiitake mushrooms to the meat mixture. Combine them all together. You can break the bean sprouts while you are combining them (so that you do not need to chop them up!). This has to be done quickly to avoid water coming out from the vegetables.
  3. Now wrap the filling with gyoza wrappers. Place a gyoza wrapper on your palm and pit 1 teaspoonful of the filling in the centre of the wrapper. Apply a small amount of water on top half of the edge of the wrapper with your finger. This works as glue. Fold the wrapper in half over the filling. Using the thumb and index finger of your other hand, start folding the wrapper from right to left while making pleats. Repeat this process to make 50 gyoza.
  4. Now we pan-fry the gyoza. Heat a small amount of oil (not included in the ingredients’ list above) in a flat bottomed frying pan on high (I use a 26cm frying-pan). Once the pan gets really hot, turn the heat down to medium. Place the gyoza in a single layer in the frying pan and pan-fry them for a minute. You can probably place about 25 gyoza in the 26cm frying pan.
  5. Gently add hot water to the frying pan and put a lid on it immediately. Keep cooking them for 3 minutes or until most of water evaporates.
  6. Remove the lid. Make sure there is no liquid left in the pan. If nay, cook them over high heat without the lid until the remaining water evaporates. Pour oil into the pan (not over the gyoza) and pan fry the gyoza for 2-3 minutes or until the bottom of the gyoza becomes golden and crispy.
  7. Transfer the gyoza to a serving plate. For dipping sauce, combine all of the ingredients. Serve gyoza while they are hot with the dipping sauce.

How to make Japanese Stock : Dashi – Kelp and Bonito Stock (Awase Dashi)

Dashi is Japanese stock. It is a foundation of flavour in Japanese cuisine – it is called Umami. While most of common stock (such as beef, chicken and vegie stock etc…) takes long time to cook, Dashi can be done in a short time. Well…, I have to admit that I often I often use Dashi powder as it is very easy to use…, however, I also have to say that Dashi made from scratch is DELICIOUS. It’s worth it to make it by yourself.

There are a few kinds of Dashi, and I will introduce how to make Awase-Dashi here today. Awase-Dashi is made from Dried Kelp and Bonito Flake. It is very versatile and great for most of Japanese dishes.

As I said, it does not take long to make, but please just make sure to soak fried kelp in water over night or at least 3 hours prior to start heating (I normally soak it before going to work in the morning, so that it is ready to cook when I come home). You can also make a big batch of the stock and store it in the fridge (for a week) or in the freezer (for a month).

Ingredients:

1000ml Water

10g Dried Kelp

20g Dried Bonito Flake (Katsuobushi)

Method:

  1. Gently wipe kelp with a wet cloth or kitchen paper. Place water and the kelp in a large pot. Leave it for over night or at least 3 hours. This is to allow the flavour of the kelp to get into the water.
  2. Heat up the pot on medium heat. Just before the water starts to boil, remove the kelp.
  3. Add dried bonito flake (katsuobushi) to the pot and cook it for 3 minutes. Turn the heat off and let the bonito sink to the bottom. This will take about  10 minutes.
  4. Strain the stock and squeeze the remained bonito to release extra umami from it.

 

Light & Fluffy Yogurt Pancakes

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A perfect Sunday breakfast. Yogurt makes pancakes light and fluffy. I made this recipe when I really felt like pancakes but there was no milk in the fridge. If you do not always have milk in your fridge like us but are still crabbing pancakes, try this recipe.

Ingredients (4 small pancakes):

4 Tablespoons of Plain Yogurt (normal, light or greek – it is your choice)

5 Tablespoons of Water

1 Egg

1.5 Tablespoons of Sugar

½ Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract

50g Almond Meal – shifted

50g Self-rising Flour – shifted

 

Method:

  1. In a bowl, whisk yogurt, water, egg, sugar and vanilla extract well, until the mixture becomes smooth.
  2. Add almond meal and self-rising flour to the bowl and combine them until the batter becomes smooth.
  3. Place a small amount of oil in a frying pan (not included in the ingredients’ list above). Heat the frying pan to medium/high heat. Pour ¼ of the batter into the frying pan. Cook it for 2-3 minutes or until the surface becomes bubbly and the edge becomes dry. Flip the pancake over and cook it for another 2-3 minutes. Once it is cooked, transfer the pancake to a plate and repeat the same process with the remaining batter.
  4. Plate them up and serve them warm with your choice of toppings (I chose simple ones – good butter and honey)

 

Ginger Rice

I made this recipe when main dish was grilled king fish. I wanted to serve something refreshing with it; something to cut through the oiliness.

A small amount of ginger gives a light aroma to rice and a hint of spiciness refreshes your mouth. It is a good combination with oily fish. Try it while ginger is in season.

Servings: 4 people

Ingredients:

2 cup of Rice – Japanese Rice, Sushi Rice or Short Grain Rice (please use Rice Cooker’s cup)

7g of Ginger – peeled and grated

5g of Dried Kelp – wipe the surface with a wet clean cloth

1 Tablespoon of Cooking Sake

1 Tablespoon of Light Soy Sauce

1 Spring Onion – finely chopped

2.5g Bonito Flake

 

Method:

  1. Put rice in a rice cooker’s removable bowl and rinse the rice. Rest the washed rice in the bowl for about 20 minutes (if your rice cooker includes this time into the cooking time, it is not necessary to do so).
  2. Add cooking sake and soy sauce to the rice. Add water up to the line of 2 as marked inside the removable bowl (not included in the ingredients list above). Add ginger to the rice. Place dried kelp on it.
  3. Set the rice cooker and cook it as per the rice cooker’s instructions.
  4. Once the rice cooker has completed cooking, let it sit for about 30 minutes (if your rice cooker includes this time into the cooking time, it is not necessary to do so). Remove the dried kelp. Add spring onion and bonito flakes, and fold them into the rice. Serve it while it is hot.

The Easiest Ever Cake – Apple Cinnamon Almond Cake with Lemon Syrup

This is another very easy cake recipe. No technique is required. All you have to do is keep adding the ingredients in a bowl. Apple and almond meal give the cake moderate natural sweetness, and brown sugar contributes to its richness. The flavour of lemon syrup adds a little bit of sourness to the cake.

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Ingredients for 15 cm round cake tin:

2 Eggs

70g Dark Brown Sugar

60ml Milk

40g Unsalted Butter – melted

20ml Olive Oil

1 Teaspoon of Cinnamon powder

80g Almond Meal – shifted

80g Self-Rising Flour – shifted

1 Apple (any kind of apple you like) – peeled, core removed and sliced into thin wedges

Lemon Syrup

2 Tablespoons of Lemon Juice

2 Tablespoons of Water

4 Tablespoons of icing Sugar (or White Sugar is also fine)

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180◦C. Line a cake tin with greaseproof paper.
  2. In a large bowl, beat eggs and dark brown sugar until the sugar is dissolved completely. Add milk, melted butter, olive oil and cinnamon power to the bowl. Combine them well.
  3. Add almond meal and self-rising flour into the mixture. Combine them gently until hey disappear. Do not mix as gluten will come out and he cake will be dense*.
  4. Pour the batter into the tin and smooth the top. Arrange the sliced apple on top of the batter, pressing them into the batter very gently. Bake it for about 40 minutes (depending on your oven) or until a wooden skewer inserted into the centre of cake comes out clean.
  5. Meanwhile, make lemon syrup. Put lemon juice, water and icing sugar in a small saucepan. Heat it gently until the sugar is completely dissolved. Put aside.
  6. Once the cake is cooked, take it out from the oven. Make small holes in the surface using a wooden skewer and pour the lemon syrup over the cake. Leave it to soak in the tin until it has cooled down. It can be eaten straight away, but it is nice next day as well when all of the flavour is settle and absorbed.

Note* How to combine dry ingredients into wet ingredients gently.

I use a wire whisk. Scrape and scoop the mixture of ingredients with the whisk, and lift up and drop it. Repeat this until the dry ingredients disappear into the mixture. It helps you to work quicker when you turn the mixing bowl in the opposite direction of the whisk scrapping the mixture.

His Birthday Weekend – 2017

January 2017. It was a busy and interesting start to the year. After eating and drinking throughout the festive period, we headed to Adelaide to celebrate our father (my father-in-law)’s 70th birthday. We came back and moved to a new apartment and then we headed to Sydney separately. It was for business for my husband, and for me it was a kind of business/leisure/experimentation. Time flew and we realised that the weekend was truly the last weekend of this month.

I have enjoyed this crazy month, but the worst thing was that he had to have the business trip on his birthday. Yes I normally do a “Birthday Week” for me, but I thought it is fair to apply this concept to my poor husband this year.

Thursday: I baked his birthday cake.

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I tried to bake this one….

http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/chocolate-mousse-cake/d12b92e5-d1ef-4fd7-8d62-1e4462047424?r=recipes/top10chocolatecakerecipes&c=1080a64b-a5e8-4567-a50c-265eeb0d4439/Top%2010%20chocolate%20cake%20recipes

Well, we just moved here and I haven’t made friends with the oven yet. It was cooked too long and the centre was not particularly “mousse”…. A recovery was made by the Coffee Mascarpone frosting. I added a magic ingredient – BRANDY!

We went shopping and bought a few things which he wanted. You know what? I did not buy anything for myself. All were for him! Then, we went to the Australia Day Function at Fraser’s but it was unfortunately cancelled. It was quite surreal to see that kind of thing in real time.

Friday: we unfortunately had to go to work, but a good thing was that it was already the weekend. His birthday cake was well received at his work (thanks to the magic ingredient), which was good to hear. For dinner, I cooked Crispy Salmon. Of course, we opened a bottle of red. We just enjoyed a relaxing dinner together which we had not had for a while.

Saturday: Today I was his responsible chauffeur. The destination was Swan Valley. The first stop was Riverbank Winery for his birthday lunch. It was a hot day so we decided to order a bottle of bubble called “White Diamond”. It was pretty nice and we bought 3 bottles. We visited a few wineries after that, and at Houghton (where he found his “Today’s Favourite”), the waiter recommended “Mann Winery” for sparkling wine. This winery only sells 1 think – sparkling, and opens only for 6 months from August. There was no doubt why we had never been there before. When we arrived there, the door was closed so we rang the bell as per the instructions on the entrance door. Mr Mann came out and let us in. the cellar door was a lovely small wooden hut and smelt like a mixture of wine and timber. I loved the smell!. It was not fancy or anything but we loved the authenticity. He told us about his family story: how this place and his wine were established. The sparkling itself was tasty. The colour is slightly pink. We purchased 6 bottles.

Sunday: Well…, the day did not go as well as we planned (e.g. unsuccessful breakfast at Leederville, traffic to the grocery shopping etc.), but we still had a relaxing day. Furthermore, for me, it was just nice to have a normal Sunday after our unusual days.

I hope he enjoyed his birthday weekend as much as I did.

Happy New Year – 2017

Happy New Year. Wising everyone peace, health and a lot of joy throughout the year.

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Again I prepared Osechi. It takes time but it is very rewarding. Most of all, it is delicious…. I love Japanese traditional food.

Menu:

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Kohaku Namasu (pickled daikon and carrot)

Ebino Umani (prawns cooked in soy sauce, sake and mirin)

Gomame/Tazukuri (dried sardines caramelised with sugar and soy sauce)

Nishime (simmered vegetables)

Kurikinton (chestnuts and sweet potatoes paste)

Tamagoyaki (Japanese omelette)

 

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Koya-dofu (simmered dried tofu)

Simmered Shiitake

Konbu Maki (rolled kelp)

Kuromame (Simmered black beans)

Ozoni (soup with mochi/rice cake)

Grilled Miso Marinaded Salmon

Although Osechi is traditionally meant to be eaten for 3 days from the new year’s day, it did not work like that for us. Most of them are gone now…. They were just so tasty and we (mostly I) kept nibbled them with a glass of white wine!

Well, after the festive season, my stomach certainly became bigger…. I reckon that it is time for me to restart my exercise habit….