Gluten Free -Brown Rice Shiitake Risotto



This risotto is one of our regular menus but the recipe has never been written down before.

Spring came to Australia. I was researching about seasonal food in spring. At the time, I learnt that Shiitake was actually in season twice a year – spring and autumn. I did not know that! I always thought it was only in autumn! So I just thought it was about time for me to write this down, just because it is spring.

The key is using dried Shiitake’s soaking liquid and Japanese Awase Dashi Stock as broth. These 2 key ingredients make the risotto unique- a combination of Japanese and Italian cuisine. Depth of Shiitake flavour and delicate Japanese stock go well in the traditional Italian dish. If you do not have time to make your own dashi stock, of course you can use one from shops.

You can enjoy a full amount of umami in this risotto. Hope you enjoy it.


Ingredients (Serving 4)

320ml Brown Rice

25g Dried Shiitake Mishrooms

400ml Water for Shiitake

½ Tablespoon of Olive Oil

2 cloves of Garlic – finely chopped

1 Onion – chopped

130g Button Mushrooms – sliced

100g Broccoli – cut into small florets

600ml Awase Dashi Stock

½ Teaspoon of Sea Salt

80g Parmesan Cheese



  1. Rinse brown rice and soak it in water. Put it aside.
  2. Preparation for dried shiitake mushrooms. Rinse and soak them in 400ml of water for about 20 minutes or until they become soft. If you are in a furry, use warm water to make them soft quicker. Keep the soaking liquid. Once they become soft, give a gentle squeeze to expel excess water. Remove the stem and slice them.
  3. Heat awase dashi stock in a sauce pan. Do not make it to boil, but make it stay hot all the time while cooking risotto.
  4. Heal olive oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Place garlic into the pan. Once the garlic is fragrant, add onion and button mushrooms, and sauté them for 2-3 minutes or until the onion becomes translucent.
  5. Add brown rice to the pan. Stir them until the rice is coated with the oil. This will take about 1 minute. Please do not make the rice burn.
  6. Add the shiitake mushrooms and the soaking liquid (from Method 2) into the pan. Cook it with a lid on, stirring with a wooden spoon occasionally.
  7. Once the liquid is almost absorbed, add 400ml of the dashi stock and sea salt to the pan. Cook it with the lid on, stirring occasionally.
  8. Once the liquid is almost absorbed, add 100ml of the dashi stock. Keep cooking it with the lid on, stirring occasionally.
  9. When the liquid is almost absorbed, add broccoli and remaining of dashi stock to the pan. Keep cooking with the lid on, stirring more constantly to prevent the rice from burning.
  10. When the liquid is almost absorbed, the brown rice should be cooked perfectly as al dente. However if the rice is still hard, you can add hot water to keep cooking until the rice is done.
  11. Once the brown rice is cooked as al dente, turn the heat off and let it sit for 5 minutes with the lid on.
  12. Stir Parmesan cheese in the risotto and serve while hot.



Hot and Sour Soup with Salmon


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



  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.


Sushi Christmas Cake – Quirky Christmas @ Secret Cake Club Perth

It is not so long ago that I started baking. I reckon it was 3 years ago. I made a New Year’s Resolution to be able to bake. I have been trying since then.

So, I was so excited when I found “Secret Cake Club Perth”. This club is all about food. People who love cooking, baking and eating bring their own dishes in line with the event theme. On the day of the event, all what we do is eat! And then if there are any left-overs, we can take them home. We can share recipes and ides too. To be honest, I still feel nervous to go to the event and show my baking to the members, however, I really enjoy working on new ideas and expanding my repertoire.

At the most recent event, the theme was “Quirky Christmas”. This was the 3rd event o attended to.  I have not brought any cakes yet ( I does not need to be a cake, buy you know, the club’s name is…). This had to be something strange, unique and funny. I knew what to make straight away.

Sushi Christmas Cake – This is the first cake I brought to the Secret Cake Club. I know this is not baking involved, but, it is Quirky enough isn’t it? Sushi itself is the adaptation from my original Chirashi Sushi recipe so the taste is guaranteed. It looks gorgeous and original. It is also quiet easy to construct.


Here is the recipe.

Ingredients for 15 cm round cake tin

2 cups of Sushi Rice (see the Chirashi Sushi recipe)

4 slices of Smoked Salmon – roughly chopped

3 slices of Smokes Salmon – for decoration

½ Avocado – sliced, drizzle with lemon juice

Simmered Dried Shiitake Mushroom – roughly chopped

A handful of Rocket Leaves

Scrambled Egg (3 Eggs, 1.5 Teaspoon of Soy Sauce, 1.5 Teaspoon of Sugar, 3 Teaspoon of Milk, A pinch of Salt)



Once the Sushi Rice has cooled down and all of the other ingredients are ready, we can start contracting the cake.

  1. Place plastic wrap over the cake tin. Make sure the wrap is much bigger than the tin.
  2. 1st layer – Scrambled Egg. Place Scrambled Egg over the bottom of the tin.
  3. 2nd layer – Sushi Rice. Spread 1/3 of the Sushi Rice over the Egg. Put a little bit of water on your hands when you place he rice, so that the rice does not stick to your hands. Push the rice gently.
  4. 3rd layer – Shiitake Mushroom. Spread the chopped Shiitake over the rice.
  5. 4th layer – Sushi Rice. Spread 1/3 of the Sushi Rice over the Shiitake. Push the rice gently.
  6. 5th layer – Smokes Salmon and Avocado. Place them on the rice nicely.
  7. 6th layer – Sushi Rice. Spread the rest of the Sushi Rice over the Shiitake. Push the rice gently.
  8. Wrap over the surface with plastic wrap and rest it for 1 hour in the fridge.
  9. Take it out from the fringe. Remove the Sushi Cake from the tin by turning it upside down (just like a cake). Remove the wrap.
  10. Make a rose from Smoked Salmon. Cut a slice of Smoked Salmon lengthwise into 3. Roll the smallest slice and then loop others around. Make 3 roses.
  11. Place the roses on top of the Sushi Cake and sprinkle some Rocket Leaves round.2015-11-23_16.19.20

Pianlu Style Hot Pot – Chinese Style Nabe with my adaptation


Serving: 4



30g of Dried Shiitake Mushroom

500cc of warm Water to reconstitute Dried Shiitake Mushroom

15cm x 10cm of Dried Kelp

1000cc Water

1 clove of Garlic – minced

2cm square cube of Ginger – minced

2 Tablespoon of Cooking Sake

4 Tablespoon of Sesame Oil


300g of Chicken Breast – cut into 2cm cubes

1 Tablespoon of Soy Sauce

1 Tablespoon of Cooking Sake

A Pinch of Salt

6 slices of short cut Bacon – Each Bacon to be trimmed and cut into 4

Vegetables and Tofu

1 leak – chop the hard green part off and the rest to be sliced into 1cm thick with angle

3 branches of Bok Choy – divide into a green leaf part and a harder white part

200g Pumpkin – sliced into 1cm thick

150g Bean Sprout

1 Carrot – sliced into 0.5cm thick with angle

1 Onion – sliced into 0.5cm thick

150g of Silken Tofu – cut into 16 pieces


1 clove of Garlic – minced

2cm square cube of Ginger – minced

½ Teaspoon of Salt

2 Tablespoon of Soy Sauce

2 Tablespoon of Fish Sauce


2 Spring Onions – finely chopped


  1. Preparation for Broth. Put 1000cc of water in a Nabe Pot (or clay pot, or deep casserole pot). Place Dried Kelp in the water and soak it for about 30 minutes. At the same time, reconstitute Dried Shiitake Mushrooms in 500cc warm water by soaking for about 10 minutes, or until they become soft. Once Shiitake Mushrooms are soft, remove the stems and slice them in half. Keep the soaking liquid.
  1. Add the Shiitake’s Soaking Liquid, Garlic, Ginger, Cooking Sake and the hard green part of Leak in the pot and bring it to boil. Once the water is boiled, remove the Kelp and Leak. Reduce the heat to medium.
  1. Marinade Chicken Breast with Soy Sauce, Cooking Sake and Salt. Rest the Chicken in the fridge until it is used.
  1. Once the broth is ready, add Shiitake, Leak, a hard part of Bok Choy, Onion and 2 Tablespoon of Sesame Oil. Put a lid on and add continue cooking until the Bok Choy becomes soft.
  1. Add Pumpkin, Carrot, Chicken (with the marinade liquid) and Tofu. Put a lid on and continue cooking until Pumpkin becomes soft.
  1. Put Bean Sprout and the Bok Choy leaves on top and add 2 Tablespoon of Sesame Oil. Put a lid back on and cook for another 3-5 minutes.
  1. While it is cooking, make Sauce by mixing all ingredients of Sauce.
  1. When you eat, put a small amount of Sauce in your serving bowl first and add the Nabe’s ingredients and soup in it. I would recommend 1/3 teaspoon of Sauce to 1.5 ladle of Soup, but it is totally up to you. Start from a small amount of sauce and add more if you like. Put some chopped Spring Onions on top when you eat.


Simmered Dried Shiitake Mushrooms – Hoshi Shiitake no Nimono

Shiitake_1[1] Ingredients

50g Dried Shiitake Mushrooms

360cc Shiitake Stock ( soaking liquid)

1 Tablespoon of Dashi Powder

1.5 Tablespoon of Sugar

2.5 Tablespoon of Mirin

2.5 Tablespoon of Soy Sauce


1. Preparation of Dried Shiitake Mushrooms. Rinse Shiitake to remove dirt. Soak them in warm water for about 10 minutes or until they become soft. Do not soak them too long to avoid the taste of mushrooms to run down to the water. Save the soaking liquid.

2. Lightly squeeze Shiitake. Remove the stems and slice them into 0.5 cm width.

3. Place the sliced Shiitake into a small pan. Add the soaking liquid and bring it to boil.

4. Once it is boiled, reduce the heat to low-medium. Add Dashi Powder, Sugar and Mirin.

5. Put a Otoshi-buta on and simmer it for 30 minutes.

6. Add Soy Sauce and simmer for 5-10 minutes.

7. Turn the heat off. Put a lid on and cool it down.


Chirashi Sushi with Smoke Salmon

Chirashi_Sakmon_2[1] Table_setting_2[1]

Serving : 4


For Sushi Rice

2 Cups of Japanese Rice or Sushi Rice or Short Grain Rice (Please use Rice Cooker’s Cup)

15cm x 5cm of Dried Kelp

7 Tablespoon of Rice Vinegar or White Vinegar

2 Tablespoon of Sugar

A pinch of Salt

For Toppings

Simmered Dried Shiitake Mushroom ( Hoshi Shiitake no Nimono)

2 Handful of Rocket

Smoke Salmon – as much as you like

Scrambled Eggs – 2 Eggs, 1 Teaspoon Soy Sauce, 1 Teaspoon of Sugar, A pinch of Salt)


1. Firstly, cook Rice. Put Rice in the Rice Cooker’s removable bowl. Wash the Rice well. Rest the washed Rice in the bowl for about 20 minutes. Add Water slightly below the line of 2 as marked inside of the bowl. Put Kelp on top of the Rice and cook it as you cook Rice normally. After the Rice cooker completes cooking, let it sit for about 30 minutes to steam.

2. Mix Vinegar, Sugar and Salt.

3. Transfer the cooked Rice in a large bowl. Add the Vinegar mixture and mix it whilst the Rice is still hot by using a Rice Paddle. When you mix, try not to squash each grain of Rice. Mix it like you slice it by using the side me the Rice Paddle.

4. Cover it with a kitchen town and cool it down to the temperature that you can handle it easily.

5.  Prepare Toppings, while the Rice Is cooling down.

– Crack Eggs and mix them with Soy Sauce, Sugar and Salt. Make Scrambled Eggs.

– Cut Shiitake into small pieces.

– Cut Smoke Salmon into a bit-size.

– Wash Rocket leaves.

6. It is ready to assemble once the Sushi Rice is cooled down. Spread the Rice on a plate. On top of the Rice, spread Shiitake first then Eggs, Rocket Leaves and Smoke Salmon nicely.