Bocconcini Salad with Strawberry Dressing

At this moment, I do not have access to my pots, pans or to my pantry as we are currently in temporary accommodation. What I have is only some essential things such as soy sauce (of course!!), dashi powder, cooking sake and sugar, which I think allows me to cook decent things.

And…, my boss (the kind one) gave me a packet of Shio Koji.

As I have written about it in my blog previously, Shio Koji is one of my “super foods” – which is not only for its nutrition but also for its versatility (please see here for more detail).

That made me cook something different from the usual suspects, and even allowed me to come up with this new salad idea!

This strawberry dressing is a little bit sweet as well as a little bit savoury – as the result of a touch of Shio Koji. It is a perfect salad for hot summer days!

Since Shio Koji can be purchased in the Japanese shops in Perth, I assume that it can be found in other cities. If you have a chance to find it, I recommend you to get and try it 🙂

Ingredient: 
For Salad
200g Salad Leaves
210g Traditional Bocconcini- cut into 4
1 Lebanese Cucumber -diced
1/2 Onion - finely chopped

For Strawberry Dressing
250g Strawberries - washed and hulled
1/2 tablespoon of Shio Koji
1/2 tablespoon of Sugar
1/2 tablespoon of Lemon

Method :
For Strawberry Dressing
1. Place all of the ingredients for dressing in a small pot. Heat the pot over medium heat with the lid on. Once it is boiled, reduce the heat to low.

2. Keep cooking for about 15 minutes or until the strawberries become very soft, while stirring and mashing the strawberries occasionally.

3. Remove it from the heat. Place the dressing in a clean container and cool it down in the fridge.

For Salad
In a salad bowl or plate, place salad leaves, bocconcini, cucumber and onions nicely. Just before serving, pour the strawberry dressing over the salad.

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The-Easiest- Ever Muffins – Chocolate and Strawberries

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Another flavour of my Easiest Ever Muffins -the classic combo, Chocolate and Strawberries.

These muffins are so easy to make. All you need to do is just place a large mixing bowl on a scale and keep adding and mixing all ingredients in order. If you are looking for something to do with your kids during this school holiday, maybe this is a good one.

Ingredients (about 8-9 small muffins)

80g of Almond Meal

50g of Self-raising Flour

30g of good quality Pure Cocoa Powder

2 Eggs

50g of Sugar

30g of Milk

40g of Unsalted Butter- melted

20g of Olive Oil (or any of your favourite oil)

60 of Dark Chocolate Chips (or nay of your favourite chocolate)

For Strawberries

200g of Strawberries

2 Teaspoons of Lemon Juice

2 Teaspoons of Sugar

 

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 200◦C. Line a muffin tin with paper muffin cups. Shift almond meal, self-raising flour and cocoa powder together.
  2. Place all of the ingredients for the strawberries in a small microwavable bowl. Cover it with gladwrap and microwave it for 1 minute. Put it aside.
  3. In a large bowl, beat eggs and sugar until the sugar is dissolved completely. Add milk, melted butter and olive oil to the bowl and combine them well.
  4. Add the almond meal, the self-raising flour and the cocoa powder into the mixture. Combine them gently until they disappear. Do not mix as gluten will come out and the muffins will be dense*.
  5. 5 add chocolate chips and the strawberries including all of the juice into the mixture. Fold them into the mixture gently. Again do not mix.
  6. Pour the mixture evenly into the prepared muffin cups. Bake them for 15-18 minutes or until they are just cooked (until a wooden skewer inserted into the centre of muffin comes out clean).
  7. Take them out from the oven and cool them down on a wire rack.

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Note: *how to combine dry ingredients into wet ingredients gently.

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