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Lunch at home: Japanese!

Where have I been? There’s been an upgrade in my status at work recently, and I have been very busy with adjusting and keeping up with the tasks that naturally my hobbies are the first to go. Including cooking. I’ve been able to catch up though, and perhaps I can go back to this hobby which is dear to me.

What I’m excited about is my purchase of umeboshi. I’ve been looking for this for a long time, and I was finally able to eat some at a Japanese restaurant at Little Tokyo in Makati. Of course I immediately wanted to buy some, to make into onigiri. I was able to find it in a Japanese grocery also at Little Tokyo. At first I only saw the big jars, which costs Php560 each, but I doubted that I can finish such a huge amount even though I really like ume. Luckily, there were smaller jars which costs only Php140. Here’s my beloved jar, along with a bottle of soy sesame dressing (Php150?).

Today was my chance to make onigiri, and I decided to make a themed lunch out of it. I made ume onigiri for myself, spicy tuna onigiri for The Man, some takuan, and an egg drop soup with wakame seaweed.

Bits of the spicy tuna onigiri kinda fell apart a little at the plating. The spicy tuna is from a can of 555 Hot and Spicy tuna. There were quite a bit of it, and the left overs are in that small red square bowl at the bottom. Here’s a close up of the not-yet-wrapped-with-nori ume onigiri, which of course at this stage is not distinguishable from the spicy tuna onigiri.

The takuan came from a long solid piece that I bought from Landmark Supermarket. It costs about Php200+, but it’s a pretty big piece so this will last a long time. You only ever eat so many slices at a time anyway. Here I used three slices halved, served with a small dipping sauce of Kikkoman soy sauce.

Lastly, I made an egg drop soup made from this gem.

It’s really pretty easy to prepare. Just boil two cups of water, pour in the whole packet, and simmer for about a few minutes until all the powder has dissolved. Then I slowly poured in a lightly beaten egg while stirring the soup, to make the egg come out in strands. As a last minute inspiration, I decided to drop in about three pinches of dried wakame seaweed (bought from the Japanese grocery, Php 140 a small pack). It re-hydrated pretty well in the hot soup. After removing from heat, I put in a half teaspoon of sesame oil for added flavor.

Not bad for a homemade lunch!

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Posted by on February 23, 2012 in Blog

 

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Week 35 of 52: Bread cups

This week I cooked up a batch of Chocolate Chunk cookies and as usual, I had to figure out what to do with the three yolks I had left over. Usually I would whip them up into a caesar salad dressing, but I didn’t have any salad materials on hand ready. I decided I’ll make some sort of snack from bread shaped into cups. I got this idea from Home Cooking Rocks.

Basically I cut off the crusts off four slices of loaf bread and flattened them out with a rolling pin. I spread some melted butter on both sides then very carefully arranged them into a muffin pan. I actually tore the first slice slightly, but I plowed on ahead anyway. On two of these bread cups I sprinkled some white sugar. Into the oven they went (nicely preheated from baking the cookies) and baked until I could see the sides of the cups browned. Off they went onto a plastic tray to cool.

In the meantime I heated up a pan with the leftover melted butter and a drizzle of olive oil. I sauteed half of a large white onion until limp, then added a small can worth of sliced button mushrooms. I left it to cook while I took those three leftover yolks, added another whole egg, about a fourth of a cup of fresh milk, a bit of shredded cheese, and some salt, pepper, and dried thyme and beat them all together. After the mushrooms and onions were in the pan for about five minutes, I poured in the egg mixture and scrambled them all up. I made sure to keep stirring the contents so the egg will cook evenly. It came out very yellow of course, with four yolks. Once the egg was well cooked, I scooped out some, filled the two bread cups without the sprinkled sugar, and topped it with a bit more shredded cheese.

Onto the other two cups I placed some sliced tropical fruit from Del Monte I think. I wanted to see how the bread cup idea would work with dessert type arrangement.

The mushroom-onion-egg bread cups were very tasty. It’s very filling even though it didn’t have any meat. I think this will do well as a side dish, or with enough bread cups it may even do for an entire meal. My husband liked this too. The fruit-filled bread cups were okay, but a little jolting. I guess it wasn’t really a usual arrangement since the fruit wasn’t baked into the bread. It wasn’t really bad per se, but I don’t think it will be repeated.

 
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Posted by on October 10, 2011 in 52-Week Challenge 2011

 

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Week 31 of 52: Cuppa Cuppa Cake

This is a potentially nice and easy dessert recipe I found on Pioneer Woman. The idea is simple: a cup each of sugar, self-raising flour, and fruit cocktail. There seemed to be a lot of things I did wrong on this one. Firstly, I forgot to add to my all-purpose flour some baking powder and salt to turn it into self-raising. I think I also put too much fruit cocktail, because I forgot it’s supposed to only be one cup. My cake turned out to be too white, and too sweet!

As you can see, the cake didn’t rise much and stayed pretty compact. It’s also very sticky, almost like sapin-sapin.

I think I’ll try this again next time with the proper measurements.

 
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Posted by on August 13, 2011 in 52-Week Challenge 2011

 

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Quest for non-native fruit

I have been following this blog for some time (since around Day 38). It’s an interesting blog that teaches about couponing in the US, and the author’s challenge to himself to live on $1 a day of food. I find it interesting because 1) it’s about someone’s cooking adventures 2) couponing is something that cannot exist in the Philippines and 3) his writing style is engaging and he doesn’t hold back on sharing his experiences, whether bad or good.

One of the things that I like about the blog is the wealth of pictures that he includes. In conjunction with my love for fruit, his pictures have triggered a craving for fruit that are not native to the Philippines. I have been looking around for those, blackberries in particular, but have only found the usual local fruit like watermelons, grapes, bananas, and mangoes. I saw some raspberries in Rustan’s Katipunan but they were selling at Php400 (~$8.88) for a very small package, which was very steep.

Fortunately, my mother-in-law wanted to go to S&R, a large membership-shopping supermarket that carries both local and international products. The Man and I decided to tag along, with him intending to buy ice cream and me intending to scout (and buy) non-native fruit. Lo and behold! They were in fact carrying several kinds of non-native fruit, and I decided to get raspberries and plums.

These came up to Php550 total (~$12.22), which is still pretty steep but I doubt I could find a better price anywhere else. Here they are, unpacked.

So far they work great with my breakfast cereal (yum!). I’m not sure what else I could do with them considering the very small amount I got, but I plan to include them in some future baon. What kind of fruits do you like?

 
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Posted by on August 12, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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