Monthly Archives: November 2016

Yakisoba Recipe

Yakisoba is Japanese stir fried noodles. It is served with Yakisoba sauce, similar to Tonkatsu or Okonomiyaki sauce.  Yakisoba is usually fried with sliced pork and vegetables like cabbage and bean sprouts.  It is a very popular casual food (or snack) everyone likes in Japan.  You can find Yakisoba at many places like Okonomiyaki restaurants, festivals, supermarket delis, and of course, home.

Yakisoba is a great light or quick meal.  Kids stop at a little shop for Yakisoba after school,  and people stop for it at a food court in a mall during shopping.  One of the best Yakisoba can be found at summer night festivals. Street vendors cook Yakisoba on a big grill.  I don’t know what they do to it, but they make superb Yakisoba.  If you are making your own Yakisoba, you can put your favorite meat and vegetables; chicken, beef, or even squid.  The must-have toppings are Aonori andBenishoga.  The fragrance of Aonori and spicy Benishoga accentuate the flavor of Yakisoba so well.  Even when your Yakisoba is mediocre, they can upgrade the dish for you.

We use Chuka Men, Chinese style noodles, in Yakisoba, but the dish is not Chinese at all.  It is actually very Japanese, and nothing like Chow Mein other than they are both noodle dishes. Yakisoba sauce is very similar to Okonomiyaki sauce (you can even substitute Okonomiyaki sauce for Yakisoba sauce), though it is a little bit more like Worcester sauce and thinner.  We made the Yakisoba sauce using Tonkatsu sauce and Worcester sauce which are in our pantry.  You can of course purchase Yakisoba sauce if available, but this may be a good alternative.

Chuka Men for Yakisoba is usually sold as packages of fresh noodles in the refrigerated section at Japanese or some Asian markets.  Each package of noodles (square) is for one serving, and sometimes comes with Yakisoba seasoning powder.  The seasoning powder is a convenient thing and doesn’t taste bad, I admit, so you may opt to use that as your Yakisoba sauce.  For people who do not have access to any Asian markets at all,  dried spaghetti can be used instead of Chuka Men.  Similar to what we did in Ramen, boil dried spaghetti in boiling water (2L) with baking soda (2Tbsp), and cook according to the package.   You may not want to use fresh pasta because it may be too soft to stir fry after boiling.  We know it is not exactly the same as Chuka Men, but it can be a pretty good substitution for those who cannot get Chuka Men.Get all the ingredients ready, fry them together, and enjoy your own Yakisoba!

(We recommend using a non-stick pan to make Yakisoba to avoid noodles getting stuck on the pan.)

Yakisoba Recipe

Yield: 2

Ingredients

    • 1/3 lb (150g) pork, thinly sliced
    • 1 small onion
    • 2 C cabbage, cut into about 2″ squares
    • 2 C bean sprouts
    • 1/2 small carrot
    • 1/4 green bell pepper
    • 1 Tbsp oil
    • Aonori
    • Benishoga
    • 2 packages Chuka Men (Chinese style noodles)
    • salt and pepper
Yakisoba Sauce
  • 3 Tbsp Tonkatsu sauce
  • 2 Tbsp Worcester sauce
  • 1/2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 Tbsp Mirin

Instructions

  1. Cut sliced pork into bite size pieces. Prepare the vegetables: slice onion, carrot, and bell pepper thinly; cut cabbage into 2″squares; wash and strain bean sprouts. Mix all the ingredients for Yakisoba Sauce.
  2. In a large frying pan, add oil and heat at medium high heat. Cook meat first until browned. Add onion, carrot, and bell pepper and cook about 1-2 minutes. Then add cabbage and bean sprouts, and cook until vegetables are wilted. Once water seeps out from vegetables, add Chuka Men, stir under the vegetables, lower heat and cover, and cook about 2 minutes until noodles soften.
  3. When noodles get loose and soft, keep stirring to mix with vegetables, then add sauce and coat the whole thing for a couple of minutes. (Season with salt and pepper to taste.)
  4. Place Yakisoba on the plate; sprinkle with Aonori and put Benishoga on top.

Mince Curry and Vetkoek Sishebo

Vetkoeks are a favourite South African comfort food. They are a rich part of our history as they were used as a quick and easy alternative to bread by the voortrekkers while they were on the move. These delicious, fried flour balls taste good when eaten with a sweet or savoury side. You can have your vetkoeks with tea and syrup for breakfast, or you can have them with a side of chips and sausages for lunch. However, a delicious mince curry is what goes best with the beloved fat cakes, making for a truly delicious filling. Whenever you search for South African recipes, the mince and vetkoek combo is popular. Want to try it out? Here is a recipe ideal for proudly South African families. [1]

 

For the curried mince, you’ll need:

2 tsp. (10 ml) of oil

1 large onion, coarsely chopped

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

2 cups (500 g) of mince, preferably lean beef or ostrich

½ tsp. (2,5 ml) of salt

3 Tbsp. (45 ml) of mild curry powder

5 tsp. (25 ml) of fruit chutney

1 ½ tsp. (7 ml) of vinegar

2 Tbsp. (30 ml) of tomato puree

½ tsp. (2,5 ml) of Worcestershire sauce

3/5 cup (150 ml) of water

1 large, cooked potato, peeled and cubed

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Fresh coriander leaves for garnishing (optional)

Method:

  • Heat the oil in a large, shallow saucepan and fry the onion and garlic until soft.
  • Add the mince and allow to brown.
  • Add the salt and curry powder and cook until fragrant.
  • Add the chutney, vinegar, tomato puree, Worcestershire sauce, and water and stir well.
  • Cover partially and simmer for about 30 minutes or until the sauce has thickened. Stir occasionally.
  • Add the potato and peas, stir gently and simmer until heated through.

For the vetkoek, you’ll need:

4 cups (1 kg) of cake flour

2 tsp. (10 g) of instant yeast

2 tsp. (10 ml) salt

2 ½ cups (650 ml) of lukewarm water

4 cups (1 l) of oil for deep-frying

Method:

  • Sift the flour in a large mixing bowl and add the yeast and salt. Mix well.
  • Add just enough lukewarm water to make a soft dough and knead for about 15 to 20 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic and no longer sticks to your hands.
  • Coat the top of the dough with oil, cover with a tea towel and leave to rest in a warm place for about 10 minutes.
  • Break off pieces of dough. Shape into rounds and leave in a warm place to rise once more until double in volume.
  • Heat the oil until very hot and deep-fry the vetkoek until golden brown.
  • Drain on paper towelling.
  • Make a slit in the vetkoek and fill with the hot curried mince mixture. Sprinkle the filling with extra coriander leaves, press the vetkoek gently to close and serve.

You’ll be able to feed 8 hungry tummies with this recipe. Enjoy!

Seafood Paella A Sumptuous Meal

Seafood paella is one of the most popular European rice dishes served during regular meals and special occasions. It has also conquered dining tables of other countries and cultures across the globe. Why not? The mixture of carbo-rich rice filled with meaty goodness of different seafood makes a perfect heavy delicious meal for family, friends, and guests to enjoy and feast on.

 

Actually, seafood paella is a variety of the original paella recipe, which originated in Spain. Paella, according to food historians, is a rice dish which is all the rage traditionally and popularly eaten on Sundays. The term paella was derived from the Latin word patella, which means frying pan. Obviously the dish is usually cooked in a big frying pan where food ingredients such as rice, vegetables, meat, and seafood are mixed together to come up with sumptuous meal. Paella should have the three main ingredients of rice, saffron, and olive oil. Complements such as chicken meat, olives, and shellfish are added since these are very abundant in Spain. The seafood paella recipe came about and flourished when meat was taken away from the recipe to appeal to strict vegetarians, who abhor eating livestock meat. Seafood paella also became more popular in the seafood industry and is considered the preferred diet of health-conscious individuals. Seafood contains a certain kind of fatty acid nutrient called the Omega3, which helps fight cancer and heart diseases. Seafood paella was also popular to countries or areas where seafood supply is abundant.

In case you wonder why paella is a preferred dish in huge get-togethers, it is because the dish is very easy and practical to serve and prepare. It is like having a banquet in one dish. With the carbo-rich and meaty ingredients, the dish is really a satisfyingly heavy meal.

One can look at a hundreds of seafood paella recipes in any cookbooks available in the bookstores. The Internet also offers a wide range of resources, which you can check or download free if you want a systematic guide on how to concoct the dish.

The seafood meat ingredients are stir-fried with an olive oil in a large but shallow flat frying pan first. The vegetables follow. Water is subsequently poured in until it boils. Rice is then added after the desired broth flavor is achieved. Some put salt to balance taste. Once the rice is cooked, the pan is removed from the heat and left to absorb the remaining water. It can be served immediately after being cooled for several minutes.

Kabocha Gohan Recipe

Kabocha, the sweet Japanese squash, is a very versatile vegetable.  You can simmer it in seasoned dashi broth (Kabocha no Nimono), or use it for salads, Tempura, or sweets like cakes and pies.  It is great to know a variety of recipes, because using up a whole Kabocha can be challenging.

Kabocha Gohan is a very easy to make rice dish that you can make in no time.  You don’t even need dashi.  Just plain salt and a bit of sake will enhance the sweet Kabocha flavor, and adds aroma to otherwise plain white rice.

You can make this dish in a rice cooker if you have one.  Mix rice, water, and seasoning and put kabocha on top.  Turn on the rice cooker and that’s all you have to do.  If you are cooking rice in a pot, you may want to watch the steamed rice recipe video first.

Kabocha Gohan (kabocha squash rice) Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 cups rice (using 240ml cup)
  • 3 cups water (720ml)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp Sake
  • 2 cups Kabocha (peel and cut into 1-1.5 inch cubes)

Instructions

  1. Put rice in a bowl. Wash and pour water out, then repeat 2 more times. Place rice and water in a heavy pot. Let it soak for 30 minutes.
  2. Immediately before cooking, add salt and sake and stir. Add Kabocha and bring it to a boil on high heat without lid. When it reaches the rapid boil, put the lid on and reduce heat to simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Let it stand for 10 minutes (don’t open the lid.) Fluff the rice with spatula (kabocha will be so soft that it will be mashed a little bit, but that’s OK.)

How to Make Double Chocolate Covered Rice Crispy Treats

gkiludSearching the web for chocolate covered rice crispy treats ideas? These recipes are eye-poppingly delicious and the techniques make it easy to cover the treats in the chocolate. What are you making them for? What’s the occasion? Are these party favors, for a get-together, or are you just salivating for chocolate right now? If you answered yes to any of the above then you will find something you like here.

I love double chocolate, don’t you? If so then you will love these chocolate dipped treats covered in mini chocolate chips, drizzled chocolate and chocolate cookie crumbs. And why don’t we trick these treats out? Let’s use all the different chocolates white, milk and dark for our toppings and coatings.

First, we’ll start with a recipe to make the treats so here’s the one I use. I prefer to make mine from scratch rather than use the ones from the stores. That way I can customize the size. If your treats are for a lot of people than you may end up making two batches or more of this recipe.

Rice Crispy Treats Recipe

Ingredients

-6 cups of Crisped Rice cereal

-1/2 Stick Butter or Margarine

-1 Bag of Marshmallows (preferably Small Marshmallows) 10 oz.

Directions

  1. Spray baking tray or casserole dish with cooking spray. Set aside. Pour crisped cereal into large mixing bowl.
  2. Melt the butter in the sauce pan over low heat. Spray wooden spoon with cooking spray.
  3. Once butter starts to melt add the marshmallows and stir immediately. Let marshmallows and butter melt completely until liquified.
  4. Remove from heat and pour into the bowl filled with cereal. Stir with the spoon or spray your fingers with the cooking spray and mix by hand.
  5. Once completely blended pour into the baking tray or dish. Spray fingers with cooking spray and press into cookie sheet to desired thickness. The depth of the tray or casserole dish will determine the depth of your treats. For thicker treats choose a deeper tray or dish.
  6. Place in refrigerator to set faster for about 15 minutes. Once chilled and hardened remove from fridge.
  7. Remove hardened cereal mixture from tray or dish and set on a large cutting board. With sharp large knife (I prefer a chefs knife) cut out squares. Return each treat to baking tray to prepare for chocolate decorating.

Ok, now for the fun part- decorating! Let’s set up our decorating station first. Here’s what we need:

Rice Crispy Treats Decorating Station

-Decorating Saucer. you place one treat at a time on it, decorate it then place it aside.

-Baking Tray/Cookie Sheet. place finished treats here.

-2-3 Medium Plastic Sauce Bottles and 4-6 Caps. You will fill these with the melted chocolate and these will be the tools to help you decorate the treats in the cleaniest, most efficient. Replacing caps with hardened chocolate in the openings is easier than cleaning them over and over. way I’ve discovered yet. **If you would like to cover your treats with different types of chocolate than at least use one per type and save one extra empy bottle in case you need it.

– 2-3 Wide, Tall Glasses. The sauce bottles go in these. Fill them 1/3 of the way with warm water. Warm water must touch the sides of the bottle to keep the chocolate melted. DO NOT USE HOT WATER or the chocolate could seize (thicken), just warm water.

-Sauce Pot. The glasses and bottles go in here. Fill this 1/3 to 1/2 way with water, place on stove (or portable burner) and warm over a light simmer.

-Bowls for Toppings. one bowl for each topping; mini white chocolate chips, mini dark chocolate chips, mini milk chocolate chips and the crushed cookies.

-Plenty of Clean Towels. Paper or cloth, whichever you prefer. Wipe your hands and good for other clean up.

Melt the Chocolate

Here is an easy way I melt chocolate. Pour one bag of semi-sweet chocolate coating wafers (or whichever kind you are using at the moment) into thick, sealable plastic bag used for freezing. Place in microwave and on 50% power melt for 1 minute. Chocolate will not be completely melted yet. Remove bag and work with fingers to grind the chocolate. Smash as much as possible then return bag to microwave. Melt again on 50% power for 30 seconds. Remove and work the chocolate with your fingers. If still not liquid. Repeat last step for 30 seconds. DO NOT OVERHEAT CHOCOLATE or it will seize. Remove the cap from a bottle and stand it on end on top of the counter or table. Cut one bottom corner of the bag. Squeeze the chocolate out of the bag into the bottom, much like you would squeeze out toothpaste. Replace cap back onto bottle. Set bottle in one of the glasses with warm water then place bottle into the sauce pan with warm water.

Chocolate Covering Technique for Rice Crispy Treats

  1. Chocolate Covered with Chocolate Chips. The trick is to apply the chips while the chocolate coating is still wet, then allow them both to set (harden) at room temperature. Dipping can be messy so that’s why I coat the treats using the sauce bottles. It’s much easier. A few steps will make the whole process easy and the treats will look great!
  2. Borders. This is not for show just simply to create a “fence” in which to fill the rest of the chocolate coating. Using a sauce bottle and working with one treat at a time. Create a chocolate border around the edges of the top of each treat (we will not coat the sides or bottom) then set aside on the baking tray. Create borders for all treats first before moving to the next step. Place bottle back in glass with warm water. Let chocolate on treats set for a few minutes.
  3. Filling. One treat at a time fill each one with melted chocolate using the sauce bottles. I find it easier to start from the “close” to the edges then work towards the center. Do not completely fill. Leave a space in the center. DO NOT LET CHOCOLATE SET, immediately grab the one you are working with by its sides and tap it against the saucer until chocolate fills the empty spaces. Move onto the next step, then return to this step until all the treats are done. Do this one treat at a time. In order to adhere chocolate chips to the treat the chocolate coating must be wet.
  4. Chocolate Chips. Grab some chips with your hands and sprinkle onto the wet chocolate, once again, one treat at a time. Mix and match if you would like with the different types of chocolate. Set treat aside on baking tray. Finish all treats. Let chocolate set for several minutes.
  5. Crushed Chocolate Cookies. The method for adding the cookie crumbs to your treats will be the same as the previous process for adding chocolate chips. There are a few ways that I crush the cookies. Choose your favorite chocolate cookie sandwich. Remove the cream in the middle and eat it! You won’t it need for decorating though. Place the cookies in sealable plastic bags and crush them with your hands. I prefer to place the bag on a cutting board and lightly smash them with a rubber mallet. You could also use a food processor just don’t blend them too fine to dust, they should be chunky. Pour the crumbs into a topping bowl at your station.

Now just follow the same steps as we did for chocolate chips.

III. Drizzle. Follow the same steps as the previous methods except instead of creating borders and filling with chocolate create zig-zag lines all over the surface of the treats. Then let chocolate set. Use one type of chocolate or mix different ones.

  1. Bonus. Apply all the methods. Have fun. Sprinkle crushed cookies and chocolate chips. Add drizzle to the chips and cookies. Whichever sytle you prefer.