31 August 2010


今日の弁当, originally uploaded by Ms_evinrude.

そして、ご飯がお粥になった (笑)


26 August 2010


今日の弁当, originally uploaded by Ms_evinrude.

22 August 2010

Roasted Vegetables

I love vegetables. I find them much more convenient to cook, especially for a 1-person meal and with so many different types of flavours: sweet, sour, bitter, peppery, fresh... I guess I could probably do without meat for a day, but definitely have to have my vegetables.

I found myself craving for roasted vegetables the other day and whipped up a batch. Although very simple and quick, I really like how flavourful the vegetables become from roasting in just a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Warm, wholesome and hearty. I sometimes mix a simple dressing of red wine vinegar, wholegrain mustard and something sweet like strawberry jam, seasoned with salt and pepper to eat as a warm salad, but it's just additional and could definitely be done without.

No recipe, but hey, just drizzle cut vegetables with some olive oil and sprinkle with cracked black pepper and some sea salt. Roast in the oven at 220 degC until the vegetables are tender. I used a mixture of pumpkin, potatoes, carrots and onions cut into wedges. Sweet potatoes would be great too. I also recently discovered one of the most delicious vegetable when roasted: garlic! I never knew the humble garlic clove could develop so much sweetness and flavour with just 20 minutes in the oven. I was skeptical until I tried it for myself and it was so good! I didn't think my friends believed me either until I decided to roast whole heads of garlic over the grill for a recent barbeque to make my own garlic bread.

07 August 2010


Having been on a no-rice (maybe a little) diet since god-knows-when, I felt guilty reverting back to a sometimes-rice lifestyle. I blame it on the very long over trip to Japan I took about 2 years ago, but then I might have fallen off the wagon anyway with or without the trip. My fever for anything Japanese has since elevated, especially since my Japanese language skills have increased, and it has affected my choice of food and cooking. But that's also mainly because I've been reading Japanese food blogs.

炊き込みご飯 or takikomi-gohan, is basically rice cooked with ingredients and therefore having the rice flavoured and seasoned in the process. I much favour richer flavours and frankly, don't like white rice. Addition of seasonal ingredients (read: whatever you have and like) makes for a more exciting bowl of rice! And I like exciting.

Reading the fancy-schmanzy name might be the hardest part of cooking takikomi-gohan. Technically, you dump put everything into a pot and just let it cook. I have a feeling my way of seasoning the rice is a little unorthodox (I used mentsuyu, mirin and individual seasoned hotate or scallop snacks) but it's not like it bothers me.

This recipe is for a mushroom takikomi-gohan and I used a mixture of eryngii and buna-shimeji. My first attempt at takikomi-gohan with Japanese sweet potato and nagaimo have yielded equally good results. I'm waiting to get my hands on takenoko (bamboo shoots) and kuri (chestnuts) so that I can use them in my takikomi-gohan ventures.

If you haven't realised by now, my recipes tend to be really "free-form" and serves fairly little. I usually cook 1 serving if not 2 for the next day or a bento. This time round I prepared a pumpkin and sweet potato curry and yaki tamago (sweet egg omelette) with my takikomi-gohan but I imagine it just as nice with anything you would serve with normal rice.

きのこの炊き込みご飯 (Mushroom Takikomi-gohan)
2 Servings

1 medium eryngii
1/2 pack buna-shimeji
1/2 cup rice
1/2 cup water
1 Tbsp mentsuyu (or 1 Tbsp light soy sauce and 1/2 tsp sugar)
1 Tbsp mirin
4 seasoned scallop snacks (optional)

- Gently wipe mushrooms with damp paper towel or give them a very brief rinse to remove any dirt. Trim off the ends and discard.
- Break the cluster of buna-shimeji into smaller portions and cut eryngii into bite-sized pieces.
- In a heavy-bottom saucepan, wash the rice twice.
- Layer the mushrooms over the rice and add the water, mentsuyu and mirin.
- Put the individual scallops, if using, in between the mushrooms.
- Cover the pot with a lid and simmer over low heat for 30 mins or until the rice is tender. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking. You might need to add more water depending on the rice you use.
- Alternatively, you can cook everything in a rice cooker.
- Serve hot with your favourite side dishes.