June 2011 - Narcissism is Necessary

Archive | June, 2011

The international cold noodles recipe.

I love Japanese cold noodles. I love the eating process – swirling the springy noodles in the chilled dashi dipping sauce till they’re loose, lightly coated with sauce and eventually, eating it. I love the taste – so refreshing, light and so tasty. I love the condiments – the raw quail egg, scallions, pickles, shredded seaweed sheets and wasabi.

(I really don’t like the sesame seeds that sometimes come with it though. I love everything sesame except the seeds :P)

On this particular warm and humid evening, my stomach decided to crave for Japanese cold noodles. I could have driven out and get my fix but I decided to make it eventhough the only Japanese ingredient I had in my pantry was a tube of instant wasabi.

# – The international cold noodles.

What would you do??

Well, I decided to wing it. I figured that an International version of cold noodles would just do as well to satisfy my craving ;)

What exactly is International cold noodles, your wonder? Lets find out…

The ingredients:

  • 80 grams of wheat or rice vermicelli (from China)
  • 300 ml of chicken stock (from Malaysia)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon of nampla or fish sauce (from Thailand)
  • 1 tablespoon of light soya sauce (from China)
  • 1 egg, half boiled (from Malaysia)
  • 1 tablespoon of pickled sour ginger slices (from China)
  • 1 teaspoon of Japanese horseradish paste/wasabi (from Japan)
  • 1 teaspoon of parsley flakes (from USA)

How’s that for International????? Hehe.

# – First, warm up the chicken stock in a pan and pour in the nampla/fish sauce.

# – Followed by the light soya sauce. Stir to combine.

# – Pour the stock into a bowl and keep chilled in the fridge for a minimum of 30 minutes.

# – In the meantime, make the half boiled egg. This contraption I was using is brilliant! Simply pour boiling water into it up to the designated level and wait for it to drip off. Once water is completely drained, voila…perfect half boiled eggs!

# – Now boil the noodles according to instructions on the packet.

# – Drain the noodles and rinse with cold water. You can throw in some ice if you want.

# – Set the noodles on a plate and placed the half boiled egg on it. Place some pickled ginger slices and squeeze out some wasabi on the side.

# – Take out the chilled dipping sauce and sprinkle parsley flakes all over the sauce. Serve with the plate of noodles.

# – The international cold noodles, DONE!

I was truly pleased because this international cold noodle dish managed to hit all the right notes. The noodles were loose and springy. The half boiled egg was divine (you must absolutely dunk it in the dipping sauce).

The dipping sauce was delicious thanks to the depth of the homemade chicken stock and the taste of sea from the nampla. It was really not a bad replacement for authentic dashi dipping sauce!

All said, some Japanese salty pickles would have made the entire experience perfect, but beggars can’t be chooser. I’ll remember to stock up on Japanese pickles next time. Oh yeah, and chopsticks!!!!

Posted in: Homemade Recipes, Noodles - Continue Reading

Simple and delicious spinach and egg bake.

This recipe is literally hot off the oven because I’ve just had it for dinner.

Since it’s so simple to make and so tasty (there she goes tooting her own horn, again), I’ve decided to blog it right now.

The BF is away attending some geeky event after work so I was all alone at dinner time. Instead of nuking some gazillion year old frozen casserole, I thought I’d make something from scratch just to soothe my separation anxiety.

# – Simple and delicious spinach and egg bake.

And nothing makes me more happy than gooey egg yolks. You can say that the entire idea of this dinner revolved around the egg yolks.

Also, I had a huge bunch of spinach I got from Tesco for RM0.30 that I had to use up. Yeap, you heard me, 30 Malaysian ringgit cents!!!!!! I love midnight knock-downs :D

The ingredients:

  • 150 grams of spinach leaves, cleaned
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon of parsley flakes or fresh finely chopped parsley
  • 3 tablespoons of whipping cream
  • Some salt
  • Some ground black pepper
  • 4 cherry tomatoes, halved

# – First, pour a bit of cooking oil onto a paper towel and wipe it all over an oven safe dish. You can use butter to grease if you want…I was just too lazy to handle butter :P

# – Then, lay the spinach leaves at the bottom of the dish.

# – Season the spinach with some salt.

# – Now, crack 3 eggs over the spinach. Ideally, the yolks should not burst.

# – Sprinkle parsley flakes or fresh chopped parsley all over.

# – Pour about 3 tablespoons of whipping cream. Try to avoid splashing onto the yolks.

# – Season with ground black pepper.

# – And finish it off with a sprinkling of salt.

# – Stick the dish into a pre-heated oven at 160 degrees celcius for 12-13 minutes. 15 minutes if you like the yolks to set, but seriously!??

# – While the dish is still very hot, lay the halved cherry tomatoes all over.

# – Spinach and egg bake, DONE! It was absolutely perfect with buttered toasts :D

Wilted spinach with gooey egg yolks and creamy egg whites interspersed with juicy cherry tomatoes. I don’t know how else to explain it. Absolutely blissful.

I could eat this everyday!!!!

(For the record, the BF separation anxiety thing is a joke)

Posted in: Homemade Recipes, Vegetarian - Continue Reading

Fake Japanese braised chicken wings with potatoes.

Never ever try to plan dinner right after lunch because it’s virtually impossible to conjure up any coherent thought. And that’s how my chicken wings came about. Bought them while on a semi-food coma, with no planning whatsoever.

The thing is, I’ve never really had luck with cooking chicken on the bone. They’ve always turned out semi-raw and I’d have to nuke them in the microwave half way through eating. Yeah, pretty disgusting.

So really, I don’t know how I ended up with a packet of chicken wings because I’d normally quite consciously avoid them.

# – Fake Japanese braised chicken wings with potatoes.

From food coma to a full blown panic mode, I realised the only source of protein for tonight’s dinner were the wings. The look of disappointment on the BF’s face upon his realisation that he’d chomped on raw poultry popped up to haunt me.

I was determined to make it right but I didn’t know how :(

Thankfully, I found a recipe called “tebasaki to sato-imo” or english for braised chicken wings with new potatoes (i <3 google translate) in one of my recipe books. So, I replaced the sake with chinese rice wine, scallions with coriander powder and new potatoes with old potatoes chopped up into new potato size.... And hence, the title :P I was confident it would work, it had to work gawddamit! # - Tebasaki To Sato-imo

The ingredients:

  • 500 grams of chicken wings (that’s about 4 wings with drummets still attached)
  • 400 grams of potatoes, cut into cubes
  • 4 tablespoons of chinese rice wine (or better, sake!)
  • 3 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon of dark soya sauce
  • 2 teaspoon of sugar
  • 2 cm of ginger, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon of coriander powder
  • 200 ml of water

# – First, marinade the wings with 4 tablespoon of chinese rice wine and set aside for 30 minutes.

# – Then, heat up oil in a pan and brown the chicken wings on all sides.

# – When wings have browned, throw in the sliced ginger.

# – Pour water in till chicken wings are just covered.

# – Cover and let it simmer for 10-15 minutes.

# – After that, throw in 2 teaspoons of sugar.

# – And the dark soya sauce.

# – Not to forget the potatoes…

# – Lastly, the one tablespoon of coriander powder.

# – Stir to combine, cover and let simmer for 30 minutes.

# – In the meantime, steam or boil some peas. Because everyone should eat vegetables!

# – Fake Japanese braised chicken wings with potatoes, DONE!

The wings…they were gorgeous! The meat was succulent, moist and full of flavours. The sauce was DELICIOUS and sticky. And the potatoes? Gawd, the potatoes…

# – Look at the colours inside the potato. Flavoured through and through.

Simply sublime with rice and what’s surprising was how few ingredients were involved and how relaxing the entire process was. Just leave them to simmer into something so amazingly delicious.

Don’t believe me?

# – Plate-licking good!

Best thing of all, I didn’t have to nuke them in the middle of dinner just so we won’t get bird flu or something. I implore you to try this recipe! Happy cooking!

Posted in: Chicken, Homemade Recipes - Continue Reading