Month: March 2020

Healthy Oatmeal Chia and Sunflower Seed Coconut Cookie

Healthy Oatmeal Chia and Sunflower Seed Coconut Cookie

Was the granola too tedious as you have to keep taking it out of the oven and putting it back in again? Maybe this could be simpler. I was thinking of making a healthier sort of cookie after I saw something in the supermarket. Then, 

Make your own Granola Extra

Make your own Granola Extra

It probably wasn’t a big surprise as most of us expected it. But still, when it was announced that another 2 weeks would be added to the Movement Control Order (MCO), it seemed like a lifetime sentence. I know, I know. I’m feeling pretty restless 

Comforting gochujang tofu soup

Comforting gochujang tofu soup

I was getting tired of the usual ABC soup. And while double boiled soups are good and nourishing, but it takes time and ingredients. Time we have, but going out to buy ingredients can be challenging in these times.

True blue ajummas may argue that this is not an authentic Doenjang Guk – Korean Soybean soup with zucchini and tofu – but it’s quite similar. But I’m the queen of innovation, so I made do with what I had in my fridge. I had a couple stalks of celery left so I threw that in too!

This soup can be whipped up in just 20 minutes, and if you have some kimchi and fried fish at home, your complete Korean set lunch is done.

Ingredients

1 block of white tofu, the firmer version

1 big onion, sliced

1 pack enoki mushrooms

Large handful of beansprouts

4 cups of anchovy (ikan bilis) stock

3 cloves of chopped garlic

Fishcake/crabstick – optional if you want to make it vegetarian.

Seasoning

1 tablespoon doenjang (Korean soybean paste)

2 tablespoons gochujang (Korean chili paste)

1 tablespoon Korean chili flakes (optional, if you like spicy)

Method

Put stock soup in a deep pot and bring to a boil Of course, if you want to make your own fresh stock, that’s even better, by boiling anchovies, dried kelp, dried shiitake mushroom, garlic and onions.

Add in garlic, soup seasoning, and mix properly until beanpaste is blended fully. Throw in tofu, fishcake, onion, mushroom and beansprouts last. If you have zucchini, that would be perfect, add this in at the start and ensure it’s been cooking for about a few minutes before adding the other ingredients.

Turn off fire about everything has been boiling for about 10 minutes. Your gochujang soup is ready to be served!

Healthy cauliflower fried rice

Healthy cauliflower fried rice

We’re going into Day 3 of Restricted Control Order (RCO), and some people are already getting cabin fever. Since everybody is stuck at home, we might as well do some cooking, right? Most people can do, or have tried to do a basic fried rice. 

Neighbourhood joint Yi Pin Chu scores big

Neighbourhood joint Yi Pin Chu scores big

When weekends come by, we usually eat out as I wanna take a break from cooking. There are so many new cafes and restaurants popping up. Sometimes, I forget that there are many outlets in my own neighbourhood which I haven’t been to. Passed by 

Burrito and burgers at Sushi Brito

Burrito and burgers at Sushi Brito

There’s sushi and there’s burrito, and then there’s Sushi Brito.

Sushi Brito offers a mash-up of foods from two different cultures. A Sushi Burrito is essentially rice ball with stuff in the middle in long roll format or, imagine a California roll, except that the cone is now a rectangular roll instead.

What’s in a name, right?

Giving it a go, we tried the Salmon Brito, which tasted like what we expected – Onigiri. It had rice enveloping some salmon, a bit of salad, dressing, like a larger version of Onigiri, but with more stuffing. The whole roll was divided into four parts, which wasn’t satisfying for No. 2 who didn’t find his choice terribly exciting. Maybe this was meant to be like a starter and not a full meal?

Modern trendy Japanese restaurants go beyond just conventional Japanese food and Sushi Brito is no different, with burgers, pastas, Western meals and even sushi in a spoon on the menu.

I had the Japanese version of Salmon Burger that came with rice instead of a bread bun which sandwiched the fish in the middle. Remember the now defunct Japanese burger chain Moshi Burger? This was just like that – the ‘burger’ simple, but fulfilling as the rice was quite tasty, smeared with teriyaki sauce. They also have charcoal bun for those who prefer more predictable burgers.

No. 1 chose Udon with spicy soup, which we reckon was the best out of the four dishes we ordered. Mildly spicy, the soup gave the dish character; portion was better with thin slices of tender beef and quite a bit of udon.

No. 3 also had udon, but with salmon and pesto sauce, made creamy with an onsen egg and sprinkled with walnuts. This was an curious blend which confused the palate. Takes a bit of getting used to, this East meets West thing; sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t. The creamy flavour of the pesto was quite good, but didn’t quite go with udon as the fat noodle doesn’t absorb flavours so well.

As it is with all Japanese fast food joints with sushi on a conveyor belt, you always inevitably end up grabbing a few even if you had no intention to. This added to the bill, otherwise prices were very reasonable, averaging about RM15 per dish. Add another RM5.50 and you get a miso soup, chawan mushi as well as a drink as a set to go a main course.

Calling it for what it is, a Japanese fast food joint, Sushi Brito offers reasonably priced meals for the local neighbourhood. Once teeming with only Chinese coffeeshops, now Taman Megah appears to be getting slowly gentrified with ‘fancy’ establishments. When one gets tired of the usual wantan mee and chicken rice choices, sushi is a nice change.

I’m just waiting for a decent cafe to open here and I’ll be set for my coffee fix.

Add: 17, Jalan SS 24/8, Taman Megah, Petaling Jaya. Tel: 011-6331 7600

Refreshing and healthy Thai style sweet sour noodle

Refreshing and healthy Thai style sweet sour noodle

I was going for something different with meehoon (rice vermicelli) other than the usual stir-fry and meehoon soup variations, and I found a recipe for Thai minced beef noodle. This turned out quite refreshing and the boys gave their stamp of approval so I thought 

Japanese Specialty Food Festivity at Cilantro

Japanese Specialty Food Festivity at Cilantro

Generally, I love oysters, but Oyster and Ice Cream? Chef Takashi Kimura makes it possible to have it all, with his take on Kakiemon Oyster and Ice Cream with Konbu Jelly. Not quite the blob of ice cream as one would expect, the cream in 

Sake session at Cilantro

Sake session at Cilantro

A first for me, as I have never been taught the different nuances of sake before. And I confess, even after eight shots of sake, I still find it hard to differentiate the various types of sake, only that they all went down real smooth!

This apt tasting session was a precursor to a Japanese Specialty Dinner.

Under the Junmai Daiginjo category, which means 50% polished rice without added alcohol, the chilled sake varieties were:

Izumibashi Junmai Daiginjo Kimoto: Omachi rice grown and harvestedby the brewery, with deep and rich flavours yet elegant, delicate and refreshing.

Koikawa Junmai Daiginjo: Smooth, fruity and light with umami flavour. Slides comfortably down the throat, extraordinary depth of taste.

Koikawa Junmai Ginjo (classic): Recommended for beginners, elegant and smooth, light and slight acidity. Good as warm sake for beginners.

Asahigiku Daichi Junmai Daiginjo: Using nom-pesticide Yamada Nishiki rice, gentle umami of rice with mild acidity that is well-balanced when served cold. Served warm, gives creamy smooth texture with slight acidic aftertaste.

Tokubetsu Junmai: Dry and smooth rice/malt flavour with a tangy acidic aftertaste, When warm, rich flavours spreads across palate with slightly sharp aftertaste.

The warm ones :

Komagura Munouyaku Yamada Nishiki: Obtained from pesticide-free Yamada Nishiki rice, mild and gentle aroma with taste derived from soft rice.

So that’s how they warm up the sake!

Benten Musume Junmai Nicori (limited edition): Distinctly cloudy in appearance, creamy and deep umami flavour, yet not too heavy with pleasant mouthfeel. When warmed up to 60 degrees C, you get a creamy and rich flavour that spreads across palate.

We also tried the Tokubetsu Junmai warm, which tasted quite different, as the nuances were clearer.

Descriptions were provided by Cilantro Restaurant & Wine Bar at Micasa All Suite Kuala Lumpur.