Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Okonomiyaki (Japanese Pancake)



-1 cup flour + more for mixing
-3/4 cup dashi stock
-3 or 4 slices of bacon, diced
-1/2 head cabbage, slivered
-2 carrots, cut into slivers
-1 green onion, diced
-1 egg
-Okonomiyaki sauce
-Spicy Mayonnaise (mayo + a dash of Sriracha sauce)

1. Mix everything together (except the sauces). Be sure that the vegetables and bacon are cut into as small slivers as possible!
2. Continue adding flour in increments until the mixture has the consistency of pancake batter.
3. Ladle out a scoop onto a hot frying pan and spread out to about 1/4-inch thickness
4. Cook on medium heat for about 3 minutes, then flip over and continue cooking for another 1-2 minutes.
5. Drizzle spicy mayo and okonomiyaki sauce on top. Enjoy!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Cashew Chicken Stirfry

So I actually made this quite a while ago, but I've been putting it off until now. I know, I'm terrible, but I've been distracted with other things, and I've spent a good amount of time fixing up my blog ever since the disastrous loss of 80% of my pictures. 

This picture came out quite a bit differently from my past photographs. To be honest, it was simply because I took the picture late in the day and indoors, which cast a lot of shadow on the dish. I had to prop the bowl up from behind to get the contents to catch what little light managed to find its way in, and then further lighten the image up via Picasa. But now that I look at it, I like how the shadows play with the contents; it gives each individual piece of chicken some depth and character. Chances are that Tastespotting and Foodgawker won't accept it, but that's okay. This photo was an experiment to prepare me for the winter months, when going out to take photos may not be as practical or possible.

Chicken Cashew Stirfry (adapted from Rasa Malaysia)


-1 boneless skinless chicken breast, chopped into bite-sized pieces
-1/2 cup cashews, roasted
-1 zucchini, cut into bite-sized pieces
-1 knob ginger, cut into slices
-1/4 cup onion, diced

-1 tsp baking soda
-1 tsp cornstarch
-1/2 tsp rice wine

-1/2 tbsp oyster sauce
-3/4 tsp soy sauce
-3 tbsp water
-3 dashes white pepper
-1/2 tsp sugar
-1/2 tsp rice wine
-Salt to taste

1. Marinate the chicken pieces in (B). Wash off thoroughly after about 15-20 minutes. Pat the chicken dry. 
2. Mix together (C). 
3. In a wok or pan, stirfry the chicken until they are semi-done. Remove from heat. 
4. Stirfry together the onions, zucchini, and ginger until aromatic. Then add back in the chicken. 
5. Add in the cashews. 
6. Pour in the sauce and stir continuously until the chicken is cooked. Add salt to taste. 
7. Garnish with scallions and serve hot with rice!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Hokkaido Milk Bread

Here I am, frantically struggling to update all the latest pictures I've taken before school starts. Unfortunately, I feel like a few of my most recent shots haven't had much thought into them. I'm not entirely satisfied with the composition of some of them...but that's okay. The most important thing is that I put them down on this blog, and maybe in the future, I'll correct these photos again.

For the majority of my life, I feel like I've been handed amazing situations and people who have really helped me through life. And for the most part, I am in constant shock at how much I have lucked out by receiving these gifts.

Recently, I've been learning to become a little more impulsive, a little more carefree, a little more free to whatever life throws at me. But sometimes, when something comes along that is almost too good to be true, I hesitate to accept it immediately. It's even after you've closed your eyes and pinched yourself blue to awaken yourself from whatever dream you may be having, when you look up and see that same thing waiting for you as open and accepting as ever, that you should maybe start considering it as reality. Maybe? I don't's still a dangerous concept to let yourself go completely because it puts you in a very vulnerable position. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem like I have much of a choice in the way I feel...

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Pineapple Curry Fried Rice

So it's been a while since my last post - I know, I am entirely to blame. I've been distracted lately with many trivial things, namely just enjoying the remainder of summer before school starts. I know I am going to miss this short period; it is truly a great feeling to be so free of duties or obligations, although I can see how it can eventually get boring.

That's another thing to think about - the upcoming school year. So far, all I've heard about second year are scary stories - how much harder it is than first year (which, as I recall, was already pretty strenuous). This year I want to succeed - but what does success mean? It's not about honoring every class, or getting top ranks in every test. That would definitely be nice, and at one point in my life, I would have definitely measured my success by my grade point average. No - I've come to realize that success means so much more than a few marks on the transcript. It's about balance. Balancing ALL the important aspects of your life, not just any one thing alone. Last year, there was a point when I dropped everything and let my grades take over my entire life. I eventually came out of that period, but I never want to go back to it again.

But I have faith and hope in the upcoming year. It'll be good, I think.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Stuffed Cuttlefish (my way??)

 Our internet has been pretty sketchy lately. Actually, that's a serious understatement - it sucks. It's technically our fault because we are trying to share with the next door neighbors (we agreed to split the cost originally), but the signal just isn't quite reaching our end well enough. It's bad enough to really make me want to scream sometimes...most of the time...

To add insult to injury, I have recently discovered that almost all my old pictures have been deleted on Blogger!!! Ugh. Major damage control. So I've been a little MIA from the blog the past week because I've been desperately trying to re-upload everything once again.

This week has been pretty relaxing for me, which is great since I am sick. I've been working from the library for the most part, so my schedule is more flexible, meaning I have more time to devote to my blog. Ever since my blog got featured, I feel like it's been getting a little more attention (woohoo!). So it was awesome when one of my friends actually asked me to cook for him after the publication.

I actually had a little bit of dumpling/wonton filling left over from the last time I made wontons (a couple months ago, but don't worry it's been frozen), and I've been meaning to get rid of it somehow. In addition, I had recently gone to the local Hmart (Korean market) and bought a few frozen cuttlefish. So, naturally, it occurred to me then...ground pork stuffing + giant squid-like creature = stuffed squid! Except with a few changes...heh heh...

Anyway, it turned out relatively good. I grilled it over our George Foreman grill, maybe a little too much because I wanted to make sure the inside was fully cooked. Next time, I think I will cut slits on the sides before grilling so the insides cook a bit quicker (and the squid doesn't get overdone and rubbery). I think it also needs some sort of sauce to dip in; my friend mentioned that the taste of squid was still too strong.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Cinnamon Rolls

Lately, there's been certain things on my mind that have been frustrating and slightly irritating (for being frustrating). Often, when things like this come up, I like to amuse myself with other distractions that usually prove therapeutic and stress-relieving.

One of these past times has always been baking. I'm really not big on sweets, and the only baked good I will go completely nuts over is bread (which I am desperately trying to tone down now in an effort to be healthier), so I usually don't have many excuses to bake. But this time, I really really wanted to...I just needed a reason to do it and an idea on WHAT to make...

I'm not sure what exactly inspired me to make cinnamon rolls, but I do remember it was a very long and convoluted thought process that I won't go into. As for who I would make these sinfully delicious rolls for...well there was always our Church family group every Wednesday, and I know from experience that that bunch will literally eat anything loaded with sugar and fat.

Overall, judging by people's responses (and the smells wafting out of the kitchen for hours afterward), I think the cinnamon rolls were a success. The only problem is that the first batch came out a little burnt on the bottom because I underestimated how quickly they would bake. Oh, and I guess I could have added a little more glaze if I really wanted to get them right...

In other news, my dad has hinted that he may POSSIBLY MAYBE HOPEFULLY buy me a DSLR????? (OMG!!!!! I WOULD BE FOREVER INDEBTED), so I need to start thinking of the type/model I would want IF such a wondrous event should occur...

I wonder which is better for food photography? Nikon or Canon?? I guess most of it depends on the lens, rather than the actual camera. Here I'm using my house-mate's camera, which is a Canon and has a great lens for close-up shots. The pictures come out super crisp, which is absolutely amazing. Having used a point-and-shoot for more than a year, I'm not used to being spoiled with such rewarding shots. I mean, look at the glaze on those rolls!! Doesn't it make you smell the cinnamon right out of the computer screen??

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Emotional Attachment


I've been thinking of making green tea ice cream for the recent heat wave, but I never realized how freaking expensive matcha powder is...

Anyone want to help me out?? I'll pay you back and more in delicious edibles!!


There’s no denying it any longer – I am definitely sick. I don’t get sick very often, but I haven’t been getting a lot of sleep lately (as in averaging about 3-4 hours per night, sometimes as little as 1), and I have a tendency to neglect my diet when I eat alone. Whereas for most people, this means overindulging, I usually veer toward the opposite – snacking on such healthy things that before long I find myself mal-nutritioned and undernourished. So when our next door neighbor developed a cough, it seemed inevitable that his attacking virus should find a new home in me. Honestly, I don’t really mind being sick; I’m never so bad off that my lifestyle is really affected by it. The only thing that really gets annoying is that I’m always so tired all the time, I feel like I’m always drowsy and out of sorts, and no matter how much I nap or rest or bum around, that constant fatigue just never goes away.
            One of my dearest friends here in Philly has been seeing a girl, and it was only recently that he admitted that he had started growing really attached to her. Today I found out that she broke it off, and that it wasn’t going to work out between the two of them. It really makes you wonder about this concept, as foreign and impractical as it may seem: emotional attachment. Why do we get so emotionally attached? Why couldn’t we just be programmed like the rest of the animal kingdom to procreate and survive? More specifically, why do some people get more easily attached than others?


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