23 Jul 2010



悪いなったシュークリームのシーン ・ rancid cream puffs scene

I started watching the Japanese movie ALWAYS 三丁目の夕日 (Always - Sunset on Third Street) last year and never got to finish it. I recently watched the remaining 15 minutes of it and it was an unbelivably touching movie!! The scene where Junnosuke and Chagawa reunite was very cliche, but I think it was my favourite scene in the movie!

What made this movie different to other movies was that it was set in the industrial period of Japan (construction of Tokyo Tower) which gives it a nostalgic feel to the people who grew up in that era. As for me, it's pretty obvious I didn't grow up in that era, nor was I born or brought up in Japan but I loved how everyone became satisfied with something very little.

Inspired by the rancid cream puffs scene, I set out on my assignment to make cream puffs! After the cream puff shells decided to deflate on me last time, I decided to use a different recipe and judge the baking time and temperature based on instinct. Like the first time I baked cream puffs using this method, my cream puffs did not deflate!

In my opinion, cream puffs are one of the easier bakes, but it is also one of those bakes that can fail quite easily.

Not sure if it's going to work out again though. But after the cream puff shells were golden and puffed to the maximum, I took them out and used a sharp knife to cut out a "top". I removed all the raw dough and put the cream puff shells and "tops" back in the oven to bake at a low temperature until the cream puff shells were dry.

The cream puffs shells are not completely, perfectly round yet, but I'm sure that has got to do with the way I pipe the pastry dough. More experimenting next week!

Cpicon 基本のシュー生地 by ゆきらいん


20 Jul 2010

spaghetti and meatballs

spaghetti and meatballs
I tried to cover the burnt meatball with the rosemary...haha :)

Into the second week of school, term three, which is considered our last term of the year before five weeks of intense study (two weeks holidays, three weeks school) in preparation of the dreaded end of year examinations. Time flies doesn't it? Whoever said Year 12 was fun lied!
With upcoming SACS, tests, seminars and whatever else that's going to be thrown at us, year 12 students, I'm sure everyone is going all out to try to achieve their desired score to achieve their dream.
On to the food; this was a rather simple dish I made adapting two past recipes; frikadellen (german meat patties) and the tomato sauce from the chicken parmigiana.
On a slightly unrelated note, but exciting news, some of my recent photos have been selected to be published in the upcoming Tsunagaaru leaflet which is to be given out to students and teachers in photography clubs in the National High School Photo Event in Japan. I'm not sure how many are being used, but I post again when I receive the leaflets in the mail :)
ingredient list for the frikadellen recipe:makes approximately 12 patties
  • 1 onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 Tb oil
  • 2 slices of bread
  • water to soak bread
  • 1 carrot, coarsely grated
  • 350 g pork mince
  • 250 g beef mince
  • salt and pepper, black pepper, seasoning
  • 1 egg
Method is the same as the previous recipe, besides adding the coarsely grated carrot in step 3 and shaping the meat differently (cooking time varies as well).

18 Jul 2010

hot chocolate + french toast


Breakfast is no doubt my favourite meal of the day. I reckon a good breakfast is a good kick start to the day. Over the years, I have rarely skipped breakfast and over the years, the only thing that hasn't changed is breakfast ALWAYS includes a glass of milk or some other beverage depending on whatever breakfast is.

Today was indifferent.

I suppose today's breakfast of french toast isn't what I would usually eat or make because I wouldn't wake up on rushed weekday to make it and I'd be happy to eat eggs on the weekends every day!

Earliest memory of french toast would be in Malaysia. My uncle would just dip the bread slices in beaten eggs and fry them in a wok full of oil and us, kids would then eat them with sugar. I remember I had six at one time. Good ol' days.

Hot chocolate isn't really my thing, but I'm all in for the marshmallows :)


hot chocolate
simple essentials - chocolate by Donna Hay


If you're going to make it yourself, you might as well have the best, so it's important to use high-quality chocolate. Heat 1 cup (250 ml) milk per person in a small saucepan until it's warmed through and close to boiling. Then add 1 tablespoon grated chocolate for each serving to the saucepan. If you're making for one, you can pour the hot milk directly onto the chocolate in a cup and stir. Serve with marshmallows if desired.

I grated approxiamately 10 g of dark chocolate with 85% cocoa solids and added 1 tsp of kuromitsu into mine. Needs more chocolate :D


cinnamon and banana french toast
original recipe by me

serves 1 - 2; egg mixture is enough to coat 3 thick sandwich slices

  • 1 egg
  • 100 ml milk
  • 1 1/2 Tb thick cream
  • 1/4 - 1 tsp ground cinnamon
    (I added 1/4 tsp of cinnamon and the flavour wasn't really there, so I will add more next time)
  • 1 Tb brown sugar
  • 3 thick sandwich slices
  • 1 tsp unsalted butter
  • 1 banana, peeled and sliced or mashed
  • icing sugar and honey


  1. Add egg, milk, cream, ground cinnamon and brown sugar into a mixing bowl. Whisk to combine.

  2. Heat a non-stick frying pan and melt the butter. Wipe down the butter with kitchen paper and reserve it for later.

  3. Dip a sandwich in the egg mixture and coat well on both sides.

  4. Pan fry on the first side until golden brown and flip. Cook until the other side is golden.

  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 until there is no more egg mixture ensuring you wipe down the non-stick pan with the kitchen paper coated with butter each time you finish one toast.

  6. Layer with sliced / mashed bananas, dust icing sugar on top and serve with honey.


14 Jul 2010

cheat's chicken parmigiana

lunch: cheat's chicken parmigiana
Second to Asian cuisine, I love Italian food especially pasta! Great food, but I am no expert in making them. I remember eating chicken parmigiana earlier in the year at La Porchetta where it was around $20 for the whole meal. Supposedly pretty expensive as you can buy a filling meal somewhere else for half the price. But had a satisfying lunch that day.

During the holidays, mum usually prepares lunch of some sort where we just have to heat it up in the microwave. I did tell her several times not to make lunch for me since I was going to make it myself. On the day she fried chicken schnitzels, I didn't just want to eat schnitzels with tomato sauce so I decide to add something to it for a better meal :) Same thing when mum pan fried some dumplings, I just turned them into dumpling ramen (or soba in my case).

The chicken parmigiana is not very traditional or even close to authenic or restaurant quality by it does have the three main coponents of the crumbed chicken schnitzel, tomato sauce and melted cheese on top. But let's just call this a cheap knock-off from the original :D
Oh and the cheat's part, I used store-bought chicken schnitzels instead. Of course, you can crumb the chicken fillets yourself too :)

cheat's chicken parmigianaan original recipe by me
ingredients:makes 2 sides or 1 main course
  • 2 small chicken schnitzels
    (you can get them from the local butcher or supermarket)
  • oil for frying
  • 100 g tinned tomatoes
  • 1 tsp tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 tsp brown sugar
    (adding more sugar reduces the acidity of the tomatoes)
  • pinch of dried Italian herbs
  • grated pizza cheese
  • grated parmesan cheese, optional
200 degrees Celcius

1. Heat oil in a pan and deep fry chicken schnitzels until crunchy and golden. Drain excess oil on kitchen paper. Transfer warm chicken schnitzels to a baking tray lined with foil and baking paper.

2. Heat a non stick frying pan and add the tinned tomatoes, tomato paste, brown sugar and dried Italian herbs. Cook over medium heat until sauce thickens. Transfer sauce to a bowl.

3. Spread the thick tomato sauce on top of the schnitzel ensuring that each schnitzel is covered with the sauce.

3. Top with some grated pizza cheese and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.

4. Bake in a pre-heated oven for 7 - 10 minutes or until cheese has melted. Serve hot!


11 Jul 2010

みそ田楽 miso dengaku

みそ田楽 miso dengaku
At first I called these miso yaki tofu, but a Japanese photographer, nasufumitaka on flickr also said they were known as miso dengaku. Further research shows they are also called tofu dengaku. Call them whatever you want :) But I don't have a griller, and I didn't want to bake the tofu so this is a less authentic miso dengaku. Nevertheless I think it tastes quite good!

For this recipe, I did not have a recipe I could refer too, but I had tried nasu dengaku (eggplant with sweet miso) earlier in the year in my uncle and aunt's restaurant so I had a good idea of what I wanted it to taste like and how it would look when finished.

Had a test run for the recipe on the Monday when the guys were over and ended up burning quite a few because of the level heat. Don't worry I did try it again with the remaining tofu and changed the method so your one shouldn't burn. Like Thangstahh said, tofu is tasteless (but I still love tofu's plain taste :D) and really depends on the sauce and toppings so you can add more toppings if you want :)
みそ焼き豆腐 miso yaki tofuNotebook drawings inspired by awesome photographer and artist ^^ Christine check out her flickr page too!
If you can read and understand the scribbles in my notebook, I did make small adjustments to it.


みそ田楽 miso dengaku
ingredients: serves 2 - 4

500 g firm tofu
2 Tb shiro (white) miso1 2/3 Tb konbu dashi / chicken stock / water
5 tsp sugar (adjust to your own taste)
1 Tb mirinkatsuobushi (shaved bonito), optional
nori strips (cut dried seaweed), optional
sliced spring onion, optional
toasted white sesame seeds, optional

Drain out the water in the tofu and cut into 12 equal sized pieces.

Put the tofu pieces in boiling water and boil for 5 minutes. Drain water and place tofu on kitchen paper to soak up excess water.

Put the shiro miso, konbu dashi / chicken stock, sugar and mirin in a small saucepan. Cook in a medium - low heat until sauce is smooth. Transfer sauce to a small bowl. (You might want to add more sugar if you want your tofu sweeter.)

Heat a non-stick frying pan add the drained tofu pieces and lightly brown them on high heat.

Change heat to medium - low. Using a pastry brush, brush some miso sauce on top of the tofu and flip them. It is important to use a medium - low heat as the sugar content in the sauce will burn easily if you use high heat.
Repeat step 5 until there is no more miso sauce.

Transfer tofu to a plate and sprinkle a combination of katsuobushi, nori strips, sliced spring onion and toasted white sesame seeds.

みそ田楽 miso dengaku

3 Jul 2010