Monday 30 January 2017

Simple Salmon Donburi 三文鱼生便当

On this 3rd day of Chinese New Year (CNY), husband says no more CNY dishes for today. He needs a break from all the heavy meals in the past few days. We had too much of mushrooms, roast pork, chicken, duck...etc... So, I put together a simple Salmon Donburi 三文鱼生便当 (from my leftover Yu Sheng 鱼生 ingredients). 

This is a relatively simple dish to prepare as no cooking is involved except the Japanese rice. It is as simple as ABC and a refreshing break from heavy cooking indeed. 

This bento is amazingly pretty, refreshing and tasty. 

Ingredients (enough for 2 to 3 pax) :
  • 1 tray of fresh raw salmon sashimi (thinly sliced)
  • 2 cups of Japanese short grain rice (rinse, drain and steam with 2 cups of water)
  • 2 pcs chili padi (finely chopped)
  • 1 stalk of spring onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 Japanese cucumber - thinly sliced (optional)
  • 1/2 cup tobiko flying fish roe (optional)
  • 1/2 cup Japanese fresh seaweed (optional)
  • 1 tsp salt 
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil

(tsp = teaspoon; tbsp = tablespoon)    

Method :
  1. Add Japanese short grain rice, water, vinegar, sugar, salt into rice cooker and steam till cooked (the traditional way is to lightly cook vinegar sugar, salt in a separate pot and add onto cooked rice and stir till rice evenly coated with mixture). I am doing it my own short cut way. 
  2. Scoop rice onto bowl(s) when cooked and cooled down (so that the very hot steamed rice would not 'cook' the salmon right away). 
  3. Lay/Arrange sliced salmon on top of rice. Cover rice entirely with salmon. 
  4. Arrange other ingredients such as sliced cucumber, fish roe, fresh seaweed, spring onions, chili padi atop salmon.
  5. Add 1 tbsp sesame oil onto each serving of rice. 
  6. Serve while salmon slices are still fresh.

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My home-made Salmon Donburi 三文鱼生便当. Simple to make, nice to look at and deliciously refreshing.

Thursday 26 January 2017

Almond & Pumpkin Seeds Florentine 杏仁南瓜子脆饼片

I did 10 types of bakes this Chinese New Year (CNY). This Almond & Pumpkin Seeds Florentine 杏仁南瓜子脆饼片 has to be simplest, easiest. I would give it a difficulty level of 2 out of 10. Easy as that, would you believe that I had to throw away my entire first tray? first tray of florentine was 'superglued' onto the baking paper! Excessive almond nuts, excessive pumpkin seeds and excessive florentine powder produced disastrous result!

I learnt my lesson. It pays off to spend some time studying how other food experts created their successful recipes, no matter how simple it may look or sound.

And here we go with the right combination and method after my few rounds of trial & error.... This time, I can really claim that it is "So Simple!" as all can be done in 20 minutes or less!

Ingredients :
  • 150 gm sliced almond nuts (I prefer the ones with skin as they are more aromatic after baking) 
  • 50 gm pumpkin seeds
  • 100 gm florentine mix / powder (this is a substantial proportion to hold the nuts yet florentine would not turn too sweet)

Method :
  1. Pre-heat oven to 170 degrees celsius or 338 degrees fahrenheit.
  2. Combine sliced almond nuts, pumpkin seeds and florentine mix in a bowl.
  3. Use a spoon to toss till mixture is well and evenly combined.
  4. Transfer mixture onto a rectangular baking tray lined with baking paper.
  5. Spread the mixture thinly and evenly to cover the entire tray.
  6. Bake in pre-heated oven for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, standby a knife.
  7. Remove tray from the oven when florentine yields golden brown colour in about 10 minutes. You may let it stay in the oven for another few minutes if you prefer a darker, more caramelised tone. Do check constantly to ensure that it is not over-baked. 
  8. Once out of oven, use a knife or scissors to cut into desired shape and sizes whilst hot. Be swift. Do not wait till it cools down. 
  9. Let the cut florentine pieces cool for another 15 minutes before transferring to storage containers. The florentine should not stick onto the baking paper and would hold its shape nicely.

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Let me warn you that the Almond & Pumpkin Seeds Florentine 杏仁南瓜子脆饼片 is addictive. Surely, you would not stop at one!