Persian Rice and Kebab: Chelow Kabab Koobideh

I successfully take on the challenge of making this classic Persian dish for the first time.

Persian Rice and Kebabs

We’ve been here in Kuching for over a year now, and we’ve settled in nicely.  We’ve even had a chance to throw a few parties at our house, doing a Japanese dinner for our friends one night, and inviting friends over for Esther’s birthday in August.  But I’ve been meaning to invite my boss to dinner. My boss is based in San Jose, but he works here half the time.  He lives out of his hotel room and eats out for every meal, so I was sure he’d appreciate some home-cooked food.

So I invited him over to our house for dinner this past Saturday. My boss was born in Iran, so I thought it would be nice to make him some Persian food.  I started researching dishes and recipes, and decided to make the classic Persian dish, chelow kabab koobideh – rice with mince meat kebab.

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Chinese Beef Stew with Tendon

Stewed beef tendon has hearty flavor with a wonderful mouthfeel.

Chinese Beef and Tendon Stew

Well, I’ve been working for two weeks now and I’m beginning to feel a bit better although I’m still overwhelmed by the amount of work I have to do every week. The hardest part has been coming home to cook after a long day at work. Some days, it’s really rough trying to get into cooking mode when all I want to do is lie down and veg! I have a new respect for all you working moms out there. If you have any tips for me on how to cope, I sure could use them.

Anyway, because of that, my weekends are now my major cooking days. Or at least one of the days, I try to make into a cooking day. The other day (usually Saturday), I put my foot down and insist on some rest—which means no cooking!

Yesterday, I decided I was going to make Chinese Beef Stew. It is something I’ve not made before but I remember distinctly having it at a friend’s house. She had used oxtail so it had a lovely beefy flavor along with the wonderful fragrance of cinnamon and star anise in the broth. She also told me that it was quite easy to make.

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Kabocha No Nimono Recipe (Braised Kabocha Pumpkin)

Japanese pumpkin, braised in sake, sugar and soy sauce. An easy side dish, packed with lots of color and flavor.

kabocha no nimono

I was looking for some side dishes to serve with my Niku-jaga the other day when came across this dish. I remember having eaten it once, a while back with some friends but I had forgotten all about it until I saw this recipe online. I immediately wanted to make it because I love kabocha and pumpkins in general! Lucky thing, kabocha squash (or at least something very similar in shape and colour) are found in abundance at the local Kuching markets.

This dish is so easy to make, plus it really packs a lot of flavor! If you cannot handle too much sugar, try substituting some of the sugar with agave or a sugar substitute like Splenda. This dish would make a nice option for a holiday side dish if you’re looking for something different. And, it doesn’t take any room in your oven! What more could you ask for?

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Niku-jaga Recipe (Japanese Meat and Potatoes)

Niku-jaga is the Japanese equivalent of Western-style “meat and potatoes”. Just like its Western counterpart, it is total comfort food.

Niku-Jaga (Japanese Meat and Potatoes)

niku jaga

The first time I had this dish was at the kitchen of my graduate dorm in Hawaii (yes, that place AGAIN!). A Japanese friend of mine was making it and the smell was heavenly. She offered me a small bowl and it was sooo good. I shared it with another Japanese friend who lived next door to me and she was transported back to Japan. She then proceeded to make it within that week herself (but she used ground beef—remember we were poor graduate students!).

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My Photo Annie is mistress of the kitchen while Nate is the master of the grill and smoker. We cook the homestyle Asian and Hawaiian foods of our younger days while also exploring the wider worlds of Western foods.

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