Updated 29 Oct 2010
Originally posted 14 Oct 2009
Roasted pumpkins seeds are a popular snack food here in Asia (as well as Mexico, where they’re called “pepitas“) . The recipe is quite easy to make at home. All you need is a pumpkin.
Continue reading Roasted, Salted Pumpkin Seeds
Concluding our series of homestyle Japanese dishes with a delicious, savory salad.
I love trying out new recipes and new dishes. I’m not one who likes to eat the same thing over and over (though for breakfast, I almost always have toast with peanut butter—go figure, I’m a study in contradictions!). I’m the same with leftovers, unless it’s something I really, really like, I don’t care too much for leftovers. Thankfully Nate will eat up all the leftovers for me. My human “garbage disposal” so to speak ^_^.
So I like to experiment with new recipes and I’m willing to serve them to friends even if it’s the first time I’m making it. This doesn’t always work out as some dishes don’t turn out great the first time (case in point is a braised duck recipe I made recently for a party—I’m NOT blogging about that until I perfect that recipe). But I’m grateful I tried this recipe because the salad turned out perfectly the first time and is simple enough to make with few ingredients. Nate and I agreed that we could have just eaten this dish on its own as a meal.
Continue reading Japanese Sesame Salad with Chicken, Carrots and Cucumber
Dashi is a simple broth that is a very important component to a lot of Japanese foods. The Japanese use dashi as a base for miso soups, noodle soups and as a liquid in many simmering braises.
We’ve been living in Kuching for a little over 3 months now. We’re settling in all right, getting to know the place and people. But we haven’t had a big party of guests over to our house yet, like we used to do almost weekly back in San Jose. We really wanted to invite our friend Paul (who welcomed us on our first day to Kuching) and his family over for a meal.
Annie mulled over the different menu options and eventually decided on a Japanese menu. Of course, there would have to be miso soup. She also wanted to do niku-jaga (meat and potatoes) dish. Both dishes call for dashi as part or most of the ingredients list.
The base of making dashi is the use of kombu/konbu (a dried piece of kelp seaweed) which is placed in cold water then heated to almost a boil. The other ingredient is katsuobushi (bonito flakes) which is added after taking the kombu out. These days, you can get handy instant dashis that you just add to water. But there is nothing like making your own dashi from scratch. And they are not very hard to make at all.
Continue reading Basic Dashi and Second Dashi