Recipe: Broccoli and Sausage salad

Broccoli & Sausage salad

Hello! I would like to share this very simple salad which both Y-chan and I love very much! It’s not the usual healthy salad because I’m using mayonnaise and sausages. Fat and salt contents. However, you can edit my recipe to match to your healthy scale! 😀

Ingredients:

  • Broccoli – any amount you want
  • Sausages – 3 ~ 4 pieces
  • Frozen corn – any amount you want
  • Mayonnaise (Japanese type) – 2 tablespoon
  • Sesame oil – 1 teaspoon
  • Salt & Pepper

How to:

  1. Cut broccoli into bite-size and bring a pot of water to boil.
  2. Add a pinch of salt into the boiling water and boil the ingredients (Broccoli, Sausages and Corn) together.
  3. Once boiled, drain away excess water and let it cool down.
  4. Slice the sausages and remove excess water (and fat) with kitchen paper.
  5. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and chill in the fridge.
  6. Sprinkle some Parmesan cheese on it and serve.

I was looking through the Japanese recipe website randomly and found this awesome dish. Initially, I was quite skeptical about adding sesame oil into my salad because the taste might not match. But I just gave it a shot and chilled it in the fridge. After I’ve unwrapped the cling wrap, the aroma from the sesame oil was so inviting that Y-chan and I finished it within 10 minutes.

Other ingredients I would recommend to add into this salad:

  • Mashed hard-boiled egg
  • Fusilli pasta
  • Crabsticks

Do give it a try when you need one more dish to complete your meal! 😀 Enjoy!

P/S: For the sausages, try to use those with springy & crispy texture because it gives the ‘bite’ for the salad.

Assemble our own bed

Last weekend, Y-chan and I were stuck at home assembling our bed frame. We went to IKEA twice in a month (holes in my wallet due to the transportation fee 😦 ). First time was to check out the bed frames & mattresses and the second time was to place our order.

Our conclusion was this bed frame because the use of birch. 😀

MANDAL

We got the IKEA delivery staff to collect our old mattress for free because the old mattress was from IKEA too. So we started ‘work’ around evening and managed to complete everything except for the storage boxes because it requires hammer which we don’t have it at home. The whole set was completed on the following day after we went out to get a hammer. 🙂

I like IKEA’s self-assembly concept as it encourage bonding (i.e. to work with a partner) and of course, cost-saving! 😀 Speaking of cost-saving, I super love IKEA bistro’s menu because it’s cheap and good! I had strawberry flavored (Tochiotome – とちおとめ) soft-serve at just 100 yen! A while ago, I just checked their website and they have green tea flavored soft-serve for a limited time only.

Looking forward to our next trip to IKEA! 🙂

Ebi Tsukemen – 五ノ神製作所

Ebi Tomato Tsukemen

五ノ神製作所 – えびトマトつけ麺 味玉入り

Last Friday, I went to Shinjuku to meetup with a few friends. It’s a mini Singaporeans gathering and my ‘sister’ in Japan, J-neechan suggested tsukemen (つけ麺) for dinner. Her recommendation can never go wrong because she’s a food lover. 😀

I was late for the meetup time because the train lines (2 out of 3) went faulty since that morning and I was left with only 1 train line to commute with. After I’ve met up them, we went straight to the tsukemen shop because there’ll be a long queue forming. Sure enough, there was about 4 – 5 groups ahead of us in the waiting line.

For this particular shop, you have to buy the food ticket (食券) first before queuing. As my friend recommended ‘Ebi Tomato Tsukemen’ (Prawn tomato dipping sauce with noodle – 海老トマトつけ麺), we took her words and give it a shot.

In Japan’s ramen / tsukemen / soba shop, they will place food ticket machine in replace of a cashier (i.e. cut down in manpower). So when the customer steps into the shop, the customer will insert money into the machine and choose what they want to eat. However, if you can’t read Japanese or don’t know what’s famous in the shop, just choose the option located in the top left-hand corner of the machine and it can’t go wrong. Take this shop for example, it’s famous for Ebi Tsukemen (海老つけ麺) and you can see that the option is at the top left-hand corner.

I’ve ordered ‘Ebi Tomato Tsukemen with Aji-tama’, Aji-tama (味玉) is seasoned egg. After buying the food ticket, we went out to queue before getting a seat inside the shop. The staff came and collected the food tickets and asked us about the volume of the noodles. You can choose small or regular. We waited for 30 – 45 minutes before getting a seat but the noodles were served within minutes.

The noodles were topped with basil pesto sauce & a slice of baguette. The dipping sauce was so rich and flavorful but not overdoing in taste. I can taste the essence of the prawn and the sourness from the tomato. It has a little Italian-taste when I ate the baguette dipped in the sauce and then topped with basil pesto sauce. I like it very much and would like to bring Y-chan to this shop when we go to Shinjuku some day. 😀

When eating tsukemen, the dipping sauce is very very rich in taste, it’s for dipping so please don’t drink it like it’s ramen soup. You might hate tsukemen because of it. What to do if I have leftover dipping sauce and I’ve finished my noodles? Tell the shop staff that you want ‘su-pu wari’ (スープ割り) and they will dilute the dipping sauce so that it’ll become a soup instead. 😀  [Note: some shops doesn’t have this service, so do keep a lookout for it. :)]

Recipe: Chicken wings in ‘Special’ sauce

chicken wings in 'special' sauce

Hello! (: How’s your week going? This will be my second post in recipe and it’s fairly simple, hope you will like it. As the supermarket I frequents to has this campaign of ’98yen’ sale, and chicken wings (mid-joint) is selling at 98yen per 100g so I just bought a pack which has 9 pieces in it. This ‘special’ sauce which I don’t know how to describe in English, is called ama-kara (甘辛). It’s a little sweet and a little salty, something similar to teriyaki-sauce.

Ingredients (Serves 2):

  • Chicken wings (mid-joints / drumlets) – 7 ~ 9 pieces
  • Salt – ¼ teaspoon
  • Corn starch – 1½ tablespoon
  • Shoyu – 2 tablespoon
  • Sugar – 1 tablespoon
  • Mirin – 1 tablespoon
  • Sake – 1 tablespoon

How to:

  1. Marinate the wings with salt on both sides and rest in fridge for about 10 minutes.
  2. Coat the wings fully with corn starch.
  3. In a frying pan, add about 1cm in height of cooking oil and heat until it’s ready for frying.
  4. Meanwhile, in another frying pan, add in the rest of the ingredients together and simmer until it’s half the original volume. Turn off the heat.  [Note: do it simultaneously with step 3.]
  5. Fry the wings till cooked, and transfer it straight into the sauce.
  6. Coat the fried wings evenly and serve it on a plate.
  7. Garnish with white sesame.

When I was preparing this dish, I used my ‘magic oven’ to fry the wings.The good thing about this is it’s healthier than the traditional method. The bad thing is it’s less crispy and a little soggy on one side of the wings. ):

Instead of using chicken wings, you may also use cut chicken thighs to prepare this dish! 😀 Enjoy!! ♪

Start of our wedding preparation

On our trip back to Yamaguchi during the Golden week, we’ve went to visit the hotel where we will be holding our wedding ceremony & reception lunch. A few months before deciding on this location, my mum-in-law helped us to gather a number of wedding pamphlets for our reference.

In Japan, the couple decides on what type of ceremony they wishes to hold. Church / Chapel ceremony (教会式 / チャペル式), exchanging vows in-front of families & friends (人前式) and Shinto ceremony (神前式). After looking through the pamphlets, we came to a decision of doing a Shinto ceremony. Partly is because I wanted to wear the uchi-kake (打ち掛け), another reason would be the cost. The ceremony looks something like this ↓ (image from Google)

Then! We need to decide on the wedding date. Likewise in Singapore, Chinese usually looks at the lunar calendar and compare it with their ‘eight characters’. However, the calendar in Japan is fairly simple. They have certain ‘recommended’ days that are meant for ‘wedding’, ‘moving’, ‘travelling’ and etc… So, 1st December in the calendar reads tomo-biki (友引) and it’s good for celebration event (i.e. wedding).

After visiting the hotel and a talk with the bridal consultant, they handed us a few information such as timeline, schedule of the flow, and a file which acts as a wedding note/checklist. The way the hotel handles certain items are quite different from Singapore’s hotel. For example, inside the suggested wedding package, they calculate the cost by no. of attendees instead of per table. The seating arrangements are usually in 5 ~ 8 guests per table. Unlike our Chinese style where you squeeze 10 guests into a table. 🙂

As we have limited time in Yamaguchi, my mum-in-law has helped us to book a slot with the wedding dress rental shop straight after the consultant. As I already have in mind how many dresses I want to wear during my big day, we went straight to the selection room. I was surprised to see so many colorful dresses and of course, white wedding dresses too. 😀 So I went round the racks and racks of dresses, picking up some that I may want to try on. I have to tell you……. I was soooooo nervous that I was sweating like the room is a sauna itself. After trying on the dresses, we went to another room to try out the colored uchi-kake. I prefer colored uchi-kake than the shiromuku (白無垢) because I think my skin tone doesn’t fit shiromuku that well.

We will need to go back to Yamaguchi again for our 2nd discussion with the hotel consultant and 2nd fitting of the wedding dresses in Summer. Which means we need to fly back and in other to save cost, we need to get the tickets early. Which also means that Y-chan has to take annual leaves for it. This is so troublesome because in Japan, taking annual leaves (for around 3 to 5 days) is considered a nuisance to other colleagues. So I can imagine Y-chan getting reprimanded for this if he takes a number of annual leaves. (This is one of the reason why I sometimes disagree on the Japanese way of thinking, especially on annual leaves. It’s entitled in the contract, so definitely the individuals are entitled to use it right? Of course, the individual has to be considerate and choose the dates that’s not a busy period in the company.)

We’re just hoping for a smooth process of our wedding preparation with the help of our friends. 😀

Ending off with a back-shot of me in Jill Stuart‘s colored dress collection & colored uchi-kake ♥