Recipe: ONIGIRAZU

One of the food trends in Japan right now is this – Onigirazu (おにぎらず).

I first came across this food term, Onigirazu on Instagram and have always wanted to try making it. Then. Y-chan asked why not I go ahead and make onigirazu for him as his lunch because he’s sick and tired of eating conbini food. I said OK and went to search the net for instructions and even head to the bookstore to scoop some infos. 😉

Onigiri – Rice ball gripped into triangle shape. 「おにぎり」の絵文字

Onigirazu – Rice ball that doesn’t need to be shaped.

So, shall we start? 🙂

Click to start tutorial! 🙂

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Japanese New Year

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I know, I know… Half of January has passed and why am I writing about New Year right? (-_-) I’m writing this because I need to refer to this post end of the year to prepare for next year’s new year celebration. *sounds so confusing huh..* 😉

Kagami-mochi (鏡餅)

So I bought one which comes with a mini sheep object from a market in mid-December. However, the original one looks like this.

But it looks so confusing so I took the shortcut and choose the kawaii version instead. 😉 It is to offer the mochi (rice cake) to the gods and then consume it after welcoming the new year.

When to set it up? Answer is: 28th December.

Spring Cleaning

Same as the Chinese’s Lunar New Year tradition, Japanese also practise spring cleaning before welcoming the new year. Throw away unnecessary stuff and clean up the house sparkling clean.

Osechi Ryori (お節料理)

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I……… ordered this from the supermarket. 🙂 Looks awesome for 10,000yen (super value for money) and it comes along with the boxes. ♥

We didn’t consume osechi dishes for 2014 because we were still mourning Y-chan’s grandfather’s death. It’s the Japanese tradition to keep it a low-profile.

For Osechi dishes, the compulsory dishes to include would be Prawns, Datemaki (伊達巻), Kazunoko (数の子) my favorite ♥, Black soybeans, Kamaboko, Konbu, Namasu and Tazukuri. *For the explanation, read wiki here*

I love almost every items except maybe…. the chestnuts. :O

With this experience, I will try to make some of the dishes for example, the simmered vegetables, black soybeans, namasu and omelette this year. 😀

Ozoni (お雑煮)

photo credits: erecipe.woman.excite.co.jp

photo credits: erecipe.woman.excite.co.jp

There’s a lot of variations to the soup base depending of the region you’re brought up in. I asked Y-chan on what he used to have when young, he said “I can’t remember.” (-.-“)

So I made a miso-based Ozoni with chicken thigh (in bite-sized), daikon, carrots and spinach, then add in mochi to simmer till soft before serving. 🙂

Hatsumoude (初詣)

photo credits: matome.naver.jp

Hatsumoude means the first shrine/temple visit of the year, and it should be done by the 3rd day of the new year. 🙂 Long queues are a frequent sight in famous shrines/temples such as Meiji Jingu, Sensoji and Narita-san.

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We have been visiting Hikawa Shrine (武蔵一宮 氷川神社) for the past few years and it’s quite famous in the Kanto region.

We picked omikuji after the visit and both of us got 吉. LOL At least we didn’t get 凶 (bad). Hoping for the good luck to continue throughout the year. 😀

Nanakusa-gayu (七草粥)

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It’s a porridge cooked with 7 types of herbs and is to be eaten on the 7th day of the new year. There’s 2 reasons to eat this porridge.

Nanakusa-gayu is so lightly flavored or close to tasteless. During the new year, one tends to overeat and food tends to be heavily flavored. So eating this porridge would give the stomach a rest.

Another reason would be that the Japanese believes that eating nanakusa-gayu would protect one from illness and disasters throughout the year. 😉

As I am very picky on herbs (I don’t like the bitter taste), I bought this freeze-dried pack that’s so easy to handle. Just cook a pot of porridge with my rice cooker and mix the pack in. Serve it with a sprinkle of sea salt (a souvenir from a friend) to add some flavor.

Guess that’s the end of celebrating the Japanese New Year. 😀

It’s going to be the lunar new year soon and I am missing the bak kwa smell. 😥

Recipe: Teriyaki Chicken

Hellos! I’m back with a recipe post and it’s the easiest yet flavorful teriyaki chicken. Teriyaki chicken/salmon menus can be found in most Japanese food stalls in Singapore but the taste of each stall’s teriyaki sauce varies. Some are too watery while some are too starchy. 😐

Few years back I found the best teriyaki sauce on a youtube video, and from then on, I seldom order teriyaki chicken/salmon set meals from the Japanese food stalls in Singapore. 😀 click to see the recipe!

Recipe: Buta donburi

Hello! I realized my last recipe post was in early August. *sweats* :/

So today I’m going to share with you the recipe on making a Buta Don (豚丼 – pork rice bowl).

Ingredients (Serves 2):

  • Pork loin / belly slices – 150g ~ 180g
  • Onion – ½ of regular size
  • (A) Shoyu – 3 tablespoons
  • (A) Sugar – 2 tablespoons
  • (A) Sake – 2 tablespoons
  • (A) Mirin – 1 tablespoon
  • Corn starch dissolved in water – just enough to thicken the gravy
  • Shredded cabbage – own preference
  • Cooked rice – 2 servings

How to:

  1. Mix (A) together.
  2. Slice the onions.
  3. In a fry-pan, heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil (medium-low heat) and add in the sliced onions.
  4. Stir-fry the onions until it turns translucent.
  5. Add in the pork slices.
  6. Once the red meat of the pork slices are cooked, lower the heat to low and add in (A).
  7. Let it simmer for 1 – 2 minutes.
  8. Slowly add in the corn starch dissolved in water into 7 and stir well.
  9. Scoop the cooked rice into a rice bowl, layer the shredded cabbage and serve the pork slices on top.

I like the gravy a lot to the extend that almost every month I will serve it for dinner. If you like to enjoy the gravy, I would recommend to not add in the corn starch. It’ll be watery but once poured over the rice, the rice will soak up the gravy and it’ll definitely taste good!

Also, I experimented using frozen onion. I will let it defrost in normal temperature and then slice it. A lot of water came out from the onions and it’s has a different texture. By doing this, the onions will absorb the seasoning better than usual. 😀

In Singapore, it’s quite hard to get sliced pork in the supermarket. It’s okay to use those pork slices meant for shabu shabu. Do remember to defrost it totally before cooking. 🙂

Hope you’ll try this out for your meal time. 😀

Recipe: Chicken breast meat in Mayo Teriyaki sauce

Hello! Hope you’ve enjoyed your weekends and have shake off the Monday blues. 😀 As promised, this will be a recipe post for you. Do try it out for dinner this week! 🙂

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Ingredients (Serves 2):

  • Chicken breast meat – 1 piece (approx. 250g)
    • (A) Sake – ½ tablespoon
    • (A) Sugar – 1½ pinch
    • (A) Black grounded pepper – a few shakes
  • Corn starch – 2 tablespoons
  • (B) Shoyu – 1½ tablespoons
  • (B) Sake – 1½ tablespoons
  • (B) Sugar – 1 tablespoon
  • (B) Mayonnaise – ½ tablespoon
  • Cooking oil – 1 tablespoon
  • Lettuce – 2 ~ 3 leaves

How to:

  1. Cut chicken breast meat into bite-size pieces and marinate with (A) for 15 minutes.
  2. Lightly coat Step 1 with corn starch.
  3. Mix (B) together.
  4. In a fry-pan, heat the oil in Medium heat and add in the chicken meat in Step 2.
  5. Pan-fry the meat until there’s some browning on outside. Lower the heat to Medium-low.
  6. Add in (B) and allow it to simmer for a few minutes. Or until the sauce thickens a bit.
  7. Shred the lettuce into smaller pieces and arrange it on a plate. Serve the chicken meat on top of it.

For the mayonnaise used in this dish, try to use the Japanese one (Kewpie or Ajinomoto brand) because it has more egg yolk contents than normal ‘white’ mayonnaise and also more vinegar-ish. It’s recommended to have a bottle at home because it goes well with anything! 🙂

P/S: I always add 1 ~ 1½ tablespoons of mayonnaise to my omelette mixture to make it fluffy. :p