Sunday, 25 November 2007

Okonomiyaki - Japanese Pancake


This savourish pancake was invented in Japan during the second world war when the stock on rice was low. To still have a nutritious meal, they made up this pancake made of (yam) batter, cabbage and a lot of sauce. "Okonomi"means "what you like" in Japanese, as you can almost use whatever ingredient you like.


Ingredients (makes 4)

Pancake
  • Flour - 300 grams
  • Water - 150 ml
  • Cabbage - 400 grams, Shredd without the hard white core
  • Eggs - 4 eggs
  • Chicken stock powder
  • Green onions, bacon, onions, carrots
  • Or whatever you like (squid, minced meat, noodles, cheese)

Topping

  • Okonomiyaki sauce (Jap Worcestershire sauce, buy in Japanese Supermarkets)
  • Japanese mayonaise
  • Benito flakes (dried fish flakes, buy in Japanese Supermarkets)

Mix the flour, water, eggs into a smooth batter. Add shredded cabbage and green onions in the batter.

Use a soup ladle to scoop the batter. Heat some oil in the frying pan. Fry one portion of batter in the pan. Keep the heat on medium. Wait till the bottom is cooked. Add some ingredients on top and flip the pancake. Fry the other side of the pancake.

Serve the pancake with the sauces and fish flakes.

Saturday, 24 November 2007

French Toast - 西多士

How did the French toast (西多士) snack become one of the ultime fav in the Hong Kong 茶餐廳(tea lunchroom)? I bet the Brits introduced it, but like the milk tea, the HK people have made it their own.
Funny thing was that I always have thought this to be a Chinese snack and discovered later with great suprise that it's actually known by the rest of the world as French toast or "wentelteefjes"for the Dutch.


Ingredients:
  • Bread - 2 slices
  • Egg - 1
  • Peanutbutter
  • Sweet Condensed Milk
  • Honey
  • Butter (for frying)
Beat the egg.

Remove the crust if you like. Smear a thick layer of peanutbutter on one slice and top it with the sweet condensed milk. Put the two slices of bread together.


Soak the sandwich in the egg. Heat some butter in the pan and panfry the sandwich golden brown. Some Chinese restaurants fry the French toast, I prefer panfry, as it uses less oil/butter.

Serve with honey or light syrup, add butter if you like.
Enjoy!

Starbucks in the Land of Tulips, Mills and Clogs

The time has come. The moment we all have been waiting for.... Our first Dutch Starbucks!! Ok ok.. so this one does not have Matcha Frappuchino, they do not ask for your name at the counter and they added a little bit of Dutch service flavour to it, by letting customers repeat their (once with the order taker, and once with the cashier). It's still my place for a piece of cheesecake and a cold frap.

For me a nice piece of rasberry cheesecake. I love and hate cheesecake. I love it because I am an addict. I hate it because I am an addict.

Big chunk of chocolate cake for my choc-a-holic boyfriend. The cake was a bit too rich for me. It was like eating solid chocolate.

Java Chip Frap for me *big smile* and the Caramel Frap for Kelvin (who is the choc-a-holic now?). Reminder to self: Order the tall size next time - it is big enough!!

Welcome Starbucks in our humble small cold country, establish and multiply yourself!! Ooh for the people who are wondering where this coffeeplace is, it is in Schiphol Airport.

Friday, 23 November 2007

Mexican Restaurant Los Pilonos - Kerkstraat Amsterdam

Los Pilonos is rated as one of the best Mexican restaurants in Amsterdam. Not sure if that means alot as the Mexican population in The Netherlands is as much as non existing and the taco's are not made of corn flour, but wheat flour. We visited on a Tuesday and the place was packed. So full actually that we had to share our table with another party of two.
The place is decorated so colourfull (with a miniature statue of a Mexican wrestler behind the bar), if you were having a bad day, you will forget about it in seconds.

Before ordering you get a complimentary basket of nacho chips and three kinds of salsa dips. We were chatting and nibbling along, almost forgot to look at the menu card.


My friend (T) had the Taco Alambres. Not sure what that exactly is (beef with cheese and vegetables), but it looked very nice.

My dish was recommended by mine Mexican colleague (J): Taco Bisteck con Queso. The food was good, non complex and comforting. I chose for a mild dish, as I am a Mex food newbie. Do not come here if you are on a diet! (Seriously, the oil almost dripped out of the taco) By the way, I love quacomole!

We also ordered a very nice high calorie chocolate cake to share as dessert. Too bad by then our table was joined with another party and I felt so silly to make pictures of our dessert. I can only share with you how good it was... IT WAS GOOOD!!

Sunday, 11 November 2007

Sweet Papaya White Fungus Soup

My mom bought me papaya's, since she knows I love them so much. Now I have not blogged for a while so I owed you this recipe!

This sweet dessert soup is one of the more nourishing Chinese desserts. One of the main ingredients is the white fungus and it is believed to be beneficial for the lungs.

Ingredients

  • White Fungus - 20 grams
  • Ripe Papaya
  • Chinese Almonds - 2 tbsp
  • Red Dates - 5 (stoned)
  • Rock Sugar - 50 grams
  • Water - 1 litre

Soak the white fungus in cold water. Put the sugar and the almonds in the pot or pan (ideally to use a crockpot).

Peel the papaya, unseed the fruit and cut it in even pieces. Add them in the pot with the white fungus and red dates. Add the water in the pot and put the pot in a large pan with cold water.

Bring the water to boil and let it simmer for an hour. If you do not have such large pan, you can use an ordinary pan to bring the soup to boil and simmer for an hour.


Serve the soup with the ingredients. Enjoy!