30 Mar 2010

Relocated!! www.bendibenri.wordpress.com

Hello friends,

I have been on the look out for a better place to blog after having a few too many frustrating moments with putting this blog together.

I have moved along with all my previous posts to;

www.bendibenri.wordpress.com

I intend to write more frequently offering all those in need of some inspiration as well as myself to cook up some delightfully delicious yet super bendi dishes.

Hope to see you there.

If you have any questions or want to leave comments, feel free to do so.

27 Mar 2010

Red Thai Curry

Andy and I have been living the life on the road, eating in Izakaya and convenience stores as we complete the 88 temple pilgrimage here on Shikoku island.   Moving from hostel to hostel, temple to temple and izakaya to izakaya my body is craving fresh foooood or anything that's not convini onigiri. 
We have finally finished the pilgrimage, which has taken a year on an off to complete.  It has been a wonderful and memorable journey,  but happy to have finished.  
We are now relaxing at home filling our vacation with Japanese study, yoga, painting, cooking and eating of course.  
I wanted a wee break from Japanese food for a night so decided to throw together a yummy red Thai curry. 

This dish never fails to please and  extremely easy to make.  All I need now is a decent camera to do the dish justice.  Thankfully I have an excuse to splash out for the camera of my dreams in a month, however a little unfortunate that it has to be because I turn th***y.
Until then here is an idea of what it looked like: 


I usually serve this curry with soba noodles or brown rice and barley, however anything works. 

Ingredients (sauce): (serves 2)

tbls Olive Oil
1 red pepper
1 green pepper
1/2 onion (red is best)
1 inch fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic
1 desert spoon of brown or palm sugar
1/2 can coconut milk
1/4 cup water
1 dessert spoon fish sauce.
2 white fish stakes (chopped into bite size chunks)
1 desert spoon red Thai paste (reduce or increase to your desired spiciness)
a handful of chopped fresh coriander 
1 chopped scallion(thin green onion) to garnish

Directions:

1. sweat the onion in a wok or deep pan in the olive oil
2. add the pepper, ginger and garlic then the fish sauce
3. Shake the jar of coconut milk before opening then add half to the wok
4. add the water then the Thai paste and the sugar bring to the boil then reduce the heat
5. Add the fish and cook for 1 to 2 mins
6. Finally add the coriander then serve with noodles or rice and garnish with the scallion. 


Yuzu Chocolate Cake

It feels great to be free from 9 to 5 for a fortnight, especially when spring arrives.  My most favourite season here in Japan.  

The end of term is always the busiest and most exciting.  Everyone is in good spirits to later indulge in more with all the celebrations and good bye parties.  
There is always an abundance of amazingly delicious food for the season, from sashimi, salad, noodles, to cakes and home made confectionary.  It's so exciting.
Most of my students in a private class I teach, own small farms or have friends who do, meaning I am continually indulged with any fruit or vegetable in season.   I love it!

This time I was gifted with a jar of home made yuzu marmalade.   Something which is enjoyed here as a hot or cold drink, spread on toast or used as a marinade/dressing for meat, fish, tofu and salad.  

Yuzu is a citrus fruit with a flavour not too dissimilar to orange and lemon combined.  This fruit has a really distinct flavour but refreshing.  Difficult to find in the west as a fresh fruit, but you can find it dry or in bottles from asian markets or stores.

Yesterday I had a very empty fridge, but really wanted to bake something.  I was craving banana cake (surprise surprise), but had no bananas. 
I knew I needed a vegetable or fruit to moisten my cake, but the only thing I had close was the Yuzu marmalade.  
Here is what I came up with: 



It looks like a big cookie, ehe?

Cakes are far too easy to make, but even easier in the rice cooker.  No need to feel compromised in the kitchen ever again. 

Ingredients:

2 cups Flour
2 tablespoons coco powder
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs (separated and COLD)
100g butter (softened but not oily)
1/2 cup soy milk
1/4 -1/2 cup brown sugar
100g Chocolate bar or choc chips. 

Directions:

1. Grease rice cooker bowl, set to 50mins and press start. 

2. Sift the flour 3x to lighten. On the 3rd sift add the baking powder, soda      powder, salt, cinnamon and coco powder. 

3. In a separate bowl cream together the butter and sugar then mix in the lightly mixed egg YOLKS finally adding YUZU and SOY MILK. 

4. Mix the creamy mixture into the flour etc. When combined, whisk the egg WHITES to a soft peak then fold into the batter.

5. Transfer the batter to the rice cooker bowl, by this time the setting will probably be down to 40 mins. 

6. break the chocolate into smallish pieces and sprinkle/place on top of the cake batter. 

7. Close the cooker and check for doneness when the timer goes. If the chopstick doesn't come out clean set the cooker for a further 5 - 10 mins. 

8. When done allow to cool, cut then stuff the faces of the ones you want to fatten up with your love. 






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