Tag Archives : Rice


Midye Dolmasi (Turkish Stuffed Mussels) 10

Book: Mediterranean Street Food by Anissa Helou Theme: Hor d’oeuvre Recipe: Stuffed Mussels

And we’re up to Week 3 of the Cookbook Challenge already! The theme is hor d’oeuvre. Not a word I can spell without help, to be perfectly honest. Nor am I so much of a finger food person either. But one day I was flipping through a few of my ‘street food’ type books and figured hey I could just work on that angle.

Slightly fiddly – having to make the stuffing and cooking the mussels but the effort is well worth it. It was so good. I suspect the key reason was that I had some truly good mussels. These are the Spring Bay mussels (their mussel fact sheet is a good read) I bought from a fish monger at Queen Victoria Market. I have to go back to the market every week for my seafood.

Mediterranean Street Food: what a great book. It’s all black & white and very few pictures but the travelling stories and the recipes are well worth reading from cover to cover. That’s a hall mark of a good book: the ability to read from cover to cover and not get bored. Josh bought me this book as a birthday present last year. I love it.

As usual I changed the recipe a bit to suit what I have on hands but the gist of it is still the same. It’s well worth the effort to source the best live mussels you can find. You need large-ish mussels to be able to stuff successfully. I had 20 mussels for 1/2 kg. That’s the size that’s perfect for the amount of stuffing I have given here. (more…)


A Most Excellent Rogan Josh and Saffron Rice 8

Book: Food Safari by Maeve O’Meara (recipe by Kumar Mahadevan) Theme: Indian Recipe: Rogan Josh

This week flew, didn’t it? The Cookbook Challenge Week 2 theme is Indian. I have been itching to buy myself an Indian cookbook as I love making Indian food but never really got around to it. The Food Safari book is the companion to the Food Safari series (which I love and have on DVDs despite not having a functional TV at home). It has amazing recipes – which better still can be watched individually on the SBS Food website.

This recipe is such a winner. It’s spicy, and oniony and meaty. The lamb was just so soft and rich. We have a bit of love for this Kashmiri specialty in our house because Josh orders a rogan josh when he is out of ideas at Indian restaurants simply because of its name. We amazingly enough never made it at home. I told Josh the night before about the idea of making rogan josh for the Cookbook Challenge and came home to find that he had defrosted the lamb chops, bought some tomatoes and fennel seeds and already made a start on chopping up the onions so I ended up backseat-cooking and helping him chopping things instead. He did most of the cooking.

We tweaked the recipe a little bit due to availability of ingredients – substituting here and there. But the full recipe, including a video, is available on the SBS Food site. (more…)


Asparagus, Rice and Pancetta Soup 7

asparagus, rice and pancetta soup

I am totally going through an asparagus phase at the moment. Every market I go to, they’re selling beautifully fresh, plump asparagus. Who am I to refuse these little beauties?

This soup was adapted from Skye Gyngell’s My Favourite Ingredients, which is really a beautiful cookbook. She writes cookbooks like she writes poetry. It’s great. As Skye said, this recipe is more like a wet, sloppy risotto rather than a soup. It is substantial for dinner.

slowly frying the onion, herbs and pancetta

Hearty Soup for 2:

  1. 8 fat asparagus, tough parts peeled back and chopped into 3 cm pieces
  2. 1.5 cups of risotto rice
  3. 1 spanish onion, finely chopped
  4. 3 slices of mild pancetta (about 80g), chopped
  5. 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
  6. 3 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves picked
  7. 5 fresh sage leaves, chopped
  8. 2 slices of dried porcini or 2 dried shittake mushrooms
  9. 750 ml of hot water + 1/2 cube of Massel vegetable stock + 1 tsp of Vegeta Gourmet stock*
  10. a pinch of salt and pepper
  11. parmesan, shaved to serve

adding asparagus to the soup

Heat up 1 tbsp of olive oil and slowly fry off the onion, pancetta, sage and thyme for about 10 minutes on low heat until the onion turns clear and translucent. Add salt, rice and garlic and fry until the rice is too hot to touch. Add the stock and dried mushrooms and bring to boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes. Add asparagus and bring back to boil for another 2 minutes. Turn off the heat.

Serve with freshly cracked pepper and shaved parmasan.

* Or use whatever light (vegetable/chicken) stock you have. I rarely do my own stock but I have started a freezer bag of off cut vegetables so once that’s full I might do up a batch of fresh stock.


Japan Food Review: Omuraisu at Apple Tree in Harajuku 2

I love the Japanese omelet rice! Of course when we went past a little cafe in Harajuku that specialised in omuraisu, we could not not go in. From my hazy recollection, we were absolutely starving on the day so excuse me for quick, useless photos. I’m pretty sure my hands shook from hunger.

omuraisu models!

Naturally this was what drew us. The food models. I love Japan for their food models. So we walked down the tiny (seriously you don’t know tiny until you go to Tokyo, and I’m like 5′ 0″) stairwell to a little cafe full of Japanese teenagers. You know, the usual Harajuku crowd. God I love Tokyo!

apple tree menu

We were presented with the menu with, thankfully, had pictures on them. I decided on the brown sauce looking one (E). No idea what it was. I kinda thought it was gravy/brown sauce type thing, which I was led to believe to be one of the popular omuraisu toppings.

Japanese omelet rice (omuraisu) with beef and red wine stew

(Omuraisu with beef and red wine stew – 850 yen)

But I was wrong (naturally). I was correct that it was the standard omuraisu but the brown sauce wasn’t gravy at all. It was beef and red wine stew. I can’t say there was a lot of beef in it (compared to the plastic model). While it was all right, I wasn’t (still am not) a fan of anything red wine-y taste in food. The rice was well made with tomato sauce flavour. The omelet was lovely and soft as it should be.

omuraisu display

(my meal – the plastic version)

Josh ordered what we presumed to be the takoyaki omuraisu. I mean, think about it! Takoyaki in your omelet rice. How cool is that?

takoyaki omuraisu

(Takoyaki omuraisu – 850 yen)

I think Josh won this one. It was absolutely yummy. It was served topped with takoyaki sauce, mayonnaise, seaweed and of course, the beautifully dancing bonito shaving. The most surprising thing was the rice inside the omelet. It had actual tako pieces alongside the usual takoyaki ingredients like ginger, spring onion and cabbage. It was very yummy. Definitely recommended.

takoyaki omuraisu plastic model

(Josh’s meal – the plastic version)

So if you’re ever around there, I strongly recommend it.

Apple Tree, Harajuku

Apple Tree, somewhere in Harajuku. I honestly can’t remember where it is. It’s not very far from JR Harajuku though.

PS. I’m so making omuraisu this week! I miss Japan.

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