Friday, 27 June 2014

Food Recipe: Bacon Caborana & Ebi Zosui

Hi all, Cookie here, it's been a while since I've last posted. Honestly, my skincare regime is woefully basic these days so I'm afraid I don't have much products to review. I've been sticking to dermatologist's products and a basic eye cream + sunscreen, and that seems to work alright for me.

So instead, as a self-proclaimed social recluse who cooks all the time, I'll be sharing two basic recipes for lazy people like me -- with as little preparation and cleaning up as possible.

Time: 15 - 20 mins

Ingredients (for one):
Spaghetti (a bunch < one inch in diameter would do/ 60 - 80g)
Cream cheese (a tablespoon dollop, add heavy cream if you want a creamier texture)
Miso paste (a teaspoon -- I use this to replace salt and get a slight umami taste)
Garlic (2 - 3 cloves)
Bacon (1 - 2 slices, try to get fresh from a delicatessen in cold storage for example )
Herbs/ Spices (To taste. I like Italian herb mix + a teeny bit of tarragon but parsley and oregano is great too)
Asparagus (a bunch)
Egg (1)

1. Boil a medium/ large pot of water with a tablespoon of salt in it. (Use an electronic kettle if you are in a rush.)
2. While waiting for the water to boil, cut the aspharagus, garlic and bacon (in that order).
3. Fry the egg sunny side up with a bit of olive oil.
4. Cook the spaghetti until al dente, according to package instructions. (4 - 6 mins)
5. Blanch the asparagus with the pasta during the last few minutes.
6. With the same frying pan you fried your egg, cook bacon and saute garlic until lightly brown.
7. While doing the above, drain the pasta until a tiny amount of water remains. Separate the pasta from water and asparagus.
8. Mix miso paste and cream cheese into the pasta water until dissolved. Mix the pasta with the garlic, olive oil and bacon mix (if there's too much oil, get rid of some first).
9. Pour the pasta onto a plate, and place asparagus and cream cheese + miso 'gravy' on top. (Mine was at the bottom).
10. It should be salted just enough from the bacon and miso, but add extra salt and pepper if needed.

This tastes like a creamy carbonara with a slight Japanese twinge to it.  Make sure the bacon isn't too salty (as prepackaged bacon tends to be). If it is, blanch it first. Make sure not to use too much olive oil or bacon oil.

Time: 30 mins

Ingredients (for one):
half a cup of Japanese short grain rice
leftover vegetables (from nabe, for eg) like carrots, mushrooms, onions, napa cabbage, japanese cucumbers
japanese silken tofu (I recommend unicurd)
peeled small prawns (4 - 5)
miso paste w dashi or dashi and chicken stock (to taste)
seaweed furikake (sprinkle to taste)
salt, umeboshi (to taste)

Traditional zosui is usually leftover cooked rice and nabe vegetables cooked in nabe broth, but you can cook it from scratch using a claypot and save up on cleaning.

1. Pour half a cup of rice into the claypot and wash the rice till clear.
2. Measure one cup of water for rice and cook the rice with a lid on.
3. While cooking, cut all the tofu and vegetables.
4. Put hard vegetables like carrots into claypot. Put more water in claypot when needed.
5. Keep layering different vegetables in order of how long they need to be cooked.
6. Add in chicken/ miso w dashi stock.
7. Add in prawns and be careful not to overcook.
8. Add in tofu and vegetables like cucumbers last.
9. Sprinkle furikake, salt and chopped umeboshi to taste.

I find seaweed furikake to be the binding component of the dish. If you can't find or don't like the sour + saltiness of umeboshi, you can skip it. I find that it adds a special kick to zosui.

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