Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Yaki Udon

Made this the other day. It is by far one of my yummiest noodle dishes...it makes me so proud *tears* Everyone who tried it said it was goooood. :D
I don't follow the common yaki udon recipes found in Japanese cooking but I use a lot of Japanese seasonings. One of my favourites is by far MIRIN.

Mirin is a sweet Japanese rice wine for cooking that contains about 40-50% sugar. It is used in MANY traditional Japanese dishes...like...A LOT. Even if your dish ain't Japanese but you want it to be, just add...MIRIN! :P
So in the above pic is the exact bottle of mirin (Mizkan Honteri Mirin) that I use and mine's almost empty now. To be honest, I didn't know why I bought it at first but I figured I'd have some use for it later as I like experimenting with Japanese dishes. You know me, I tend to go crazy when shopping at Jusco's Japanese food section. Whenever I'm at the Japanese food aisles, I just HAVE to buy something, haha.

Anyway, here's a list of ingredients for the stir-fried udon:
- A pack of udon (serving for 1)
- Sliced cabbage
- A square block of firm tofu, cut into smaller squares
- 1 Egg
- 1-2 tablespoons of Mirin (start with 1 then adjust according to preference)
- 2 tablespoons of Tsuyu*
* Tsuyu is a Japanese sauce/ soup base made from soy beans. It is similar to soy sauce but not as condensed. A blend of tsuyu, mirin and water usually makes for dipping sauces for Tenpura and Zaru Soba (cold soba).
- 2 teaspoons of Thai/ Vietnamese fish sauce
- 1 teaspoon of thick, dark soy sauce (The really black gooey sauce)
- A few drops of sesame oil (optional)
- Aonori seaweed (topping)
- Katsuo bushi (Bonito flakes)

1. Heat a skillet/ pan, add half a tablespoon of oil (it's up to you how much oil you think would suffice, I use non-stick pans so I don't use oil- yay!)
2. Add tofu pieces and allow to brown slightly. After about 5 mins, add cabbage and allow to cook slightly.
3. Add Tsuyu and udon noodles and allow to simmer slightly.
4. Add Mirin and fish sauce and stir around until everything is evenly coated in sauce.
5. Once noodles are tender, make a circle in the pan to expose the middle, with noodles around the sides (looks like a donut). Add egg.
6. The white should start to cook immediately, break yolk with spatula and let it run. Then scramble the egg after 10-15 secs.
7. Mix egg with noodles and stir around until everything's "dry".
8. Top noodles by sprinkling Aonori and Katsuobushi. Serve and makan, bon apetite, tabete. :D



Well that's one of my original recipes sooo, start cooking and enjoy! <3

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Happy Birthday, Peggle Darling

This is Peggle. He's a Red Eared Slider Turtle. He turned 1 this month and he's SO adorable. I hatched him myself a year ago. Out of about 17 eggs, only 2 hatched. The other baby died after a couple of days because it was a "premature" hatchling.
I've had Peggle's mum, Stuart (since I was 11) and Peggle's dad, Sandy (initially my bro's turtle but he's bad with pets- he was like 7 yrs old and already killed (brutally murdered *cough*, I kid) one turtle so I figured it was best if I looked after Sandy) in the same tank back in my old house and they sorta mated and Stuart laid eggs one day...MANY eggs. Took 'em and incubated them and waited patiently for 80 days. :)
Note: I named the mum Stuart because I didn't know much about this species of turtle back then and I thought it was a boy turtle, haha. Sandy, I thought was female because he started growing a longer tail and claws. In the freshwater turtle world, males generally have longer tails and claws than females that they use during the mating process. Durrr...