Living in Memories.

The new year means new beginnings, new resolutions, new convictions and new experiences. For me though, at least for this year, the new year means I am one more year older; one more step closer to being grouped into the “adult” category.

Although I’ve already expressed this thought, I don’t mind stating it again: I loathe growing up.  If I were offered the chance to live in Never Never land as a teenager for the rest of my life; I wouldn’t hestitate to take it.

Sure I’d be devoid of the freedoms that come with the adult world. But really,  I actually find driving a car annoying.  Sitting in bumper to bumper traffic on a hot summer day while a cloud of smog and haze obstruct my vision is not my idea of an adult luxury.

I’d much rather enjoy the ride in the passenger seat taking in the scenic views of the cars in the lane next to me; while bopping my head to music blasting from my iPod.

Plus, once you know how to drive, you unwilingly become the designated chauffer of the family. Trust me, I have run more errands driving my siblings to and fro than both my parents combined!

But, I digress.  As life unwillingly drives me forward; I willingly cling on to old memories. Its not that I long to live in the past (at least, I hope not). I just love to remember. Life was so simple back then. I was more happier; we all were. Continue reading Living in Memories.

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A Seaweed Story.

Soaking Hijiki in cold water for 30 minutes.

Seaweed and I weren’t always the best of friends.

We were introduced to each other in the spring of my 18th year; my best friend took me out for a birthday celebration and introduced me to the world of sushi.  

Suffice it to say that my palette only agreed with one dish: the blushing pink ginger slices that cleansed one’s mouth after consuming sashimi or raw fish.

You may think the raw fish would have stood out more; but what caught my eye were the dark green wrapped rice rolls, filled w/ a variety of fillings (spicy tuna, eel, imitation crab).  Though it smelled like the ocean, the taste and texture was something I had never encountered before.   It’s taste was on the bland spectrum while it was both crispy and chewy.

Thus began my love of sushi rolls; mainly for their delicious fillings.  Yet, my full blown appreciation for nori only began when I was addicted enough to actually try out a recipe.

Of course, this meant an excursion to an Asian foods specialty grocery which is an experience I would recommend to everyone willing to try new adventures in the world of food and cuisine.

The take-away message from that trip was that there was a boat-load of seaweed out there.  Each type is meant for inclusion in different recipes: roasted seaweed for onigiri (rice balls w/ filling wrapped in a piece of seaweed) and sushi rolls; kombu for traditional seaweed soups; and hijiki for inclusion in salads and soups; plus many more types.

As I immersed my not-quite-so-nimble hands into the cooking process; I learned about the nutrititional benefits of seaweed.  Widely used in Japanese, Korean and most Asian cuisine; this edible algae  is a nutritional storehouse of folic acid, iodine, iron, calcium, pantothenic acid and riboflavin.  It helps supports our thyroid and adrenal glands, combating fatigue and stress. 

It also contains lignans, chemical compounds that inhibit the blood cell growth which would cause tumors to grow.

The abundance of beneficial vitamins and minerals in seaweed was all I needed to know.  I am throughly addicted to seaweed.  Now I make sure to eat some everyday; in some shape or form.

Source.

Plump and ready after 1/2 hr. soak.

 

Chive Pancake

I was going to make Scallion Pancakes, but all I had were chives in the fridge and so that’s what I made.  Now don’t get all weirded out by the fact that this pancake is on the savory side.  If Americans can be open minded to try bacon pancakes or cupcakes; why not mix in a vegetable now and again?

Most Asian cuisines incorporate vegetables such as scallions, chives, pickled cabbage (kimchi) into savory dishes that tickle a myriad of taste buds.

I have sort of become a connoisseur of various Korean and Chinese dishes that I’ve developed a taste and craving for. Once in awhile I succumb to the Siren calls (along w/ some prodding from my siblings who love this recipe by the way) and create this unbelievably simple and mouthwatering dish.

The recipe is a basic pancake batter w/ some spices added in for a kick of flavor:

1 cup flour

1 c chopped scallions or chives (I love packing it into the batter so that every morsel is overflowing w/ green specks.)

water – enough to bring batter to pancake consistency

1 tbsp red chili powder

1 tbsp paprika

1 tbsp garlic powder

a pinch of salt

Optional: Add 1 egg.

Enjoy!

黛安娜  다이아나  ഡയാന

Man Tou

I love Asian desserts; but I never indulge in them. Since Lunar New Year began this week I thought of finally making some of the desserts I’ve only drooled about for years.  Bear in mind that I did not eat everything I made; just a couple was enough to satiate my appetite!  Here, I tried out a recipe for Steamed or Fried Buns w/ Sweet condensed milk.  I had this once as a starter in a Chinese restaurant.  It calls for a simple yeast dough. The light airy bread paired w/ a touch of sweetness is just as pleasing as sinking my teeth into a moist cupcake. If you are willing to open your taste buds and explore new textures and I think you’ll find it surprisingly scrumptious.
Steamed Man Tou
Fried Man Tou
Closeup...Yum!
Served w/ sweet condensed milk

黛安娜  다이아나  ഡയാന

Happy Belated Chinese New Year! ~ Sesame Seed Mochi

Wishing everyone a prosperous Year of the Dragon! Here are some pics of one of several Asian recipes I indulged in this week.

Sesame Seed Balls w/ homemade adzuki bean paste: a great afternoon treat w/ green tea

Homemade Red Bean Paste rolled into 1 inch spheres
Sweet Rice flour balls stuffed w/ red bean paste

Frying a little sweetness. 
Cooling Down

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

黛安娜  다이아나  ഡയാന