Grilled Rice Balls with Spicy Miso

August 28th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

In Japan, children are taught not to leave even one grain of rice in your rice bowl, because there are seven rice gods residing in every single grain of rice, so we shouldn’t waste them.
This custom to ‘finish all the food served for you’ contains expression of gratitude for food and appreciate farmers who produced the food.

Anyway, I calculated how many rice gods in this rice ball when I was making them today.

100g of rice = about 4300 grains of rice.
I used 300g of rice for 8 small rice balls.
So, 11287 rice gods residing in each rice ball.

Mmm… they must feel so cramped.


— Grilled Rice Balls with Spicy Miso (8 rice balls) —

300g rice (Japanese short grain white rice, or sushi rice)

420ml water

Some salt

2 tablespoons spring onion, finely chopped

2 tablespoons miso paste (light brown coloured miso is preferred)
*please see this link for more information about miso

1 tablespoon mayonnaise

1 teaspoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon chilli powder

Some sesame oil for frying

1/2 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds


Rinse the rice in a clod water, changing the water several times until the water runs almost clear.

Drain the washed rice in a sieve and place in a saucepan.

Pour 420ml water in the pan and cover with tight-fitting rid.

Bring to the boil over high heat and let cook for 2 minute. Reduce the heat to the lowest and simmer (always cover the pan with a rid) 15 minute. Remove from the heat, still covered, and leave the pan for another 10 minutes.

Place the chopped spring onion, miso paste, mayonnaise, sugar and chilli powder in a small bowl and mix together. Set aside.

Divide the cooked rice into 8 equal portions.

Wet the palms of your hands and then lightly sprinkle them with salt.

Form the rice into circle shape.

Heat a frying-pan on medium heat with a little bit of sesame oil. Fry each side of the rice balls until lightly golden.

Transfer the rice balls onto the baking tray. Spread the miso mixture on the rice balls.

Preheat broiler, position the backing tray approximately 6 inches away from top heating element. Broil about 5 minutes, until the miso mixture starts to brown.

Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.

Spinach Olive Pizza

August 16th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Spinach olive pizza. Popeye and Olive . . .  Help me, Popeye!


— Spinach Olive Pizza (1 x 12 inch round pizza) —

1 x 12 inch pizza base (please see how to make pizza dough. *This recipe makes 2 x 12 inch thin pizza base)

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 garlic clove, crushed

2 tablespoons pine nuts

400g spinach, roughly chopped

1/2 teaspoon salt

A pinch of grated nutmeg

A pinch of black pepper

120g mozzarella cheese, grated

12 small black olives

2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese

Some black pepper


– for tomato sauce –

2 tablespoons tomato purée

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 tablespoon olive oil


Mix all the tomato sauce ingredients together in a small bowl. Set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a frying-pan and fry the crushed garlic and pine nuts over low heat until golden.

Add the spinach and stir-fry over medium heat until wilted. Season with the salt, nutmeg, black pepper.

Preheat the oven to 220C / 425F.

Brush the baking tray with olive oil and lay the round base on the tray.

Spread the tomato sauce onto the base, sprinkle with half the mozzarella. Spread the spinach and black olives over the top, followed by the rest of mozzarella and the parmesan cheese.

Bake for about 15 minutes until topping is golden and the base is crispy.

Sprinkle with some black pepper.

Root Vegetable Chips

August 11th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Bright and breezy. A perfect day for making vegetable chips.

The sliced root vegetables and my cat and I, we all bask in the sun today.

Sunshine brings out the natural sweetness of the vegetables,
and these half sun-dried vegetables makes light and crispy chips.


— Root Vegetable Chips —




Butternut, peeled

Sweet potatoes

Chinese lotus roots

Vegetable oil for deep-fry

Sea salt


Slice all the vegetables in very thin slices with a mandolin or vegetable peeler.

Wash the sweet potato slices and chinese lotus roots in several changes of water, till the water runs clear of starch. Dry the slices thoroughly on paper towels.

Lay out each slice of all the root vegetables separately on a sheet or tray.

Dry them in sunshine for about 4 hours until half sun-dried.

Heat the vegetable oil to 325F / 160C.

Deep-fry the half sun-dried vegetable slices in batches until lightly golden and crispy (deep-fry each kind of vegetable separately). Drain excess oil on kitchen paper.

Sprinkle with sea salt.

Grilled Corn with Lime Chilli Butter

August 5th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Spiky haired corn cobs dressed up in fresh and spicy butter. Looking hot.


— Grilled Corn with Lime Chilli Butter —

8 ears corn, husked

100g butter, softened

1-2 teaspoons chilli powder (adjust chili to suit your taste)

Zest of 1 lime

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

Some salt


Place the butter, chilli powder, lime zest and fresh lime juice in a bowl. Mix until well combined.

Transfer the mixed butter on a sheet of parchment paper and mold into a log. Wrap the log with the paper and twist the ends to seal. Refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour.

Pull back hunks from ears of corn, remove and discard silks, tie husks together with string to form a handle.

Place corn on rack of an uncovered grill directly over heat with husks hanging over the edge or away from the heat.

Grill the corn for about 15 minutes until browned, turning occasionally to cook evenly.

Sprinkle with salt and serve with the lime chilli butter.

Toasted Camembert & Grape Sandwich

July 6th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

I love the combination of grapes and cheese.
Fresh, sweet grapes and mature, salty cheese.

Two different things that go together well. It’s like a good marriage.


— Toasted Camembert & Grape Sandwich (serves 2) —

4 thin slices of bread

Some butter, softened

150g camembert cheese, thin sliced

a handful of red seedless grapes


Butter each slice of bread on one side only.

On the unbuttered side, arrange the slices camembert cheese, top a few grapes, pressing into the cheese, and arrange the slices cheese onto the grapes. Put the other slice of bread on top, buttered side out. Press together gently.

Heat a frying-pan over medium-low heat, fry the sandwich for about 2 minutes each side until golden brown.


July 1st, 2012 § 2 comments § permalink

Sunday, hangover, a couple of DVDs to watch, and this big heap of Nachos.

I won’t get off the couch today.


— Nachos (serves 2) —

100g tortilla chips

50g cheddar cheese, grated

Some sour cream

Some black olives, sliced

Some romaine lettuce, shredded


— for Tomato Salsa —

2 tomatoes (medium), chopped into small cubes

1/4 red onion, finely chopped

1 green jalapeno chilli, very finely chopped

2 tablespoons chopped coriander

1/2 tablespoon fresh lime juice

Salt to taste (optional)


— for Chunky Avocado Dip —

1 ripe avocado, peeled and stoned, cut into small cubes

1 teaspoon fresh lime juice

1 clove garlic, minced

salt and pepper to taste


To make the tomato salsa: mix all the salsa ingredients in a bowl.

To make the chunky avocado dip: mix all the dip ingredients in a bowl.

Arrange the tortilla chips on a heatproof plate. Sprinkle over the grated cheese.

Grill for about 3 minutes until the cheese is melted.

Top nachos with the shredded lettuce, sliced black olives, tomato salsa, avocado dip and sour cream.

Roast Potatoes

June 15th, 2012 § 2 comments § permalink

Potatoes are very friendly. They can get on well with almost everything.


— Roast Potatoes —

1kg floury potatoes, peeled and quartered

Extra virgin olive oil

1 bulb of garlic

Handful of  fresh rosemary sprigs

Sea salt and pepper


Preheat the oven to 425F/220C.

Break the garlic bulb into cloves (unpeeled), lightly crush them. Pick the rosemary leaves from the stalks.

Place the potatoes in a pan of salted water, bring to the boil and cook for 6 minutes.

Drain well and let dry for two minutes then Return the potatoes to the hot pan and shake it around to chuff up the edges.

Place the potatoes, garlic and rosemary into the roasting tin.

Drizzle the olive oil generously over everything and toss with your hands.

Season well with sea salt and pepper.

Bake for about 45 minutes or until golden and crisp.

Egg & Soldiers

June 5th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

This cute British snack is one of my favourite breakfast.

Simple, adorable and fun to eat. It makes me happy and smiley in the morning.


— Egg & Soldiers —




A pinch of salt


Toast breads and spread butter. Slice into strips.

In a sauce pan, bring some water to the boil. Using a spoon, carefully place the eggs in the pan. Cook them for 4-6 minutes.

Place the boiled eggs into egg cups. Slice off the top of the egg with a knife and sprinkle with a pinch of salt.

Serve with the toast strips.

Carrot Fritters with Avocado Yogurt Dip

May 31st, 2012 § 2 comments § permalink

This is the emergency treatment menu for my facial sunburn.
Plenty of Vitamins :)


— Carrot Fritters with Avocado Yogurt Dip (12 fritters) —

300g carrots, finely shredded

1 onion, grated

100g bread crumbs

2 eggs, beaten

1/2 teaspoon salt

A pinch of black pepper

Vegetable oil for deep-frying


— for Avocado Yogurt Dip —

2 ripe avocado (medium size)

1 clove garlic, minced

1/4 cup plain yogurt

2 tablespoons finely chopped coriander

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

A pinch of salt and black pepper to taste


Mix the shredded carrot, grated onion, bread crumbs, beaten eggs and salt and pepper in a bowl. Mix well with a hand.

Shape the mixture into 12 flattened rounds.

Heat the oil to 340F/170C, and deep-fry until golden. Place them on kitchen paper to remove excess oil.

To make the avocado yogurt dip: Peel and stone the avocados. Mash them with a fork until smooth. Mix all the ingredients of the avocado yogurt dip together in a bowl.


March 13th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Hummus, hummus, two kinds of hummus.

Basic Hummus, Roasted Red Pepper and Feta Hummus.

Hummus, hummus.


— Basic Hummus —

1 tin (450g) chick peas, drained

3 tablespoons water or liquid from tin of chickpeas

2 clove garlic, crushed

2 tablespoons tahini

3 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoons salt

Some olive oil for garnish (optional)

Some chopped parsley for garnish (optional)


Place all the ingredients (except optional olive oil and chopped parsley) in a food processor and process until smooth and well combined.

Spoon into serving dish, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with chopped parsley (optional).



— Roasted Red Pepper and Feta Hummus —

1 tin (450g) chick peas, drained

3 tablespoons water or liquid from tin of chickpeas

1 red pepper, roasted and peeled

50g feta cheese, crumbled

2 cloves garlic, crushed

2 tablespoons tahini

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/4 teaspoon salt

Some crumbled feta for garnish (optional)


Place all the ingredients (except optional crumbled teta) in a food processor and process until smooth and well combined.

Spoon into serving dish, sprinkle with crumbled feta (optional).