Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Curry Noodle Soup

With Spicy Curry Oil

DSC_4827While watching the Japanese television showSmap x Smap’ which I downloaded from the network, I saw that one of the teams made a  curry noodle soup dish that looked scrumptious! Suddenly I was craving fat noodles – udon.

Although I was not able to find the exact recipe, I toyed with it and came up with a recipe that I think is acceptable. A few drops of curry oil enhanced the flavor so make the oil first.

Ingredients for Spicy Curry Oil yield approximately 1/2 cup

  • 3 Tablespoons curry powder
  • 200cc Olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed with the flat side of a knife
  • 1x1 inch cube of ginger root peeled and sliced
  • 1 dried Japanese red hot pepper (optional), seeds removed and slice the pod. Note: if you like spicy, use more.DSC_4793
  1. Put curry powder in small pot. Dry sauté the curry powder at low heat until fragrant  –do not burn.
  2. Pour oil in, add garlic, ginger and red pepper if using then simmer on low heat for10 minutes. Turn off heat and cool in pan.DSC_4797
  3. Set a sieve lined with paper towel on top of bowl,  strain the oil.DSC_4800DSC_4802

Ingredients and Instruction for Curry Noodle Soup for 2-4 servings (Print Recipe Here)

  • 1/2 of large onion thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 pound of thinly sliced beef (sukiyaki style), cut into 2 inch length
  • 6 cups water –  add less water if you like thick soup
  • 2-4 (50g to100g) curry roux block
  • 150cc mentsuyu sauce (I used Zarusoba Straight as it has no MSG)IMG_1598
  • 1 packet (1 tablespoon) of bonito no-MSG dashi powderIMG_1599
  • Frozen udon noodle –1 bundle per person
  • 1-2 stalk of green onion thinly sliced
  1. Heat oil in large pot at medium low heat, put onion in and sauté until transparent
  2. Add beef and continue cooking till the beef is no longer pink.DSC_4812
  3. Pour water and mentsuyu sauce in and cook until boil, simmer for 10 minutes at low heat. Scoop out if white scum appears on top.DSC_4813
  4. Mean while cook udon noodle with plenty of hot water. Drain the water through colander. Divide noodle in individual bowls. Note: Frozen udon noodle is already fully cooked, just warm it up.DSC_4819
  5. When the meat and onion are tender, dissolve curry roux blocks and bonito powder. Adjust flavoring to suit your taste. Pour the soup over the noodle, garnish with green onion and serve hot with the curry oil on the side.DSC_4838

Grilled pineapple with curry oil is an exquisite flavor combination. I’m sure you can find other uses for curry oil.DSC_4818DSC_4833


We had a overnight guest from Utah. He and his family used to live in a neighboring town, one of his daughters baby sat my son a couple of decades ago…he call my son ‘Merwin’ just to tease him…on his way to Newport, Oregon for fishing. His remarkable efforts to organize and raise funds for autistic children is commendable. Click here for more information. IMG_1592

I feel some sadness seeing this beautiful sunset. I know the summer is fleeting fast. I’m not ready for the summer to end.IMG_1584

…..I suppose I could prepare to welcome the romantic Autumn?

Have a wonderful week!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014


Grilled Fresh Figs

DSC_4760Figs were ripe when we came back from the trip. They are overripe in fact…the weight of the fruits were too great so that the branches broke off. Where have you been? We were ready for you a week ago…DSC_4746

I figured out quickly what I should do with them. I called to my husband; ‘Honey, Turn-up the grill’ ‘ We need to smoke’em! I said figuratively.

Grilled fresh figs for ice cream (adapted from Fine Cooking magazine) (Print Recipe here)

Necessary equipment: barbeque grill

  • Figs – 10 to12, the magazine recommended Black Mission Figs, we used Desert King, stemmed and halved lengthwise Note: we only grilled 6 figs. DSC_4737
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1-2 Tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • Vanilla ice cream
  • 2-3 Tablespoons honey
  • 4-5 mint leaves, thinly sliced (optional)
  1. Heat up - a gas grill to medium low or prepare a low charcoal fire.
  2. Brush - set the figs cut side down and brush the rounded side with oil. Flip and brush the cut side with the balsamic vinegar.
  3. Mix - Sugar and chopped thyme in a small bowl. Sprinkle over the figs.DSC_4743
  4. Grill - set figs on grill cut side facing up. Cover the grill and cook until the sugary tops start to bubble and the bottom of the figs get light grill marks. 5-8 minutes.DSC_4755
  5. Serve immediately over scoops of ice cream, drizzled with honey and sprinkle with mint if using.DSC_4761

We’re blessed to be able to vacation in Hawaii. To see our two gorgeous grandkids then to visit fascinating Big Island, the money was well spent.

Akaka Fall has a nice trail.  Azuki special at Matsumoto Shave Ice

Sanseis signature Apple Tart. Ships ahoy to snorkeling tour!IMG_1559IMG_1044

The sprawling, mega hotel has it’s own monorail inside of the hotel. From main lobby to our room was about 10 minutes by foot. By tram also takes 10 minutes, because our compound is 3 stops away.
Flavorful Acai bowl from Tropical Frozen Yogurt in Kona.   
A petite French patisserie in Hilo with few selection of sweets. The store closes at 4 pm!, we managed to squeeze inside by 3:57pm.  
The Donkey Ball Chocolatier in Kainaliu, I like the silly name.
The original King Kamehameha statue in Hawi, my husband taking photos in heavy rain.
Historical Bamboos lilikoi cheese cake. Donkey crossing sign reminded us of the kangaroo crossing signs in Australia. 
See my nice tan?IMG_1089Hawi doing there?…it’s all rain, can’t see the black sand beach.IMG_1566The wooden poster hung in little café in Hawi gave me a chuckle!IMG_1561Sunset at Volcano National ParkIMG_1533A spectacular night view of volcanoIMG_1038I saw this sign in Hwy.19 on the way to Hilo.IMG_1501

I hope you’re enjoying the summer…Oh hi Chelsea! the next door neighbor’s cat was under my feet while we were grilling figs outside…missed me? DSC_4749Yeah?…me too.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Fruits Enzyme Cooking

Betting on Fruits’ Gold

DSC_4323When did you last hear that lots of sugar is good for you? Never? Me either, until I started making fruits enzyme extract. The sugar used in the process to make this magical enzyme actually has great benefits to your health…OK don’t quote me on it,  I’m just summarizing what it said in the cookbook. It's saying that the enzyme is a type of protein that breaks down food we take in and also boosts metabolism. It is not a snake-oil sales pitch… I hope.

Making fruits enzyme is not very hard. I found many recipes online. It seems that you could use any fruits or vegetable except ginger. The most difficult part is timing I guess. So if you don’t mind me sayin’ I’m not quite sure when to hold ‘em. Anytime you see mold or smell something funny that’s when you walk away. Like I said, the secret to survivin’ is knowin’ what to throw away…just singing (kidding).

Ingredients and Instruction for Fruits Enzyme Extract (Print recipe here)

Necessary equipment: Large wide mouth glass jar 3 liter or larger

  • 1000g of your choice of fruits and vegetable – avoid ginger or strong aroma food such as garlic, garlic chives, bitter melon. Cut in chunks.
  • 1000g of sugar (although I used tensai sugar, you could use regular sugar but not brown sugar)
  1. Put 1/4 of fruits/vegetables in the glass jar. Add 1/4 of sugar on top. Stir with your clean and dry hand (harmless bacteria in your hand promote fermentation process faster…sounds gross doesn’t it?). Repeat three times more and mix well each time.
    DSC_4301 DSC_4317
  2. Cover with paper towel or cloth and secure with rubber band or twine. Do not put an air tight lid on it. Avoid direct sun, leave it at room temperature of 68 to 77 degree. If it’s lower than that, fermentation is slow. In ideal atmosphere, it will be ready in about 10 days. Make sure to stir the contents 1-2 times a day.DSC_4322
  3. When lots of tiny bubbles are evident then it’s ready. Strain the fruits/vegetable from juice through a sieve without pressing. Keep refrigerated (if you leave the juice at room temperature, fermentation continues and may turn into alcohol) Note: fruits part should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator and consumed within 5 days.DSC_4566

Ingredients and Instruction for meat wrapped broccoliDSC_4678

  • 2 Tablespoons tonkatsu or Worcester sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons of fruits enzyme extract
  • 1 teaspoon of stone ground mustard
  • 1 pound each of ground beef and ground pork, combine well
  • 1/2 of medium onion finely minced
  • 2 cloves of garlic finely minced
  • 1 Tablespoon of finely minced ginger
  • 2 Tablespoons sake
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 head of broccoli divided in small florets Note: broccoli must be dry other wise it will cause spattering in the frying processDSC_4665
  • Cornstarch or flour for dusting
  • Oil for frying
  1. Make sauce – combine tonkatsu sauce, enzyme juice and mustard in a small bowl. Set aside. Option: Go spicy by adding hot pepper sauce.
  2. Heat oil in thick deep pan to 338 F.
  3. Mix well meats, onion, garlic, ginger, sake, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Divide into however many broccoli florets you have.
  4. Flatten the divided meat and wrap floret top tight. Dust lightly with cornstarch.
  5. DSC_4667DSC_4668
    Fry for 3-4 minutes. Receive in 2-3 layers of paper towel to remove excess oil. Serve with prepared dipping sauce.IMG_1406

Oatmeal cookie with minced enzyme fruits Yield approximately 2 dozenDSC_4705

  • 140g butter room temperature
  • 40ml fruits enzyme extract
  • 140g low viscosity flour 
  • 60g oatmeal, chopped small
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 140g fruits enzyme fruits/vegetable, minced
  • 50g corn flakes (optional)
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips (optional) I used mini chocolate chips
  1. Heat oven to 356F
  2. Whisk butter in a large bowl until creamy. pour fruits enzyme extract and continue to whisk for an additional minute.DSC_4685
  3. Add flour, oatmeal and baking powder. Combine with wooden spoon or spatula.
  4. Fold minced fruits/vegetable in, then fold in corn flakes and chocolate chips if you are using.
  5. Drop 1-2 Tablespoons of the dough onto cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Flatten the dough with back of spoon if you like the uniform look
  6. Bake for 20 minutes.DSC_4701
    Without additional sugar, cookie has gentle sweetness and scone like texture. Care for tea? Why yes!

Spicy Hot chocolate – a single serving

  • 1 Tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons fruits enzyme extract
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  1. Put cocoa powder and fruits enzyme extract in a small sauce pan. Combine well to make pasty mixture.DSC_4695
  2. Gradually add milk to thin it out. Grind pepper in then heat up to desired temperature at low heat.DSC_4707

Cul de sac tale…We share what we make with neighbors sometimes, then neighbors return the favor. One of our neighbors tried this Marshmallow Gelato recipe from my blog. With her blueberry compote. Life is really cool!DSC_4683

Weekend warrior –  the store that specializes in orchids was moving to another location. This table was used as a display table and sold to me at a huge discount. I gave my husband a project to refinish it. I think this will be a great piece of furniture some weekends later.IMG_1412

Mahalo for reading this post thus far….we’re going to take a few weeks off from blogging and projects, plan to do mainly nothin on the sandy beach.