Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Rolled UP

豚バラ肉まき – Pork Belly Rolled Rice Balls

_DSC1100It’s a glum reality that August is drawing to an end. For me it as though the summer just fast forwarded…wait, rewind it, I didn’t digest it yet!_DSC1094 

The ‘Toriaezu’ とりあえず(meaning ‘For the time being’) company, was famous for seasoned beef wrapped rice ball. It created a boom by campaigning for the item as the specialty food of Miyazaki prefecture in Kyushu Island. Its rise and fall is down right depressing to me. A few factors of the bankruptcy were  mismanagement, over investment and the unforeseen decrease of popularity. A philosophical word was said in a Japanese movie ‘UDON’ that ‘There is always an end to any so called boom’

I’m swimming against the flow of the ‘boom ‘perhaps. Simple yet satisfying food like this never faces death in my recipe book. The change of season is inevitable, the arrival of dusk accelerated each day, the blue moon over the roof, having something comforting to eat, I have so much to be grateful for. Besides, I have the gentler side, hopefully slower pace of summer still left to enjoy._DSC1034 

Pork Belly Rolled Rice Balls adapted from ‘Today’s Cooking ‘ magazine._DSC1051

  • Cooked rice about 3 cups
  • Thinly sliced pork belly approximately 1/2 pound
  • 6 shiso leaves
  • 2 Tablespoons each of soy sauce, mirin, sake, and water in a small bowl – this mixture is called tare. 
  • Seven spices (七味唐辛子) optional
  1. With moistened hands, make six 2-1/2 inch x 1 inch cylinders with warm rice. If you have rice molder as in this picture, you’re able to make perfect cylinders.
  2. Cut the pork belly meat to about 8 inches in length then lay a few strips to cover the width of the cylinder.
  3. Put 1 shiso leaf on top of meat and the molded rice on top of that. Roll it up nicely and shape it up if necessary.
  4. Heat a non-stick skillet at medium heat. Do not use oil, oil from pork belly is sufficient.
  5. Place the rolled up rice balls seam down in the skillet. Brown all over; 2-3 minutes.
  6. Turn off the heat and soak up oil from the pan with wadded paper towel._DSC1088
  7. Turn heat back on then pour sauce/tare over from the edge of pan. Gently roll the meat wrapped rice to coat all over. Cook until the sauce is almost evaporated. Sprinkle seven spice if you so choose._DSC1102

Salty anchovy works wonder with bland edamame (soybeans) salad.The tofu dressing I saw in Jalna’s blog come together without so (y) overwhelming.

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The company tradition of Fridays off in the month of August is such a blessing! I applaud you, sir (my husband’s boss) for your generosity. My husband and I headed to downtown Portland for lunch not too far from his office.

Fattening name of LARDO’ is a quirky kind of place but they have good foods.IMG_0055IMG_0048Pork belly sandwich, nice! photoThyme and rosemary french fries, good!IMG_0051They specialize in pork dishes yet I decided to have the green bean sandwich. How’s that for thinking outside the box? Get back in the box quick! IMG_0053This House Kimchi is a bit on the spicy side. Get it? Side?IMG_0052

Around corner from LARDO, Blue Star Donuts did not have cronuts, darn! The store caters to adults. This crème brulee filled donut came with a liquor tube which I threw right away.IMG_0034

This peanut butter powder and jelly donut was awesome!IMG_0035All donuts were made with brioche dough.IMG_0041We bought two more donuts to go. Passion fruits and coco nib frosting, my fav! _DSC1044Sea salt caramel. Mmmm OK. _DSC1047‘See’ said my husband. If we have a dog, we could buy these donuts. Pretend to buy this donuts for your imaginary dog.IMG_0033

Attended two wedding receptions last week. I forgot my iPhone on first one…silly me. It was a perfect setting in a stunning English garden.IMG_0064 IMG_0066Grandfather leading grandson for a short dancing lesson…one two one two…IMG_0076Others forgo the lessons, opted for free styling.IMG_0067100’s of gorgeous roses, wow!. IMG_0080IMG_0083IMG_0085Too enormous bird cages for even Big Bird.IMG_0088Friends who own this property are incredibly lucky!.

On the way home from the reception we stopped to pick black berries.IMG_0096I had my dress on so I concentrated on taking photos. The weather is so pleasant, what a wonderful world! sort of… sing with me…I see trees of green…red roses too…IMG_0092Thank you sweetheart! _DSC1118  






Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Merged Confection

Proficient ‘Cronuts’ knockoff Recipe

_DSC1020Since it first opened in Japan in 1971, Mister Donuts has been a huge success! Dunkin Donuts also landed in the same year but they ‘Dunkin’ed out of the Japanese market in 1998, so let the monopoly of doughnuts empire begin! Mister Donuts whose headquarters are in Japan, announces NEW doughnut flavors every season and some are awfully gimmicky yet people flock to try the new stuff! I must concede…the Hello Kitty doughnut is adorable and they ace the heat of many Japanese with the savory curry filling doughnuts but the sushi doughnuts (they call it sushiDo for short)? It contains no seafood nor sushi rice, just the style of sushi with flashy Technicolor frosting! Fun huh? Perhaps…but why?

Baker and blogger Edd Kimber of London was featured in Oregonian FOODday with his cronuts (doughnuts with croissant dough) recipe last month.(Yes! Mister Doughnuts offer their version of cronuts too). My husband wanted to try it right away but we had a number of weddings to attend, visitors to entertain, yada yada yada…you see this takes time and commitment… Is it done, honey? Not yet? How long? Tomorrow?! ….Waiting is hard.

Croissant dough – Makes 10 to15, plus doughnuts holes_DSC0917


cup milk


cup water


cup all-purpose flour


cup bread flour

2 teaspoons instant yeast


Tablespoons granulated sugar


teaspoon salt


Tablespoons (1-1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, diced and chilled

  1. Combine milk and 1/4 cup water in a small bowl. Set aside._DSC0919
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flours, yeast, sugar and salt. Then, with a pastry blender, cut in the chilled butter until it is in bits no smaller than the size of a pea (you need to see individual pieces of butter). Do not over-work the mixture.
  3. Add the milk mixture and gently fold into the dry ingredients, trying to moisten everything without making the butter any smaller._DSC0940
  4. Turn the mixture out onto a work surface and lightly knead together to form a ball of dough. Return the ball to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 2 hours.
  5. (After two hours rest) Place the dough on the well-floured work surface. Roll out the dough into a roughly 8x16 inch rectangle. Fold in thirds, brushing off excess flour.
  6. Give the dough a quarter-turn and repeat the rolling and folding process two more times, giving the dough a total of three turns. The dough will be smoother. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  7. Placed chilled dough on a floured surface and roll to about 1/3 inch thick. Cut out 10-15 doughnuts (depend on the size of cutter) with doughnut cutter. Cut additional doughnuts holes from the scraps. _DSC0960
  8. Place on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper to rest until the dough has puffed up a little for 20 minutes or so._DSC0964
  9. In the meantime, pour enough vegetable oil (about 2 inch deep) into a thick bottomed saucepan and heat over medium heat to 340 degrees._DSC0971
  10. Fry the doughnuts two or three at a time about 2 minutes on each side, until golden brown. Remove with a metal slotted spoon onto paper towels to remove excess oil._DSC1003

Dressing Up

  • Lemon sugar – In a small bowl, rub 1/3 cup granulated sugar and zest of 1 lemon together for a few minutes with your fingers. Roll the doughnuts to coat while it’s warm.
  • Lemon glazeStir in lemon juice, a teaspoon at a time to 1 cup of powder sugar to make thin glaze. Glaze over doughnuts._DSC0978
  • Chocolate glaze – See video. Sorry for poor quality audio.

Note; If the chocolate glaze is too thick, add some warmed milk to loosen it up.

Although my husband did not attempt Mr.Kimber’s pastry cream, sounds fabulous so make sure to check his site for the recipe or his other equally amazing creations.

Garden News -Tomatoes are still disappointingly green. These prickly Japanese cucumbers on the other hand are coming up very fast. The sweet and spicy mustard pickle was a snap to make appetizer enhancer._DSC0821 _DSC1000

I truly enjoy cooking…We invited a group of friends for Dinner/birthday celebration /get together– my iphonography opportunity was sabotaged by unsteady hand. IMG_0010She is not 3 years old but who is counting? My Chantilly cream covered Strawberry Short Cake needed decorating but I ran out of time.IMG_0011

When you’re in New York, make sure you stop by Dominique Ansel Bakery which trademarked the name ‘cronuts’ (dominiqueansel.com) to get a original cronuts or two.