Archive for June, 2013

Maneki-neko

Maneki-neko

Maneki-neko

Randomly found this on my computer: a maneki-neko gift to bring luck to our home from one of my sisters-in-law.

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Omelette + special sauce

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A brief note on a lovely omelettey dish.

Saute green beans and green onions with sesame oil.

Add beaten eggs on the top and let ’em cook till golden!

Pour yummy sauce on the top.

Sauce

  • 200 mL water
  • chicken broth powder
  • 3 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp katakuriko (Japanese potato starch)

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Harusame + squash

squash-harusame

Another harusame creation!

Here are the component parts that Yusuke assembled:

  • Boiled harusame
  • Microwaved squash
  • Raw daikon (thinly sliced)
  • Raw baby spinach (well, I added that bit on my portion)

Chinese style dressing

  • Chicken broth
  • Nam pla (Thai fish sauce)
  • Rice wine vinegar
  • Sesame oil
  • Water

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CNR Kitchen

eggplant

CNR Kitchen in Perth. HIGHLY recommended. Ok, it’s over-priced, but there are very few things here that aren’t. The location, ambiance, and most especially the food were all most delightful.

The resto-cafe is perched on the edge of Northbridge Piazza, home to outdoor movies, New Year’s Eve festivities, free morning zumba, Chinese New Year performances, jazz concerts, etc. etc. etc. I especially eyed the cafe during the aforementioned zumba, but I always had to dash off to work rather than stopping in.

CNR is mostly a daytime venue, but since they offer dinner on Fridays, we took advantage recently.

Many restaurants, I find to my chagrin, offer one or two token “vegetarian” options that nearly always include cheese. Vegan options other than salad (with an order to omit the cheese) are few and far between.

CNR, though, offers a lovely array of REAL vegan options, including raw offerings, alongside dishes that include meat/dairy/eggs.

On the other hand, a drawback to eating somewhere like CNR is that I actually have to put forth effort to decide what to order! It’s much simpler when I only have one option…

So, at CNR, I selected the raw vegan tasting plate. I assume that the average diner would order it as a plate of appetizers to share, but I wanted it all! (Although I did split much of it with Yusuke in the end.)

The plate included a ‘slider’: carrot, cashew, and sunflower pattie with tomato ‘bun’; spicey ‘pad thai’ salad made of zucchini, carrot, and coconut noodles; tomato soup ‘shooters’; nifty sun-dried tomato crackers with guacamole; and dolmades: grape leaves stuffed with a cashew mixture. The later was particular sweet and delicious.

tasting

Yusuke opted for the vegan eggplant parmigiana, pictured above, which was also most delicious.

If you have a look at the cafe’s website and Facebook page, you’ll see that they also offer lovely coffees, teas, and sweets. I imagine that weekend brunch is also pretty awesome. I’ll definitely be back!

P.S. I honestly don’t miss certain things about Montreal, but I DO definitely miss Crudessence (raw vegan) and especially Green Panther (vegan comfort food, VERY reasonably priced). CNR is the closest substitute I’ve found, but still not as happy-making for me…

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Deep-fried harusame + veg

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Forgot to write up this dish from a while back. It didn’t quite come out as Yusuke expected, but I thought it was pretty cool.

There were two components: fried harusame and a veggie stir fry.

To begin with the routine side, Yusuke whipped up a typical stir fry with soy sauce and oyster sauce, featuring carrots, green onions, shrimp, and bean sprouts.

The main inspiration behind this dish, though, was an experiment with harusame.

I’ve mentioned harusame on this blog a few times before. Since it’s been several months, I’m copying in my usual description again:

So what are harusame noodles, one might ask?

The wikipedia article offers the translation “cellophane noodles,” which sounds pretty much unappetizing to me. But other descriptions are better: glass noodles, bean thread noodles, or vermicelli.

According to Wise Geek, they’re Japanese noodles made from potatoes, sweet potatoes, rice, or mung bean starch.

The noodles are extremely thin and become translucent when cooked. Since they’re less dense or “doughy” than other types of noodles, they’re delightful in soup!

Harusame (春雨) means spring rain, and you can google for more pics.

We most recently bought a big pack at a nearby Chinese grocery. When it’s dry, it’s sort of nested in a pack, but not curly like instant ramen.

We don’t have a deep fryer, so Yusuke attempted his experiment in a fairly deep frying pan, pouring in a few glugs of canola oil and adding a pile of dry noodles over medium heat. He thought that more oil would’ve had a better effect, but I guess our pan wasn’t deep enough.

The harusame is hard, so as soon as it hits the hot oil, it starts to expand. When the whole tangle of noodles turned white in colour, he removed the batch and added another.

Some sections ended up rather more oily than others although he was quick with paper towels to soak up the oil. The final product, overall, had a rice cracker-like crunchiness.

After several batches were done…the giant mess happened.

In order to serve the dish, Yusuke wanted to make the finished tangle of noodles smaller. So, he put some on a plate, took a big knife, and went *SMACK* on top of the noodles. The result was a spectacular crunch action that had projectile consequences. In other words, the fried noodles shattered and debris went across the kitchen. But it still ended up nicely on our plates somehow in the end, and Yusuke arranged the veggie stir fry over the top.

Incidentally, lots of other crunchy little noodles escaped during various points of the process, so the clean up crew (moi) had lots to do!

Overall, it wasn’t perfect, but still tasty and kinda fun.

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