udon

Ginger and lemon vegan chocolate mousse

Intro: For the busy bees, this is an extremely easy recipe that can’t go wrong to impress some special guests.  

Serves: 6-8 small espresso cups

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: less than 10 minutes

Ingredients: 

100g dark chocolate bar, break into small pieces

350g silken tofu, use a towel to squeeze out the excess water of the tofu

1 lemon zest

1 tsp grated ginger

1 tbsp rum 

1 tsp vanilla extract

60g agave syrup

1 small pinch of salt

1 chocolate biscuit, crumbled and used for topping

1 handful roasted walnuts, crumbled and used for topping   

Instructions: 

  1. Melt the dark chocolate in a large mixing bowl over a pan of simmering water. Stir occasionally until the chocolate is completely melted. 
  2. Place the silken tofu, grated ginger, lemon zest, rum, vanilla extract, agave syrup, and a pinch of salt into a blender and mix until smooth. Then add the melted chocolate and blend until the mixture is smooth. 
  3. Transfer the chocolate mousse to small cups and garnish with some crumbled biscuits, nuts, and lemon zest.  Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve! Enjoy! 

Ginger and lemon vegan chocolate mousse

Ginger and lemon vegan chocolate mousse

Ginger and lemon vegan chocolate mousse

Fennel & Ginger Miso Soup Udon

The best soup udon I’ve ever had was in Fukushima, Japan.  It must’ve been 8 or 9 years ago.  I really wish I could remember the name of the restaurant though.  All I vaguely remember was seeing a chef making fresh udon on the spot in the kitchen.  The kitchen was built with one side of a big see-through glass, which had a resemblance of a fish tank.  And the view at my table was very much like one of those Japanese landscape paintings with a few cranes strolling along the river stream looking for food.   

Honestly, I don’t have a good memory and you know how memory tends to fade as you age.  These images inside my head could be half imagined or half mistaken for another restaurant in Japan.  But what I could remember a little more precisely was the taste of the clean broth and the chewy texture of those fresh udon.  It’s almost like I was eating gummy bear except those were noodles.  Plus that udon complemented so well by a bowl of such simple broth.  It was something like a minimalist art form that spoke very loudly.  

I’m sorry if my words aren't convincing enough but that’s the thing with food; you are better off to taste it instead of to chew on it.  ;)

This simple soup udon recipe I have here for joining Culinary Travel Week is nowhere close to be considered as a replicate of that bowl of udon from Fukushima.  However, it certainly is a comforting bowl to have in the winter. 

Fennel & Ginger Miso Soup Udon

 This is the only photo of Fukushima that I could find in my hard drive.  It really was a beautiful place.  

This is the only photo of Fukushima that I could find in my hard drive.  It really was a beautiful place.  

Servings: 1 person

Preparation Time: 5 minutes

Cooking Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients: 

1/2 small fennel, thinly sliced

1/2 small onion, thinly sliced

1/2 thumb sized ginger, thinly sliced

400 ml vegetable soup stock or dashi stock

1 small bunch dried wakame (seaweed)

1 tbsp genmai miso 

100g cooked udon

1 tbsp chopped spring onion

1-2 tbsp sesame oil/extra-virgin olive oil

Instructions: 

1.  Drizzle 1-2 tbsp sesame or olive oil to a small pot on medium heat, cook onion and ginger 1-2 minutes.   On the other stove, bring a pot of water to boil and cook the udon noodles according to its packaging label.  

2.  Add fennel and soup stock; bring the pot to boil.  Reduce heat to low and add the dried wakame; let the pot simmer with a lid on for 5-8 minutes.  Turn off the heat.  

3.  Whisk a tablespoon of the genmai miso in a ladle to the soup with chopsticks.  

4.  Transfer the cooked udon to a bowl and add the miso soup after.  Garnish with some freshly chopped spring onions.  Serve immediately.  Enjoy! :D

Fennel & Ginger Miso Soup Udon

more simple asian cooking...

Here are the few dishes that I often make for my family.  They are really simple home cooking.  I don't usually go too fancy or make complicated dishes because I just don't have the patience.  BUT I do use mostly fresh ingredients because I love the freshness and original flavor that the vegetables give to my cooking.  I think making Asian food is really easy.  The few key items that one must have in the kitchen are soy sauce, sesame oil, mirin, miso, gochujang, and soju/sake.  These few gems are good to go and make tons of different Asian dishes.  

If you are craving a light and healthy Korean or Japanese meal, try out my no brainer recipes here.  The great thing about these dishes is that you don't need expensive ingredients to make them tasty.  You can use whatever you have in your fridge and use up the leftovers.  

Have an awesome weekend!  Bye bye July and hello August! :) 

vegetables bibimbap - the key is the sauce you put to the dish.  You can use any vegetables you like such as cucumber, carrots, bean sprouts, spinach, and etc.  What I used here is: tofu, edamame, cucumber, carrot, mushroom, and an egg on brown rice.

To make the sauce: 2 tbsp gochujang, 1 tsbp rice vinegar, 1 tsp honey, 1-2 tbsp sesame oil, 1-2 tbsp water

Another super easy dish - the highlight here is the wasabi mayonnaise.  

To make the wasabi mayonnaise, all you need is to mix 1 tsp wasabi and 3-4 tbsp mayonnaise.  Mix well.  

The key is to add a bit of wasabi mayonnaise on the rice while laying the chopped cucumbers on the rice.  Then roll the sushi with a sushi mat.  

This is a light and presentable appetizer.  So easy and so healthy.  

Soup noodle is another common Asian dish that we must have every now and then.  I usually crave it when I'm not feeling well. 

Servings: 2 persons

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients: 

50-80g soft/hard tofu, squared

80g mushroom, thinly sliced

80g baby bok choy

1 egg, boiled, halved

1 handful chopped spring onion

1-2 tsp sesame seed

1 tsp paprika 

1 tsp sesame oil 

1 tbsp soy sauce

2-3 tbsp white miso

150g - 200g udon

750 mL water

Instructions: 

1) Bring a pot of water to boil, cook the udon according to the package label.  Drain.  Transfer to a big bowl.

2) Bring another pot of 750mL water to boil, add mushroom, tofu, and bok choy.  Cook for 3-5 minutes, add miso and soy sauce.  Simmer for 2-3 minutes.  Heat off.   

3) Add the miso soup and vegetables to the bowl of udon.  

4) Add boiled egg, sesame oil, paprika, spring onion, and sesame seeds.  Serve HOT :) 

Miso soup base is much healthier and tastier.  All you need to add is some fresh greens.  You can always substitute for your favorite Asian noodle.