Yaki Udon Part I

I am obsessed with the frozen Sanuki udon found at Medi Ya and Isetan supermarkets. Prior to this discovery I had been buying dry udon from Fairprice, and the udon always tasted sour. :/ After trying Sanuki udon I never looked back, now it’s mandatory for the freezer to be perpetually stocked with frozen udon.

After bowls after bowls of soup udon, I decided it was time to venture into stir frying again. Just One Cookbook has an easy enough recipe, I had everything besides the Mentsuyu (which I purchased from Cold Storage), so over the weekend I cooked for two (three, if you count the blob growing inside me).

Stir fry noodles is not difficult to cook after all, so I wasn’t surprised that it turned out delicious. Most of the flavouring came from the Mentsuyu, and I think I will be relying on it for many other dishes from now on. I forgot about adding carrots (or maybe subconsciously I chose to ignore it because I still can’t julienne properly), and I basically grabbed anything I could find in the fridge to throw into the pan. The ingredients list is as follows:

  • Sliced pork (marinated with corn flour and sesame oil)
  • Cauliflower
  • White enoki mushrooms
  • Strands of xiao bai cai
  • Crabsticks (diced into tiny bits)
  • Sliced onion
  • Chopped spring onions

Stray observations:

  • Omitting carrot and using white enoki mushrooms meant that my dish looked insipid despite the wonderful taste. I shall make a note to remember the carrot and to use brown enoki mushrooms instead.
  • A gave it a 8/10: -1 for forgetting the carrot and -1 for the oiliness. I’m perplexed by the oiliness though, I used a minimal amount for the stir fry. I suspect the Mentsuyu caused it!
  • When I announced my intention to cook yaki udon, A gave out a very loud groan, “again?!” Why can’t I have a more supportive husband?

Banana Oat Pancakes Parts I and II

I’ve been meaning to make pancakes for a while, after A promised to do so (and even bought a Betty Crocker premix) but never kept his promise. The sister is always boasting about how wonderful her pancakes are, so I decided to one-up her by making healthier pancakes by eliminating flour and sugar. I found an easy enough recipe that asked for banana and oats among other common ingredients, so one fine weekend morning I decided to try it out.

Part I: HOW DO I TELL IF THE PANCAKE IS DONE ON ONE SIDE?!

I assembled my ingredients, and having no faith in our lousy cheapo blender, I decided to blend the oats into a flour texture first before combining it with other ingredients. Surprisingly the blender worked pretty well, so I made a note to skip blending the oats first. After resting the batter, I set out to cook the pancakes. The instructions were to “heat a non-stick frying pan over medium heat” and then “fry spoonfuls of the batter until golden brown on both sides”. As oil/butter was omitted from the description, I did not add any to oil the pan. The first pancake turned out black at the bottom!

Eventually I realised my mistake and hastily grabbed some butter from the fridge. For the second pancake, I watched it like a hawk and constantly checked the bottom to see if it was burnt like the previous one. Due to my incessant checking, the pancake broke into two.

(Interlude: A walked in on me and exclaimed, “好香啊!” But upon seeing the mess in the kitchen he immediately went, “what did you do…”)

At this point in time I realised the only way I was going to succeed was to ask the sister for help, so I called her and begged her to tell me the secret of pancake flipping. All she said was, “bubbles on the top.” So, for the third pancake, I waited till bubbles formed on the top before checking the bottom, and it was indeed time to flip it over. Success! Or so I thought.

Upon tasting I realised it was too mushy and banana-nery! I scrolled through the comments on the link and noted that bigger bananas demanded a greater amount of oats!

I resolved to trying again the next day. I must master the art of making hipster pancakes!

Part II: HOW DO YOU WHIP EGG WHITES? WHAT ARE PEAKS?!

The sister said I should separate the whites from the yolks, blend the yolks with the rest of the ingredients, whip the whites until peaks formed, and then fold the whites in with the rest of the mixture. So I did just that, and whipped the whites in a glass bowl with a fork, but all I got were BUBBLES and MORE BUBBLES. My arm was very sore at this point so I gave up and dumped the entire white mixture into the batter. No peaks will be witnessed today.

When it was time to fry the pancakes, I remembered to butter the pan. This time round I waited for the bubbles on the top before flipping, and I am pleased to report that my pancakes turned out great!

The pancakes were served with Morinaga maple syrup and blueberries, and even though A hates pancakes, he finished them all. It could be because that was the only breakfast that was available, but I’d like to think it’s because he found them delicious.

Also, I adjusted the amount of oats based on the previous day’s experience, so the pancakes were less banana-nery and more pancake-y. I have mastered the art of making hipster pancakes. Muahahahahaha.

Pan fried salmon with spice blend

I was most excited to have a sous chef in the kitchen with me, for once I had access to serious help instead of having the condescending husband breathing down my neck.

The initial idea was to try the pan fried fish recipe from here, but substitute the lemon butter sauce with this recipe as we are not big fans of wine in our cooking, but we ran out of time and could only manage to serve up the seasoned salmon without the sauce. Nonetheless, it still tasted really good, but we also added some mayonnaise on the side just for additional flavour.

I am now the proud owner of the following spices:

  • Chilli powder
  • Onion powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Thyme
  • Oregano
  • Paprika
  • Black pepper
  • Basil
  • Parsley

Angmoh cooking is really pattern more than badminton. I must have spent about $50 acquiring the above spices. 😦