Everyone has their go-to when it comes to yakisoba, Japanese fried noodles. It happens to be one of those dishes where you have people arguing over what actually goes into it (cabbage, meat, chilli paste), what goes on top of it (seaweed, mayonnaise), and what goes around it, that is, the sauce ingredients (oyster sauce, ketchup, honey, Worchestershire sauce). And of course, there is the authenticity of it all;- striking a balance between adaptations of this seemingly simple dish using local ingredients, and of what might appear sacrilegious to the humble street vendors striking their teppan-s away in Japan.
To be perfectly honest though, I don’t have a go-to recipe myself, opting instead to go with the flow, as they say, using whatever I have in the pantry, hardly giving a measure of what goes into the skillet. Some days it’s dark soy sauce, some days it’s #meatlessmondays, and some days I add in bell peppers and red chilli flakes;- it’s about as adventurous an amateur cook can claim to be, with each one tasting a little different than the previous. This one here is currently my favourite rendition; the oyster sauce lends a sweet earthy tang, subtly juxtaposed with the salty soy sauce, while the chilli adds just enough warmth to the otherwise monotoned dish. Continue reading
I’m afraid this is going to have to be a short and quick update. Almost as quick as it takes to bring random nondescript pantry ingredients together to become what is possibly the easiest fix for a peckish tummy with only so much time to spare while her little one catches her (cat)nap. In fact, it took such a short time to bring these from stove to plate that I was convinced enough to do a repeat act the very next afternoon. In my defence though, I had some leftover cinnamon sugar from the first day, and my momma taught me never to waste
a delicious thing food. Another thing she taught me? The best things in life never had a need to be fancy shmancy; so whilst the purist in you can grab the piping bag and have pretty long churros, the rest of us can easily enjoy the same crispy-on-the-outside-chewy-on-the-inside churros in a simpler, no-fuss, pop-in-your-mouth way.
Have you had one of those days when you feel like it’s absolutely imperative to start the day on a sweet note, but a nondescript french toast dusted prettily with powdered sugar just simply won’t cut it? Yet at the same time, a voice;- Skinny Conscience, I believe his name was;- tells you no one gets away with having chocolate for breakfast, without having judgmental peering eyes, and the inevitable guilt to last till lunch time. And then you wonder who to listen to; the enticing sweet palate you had found yourself waking up with, or the aforementioned nagging voice raining on your sweet parade.
And then, an a-ha light bulb moment: well, it isn’t technically considered having bad, over-the-top decadent chocolate for breakfast, if it involves some sort of fruit, does it?
Let’s just say I had one of those days, and I don’t know if it was the half-baked reasoning I had conjured, or simply because these stuffed french toasts were that good, but guilt was the furthest from my mind. In fact, just between you and me, I’m already looking forward to the next time I welcome a day-old bread. Thick crusty bread enveloping juicy tangy strawberries, perfectly juxtaposed with occasional bursts of sweet melted chocolate-hazelnut spread;- if that’s not tantalising enough for you, I really don’t want to know.
These days I find myself reaching out for a smoothie almost every other day, albeit not consciously for health reasons as it is for the sheer convenience of it all. My mornings are usually rushed, so when I do find the time to make myself breakfast, or brunch more likely, I try to fix something quick and filling that will tide me over till after lunch hour. While pancake breakfasts are still my favourite, there are days when a perk-me-up needs to come in five minutes or less, and that’s where smoothies come in.
My first homemade smoothie was a blueberry-yoghurt, whizzed in a spur amidst whines of the heatiness and humidity the pregnant me felt one late afternoon. I remember watching the mister try to lick the bottom of his paper cup, and thinking to myself, how could I not have made smoothies sooner! And from then on, as they say, the rest is history. In my case, history involved transitioning to frozen bananas (in place of ice cubes), adding organic rolled oats (for thickener and galactagogue), and enjoying green smoothies (with spinach) once a week.
There really is no need for a recipe actually, but I just thought I’d share one of the easiest smoothies I love. No yoghurt, no additional sugar; just the delicious natural sweetness of fruits, coupled with the creaminess of rolled oats to set you off on a great start to your day.
If you’re new here, you’d be surprised at the seemingly thousand-and-one things I don’t eat. If you’ve already been a long acquaintance here, you would probably know by now my aversion to the seemingly thousand-and-one things. Thankfully though, as mentioned in my previous post, pregnancy and the whole motherhood thang had changed certain aspects in my no-list. As much as the mister had long wished I would miraculously crave for cheese during the 37 weeks, my tastebuds to those icky things still remain status quo. However, my interest had definitely been piqued by several dishes, one of which is the simple egg-mayonnaise sandwich the mister seems to adore.
To be honest, I had never even tried, let alone stopped to wonder what the sandwich consisted of, and only learnt that it simply was what its name suggested during one of those making/packing-the-mister’s-lunch morning. Since mayonnaise falls under the category of dairy products I don’t eat, I decided to give an egg-mayo inspired twist to my usual mashed avocado on toast breakfast recently. I may not know how an egg-mayo sandwich tastes like, but if it’s anything close to this avocado egg salad sandwich, I can certainly understand its nondescript yet comforting(ly delicious) appeal.
They say that having a child changes your life. And by golly, does it. In fact in more ways than one.
The moment I realised that I was carrying a child, my life began to change little by little, unbeknownst to me. I began being more conscious of what I was feeding myself (and her), showing more interest in fixing my meals, rather than simply delivery-dialing. Don’t get me wrong though, it’s not like I went cold turkey on my sweet desserts and fast foods;- as a matter of fact, I craved for more beef burgers than I could have ever cared to imagine, myself being a fan of white meat than red. Perhaps it was my subconscious telling me to watch my diet, or perhaps it was merely the willingness to spend time in the kitchen as opposed to being stuck on the bed, but whatever the reason was, my pregnancy had taught me two things;- to look deeper into what was going to land on my plate, and that sometimes, cooking isn’t all that time-consuming or horridly death-defying as my mind had made it out to be.
These days my appetite fluctuates erratically somewhere along the lines of mourning the dearth of any gastronomical urge, to an irrational ravenous dive into uncharted terrains of epicurean indulgence. Whilst my unpredictable appetite may not be all that new to me, the concomitant [metaphorical] headache that accompanies it each time never fails to annoy me. Yes, I do realise that at this point I sound like a fussy 3-year-old picking through her plate of greens. And yes, it doesn’t make it sound better by saying that my go-to choice of appetiser is laden with sugar. And I would pretty much have it for breakfast, brunch, lunch, tea … and well you get the idea.