One large ‘chawan mushi’

Well, it’s not quite chawan mushi but it is steamed goodness in a bowl. It is easy to make and very nutritious. I put in frozen peas and corn that I rinsed in water first, one can of wild salmon (drained), one packet of Shimeji mushroom, two eggs beaten with enough water to cover the ingredients and some black pepper. I steamed it for about 20 minutes, until it was completely cooked.

I had this with wild rice. Yum!

A second bowl was made with Buna Shimeji mushroom (on another day). I added in a little bit more corn and did not add any crushed black pepper. The pepper was too overpowering in the first bowl. This one tastes better.


Red Bowl Goodness

Why haven’t I visited this place before? I am not a fan of ramen, often preferring rice to wheat, though there are times I love a small bowl of good noodles. Tonight was no different. I wanted something that was inexpensive and I found it right here. My order of fried rice and crab stick salad on the side was just right. I could not be happier, taste- and price-wise.

Fried rice

Crab salad

My friends, however, came for ramen.

Squid Ink ramen

Don’t you just love the design of the bowl? All their ramen bowls are like this.

And who doesn’t love gyoza?

Menichi, Jurong Point, #B1-53/54, 1 Jurong West Central 2. Tel: 6794 5125

Omakase dinner

What does one do if one is unable to make a reservation at a restaurant because the queue is three to four months long? Choose another restaurant, which was what we did.

The fish was fresh, having been flown in from Japan that very day. Indeed, the highlight was the fish — both the sashimi as well as the sushi. 

Of the ice-cream desserts, we chose the Yuzu and sea salt milk. 

There were three options for the omakase sets — $50, $80 and $100. We chose the $80 as I wasn’t keen on wagyu beef. It would be too much, I thought. Tuna belly sounded rather appealing so we opted for that one. Free flow cherry tomatoes and seaweed were excellent as was the fresh wasabi stick. They were novelties not available at other more pricey omakase places.

This is now the third omakase place I have visited and the first dinner place. It was actually pleasant to be able to have an unhurried meal here. The last two omakase meals I had were over lunch and the meals were rushed because they were specials offered over two lunch time slots. While the food may not look very aesthetic, and the selection a tad limited, they were very fresh nevertheless and served with care. Our server also offered detailed explanation on what exactly was served to us, especially the types of fish we had, which was not my experience in the other places. The place had a ‘woody’ feel transporting one to Japan albeit for a couple of hours, minus the intermittent interruptions in Mandarin spoken by a waitress.

Counter chefs

Fresh wasabi stick that we grated ourselves

Spinach and tofu appetiser

Fresh air-flown fish that we had as sashimi

Pork dish

Oysters coated with rice and almond flakes and a vegetable tempura

Brinjal soup

Sushi selection

Yuzu and seasalt ice-cream

Free flow cherry tomatoes and seaweed

Omakase dinner sets are served in twos, and both must be the same value. With omakase at such affordable prices, should I still visit its neighbour with the long waiting list? 

For my earlier posts on Omakase lunches, please visit here and here.

Sushi Kou, #01-16, 1 Tras Link, Orchid Hotel, Singapore 078867. Tel: 64448433.

Making ice-cream or ice sticks (aka ice juice bags) without a blender or a freezer

I was experimenting making ice-cream without using a blender or a freezer to see if this could be done easily with children. I did not find anything on the internet on making ice sticks. There are many YouTube videos on how to make ice-cream but nothing on ice sticks. So I decided to try to make ice sticks as well as ice-cream or rather frozen milk.

I put a small amount of UHT full cream milk and a small amount of orange juice in two food grade plastic bags. The amount of each was about the size of a cupped palm.

Then I loaded a plastic jar with ice from four ice cube trays and about 1 generous tbsp serving of sea salt. Apparently, rock salt works better but I only had sea salt.

Ice cube trays and jar

I then placed the two packets into the jar of ice, closed it and the fun begins. Roll the bottles for 5-7 minutes. I think using a jar for the outside container is actually better than a bag because there is less skin contact and therefore less heat from hands will come into contact with the container holding the ice cubes (as opposed to when one uses a bag). You can shake the bottle, roll it, turn it upside down and after about 5 minutes, check to see if the milk and orange juice have solidified. Be careful that the bottle jar remains closed. If you want it more frozen, then shake the jar for longer. If the jar gets too cold to hold, wrap a tea towel around it.

After rocking and rolling

When done, open the jar and unknot the bags and serve. For ease of opening, especially with children, you may use a ziplock bag for the juice or milk. Or if you knot the bags, make sure they are not so tightly knotted that you cannot unknot them easily. 

Final product

Serving of frozen milk

Serving of frozen OJ

The trick with this is the amount of ice and salt. Again, there are measurements on the internet on how much to put. One can be more generous with the sea salt. The temperature in the jar drops significantly to the point where the tea towel actually sticks to the jar – it is that cold! Salt basically lowers the melting point of ice which is why salt is often sprinkled onto iced roads in winter in cold countries. Hence the ice in the jar melts even as the temperature drops.

To make the servings more appetising, add whatever you want to it. Sugar, cream, flavouring and other ingredients can be added to the milk so that it better resembles ice-cream.