Monday, November 27, 2017

My RAMEN Adventure

Yes! the RAW RAMEN Noodle is finally stocked at MITSUWA market (San Jose).  I was quite lost when I didn't see them being sold for several months or I have been just missing them all these months or always sold out.  There are many other 'RAMEN set' being sold with soup mix, etc. but I just want to buy the RAW RAMEN.  This picture is from previous posting - medium thick raw RAMEN.  This time, I purchased thick RAMEN.  These RAMEN is made and cut at perfect length for the perfect "Slurping!!"
There are 4 RAMEN in a package for $3.99. 
After several tries and watching "The Mind of a Chef" on NETFLIX visiting Japan in RAMEN adventure, I noted the most visible ingredients in one of the top RAMEN chef's TSUKEMEN soup stock.    I shopped Pig Neck Bones, Pork Belly ... that I normally would not have even thought of purchasing.  I slow simmered the neck bones with all the vegetables for a day and half.  Followed one of the CHA SHU recipe and prepared Pork Belly.
The result?  It was quite good for a homemade RAMEN.  TSUKEMEN is fun to eat as usual like eating ZARUSOBA in the summer time.  I tried the first bowl for myself, then, made some for my family during Thanksgiving weekend.  It turned out great.

Making CHA SHU - Pork Belly
 This is TSUKEMEN - You dip RAMEN noodle in concentrated dipping sauce/soup stock.
This is MISO RAMEN served with soup together.

Bourbon Pecan Pie Tasting

This is one of the Bourbon Pecan Pie that we were gifted during Thanksgiving weekend.  And "Oh My Goodness!"  It was loadedly delicious.  It is full of unexpected flavor.  Its sweetness is well balanced.  Not overwhelmingly sweet.  Caramelized well and Bourbon taste is enjoyably refreshing.  Pecans were delicious.  Crust is all righ - puff pastry style ... as usually pastry crust doesn't hold true to itself once it is cooled off and after all the goodies on top settles down into it.
I want to try to make it myself, the next time.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Family Favorite - Baked Sweet Potatoes or Candied Sweet Potatoes

With my family, they prefer the sweet potatoes over yam.  Yam is just too moist and mushy.  That's why sweet potatoes are our choice.  My personal preference is just buy the roasted sweet potatoes from the street vendor in Japan... well that was many many years ago, but they sure make you forget the cold winter and warm your heart all the way home carrying it.  In Japan, at least in the old days, the street vendor would roast sweet potatoes on a cart.  The vendor roasts sweet potatoes by burying them in hot rock/pebbles bed above the wood burning oven underneath.  I always had fun watching him fishing for the biggest roasted sweet smelling sweet potatoes for me.  You could do the same by baking/roasting whole unpeeled sweet potatoes in the oven, but it's just not the same.  Anyways, for Thanksgiving Day dinner and for Christmas family dinner, baked sweet potatoes are always welcomed by everyone.

 Buy a bag of Organic Sweet Potatoes - hopefully NOT Jewel Yam, this is too moist, and they would turn out too mushy. Maybe Yam is fine.
I like to choose Japanese Sweet Potatoes or Sweet Potatoes - yellow or any others at the grocery store, except JEWEL Yam.
You need:
Organic Sweet Potatoes - 4 lb or 5 lb bag
Butter - Unlsalted - 1 stick - cut into 8 tablespoons size - look at the wrapper - there is measurement marking per tablespoon.
Brown Sugar - 3/4 Cup to 1 C - depending on your sweetness you want
Mini Marshmallows or large sizes shredded to small pieces  1/2 C or 1 Cup, decide if you want that much
a Baking pan
1/3 C water

Wash, Peel, and Slice the Sweet potatoes.
Place the sweet potatoes cut length wise in the baking pan.
Add 1/3 C water
Add Butter Chunks on top
Top with Brown Sugar --- you need to gauge it yourself how sweet you want.
*Because sweet potatoes are already sweet.  Do you want even 3/4 Cup of brown sugar?   Do you still want to Top it with Marshmallow at the end?  That's also very sweet.     DO NOT ADD THE MARSHMALLOW until the end.

Cover the baking pan with aluminum foil.
Bake in oven at 375'F until done - insert a knife or chopstick or fork - the potatoes should be very soft.
Doneness:  Potatoes are soft and Butter and brown sugar should be caramelized around the sweet potatoes - but not burnt. If there are whole lot of water and liquid (melted butter and natural sugar from sweet potatoes and brown sugar) still at the bottom of the pan or
If the potatoes are still hard - cover and bake again, but lower the temperature to 350'F.
When soft, remove aluminum foil.
Option:  Add marshmallow to the top.   Bake a bit long till marshmallow melts and or browned a bit.

Sunday, November 05, 2017

Sweet Potato Chiffon Cake

I wanted to make chiffon cake.  I tried to make Kabocha Chiffon Cake the other night, and it flopped!!  the weight of the Kabocha and liquid were too much for the meringue to handle. It's a night mare when you can't even read your own recipe notes on the paper you jotted. So back to the drawing board to troubleshoot what I did wrong.  This time, back to normal - it worked. 
7 Organic Large eggs - washed and at room temperature - separated as follows
       7 Egg Whites - egg white in mixer bowl with whisk attachment
       7 Egg Yolks in a medium bowl
150 g Organic Cane Sugar
60 g Organic Cane Sugar
Cooked Organic sweet potatoes - 9 oz - strained through sieve
160 g Organic Non-GMO Home mixed Pastry Flour
90 ml Organic milk
60 ml Organic Avocado Oil
1/4 tsp Kosher Salt
Preheat oven to 235'F
Depending on your oven's BTU, Bake 50 min to 1 hr 7 min.

Method:  Add 60 g sugar, 90 mil milk, 60 ml Avocado Oil, 9 oz strained sweet potato to the bowl with egg yolks.  Shift 160 g flour.  Add flour to the egg mixture.  Gently mix them all.  Set aside covered.
Make meringue - Beat egg whites with 150 g sugar until stiff peak forms.
Add 2 C of meringue to egg yolk mixture.
To make sure egg whites are mixed in thoroughly, stir the meringue with spatula in gentle whirl pool at the top and pick up the batter at each pass through.  Repeat this method until all meringue are mixed in. Then, fold from bottom and over with spatula.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017


My tested basic recipe is found here:
The first one is testing replacing PANDAN juice with Milk Coffee.

 Push Down Gently to dislodge the bottom of the pan

The second testing is using home made syrup from Fresh Cranberry juice and Cherries boiled with sugar till thick.  Of the 125 ml,  100 mil syrup and 25 ml is water.  The taste is bland.  Next time I will not add water.
*All eggs should be washed and at room temperature
 If you are not very good at separating egg white from egg yolk, do a "three bowl separation" technique.
Line up two small bowl and large mixer bowl for egg white.    A Large bowl for egg yolks and flour mixture.
Crack the egg over the bowl or into a bowl, allow the egg white to sip off one half of the cracked egg shell into a bowl, then, alternatively transfer the egg white with egg yolk into the emptied shell while allowing to let egg white to sip off the shell during transfer.   Repeat until 95% of the egg whites are separated.  Or use a clean hand or wearing a food grade gloves or utensil, carefully scoop the egg yolk into a medium bowl that will be mixed with flour and sugar, etc. later.
 Mix in all other ingredients and set aside.
 I hand whip my meringue.
 This is Soft Peak still.
 This is stiff peak.  This is what you want.  Beaten egg whites - meringue should be shiny and there should no sign of Unbeaten wet egg whites at the bottom of the bowl.
 Stiff peak with a tiny twirl at the tip is okay.
 Mix Flour and egg yolks and others well into smooth, but do not overwork it to build gluten.
*Actually do this before start making meringue.
 Mix some meringue in to flour mixtures.
 Add 1/3 of Meringue into egg mixture.  
 Mix gently and thoroughly.  Preheat your Oven according to the recipe.
 No egg whites bits should be visible.

The third one is after juicing the fresh Pandan Leaves "La Dau" that I was finally able to find at the SF Market - Unbruised and Fresh looking.  They were the most expensive natural flavorings.  I am trying to grow them at home.... see how that goes in two years.
 Making Meringue:
 $19.99 PER POUND.

Transfer this time into NutriBulett to juice further.
 Filter through fine sieve.
 Freeze store.  Approximately 2 cubes equal 60 ml
 These are good as compost.