Yellow Lentils / पीली दाल

A Nourishing and Filling Dish
Formula from the Yak and Yeti

How to cook delicious and healthy Asian dishes using tomatoes

Tomatoes

Nepalese dish of the Indian persuasion.  It came from a hostess in Kathmandu, so it can be called Nepalese, but like many dishes of that country, has close affinities with similar dishes in Indian cooking.

The recipe is Continue reading

Simmered Kabocha 煮付けかぼちゃ

The Cambodian Squash
Pumpkin’s Japanese Cousin

Kabocha

Kabocha

Kabocha is not the easiest vegetable to cut open the first time, but once cut, it cooks quickly and makes an excellent side dish in a Japanese meal.  Chicken or pork are sometimes added to make a main dish.

Simmered Kabocha

Japanese

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Steamed Broccoli

Ready in Less than 6 Minutes
Another Post-Earthquake Formula

Broccoli

Here’s another from the family of recipes that emerged in Japan after the great earthquake in Fukushima in Northeast Japan in 2011.

Cooks were looking for ways to reduce energy use in the kitchen, both by not making kitchens hot and by using less energy by using science and technology to reduce cooking time..

This recipe makes tender steamed Broccoli in under 6 minutes and doesn’t require heating a huge pot of water.

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White Rice

Flash-Cooking Technique
Post-Fukushima Recipe

Kokuho Rose Rice

Kokuho Rose, a Premier Grade of Japanese Type Rice Produced in California

This is a Japanese method for making plain White Rice. It is one of the formulas that surfaced after the Fukushima Earthquake, when Japanese were strongly interested in reducing energy consumption in the kitchen in general, as well as cutting down on heating up the kitchen, especially in warm weather..

So a flurry of Flash-Cooking recipes began to circulate then, some older, others newly contrived.  This is one of them. It takes about an hour total preparation time, but the actual heating time is only 20 minutes, and much less heat and energy are used than with a conventional rice cooker. Continue reading

Singapore Peanut Sauce

For Satay or Gado Gado
Galangal Mees Kemerie Meets Tamarind

Galangal, an important Southeast Asian spice

Galangal

Peanut Sauces are popular in Southeast Asian cuisines.  So, we have a Thai Peanut Sauce, and Indonesian Peanut Sauce, both of which might go with foods like Satay and salads like Gado Gado.

Singapore Cuisine has its own version of Peanut Sauce.  This is good with Satay and also can be used as a dressing for a Gado Gado salad.

This sauce takes about 10 minutes to prepare and about 15 minutes to cook. It makes about a cup and a half

Special ingredients include Galangal, Tamarind and Kemerie or Candlenuts, as well as Lemongrass.  The Candlenuts are sometimes difficult to find; Almonds can be substituted.

Peanut Sauce

Singapore

Ingredients:

Tamarind Juice, Thailand origin

Tamarind Juice

2 ounces Tamarind Pulp (may substitute Lime juice in a pinch)
2 cups Water
3 Kemerie (Candlenuts) — or could substitute Macadamia nuts or Almonds
½ ounce Galangal or 1½ teaspoons powdered Galangal
15 small dried Red Chilies
1 stalk Lemongrass
3 cloves Garlic
1 teaspoon Shrimp Paste
1 Shallot or 2 tablespoons minced Onions
½ cup Vegetable Oil

1 cup toasted unsalted Peanuts
¼ cup Sugar
½ teaspoon Rice Vinegar or Malt Vinegar
¾ teaspoon Salt

Method:

First, mix the Tamarind Pulp with Water and strain it through a fine sieve.  You can also use the more refined Tamarind Juice from Thailand.

Prepare the Peanuts, by shelling them, and powdering them finely.   Originally this would be done in a mortar and pestle.  A blender or food processor works fine.

You want to do the other minor preparation — crush the Candlenuts or Macadamia Nuts coarsely, blanch and skin the Almonds if that is what you are using.,

Soak the Red Chilies in warm water and drain off the excess water.  This could be done while preparing the Peanuts.

The Garlic or Shallots need to be peeled and then minced.

The Lemongrass should be smashed lightly; the side of a heavy cleaver works well for this.

When all the preliminary preparation is ready, put the Candlenuts or whatever nuts are used, the Galangal, Chilies, Lemongrass, Garlic, Shrimp Paste and Shallots into a grinder or blender.  Process until very fine.

Then heat the Oil in a large hot saucepan or wok until the Oil is also hot.  Then add the Nut mixture, dry, stirring constantly, until it is fragrant.  Stir in the Peanuts, strained Tamarind liquid, the Sugar, Vinegar and Salt.

Boil these gently, uncovered for about 15 minutes, stirring well while cooking.

Cool the sauce and allow the spices to infuse their fragrance into the Peanuts.

The sauce is served at room temperature, with Satay or Gado Gado salad. Recipe adapted from Violet Ooon.

Singapore - Skyline

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Bitter Melon

Quinine-Like Bitterness
Mentioned by Kipling

The house-beams shall fall,
And the Karela, the bitter Karela,
Shall cover it all!
— Kipling, Jungle Book

Bitter Melon

Bitter Melon

Bitter Melon is sometimes called Turia, Kerala or Karela  in English, the last names alluding to its possible Indian origin.

The vegetable is also known as Bitter Gourd or Karela. In botany its name is Momoradica charantia. It is one of Continue reading

Bitter Melon Braised with Eggplant

An Indian Dish
Another Affinity with Eggplant

Bitter Melon

Bitter Melon

Bitter Melon teams up with Eggplant in another attractive dish, this time from India, confirming the affinity between Bitter Melons and Eggplants, as in the Philippine Bitter Melon Salad, which matches them up, although in a different way.

Bitter Melon Braised with Eggplant Continue reading

Bitter Melon Salad

Ampalaya Meets Eggplant
Christmas in Pampanga

Bitter Melon (Ampalaya) Salad, a Filipino dish

Bitter Melon (Ampalaya) Salad

Bitter Melon Salad is a classic Philippine recipe.  This one is from a friend from the island of Pampanga, where the dish is very popular.  The dish makes use of the affinity between Bitter Melon and Eggplant, two vegetables Continue reading