What a beautiful and peaceful weekend it was. It was a rarity that Vancouver was blanketed by a thick layer of snow. The cold snowy weather really made my day as I relaxed and cozied up at Starbucks, sipping away at hot coffee and savouring a fresh baked croissant. Watching the snow make their way silently down to the street was quite relaxing. Every flake was quite different and each had a character of its own. Each danced, twirled, and floated as if they were part of a play. Off in the park, children were busily laughing away building snowman while others were gleefully tobogganing down the slopes amidst the backdrop of beautifully covered white evergreens. The air was crisp and the snow was cold but everyone enjoyed it. I certainly did. I have always liked walking down the street covered in snow while listening to the soft crunching of the snow underneath my feet and when the snow melts on face, I especially like the chill it sends up my spine. Quite peaceful….I certainly hope that Vancouver gets more of these weekends were everyone can slow down the enjoy the true beauty of mother nature.
After a cold day out admiring the snowfall, nothing helps warm up the tummy other than a nice bowl of steaming hot rice. In this case pineapple rice rice. Our family has always been a fan of Thai food. One of our favorites was the Pineapple fried rice. To make this dish I improvised a bit but I never forsaked the key ingredient in this dish, the fresh pineapple. Pineapples were quite delicious and juicy when ripe. They certainly added moisture and tang to any dish. To prepare the dish, I first bought a pineapple and diced up the flesh. Attention was placed to ensure that the shell was not broken as it was the centre piece. The shrimp, egg and Chinese sausage were sauteed first. Once these ingredients were cooked, the rice was fried and soy sauce was added for flavoring. The diced pineapple came last. To assemble, I ladled the rice onto the pineapple and voila pineapple fried rice.
Pineapple Fried Rice
3-4 bowls of rice
1 pineapple ripe and halved
1 bowl of shrimp
1 chinese sausage
2-3 eggs for scrambled eggs
soy sauce and salt both for flavouring
This dish was quite versatile to make and next time I think I might add ham or chicken or scallops to dress it up a bit. Nonetheless, no one can refuse a fresh bowl of steaming fried rice correct? 🙂
Bon Appetit!!! and a Happy Snowy Weekend to all.
Halloween as come and gone and what a marvelous night it was. The night started out slow but soon groups of kiddies came knocking at our door for chocolate goodness. The whole neighbourhood was decked out in pumpkins as always fall colours shone through. Halloween was always something special for kiddies and parents as it was a bonding time for families. The night ended with a bang as colourful fireworks filled the night sky.
I decided to make something savoury again in light of the sweets posting. An avid fan of rice I am, I decided to make a glutinous rice dish. Glutinous rice was always a favorite in Asian dishes whether it be for lunch or dinner. It was especially warming for the tummy in cold weather conditions.
To make the rice, first wash about 1-2 cups glutinous rice and soak it with water for about 2 hours. The process will help soften the rice and allow it to cook faster. At the same time soak some mushrooms, dried shrimp and dried scallops; these ingredients add complexity and flavour to the dish. Soak the dry ingredients for approx 1 hour. While the dry ingredients are soaking, dice up some chinese sausage. Once the mushrooms have soaked enough water,fully expanded and soft, dice them up too. Next dice up the dried shrimp and shred the dried scallops, once softened only. Reserve the soaking water from the mushrooms and shrimps to stir fry the rice with.
To prepare the dish, first saute the chinese sausages and then the mushrooms. Next stir fry the shredded scallops, shrimp and place all ingredients in a bowl. Now comes frying the glutinous rice. Keep an eye on the rice as it sticks quite easily to the bottom on the pan. Add the reserved liquid to help cook the rice and keep stirring and sauteeing the rice until translucent and tender. Test for texture and combine the cooked ingredients such as the chinese sausage, mushroom, shrimp and scallop. For flavour add salt and soy sauce until satisfied with the taste of the meal. As a tip, one can add chicken stock to cook the rice and add chinese onions as well
Stir Fried Chinese Glutinous Rice Recipe (found here)
12 oz (about 1.5 C.) diced (about 1/4″ square) Chinese sausage (lop cherng)
9-10 medium dried shitake mushrooms
1/2 C. dried shrimp (hah mai)
3 C. short-grain sweet rice
3 to 4 Tbs. soy sauce
salt (to taste, about 1 tsp)
white pepper (to taste, about 1 tsp)
2 to 3 tsp. granulated sugar
3 to 4 Tbs. sesame oil
3 to 4 stalks green onion, minced
This dish is still one of my favorite dishes to make and eat. Now that I have learned 🙂 I will be making it more regularly!!!
Japanese restaurants serving Japanese bar food and appetizers have been popping everywhere in Vancouver in the recent years. I have went to Guu, Happa Izakaya and Ebisu. One of the dishes which caught my palate was the Ebi Mayo and almost every time I have ordered it. The crunchy exterior complimented to the juicy interior and the sauce really hit the spot with me as it teased my senses. It was a combination of sweet, sour and creamy all together.
Curiosity got the better of me as I began to scour the net for images and recipes. Alas I found a website and recipe from a blogger. To make the dish, I first marinated the shrimp with sake and salt. While the shrimp was marinating I made the sauce. I combined the japanese mayonnaise, honey and ketchup. Once the sauce was completed, I then turned my attention to the shrimps. Patting them dry and coating them with corn starch for frying. To access the oil from the shrimp have a napkin already. As a final step, bring the shrimps back to the pan and coat them with the sauce for about a minute. As a garnishment, I just tried some onions and red bell peppers. Next time I would probably slice up some green onions to add for a contrasting colour to the dish.
Ebi Mayo (Recipe found here)
200 grams fresh prawns or shrimp
3 tablespoons white wine or sake
2 tablespoons corn starch
1/4 cup canola oil
2 teaspoons ketchup
3 tablespoons Japanese mayonnaise ( or 3 tablespoons regular + 1 teaspoon honey)
2 teaspoons honey
1 green onion, sliced very very thinly