Crunchy Bottoms

Striking the caloric balance. Barely.

Monthly Archives: November 2010

Tamagoyaki

Tamagoyaki

It’s been a while since I’ve made this.

Can anything be simpler? Well besides an omelette. But where’s the fun in that?

I wasn’t looking for a quick egg fix. Trust me to make what could have been a five minute crack-beat-salt-pepper-pour-and-cook process into something long-winded but I needed something to nibble on, and my notes weren’t exactly very tasty. I tried.

I wanted sushi, but as much as I always have some odds and ends (I occasionally find things like squares of Godiva and packets of Toggis squirreled away at the back of the fridge, I might find the Templar treasure there someday) I didn’t have sushi. I mean, not that I made sushi in the end or anything, but this was close, just without the rice. And the adorable belt of seaweed.

There are plenty of people who can’t stand this sweet omelette, and that’s why they’re my friends. I’m there to put them out of their misery and administer instant relief. The things that they push around on their plates in disgust are those I gobble up. My presence is always valued since I eat everything they’d rather see incinerated and the ashes scattered into the wind. Ok, I apologise, Martyr Syndrome, gotta feel like I can save people because I can’t save my grades.

Anyway, I’ll get back to what drove me to roll around eggs in a pan (charming, isn’t it?). If you’re feeling as peckish as I am, caffeine running through your veins and the ends of your pens gnarly and twisted from all that gnawing in frustration, make some sweet Tamagoyaki nibblets. Omnomnomnom.

Now go.

And stop chewing on your stationery.

Same goes for you Christine
Tamagoyaki

Tamagoyaki

I do not possess saintly egg-rolling skills and can never fathom how those in restaurants and supermarkets get so fluffy and perfectly yellow. It takes practice but the outcome’s always a treat to eat. Keep your stove heat on low and be patient. I wasn’t, which explains the slightly overcooked, browned bits in my tamagoyaki, but they’re yummo anyway. Here’s a video to inspire, if not send you into spasming awe, of a master chef in action.

Makes 10-11 slices

Equipment:

1 sushi rolling mat.

1 rectangular tamagoyaki frying pan. (I used a pan about 7 x 6 x 1 inches. I think Daiso probably has smaller ones.)

Ingredients:

  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tsp mirin
  • 1 tbs sugar
  • 1/2 tsp japanese light soy sauce
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 tbs dashi stock*

Directions:

1. Have ready a small sauceplate of oil and a brush or a piece of kitchen towel soaked lightly in oil.

2. Have your pan heated up on low heat and brush it with a little oil.

3. Beat all the ingredients together with a fork or chopsticks, but not too vigorously to prevent formation of bubbles.

4. Pour about 3-4 tablespoons of the egg mixture into the pan, just enough to coat the bottom in a thin layer while rotating the pan. When it looks set but not runny, roll it up with a pair of chopsticks or a spatula to one side of the pan. Try to get it as compacted as possible like so:

 

Rolled to one side.

6. Brush the exposed side of the pan with a little oil and repeat the pouring process, lifting the bottom of the rolled up egg to allow the new layer to coat the bottom so that it adheres to it.

7. Once the layer looks set, roll the cooked egg to the other side and repeat the entire process until you’re out of the mixture.

8. Once done, tip the tamagoyaki onto a sushi mat and roll it up firmly, securing it with a couple of rubber bands and placing is on a ventilated surface to prevent condensation (a plate or wire rack works fine). Let it cool for 5-10 minutes before placing it into the fridge to chill it or to slice and nibble immediately.

 

Sushi Mat

Notes: *The dashi stock I have at home is in powder form. I mix about 1/4 tsp of dashi concentrate with 3 tbs of water. If you don’t have dashi stock, simply substitute it with water. It’s not all that crucial.

Orange Chiffon Cake

Orange Chiffon Cake

I bake alone. I cook alone.

When I’m in the kitchen, I don’t want anyone else hovering around me, getting in the way of my shuttling between the stove and the chopping board, the fridge and the counter, the pantry and the dustbin, the oven and the counter… God forbid that you get in the way of my knife.

I get in the zone when I’m in the kitchen. I may have a frown on my face as I grate orange zests, sigh more than a couple of times when I spill stuff, but I’m fine.

I’m more than fine actually.

I’m around food. What could be better?

Now mommy used to make mind-blowingly springy, moist, fragrantfragrantfragrant orange chiffon cake back when I wouldn’t even venture a step near the stove and when we only had a tiny convention-microwave oven. Since then, she’s started working full-time again, and I’ve all but declared utter Kitchen Domination (during the scant hours when I’m not bleeding my eyes out writing reports – which is never, now) with the arrival of the oven and sharp knives. Mommy’s been staying away from me when I’m banging pots and pans.

That was until my incessant mewling for her chiffon cake eventually tore her away from her Cantonese dramas long enough to whip together my favourite recipe of hers.

She went back to her dramas immediately after. I remained in the kitchen.

My brother wasn’t very happy that there was just half a cake left by the time he wandered into the kitchen – which then mysteriously disappeared after he left. That was a cake 10-inch in diameter, 5 inch in height mind you.

This is one of those cakes that literally beckons to you and have you plaster your face to the glass window of the oven for the entire 35-40 minutes that it is baking.  Read more of this post