Thursday, February 23, 2017

Traditional Napa Cabbage Kimchi (Vegetarian Type)

I love making pickles, any kind..  and this is a very first time I make kimchi (Korean Style Pickle) . Actually is easy to just visit Korean Store near by and get one, but cooking is in my DNA - I see many videos and recipes before I make my own kimchi.  The recipe comes from Maangchi, owner of Korean cooking website.

I slightly copy the recipe with a little adjustment since I choose to make vegan style, which I skip using squid or shrimp - anyway, please visit her youtube video or her website to get a clear tutorial HERE

This is a big batch recipe, I just make a half portion of recipe since I want to find out if this recipe work or not, which no surprise work very well.

Traditional Napa Cabbage Kimchi (Vegetarian Style)
Recipe : Maangchi

Ingredients :
Makes about 8 pounds (3.6 kg) of Kimchi
For salting cabbage:

6 pounds napa cabbage (3 to 4 heads of medium napa cabbage)

½ cup Kosher salt

For making porridge:

2 cups water

2 tablespoons sweet rice flour (glutinous rice flour)

2 tablespoons brown sugar


2 cups radish matchsticks

1 cup carrot matchsticks

7 to 8 green onions, chopped

1 cup chopped asian chives (substitute with 3 green onions, chopped)

Seasonings and spices:

½ cup garlic cloves (24 garlic cloves), minced

2 teaspoon ginger, minced

1 medium onion, minced

½ cup fish sauce

2 cups hot pepper flakes

Prepare and salt the cabbage:

If the cabbage cores stick out too much, trim them off.

To split a cabbage in half without shredding the densely packed leaves inside, first cut a short slit in the base of the cabbage, enough to get a grip on either half, and then gently pull the halves apart so the cabbage splits open.

Cut a slit through the core of each half, 2 inches above the stem. You want the cabbage leaves to be loose but still attached to the core

Dunk the halves in a large basin of water to get them wet. Sprinkle the salt between the leaves by lifting up every leaf and getting salt in there. Use more salt closer to the stems, where the leaves are thicker

Let the cabbages rest for 2 hours. Turn over every 30 minutes, so they get well salted. From time to time you can ladle some of the salty water from the bottom of the basin over top of the cabbages if you want to

After 2 hours, wash the cabbage halves a few times under cold running water. Giving them a good washing, to remove the salt and any dirt. As you wash, split the halves into quarters along the slits you cut into earlier. Cut off the cores, and put them in a strainer over a basin so they can drain well.

While the cabbage is salting for 2 hours, and in between the times you’re turning it over, you can make the porridge:

Combine the water and the sweet rice flour in a small pot. Mix well with a wooden spoon and let it cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes until it starts to bubble. Add the sugar and cook 1 more minute, stirring. Remove from the heat and let it cool off completely.

Pour cooled porridge into a large mixing bowl. Add garlic, ginger, onion, fish sauce, and hot pepper flakes. Mix well with the wooden spoon until the mixture turns into a thin paste

Add the radish, carrot, and green onion, plus the Asian chives (or more green onions) and the water dropwort if you’re using them. Mix well

Make kimchi:

Spread some kimchi paste on each cabbage leaf. When every leaf in a quarter is covered with paste, wrap it around itself into a small packet, and put into your jar, plastic container 

On fermentation:

The kimchi will start fermenting a day or two at room temperature, depending on the temperature and humidity of your room. The warmer and more humid it is, the faster the kimchi will ferment. Once it starts to ferment it will smell and taste sour, and pressing on the top of the kimchi with a spoon will release bubbles from beneath.

Once it starts to fermented, store in the refrigerator to use as needed. This slows down the fermentation process, which will make the kimchi more and more sour as time goes on.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Pandan Ogura Cake

I've been itch to try pandan ogura cake since I saw some fellow blogger post about this cake.  Pandan Ogura cake is kind of similar to chiffon cake which the cake texture is kind of airy , the different is baking method - as we called water bath method, which there is steam needed to help cake baked.  And also add a natural food color, from pandan extract.   You will find the pandan leaves very easy , mostly at Asian market. 
My husband like this cake, even thou he prefer butter cake which is more 'stiff' than 'airy' type of cake.  And my daughter ? she was not impress by this cake  Hahahaha... I think because she not fan of the color thou, she said,  she will like if I using chocolate powder instead ...
I combine several recipe that I found through online, and this is recipe that I already fix here and there for my taste and work well for me.  Let's give a try
Pandan Ogura Cake

5 eggs (seperated while is cold)

1 whole egg

1/4 salt
80 gr castor sugar

60 gr vegetable oil

70gr pandan juice - you can use pandan extract as much as 1 tsp

20gr coconut milk

75gr all purpose flour

1/4 tsp cream of tar tar or subtitute with 1 tsp lemon juice

Directions :

Prepare 8" square or round pan - grease the pan, dusting with a little flour and cover with parchment paper .

Another square pan quite bigger than 8" for water bath method.

Is important to check your oven correctly, I set my oven 300F for bake this cake.

Beat 5 egg yolk, 1 whole egg, salt , vegetable oil , pandan juice and coconut milk with hand whisker until fluffy. Shift in flour, then mix it until well combine. Set aside

Beat egg white and lemon juice or cream of tar tar with mixer about 2 minute, add castor sugar little by little , continuesly mix until firm peak form, with rubber spatula add this white meringue to the yolk batter, fold the batter until nice smooth batter is created.

Pour the mixture into prepared pan, tap 2 times so the air will pops up .

Put the pan into the larger pan , slide to the oven and carefully filled the outside pan with hot water, about 1/3 batter pan. Bake for aboout 50minute.

Once baked, remove from the pan immediately, to avoid cake become shrink . inverted on a rack .. take the parchment paper , cool completely before slicing

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Persian Dolmeh

I love dolmeh, such an easy finger food and you won't stop eating just for one. The other day, I decide to use a ground chicken .. since I wonder if the taste will as good as using ground beef. Actually I like the taste.  I grind my own chicken, so I have the best taste of chicken rather than buy the ready one from the store.

Here is the recipe, is pretty much easy to make but I suggest you to cook the filling day ahead and keep in the refrigerator until you ready to use it so you won't end up stay in the kitchen too long, well the story is different if you like cooking and spend time there :) but I just thinking about practical thing.

Persian Dolmeh
1 jar of grape leaves or if you can find the fresh one , you might need about 50 leaves
1 cup rice
1 medium onion
1/2 cup yellow split peas 
1/3 cup lemon juice or vinegar
2-3 tablespoons sugar
250-500 grams ground chicken / ground beef / ground turkey or skip for vegetarian style
1 cup for every fresh herbs such : parsley, cilantro, green onion, dill,
1 tbsp dried taragon 
salt, pepper


Chop up the onion and fry it in a pan. Add the meat once the onion is golden in color and fry the meat. Add about half a cup of water and allow the meat to cook. You will add salt, pepper, and turmeric to the meat as well. Allow the meat to cook for at least 20. Once the meat is cooked set it aside and allow it to cool.

Heat up water in a pot and boil the yellow split peas for approximately 15 minutes. Then drain and set them aside to cool.

Heat up water in a pot and bring the rice to a boil. Drain the rice and set aside to cool.

Clean any fresh herbs and chop them up slightly using a food processor

Mix all these ingredients together in a bowl, add salt and pepper for taste.

If you are using fresh Grape Leaves you will need to boil them in water for a bit so that they soft. If using Grape Leaves in a jar bought from the store make sure you wash them well so they have no preservatives left on them (it will ruin the flavor if left on the leaves).   For this step I did a day ahead so the leaves won't be too wet when I use it.

Take the leaves one at a time and lay them on a surface or cutting board. Take some of the mixture and place it on the leaf and then begin wrapping the leaf.

add oil to the pot you plan on using to cook the Dolmeh in. Take a few leaves that aren’t wrapped and place them on the bottom of the pot. Take all the prepared Dolmeh’s and place them on the bottom of the pot leaving no spaces.

Meanwhile , take the 1/3 cup of lemon juice (or vinegar) and add the sugar to it. Add about a cup of water to the juice/sugar and stir everything together. Once the sugar has dissolved pour the contents all over the Dolmeh’s in the pot.

Place a plate (or something else thats heavy) over the Dolmeh’s to make sure they dont move around. Turn the burner on to medium-low heat and place the lid on top of the pot. Allow the Stuffed Grape Leaves to cook for 30-45 minutes.

Allow to cool before serving, preferably in the fridge overnight

Monday, February 6, 2017

Matcha Macaron ..

It has been a while not baking macaron, a year I believe, until this week I feel like to bake this cute cookies again. And what happened ? I failed , I thought I already lost my 'magic power' , I waste my precious matcha powder! Not only the shell didn't have 'feet' but just flat like a coin..    oh this can't be right !!!     The next day, read the recipe carefully , pay attention to my oven heat , exactly 50 stroke mixing the batter, and look at my macaron ....    I did it....  yaaay..

For the macarons shells:
90 gr egg whites (about 3)
30 gr granulated sugar
200 gr powdered sugar
110 gr almonds

2 tsp matcha powder

For the whites: the day before (24hrs), separate your eggs and store the whites at room temperature in a covered container. If you want to use 48hrs (or more) egg whites, you can store them in the fridge.

In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites to a foam, gradually add the sugar until you obtain a glossy meringue. Do not over beat your meringue or it will be too dry. Combine the almonds and powdered sugar in a food processor and give them a good pulse until the nuts are finely ground. Add them to the meringue, give it a quick fold to break some of the air and then fold the mass carefully until you obtain a batter that flows like lava or a thick ribbon. Add the matcha powder. Give quick strokes at first to break the mass and slow down. The whole process should not take more than 50 strokes. Test a small amount on a plate: if the tops flattens on its own you are good to go. If there is a small beak, give the batter a couple of turns.

Fill a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip with the batter and pipe small rounds (1.5 inches in diameter) onto parchment paper or silicone mats lined baking sheets. 

Preheat the oven to 280F. Let the macarons sit out for 30 minutes to an hour to harden their shells a bit and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, depending on their size. Let cool. If you have trouble removing the shells, pour a couple of drops of water under the parchment paper while the sheet is still a bit warm and the macarons will lift up more easily do to the moisture. Don't let them sit there in it too long or they will become soggy. Once baked and if you are not using them right away, store them in an airtight container out of the fridge for a couple of days or in the freezer. 

To fill: pipe or spoon about 1 big tablespoon of chocolate ganache in the center of one shell and top with another one.

Chocolate Ganache 
Ingredients :
  • 1 1/2 cups (12 fluid ounces or 360 ml ) heavy cream
  • 1 lb (454 grams) semisweet or bittersweet dark chocolate
    1. In a heavy saucepan, boil heavy cream. Turn off the heat. Add chopped chocolate pieces and let it rest until melted. Use a rubber spatula to stir the mixture until all the pieces are melted.
    2. Pour it into a room-temperature bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate the ganache until firm.
    1. Note: For White Chocolate Ganache, substitute white chocolate for semisweet or bittersweet dark chocolate.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Sewing Tova Dress

I've been sewing many Tova dress lately , I saw tova pattern about year ago but just have gut to order the pattern a couple months before.  I had doubt in my mind, if I just waste my money or I will like the pattern .. and after first attempt , and check Tova sew along on Kerry blog so many times, finally I know I am in the right path.   Even my daughter has faith in me, she asked me to make same tova dress (I can say Tova Top) like mine.    For her case, I used Small Size and adjusting in several places, I cut little bit small and cut arm hole about 1/4 inch bigger , and voila.. its fit.

Here is some of tova top I made , and I still have 1 more fabric to cut for myself .. so what do you think ?   

2 gingham tova for my daughter

 2 tova top for me

Friday, February 3, 2017

Nastar Cookies / Pineapple Tart Cookies

2 times in a week I baked this cookies, first of all because the pineapple in store near by was crazy cheap .  Without hesitation I bought 5 of them, peel, granted and made pineapple jam since everyone loves eat bread with pineapple jam over the weekend.  Off course, I used some of them for my pineapple tart cookies .

Wanna try to make your own ? I adapted recipe from my blogger buddy, Annita..  thanks for the recipe dear ..

Nastar Cookies
350 gram unsalted butter, room temperature
100 gram sweet condensed milk
2 egg yolks
510 gram all purpose flour
Egg wash : 1 egg yolk + 2 tsp honey + 1 teaspoon milk

Direction :

Beat together butter and condensed milk until light and fluffy. Add egg, one and a time, beat until well mixed. Slowly add all purpose flour in batches into the mixture, beat until the dough becomes smooth, but not sticky. I find it easier if I just use my hand to incorporate the last batch of flour into the dough.

Scoop 10 gram of dough and make a round ball. Repeat until dough is used up.

Prepare 2 baking sheets, each lined with a parchment paper.

Flatten each dough, place the pineapple jam filling at the center, gather the edges of the dough and wrap the filling with the dough. Roll into a round ball, then place on prepared baking sheet. Repeat for the rest of dough and jam filling.

Mix egg yolk, honey and milk together to make the egg wash. Brush the top of cookies with egg wash.

Preheat oven to 300 Fahrenheit. Bake the cookies for 30-40 minutes until golden brown.
Let the cookies cool completely before storing them in nice looking jars.

Pineapple jam
1 ripe pineapple, flesh only
1 cinnamon stick (optional)
3 cloves (optional)
200 gram brown sugar, or to taste

Directions :
In a food processor/blender, puree pineapple. Transfer pineapple puree into a heavy bottom pot along with cinnamon stick, cloves, brown sugar .Turn on heat to medium and cook until boiling,

Reduce heat to a simmer and continue cooking until the jam is really thick. Add more sugar if needed. Near the end, be sure to stir and scrap frequently to prevent burning.

Transfer jam to a mixing bowl to cool. Keep in refrigerator . Make this pineapple jam ahead of time, and let in room temperature before you using it