Avocado Surimi Tobiko Quinoa Salad

 

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After numerous indecisive thought process, I came out this salad. It’s really awesome. The objective was to prepare something low carb. I wanted to use the quinoa to make sushi and came out too wet and failed so instead I mixed the filling together.

I have had eaten surimi tobiko cucumber salad many times in Hong Kong as an appetizer and this version has taken the salad up one level, even more delish and can serve as a main low carb dish.

 

Serves 3

Ingredients:

  • 10 Sticks Surimi, cut into very thin strips
  • 1 cucumber, deseed, partly remove skin and cut into very thin strips
  • 3 tbsp Tobiko (you can buy them frozen)
  • a small handful Coriander, roughly chopped
  • 1 ripe Avocado, cut into small pieces
  • Toasted seaweed (optional: for garnish on top)
  • 2/3 cup white quinoa

Salad dressing inspired from recipe found in CHOW.com:

  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp dark toasted sesame oil
  • 3 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
  • 3 tbsp Mayonnaise
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tbsp Rice Vinegar
  • 2 tsp sriracha (Thai Chili sauce) or 2 tsp Korean Chili paste ( I have used Korean this time as I have run out of Srircha), you can add more if you want it more spicy

 

Directions:

  1. Cooked the quinoa as instructed on your pack. Drain and transfer into a bowl, set aside to cool down.
  2. Prepare the ingredients as described above and place them in a mixing bowl.
  3. Prepare the salad dressing in a small bowl, you need a little whisking to mix well.
  4. Finally toss in the quinoa with in the other ingredients in the mixing bowl and pour in the salad dressing.
  5. This is enough for 3-4 people, depending if you serve as an appetizer or main course. I like to serve in smaller portion on a small plate and garnish with a little toasted seaweed on top. And repeat when I want second.

 

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So happy the avocado was so perfect : )

 

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This meat free  small dish is so yummy and easy to prepare. You simply cut a block of firm tofu into slices and panfry in medium high heat until golden yellow or a little crispy if you like. Prepare the dipping sauce as follow by mixing all ingredients in a small bowl and served warm.

Dipping sauce:

  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp mirin
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp korean chili powder
  • 1 tsp grated garlic
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped spring onion

Spinach Daal Tofu bites

Daal Palak on top of panfried tofu

Daal Palak on top of panfried tofu

A week ago or so I had lunch at Jay’s Indian Restaurant in Basel, I chose the Vegetarian lunch menu as I didn’t feel like eating meat that day. I really like their Kombi-Teller (Combi plate) idea of which the basmati rice, poppadoms, raitha (yogurt dip) is assembled together with the main dishes you have chosen.

The daal I had from Jay’s inspired me to try to make one myself. I don’t normally like lentils because of the texture but somehow the one at Jay’s got a very smooth texture. I had a pack of green lentils sitting in the cupboad for a long time and have been hoping to use it up. So I searched in the internet and most of them do not recommend it to cook too long as it would become mushy and none of them I saw was like Jay’s. When I was cooking, I was thinking that the daal would not be smooth no matter if you cook it longer. So I guess maybe he has blended it with a mixer, and so I did and like the results that become a smooth puree. So the trick is the extra step of BLENDING : ) From now on, I think I will eat lentils more often as lentils are very nutritious and low in calories, low in fat, no cholesterol, rich sources of protein, folic acid, dietary fibre, vitamins B & C…and high concentration of antioxidants. Great to learn lentils is a great fitness food.
A small pack of lentils ended into several portions and I read that they freeze well, so I kept some to eat for tonight and kept the remaining in portions in the freezer.

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Spring weight loss efforts

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Taken during a stroll on Sunday afternoon in Reinach, Basel Land

Summer is approaching and it’s time again to attempt to slim down a bit. I am jotting down these efforts that I am hoping to stick to it. Tried 2 weeks, bloody hard!!! I thought of having a break in the weekend and it makes it harder to get back on track

So here are my short listed 10 commandments:

1. No Carb in the evening meals
2. Drink 8 glasses of tea/ water a day
3. No evening snacks
4. No sweets (sugar, chocolate, desserts)
5. More vegetable and fruits. Try to eat more salads
6. Eat less meat, particularly red meat but more fish
7. Once a week, eat Familie Granola Museli with honey greek style yogurt for dinner, can add some berries
8. Once a week, go jogging or swimming once and one time Zumba Fitness
9. Every day following the iphone Ab Workout Ab to do crunches. (This is the most challenging!!!)
10. Go to bed earlier.

How about you? Any good tips, feel free to drop me a note and share your experience.

 

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Great find – Logitech Ultrathin iPad Keyboard

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Just came back from a short trip to my hometown Hong Kong, 10 days for me is very short. However, this time I am travelling alone, in a way this made it much more effective for me to accomplish some personal matters and spend more time with my family.

I have not blogged for a long time, finding excuses for myself is because I don’t use my laptop very often this days, every time I sit in front of my laptop, Marc would interfere and want to tap on my keyboard. The best time to blog is when I am alone sitting in a cafe while he is in the preschool and I have a few hours for myself. I can of course blog at home but somehow I am always being distracted other things in the house.

I am now posting pictures in my Gourmet Traveller 88 Facebook page regularly and writing some notes there for those dishes which I would repeat in the future. I am still thinking how I can resume to blog regularly and how to keep my post short but informative. And I seem to have a solution after buying this Logitech Ultrathin iPad Keyboard. There are 3 colors available: silver, black and red. Without doubt, I chose red immediately, the USB cable is also red and short, making it extremely easy to find from the crowd of other electronic cables.

During the short stay in HK, I am so happy that my best friend has introduced to me this Logitech Ultrathin iPad Keyboard. It’s really awesome. Cost HKD 799. Cheaper in the States, could have waited but ………

It’s the best iPad gadget I have come across. It allows me to watch TV more comfortably and the keyboard is very comfortable to type. Now I am sampling my first blog post using the WordPress iPhone App. Previously I find it’s easier to blog using the laptop and easier and quicker to access my photo library. However, I am currently using my iphone to take pictures most of the time and with iCloud, I can have the photos sync to the Photostream after some time. I don’t take pictures with iPad as the resolution is not great with iPad2 and it’s awkward to hold such a big object to take photo. Overall using iPad +Ultratin keyboard feels like using a mini laptop, of course iPad is not able to have multitask screens but serves well to my purpose and to concentrate on one matter at a time and not distracted by fiddling other apps.

This Ultrathin keyboard is also available for iPad Mini, I am tempted to get iPad mini when there is a newer version but not sure how comfortable to have a smaller screen. We shall see ….

My iPad does not have 3G connectivity but this is nicely compensated by using the personal HotSpot created by my iPhone. So it’s not necessary to have a second mobile data plan.

So I hope no more excuses : ) and more blogging!

How to make best Molten chocolate cake, foolproof, step by step with tips

Molten Chocolate Cake

We don’t usually celebrate on Valentine’s day but I am just in the mood to make some Molten Chocolate cakes. I haven’t made this for a few years before and after Marc was born. I was going to set a cut off day to want to go on a diet or eat more strictly after Christmas, New Year and Chinese New Year. And before I start, I want to indulge myself to this absolutely divine dessert. I hope they will come out well as I have not baked this for so long.

I have searched online and my cookbooks, there are many versions but I would’t want to take the risk if the one I had made several times before that worked beautifully. This recipe was given by my ex-colleague. I thought before I may lose the hardcopy one day, I should blog it being it get lost, it is a keeper. It took me so long to post this recipe as I was hoping to be able to get a better photo but no success yet but trust me, you won’t be disappointing with the results.

Adapted from the recipe from Cuisine Magazine, I have halved the recipe.

Makes 3-4

Ingredients:

  • 120g dark chocolate (min. 65% cocoa solids), chopped into small pieces
  • 50g unsalted butter, rest in room temp
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/8 cup (2 tbsp) all purpose flour (or 1 tbsp flour, 1 tbsp cornflour)
  • 1/2 tbsp unsweetened Dutch processed cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp instant expresso powder or 1 tsp instant coffee granules
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Fillings :

e.g. salted caramel, marshmallow or nothing

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200ºC (375ºF).
  2. Grease 4 ramekins with butter and dust with some flour.
  3. Melt the chocolate and butter by bain-method. Half filled a pan with boiling water and keep at medium low heat, Put the chocolate and butter into a large stainless steel bowl and then place the bowl over a pan. The steam will melt the butter and chocolate, use a wooden spoon to stir to mix and melt the chocolate and butter completely. Once mixed and melted, remove from heat and set aside.
  4. In a separate large mixing bowl, by using an electric mixer, beat the eggs and sugar until it is pale yellow, ‘ribbon’ and look like a lightly whipped cream. This will take about 5 mins. 7mins if you double the recipe.
  5. Add in the flour, cocoa powder, coffee granules and salt, beat for approx another 2 mins.
  6. Add in the melted chocolate mixture, and beat for about 5 more mins. (It needs a lot of beating in order to incorporate more air to get a lighter cake texture.)
  7. Spoon the batter to the prepared ramekins up to 3/4 filled. *At this point, you can cover and keep the cakes in the fridge and bake later. Or you can also freeze the spare ones. Defrost completely and rest at room temp before you bake them.
  8. When you are ready to bake, place the ramekins on a baking sheet and bake for 12-15 mins or until puffed and you see the edges around the top are dried.
  9. When the cakes are done, remove from oven and let them rest for 3 mins. (it is fine if the cake sink slightly.)
  10. Remove the cake from the ramekins by invert the ramekin on a serving plate. Remove the ramekin carefully by tapping gently on the ramekin to loosen the cake.
  11. Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

Enjoy and indulge yourself !!!

Notes:

It is very important and critical that the molten chocolate cakes are baked for just the right amount of time (à point)!!! Otherwise, they would be too molten or fluid or become brownies like. Each oven temp varies, therefore check after 10 mins. If they are really moist on top, bake for one more min and check again.

I personally like using the glass ramekins as I can see how well cooked are the cakes.

And use the best quality of chocolate that you can get hold of!!!!