[personal profile] blodeuedd
My priorities, I has them straight. Which is why I'm typing this when I should really be getting to bed. Why have I been so exhausted this past week? I'll tell you next time...

But seriously, food. Why is it so amazing? I think I'm going through one of my hormone-sponsored "OMG food is so wonderful and all these magical tastes are awesome!" kicks. I'm not complaining, it makes eating even more fun! It also motivates me to cook, which is a good thing.

Also: I found poppy seeds! Even better, they were in a store in Kichijouji that specialises in baking supplies! Yay! It's called Cuoca and they've got other branches as well as an online shop. Reasonable prices, too! Well, for that sort of thing in Japan, anyway. -__-;

I meant to take a picture, but maybe tomorrow: my latest stir-fry is tasty indeed! Because, as Eda and I agreed at one point, cardamom is a very sexy spice. Here, have a recipe.

Sesame and Cardamom Stir-Fry


2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
1 carrot, cut into thin strips
1 eggplant, cut into thin strips
3 large cabbage leaves, cut into thin strips
100g (one package) enoki/golden mushrooms
1 square of hanpen (kind of spongy fish cake), cut into thin strips
1 or 2 tbs sesame oil
1/4 tsp cardamom powder
1/4 tsp chili powder (more if you like things hot!)
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 heaping tbs sesame seeds, because you can never have too many sesame seeds! :D
dried chili pepper slices to taste
mirin/cooking grade rice wine

- Heat the sesame oil in a wok or large frying pan. Add garlic, cook until golden. Add onion, cook until slightly transluscent.

- Gradually add, in order (i.e. longest cooking time to shortest): carrot, eggplant, hanpen. Add a splash of mirin whenever things look too dry or start sticking to the bottom. Stir until the eggplant and carrot have grown a bit soft. Add cabbage and more mirin if necessary. When everything looks done, add enoki and cook until the mushrooms have gone limp.

- Add pepper, cardamom and chili powder. Taste and add more spices if necessary.

- Add sesame seeds and chili pepper slices. Stir once more and remove from heat.

- Serve over rice or noodles.

Notes: I used sweet potato starch noodles (kind of like the ones used for chap chae) which I mixed in at the end. I started off by using pork fat (drained off from another recipe) to sauté the garlic and onion, saving the sesame oil for when I added the cooked noodles, as they stick together otherwise.

The carrots and cabbage (and mirin!) make the dish surprisingly sweet, and the cardamom gives it an unexpected, exotic flavour that works well with the kick of the chili.

Let me know if you try it out. Kira? ^_^

If you're wondering why on earth I thought to include cardamom, it's because I've become a spice fiend and troll supermarkets looking for more spices. The other day I scored some discounted cardamom powder and whole cloves, which brings my spice count up to I Need a Real Spice Rack territory. Santa? :D
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February 2012

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