Friday, May 15, 2009

Simple Dinners - Soba with Chinese Mushrooms

I am weird when it comes to cooking vs. baking. I will put any amount of time, effort and money into whatever recipe I am following for baking, but I get incredibly lazy when I cook my dinner. Which seems ridiculous when I think about it, they should provide the same amount of satisfaction really. I blame my sweet tooth.

So easy dinners really appeal to me, especially ones that I can throw together with whatever I have in my fridge. I like to make my dinners healthy and full of veges, it gives me an excuse to squeeze in a yummy dessert afterwards every now and then ;) I looove chinese mushrooms, and cooking them this way makes them really versatile, we even layer these mushrooms into a sushi rice box with finely sliced cucumber, radish, egg, salmon and seaweed.

Soba with Chinese Mushrooms
5 large dried Chinese Mushrooms
1 carrot, sliced
Soy sauce with dashi (the pre-mixed stuff they use for soba sauce, but regular soy sauce will also do)

Soak dried mushrooms in cold water for several hours until they are plump and moist. Drain mushrooms. Add equal parts mirin and soy sauce in a small saucepan (I think I put about 1/4 cup of each) with the soaked mushrooms. Add water to saucepan so mushrooms are covered by the liquid. Boil on medium high heat for about half an hour, stirring regularly. Remove mushrooms from sauce with a fork and carefully cut off the woody stems. Thinly slice mushrooms and return to the sauce. Add carrots and also add sugar to taste, you should not need much sugar. Simmer on medium heat until carrots are tender and sauce is slightly thicker.

Cook soba in rapidly boiling water for 4 minutes. Rinse under cold running water and drain. Serve with mushrooms, carrots and sauce.

This was a pretty light meal and A demanded some sort of meat, so I dragged some good old faithful pork mince out of the freezer. I get more like my Mum every day, she always has smalls portions of pork mince in freezer bags. I defrosted it and marinated it in Xiao-Shing wine, a bit of light soy, white pepper and sesame oil. Then I placed it on top of some chopped silken tofu and bok choy and steamed it all together. So easy and not too naughty! As a result, our dinner was a confused mix of Japanese and Chinese, but it was tasty and not bad for something thrown together from the remnants of my fridge.

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  1. Haha. My mum is the queen of having extra frozen meats/veges/whatever 'just in case'!

  2. I am the same most nights! I think I'm so exhausted from the baking part which I do earlier in the day and then photographing it, that I can't be bothered when dinner time rolls around :lol:

  3. Betty - Hehe yes that seems to be a bit of a Mum speciality :) She's been stocking up my kitchen with random things like dried shrimp, pickled chili and sesame seeds!

    Lorraine - haha exactly! Or I'm too busy thinking about a recipe that I want to try after dinner than I just want to hurry up and get dinner out of the way :)

  4. Just discovered your blog and i love it!
    Although i am the opposite, and will spend a lot of time, and expensive ingredients on making savouries/dinner but very lazy about making sweet stuff. Can't wait to try some of your sweet recipes, mine always flop!
    By the way, your double rainbow cake made me LOL, i've see the vid of the guy going nuts!

  5. :) thanks so much for stopping by! I wish I had the same passion for savouries like you! LOL how hilarious is that guy? Love the song they remixed from it even more though!

  6. I discovered your blog through your banana pancake recipe on Rasa Malaysia, and they look soooo good. I've yet to make them, but i will! You are a very talented sweet-dessert chef!
    love the photog and creativity! =)

  7. Lucy - Thank you! You are too kind :)


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