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With the weather being in the high 80s-90s F (30sC), I just want something cool and easy to eat. My solution to this was makeshift sushi. This takes us back to the “good old days” about a year ago when I tried the similar shrimp and garlic roll, but with less ingredients and no sushi mat.

Of course, this doesn’t mean I’m a sushi chef. Far from it. But it’s definitely a fun party food. You can make it with very inexpensive and cheap ingredients. I used shrimp, egg, and cucumber here. You can use canned tuna, imitation crab, anything you want. It’s fun to make when people choose their own ingredients, and, if you have enough mats,  they can even roll it themselves.

Ingredients:

1 cup of sushi rice
3 sheets of nori/seaweed sheets
0.25 cucumber
1 egg
6 cooked de-veined shrimp shrimp.
(any other fillings you might like)
sesame seeds or roe for garnish

1. Cook the sushi rice and season with rice vinegar. If you don’t have rice vinegar, mix together ~1/8 cup of vinegar with half a teaspoon of sugar and mix until the sugar dissolves. Mix with cooked rice to flavor. Wait for rice to cool to room temperature.

2. Scoop some rice and spread flat on nori, which should be on top of your bamboo mat. Leave about a centimeter on top and bottom ends of the nori.

3. Place one of each filling ingredient on the inside and roll up the nori one time. Make sure to roll it up and squeeze tightly before continuing to roll. After each roll, squeeze the sushi mat tightly to make sure the fillings stay in place.

4. Take a sharp knife and cut into bite-sized pieces (or just eat it as the whole roll? haha)

Like I mentioned before, ingredients can be substituted for what you like. I tried experimenting and came out with different rolls that were just perfect and cool enough for some really hot weather.

To have the rice on the outside and the nori on the inside, simply place the rice directly on the sushi mat and then put the nori on top. If you want to try this, I’d suggest wrapping your mat in plastic wrap so you don’t have a nightmare cleaning the mat after.

Hi everyone! Did anyone notice the new header? I’ve been meaning to create a better header image for agessss, and I finally came through with it today. My friend, Yee Fen, did the handwritten characters for the banner, so cake pops to her!

Life is busy, and I’ve actually picked up another personal project. It’s been busy with this new project since it involves a lot of Twitter translations…but the problem is that the people I’m translating are in Japan…13 hours away. Imagine some sleepless nights/mornings…

Back to this blog’s main interests though…Food!

When I saw these on Tastespotting, they stayed on my mind, and, one day, I just took a chance one day and “popped” the question.

The question of whether or not I could make a matcha version of course. And I did!

The recipe from Bakerella is fairly simple, but I made notes for how I might personally change the recipe if I did it again.


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I think a lot of times, people seem to have this idea that natto is one of those strange exotic Asian foods that nobody in their right mind would eat.

Well, one, it isn’t that exotic. Natto is just fermented soybeans. And two, honestly, I’ve had more smelly things (like certain cheeses and tofu), so natto is just another ordinary side dish for rice. For more information, here’s a Wiki article.

I came to the conclusion after trying buying it for the first time the other day.

Natto is seriously healthy fast food (as ironic and contradictory as that sounds). Read the rest of this entry »

Lately, I’ve been obsessed with using yogurt in everything.

This includes chip dip.

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Here’s some exciting news!! If any of you follow my Tweets or know me on Facebook, I’m sure you may have already heard me spazzing out about this. Last week’s post, about Restaurant Week in Ann Arbor, actually got picked up in an article by Edward Vilmetti on AnnArbor.com. I was excited, of course, since I’m not even a pro-blogger, and honored for being featured in the article.

Moving on, as many of you may know, I’m a University student. We’re supposed to live off of caffeine when we aren’t having instant noodles or pizza or something of the sort.

Well, coffee in my system is a very dangerous thing. My friend, Laura, happened to witness it once when I mistakenly added coffee, which I assumed was decaffeinated (for some reason), into my milk, resulting in a half coffee/half milk drink. This resulted in me rocking in my chair in class for an hour and a half, complaining about “caffeinated caffeine” that irresponsible people gave to poor college passer bys. Needless to say, the next time we went out for bagels together, I was forbidden from touching coffee.

Even if I can’t have it straight up, I did find another way to enjoy coffee. I had these at a restaurant once, and their process was much more complicated, involving simmering and such. I chose to do it the quick and easy way.

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My apologies for the long long absence! Once again, school was frying up my life as I scrambled to get everything under control and find some time to sleep as well. It also didn’t help that my computer was broken for about a week over New Year’s (when I actually had time to post…) But everything’s slowed down (just a teeny bit) and fixed so I can post about my experiment today!

There is a small chain of restaurants here on my campus called “No Thai!” I normally go there when I’m craving some nice “Asian” noodles. Asian in the sense that it’s Asian American, kind of like how “chow mein” is Asian (aka, not really Asian).

About two weeks ago, I went to No Thai and ordered Pad Thai since I had gotten the “Drunken Noodles” last time. I wasn’t particularly impressed, but then again, what could I expect from a chain semi-fast food store?

So, today, I thought I’d give my own (inauthentic, probably) version of Pad Thai a try. I was craving for something that reminded me that sunny snow-less places still exist somewhere out there.

I used this recipe from Thai Table and modified it for myself.

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HELLO EVERYONE!

I’ve missed you all! I’ve missed 食べ物 eXploZion! I’VE MISSED GOOD FOOD!!

It was finals season, so I didn’t have the time to post what I wanted even though I did cook, so there’s a bit of a backlog of food hahaha. Although, I still must’ve had instant noodles at least 5 times in the past 2 weeks…

But it’s been snowing lately, and what better to recover from this cold cold winter and the horrendous exams than a nice warm galette with your tea (or coffee if you still have exams)!

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A lot of you might have realized that my food isn’t really fancy, and with my kitchen, a Thanksgiving dinner might really just consist of a pitiful roasted chicken drumstick or something of the sort.

So I thought I’d do y’all a favor by asking for a guest cook to come and spice up 食べ物 eXploZion for the Thanksgiving weekend!

And so…-drumroll- I present to you Sara Kosuth, who will be today’s (first!) guest blogger/super chef, as well as her mouthwatering Coconut Almond Tart, which is sure to amaze your guests and their taste buds.

Sara is the College Cooking section editor at Wolverine CuiZine, University of Michigan’s cooking blog. A current undergraduate student, she plans to attend culinary school after officially becoming a UM brainiac and to strike “fear into the hearts of Iron Chefs across the world.”

Although I’m not an Iron Chef, I think she struck something in my heart (or my stomach) as I tried to resist that tart that was sitting right in front of me in her kitchen…

But without further delay, I officially present Sara Kosuth and her method of making a fabulous Coconut Almond Tart.

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When I say an accident, I mean it.

I had a salad the other day, and I felt like making something other than the dressing I used in the Apple and Breaded Chicken Salad, so I thought I’d come up with the “brilliant” idea of making a miso-based dressing. Honestly, it wasn’t too bad…I guess. Separately, the dressing and the salad probably would have tasted better. So it might not be unsurprising that I had a lot of this murky dark dressing leftover.

As I was doing the dishes, I was trying to figure out what to do with all this leftover dressing. I didn’t have enough vegetables leftover for a salad, and I just couldn’t figure out what the taste and texture reminded me of.  And then it hit me! I had jajang myun for the first time a few weeks ago, and I figured by adjusting the flavor a little would give me the same type of taste (if not the color). I then added glops of peanut butter to thicken the mixture and poured it all on top of a bed of rice noodles before topping it with some cooked slices of pork shoulder butt, shallots, and nori.

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So I had a friend staying the night and I told her I’d make dinner for her and one of my roommates, Maggie. When I asked the visiting friend, Mikuni, what she’d like for dinner, she replied with “Asian food!” and, surprise surprise!, I made Asian (style) food.

I’ve tried these pork wraps before, and they aren’t particularly difficult except for when you’re actually combining everything together into the final piece. My previous attempt also included cooking everything all at once together, but I’ve learned my lesson…that isn’t that easy and it’s just darn difficult!

Luckily, I’ve learned from my mistakes, and here is now an easier-to-make and maybe even tastier version of the wraps from the past (hey it rhymes!…kind of)

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