Shiratama Dango (Japanese Rice Dumpling)

In my previous post about Rice Dumplings with Adzuki Beans & Brown Syrup, it is actually Shiratama Dango wannabe. Because I didn’t go and hunt for Mochiko. But this time is the real Shiratama Dango that I’m making. I found Mochiko & Kinako in Meidi-Ya Liang Court! Mad happy!

I love Japanese food. But I have reserve when it comes to their desserts. And I must confess that I don’t like those traditional Japanese sweets that are based on sweetened beans. For the most part they are way too sweet for me, and I always imagine that if I were to make them for myself I will definitely adjust the sweetness level.

Diabetes leh! Hahahas…

I had been reading about Shiratama Dango recently. This is the 1st time I make Japanese dessert, and I somehow I find myself courageous. Hahas. Okays, before I start writing, allow me to give a simple explanation about this Japanese dessert :-

Dango is literally a Japanese dumpling made from Mochiko (Rice Flour), related to Mochi.

Shiratama-ko (白玉粉)is sweet or glutinous rice flour, or mochiko, mixed with a little corn starch or potato starch.

Kinako is a soy bean flour that is commonly used in Japanese cuisine as it is a healthy topping that contains Vit B and protein. Kinako is produced by finely grinding roasted soybeans into powder.

This is easy to make. Trust me. If you know how to make Tang-Yuan (汤圆), you can make this. And once you know how to make this, you will not want to pay S$5 – S$7 for a miserable portion of this dessert at Japanese Restaurants.

Ingredient 1 (Shiramata Dango)
4 tablespoons of glutinous rice flour
2 tablespoons of Mochiko
about 8 tablespoons of water
pink & green coloring
some Kinako – for finishing

Ingredient Source…
Glutinous Rice Flour – Any convenient store. NTUC / Cold Storage & etc.
Mochiko – So far I only saw it at Meidi-Ya Liang Court. It cost S$6.90/pack.
Kinako – Daiso sell S$2.00/200g pack. Meidi-Ya sell S$3.00/300g pack.
Pink / Green Coloring – Genera convenient stores that carry basic bakery stuffs should have. NTUC / Cold Storage / Sheng Siong / Phoon Huat & etc.

Method
1. Combine two flours in a bowl. Drizzle in half of the water and use fingers to stir and moisten the ingredients. U can use spoon instead. No issue here. Then, gradually work in the remaining liquid, kneading the dough into a PlayDoh type of consistency, that is firm yet soft and smooth.

2. Divide dough into two, use a toothpick to dap a few drops of coloring, and continue to knead till the color turned evenly on the dough. Just like this…

3. Oh yea.. this is my favorite part here. It’s PlayDoh Time! Divide them into small little cute balls. About 5 grams each. Just estimate will do. You should be getting about 16 to 17 balls in total.

4. Drop them into the boiling water one by one. Give it a gentle stir to avoid the balls sticking to each other.

5. Until the balls float on top, it means they are cooked. Let it simmer for another minute. At this point of time, you can prepare a bowl of ice cube water.

6. Dish up the balls, and drop them into the ice cube water and let it cool down completely.

7. Once it has cooled down, scoop it up, and it’s ready.

Lovely color! I should have make some white balls instead. I’m so engrossed with the color dough until I forgotten to keep some dough for white leh! Sigh!

Nice?

Topped with some Kinako…

Love!!! ❤

I really love the taste of the Kinako. It has a taste that is very much similar to the peanut butter that is indescribably good.

You know what I did? I actually scoop a spoon of Kinako straight my mouth. Eating plain Kinako just like that. It taste soooooo good!!! 😀

Okay.. I’m crazy.

Oh Yea… You will have to eat this cute little balls with something really sweet. Because this Shiratama Dango itself is basically tasteless. It’s normally eaten together with Sweet Adzuki Beans. Or alternatively, you can eat with Brown Sugar Syrup or something else sweet. It’s up to you. So, here’s the basic sweet adzuki bean method.
 
Ingredient 2 (Sweet Adzuki Beans) 
half cups of adzuki beans
50 grams of brown sugar. This is sweet enough for me.
water

Method (Sweet Adzuki Beans)
1. Pre-soak adzuki beans for 5 hours. This is to shorten the cooking time.
2. Cook adzuki beans with water till soft.
3. Add in sugar. Stir till sugar is completely melted. Remember to adjust your own sugar level to your preferred sweetness. Heat off. Serve.

I like it when my sweet adzuki beans is more watery. And I mess it up like this!

This is the way! 😀

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Japanese Style Light Thin Crust Pizza

It’s 10pm. Max is crying for food, telling me that he’s hungry. But he say “I feel like eating, but I don’t want to eat too full.”

He and all his request. Sigh!

So, being a lazy good wife is never easy here, I have to always be prepared. I open the fridge and see what I have. And there, I think I can make him a thin crust pizza. A light one. He never liked thick pizza with every mouthful of pizza bread. He only eat pizza when it is thin crust. Fussy man!

So here it is… Something simple, something light, something that makes him feels special when I serve him this…

Nice? Don’t get cheated by it’s outlook. Actually, there’s nothing much in this pizza. Because I don’t want it to be heavy. So, you look at the ingredients and you will know what I mean.

Ingredients

  • 1 sheet of Mission Wraps. I used Garlic Flavour. This is a good cheat for your thin crust pizza skin when you don’t wanna put in effort to make pizza crust on your own.
  • a tablespoons of olive oil
  • a tablespoons of Teriyaki Sauce
  • a handful of Mozarella Cheese
  • a handful of Striped Roasted Seaweed
  • a handful of Dried Bonito Flakes
  • sprinkles of seaweed flakes
  • Tomato ketchup (for finishing)

Don’t know what the hell is all these ingredients about? Refer to my picture…

Feeling stressed on where to get those stuffs? Here, I’ll tell you where to source for all these ingredients :

1) Mission Wraps / Teriyaki Sauce / Mozarella Cheese
= You can get it from major NTUC, Cold Storage. Or even Sheng Siong.

2) Striped Roasted Seaweed / Dried Bonito Flakes / Seaweed flakes = You can get it from Daiso. S$2.00 each. Cheap cheap. But of course, you can also get it from Meidi-Ya at Liang Court if you are rich. They do carry these for sure.

Method
1. Heat up your non-stick pan. Brush olive oil on both side of the wrap sheet. By doing this, your pizza will have a real nice crust. Put it on the pan. When the wrap sheet is on the pan, brush the Teriyaki Sauce on top.

2. Sprinkle Mozarella Cheese generously. Cover it up, let it cook under low heat for 3 minutes. Check the bottom of the pizza when you feel necessary, don’t burn it. It should be in toasted light brown color, and yet crispy. After 3 minutes later, if you feel that the pizza is not crust enough, continue to toast it for another minute or two. Gauge it yourself.

3. When your pizza is ready, heat off, put your pizza on the chopping board, sprinkle with seaweed flakes, dried bonito flakes, striped roasted seaweed.

4. Squeeze tomato ketchup over as a finishing. Take photo. Then, cut it into 8 pieces. Take photo again, and then serve! You really have to trust me on this.

This pizza is really thin and crispy. I didn’t cut it when I take picture.

After I took the photo of the whole pizza, I bring it back to the kitchen and cut it. And serve it to Max straight after cutting. I walk back to the kitchen, wanting to wash my chopping board & knife before I come out to take another picture, thought of wanting to show you peeps how thin & how crust the pizza skin is.

But by the time I finished doing my washing, the pizza is gone.  It was a real big regret for doing the washing 1st!

@#$!&^%*#!@$&#!!!!

Review : My Zojirushi NP-HBQ10 Rice Cooker (Part 1)

Before I start off with my rice cooker review. Let me briefly tell you what I had been using all these while.

This is my old rice cooker. The big one belongs to my Mother-In-Law. The small one is mine. My mother gave it to me. All of us loved this rice cooker so much because of it’s petite size. It can only cook upto 3 cups. That is juuuuust nice for us. The big rice cooker is more suitable for party time tho. Haha…

Seriously, I don’t feel like throwing away the mini rice cooker that my mama gave me. I just keep it.

As all of you aware, I’ve got myself a new Zojirushi Rice Cooker that cost me alot.

I love eating rice. I’m rather particular and opinionated on how rice should taste. But people always says rice makes me fat. Serve me some noodles, porridge, bread, pita & whatever, and I’ll kindly stick up my nose and pout about the lack of plain rice to eat my meal with. Okays, I shall cut the crap about myself.

Here’s the function available on this rice cooker…

Another reason why I spent so much for this rice cooker is because it comes with stainless steel inner bowl. It has real heavy weight. I like it.

And another impressive part is that, the upper detachable lid is also stainless steel. In which, none of the Tiger rice cooker models has this. This lid is a real thing!

It has this steam vent set on top, to capture the steam water. Detachable and washable.

This morning, I decided to give it a try. But I’m not really hungry. So, I just cooked half cup of rice. I used Japanese Sakura Hitomebore Rice here. Added the water according to the white rice level. The water indicator is really really useful.

Pressed Regular White Rice on the menu and start cooking. 45mins later, my rice finally ready. It looks ordinary when it’s just cooked.

But when I loosen the rice, the rice gives me a deliciously fluffy texture.

Side track abit… Saw the rice paddle? The rice paddle comes with little bumpity bumps, which are supposed to help with mixing your rice and is supposed to keep rice from sticking to your paddle. Unfortunately, I don’t like the paddle, as rice still sticks to it. If you want to keep it rice-free, you’ll need to have a little bowl of water to store it in, otherwise when you store the paddle in the holder, the rice will simply crust on it.

Let’s take a close look at the rice.. Nice?

Ahhh… The rice tasted utterly fantastic.

And let’s see the fluffiness… It doesn’t looks only nice looking. It taste delicious too.
It’s not just it’s immediate taste; there’s a distinct aftertaste with the rice that is, in fact, sweet and tasty. I appear to be addicted to the rice, which isn’t exactly the greatest thing when you’re trying to lose weight.

Let’s add some furikake on top…

What about making it into Onigri?

Yummm~!!!

In overall, this rice cooker produces very delicious rice on a consistent basis provided you use the correct amount of water and the setting.With Extended Warm, keeps rice moist and fluffy for a much longer period of time without drying up. It’s easy to clean outside and inside too. For the cons part, so far the rice paddle not the greatest, which it doesn’t really affect me. I can always get another one.

Upcoming next, I will blog more about my experiment on my rice cooker. The next one would be GABA Rice.

Stay tuned!

Rice Dumplings with Adzuki Beans & Brown Sugar Syrup

I’m gonna make Rice Dumplings with Adzuki beans & Brown Sugar Syrup. It’s kinda Japanese Style. I remember I read one of the recipe online, but I’d forgotten where I saw it. I supposed to make the dumplings larger and dimpled so that they’d have tiny wells for holding thick brown sugar syrup. Hmm.. what about piling up some adzuki beans in those indented dumplings? We shall see…

To avoid confusion, I shall separate the recipe into 3 portion. The Adzuki Beans, The Rice Dumplings, and The Brown Sugar.

The Adzuki Beans
I saw a beautiful pack of Organic Adzuki Beans at Tebrau Jusco JB a week ago, and I don’t know what should I do with it. But I just can’t help buying it. Hahas!

It’s beautiful isn’t it? This cost me RM 7.60! Mad expensive!

Since I’ve got myself a new rice cooker, and I’d need to test the limit. I shall give it a try.
After I bought my rice cooker, the 1st thing I cook is not rice. It’s Adzuki Beans! Hahahas…

I supposed to pre-soak the beans before I cook, so that the beans will get soften easily. But I skipped this step. I’m lazy. You all knew it. So, I just throw half cups of beans into the rice cooker, water, set as “Porridge” and start cooking.

What you need here is just half cups of Adzuki beans, water, and some rock sugar.

The Porridge menu takes about 1 hour to cook. The 1st 1 hour, the beans is abit soft, but still within the bean shape. So, I decided to cook another hour. And here, the beans started to “flower” and soften. I leave it there as a “Keep Warm” mode till the next day morning, and the beans is softer than last night…

I added a piece of rock sugar in there, to give the beans a hint of sweetness. Just a hint of sweetness will do. The Adzuki Beans is now done. Set aside for later use.

The Rice Dumplings
I supposed to get some Mochiko sweet rice flour. But… I skipped this. So, I just use glutinous rice flour instead. So, what I made now is literally Tang Yuan (Chinese rice dumplings with sweet soup)

Ingredients
1 & half cups of glutinous rice flour
half cups of water.

This is easy. I used my Kitchen Aid mixer to knead the dough. Stress free! Just knead for about 5mins, and it’s done! It should be kinda PlayDoh type of consistency that’s firm yet soft and smooth.

Once the dough is done, roll it in this way… into a 12-inch-long log. Just eyeball it yourself.

Cut it crosswise into about 12 pieces. If you are unsure about the size, it should be about 10grams each dumpling. Roll each one into a 3/4-inch ball and then flatten it into a thick disc, about a scant 1/2 inch thick.

Use your index finger or thumb to make an indentation in the center. Set aside and repeat with the remaining dough.

You’ll form about 23 to 24 1 inch wide dumplings in total.

Bring water to boil, cook the dumplings.

After all the dumplings float to the top, let them cook for another minute, then use a skimmer to scoop them from the water.

Drop them into a bowl of cold or room temperature water to let them cool. The hot dumplings will cause the water turned cloudy. So, you could change the cold or room temperature water for 2 to 3 times to get rid of the cloudy water. I changed the water twice.

I can assure you that you will like this soft and chewy dumplings.

The Brown Sugar Syrup

Ingredients
3/4 cup Muscovado. Or any dark brown sugar. You may use Molasses if you like it darker.
1/4 cup water
Pinch of salt

Incase if you are unsure what is the difference between Molasses and Muscovado. Here is the packing difference for your reference :

In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and water. Heat over medium high heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to vigorously simmer for about 3 minutes, until the syrup has kinda caramelized and thickened.

When the syrup is done, take it off the heat and wait for the bubbling action to subside before stirring in the salt. Set the brown sugar aside and let it cool.
…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
How to eat? Here….

For each portion, put 2 to 3 tablespoons of adzuki beans in a bowl. Top with some dumplings, and a drizzle of the sugar syrup.

The dumplings are dimpled, and as I mentioned, they’d have tiny wells for holding thick brown sugar syrup just like this….

Oh yes! Must eat this dessert with a spoon to ensure that you get some of each of the ingredients in every bite.

Messed it up! Haha!
Yumm!!! 😀

I should have get some kinako and put on top! Regretted for not buying it that day. Darn!