30 July 2008

Buttered Scallop with Soy Sauce, in modern-Japanese style


Understand 現代和風 ( gen-dai-wa-fu ), which means ' modern-Japanese '. A clever application that incoporates the Western element, without eliminating the Japanese fundamentals.

My husband who appreciates olden Japanese style, accepts modern-Japanese touches just as readily. In fact, he prefers the latter which always produces a result neat and clean. Modern-Japanese finishes can be found in architecture, fashion, landscape design and many other features; not forgetting Japanese cuisine.


It's butter that helps clothe the scallop in a modern-Japanese style, and soy sauce to complete it immaculately. This simple trick always fill the kitchen with a compelling aroma that must have travelled to other homes. Buttery scallops bursting with flavour of the soy sauce-accomplice and its own, blamelessly perfect. We probably eat slower than usual when enjoying this dish, cos the heavenly chewing is all too rewarding...


Recipe for Buttered Scallop with Soy Sauce, in modern-Japanese style


Fresh Scallop ( dried scallops do not work ) with or without roe, the bigger the better : 200g

Butter : 10g, or 1 large tablespoon

Soy sauce : 1 tablespoon

Options for finish : Sesame seed, Seaweed shreds, mustard sauce

1. Melt butter at medium fire, and throw in scallops to saute at high fire. Flip scallops occassionally to avoid burn.

2. When traces of butter disappears, lower to medium fire. As the fragrance intense and scallops start to show browning, add in soy sauce for a quick and thorough stir. Enjoy, enjoy the indescribable tempting aroma...

3. To finish, dash sesame seeds over. If you prefer seaweed in thin shreds, cut the soy sauce amount to half a tablespoon to avoid too much salt. The scallops may be enjoyed too with mustard sauce for dipping.

Ah huh... I'm just so sure that you'll love this amazing recipe. =)

No Reservations

I wanted to know what Catherine Zeta-Jones is up to in a kitchen. She shed her body-flattering clothes for a white chef suit. No scarf, but an apron; you know.

I'm a little disappointed that ' No Reservations ' has too little kitchen scenes, and barely any cooking tips. Nevertheless, I enjoyed watching how Catherine Zeta-Jones works, her no nonsense-intensity is totally captivating. Aaron Eckhart on the other hand is a clear contrary, but his appealing wild antics make me laugh.

The show potrays a heart softened, owned by emotionally-reserved genius chef ( Catherine ). Someone who drills all her energy into her kitchen-empire, but affords nothing for a private life. Everything changes when she is forced to take care of her deceased sister's child, followed by an intrusion of romantic chef ( Aaron ) in HER kitchen. The chef who soley knows how to produce smackingly good dishes, finally learns to draft the right recipe for her life. A straight forward love-comedy drama with a delicious ending.

My favourite scene? It must be that neat move featured 5 minutes nearing the end. Catherine Zeta-Jones cemented the unaltering truth. Beautiful people look stunning in anything, or nothing. Her eating and drinking, beautiful. When she's angry, vexed, mean and sad; beautiful. Just WHY is she so beautiful?!?! I'm breathless...

28 July 2008

The Splendour that comes after...

A furious storm raged in yesterday...it left incredibly soon though.


We left home for a dinner date after the storm, pleased to be greeted by these furballs in the sky. I've always thought that sky after storm is amazing...


And thankfully, the Lilies are well shielded from the storm.



Was it the rain? They actually smelt more alluring than usual...



Love this froggie, it stood so still like a mellowed fella and its size probably a mere mass of my thumb. It reminded me of Kermit the Frog from ' Muppet Show ' and ' Sesame Street '... I would have sent its cute butt up to my header if not for the picture below has been so blurred. =P



And the symphony of the sky began, in magnificient splendour. Art supreme depicted by His sovereign Hands... I truly can find no words to describe God's wondrous works...



As if still brewing in fury unappeased, the sky unfolded into layers of intensity, with rolling clouds and scratching lightning. Those infamous paintings in European churches must have been undoubtedly inspired by the one true Painter.









The streak of pink high above,


and its reflection below.




I love this though my hand shook.


As the colors ebbed away, we realized that we were heading a late dinner date, but our souls filled and satisfied. We couldn't thank God enough for the incredible granduer revealed before our eyes...

May your week be a splendid one bursting in colors of joy. God bless...

After the storm.


It's placid waters once again.

25 July 2008

Soy milk with black sugar, Sugary Heart ;)

Milk is a no-no for Stardust. Is it the lactose, I'm not sure but it upsets my tummy a lot. Soy milk makes a brilliant replacement though, a definitely lighter and less fattening choice too. =)

I've found the right soy milk in Japan that carries a convincing flavour, but there's one. It's not sweet like what I've enjoyed in Singapore.

Thus, I tried having my drink with honey, condensed milk, or sugar but the combination was somewhat like ' oil and water '. I want something that is complementing, without killing the original taste.

Then came this day when we had desserts at a holiday inn, and I was offered this soy milk with 黒蜜、known as ' black syrup', and I just knew that the formula is found. =) The ' black syrup ' is actually made from a kind of black sugar, which is mineral rich and very earthy in flavour. It brings out the fragrance of the soy milk while preserving its own.

Without using the syrup, I simply get the black sugar for my soy milk at home and it just works like magic. =D These days, I'm having it chilled cos the weather is hopelessly hot. =)

Do you know? Besides richness in mineral, Black sugar is said to be especially good for ladies who suffer constant chill, cold feet or limbs, simply said, poor blood circulation. It has properties that warm up the body and improves body consituition after a constant intake. Unlike ordinary sugar, it burns up easily with its nuitrients readily absorbed by the body. With a right dosage, Black sugar is considered a health food and is recommended for cooking or desserts.

You may be able to find black sugar of other brands in the market. It looks like super dark brown sugar actually, see the picture below. =)

Now tell me... Did you Spot the Heart in the picture above? Nope? Then look again! =D

The ' heart ' is spotted only after I've imported the picture, and it stood there so loud, framed in soft hue of pink, thanks to the packaging of the product! What an amazing find... Can't help feeling something's good heading my way... Hahah, am I crazy!

Ok, I'll end with a silly collage of my cute glass, it has prints of bee and plants all over. It makes me smile. =)


So, Sweeties, I wish you a sugary weekend... ' Heart ' ya. ;)

24 July 2008

Homemade pickle-flavour Enoki Mushroom

The bottle of pickled mushroom shown on the right is a special product of Nagano. ' I know this guy! ' me yelped in surprize upon recognizing it in Singapore's supermarket, sold under a different brand though.

When I was first introduced to this slimy, suspicious looking pickled mushroom, I took the first intake with a rude gulp, followed by a silly laugh. It was totally delicious!!! Bursting with aroma of mushroom, the sourish, salty blend is just delectable. This fella surely makes any bland or tasteless food an edible delight!


How about preparing yours at home? With a fateful change of tv channel, I came to know families in other prefecture making their own. There were scenes of seasoning poured down, but the recipe was not revealed. (~~) The only clue was : Enoki Mushroom ( えのき茸 ), and the rest was up to me to crack. The Nagano-produce may not be made of the same mushroom but Enoki surely works. Enoki Mushroom is proven to have healthy properties, in any way, I reckon would be better than canned or treated stuff. Given a slimy and crisp texture, taste fulfillment is what's required next.

Worked it out and got it by the second attempt ( lounge back laughing ). Boy, was the recipe EASY! It convinced the Bear and he said we don't need the bottled stuff anymore. HAHAHA!!! =D

.................. Photobucket

The homemade version is enhanced by adding sliced onions. Sometimes, I'll add a little dried chilli or chilli oil for an extra push. This side dish will help you finish anything bland like rice, porridge, tofu, blanched vegetables such as bean sprouts, greens and etc. Really yummy, oh you may like to check it out first by trying bottled ones, if available. Note : though this is prepared and stored ( up to one month?!?! ) by other prefectures, it is something I don't recommend. Food is best consumed fresh, besides, I absolutely have no idea what is the exact recipe that might guarantee a good shelf life.


Recipe for homemade pickle-flavour Enoki Mushroom

Produces a small volume to complement simple side dishes

One pack of Enoki Mushroom ( around 100g with root removed )

Onion slices of around 1/10 to quantity of mushroom, you may decide the volume

Japanese cooking wine/rice wine/or other mild wine : 2 tablespoon

Vinegar : 1 and a 1/2 tablespoon

Soy sauce : 1 and a 1/2 tablespoon

Sesame oil : 1 large tablespoon

1. After removing the root or mushroom, spread the bunch apart to check for internal growth of roots, it happens sometimes especially if the bunch is thick.

2. Heat sesame oil at medium fire, fry onion slices till soft and fragrant, and begining to brown a little.

3. Add in mushroom followed by wine, stir fry at high fire.

4. When mushroom begins to soften, bring fire down to medium, add in vinegar and stir fry well.

5. The mixture is begining to thicken and look more slimy, add in soy sauce and make a thorough stir. Retreive before the mixture gets dry, it should be very moist with little gravy.


In Japan, spinach is consumed in rather ' fixed ' ways. For first, the vege will be blanched in salt water, then drained, I mean DRAINED to dryness by squishing the vege to the last drop. Served with soy sauce poured over, the taste simply swerved from ' greens ' to ' salt '. With this recipe, spinach is enjoyed in homely evolution, forevermore. =)

23 July 2008

Arte-y-Pico, 2nd award for the God-Blessed Box

While some blogs may be receiving awards like a daily life affair, acceptance of award for the God-Blessed Box can never be a mundane business. Allow me to thank the kind blogger from Ume tyan no maron tick for this wonderful Arte-y-Pico award.  A dog-lover she is, so, if you like doggies... =)  Thank you 梅子さん and ウメちゃん , and hugs... 出会えて、とても良かったと思います。 これからも、よろしくお願いします!

Very honestly, I'd gladly pass the award to every single blogger whom I've been faithfully visiting ( you know who you are ) but the rules attached must be adhered to. I'm making this difficult decision to pass to bloggers who've yet received an award from the God-Blessed Box, but whom I seriously think should be duly awarded. =) So, dumroll please... and don't forget the rules stated down below! Hugs.

Cuisine Paradise : Dear, your blog is one of those that inspired me from the begining, so thank you for ushering me into the blogging world. Thank you for your loving friendship too, it means so much to me. Hugs and God bless...

Seen This Scene That : It's the continual effort you're showing there that makes me go back. Thank you for presenting the many spots on our lovely island, I always feel that you've taken me for a walk in my forlorn homeland.

Bob T Bear (esq.)'s Diary : Bobber! Thank yu fer all de laufter yu've brought me, dou I'm NOT-A-BEAR! I luv all de Beary sunshine at yur place, wif or wifout the sunflowers. Keep frolicking de way yu do, it makes me smile. Nose hugs...

Mistymaze : Herzlichen Gluckwunsch!! It's your photographs and wholesome sharing that make me lost in your maze. =) And please, will you help me with my German? Hehehe...

Roadster World Cafe :  ベアがいなければ、ブログなんてとても書けないと思う。 だから、ありがとう。。。 忙しいのに、頑張ってブログを書くのは偉いね。 なので、award を進呈します。 拿!これからも一緒に頑張ろうね!

RULES for the Arte-y-Pico Award

1) You have to pick FIVE blogs that you consider deserve this award for creativity, design, interesting material and also contribute to the blogger community regardless of language.

2) Each award has to have the name of the author and a link to his/her blog to be visited.

3) Each award winner has to show the award and put the name and link to the blog that has given him/her the award itself.

4) Award winners and the one who has given the prize have to show the link of the "Arte-y-Pico" blog so everyone will know the origin of the award

5) In compliance with said RULES, the award winner must show the RULES.

22 July 2008

Shaded Retreat

Summer time...

I'm placing my God-Blessed Box ' under a shade ' till Summer wears off, the white background shall resume later. So, does it feel like the heat has dissipated a little now? ;)

Summer waves came crashing in during the long weekend, it was sizzling hot everywhere! Even a tropical-born like myself feel dehydrated every other minute.

While most would have rushed to the sea for some windy beach romance, Bear and I would rather have a solitary getaway. Nothing much, we merely had tea.


Japanese Teahouse makes a good shaded retreat. We would visit our favourite teahouse during Summer for light desserts. Reclining on tatami-mats at our favourite spot, enjoying the cool breeze and greenery of Japanese garden, some simple pleasures we probably got to thank Summer for.


This Summer, we had traditional Japanese green tea, sweets and pudding. Every dessert was lusciously refined in taste and aroma. We tend to share everything, and this is when I agree that 2 together are better than 1.




Stardust usually hesitates to take pictures at restaurants and etc, embarrassed to arouse peoples' attention. We were fortunate to visit at an hour when customers hadn't walked in, so I was able to take a few clicks without distraction.






When we left, the lady who served us claimed that it was the best time to visit the teahouse as it would be really hot by next week. The traditional place isn't facilitated with air-conditioners so the heat is expected to be unbearable later. The teahouse used to enjoy good patronage in the past, but things have changed ever since Summer in Japan has got so much warmer.

I felt sorry when I heard this. Global warming has definitely affected many areas that we least noticed or imagined. What a shame...

Nevertheless, I hope it'll be a week of gentle Summer on your side.