May 2018: Mish Mash Birthday Bash

At Van Dusen Gardens : Enjoying the fine weather

 

Last month I caught a cold right around my birthday so I have only been taking it easy with updates on my Instagram

Missed my segment on Ms. Deborah Moore’s show last month; happy to be back on May 30th!

Somehow I still managed to sneak in a few good eats and attended a mish mash of fun events with my friends…

 

Meeting Kanadell!

After seeing many pictures of her creations on Instagram, I finally met Keiko-san and tried her cute creations: the cutest and softest Mini cream filled bread which you can order through her website, she also sells her products at Farmers Market or Special events.   

 

Birthday bash (first of a few) at Geng Shi Ji (Richmond)

Geng Shi Ji is part of a restaurant group based in Hunan, China.  Located at Union Square (Capstan Way in Richmond), service is available in Mandarin and English, our server was very courteous.  I asked for recommendations when I was making reservations, we ordered in advance the most popular dish is the Clay Pot Chicken with Pig Trotters; we enjoyed the dish with their Shanghai vegetable rice, the fried tofu was very crispy and overall the seasoning were spot on.  I was advised their menu changes according to seasonality and availability.

 

 

While getting over my cold….

 Book Signing event at Gourmet Warehouse: I met Nigella!

Attended the event with my food buddy Doc Rita at Gourmet Warehouse: A photo opportunity and a quick chat (1 minute) with Nigella when she signed her cookbook (still gushing …)

 

During my recovery, I went to  Yi Fang (2-1725 Robson Street, Vancouver)

New Tea house from Taiwan: I’ve tried their Xin Yi Green Plum Green Tea and really like the combination: It is tart and sweet mixed in a flavorful green tea.  Have yet to try their specialty drinks.  I figure green tea is good for you (OO)

 

A little HOMECOOKING: Kaeshi for Shiso Plum Duck Udon

Kaeshi is the salt sweet sauce which is added as flavoring to noodle soup stock, mostly eaten with soba noodles.

I adapted the kaeshi recipe from Japanese soul Cooking (by Tadashi Ono and Harris Salat): 2 cups of soy sauce, 1/2 cup mirin and 2 to 2.5 Tablespoons sugar.  (I have reduced the sugar from the original recipe which calls for 3 Tablespoons;  I used Oshawa’s Nama shoyu (unpasteurized soy sauce), Eden’s mirin (no additives) and cane sugar).

My Shiso Plum Duck Breast Udon is a twist on Kamo Nanban soba, combined with my old duck breast recipe  . The kaeshi was prepared the sauce 48 hours before, dashi base was made in the morning on the day;  I also used the kaeshi to marinade the duck breast (kaeshi, plus green onion, shiso plums) for 24 hours, before pan searing them on my cast iron pan.  The basic soup stock was skimmed and strained before I added the kaeshi,  I then added King mushroom and Korean Singo pear for natural sweetness (that’s why I reduced the sugar in the kaeshi), bring it to a boil and adjust to low heat and let it simmer. The udon and garnishes (leek and radish shoots) prepared separately;  The ratio is 6 cups of dashi to 1/4 cup of kaeshi for flavoring; I will post the detail recipe very soon.

 

 

Kaeshi: kept in sealed bottle (i used it up within the week – great for soup base and also as marinade!

Caught the Takashi Murakami’s exhibit at VAG:

 

Another Birthday bash ( at AutoStrada Osteria (4811 Main Street, Vancouver, BC): small plates great for sharing, walk in only.

Duck Sagne e Pezzi : duck and anchovy ragu, with sagne e pezzi (broken lasagne in pieces)…who would have thought duck and anchovy would go so well together?

Beets, apple, gorgonzola, walnuts and balsamic dressing..refreshing

 

Mom-in-law’s birthday bash (yes not mine) at Stem Japanese Eatery (5205 Rumble Street, Burnaby – reservations recommended)

Small plates for sharing, cozy atmosphere; they use in-season atypical ingredients (for example fiddle heads) from Farmer’s market and prepare in traditional Japanese cooking methods; taste and flavors are very clean and subtle, a really wonderful first visit!

Mixed Seasonal Vegetable Tempura – Batter was light and crispy
Dashi Maki – soft and flavorful
Takigomi Gohan – Staub Rice Pot with clams and fiddleheads : Japanese “aji”
Kohralbi Kimpira and mushroom with seaweed

 

 

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