The house by the sea foodwaves

I´m here only for the food

Category: Asian

Soy sauce and not a soy sauce !

If you go out to buy a soy sauce make sure you are buying the real thing.  A real soy sauce has soybeans but a fake one is made with extract, coloring and artificial flavors.

Kikkoman has a real one, La Choy is a chemical soy sauce.

Serious Eats has a good article on soy sauces, you can read it here.

I was reading a book called The fortune Cookie Chronicles and it has a chapter about soy sauce, This book is a good read.

In Iceland we have fresh sushi in almost every supermarket in town.  For me it is getting the fast food stamp on it and I don´t buy it, maybe it´s all good quality and all but I want my sushi high quality to enjoy it the most.

I for example don´t understand why people use surimi in sushi, it´s kind of the “pink slime” in burgers.   Here is the ingredients list I found for surimi  on this page

Alaska Pollock, Water, Egg Whites, Wheat Starch, Sugar, Corn Starch, Sorbitol, Contains 2% or Less of the Following: King Crab Meat, Natural and Artificial Flavor, Extracts of Crab, Oyster, Scallop, Lobster and Fish (Salmon, Anchovy, Bonito, Cutlassfish), Refined Fish Oil (Adds a Trivial Amount of Fat) (Anchovy, Sardine), Rice Wine (Rice, Water, Koji, Yeast, Salt), Sea Salt, Modified Tapioca Starch, Carrageenan, Yam Flour,Hydrolyzed Soy, Corn, and Wheat Proteins, Potassium Chloride, Disodium Inosinate and Guanylate, Sodium Pyrophosphate, Carmine, Paprika. 

I heard that parents of children under the age of 6 years old are advised not to give their kids rice crackers, rice milk or baby food with rice because of arsen you find in rice.  Always check out ingredients on baby food, lots of it has rice in it.

Well this blog ended from being a blog about soy to a blog about soy, sushi, surimi and arsen,

Before i let you go I am gonna end this blog with a recipe of my favorite recipe when we make sushi at home.

salmon

salmon in a bowl

  • Fresh salmon
  • Spring onion
  • Fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • Sesame seads
  • Cucumber
  • Avocado

Cut the salmon and the avocado into small bite size bites.  Finely chop the spring onion, ginger and the cucumber. Mix it all together and divide into individual  bowls and add the sesame seeds, a teaspoon or so into each bowl.  Serve with pickled ginger, wasabi and soy sauce on the side.

If you got some caviar that would be a nice addition.  You can as well use smoked salmon instead of fresh.

 

forgetmenotOne of my favorite flower

 

Chinese Dumplings and I had few interviews last week

Homemade is the best, fresh and you know what you are eating.  I am not much of a pig person, but I can buy organic Icelandic pigs, fed with Icelandic corn and it was very good.  This is the best meal I´ve made so far this year.

Make sure you´ve got quality ingredients.

Chinese Dumplings

Dough

  • 4 cups flour
  • 2 cups water
  • Flour for dusting

Mix, kneed until smooth, set aside for 30 minutes.  Roll it out into a long sausage. cut into small pieces, about 2 cm.  Roll out like a pizza dough

Filling

  • 500 g ground pork
  • 1 Napa cabbage
  • 1-2 spring onions
  • 1 tablespoons grated ginger
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil

Dipping sause

  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp mirin
  • 1 tsp finely chopped garlic
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped spring onions
  • Finely chopped chili pepper (if you like some spice to it)

Mix well.  Serve in a bowl on the side with the dumplings.  You might need to double the recipe or just make as much as you think you need.

dumplings

Mix everything well together

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Flatten out the dough and make thin, round cakes.  I cut mine with a large glass.

dumplingsIMG_5751

Add a tablespoon or two of the ground pork mix to each cake.

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First I fry them, then I add water water and boil it.

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Serve the dumplings with a good soy sauce

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Dip the Dumplings in the Soy

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Eat.
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I think it´s important to get the bottom of the dumplings fried, not only boil them, to get some texture.


dumplingspizzaIMG_5772

I had some left overs, both dough and ground pork, what do you do?

 Of course you flatten out the dough and make dumpling pizza.

mbl_5april

I have been interviewed few times last week because I made apps for kids teaching them the alphabet, numbers, colors and more.  There are no apps like that in Icelandic for kids, probably because this is not a big market.

All our apps so far are for free and we made it in English as well.  Take a look at the website, www.soffia.net,  where you can also play the alphabet and the numbers if you do not have an Android phone.

frettabl_4.3

I made few apps a year ago, then I was on a maternity leave and wanted to do more apps.  I  teamed up with a girl named Helga and we call our project Lean Laundry.

I am very proud of us, we are both on maternity leave now, and between taking care of babies, the house, doing laundry and cooking dinner we make educational multimedia material for babies and kids.

Check us out on Facebook and put a little LIKE on us.

Learn the Icelandic alphabet or if you have kids, take a look at the English version.  More to come!

Salmon fiesta at lunch time and never ending food scandals

So, I guess most of you have heard about the horse meat scandal.  In Iceland they decided to take examples from Icelandic food products to see if they found horse meat in it.  There was no horse.  I guess since we eat a lot of horse in Iceland they would just say it contained horse meat.  But the “funny thing” was, they tested a beef pie from one company and it contained ta taaaaa…no beef, just no MEAT at all, not even a horse.  30 % of the pie was supposed to be beef.  I guess you can call it a vegetarian beef pie.

Like I´ve said so many times, stop buying all this processed and ready made food.  I know making everything from scratch is hard, but it is so rewarding and worth it.

And if you are too lazy too cook, just boil potatoes and fish and serve it with a good pinch of real butter, homemade even 😉

potatoes

 

This summer we were at home with our new born and the neighbors were on a summer vacation so we had lots of food fiestas.  One took place at our house at lunch time.  The men had been outside working on the houses (we are both building our houses).  I was in the kitchen and made a lovely meal, worth writing down.

This was a healthy and a very tasty meal. Barley goes very well with salmon.

I made Teriaki Salmon with barley salad and teriaki dressing.  The Teriaki was made of  mirin, soy sauce and sugar.

Barley salad

  • Barley, boiled
  • Ruccola
  • Avocado
  • Tomatoes
  • Red pepper

Cut veggies, mix well.

 

Christmas count down 10… Cucumber salad

Today I went out to buy all the Christmas presents.  I had already figured out what to buy,  and I don´t buy that many because in my family it is a tradition only to give gifts to kids under 14 years old.  I like that tradition, the presents are for the kids, the food and wine and getting a little bit of holiday vacation with family is for us grown ups.

Now I am celebrating Christmas with 2 kids for the first time.  For me, the excitement of opening presents are through my kids, or kid, because the younger one is only few months old 🙂

I am totally doing Christmas differently after having kids.  Before it was about travelling the world with my boyfriend when we had our Christmas vacation.  Now it´s about baking cookies, making Christmas decorations and staying with my family and relax in the country, making traditions. (But I am sure we will do new things every year…and probably go to a warm country one Christmas…)

In Iceland, over Christmas, people eat a lot of fat food and VERY SALTY food.  In between it is important to eat healthy food.  I, in general eat healthy over Christmas, I do a little bit of the salty and fat with the pork on Christmas Eve.

With all the fat and salt, a cucumber is a really nice treat.  Cucumber goes so well with all kinds of food.  It´s refreshing.  With Mexican, Sushi, Indian, Icelandic, you name it.  I find it essential in my taco (but not in burrito, only taco shells…) with all kinds of sushi, in Raita with Indian food and I love it sliced on rye bread with Icelandic lamb paté.

I made this cucumber salad for a sushi party the other day.  It´s simple and again, REFRESHING!

Cucumber salad

  • Cucumber
  • Spring Onion
  • Mirin

Mix it all together.  Serve with….what ever 😀

Opening number 14

calendar14

Smoked salmon in a bowl

Smoked salmon and raw is not for pregnant woman, but now that I have my little new born sleeping on my lap I can eat all the raw and smoked salmon I want.  This was one of the dish I made this month with food I have been avoiding for the past 9 months.

Smoked salmon is very popular in Iceland, and so is gravlax – cured salmon.  I need to make that soon and give you the recipe.  But until then here is an awesome recipe for smoked salmon.  It is originally made with raw salmon but it works so well with smoked one if you don´t have  a really fresh salmon.  It is  a sushi type of dish.

Smoked salmon in a bowl

  • Smoked salmon
  • Spring onion
  • Fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • Sesame seads
  • Cucumber
  • Avocado

Cut the salmon and the avocado into small bite size bites.  Finely chop the spring onion, ginger and the cucumber. Mix it all together and divide into individual  bowls and add the sesame seeds, a teaspoon or so into each bowl.  Serve with pickled ginger, wasabi and soy sauce on the side.

If you got some caviar that would be a nice addition.

I used to live in Madrid and I love the tapas bars there.  The napkin culture is one of a kind, where people throws the used napkins on the floor.

HEY!  

IF YOU LIKE FOOD YOU MIGHT LIKE

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Sushi – but nothing raw

I know of many people who don´t eat sushi because they don´t like eating raw food, and of course pregnant women don´t eat sushi because of the raw food.  But you can mke sushi without the raw stuff.  For example, cucumber, avocado and spring onion is a great combo.

Then I can recommend the omelette on a bed of rice, tied with a string of spring onion.

Egg sushi

  • Omelette
  • Sushi rice, boiled
  • Spring onion

Omelette:

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Mirin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
  • Oil for the pan

Put all the ingredients in a bowl.  Stir together with a fork until it becomes light and fluffy but not foamy.

Heat some oil on a teflon pan.  Pour the egg mixture to the pan.  We want the omelette to be about 2 cm thick.

Pour the egg mix to the pan and cook on medium heat, both sides.

Cut it into little squares, about 2 x 3 cm.

After the rice are boiled and have cooled, make a bed of rice, as if you were making rice for nigirizushi.  Put the omelette squares on top and tie it together with a string of spring onion.

Serve with pickled ginger, wasabi and soy sauce.

What I love is to add a little bit of Mirin to the rice when you are boiling them.

I use spring onion a lot with sushi, it´s great for making a nice presentation.

Use your imagination and bring your own touch to the Japanese cooking.


Homemade Asian spring rolls

I am doing more and more homemade food. I never buy ready made frozen food or powdered stuff like soups or sauces.  So, not much I buy, but still some things I do buy I should make myself, like ketchup.  That is on my to do list to start making myself.

There  is so much you learn about food when you do it yourself.  You learn that it is usually rather easy to make things yourself, a little bit time consuming sometimes, but so worth it when it comes to taste and knowing what you are eating.

It´s really easy to do the dough for spring rolls.  They are delicious, so homemady, so real : )

With this you have to make the homemade Sweet Thai Chili Sauce.

Give yourself some time to roll out the dough.  If you have a pasta machine that would help.

Spring rolls (for 4)

Dough

  • Flour, as much as you need to get a soft dough
  • 1.5 dl water (1 cup is 2.4 dl)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
Kneed until you have a good smooth dough.  ( You can use your Kitchen Aid)

Filling

  • 2-3 carrots
  • 3-4 spring onions
  • 1 red pepper
  • 2-3 garlic cloves
  • 2-3 tablespoons fresh shredded ginger
  • 1 handful mushrooms
  • 1/4 head Chinese lettuce
  • Fresh coriander, handful
  • Dash of soya
  • 1-2 msk Thai sweet chili sauce

Cut the vegetable and chop the lettuce.  Shred the ginger and slice the garlic.  Fry everything in a little bit of oil on a wok.

When ready, set a side.

Roll out the dough thinly and cut into 10×10 cm squares. Put 1-2 tablespoons of the vegetable on the dough. Here is a good demonstration on how to roll upp the dough and good advises in making spring rolls.

Fry the spring rolls in lots of veggie or sunflower oil on both sides for about a minute each side, use wok or a good pot.  Make sure the oil is very hot.  You can also  deep fry them.

I served rice with the spring rolls.  I did fry some red pepper I cut small with some spring onion, then added the boiled rice, cashew nuts, fresh coriander and little bit of salt, as well as 2-3 tablespoons of the homemade Thai sweet chili sauce.

It is also good to serve this with chili mayo.  Mix together Sriracha sauce and sour cream or mayo, homemade mayo of course 😀

Homemade Asian noodles and wok

It has been on the agenda to make homemade Asian noodles. Finally I did so and I will never buy store bought again….eh…atleas not very often : )

This is similar method as Italian pasta.  This is not complicated, takes a bit of a time but totally worth it.

You can use a pasta machine, I will probably do that next time.  This time I used rolling pin and a knife.  If you are a noodle master you can do this by hand.  That is of course what I am aiming at.  This one is rather good…

If you write “hand pulled noodles” on youtube you get few videos about how to do this by hand.

noodles

Homemade Asian noodles

  • 1 3/4 cup ice cold water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 kg flour
  • 1 egg yolk

Mix salt and egg yolk to the water.  Put flour on the table or in a bowl.  Put a den in it and fill it with the water until you have a good dough to kneed.

noodles

Kneed it by hand for 15 minutes until it gets soft and silky.  (Or just use your Kitchen Aid).

Rest the dough for few hours at room tempature.  (3-8 hours)

Roll out the dough, with rolling pin or pasta machine and then cut it in to noodle stripes.

Boil for few minutes, 4-7 minutes.

noodles

Wok ( Very fresh and really good!)

  • 1 red pepper, sliced
  • Fresh chile, sliced
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, shredded
  • Fresh coriander (cilantro)
  • Shredded zest of lime
  • 2-3 spring onions
  • 3-4 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 2-3 tablespoons Thai sweet chili sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soya sauce
  • Salted peanuts, mashed. 1/4 cup or so…
  • Peanut oil or other oil for frying

Fry everything on a wok pan.  Add the nuts, coriander, soya and thai sauce in the end.

Add the noodles and serve with Thai sweet chili sauce and soya.

You can play with the vegetable in this recipe.  Last time I also used carrots.

Hvalfjörður, Kjós in April 2012

The few first days of summer have been so nice. 10°c and no wind!  The fjord is like a mirror.  We could even sit outside after lunch with Sangria and Club soda that our next door neighbors made for us because the sun was rather warm.  That´s Iceland for you.

On the first day of summer we got few snowflakes, there was for a little while snowing in the mountains on the other side of the fjord and for only couple of minutes we got few flakes.  They say it´s a good sign when winter and summer freezes together.  That happened this year.  Yes, I said winter and summer.  We never talk about spring here when we talk about the first day of summer, is´s just last day of winter the day before.

One little lonely snow”ball” on the First day of summer

Thai sweet chili sauce – HOMEMADE!

I am buying less and less processed food.  I don´t buy much, but one of the thing I like and did buy was Thai sweet chili sauce.  I find it essential with noodles.  The noodles I am making myself now as well.

I thought it was complicated to do a really good Thai sweet chili sauce, like the one I buy.  It is not, it is soooo easy, takes 10 minutes…that easy.  And the taste and texture is perefect.

I was lucky to find a really good recipe.  Then it´s the chile.  (some say chilli, chile or chili…the sauce usually say chili, I use chile) They can be different in heat.  Taste it before you use it to make sure it has some bite.  I use the seeds as well.

Thai sweet chili sauce

  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 red chiles
  • 1/2 cup (1.2 dl) sugar
  • 3/4 (1.8 dl) water
  • 1/4 cup (0.6 dl) white vinegar
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch or potato starch
  • 2 tablespoon water

Put everything in a blender except the corn starch and the 2 tablespoons water.  Blend well.

Put the mixture in a pot and bring to boil.  Lower the heat to medium and simmer ntil it starts to thicken, about 3 minutes.

Whisk in the corn starch and water and let simmer for one more minute.

The corn starch makes the sauce thinker and makes sure the chile flakes spreads instead of floating to the surface.

Cool completely and put in a sterilized jar.  Refrigerate

If you plan on doing this in some amount they talk about using Pre-gelatinized” starch.

Since this is so simple I just make less more often.

The texture, smell and taste was perfect.

It can be made with green chilies as well.

Best of all, you know better what you are eating and you can control the amount of sugar. 

This looks like a nice blog about Thai cooking, shesimmers.com.

Happy Easter!

This is how it looks here in Kjós this Easter, foggy and rainy…

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Tuna tataki, served with cold glass of Cava

I made Tuna, cooked with the tataki methood. And instead of having the typical glass of white wine i always have with sushi I tried a new thing. I bought a bottle of Beaujolais and a bottle of Cava.

wine
Cava and champagne is really good with sushi. I am not much of a sparkling wine fan, but the sushi really made the wine interesting and vice versa.

The Beaujolais went very well with the sushi and the soy sauce, I recommend trying both the Beaujolais and Cava next time you make sushi.

tuna tataki

Tuna tataki

  • Fresh tuna steak
  • Sesame seeds, black and white
  • Little bit of salt and pepper according to taste
Serve with
  • Soy sauce
  • Wasabi
  • Spring onion
  • Fresh or pickled ginger
Put a bit of salt and pepper on the steak. Sear it on a dry hot non stick pan, about 10-15 seconds each side. Put it in a bowl filled with ice cold water for 10-20 seconds to stop the cooking.

Cover with sesame seeds on both sides, put in a aluminium and put in the freezer for an hour or more. You can lightly roast the seeds on a hot dry pan.

Slice it really thin and serve with soy, wasabi and ginger, bit of spring onion and I put a radish micro green in the soy for extra presentation.
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