My cooking, food post (2)

To be honest, it’s much easier doing picture posts nowadays. So err…. here was my second post as promised. 😀

Not anything notable in terms of difficulty but still makes my mouth water thinking about this ^__^

2nd (Somewhat) Successful chicken Teriyaki attempt! 😀

3rd

Here are the improvements as promised from my last cooking post what seemed like decades ago.

Again, pretty stuffs. Salmon and cream cheese bilinis. Simple and easily to entertain guests at dinner parties.

Made my very own tsuyu-sauce with soba

Fried salted pork belly with fermented bean curd on congee.

Enoki mushroom were left overnight in a sweet soy sauce mixture I have made beforehand. This is me ‘trying’ to be a vegetarian…

Now for some pictures of udon, an overused noodle of mine.

Actually, ya know what, there aren’t as many as I thought there’d be.

Stir-fried kimchi pork belly

Korean spicy beansprouts, sweet soy asparagus and tomatoes with soba and home-made tsuyu. Yes, that is toilet roll. No, it wasn’t intentional.

1st attempt at Mapo Tofu! Success! 😀

Simple steamed on left. Experiment for next day’s bento on the right.

Slow poached salmon in a special soy mixture, cold over somen noodles.

In the end, I just thought why not save it for next day and have somen and tsuyu instead

Soy sauce braised chicken wings

Now to keep within the tradition of the last post, here’s a fail (kinda). Remember kids, when wrapping onigiri the day before you go to a theme park, remember to ALWAYS keep some nori on you otherwise you’ll end up improvising like this.

CLINGFILM FTW!

Alright, it wasn’t that bad. But the iconic picture of an onigiri in my head wasn’t quite satisfied by these bad boys.

Honey and soy marinated pork belly -> Mixed herbs and salted potatoes with steamed veg -> udon stir fry

The joys of leaving my term time residency to come home means that on the last night before returning for summer, I tried to finish off what was left in my fridge and came up with this. Still, I had some lamb, 2 eggs and an onion left.

Well that’s it. I’m pretty much up to date now so I wouldn’t expect (m)any more of these in the future unless I get more lazier and busier than I usually am. I haven’t been slacking, really….
Slacking…..
Slacking………
………………………..

I’ve been working hard, I swear! ;__;

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Happy (Belated) Valentine’s day :D

Just an update on a video I recorded and uploaded on the 14th. It’s my own arrangement on the song ‘If You and Me’ but Juris, which is the English version of the song ‘If’ by Taeyeoun. So uhhh… whether it was celebrating Valentine’s with your Valentine or being more aware on Singles Awareness Day (SAD), I hope you enjoy this video. 😀

And my ongoings at Uni with lots of food will be coming soon, as will my second big food post continuing on from the first. ^__^ Just need to find the time first…. -___-“

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Xmas 2012/New year 2013 post

It seems managing a blog requires more time and effort than I originally planned. It also seems that this year will be busier than I originally planned too. Luckily for you, this means I have a stash of photos saved up somewhere on my computer so here are some of my ongoings this term.

Let’s start with some food. Most of these are my first attempts so don’t be too disappointed with the pictures. ^^”

Chicken and mushrooms in red wine sauce

Took a recipe from BBC food and some other sources before attempting this. I fried the chicken fillets in flour first before cooking them in the red wine sauce. I find sprinkling the chicken with brown sugar and paprika while cooking it, with mixed herbs to finish, helps improve the flavour of that first bite.

Korean gochujang pork belly and apple

Grated apple is an excellent substitute to sugar. Maybe add a teenie bit of honey if you find it is still not sweet enough. Avoid using green or sour apples for this, as you don’t want the dish to be too sour.

Steak!

Ha, saw an offer at Asda and thought I’d buy some ‘prime steaks’. I was pretty chuffed I managed to not overcook it like I had before. Although in hindsight, I either should’ve done so or cut the slices thinner for when I put it into baguettes. Chewy.

Gave this a first time. Either added too much soy sauce or sesame oil as the dish should’ve been drier. Oh well, still a good first attempt as I didn’t break the noodles into little bits with my brutish cooking.

Fried salmon fillets

with udon and bak choi in a bonito soy sauce

Ah, this is probably my highlight of my pictures this term. Decided to play around with this one, I hadn’t even touched my packet of bonito flakes so felt like putting them to good use before heading back home from uni. For the sauce, I just used light soy sauce, touch of dark soy sauce, mirin, sake shao xing wine, sugar, bonito flakes, diced ginger and garlic. It was a great success, though took me a while to get the proportions right. Note that you only need a small handful of bonito flakes to get that fishy taste otherwise you make it too overpowering. I had to dilute with water a couple of times before getting it just right. Remember extract the ginger, garlic and bonito flakes, before thickening the sauce.

Now onto all the other things.

Kawai CA-63

If you haven’t already noticed, here is my new piano I shall be using for recordings from now on when at uni. Luckily, I found this on sale in a music store not too far from where I live, as it was going to be replaced by its predecessor, the Kawai CA-93. Spent my whole summer working for this and so happy I made this choice! The keys are a big step up from my old Yamaha P-95 and although the sound is also superior, I still prefer the Yamaha Grand sound samples to the Kawai’s. The high notes just sound too damned bright for me.

A very popular small cafe/restaurant where students and locals alike go for some good chinese food. Best one in our area, as far as I can say, compared to all the other takeaways.

Ahahaha my good friend and house mate, who managed to ninja his way into the picture xD

Takeaways too?

As you can see, we order every now and then too. 😀

Yes, that is a subway at the bottom there. No, don’t ask me why.

Fried tofu in some sort of soup, we added this to our noodles

Vietnamese spring rolls and fried tofu

Someone brought some roast belly pork from chinatown on their way back from London too.

Ah, a friend of our’s made our house a lovely Vietnamese meal. Can’t quite remember what she cooked for us, but once I get the chance to ask her again, I’ll update this section. 😀

‘Korean’ barbeque.

There’s this place that just opened up when we got back this term. It’s a all-you-can-eat ‘Korean barbeque’ where you order from a set menu and they bring the food out for you to cook and eat yourselves. To be honest, it’s not a great ‘korean’ barbeque so I wouldn’t head there again unless prompted strongly by someone, though I didn’t have high hopes for this restaurant in the first place seeing as they also run an over-priced hot-pot restaurant just down the road. :L

Roast chicken Xmas dinner

House mate made tiramisu. She loves cocoa flour, as you can see.

A ration from home. Black bean spare ribs. Yum!

There’s no other place like home.

Back at home, Drunken fish and chicken wings

Lamb.

More lamb

Xmas day

Boxing day

And hotpot the day after.

Ya know. This is a pretty big step up from our usual student hotpots that we have, so it was a very welcome change dining with many of my lovely family members. 🙂

Student hotpot. How to tell the difference between this and the last picture? Tell-tale sign is the abundance of processed meats here.

Pictures of home-made roast pork belly and our New Year’s Eve dinner finishing off whatever leftovers we had from the Xmas and Boxing day dinners.

Now some pictures of my studying area.

Some pictures of the Capital city.

Harrods.

My dream.

One day…

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post. I’m rather looking forward to what 2013 has in stock for me. ^^

Here’s wishing you an eventful 2013!

Kampai!! 😀

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Piano cover – AKB0048 Opening – Kibou ni Tsuite

Short post for any of you interested in my piano posts. Just a cover I did recently, which I would like to share. If anyone reading this has any experience of the piano, if you could offer any constructive criticism on technique, that would be most helpful. Anyway, without any further ado, here it is:

It’s by an amazing Youtube pianist called Animenzzz, who unfortunately isn’t posting that much at the moment, but does some stunning piano covers of anime music. I will post some more in the Xmas period. So please enjoy this for now. ^^

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Distant Worlds 25th Anniversary Final Fantasy concert, London!

Hey guys!

Special post! As I had attended the special Final Fantasy celebration concert with my friends in London a couple of weeks back, I thought I’d share my experience with you. And hopefully, along the way somewhere, I can persuade you to come along to these annual performances too, while showing you some of the little bits of London you may or may not have experienced (yes, I’m referring to you internationals thinking of visiting). They are expanding into Europe a lot this coming year (e.g. France, Germany, Vienna) as well as a couple other places around the world, so be sure to keep yourself updated by visiting their site regularly and check out when they’re coming to a venue near you for any upcoming events.

London: When we arrived

Boris-bikes, from the Barclays Cycle Hire scheme. A convenient way to get around as long as you’re hoping to visit locations around the parking sites spread around London. Were pretty popular supposedly during the London 2012 Olympics.

London Victoria train station.

In Harvey Nichols on our way up to top floor.

Topside.

Finally at our first stop. Bubble Tea café on the fifth floor of Harvey Nichols. 😀

A great idea, making it into a funky chemistry-like themed café!

Anyone who hasn’t tried bubble tea before, if you ever get the chance, give it a go (considering you actually like milk tea). It can be served hot or cold and you usually have it with tapioca balls in your drink. Best to go to London to do so, there are a few good ones here and there. I’ve tried on in the Chinatown but I’ve got to say, this is the best Bubble Tea I’ve had in the UK so far. Reportedly, and typically, it’s better in *insert East-Asian country here*.

Asian foods section. Choco-panda!!!!

It’s a food court up here, so there are a few cuisines to choose from.

So many flavours… ~ Macarons

Back underground, look like buskers get a marked space to perform down here too

Second stop is Chinatown, Gerard Street, to fill our bellies!

I used to visit here a few years back, when I was much younger and we made more frequent family trips to London. God this brings back memories. Hardly ever come here now.

In case you’re wondering, the place we settled on eating at was Hong Kong Diner. Being students, we wanted to find a place not too expensive, being London and all.

Beef Tripe and rice vermicelli noodles (I think) in soup. I love tripe though some people may find the idea of eating this particular offal from the animal unpalatable.

Beef and black bean sauce ‘hor fun’ noodles

Pork Belly and rice. Simples.

ALL THIS MEAT!

This got me hungry again! ><

I miss this.

Well that’s one way to be different….

For me, this is the most iconic part of Chinatown in my memories as a kid. Used to play around here when my parents went grocery shopping in the shops next it it. Glad to see it’s still here 🙂

Last stop before the concert, a friend wanted sticky photos, so we made a short stop before making our way there.

However,

Nearly there!!

This was a panicked arrival photo shot where we rushed our way there to make it JUST in time for the performance. On the dot, 7.30pm.

What a view!

Sorry for some of the rubbish shots. My phone doesn’t have a filter for the lenses.

Great seats. We were at the front of our section overlooking the orchestra.

Looking around.

Arrival of the orchestra

The orchestra began with the usual Prelude piece which, not surprisingly, was powerful and moving. The first half and a bit of the night was dedicated to performing their playlist in the release chronological order of the Final Fantasy series (i.e. I – XII).

Mid-performance shots.

Throughout the night, I felt goosebumps. They had a good variety in the sort of music they played. Contrasting from lighthearted and upbeat to slow and solemn emotional pieces to grandiose majestic arrangements which just sounded Epic!

I think it’s safe to say this was an outstanding performance. At the end, there was an applause for a good 10 minutes or so. And rightly so, I would also agree that this night will be a very memorable one for a long, long time.

Post-performance.

Saw a crowd forming around our exit so caught this before they all broke up.

As expected, cosplayyerrrrs!

Post-concert shot of the Royal Albert Hall, where my camera work was less shaky. 😛

Before long, we were headed back to Uni.

An excellent night it was. To any Final Fantasy fan out there, if you love the music from the series, then it is definitely worth it going to one of these. The sound is far superior to listening to any grade of headphones/speakers. If you are not familiar with the orchestral works of the Final Fantasy series, then I recommend checking them out. The soundtracks are among the most beautifully arranged and most popular ones for video game music out there. I never played any of the games before listening to the arrangements (except receiving it for a birthday present for the first time last year) so is not anything that you’d have to play the games to get an appreciation for. I would imagine that the experience is greatly enhanced if you did though.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this post and it’s tipped your scales in favour of getting a ticket for next years concert. If so, hope to see you there too!

Ja ne!

Panorama view of the concert hall, thanks to my brother! Click on the image to see an enlarged image.

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Another food post? (3)

Still busy. A very short picture post before I do the next Big Food Post!

So many different flavours!!!

My friend brought around another box not too long ago after my last post. Again, it was a delightful snack which we all sat around and tasted. 😀

From what I remember tasting (as we didn’t read the box), there were orange, lime, strawberry, lemon, green tea with sweet red bean paste and the two sesame ones also had the same filling I think. ^^

Tonkatsu-don. Pork cutlet fried in breadcrumbs served with egg and some other lovely things in rice.

Pesto, eggs and spam pasta.

Got bored of sandwiches so felt like making pasta for lunch, for once. This was a very welcome change to my lunches though I admit, they do taste much better hot. Especially as I added some mozzarella cheese to the dish as well. Somehow, the cold hard lump of mozzarella doesn’t quite compare to it when the cheese is in it’s stringy form.

Honey and Soy Pork Belly

Decided to give this a go again at making it. Meh, I need ideas of what combinations of side dishes I can cook together…

Next piano cover on the way. For now, Peace.

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My cooking, food post (1)

Due to certain conditions that I fulfilled (no, I didn’t fail… -___-“), I had a lot of free time last academic year. So I set myself a few things to take up to try and make myself a little more ‘productive’. Seeing as I would be living by myself for a year, I thought I’d try to learn to cook. So this whole post is just dedicated to the dishes I ended up making that whole year. Just don’t expect anything amazing or hard to make. After all, I’m just a student…

Stir-fried beef, bamboo shoots, pak choi

lol steak and gravypool

Pork cooked 2 ways. sweet korean pork and spicy curry pork

Jiaozi or Pork Dumplings. Not much to do in terms of cooking, but still yummy and looks nice 🙂
I’d like to hand make these one day when I can be bothered.

Dunno what the actual English name for this is, but the dish is typically literally translated as “tomato fried egg“. This one with minced beef and bacon as the meat.

I LOOOOOOVVEEEEE noodles! So this is just one of many Udon stir-fries I do. Pork belly and sugar snap peas. Not just because it’s convenient and quick to cook… ¬.¬

‘My version’ of a Thai Red curry. My version because I don’t have a couple of the usual ingredients found in most authentic Thai curries.

Thought I’d post this one too… couldn’t choose between the 2 pictures of which one looked nicer xD

And when you’re a student…. just add eggs for more protein.

When I found some Kaya spread in the local Chinese store, I was overjoyed!!! Wow this brings back memories of Malaysia!
Sure it will never be as good but better than nothing to remind you of somewhere far, far away. ^^

Guess I’ll end this post with a LOLFAIL, just to show not everything goes to plan.

Looks a little burnt, right??

Add sauce annnnddd…. BAM!

Yeah, this was my first ever attempt at chicken teriyaki with chicken breasts (skin on). And this magnificent piece of artwork that you’re looking at is the result of reducing the teriyaki sauce for too long. It was thicker than the expected consistency but colour-wise, not very appealing. It still tasted quite nice though, which was surprising given it’s ‘what the hell is that black sauce‘ look. And in case you’re wondering, or didn’t read my first food post, I did eventually make it to an acceptable standard in the end. Which you will see again in the next big food picture post. 😛

I hope reading this has gotten you hungry for whatever dish of the day you’re going to indulge in and not the opposite. Because if this whole post has put you off, then I’m really doing something wrong.

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