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Monday, September 29, 2014

Using iPad to order Sushi!!!

Technology these days are making dining experiences much more entertaining and easier than before. There's a sushi bar in Hong Kong called "Itamae-Sushi" that serves decent sushi and uses iPad to order! Yes, it's probably not the first restaurant to do so but it's pretty neat. This place gets pretty packed during the peak hours so there's something popular about this joint. It's more or less probably because of the freshness of their seafood as they display in front of you the seafood you are about to consume or at least sometimes. It's not the best I have had so it's not a must-try in my books but worth a look for the curious ones. They have many locations throughout Hong Kong and some other locations worldwide as well.

Name: Itamae-Sushi
Address: Shop 1-3, Chee On Building, 24-26 East Point Road, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
Google Maps: Click Here!!!



Using iPad to order!




Seared Salmon Nigiris

Beef Tongue Nigiri






Delicious Tender Curry Beef Brisket in under 40 minutes!

I haven't made beef brisket for a while and decided to quickly stop by to get some fatty beef brisket to make!

For those interested, the beef brisket is a cut of the meat from the breast or lower chest of a cow. It is known to have a significant amount of connective tissues so this cut of meat has to be cooked a certain way to be edible/enjoyable/chewable.

A good way to select a good beef brisket is to look at the "fat cap" and make sure it's decent thickness and not completely trimmed off as you want that to prevent the meat from drying out when cooking brisket for a long duration as usually that's what you need to do in order to tenderize the meat else it'll be super tough to chew/eat. You'll also want to see how naturally tender the meat is; I usually press on it to gauge how wiggly it feels. Also don't get it if it's not bright red (indicating fresh!) Don't get it if you see some browning on it due to oxidization. There is a way to cheat and that's by using the pressure cooker! You can get super tender beef brisket in under 40 minutes of cooking time! It's truly a revolutionary kitchen product!

My Aunt makes some of the best Malaysian curry I ever had and thought I'd use it to go along with my beef brisket. The main demonstration of this post is to show how awesome beef brisket tastes when cooked with a pressure cooker!

Ingredients:

Carrots (sweetens the sauce. optional)
Potatoes (sauce thickener, optional)
Salt
Pepper
Oil
Beef Brisket
Curry sauce of your choice (homemade or packaged)

Instructions:

1) Cut your beef brisket into long strips perpendicular to the fat/muscles, if you cut it parallel it'll be chewy and won't be as easy to eat.
2) Season the beef brisket with salt and pepper
3) Dice carrots and/or potatoes (optional)
4) Turn heat to medium/medium high and oil your pressure cooker base
5) Sear beef brisket strips on all sides. Make sure you get a nice sear on the "fat cap" side of the beef brisket.
6) Now pour in the carrots,potatoes, and the curry sauce onto the beef brisket on the pressure cooker.
7) Be sure there is enough liquid to cover the "minimum" level as per design of each pressure cooker before proceeding.
8) Close the lid and pressurize!
9) Set timer to 40 minutes once pressure cooker has pressurized. You'll want the higher PSI if you have multiple options.
10) Once time has elapsed, depressurize naturally or pouring cold water on the lid.
11) And Voila!

Let me know what you think! And good luck!



Cut strips perpendicular to the muscle grains!

Ensure "Fat Cap" is present! Don't trim!


Sear all sides!



Pressurize and set timer to 40 minutes!



Brisket was just shredding on its own!

Finished Product!



Thursday, September 25, 2014

Lean Mean Green Machine - Apples n Kale

Time to get my greens in for this week in liquid form that is! I have a juicer that extracts the juice and filters out the fiber/pulp. I bought 3 batches of Kale and used 6 Red Delicious Apples in my recipe. Generates about 6 cups. I tried Granny Smith Apples before but it was too tart for my taste. For a better idea on the ratios, I measured how much each produced in liquid respectively.


With 3 batches of Kale, I generated about a little over 10 fl oz / 325mL.
With 6 Apples, I generated about close to 30 fl oz / 900 mL.

Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Red Delicious Apples and Kale

Juicer

Remove the seeds, they have Cyanide in it!!!

After 3 batches of Kale juiced!

Kale volume from 3 batches of Kale

Apple volume from 6 Apples

End Product!


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Legit Xiao Long Baos in California?

Yup! You heard right! No, it's not Din Tai Fung...
There's a place in Irvine called A&J Restaurant which serves 4 Xiao Long Baos for $3.25, not bad of a price. A good way to know if it's legit is how thin the wrapping is and how well it holds the juice/soup. Another key indicator I personally love is the color of the meat inside, if it's nice and pink, it's usually a good indicator for some succulent juicy pork meat! They have other locations but I didn't have such a good experience at their other location (Arcadia,California).

Remember the best dipping sauce for these dumplings is a ratio of 3 to 1 of Vinegar to Soy Sauce.

Let me know what you think!

Name: A&J Restaurant
Yelp: http://www.yelp.com/biz/a-and-j-restaurant-irvine
Google Maps: Click Here!!!

Them Tasty Morsels!

Nice and Pink!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Delicious Braised Fall-Off Bone Ox Tails!!

I think one of the best investments I've made so far in the kitchen was buying a Pressure Cooker! I got the stove-top one not the electric one after doing heavy researching on the pros and cons of each.

I haven't had ox tails in the longest time and I felt it was time to have it for dinner. The real magic is letting the pressure cooker do the heavy lifting. Anyone can make delicious fall-off ox tails with a pressure cooker!

I made a tomato-based red wine infused flavored ox tails.

Ingredients:

2-3 lbs of Ox Tails
1.5 cup of Red Wine
Water
1 can of Canned Tomatoes/Stewed Tomatoes
Tomato Paste
Worcestershire sauce
~10 Garlic Cloves
Salt
Pepper

Steps:

1) Bring ox tails to room temperature
2) Trim any unnecessary fat as there's a lot of fat (it'll be more obvious at the end)
3) Pat them super dry with paper towel
4) Season them with salt and pepper
5) Splash some Worcestershire sauce over it
6) Heat your pressure cooker to Medium-Medium High
7) Splash some oil (something that can handle high heat)
8) Throw in the garlic cloves to flavor the pressure cooker
9) Sear the ox tails all around so the juices will trap inside
10) Now add the remaining ingredients: Red Wine, Splash of Water, Tomato Paste, and Canned Tomatoes
11) Close the lid, set heat to HIGH, and pressurize!
[depending on the brand of pressure cooker you have, you want to bring your cooker to the highest pressure possible]
12) Once pressurized, set timer to 45 minutes or so and lower heat back to Medium/Medium-Low heat
13) Once time has elapsed, depressurize the cooker naturally or pour cold water over the lid!
14) Voila! The results!

Let me know how it goes for you! Good luck!

Fresh Ox Tails

Seasoning

Flavoring Agents

Flavor cooker with Garlic and Oil!

Sear the Ox Tails

Pour in remaining ingredients

Pressurize!

Finished Product!




Five Flower Tea!

Lately it's been still really hot and I thought I'd share this awesome drink that is super cheap and super healthy. It's a Chinese tea called Five Flower Tea!

It consists of 5 different types of dried flowers but the two main flowers are the Chrysanthemum and the Honeysuckle which you'll probably be aware of.

This drink helps cools your body, strengthens your immune system, detoxifies and of course hydrates! It can be served hot or cold but I personally prefer it served chill. You can find it any Chinese Herbal stores and it's only about $4 or so for the bag. You can make over 24 cups! Some people throw out the leafs after it's been boiled but I have tried reboiling the same dried flowers with a fresh batch and water and was surprised to still get a lot of flavor from it.

Steps:

1) Bring a large pot of water (~ 4 quarts or 4L) to a boil
2) Pour in the contents of the Five Flower Tea
3) Lower heat to Medium - Medium Low and set timer to 35-40min
4) Let it chill and sweeten it with honey! (Sugar also work just fine)
5) Serve cold or hot!






Saturday, September 20, 2014

Escargots aka Snails!

Haven't had Escargots in ages! Found a Spanish Tapas bar that serves them and I finally got my Escargot cravings fulfilled!! Usually it's served in a custom plate that has pockets where the Escargots/Snails are inserted, baked, and drenched with butter, garlic and seasonings but these were served in a different manner but same result! Deliciousness!!

Escargots aka Snails

Restaurant: Tapas Picasso Spanish Restaurante
Google Maps: Click Here!!!
Yelp Page: http://www.yelp.com/biz/tapas-picasso-spanish-restaurante-san-diego
Location: San Diego, CA, USA