#2 Stir-Fried Bok Choy with Chicken & Japanese Potato Salad

It's still spring in Melbourne now, yet the weather likes to change drastically from cold to hot, to cold again, to hot, to cold to hot again... just in one day. An interesting thing that I find is often your head is hot due to the sun exposure, but your body feels cold because of the wind. No wonder Melbourne is well known for its "amazing" weather. And no wonder too, that I have been sick since Sunday. Fever and flu. What a perfect combination :(

Because tomorrow I have my second exam until Monday and will be busy for several days, so I cook a lot today (laugh).

Stir-Fried Bok Choy with Chicken

1 bok choy
1/2 chicken thigh, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 white mushroom
Ginger, chopped finely
Garlic, chopped finely
Olive oil
Soy sauce
White sesame seed (garnish)

1. Blanch bok choy, wash mushrooms and drain them. Cut bok choy as you want (I cut the stems about 2 x 1.5 cm while the leaves are a bit larger). Slice thinly the mushrooms. Set aside.
2. Marinate the chicken pieces with a mixture of soy sauce, salt and pepper for 5 - 10 minutes.
3. Heat the pan with a tiny bit of olive oil, add garlic and ginger. Stir for 1 - 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms, cook for another 1 -2 minutes.
4. Add the chicken pieces and stir until the pieces are almost cooked. Add the bok choy. Pour just enough water (lil amount of water) to fasten the cooking process and to make the dish not too dry.
5. Give some soy sauce and sprinkle salt and pepper. Stir again. Let it cook for another 1 - 2 minutes.
6. To serve: place it in a bowl. Sprinkle some white sesame seeds on the top.

1. Marinate the chicken with a mixture of soy sauce, salt and pepper before and the use of ginger are very important to enrich the flavor.
2. Use sesame oil instead of olive oil if you have. I don't use it since I don't have it (plan to buy after I move to new room).

Japanese Potato Salad

4 medium potatoes
3 baby carrots
1/2 cucumber
2 boiled eggs
Japanese "Kewpie" mayonnaise

1. Wash potatoes, carrots, and cucumber. For potatoes: peel off the skin, cut into 3 cm chunks. For carrots: peel off the skin, slice thinly. For cucumber: slice very thinly.
2. Boil potatoes until almost cooked. To test whether they are almost cooked (soft), insert fork inside potatoes. Add carrots. Let it cook for another 2 minutes.
3. In the mean time, crush the boiled eggs and mix them with enough mayonnaise. Sprinkle some salt and pepper. Taste.
4. In a big bowl, place the potatoes. Mash them until quite soft or leave small chunks if you want. Add carrots and cucumbers. If you want, sprinkle salt and pepper. Last, mix it with the mixture of mayonnaise.
5. To serve: refrigerate or let it cool first. However I prefer my salad warm :P

1. I omit the onion (because I don't like it XD). If you want to use it, cut the onion very thinly and mix it with the mashed potatoes.
2. Japanese "Kewpie" mayonnaise has different taste than the usual mayonnaise sold. The mixture is smoother and creamier, and the colour is yellow. It is made from apple cider or rice vinegar and contains small amount of MSG while the usual mayonnaise is made from distilled vinegar. Some dishes using Japanese mayonnaise are okonomiyaki, takoyaki, and yakisoba. For more information about Japanese "Kewpie" mayonnaise: wikipedia & Kewpie's official website. Since the taste is different than usual mayonnaise, it's recommended to use Japanese mayonnaise for Japanese dishes, including for this recipe. Try to find Japanese "Kewpie" mayonnaise in Asian market or in Asian section of your favorite supermarket. In Australia, "Kewpie" mayonnaise are sold in most of Asian markets and big supermarkets like Coles, Aldi, or Woolworths.


#1 My "Snow" Fruit Salad

After watching Jamie Oliver's Eat To Save Your Life yesterday, I realised that even though I tend to avoid consuming salt and meats (I only consume chicken in very small portion), use very lil oil (I have never deep-fried my meal, often stir fry and boil) and eat more grains, nuts and drink skim milk, but my diet habit is still not healthy. Why?

Simply because I don't eat enough veges and fruits.

Well, a cliche reason that many people often have is because they are busy and don't have enough time to prepare healthy meal, including I myself. Hey, I am human too! XD Even though I have been interested in learning about nutrition and cooking, but it seems that I forget about the importance of not just avoiding non-healthy food/ingredients, but also increasing the frequency of consuming healthy food/ingredients. So, to cut in short, this simple-non-consuming-time "Snow" Fruit Salad is my attempt to fix my bad habit! ^^

My "Snow" Fruit Salad

1/2 Fuji apple (or any small-size apple)
1/2 Naval orange
1/2 banana (short one)
10-15 blue grapes
4 strawberries
1-2 tbsp Whole Milk Natural Creamy Yoghurt (or your favorite yoghurt)

1. Wash all fruits except banana.
2. For apple: peeled off the skin and cut into small cubes. For orange: cut into slices according to its natural line. For banana: cut thinly and diagonally.
3. To serve: make a circle with a hole by place the orange slices in the large bowl and giving some space in the center. Add the apple cubes inside the hole. Then, carefully place the grapes in between the orange slices and apple cubes. Place strawberries on the top of apple cubes. And place banana slices outside the circle of orange slices. Finally, create the "snowy" atmosphere by adding yogurt on the top of fruits.

1. You can use any fruits that you like. More variations are better (that's why I insert "My" in the title ^^).
2. The yogurt I use is plain and sour, so I balance the taste by combining it with sweet fruits. If the yogurt you use has flavor and sweet, and you don't have sweet tooth, choose fruits with low level of sweetness or sour fruits.
3. Decorate the fruits as creative as you like :D
4. I only have this for my dinner (and snack - it's very fulfilling!) so the quantity is a bit higher than the quantity for normal dessert and the measurement is not that accurate.

P.S: Sorry for the poor picture. I can't transfer all photos taken by my Docomo to PC :(

Decole Red Riding Hood "Umbrella" Mug / Tea Diffuser Cup

I sooooooooooo want this mug!

Love at first sight if you want to call my experience *laugh* but honestly I have been searching for a mug that I really really want because I don't bring my own mug to Australia and until now there is no mug in here that can catch my attention (same case with the wallet). For me (or normally for a girl?), personal stuff should be things that we really like, that we think special, and more importantly they describe our taste and personality. This mug, actually doesn't really "me" *laugh* It's too girly and very childish, I admit. However it reminds me with something, something precious to me that makes me like this mug, or well, particularly the theme: The Innocent Red Riding Hood with the Evil Wolf (but actually the wolf looks cute rather than scary XD)

The mug is produced by a brilliant company in Japan, Decole Co.Ltd. You may want to check their creative products here. It will be awesome to have all of their products for my future house *laugh* The mug has being sold anywhere outside Japan too, including U.K and U.S.A (e.g. Japanese Gift Market). However since the shipping fee is expensive from those countries to Australia, so I found an online website (yes, only one) in Australia selling this mug.... for $48!!! *faint* Here is the link.

I know that it's very rare for me to find a mug that I really like, and it's very lucky to have an online shop in Australia selling it. But, it's very expensive isn't it. I am pretty sure the mug will be sold out soon if I don't grab this chance. However I don't like to spend my mom's money for things that aren't related to my study. My plan to work part time job won't happen somewhere around this time (I am busy with my exam). Hmmm... どうしょうかな~

More pictures:

WHO can't resist on having a cup of hot green tea with this CUTE mug?! ~>___<~

All pictures © Japanese Gift Market