Donburi

There’s something so warm and comforting about donburi that whenever I’m feeling sick or tired, I always crave a large bowl or two. If you’re not sure what donburi is, it is a Japanese rice dish served in different varieties – my favourite being oyakodon which literally means “parent and child bowl” aka chicken and egg. Kind of funny when you think about it!

It is a really simple dish to prepare, and will make you feel better almost instantly (I promise!). There’s lots of different ways of making it, here’s how I like to do mine:

Chicken and egg donburi (Oyakodon) 

This is actually gyu-donburi which is made with beef!

This is actually gyu-donburi which is made with beef!

The ingredients for this are per person, so just multiply accordingly. 

1 chicken breast or thigh, cut in to thin, small pieces
1 portion of cooked white rice
1 onion
1 chicken stock cube
Soy sauce/tamari
Spring onions, chopped.
1 egg

  1. Cook the onion in a small amount of oil in a sauce pan.
  2. After a few minutes, add in around 400 mls of water and the stock cube.
  3. Once it gets to a simmer, add in the chopped chicken breast and a splash of soy sauce/tamari to taste – I add around a tbs and then add more when eating.
  4. Let the stock simmer away and cook the chicken. How long this takes will depend on how big you cut the chicken, so be sure to check the largest piece to see it’s cooked.
  5. Add an egg to the stock/chicken mix. You can either stir it through, or let it poach lightly on top of the water.
  6. Add your rice to a bowl and pour the egg/stock/chicken mix over the rice. By this stage there shouldn’t be too much water left.
  7. Top with chopped spring onion and eat!

Steam Revolution at The Sisters

I was recently invited to a “0 calorie dining experience” at The Sisters by Miele to show off Miele’s steam revolution oven range. Now, I love calories so the idea of 0 calorie dining didn’t appeal to me, but having a meal cooked by Jacqueline O’Donnell, the chef patron of The Sisters was too exciting to pass up, so along I went.

I was lucky enough to get a tour of Glasgow Food Geek’s new place (check out her reno blog at Flat Out Glasgow) with the lovely House of Herby, and then we walked down to The Sisters. So we’d already warmed up – but then there was an exercise class waiting for us! I’m not entirely sure how long it went for but let’s just say I wasn’t dressed for exercising so didn’t really enjoy this all that much – and I was starving!

We were then seated and got to see Jak cook up the delicious menu. Starting with steamed purple broccoli with cured salmon and almonds, this was a lovely light start to the meal and disappeared in a matter of seconds.

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Steamed beetroot with broad beans rocket and puy lentils was perhaps one of the less exciting dishes – to me, it could have used some goats’ cheese with it but of course that would have upped the calorie content!

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Wild Highland venison loin with Scotch brambles. Who would have thought you could steam cook venison? It was steamed and then finished off in a pain to give it a bit of colour. This was an absolutely luscious dish and lovely with the brambles.

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Prawn stuffed lemon sole with herb butter sauce. This was tasty, fresh and really let the delicious lemon sole speak for itself.

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Steamed rhubarb and pineapple with coconut ice cream. I thought I was going to have to skip the ice cream on this course but then realised it was made from coconut milk/cream – amazing! With just a small amount of sugar added and some furious whipping, the ice cream was absolutely heavenly. The steam fruits were scorched lightly with some sugar to give it a little bit of caramelisation.

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I really enjoyed the experience of watching Jak in the kitchen and see the Miele steam oven in use. The food was delicious and packed with flavour, so it was great to see that not much needed to be added to the dishes to really let the ingredients shine.

Anyone can book to go along to the next session which is in Edinburgh on Monday 24 November at Restaurant Mark Greenaway. Just email rsvp@miele.co.uk and specify whether you’d like to go for lunch or dinner and they will let you know if there’s space left.

Thanks to Miele and The Sisters for inviting me along to this lovely evening of deliciousness. For full disclosure, I must admit that we did stop at McDonalds on the way home as I was in desperate need of some carbs! Don’t judge me too harshly!

Gordon St Coffee – Macmillan Cancer Weekend

I *meant* to get this posted up sooner, I promise! Gordon St Coffee are donating 25p from every hot drink sold this weekend to Macmillan Cancer Support. Why not pop in and treat yourself to a coffee made with The Glasgow Roast – using beans from Kenya, Brazil, Guatemala and India, it celebrates the city’s historical trading links with India, Africa and the Americas. The blend embodies the bold & bright characteristics for which the city and its people are renowned.

Gordon Street Coffee will be open from 6am on the World’s Biggest Coffee Morning (Friday September 26) until 10pm, and 6am-10pm on Saturday September 27 and 9am-10pm on Sunday September 28.

You can check out more information about the cancer morning on the Macmillan website here.

Mother India At Home: Recipes, Pictures, Stories

I first heard about Mother India after living in Glasgow for a year or so – I was at a friend’s house nearby, and we were getting takeaway for dinner. The way Mother India was mentioned was with such reverence that I was really curious about this restaurant. Little did I know that there was actually three restaurants in close proximity; Mother India, Dining In With Mother India and Mother India’s Cafe – this time, we were trying the food from the cafe. I remember being really impressed by the difference from takeaway Indian food I’d eaten Australia. Since then I’ve dined at all three restaurants and have consistently been blown away by the variety of dishes, the subtlety of flavours and the amazing, welcoming service.

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As Yelp Glasgow’s Community Manager, I was lucky enough to meet Monir Mohammed and Asif Ali to launch the Pakora Passport last year at Mother India on Westminster Terrace. I heard through twitter that they were releasing a cookbook and I knew I had to get my hands on a copy, stat. Particularly so I could finally get the recipe for daal, which is one of my favourite dishes.

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The book has loads of recipes, as you’d expect – including the above chana daal with scallops which will be the first dish I cook! But the part of it I enjoyed so far was reading Monir’s story about how Mother India came to be. It is a really fascinating read for anyone who has enjoyed the delights of the restaurants and who loves Glasgow – Monir’s story is simply amazing. I won’t give any of the details away, but I will suggest you pop along to one of the restaurants for a meal, and grab a copy of the book while you’re there.

Mother India at Home, by Monir Mohammed and Martin Gray is available to buy from Mother India, Dining In with Mother India and Mother’s India’s Cafe in Glasgow, and Mother India’s Cafe in Edinburgh, for £20.

The Foodies Guide to Glasgow and the West

I was delighted to be asked by Fraser Wilson to contribute to his book. I met Fraser last year at a food blogging event at Butchershop Bar & Grill and not long after he emailed me to ask me to add a recipe to The Foodies Guide to Glasgow and the West.

Cue total panic.

While I love, love cooking, coming up with a recipe for publication was incredibly daunting and I emailed Fraser many times pestering him about what I should submit. I eventually went for a recipe combining a few of my loves – Scottish salmon and Japanese flavours to make salmon with miso pesto and sautéed sweet potato and kale. You’ll need to buy the book to get the recipe!

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He also interviewed me to introduce the bloggers section which was super cool (although nerve wracking, and he was writing in shorthand so I couldn’t check what he was writing down). Anyway, I didn’t have to worry as I’m delighted with the write up!

So, why should you buy the book?

Get on it!

 

Kitchen Tips & Tricks

One of my resolutions for the year was to really get back into home cooking – it’s a little all over the shop, if I’ll be honest! I started to compile a list of tips & tricks (aka kitchen lifehacks!) of things that help me out when cooking and I wanted to share them here. These might be super obvious but have been really handy revelations to me!

Listen! This is such a simple cooking tip but I never even realised how important was until I did a day at The Cook School in Kilmarnock. It makes life so much easier when you’re cooking away to have one (or two) ears focused on what’s happening on the stove – you’ll easily be able to tell if something if cooking at too high a temperature. I’m very much a multi-tasking cook so am normally chopping away, and really appreciate being able to tell if things are going wrong without constantly checking with my eyes.

How to open a coconut: I had a nightmare of a time recently trying to open a coconut. Nothing would work – I’d watched all the YouTube videos I could find and still, no coconut. I finally stumbled upon this trick. Drain the coconut through the eyes as usual (be careful not to stab yourself – I used a meat thermometer which I’m sure wasn’t the best idea). Heat your oven to 180 C and pop the coconut in for about 15 minutes. Remove using an oven mitt and hopefully it will have cracked. Then you’ll find getting the flesh out much easier!

The best way of cooking bacon: I’ve been cooking bacon in bulk recently, a whole packet at a time. It is so much easier to spread it out on baking paper and put it in the oven rather than pan fry it. I find it takes about 15 minutes at 200 C and the result is perfectly crispy bacon.   

The easiest way to cut bacon: This is definitely from a Life Hack I’ve read somewhere. Forget about chopping bacon with a knife – just get out the kitchen scissors and chop away. You can do about 4 slices at a time as well, saving time.

Keeping your herbs super fresh: I love herbs but hate the price and the waste. I decided to switch to packets of frozen herbs until I realised they really don’t have enough flavour. When re-reading The Stone Soup e-books I got a while back, I saw her tip for keeping herbs fresh. Simply use some, and pop the rest in a glass of water in the fridge. You’ll extend their life by quite a few days – I found coriander lasted for about a week when it was normally just 2 days.

Perfectly ripe avocado: I’ve fallen for the labels before – and always been disappointed. So much so that I’d stopped buying avo in the UK as it was never ripe the way I liked. Joanna Blythman’s fab book “What to eat” gave me the tip of putting avocados in the same bag as bananas to help them ripen. You still need to beware of oven-ripening but has now saved me from avo wastage.

Simple tips & tricks, but these have saved me lots of time & money! Have you got any great tips or tricks you’d like to share?