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Fool! (No not the baking kind)

March 16th, 2006 (09:20 pm)

current mood: amused & foolish

And so, today, we managed to go shopping at the Asian food market. While there, I managed to pick up some supplies for baking some things including:

- more azuki beans
- agar-agar (powdered)
- katakuriko
- more mochiko (sweet rice flour)

Shopping was funny though. The male parental wanted to pick up some cooking stuffs for some dish written in one of his books (possibly one of the iron chef's recipes?), but the ingredients are Chinese so he can't read the characters and doesn't know what the items are. So, while we were shopping up and down the aisles, he watched for one of the shop staff that he suspected wouldn't speak any English. The first guy he targetted was middle-aged, and when male parental spoke to him, he very clearly indicated that he didn't speak English. This was perfect for the male parental as he then whipped out his recipe page, and started pointing to the ingredients he had no clue where to find or what they were. The guy indicated that it was in the next aisle, to which male parental promptly grabbed his arm and said "let's go!" *laughs* Me, I was still trying to find the agar-agar, so I waved and said "bye-bye" to the two. :P

After getting home, I then made the apple youkan. I used a red delicious apple even though I really wanted to find either a spartan or mac, but they didn't have any. -_-; The youkan turned out reasonably well, but definitely needs to sit and chill. The first time I tried it, after it solidified was a bit... meh. Neither here nor there; reasonable but nothing special. It was much better when I tried it after it sat for a couple hours in the fridge. Shall see how they are tomorrow after it's had a good chance to develop its full flavour.

Apple Youkan recipe. It's a light and refreshing sweet. Basically it's:

400 mL water
4g powdered agar-agar
80g sugar
1 apple

- In a pot, add water and agar-agar and dissolve over medium heat.
- Add sugar and let dissolve
- Peel and core and grate the apple, add the apple to the pot and bring to a boil.
- Let the pot cool at room temperature until no longer hot. Finely slice the apple skin and mix it in. Pour contents into a mold and let it set at room temp.

Serves 8; cooking time 40 mins

- Grating the apple means using a Japanese style grater which results essentially in apple sauce. IIRC, there are some plastic ones that can also be used (they have circular shaped ridges that'll do the job). The other option (possibly more difficult to find) is a clay bowl with ridges that the apple can be grated against; traditionally used with a wooden pestle in grating yama-imo for example).
- The apple will oxidize very quickly when grated so have everything else near ready before doing that step and work very quickly. Alternatively, find a willing victim to help make this dish. :P
- try using a thinner skinned apple?
- once solidified, let the youkan sit in the fridge until thoroughly chilled (or overnight) before eating

And tonight's dinner (part of) was the usual steamed clams/mussels with white wine that has become something I like to make ever since having mussels in Halifax (we almost always buy clams & mussels when going to the Asian market). The only thing was when going to cut up the carrots, one of them decided they didn't want to be sliced, so it rolled away and I ended up cutting my finger instead. Idiot! So now, I'm one finger short for the next couple of days while waiting for the cut to heal. >_<; It's decidedly awkward typing without that finger let alone doing things. *grumble*

The fun thing is, the female sibling unit, seeing the contents of yesterday's box, picked up some kool-aid (one of each flavour?) for me today. :P Tomorrow, the male parental is apparently going downtown and will try hitting the Korean food store and will look for some white beans and the other form of agar-agar (non-powdered) for me. :P Which reminds me, I still need to look up recipes for daifuku. I'd rather not make anything that'll give the female sibling hives. :P

Doubly the fool me; while out shopping today, we found the katakuriko that I knew I need for making mitarashi dango. What I didn't know was how much. So... being proactive, I picked up two packs (200g ea). I need? 2 tsp... ^^;;


Posted by: shoomy2003 (shoomy2003)
Posted at: March 17th, 2006 01:45 am (UTC)

you crack me up so much Shadow! I wish I had the ability to cook!

Posted by: Laurie (ichi_san)
Posted at: March 17th, 2006 09:24 am (UTC)

LMAO ! I loved the adventures of your dad in the Asian food market. But how's he going to do if the rest of the recipe also is in chinese ? He should kidnap this shop clerk and bring him home ! XD

The youkan turned out reasonably well, but definitely needs to sit and chill. The first time I tried it, after it solidified was a bit... meh.

LOL ! I know what you mean ! XDD I had the exact same impression when I tasted mizu-youkan right after it solidified. It tasted *much better* after a night in the fridge, though. It's like resting a little allowed its aroma to fully develop. Apple youkan sounds really yummy, and easy to make, too. Thanks for the updated recipe ! It's totally like a fruit jelly, isn't it ? It reminds me of what Tohru makes when she goes and visit Rin at the hospital.

Aw, knowing you hurt yourself makes me sad... Take good care of your finger. I know how it is, I'm very clumsy too, and often end up cutting myself with the stupidest things (e.g. paper sheets, and *boy* does that hurt T-T).

Good luck with daifuku ! Do tell how it went, ne ?

Posted by: Shadow (kagedreams)
Posted at: March 18th, 2006 03:51 am (UTC)

*laughs* IIRC, the recipe is written in Japanese so making the dish shouldn't be a problem.

The apple youkan is very much like the jelly Tohru made. I'm thinking next time of adding the juice from 1/2 a lime or maybe lime zest. Something to give it that bit of lime zing along with the apple. I tried adding lime juice (it was the only citrus nearby) to keep the apple from oxidizing but it didn't work. However a hint of it comes through very rarely in the youkan and that makes me wonder if it mightn't add a nice undertone. Worth experimenting with. ^___^

As for daifuku... So far I'm still hunting for a daifuku recipe I want to make. (I found one I liked but it called for four different flours!) Which reminds me, I think you were wondering about the insides for strawberry daifuku; it's not strawberry paste. It's a whole strawberry surrouned with either white or red bean paste wrapped in mochi. White bean paste is much lighter in flavour than azuki but I'm not sure what they're called. Haven't had much luck finding them since passing on buying them at Christmas. >_<;

As it is, tomorrow will be mitarashi dango day. Today, after getting some shiratamako and some more kanten, the male parental asked when I was going to make dango, afterall he went out and bought the stuff. *laughs* (He said there was no rush, but his tone said "I want"). ^^; I told him it had to wait for my finger to heal a bit since I had to handle the dough. He thought about that for a few moments (he's seen the recipe I'm thinking of making), then said he can handle the dough... Yeesh. Parents. Or is that children?? ^^;

Posted by: beamspam mcmuppet (snapdragon76)
Posted at: March 17th, 2006 03:04 pm (UTC)
Kureno --dur (flamika)

We used to have an Asian food market, but of course, it's not there anymore. And I think they may have had Pocky there, which I just had to fall in love with. Like it's incredibly easy to find around here...

Posted by: Shadow (kagedreams)
Posted at: March 18th, 2006 03:56 am (UTC)

Ouch! I know what it's like to lose an Asian market and it's definitely not fun. I don't suppose you're in a city where the regular foodstores might carry such items in their ethnic food section? I know our regular foodstore carries certain items and I think one even has Pocky but... >_<;

Posted by: beamspam mcmuppet (snapdragon76)
Posted at: March 18th, 2006 11:08 am (UTC)
Chibi Kureno (sleepdebtfairy)

Are you kidding me? I live in a cultural Daeth Valley. I might try the one and only Anime store we have...

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