Hamburg – Japanese take on the Hamburger

One of my favourite things to eat and I always wondered how the Japanese made there Hamburgers so soft and tender. I’ve finally found the answer after reading Japanese Soul Cooking by Tadashi Ono and Harris Salat. It’s actually much simpler to make than I imagined and the recipe is very effective and delicious.

This recipe makes 4 patties

Ingredients:  
2 Tablespoons of Butter  
1/2 Medium Onion (peeled and finely chopped)  
1 clove of garlic  
1/2 cup panic crumbs  
1/2 cup of milk  
16 ounces of beef  
1/2 teaspoon of salt  
1 teaspoon soy sauce  
1 egg 
1 tablespoon vegetable oil  
1/4 cup sake/alcohol 
1/4 cup Worcester sauce (can use okonomoyaki sauce to substitute) 1/2 cup ketchup cup ketchup
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Recipe:

Melt 1 tablespoon of butter over medium heat and sauté onion and garlic until translucent and soft (5 minutes). Allow the onions to cool to room temperature. Mix together panko crumbs and milk in bowl and let it sit for 5 minutes for the panko to absorb the milk. Mix together the meat, salt, soy sauce, egg, onions and panko milk combination. Use your hands to mix for at least 2 minutes so it becomes slightly sticky and holds well together. Divide the meat into 4 parts and lightly dab your hands with oil so it doesn’t stick. Press down in the center so it prevents puffing as its cooks and it cooks through easier. Heat the remaining tablespoon of butter and oil in skillet and cook for around 12 minutes flipping once until its cooked through. For the sauce: in the skillet that you cooked the hamburgers add the sake and cook for 20 seconds to deglaze the pan. Add the Worcestershire sauce and ketchup and cook for about 1 minute to create a think sauce. Serve this sauce with the hamburg. This recipe is usually served with rice and a side of vegetables like beans but I served it with focaccia and avocado because I was craving hamburgers. Here’s a link to the focaccia recipe that I used with this!

Happy eating!

Olive Oil Focaccia

I absolutely love making bread and love eating it as well. It’s so hearty and warming and obviously carb-y. Focaccia is one of the easiest breads that you can make. It requires little work but it makes a beautiful bread that’s not too heavy and thick but still satisfies your bread cravings.
Ingredients:
1 Teaspoon of yeast
630 grams of water
700 grams of water
30 grams of flour
30 grams of olive oil
1 teaspoon of salt and extra 1 teaspoon for the top
3/4 teaspoon of sugar
1 teaspoon of oregano
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Stir together 1 teaspoon yeast and 630 grams of water in bowl of a stand mixer fitted with dough hook. Add the 700 grams of flour and mix on low speed until ingredients are combined. Mix on medium speed for about 2 minutes. Turn mixer off and allow mixture to sit for 10 minutes. Add 30 grams of olive oil and 1 teaspoon salt and ¾ teaspoon teaspoon sugar and mix on low speed until combined (1 min). Turn the speed up a notch and mix until thick and starting to pull away slightly from the sides of the bowl (3 min). Increase speed to high and let dough mix until it comes together (6 min). Coat inside of large bowl with olive oil and transfer the dough to it. Fold the dough over a few times and cover with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature (2 hours). Oil a baking sheet and remove dough from container with oiled hands and press dough into pan. Stretch until covers the entire surface of the pan. Let it rest for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 400. Use a pastry brush to paint with 30 grams of olive oil and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of oregano. Bake for 30 minutes.

Happy eating!

Gochujang/Pepper Paste Pasta

One of my favourite fusion foods to make is this Korean- inspired pasta dish. Whenever I’m craving a spicy pasta this is my go to recipe. It’s sweet, spicy and very cheesy. Everything you want in a dish essentially. Should I call this dish Gochunese Pasta? Or Bolojang Pasta? What sounds better to you?

 

fullsizeoutput_24c0Ingredients:

1 pound of beef

2 heaping tablespoons of gochujang (pepper paste)

1 tablespoon of tomato paste

1 tablespoon of corn syrup

1 large diced onion

1 teaspoon of gochu garu (pepper flakes)

1 teaspoon of oregano

½ cup of frozen vegetables (corn, peas, carrots)

1 cup of cream/ milk

3 servings of pasta (use the finger measuring trick)

½ cup of cheese

Instructions:

Saute the diced onion until soft then add the beef, make sure to break it up. Meanwhile boil water for the pasta with 2 teaspoons of salt. To the onions and beef, add the gochujang (pepper paste), tomato paste, corn syrup and gochugaru (pepper flakes). Add in the frozen vegetables. Mix till combined and then add the cream. Season with oregano. Turn on medium heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Then taste, if needed add salt and pepper. When pasta is ready (almost fully cooked) place into the sauce with ¼ cup of the pasta water. Add the cheese and mix to combine. It’s ready to serve when all the cheese has melted.

Happy Eating!

 

 

Nutty Granola Waffle Recipe

Found this recipe off the book The Hot Bread Kitchen Cookbook: Artisanal Baking from Around the World by Jessamyn Waldman Rodriguez and Julia Turshen, and decided to give it a try (made a few tweaks according to the ingredients I had available). I’ve never had granola in waffles and it sounded pretty life changing so I had to make a batch of it. I make brunch every weekend so I am always on the lookout for new recipes to try. Waffles are one of my favourite things to make so I’m always looking for the perfect waffle recipe. Please share below if you have a good recipe to share. I’ve halved the granola ingredients because I ran out of honey but you can double it if you want to make the whole amount of granola from the book. I would make the granola a day ahead of time so when you wake up to make the waffles the next day you don’t have to spend a few hours making the granola.IMG_2860

Below I’ve listed the ingredients and also listed the ingredients in the recipe as well.

Granola ingredients:

155 grams of nuts

155 grams of oats

125 grams of honey

55 grams of oil

½ tablespoon of boiling water

½ teaspoon salt

Waffle ingredients:

220 grams of flour

2 tablespoons of sugar

15 grams of oats

2 teaspoon of baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

360 grams of milk

60 grams of melted butter (cooled)

Nutty Granola:

Preheat to 325. Put your favourites nuts total 155 grams of nuts (almonds, walnuts, pecans, peanuts etc.) on a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer. Roast for 15 minutes. Mix in 155 grams of oats. Whisk in 125 grams of honey, 55 grams of oil, 1/2 tbsp boiling water, 1/2 tsp salt. Mix evenly. Bake the granola until dry about 40 minutes and stir every 10 minutes or so, so that it doesn’t burn. It should come out dark brown. Turn the oven off and open the door. Let the granola cool in the oven make sure to stir every so often.

Waffles:

Whisk together the 220 grams flour, 2 tbsp sugar, 15 grams of oats, 2 tsp baking powder and ½ teaspoon salt. Whisk together the 2 large eggs, 360 grams of milk and 60 grams of melted (cooled) butter. Stir in the egg mixture into the flour mixture to fully incorporate. Ladle batter into iron and sprinkle with granola. Done after 5 minutes on the waffle iron.

My review of the recipe:

For me personally, the waffles weren’t the best. My criteria for a good waffle, is usually a waffle that is crunchy, has a slight butter flavour and soft on the inside. This one was definitely soft but not crunchy. Instead it was flimsy and lacked flavour. It wasn’t particularly sweet or savoury. If I were to tweak this recipe, I would probably add more butter, a few more tablespoons of sugar to give it more flavour. Maybe it was my waffle machine or I measured incorrectly, try the recipe for yourself and tell me how your waffle turned out.

Happy Baking!

Sugar Free Diet

If you’ve been wondering why there have been a lack of posts on my blog lately, it’s because I’m sad to announce that I’ve been on a sugar free diet. That’s right, no sugar for me. If you don’t know me, my favourite foods are ketchup, Sriracha and well, desserts in general. I know the first 2 are condiments but to me they are part of main food groups. If I’m eating fries, the ratio of ketchup to fries is 2:1. 2 being the fries. 

Now the reason I’m doing a sugar free diet, you probably guessed it, is because I want to lose weight and of course I want to be healthier. I’ve been eating a lot of junk food recently and I wanted a cleanse. I’ve read a lot of reports saying cleanses are not good for you but I couldn’t resist. It was so tempting. I read a lot about Asian celebrities doing this fad recently, so I decided that for the month of November I would be essentially sugar free. No sweets, no sugar, no brown sugar, nothing. Now when I say sweets, I mean anything with added sugar, not foods with sugar originally in them. Foods like fruits or sweet potatoes are all okay for eating. But donuts, Crème brûlée and bread are all examples of no-no’s.

It’s been exactly a month into this cleanse and I’ve discovered a lot of things. I’m Asian and soy sauce is a MAIN INGREDIENT in Asian recipes. I was sad to discover that soy sauce has sugar in it. The lowest moment in the past week, was being told that we were going to have a hot pot party at home. I prepared all the ingredients and checked for sugar in everything. Now the main component of hot pot, is the sauce that you dip everything in. The ingredients can be fresh, the soup base can be amazing but without a good sauce, to me it feels like it a flavourless hot pot. I checked all the sauces and the only ones that I could actually use were sesame oil and sesame paste. Everything else contained sugar. Let’s just say, the hot pot party, for me at least, turned into a boiling pot of flavourless sadness. Everything tasted quiet bland and I also couldn’t eat my favourite hot pot food, beef balls (who knew that beef balls would contain sugar!).

If you want to know what my plans are for the rest of the month, what I have been eating, a more in depth look at what I’ve been doing and recipes; please comment below! I’ve also been planning out my December food plan and lets just say you can look forward to a lot more baking and recipe content.

 Thanks for reading and happy eating!

 Miyu

Love Letter to Meat and Bread’s porchetta sandwich

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Dear Box of Goodness,

Thank you for gracing us with your meaty presence. Your crisp porchetta topping and soft ciabatta bread makes for a perfect meal. The succulence of the meat and the flavourful sauce completes the entire picture.

The porchetta sandwich holds a dear place in my heart.

Forever my go-to sandwich.

Miyu

Nemesis Coffee

  • Located conveniently beneath SFU Downtown campus
  • Limited street parking parking
  • 302 W Hastings St, Vancouver, BC V6B 2N4
  • Good selection of savoury foods and a few selection of baked goods

 

Being my second visit to Nemesis, I was excited to drink their coffee and eat their avocado toast yet again. The space is not huge and it does get busy sometimes so you are lucky if you get a table all to yourself.

 

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I had the avocado toast again this time because I really enjoyed it last time. The balance of the honey sweetness and the savouriness and creaminess of the avocado went very well together. The only downfall was that the toast was a little too crunchy this time. I understand that they wanted a crunchy toast to balance off the creaminess of the avocado but it was a little too much for me.

 

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Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

I also had the lavender lemon tart. It was perfectly tart if you enjoy sour desserts. The lavender still came through and accompanied the sourness well. It was very fragrant but not overly fragrant. The crust itself was nice and crunchy. The sourness of the lemon cut through the butter-i-ness well making the dessert not too heavy. My only complaint was that it was a little small for the price. Finally, the latte, very fragrant. Hints of nuts and fruit. The latte was again kind of small but enough if you are just looking for something to snack on and not a pick me up the size would be perfect for you.

 

Service: Last time I was here, I had ordered the waffles but unfortunately they were all out so instead they refunded my waffles and gave me a different dish on the house. I was pleased at the service. I didn’t ask for a refund or anything and was willing to pay but because of this mishap, it left me with a great impression of Nemesis. The baristas are friendly and the tables are always clean. 5/5

 

Overall: Service was good, food was good, atmosphere was good. Nemesis is one of my favourite café’s in Vancouver. Its simple and they pay attention to the small details. 4/5

Would I return: Yes.

Would I recommend it: Yes

 

Nemesis Coffee Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Zenstone

NOW CLOSED

Located in one of the strip malls in Richmond (next to Meet Fresh Richmond location)
1131-8328 Capstan Way, Richmond, BC V6X 4B6
Small coffee shop offering macarons
Zenstone, known for their different coloured lattes, caught my attention when I was looking for some caffeine free latte’s (but also because they had a buy 1 get 1 50% off deal). It’s simple looking décor and relaxing atmosphere was enjoyable, but as I took a closer look I noticed the tackiness of the wallpaper.
As I stepped foot into the café, it was empty and quiet. There was no one inside and even the barista was in the back. It felt unwelcoming and kind of cold. As I walked towards the menu, I found what I was looking for, the sesame latte and the sweet potato latte.
The sesame latte tasted like a watered down Hong Kong style sesame dessert. The bottom was very thick because of the sesame paste. It was just the right sweetness but I wish it was a little more fragrant. The sweet potato latte was only slightly purple in colour. It tasted like sweet potato but the sweet potato flakes or strands were not enjoyable, especially as a component for a latte.
Service: Not much to say about service since all I did is order at the counter. She was polite and not overly friendly.

Cons

Lack of baked items to snack on with the coffee
By the time the coffee came was done it was cold
not good for people who are taking transportation

Pros

Not very busy so lots of empty space to study
Good for people who want to feel like they are enjoying a latte but can’t have caffeine
Lots of parking
Overall: Something different, but not worth it – 6/10
Would I recommend it: Only for a one time visit just to try it out and take a picture
Would I go back: No

O5 Tea

  • 2208 W 4th Ave, Vancouver, BC V6K 1N8
  • Tea bar perfect for sampling and trying tea
  • Quaint, charming interior
  • Mix of Japanese and Caucasian influences
  • Hangout where you could spend a long time watching people

I came here with two of my friends to hangout and chit chat while enjoying some matcha. Our goal was to try some of their matcha and have a little snack before dinner later. We were recommended the Matcha #1 because it was the most popular. But we really couldn’t decide which one we wanted so we decided to get a shot of all of their matcha’s just to try it out. I enjoyed the Matcha #1.5 the most. It was fragrant and not too bitter, perfectly balanced.

The ambiance was quiet and relaxed. I could see myself spending hours there just watching them prepare tea for others. As they get shipments throughout the day, they share with you what they were delivered and gave out samples. Sitting at the bar is not just to enjoy a sip of tea, but its an experience to appreciate. It’s an art display that you enjoy with all your senses.

Service: friendly but not over invasive. He was very knowledgeable and polite. He didn’t try to rush us even though we had been sitting there for over 10 minutes without ordering. Everything was very efficiently made while not sacrificing the art of making tea. 4.5/5

Cons

  • No parking available only street parking

  • Could do with more snacks

Pros

  • Good amount of seating

  • Picturesque

  • Peaceful

Overall: Great place to just relax while enjoying tea. The only thing is I wish they had more options for food or snacks to accompany the tea. I know their main focus is tea but I think there are some snacks that can enhance the taste of the tea even more. 8/10

Would I recommend it: Yes – if you are looking for a place to enjoy some time with others or even by yourself, this place is peaceful.

O5 Rare Tea Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

La Forêt Bakery and Café

  • located between Metrotown and Royal Oak Station (close to skytrain)
  • 6864 jubilee Avenue, Burnaby BC
  • cafelaforet.com
  • Korean warehouse style coffee shop

The recent talk of the town, La Foret Bakery and Café was on my lists of to-try after the first week of its opening. It’s beautiful décor and marble aesthetics had social media crazies alike going senseless to take a “Instagram-worthy” picture. Before visiting, I did some research on the café itself. I was initially attracted to the décor but after looking at the menu, I was excited to try the food as well. The menu includes dishes that had bulgogi in it which tipped me off into believing that it was owned and run by Koreans. The style of the coffee shop also reminded me of the warehouse coffee shops in Korea –  big and beautiful. Each section of the coffee shop had a different theme.

My initial impression when I walked in was wow this is huge and definitely my style. But to my disappointment I found the pastry display empty. I was pretty upset because I was looking forward to trying their pastries and cakes. All that was in the pastry case were some brownies, kuchen, madeleine’s and canale’s. Because we came too early, the brunch menu wasn’t available yet but we were able to order the sandwiches, panini’s and breakfast sandwiches. We decided to opt for the avocado and egg sandwich because it was served on top of a squid ink toast. The toast was really nothing special. The squid ink bread tasted like regular Asian soft milk bread. The flavours were okay but nothing I would come back.

We also ordered the madeleine and canale. They were definitely from the day before because the madeleine was very dry and the canale was too pudding like. It lacked in holes and rum flavour. It tasted more like rubber than a baked pudding. I had the matcha affogato which was actually my favourite thing on the menu. It was the perfect balance of sweet and bitter. It maintained its matcha flavour while still allowing the coffee flavour shine through.

Service: I’ve been seeing a lot of complaints online. But my experience with the front counter was too limited to really talk about it. The front of house I interacted with was pleasant and relatable. She was able to recommend me products that she thought would be of interest. As for the barista making my coffee, he was busy making drinks that were ordered after mine, before he decided to make the espresso that was to go with my then melting matcha ice cream. 3/5

Cons

  • Limited parking available
  • Lack of pastries available in the morning
  • Baked goods not made in the morning but leftovers from the day before
  • Lack of organization with food and drink preparation
  • Food is not worth going for

Pros

  • Lots of communal seating and private tables as well
  • Nice décor

Overall: If you are looking to take a nice picture then you should visit once to take pictures to your hearts content. But for good food, I would not recommend this place. 5/10

Would I recommend it: No – If your looking for a place to study I would say maybe because they do have a lot of seating. But the music and the amount of people might be a little too much and distract you from concentrating.

Would I go back: No

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