[HEALTHY] Fast-Food — the Asian way

I know this sounds sketchy, but LISTEN UP! 

Chris, during his time teaching in South Korea, lived on kimbap which is something you will find in any Korean gas station, 7-11 type stores, and groceries. Images probably cross your mind of seaweed fried twinkies (which even makes me gag), but no, it’s so much more than that.

How to Make Onigiri (おにぎり) / Omusubi (おむすび)

My first experience with kimbap was the Japanese version. This version is called onigiri (or omusubi)–pretty much the same thing. It’s basically a rice ball, filled with magical goodness. I first experienced this in no other than my hometown CITY of Santa Monica. It was a hole in the wall we passed tons of times until one time we didn’t. We stepped inside, speculative, and Chris immediately perked up at the fact of omusubi being served here in Santa Monica! It seemed pretty legit too. This place is called Sunny Blue, and they provide fresh omusubi filled with various ingredients: miso beef, mushroom, pickled plum, etc.

No joke, we literally hit this place up at least twice a week. Sorry, dog-walking cash…

So, ever since my experience with omusubi, I crave for it often. Unfortunately, I haven’t found a substitute yet here in Boulder, but to be honest, I haven’t looked hard yet. Thus, when everywhere else fails you DO IT YOURSELF! …and depend on your partner for instruction.

SO. Look below for a recipe, although the stuffing can be altered to whatever you want. We just chose to go with spinach and mushrooms because that’s what the fridge gods had in store for us:

  • 1 cup sticky rice
  • 1 huge portobella mushroom
  • 2 handfuls of spinach
  • Sprinkle of sesame seeds
  • Nori seaweed 
  • Ton of soy sauce

First, you need to make some sticky white rice. I don’t care how you do it, just do it.

Then, stir-fry the mushrooms and spinach in a pool of soy sauce…(and garlic)

Once those are cooked to perfection, in comes the mastery. That’s when I stepped out and Chris stepped in to handle the rolling of it.
DISCLAIMER: We didn’t have the right saran-wrap to shape them the proper way, so we attempted to use wax paper (fail with hot rice) and then settled with our hands. So you’re getting the ghetto version. Which may be what you want 😉

First, lay out the rice so you can embed the wonderful stuffing ingredients inside

Then, roll it up (with your hands or with plastic wrap) into a ball and pour sesame seeds on top.

Once that’s done, you put the nori seaweed on the rice ball to wrap it around for that delicious crunch. And voila–DELICIOUS.

Enjoy and comment if you have any questions!

Enhanced by Zemanta

Mushroom Egg Tacos

So, sometimes you wake up on the wrong side of the bed. Especially when you have half the furniture you need in your new apartment, and it’s spread out all over the tiny “living room.” It’s okay though, because there’s still that nice kitchen, with a big breakfast bar, plenty of cabinets, and a ton of bench space (perhaps a Kiwi term for “counter top” in the U.S.). Perhaps not the best stove (they kind of lean backwards), but at least it works, right?

Even though I wasn’t in the best mood, I had an idea for breakfast. I only buy produce that’s on sale and in season. So we have…mushroomseggs (okay, not a seasonal thing really, but always good to have)…and tortillas (sorry I’m from SoCal). Also had some mild salsa to put in as well, and can’t forget sharp (UN-DYED!) cheddar cheese!

First, gotta get those mushrooms cooking. There’s some olive oil in there, garlic (whenever I cook something, you will see garlic), and small bits of rosemary. I grew up having a huge rosemary bush outside our house, so not having fresh was a bit of a downer.

So as my mood immediately skyrocketed (who’s wouldn’t with an aroma of garlic, olive oil, and rosemary everywhere? HEAVEN), I let the mushrooms bathe in oil and garlic and cook to perfection. I moved on to prepare other things that would go along with this concoction. I heated up some MorningStar “Chik’n” and sliced em up. Even for you meat-lovers, these are really good. I suggest also the Buffalo ones for a kick. You can also see I grated just a little cheese on the side. If something needs to be cooked for a little bit, always take the time to prepare your other ingredients so you can have it timed perfectly (like when Chris gets out of the shower)!

Moving on to prepare the yellow corn tortillasThey’re pretty small, but I always prefer corn tortillas over flour, just love the texture and homemade-like flavor. I shove the mushrooms to the side of the pan and let the tortillas heat up and cook for just a minute or so on each side so it’s nice and hot with a firmer structure. Then, lay em out and put salsa over it. After that, I lay the slices of “chik’n” on the base as well.

The mushrooms are cooked to perfection, juicing with garlic and rosemary flavor. Now time to get the eggs in. I use 3 eggs, pop em in the pan, scramble them in there and toss the mushrooms into the eggs while they’re still cooking to make it feel more combined than separate ingredients.

It takes less than three minutes. Good thing I have the tortillas ready. I sprinkle cheese into the egg and mushrooms and it melts almost immediately. The tortillas are ready, with salsa and “chik’n” at the base so I designate the mixture into each of the tacos. It fills up the soft tacos easily, spilling out on the sides. But that’s okay–I have forks too! Easy recipe and very very cheap. After cooking and eating, I was in a great mood. Cooking will always cheer you up! Enjoy.

Welcome to Boulder!

So we’ve finally arrived to Boulder, Colorado–our new home after graduating college. We took a road trip from New York all the way to here then to California then back to here again. It was many long hot hours in a cramped car, but we got to see a lot of America which was really enjoyable.

We got an apartment (450 sq ft) and set to decorating and finding some furniture. After dumpster diving, we ended up with a comfortable futon bed, a bookshelf, and a bedside table. Although we may not have all the furniture yet, we certainly got the food down after several trips to various grocery stores.

Our first cooked meal was a breakfast. Stir-fried eggs with spinach and soy sauce to top. Pretty simple, pretty fast, all with fresh ingredients:

Happy with our first meal, we got back to work: rearranging the limited furniture we had, cleaning the floors and walls, and going out to buy goods we needed like tongs, a trash can, and more hangers. We found that the Boulder Public Library was very close, had great hours, beautiful architecture, and–most importantly–FREE WIFI! We both had lots to do online. It really throws you off after having Internet close to your finger tips at all times to going to no internet anywhere in the house (or in our case, the apartment). So we began to spend hours and hours in there, getting stuff done, job applications, and relaxing. 

With our business and craze of getting the apartment together, we ate lunch almost every day at a great Tibetan family-owned place called Tibet Kitchen. Amazing lunch deals ($4.95 for a lunch plate with 1 entree and a huge bed of rice) and a great atmosphere, we had to keep coming back (plus it’s only a 5 minute walk from our apartment).

After eating to our heart’s content out, we knew we had to keep dinners in the apartment to save some pennies. We went to the grocery store (so far we’ve visited King Sooper’s, Safeway, and Whole Foods) and did our casual browsing. We came across some wild-caught shrimp for a reduced price. Chris loves to cook seafood so we scored right away.

That night, he made garlic shrimp. Very simple, throw a bunch of fresh shrimp (dead, of course) into a frying pan, pour some oil and garlic in and let it cook! One of the more simpler things to cook. We had a great messy meal, getting oil and garlic all over our hands as we de-shelled the shrimp and popped ’em in our mouths. Pretty delicious and a very low budget meal. We had plenty of leftovers the next day to make curried shrimp and mushrooms over rice the next day.

And here we are, in Boulder, slowly settling in and our apartment is looking like it’s becoming a home. We love it here. And we’ll love it even more after we get out on the rocks tonight to practice climbing with family.

Enhanced by Zemanta