#1: From Japan, I was just really very hungry
Milking the soy bean, part 1: learn how to make soy milk with no special equipment.
Milking the soy bean, part 2: learn how to prepare tofu at home.
The by-product of turning soy beans into soy milk or tofu is the ground up fibrous part of the bean. This is called okara or, more quaintly u no hana (卯の花) in Japanese. (I don't know what the u part is, but hana means flower, so it's the u-flower.) Okara is a nutritional powerhouse, containing soluble and non-soluble fiber, protein, calcium and other minerals. It's even more nutritious (because of the high fiber content) than soy milk or tofu. However, I have to confess I end up throwing much of the okara that's produced when I make tofu away. Most tofu makers actually either throw it away or give it away as feed to farms – most commonly to pig farms in Japan. (We asked a small local tofu manufacturer what he does with his okara, and he said he gives it to a local dairy farmer. Swiss cows eating okara…now that's Fusion for you.)
#2: From Jersey, Channel Islands, Rice and Noodles
Mae Gabriel tells her secrets to prepare the perfect Corned Beef Hash, that, by the way, looks very similar in technique and ingredients to the Panamanian "ropa vieja" which is prepared with a special cut commonly known as "falda para ropa vieja," or skirt! Will report on that one later :)
#3: From Panama, Panama FAQ
How Panamanian wine is made? Yes, you heard me right. Panama is a wine producing nation. This isn’t wine made from grapes, but wine made from the wide variety of fruits found in the highlands of Chiriqui.
72 year old Abelardo Coba has been making all natural organic wines for over 10 years. While he makes wine from Mangos and other tropical fruits, his most popular wine is his Vino de Mora or Blackberry wine.
#4: From Cambodia, Jinja
Do not miss this opportunity to check out this unique interview about Cambodian Food!
Nobody has written anything about the street food in Cambodia in English, apart from the occasional mention in travel guidebooks that say in all likelihood, Cambodian street food will kill you. As millions of Khmer people can attest this is mostly untrue. I'm also a fan of Saigon food blog, Noodlepie (www.noodlepie.com) which has a heavy orientation towards street food and it left me wondering why no one in Phnom Penh had written anything like it. The street food in Cambodia is similar but mostly distinct from it's neighbors in Thailand and Vietnam, and although the street food scene isn't as developed as either place yet, it is certainly on the way up.
#5: From UK, Cook Sister
"Got Cookies" will send your caloric intake for today out of the stratosphere, yes, nothing more dangerous for the "cookie monsters" we all have inside of us, waiting to attack.
Yes, yes, you don't have to remind me… Christmas is merely a warm, fuzzy memory by April. The daffodils are out, the shops are flogging Easter eggs and people are beginning to plan their summer holidays. Christmas is soooo old news! But then again, this isn't a news site, so let's talk about the UK bloggers’ pre-Christmas cookie swap at Johanna’s….
Once we scraped the fondue pot clean (just about!), the cookie tins were opened and everyone got to examine their contents. What can I say (except WOW!) – there was such a huge selection that everybody was bound to find something they loved! And best of all, once you'd eaten your fill over coffee at Johanna's, you got to take home a selection of everybody else's cookies! So we had Cecile's coconut macaroons, Joanna's huge sticky meringues with pistachios and dates (one of my faves), Zabeenas hazelnut macaroons, Johanna's traditional hausfreunde and mandelboegen and absolutely delectable little choco-mocca "beans", Melissa's blueberry shortcake biscuits, Martina's vanilla crescents and my iced chocolate crunchies (see recipe below). Oh yes, and as if that wasn't enough, Johanna also sent us all on our way with a fortifying shot of her home-made choco-mocca liqueur!
Read the complete post, and get the scrumptious recipes HERE!
#6: From India, Sailu's Food
Sailu writes about her adventures cooking with a traditional Indian earthen stove. This is so amazing, and the fact is that you could also implement this technique at home, following of course her detailed directions. This is an excerpt from the post:
With summer here,its barbecue time..:).I bought a new traditional earthen cooking stove a couple of days ago, called "Kumpati" in Telugu, where charcoal and firewood is used as a medium to cook food and is a popular stove with our rural folks. Kumpati, to us , serves as our "charcoal barbaque" and used often during summers to prepare chicken tikka,tandoori chicken and paneer tikkas.Its not like a typical tandoor but can be used as one and does serve the purpose of a tandoor to a certain extent.Kumpati basically uses "charcoal" as a cooking medium and the intense heat created by the hot coal cooks the food or meat very quickly giving it a crisp exterior and a soft and juicy interior and serves as a home style tandoor.
#7: From Singapore, The Hinata Diaries
Hungry for some authentic Beijing home cooking that you'll not fine elsewhere in Singapore, served fine dining style in a modern, elegant restaurant? Well, this is your lucky day…read ahead and you will know why!
Followed by what we can confidently proclaim to be the best gong bao ji ding (or Kung Pao chicken to all you non-mainlanders out there). I hesitate though, to call it the most authentic, given that a proper Beijing gong bao ji ding would have scrappy bits of chicken fat and bone – this version is all juicy chunks of flavoursome lean meat. What sets this apart though, is the generous and accurate use of Szechaun ma la peppercorns, spiteful little bombs that numb your tongue and set off sweat glands you never knew you possessed. Angelina was rather taken aback by her first encounter with them, but recovered quickly and tried to convince Philip to crunch on a spoonful. Philip dutifully obliged but spat them out fairly quickly with a bewildered expression.
As intimidating as they may sound (and you don't one to accidentally pop one into your mouth), these peppercorns impart a rich, full bodied aroma that becomes immediately addictive. Kinda like your first glass of red wine. Read the complete
#8: From Turkey, Veggie Way
Shares two of her original, delicious vegan creations perfect for vegan people, or served as appetizers or side dishes for non-vegan foodies!"Vegan Brunch Alternatives: Green Olive Salad &Fava Bean Spread"
#9: From Australia, Grab Your Fork
If you are curious like me about "Iraqui Food," do not miss the following restaurant review of: Sydney's only Iraqi restaurant "Al-Dhiaffah Al-Iraqi Restaurant"
The food is resonant with simplicty and humbleness. The food arrives unadorned and unstyled. It is sustenance and flavour without fancy pretensions.
The lambs shanks hiding under the rice are beautifully tender. Lamb bones in the bread/curry stew are full of meat and tantalising tendons. Beneath the lake of burnt sienna are layers of Iraqi bread, which have been patiently soaking up the flavours of curry and lamb fat.
Portions are generous and our host is ever-smiling. The cuisine seems to have nuances of Lebanese and Indian which meld surpisingly well.
The bill is a pittance and we have enough leftovers for another dinner it seems. It is packaged up for us neatly in a tower of takeaway containers encased in plastic bags. Peeking at the top is a mound of seven more loaves of complimentary Iraqi bread. Our quiet host nods at us with a shy and thoughtful smile and we nod back with happy grateful faces.
Eat well, see you next weekend!