Friday, September 30

Shirataki Noodles

 In the last few months, we've been getting many requests for Shirataki (しらたき) noodles. Also known as Miracle Noodles. Thanks to Dr. Oz Show and our local newspaper, many consumers are now widely aware of the benefits this miracle noodle can provide as a carb substitute. Shirataki are low carb, low calorie, low fat, high soluble fiber, and gluten-free noodles made from konjac yam or elephant yams.

These Asian yams are also called "Devil's Tongue" Yams and the word "shirataki" means "white waterfall", which describes the translucent appearance of the noodles.

Shirataki have little to no flavors, they absorb the flavor of the sauce or soup that you cook them into. You can find these noodles in most Asian grocery stores and some health stores. There are the traditional shirataki and konnyaku and there are tofu shirataki noodles. Tofu Shirataki are soy base and requires refrigeration before its open therefore it has a shorter shelf life than the traditional ones. It taste great with spaghetti sauce and also great with stir fry or soup. So if you're one of those that doesn't want to give up pasta but needs to lay off the carbs, this is an awesome substitute.

Each package provides a recipe for you to try.

I considered posting a recipe on our blog but there's a place where they've dedicated recipes using this product. Shirataki Noodles Recipes.


Enjoy and Good Eats!

Wednesday, September 28

Recipe: Ampalaya Con Carne

Image courtesy of Wikipedia
Bitter Melon or Bitter Gourd, known to Filipinos as "ampalaya" or "parya". It is widely use in Asia, Africa, and also the Caribbeans. Like it's name suggested, this vegetable is bitter in taste and with it's wrinkly and oval exterior, it's not an appetizing site. However, when mixed with other ingredients and sauces, it brings a savory goodness that is bitter sweet. Plus, it's many health benefits far outweighs the bitter flavor. This recipe we selected is a famous Filipino dish but it is a dish that is similar to many Southeastern bitter melon dish.


Ampalaya Con Carne
(Bittermelon w/ Meat)
Items in yellow means we have it on our shelves at Mama Nida's Asian Market

1 tsbp of vegetable oil
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup of Sliced Onion
1lb Beef, cut into strips ( Chicken or Pork)
2lb Bittermelon, Sliced thinly
1 can of Tausi (black Beans), drained
1/2 cup of water
1 Diced Tomato (Optional)


Note: To reduce bitterness of the bittermelon, soak in water and tsp of salt  for 5-10 minutes. Squeeze excess juice out before cooking.

Instructions:

1. In a medium to large size saucepan, start by sauteing the minced garlic and onion in vegetable oil.
2. Add beef and cook until brown.
3. Add bittermelon, tausi, and diced tomatoes.Then add water.
4. Seasoned with salt and pepper according to your preference.
5. Cover and let simmer for 20 minutes until the water is reduced to half.
6. Done. Serve over steamed jasmine rice.


Mangantayon. Let's Eat.






Monday, September 12

Recipe: Daifuku or Mochi

Mochi (Japanese: 餅) is a Japanese rice cake made of glutinous rice or sweet rice pounded into a paste and molded into shape. The traditional mochi-pounding ceremony is called Mochitsuki.

While also eaten year-round,  mochi is a traditional food for the Japanese New Year. Mochi is also a prominent snack all over Asia. Mochi is also known as daifuku or maoshi or mashu. (Wikipedia.org)

Although the traditional way of making mochi says to pound on a cook glutinous rice into a paste, mochi can easily be prepared with mochiko, glutinous rice flour, and done so in a microwave. The ones I've made and served today was quite a simple recipe to make.


Mochi w/ Sesame Seeds
by: Gigi
 
Image courtesy of NYDailyNews.com

Serving: 25
Ingredients in orange indicated we have it on our shelves

Ingredients:
1 box  Mochiko (Sweet Rice flour)
1/2 cup Powdered Sugar
2 tbsp  Sesame Oil
3 tbsp Roasted Sesame Seed
2 cups Water
1/2 cup potato starch.

Instructions:

1. In a big mixing bowl, combine mochiko, 1/4 cup of sugar, and 2 cups of water. Mix well until batter is smooth.
2. Cover lightly with a plastic wrap (I used a plate) and microwave for 5 minutes.
3. After 5 minutes, remove mixture and mix well. Microwave again for 3 minutes.
4. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes until it is cool enough to handle.
5. Dust over a counter with some potato starch and light up three bowls: Powdered Sugar, Sesame oil, and Roasted sesame seeds.
6. Before starting, I found oiling my hands with sesame oil kept the mixture from sticking to my palms. You'll have to do that every other scoop.
7. When the mochi is nice and cool, scoop a spoonful into your palm and roll it into a ball.
8. Drop it into the bowl of sugar, then into the sesame oil, then into the sesame seed and place onto a plate.
9. Repeat until all the mochi is gone.

Note: If you don't like sesame seed, then don't use them, you can use any seeds or crushed nuts you prefer and use your preferred oil as well. Or, none at all, just coat your mochi with powdered sugar and DONE.

I was told that the Sesame Mochi was good. So try it and you tell me. Good Eats! Mangantayon.


Moon Festival = Moon Cake!!

We will be giving out Moon cake and Mochi samples all day long at the San Angelo's Mama Nida's Asian Market on Bell Street!!!!!Happy Moon Gazing!

We will have White Tea Samples as well...

Friday, September 9

Moon Cake

Moon Cake? What is moon cake? It's a round pastry snack traditionally served during the Mid-Autumn or Moon Festival. These days, they come in round or square shape and filled with goodies inside. After writing about the Moon Festival, we decided to find a good moon cake recipe and share it with our readers.
  
Azuki (Red bean) Moon Cake 
Recipe courtesy of DLTK by Shirley
Image Coutesy of Jui-Ting Yu

Serving Size: 24
Ingredients:
Items in orange indicated we have it on our shelves

1/4 cup of Sugar
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup salted butter
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup of red bean paste ( You can substitute any jams, nuts, and flavor you'd like for this one)

Instructions:
1. In a Mixing bowl, combine, sugar, butter, and 1 yolk. Stir well.
2. Slowly add flour to make you dough.
3. Form the dough into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap.
4. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

 Preheat oven to 375 degrees Farenheit while you wait

5. After 30 minutes, take dough out and  form a small ball in the palm of your hand. This mixture should make 24 balls.
6.Using your thumb, make a hole in the center of the dough then fill it with 1/2 a teaspoon of red bean paste. You can leave the hole open or cover it by pulling the dough edge over the filling.
7. Beat 1 egg into bowl and brush it over each cake before placing it on a cookie sheet. This will give a shiny coating over the cake after it is cook and help seal the opening.
8. Put in oven and bake for 20-30 minutes until the outside edges are slight brown.
9. Let cook and enjoy!

Your creation will probably look more like this unless you have moon cake molds.
Image courtesy of DLTK by Shirley
 It's good none the less!


Thursday, September 8

The Mid-Autumn Festival (The Moon Festival)

Image courtesy of Wikimedia

 The Mid-Autumn Festival (Zhongqui Jie), also known as The Moon Festival, or Mooncake Festival, or Lantern Festival, is a popular Asian harvest celebration dating back over 3000 years. It is celebrated from China to Malaysia on the 15th of every 8th month in the Chinese calendar or September/October of the western calendar. It is also the day when the moon is at is fullest and roundest, perfect for moon gazing. The traditional food to eat is for this event is Moon cakes in different varietes. This year,2011, the festival is held Sept. 12, 2011.

In China, the mid-autumn festival is actually a legal holiday and is one of the most important holidays in the country. Everyone gather with families to enjoy the bright moon and eat moon cakes accompanied by lit lanterns. Moon gazing, drinking tea, and BBQ is the main activities during this festival.
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In Vietnam, Mid Autumn Festival is called "Tết Trung Thu" and we will use one of the famous Vietnam folktale for this blog.

Image Coutesy of Jui-Ting Yu
In Vietnam folktale, a woman urinated on a sacred banyan tree and her husband, Cuội, was sent to the moon separating them as a punishment by the sacred banyan tree. Every year, on the mid-autumn festival, children light lanterns and participate in showing Cuội his way back to Earth. The bright lanterns are provide light for his path back to his wife on earth.

Other legends such as the story of the Moon lady  and the Carp who wanted to become a dragon are also told to be the cause of this festival. In China, the famous folktale is the legend of Houyi and Chang'e. No matter, it is known to be a festival to be with family and celebrate the bright moon while eating moon cake.

The traditional food to eat is Moon cake, in every shape and flavor. The moon cake is traditionally base on the shape of the moon symbolizing unity and perfection. Now a days, they come in different shapes, round and square, being the most common. Some countries eat rice cakes or mochi cakes (Glutinous rice soft cake filled with jam or sweet beans).

We will post a recipe on how to make moon cakes soon. Be on the look out for it! Happy Moon Gazing!

Friday, September 2

Labor Day

We will be closed Monday September 5th in observance of Labor Day. Regular hours return Tuesday morning.

We will also be restocking this weekend so come by and see what comes in next week. 


Have a safe and relaxing weekend.


Picture courtesy: Eric Molina

Kaffir or Makrut Lime and its role to Asian Cuisine


Kaffir Lime also known as Makrut or Magrood, is a citrus shrub native to Laos, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand which plays a significant part in many Southeast Asian Cuisine.

Kaffir Lime fruit has a bumpy texture that looks like a small lime. However, it's leaves, recognized by its hourglass shape , plays a more important role in Southeast Asian cooking. Kaffir lime leaves has a strong fragrant that gives a citrus like aroma and a lemony taste without the sour component that can't compare to other citrus leaves. Without it, a dish just won't have that distinct savory flavor in the marvelous taste of southern Asian food.

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The Rinds of the lime is commonly use in Lao and Thai Curry dishes.It is an important component in making curry paste. The juice can also be added into drinks or make limenade with it. 


The leaves of a kaffir lime can be use dried and can be stored in a freezer. It is added whole to many soup dishes such as tom yum or minced into a beef panang. In Cambodia, is it an ingredient for making a mashed herb dipping paste called "Krueng". Indonesians love to use kaffir lime leaves  making a tamarind base soup called "Sayur Asam", and along with bay leaves, they use kaffir to season chicken and fish.




 This savory exotic citrus plant is not only popular in the culinary world; It is also known to be a super plant that has many health benefits and just like many citrus fruits, the zest and juice is an excellent cleaning element. It's also a nice fragrant for oils and perfumes.

We have a small kaffir lime tree at home and it stays inside during the cold winter months. But since we do live in West Texas, we keep it in our front porch where it gets plenty of morning sun and a shade in the afternoon. So, next time your recipe calls for kaffir lime leaves, your best bet to find it is at your local Asian Market.