Crunchy Sesame-seaweed Roll

Sesame-seaweed rolls for slimmers.
The black sesame dressing in this sesame-seaweed roll tantalizes your taste buds with its aroma and whets the appetite with its tartness. This recipe is great for dieters interested in lowering their LDL cholesterol! Sesame, walnut and nori seaweed are great sources of omega 3, the good fat that zaps bad fats. Omega 3 together with dietary fiber in this snack helps lower blood pressure, which is good for your cardiovascular system. So roll up some sesame-seaweed rolls to roll back bad fats, strengthen bones, scrub your intestine clean as well as keep your skin youthful and make your hair lustrous!!!

RECIPE


Black Sesame Dressing
[Goma dressing (goma-ae)]

INGREDIENTS
• 3 tbsp. black sesame paste
• 1 to 1½ tbsp. honey
• 3 tbsp. Japanese black vinegar (“kurozu”) or white vinegar
• 3 tbsp. soy sauce
• 2 to 3 tsp. Black sesame seeds, roasted and finely ground

METHOD
1. Blend black sesame paste and honey.
2. Whisk in the rest of the ingredients one-by-one. Make sure to add each ingredient gradually as you whisk so that the sesame paste will dissolve nicely and the sauce won’t become lumpy.
3. Funnel sesame dressing into a squeegee bottle with a narrow nozzle.


Sesame-seaweed roll

INGREDIENTS
• A packet of meat floss
• Toasted white sesame seeds
• Toasted walnut (break into smaller pieces)
• A packet of nori seaweed for rolling sushi (about 20cm. X 11 cm each)
Grate or julienne a variety of crunchy root vegetable and fruits such as:
Jicama, carrot, zucchini, radish, apple, pear, mango etc.

METHOD

1. Place a sheet of seaweed on a clean board or surface.
2. Put a thin layer of meat floss on the seaweed. Leave about 1 cm. Of a longer, vertical edge of seaweed uncovered. Do not sprinkle meat floss too close to the edges of the seaweed.
3. Sprinkle toasted sesame seeds and pieces of walnut on meat floss.
4. Place a band of vegetables/fruits on top of sesame layer aligned vertically with edge of seaweed.
5. Squeeze a line or two of black sesame dressing on filling, following direction of vegetables/fruits.
6. Roll up ingredients.
7. Cut rolls into shorter lengths and serve.


Articles for Weight-watchers:

How Gut Bacteria Affect Your Weight | – (New window)

Gut Bacteria Impact on Weight & Diseases – (New window)

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Teriyaki Crunchy Vegetable Mix

Teriyaki mixed vegetables
This is a quick and easy recipe with the refreshing aroma of ginger and sesame. This dish detoxifies, alleviates constipation and promotes digestion. Sweet, crunchy carrot and jicama complements broccoli very well.

It is beneficial for weight watchers who wish to reduce their blood triglycerides (fats) and prevent buildup of cholesterol; the beauty conscious who wish to detoxify and have clearer skin; diabetics who want to reduce huge sugar swings in their blood; the constipated who long for easier bowel movement; those who want to reduce the risk of cancer or just reduce summer heat problems.

RECIPE

INGREDIENTS

• ¾ cup broccoli cut into florets
• 1 small carrot
• ½ cup jicama cut into slices
• 1 tbsp. chopped ginger
• 1 Shallot thinly sliced

SAUCE INGREDIENTS
• 2 tbsp. Teriyaki sauce
• 1 tsp. Brown sugar
• 4 to 5 tbsp. water
• ½ tsp. cornstarch made into runny paste
• A few drops of Sesame oil
• 1 ½ tbsp. Cooking oil

METHOD

1. Mix together teriyaki sauce, sugar and water.
2. Heat up cooking oil in a wok or flat-bottom pan. Spread the oil so that it covers a wider area of wok or bottom of pan.
3. After oil has heated up, add in sliced shallots and ginger to stir-fry until fragrant.
4. Add in carrots and cook in about 4 to 6 tablespoon water. After water has boiled, turnover carrots and turn down heat to simmer. Occasionally turn over carrots.

5. When half of the water is gone, add in rest of the vegetable and toss until broccoli is tender. (About 5 to 10 minutes)
6. Add in teriyaki-brown sugar sauce and stir-fry for about 3 to 5 minutes.
7. Add cornstarch to sauce to thicken.
8. Adin a few drops of sesame oil, mix all ingredients together and dish out.


Benefits of this dish

• The vegetables are loaded with Vitamin C and beta-carotene to boost immunity and promote better skin health.

• Fiber plays its magic by scrubbing your intestine clean so that you can digest and absorb nutrients better as well as prevent food stagnation, which can lead to smelly flatus and constipation. The fiber absorbs fat and eliminates it through defecation. The vegetables prevent buildup of cholesterol (Anti-cholesterolemic) and serve as prebiotic to strengthen the good bacteria in your gut.

• It improves your skin condition by promoting urination and better bowel movement.

• Vitamin C, A and E are important nutrients for stronger, better lubricated skin that wards off wrinkles and skin blemishes.

• Urination reduces blood pressure, which is good for the heart.

• Compounds in the vegetables fights cancer. The anti-carcinogenic compounds in broccoli are sulforaphane and indoles; carrot has carotenoids and chlorogenic acid; jicama fights cancer with inulin and other antioxidants.

• Antioxidants in jicama prevent gastric mucosal damage by scavenging free radicals.

• Traditional Chinese medicine uses carrots to strengthen all the organs.

• Vegetables in this recipe reduce inflammation. Low grade inflammation increases the risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes and certain inflammatory pain-related ailments.

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Porridge To Calm & Beautify

Fuling-Lily bulb Porridge
In ancient China, Royalty and commoners take this porridge to tranquilize their mind, cleanse their system and clarify the skin. The medicinal mushroom, fuling, detoxifies the body through diuresis thus benefiting those with edema (water retention) and people who suffer from urinary difficulty. Fuling helps to regulate the functions of the immune system, thus benefiting those with weak immunity such as the elderly and sickly.

This bland herbal porridge goes well with Empress Dowager Ci Xi’s favorite snack, Fuling pancake. Her poor appetite prompted the imperial chefs to use medicinal herbs that could invigorate the spleen and promote appetite. Fuling fitted their requirements.

Both fuling and lily bulb (bai he) tranquilizes the mind. The herbs help alleviate insomnia, irritability and forgetfulness. The herbs also aid removal of obstructive phlegm.

In TCM, lily bulb is associated with the lung and heart meridians. It helps to relieve coughs, dry throats, clear heat and moisten the lungs. 

RECIPE


Fuling-Lily bulb Porridge

INGREDIENTS

• 15g fuling powder
• 15 lily bulbs
• 50g uncooked rice
• Water (depending on whether you prefer thick or thin porridge, the amount of water range between 800ml. to 1200ml.)

METHOD

1. Wash ingredients clean.

2. Soak lily bulbs in water for several hours.

3. Place all ingredients in a pot or rice cooker to boil.

4. After water has boiled, turn down heat to simmer until the porridge is cooked.


COMMENTS

♦ Alternatively, you can either use an electric pot for making porridge or a slow cooker instead.

♦ Accompany the porridge with condiments and side dishes.

♦ Do not take this porridge if you have chronic diarrhea. Seek medical attention to find out the underlying cause of your problem.

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Easy Home-made Yogurt

 Yogurt with fruits

Yogurt is full of beneficial microbes that aid digestion and boost our immunity. Some of the microbes even synthesize beneficial substances such as neurotransmitters, Vitamin B & K. people who are lactose intolerant can get the benefits of milk without the associated digestive problems since the friendly bacteria had already broken down the lactose into a more digestible form. Scientists have even shown that gut microbes help maintain brain function!

Making yogurt is easy. Instead of buying the freeze-dried bacteria (probiotics) and special equipment, I just pick up a fresh cup of yogurt and package of milk from the supermarket. Then, I used existing cooking utensils in my kitchen to make the yogurt. It is best to make yogurt on a warm day since the bacteria multiply more quickly to convert the milk into yogurt.

How To Make Yogurt

EQUIPMENT

• Smaller pot/heat-resistant cookware within a larger pot/wok of water to make a double-boiler

• Cold water in a large bowl/basin.

• White muslin cloth (larger than mouth of the small pot/cookware)

• Long-handle spoon or spatula (for stirring)

• Several clean bottles with lid (to store yogurt in individual serving size)

INGREDIENTS

• 1 cup (135g.) of plain yogurt per 1 liters of milk
(Ensure the yogurt contain live/active bacteria. Fresher product is likely to have more live bacteria)

• 2 to 3 teaspoon raw sugar or fruit jam (energy source for bacteria)

METHOD

(Take cup of yogurt out of fridge to warm up to room temperature. If the weather is too cold, stand yogurt in a warm (not hot) bowl of water.)

1. Boil water in large pot/wok with milk in smaller container in the middle.

2. Turn down heat and stir when milk begins to froth. Add in sugar/jam.
(Boiling the milk breaks down the protein, making it easier for bacteria to convert it into yogurt).

3. Turn off heat and remove container of milk.

4. Place pot of milk into a cold water bath to cool down.

5. Stir milk. When milk has cooled to between 110°F to 90°F (43°C to 32°C), remove from cold water bath. (110°F/43°C is the ideal temperature)

6. Stir in cup of yogurt. Stir till the yogurt is distributed evenly throughout the milk.

7. Cover the milk-yogurt mixture with a clean muslin cloth or lid loosely.

8. Leave the mixture in a warm place and do not move container for at least 6 hours. Usually, I leave it to stand overnight. The warm milk encourages the bacteria to grow and convert the milk into yogurt. Ideal temperature for this to occur is around 100°F/ 38°C.

9. After 6 to 7 hours of incubation, the mixture will start to have a custard-like consistency and a cheesy odor. It may have greenish liquid on top.
TIP:
To keep temperature consistent during the incubation process, place the milk-yogurt mixture in warm water in a crockpot or rice cooker with temperature set at low/keep warm setting.

10. OPTIONAL STEP
if you like the yogurt to be very smooth, strain it through a clean muslin cloth. (Normally I skip this step.)

11. Stir yogurt and transfer yogurt into smaller bottles. When yogurt has cooled, close lids firmly and refrigerate.

NOTE:
* The longer you incubate the milk-yogurt mixture, the tangier it becomes.

* When the temperature drops below above mentioned temperatures, bacteria activity slows down.

* Different brands of yogurt may use different strains of bacteria, which give their products different texture and aroma. Choose a brand that pleases you as starter.

* You can boil milk directly in a pot instead of a double boiler, but you have to start with medium heat and lower heat when milk start to froth. Stir continuously from start to finish.

Variations

→ Add chopped fruits into yogurt.

→ Use yogurt as salad dressing, dips. or mix into sauces.

Related articles:

Food Rich In Probiotics – (New window)

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Dragon Jelly

Peeled dragon fruit jelly
Boost your immunity this flu season with this attractive party dessert. It is loaded with powerful antioxidants such as Vitamin C and phenolics, which are acknowledged for their anti-aging and anti-cancer properties. Both dragon fruit and konnyaku (konjac) are prebiotics that strengthens the good bacteria to improve their fighting capacity against bad microbes, aid digestion as well as facilitate toxin removal and bowel movement.

I created this dessert specially for my nephew’s birthday. The light, tangy, refreshing dessert counterbalanced the rich, fried foods that young people love. I chose a dragon fruit with red pulp to provide natural red coloring to the colorless konnyaku. The jelly-like konnyaku acted as a binder for the dragon fruit pulp giving it a pleasant, smooth, firm, cool mouth feel. Since dragon fruit and konnyaku were bland in taste and did not have fragrance of their own, I boiled grated lemon peel to provide the refreshing fragrance and used lemon juice for tangy taste.

The pulp was peppered with tiny edible seeds that provided a rich source of omega-3 and omega-6 oils. I thought the fruit peel was very attractive and decided to use it as a jelly mold.

RECIPE

Some manufacturers sell only konnyaku in powder form. Others add in sugar and coloring. Therefore, refer to manufacturer’s instructions on amount of liquid and whether additional sugar is needed. If pickling lime powder is not provided, buy it separately. Normally, I use the handle of a spoon to scoop out a little pickling lime per liter of liquid.

INGREDIENTS
dragon fruit
• 1 dragon fruit
• 1 lemon
• 1 packet konnyaku powder
• Pickling lime (usually packaged with konnyaku powder)
• Water
• Sugar to taste (if needed)

METHOD

LEMON RELISH

1. Grate lemon peel into a container.

2. Add in 60 to 90 ml. water and microwave or boil the grated peel.

3. When fragrance is released, turn off heat. Cover container and allow peel to steep.

DRAGON FRUIT KONNYAKU

(The dragon fruit peel is like thick banana peel.)

1. Wash dragon fruit and pat dry.

2. Carefully cut away fruit stalk and cut a hole where the stalk was.

3. Scoop out the soft pulp.

4. Put pulp into a food blender to liquefy.

5. Pour dragon fruit juice together with seeds into a measuring cup.

6. Refer to manufacturer’s instruction on amount of water to use. If there is too much juice, pour out some. If there is not enough liquid, add in more water. The total amount of liquid should include the lemon relish water but do not add in the lemon relish water yet.
Dragon konnyaku

DRAGON JELLY

1. Pour konnyaku powder into a pot. Add in enough juice to make a watery paste.

2. Pour rest of juice into pot; stir contents and boil.

3. Add in sugar. Stir till all sugar is well dissolved. (Lower heat after juice has boiled.)

4. Strain lemon relish water into pot. Discard lemon peel residue.

5. Mix pickling lime and water into a watery paste.

6. Stir pickling lime into dragon jelly mixture in the pot. The contents will thicken very slightly.

7. Stir in lemon juice and boil for about 5 minutes, stirring continuously.

8. Turn off heat and pour contents into empty dragon skin mold. (You may need some assistance here. Use a funnel to make pouring into the mold easier.).

9. Pour any remaining konnyaku liquid into jelly molds.

10. When liquid has cooled, transfer molds to chiller section of fridge to set.

TIP:
To peel dragon fruit skin, cut slits down length of the fruit and then peel it open like a banana.


Variations

You can add honey to improve the flavor further; alternatively substitute with lychee juice or other fragrant herbs or fruits.

Ginger juice is warming, thus counterbalancing the cold nature of dragon fruit and lemon. you can replace lemon relish water with ginger juice.


Additional information

I bought konnyaku from a confectionary supplier but the product is also sold by grocery stores and some supermarkets.

For health benefits of konnyaku (konjac) see:
Low Calorie Konjac Jelly For Healthy Probiotics & Weight-watchers – (New window)

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