how to pick vegetables...................

Eventhough I know vegetables almost all my life, but sometimes, I always confused and curious how should I pick best. In my little tips below, I hope that it will help you to get the freshnest and best vegetables for your meals of the day.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


Coconut cream and coconut milk are used in many Asian cuisine.
While freshly pressed milk has more flavor, coconut cream and milk are now widely sold in cans and packets that are quick, convenient and tasty.

You should add 1 cup of water to 1 cup of canned or packet coconut cream to obtain thick coconut milk, and add 2 cups of water to obtain thin coconut milk.

If you prefer to use fresh coconut, you will :

whole medium coconut fruit - peeled
1. You need to open the coconut by tapping firmly on the center with the blunt end of a cleaver until a crack appears.

halves coconut fruit
2. Drain the juice and continue tapping until the coconut cracks into two. Place the coconut halves in a moderate oven for 15 to 20 minutes until the flesh shrinks away from the shell.

fresh grated coconut
3. Remove the meat from the shell, use a vegetable peeler to remove the outer brown skin, then grate the flesh using a blender or food processor.

Fresh coconut cream is made by grating the flesh of 1 coconut (this will yield about 4 cups of grated coconut flesh), adding 1/2 cup water, kneading a few times, then straining with your fist, or with a muslin cloth or cheesecloth.
This should yield about 1/2 cup of coconut cream.

Thick coconut milk is obtained by the same method, but the water is doubled to 1 cup and it should yield about 1 cup of thick coconut milk.

Thin coconut milk is obtained by adding 1 cup of water to the already pressed coconut flesh a second time and straining again, this should yield 1 cup of thin coconut milk.
You may also obtain thin coconut milk by diluting thick coconut milk with water.

Saturday, March 8, 2008


shiitake mushrooms

Shiitake mushroom is the most commonly used mushroom in Japanese cooking. It is readily available fresh or dried. If you use dried mushroo,. you should soak in the warm water for about 15 minutes until softer and ready to slice. Dried mushroom also has stronger aroma after soaking than the fresh one. The dried versions are the same as the dried black chinese mushrooms tha can be used as a subsitutes.

- Steam : 4 - 5 minutes
- Microwave : 3 - to 4 minutes
- Blanch : Not recommended
- Boil : 3 to 4 minutes, in broth or wine
- Other : stir-fry or broil for 4 - 5 minutes