Archive for May, 2012

KIMBAP OR MAKI?

Now ready to be eaten – my home made kimbap or maki, whichever you want to call it

I’m a fan of Korean and Japanese food, I’ve cooked a few Korean dishes and banchan(s) but I’ve always been intimidated by Japanese food. But now, I’ve found something similar with both Korean and Japanese dish – kimbap or maki.

Kimbap or gimbap (김밥) is a popular Korean snack which originated from the Japanese futomaki – meaning fat rolls. This is a snack made from white rice, often with three or more fillings and wrapped with nori or dried seaweed.

It’s only been recently that I began to explore the kitchen again (nausea did not help during the first three months) and I decided to make kimbap. I only used ingredients that are easy to get, such as cucumber, crab sticks (kani) and tamagoyaki (egg omelette).

I always knew something is done to the rice before it is spread on the nori and what do you know? A simple mixture of vinegar, sugar and salt is all that’s needed to make kimbap rice mixture! Of course, this is done while the rice has just cooked and still steaming hot. I used Maangchi’s recipe for the rice mixture.

Rolling the kimbap

Then comes the second part of cooking – making the tamagoyaki. I’ve noticed from all the maki I ate before in Japanese restaurants, the egg is somewhat sweet. Now I know why. Sugar is added to the egg before it is fried and don’t forget the salt! I used Cooking with Dog’s recipe and frying technique for this. Although I did not require the use of a rectangular shaped pan to fry the tamagoyaki. I guess I can say that skill is all that’s needed to shape the tamagoyaki into an elongated roll; but since I was not using a rectangular pan, it wasn’t as perfectly shaped as it would be. It doesn’t matter, people won’t notice that when it’s already rolled inside the rice with other ingredients.

Slicing the kimbap

Then comes the slicing part – too easy for me to do. I’m just glad I got the perfect sized cucumber for the kimbap. Now that’s done, I got eight pieces of crab sticks; although there are long ones sold in the grocery, I chose to buy the short ones because for some reason, it’s cheaper, haha!

Now comes the layering part. I got my bamboo mat (which I bought about two or three years ago but only got to use it now for the first time) on the slicing board, followed by a sheet of nori. I spread the rice on top of it evenly, but leaving about an inch on the top and bottom. Then I place the fillings, the tamagoyaki, two pieces of crab sticks and a piece of sliced cucumber. I actually thought it would be hard to roll or to wrap it but I was surprised it was that easy. Maangchi’s video was really a great help. Just a tip though, when slicing the rolls, make sure you use a sharp knife, and make sure that the knife is wet before you make each slice to prevent the rice from sticking.

I was able to make four rolls, each roll can be sliced into eight pieces, that excludes both ends. The first roll I made disappeared in no time. Now I can enjoy kimbap or maki at home at a much cheaper price and, I can enjoy the process of making it as well.  I honestly didn’t know why I was so scared to make this before, it turns out it’s so easy to do! Serve with soy sauce, but don’t forget the wasabi! 😀

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HONGKONG DISNEYLAND – FROM A PREGNANT WOMAN’S POINT OF VIEW

Welcome to Disneyland Hongkong

I’ve always wanted to go out of the country, so when the opportunity came, I quickly grabbed it. We were able to book a flight last December 2011 for Hongkong, and we were scheduled to leave on May 2012. Not a problem, I thought. It’ still five months away – NOT!

Like I said on another blog, I found out I was pregnant last February. It was not a good idea to travel, especially when you’re still in your first trimester. I wanted to rebook the flight but we were told it will cost us double if we rebook it for next year. And by that time I already have my baby and I didn’t want to leave my baby then. So a decision was made, my husband and I, along with a few relatives will leave for HK. So, this is a blog, from a pregnant woman’s point of view.

Inside the train to Disneyland

Day 1, arrival:  we’ve been up since 3am that day to catch the early flight. I knew there would be a lot of walking involved on this trip. I never get tired easily and never experience body pains from just walking alone, but that time, it was DIFFERENT. My husband and I had our own itinerary for day 1 – go to HK Disneyland, on commute with just a written guide on how to get to Disneyland.

First off, buy Disneyland tickets at the airport. Already a lot of walking involved. My back started to hurt and I ignored it. I figured once we get inside a bus I can sit down and relax. NOT!

The instructions said to take the E22 bus from the airport via Tung Chung which costs HK $18/person. Wrong! A nice lady told us to take the S1 bus as well as an E22 bus driver. So for the nth time we headed back to airport exit, took a look at bus schedules and fares. But we we’re still unsure. I can’t recall how many times we went back and forth to the airport, but for the first time, my thighs began to hurt and my back hurts now and I can definitely use a wheelchair by then. This never happened to me before, even during long walks. It was noon when we finally got on a S1 bus which cost only HK $3.50/person; I was tired, the lower part of my body hurt and I was hungry and thirsty all at the same time and this is equivalent to a very grumpy pregnant woman.

We finally got to Tung Chung station, where we took a train and got down at Sunny Bay station, then transferred to another train going to Disneyland, directly. And I was still grumpy. When we got there it was past noon and it was hot, I was so disappointed because I was expecting we’d be there before noon with the instructions given to us.

Eating lunch was the first thing on my mind. Lunch was included in the tickets we bought and we decided to eat at the nearest restaurant my feet can take me – at Comet Café at Tomorrow Land. I’m a big rice eater and I decided to eat braised tofu with mushrooms and cucumber rice bowl – and boy, serving was BIG. Included with the meal was a 500ml bottle of water, as well as chopsticks and spoon. This was an open air restaurant, but it wasn’t as hot as I expected it to be.

braised tofu with mushrooms and cucumber rice bowl

I was fully satisfied after I finished eating. Service was quick, and there are a lot of vacant tables. My mood started to feel better after eating, but not my left thigh which hurt like hell. But I did manage to walk, but not without resting on a bench whenever I see one.

The hippo at Jungle River Cruise in Adventure Land

We still managed to explore the whole park – we went on a Jungle River Cruise at Adventure Land (I enjoyed this one), then got on a train to go around the whole park. These were the only rides that I can go to since the other ones might be too rough for me. But it wasn’t the perfect, happy experience I was expecting because the day began wrong. We only had less than half day to roam the park and my painful left thigh did not help at all. I guess the only saving grace for me was the souvenir shops. I think I went inside all of them just to enjoy the air-condition. Oh, but we did get some nice pictures and a souvenir – a Mickey and Minnie mouse keychain.

That’s one BIG yawn!

Poor guy, his butt is about to be poked by the rhino’s horn! 😀 This is also a prt of the Jungle River cruise, and yeah, those guys move!

Me, Goofy and my husband

Although I wanted to take a picture with Mickey and Minnie mascots, the line was just too long! So, we settled for Goofy before we went out of the park. I wanted Chip and Dale but as soon as there were only two people ahead of us in the line, they went inside and out came Goofy. To Goofy: You have such a big hand, you slapped my back like you were trying to kill an very big insect >_<

Around five in the afternoon I wanted to go home, I didn’t want to be a part of the rush hour at the MTR and I couldn’t tolerate the pain in my left thigh – to prove it, climbing stairs at the MTR station was torture I had to hold on to my husband’s hand like a cane, for support. Reaching the hotel and finally able to lie down on the bed was pure bliss. Nothing could make me leave that spot, except for food.

My late dinner that evening. I could have eaten two of these at one sitting.

That evening, the family was invited for dinner by a close friend who happened to be having a vacation at HK as well. No, I did not go with them. I chose the bed, I only wanted to lie down and as soon as I did, I fell asleep. I only woke up when my husband came in, holding my dinner late that night.

An OMG Moment

OMG…this is real…it’s a BFP! Yay! 😀

Well, the picture should explain it all.  Exactly one year after I got married my husband and I got the surprise of our lives. We’re having a baby soon. No, this is not an oops moment, this is exactly as the title says. OMG because it came when we least expected it. OMG because after so many HPT’s with negative results I finally got two lines – a BIG FAT POSITIVE one morning in February. OMG because God finally answered our prayer. This is also one of the reasons why I haven’t been able to blog more often.

We’re expecting our bundle of joy this October and it’s a more reason to smile 😀

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