Tuesday, 22 May 2012

A spoonful of Japan in under 10 minutes

Miso soup. Although you may think it's just the starter preceding that nigiri and maki we all love, it has a history of more than a thousand years, as it was introduced by Buddhist monks during the 7th century, only reaching the West in the 1960s. Of course, different kinds of miso have been developed through the centuries, but with all the healthy protein it contains while being loaded with flavour, you have to love it! My version is very simple and you can have it from pot to bowl in under 10 minutes.

You'll need: (serves 2)
- a teaspoon instant dashi granules (you can get them from an Asian supermarket, but if you can't find them, just use regular vegetable stock instead)
- 2 cups freshly boiled water
- 2 tablespoons miso paste (look at the Asian food section of your local supermarket)
- 1 tablespoon dried seaweed soaked in hot water for a few minutes and then drained
- 1/2 cup cubed tofu (silken tofu would be good for soups)
- 1 spring onion, trimmed and sliced

Make it happen!:
- Pour the water in to a pot and bring to the boil. As soon as it's bubbling, add the dashi granules and stir to dissolve.
- Turn the heat to medium and add the tofu and seaweed, leaving to simmer for a couple of minutes.
- While the soup is simmering, ladle a bit of  the broth in a bowl and add the miso paste, whisking until melted and smooth.
- Take the pot off the heat, add the miso mixture and whisk. Be careful not to boil the miso or it will become gritty.
- Ladle into bowls and sprinkle the spring onion on top.
- Done!

Oh, did I mention that it comes at a ridiculous 36 calories per serving? :)

Friday, 11 May 2012

Spot the food(ie)

This goes out to foodies with a smartphone. Download the foodspotting app.

I stumbled across this baby a few days ago on another blog and downloaded it out of curiosity (the lifespan of such apps on my iPhone is fairly limited). I was surprised. You will be surprised too. I was surprised by the concept behind it: you take a picture of a certain dish you have at a restaurant. You tag it, you add a short comment and off it goes to join all the other dishes tried by people around the world, bringing food reviewing to a whole new level. You don't just recommend restaurants people, you recommend dishes.

However, this is not all. The app can see your location and find entries for dishes in restaurants near you. YES. It gives you everything; the name of the dish, a picture, the name of the restaurant, the address, and its location on a map. AND you can follow (as per Twitter) your friends/other foodies and their entries. What more could an excited foodie ask for?

An impressive design. It delivers that too.

If you are an iPhone, Android, Blackberry or Windows Phone user, you know what to do. It will make you 'salivate'. Feel free to follow me (Maria X) and let me know so I can follow you back.

...and a little something to get you excited :)

PS: I'm very, VERY rarely excited about such technological things. I can assure you this is a special case.
PS2: Did I ever mention that BH is a computer genius? He's in the process of building such apps, and I'm so pissed off I hadn't thought of this myself! But I'm so glad someone else did. x


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