Cooking Diary – Log 7 – 25.04.2012
Today has been another Finnish sunny, happy summer day to me.
My thesis is going quite well at the moment. I almost finish the first chapter – introduction in the thesis. YAY!
Two friends of mine, Meow and Bamboo, have just returned to Finland from their one – year double degree program in Ireland. Bamboo stopped at Little Chi’s house to unpack her stuff, therefore, I only have chance to meet Meow at the bus stop near my apartment, when Bear and I came there to help her carry the heavy luggage. I have just met Bamboo about 1 month ago when she had to visit Finland to run some personal errands. I suppose that she would not change that much after 1 month.
As for Meow, she doesn’t seem to change much in her appearance, except she has gotten a bit thinner and her hair is longer, too. I have missed her much after 1 year apart from each other. We kept in touch frequently on the Internet but I must say, nothing beats a close face-to-face conversation. We talked and laughed all the way home, and then talked some more when she was repacking stuff for her Helsinki trip. She gave me a very cute ring as a present, and a pack of grounded almond. Just in time because I intent to make macarons very soon. Only good friends know each other that well.
Recently I did not want to cook anything so complicated. In this thesis writing madness, I am having the tendency to neglect my hobby. I should have a section in this blog called “Lazy Cooking/Baking”, shouldn’t I? A category for simple, easy, and quick dishes, perfect for days when you don’t feel like being in the kitchen?
Yes, good idea.
So today, the first recipe I would like to add the Lazy Cooking category is another daily Vietnamese dish, Steam Egg Meatloaf (Chả trứng hấp).
Here we go!
Meatloaf egg mix
- 300g grounded pork
- 75g dried bean threads/vermicelli (Not the rice kind, the green bean, transparent kind. Here is the brand I use)
- 5 dried wood ear funguses/mushrooms
- 5 dried shitake mushrooms
- 1/3 onion bulb, finely chopped
- 3 eggs and 2 egg whites
- 5 tbsp. fish sauce
- 2 tbsp. sugar
- ½ tsp. salt
- 2 tsp. grounded black pepper
- 2 egg yolks
- ½ tsp. fish sauce
- 1 tbsp. water
- Chopped scallion (spring onion)
Step 1: Soak the mushrooms in hot water, for about 15 minutes before processing. They will expand quite much.
Step 2: Don’t sit and wait for the mushroom, we got plenty to do. While let them sit on the counter, also soak the dried bean vermicelli with hot water, for 15 minutes.
And again, after.
Step 3: Now use scissors to cut the soaked bean vermicelli into 1.5cm long strings. Like this.
And you will have result like this.
Step 4: Now cut the soaked mushroom into this strip of 2mm wide. I know it hard, but keep practicing. Remember to remove the stems of the wood ear fungus.
Step 5: In a big bowl, combine together all the ingredients in the meatloaf egg mix listed above. Remember, only 3 whole eggs and 2 egg whites. 2 egg yolks are separated and set aside for later use.
Mix well with a wooden spoon or chopsticks.
Pour the mixture into a big baking dish, or smaller ramekins.
Step 6: Now prepare a big pot with a steam basket like mine. If you don’t have a steam basket, simply put a deep plate or bowl upside down inside your pot. Put the egg dish inside the pot. Pour enough water till it reaches the bottom of the egg dish.
Step 7: Now turn on the heat, put the lid on, and steam our dish for 30 minutes. Remember to check the water level frequently and add more if needed. The egg is done when you put a skew into the center of the dish, and see no water coming out of that hole, like this.
Step 8: With the heat still on and the dish is still in the steamer, mix well all the ingredients of the egg glaze.
Pour it onto the egg dish. Make sure it covers all of the surface.
Scatter chopped scallion on top.
And let them steam with lid for another 5 minutes until the egg yolk glaze is set.
Get the dish out of the pot and let it set and cool down for 20 minutes before serving.
Now, now, use a knife to divide the loaf into desired serving size. I use a spoon to scoop it out a serve with cooked rice.
We finished half of the dish right off with rice and stir-fried Chinese cabbage.
After Meow repacking her stuff, we said goodbye and she left to stay the night at another friend’s apartment. Tomorrow, she will move away to Helsinki to settle for the summer, maybe find a job and start writing her thesis. She has always been a very hard working, and highly motivated girl. It was a fast meeting; I wish we could have more time together, like before. But I am grateful for what we are now.
I wish you well, Meow!
Now, I have to be back with my beloved thesis.
Have a nice day,