Stir fried rice "Chahan" (Brunch on 30 Aug)

Returned from Scotland and need some light brunch to recover our stomach from too much red meat.What we had in our kitchen was frozen rice, frozen pork belly, spring onions and some eggs. They were the very ingredients of stir-fried rice, "Chahan"!!


2 eggs
100g sliced pork belly or bacon
2 spring onions
2 bowls of cooked rice
2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
1 tablespoon of sesame oil
salt and peper


1. Chop spring onion and pork into small pieces. Beat eggs in a small bowl. If the rice is frozen, put it into microwave for 2 mins
2. Heat up a large frying pan at high temperature, spread 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil and pour the egg. Stir the egg as frequently as possible to make dry-scrambled egg. Once it is done, store the fried egg into a bowl to empty the pan
2. spread the rest of vegetable oil and stir fry the pork and rice till for 5-6 mins
3. Add spring onion, fried egg, soy sauce, sesame oil, salt and pepper, stir well and serve.

I also made ginger soup. 


Boil water (400cc), put chopped spring onion and grated ginger (2 teaspoons), add salt, black pepper, fish sauce, vinegar and thicken the soup with cornflour (1 tablespoon) dissolved in two tablespoons of water. Add a beaten egg in the end.

Chahan (stir fried rice) is a very common dish in Japanese family dinning. In the film Tampopo, this is well described.  

Total time to prepare: 15 mins
Total cost: 30p for eggs and spring onion

Visiting Scotland-2

Next day, we got a car from City Car Club and driven 2.5 hours to get to Gleneagles Hotel in Perth and Kinross.
It was a venue of 2008 G8 summit and is a very famous golfer's heaven.

Our aim of this time's visit was not golf, neither spa, however Michelin 2 star rated restaurant Andrew Fairlie. 
We tried 8 courses tasting menu. All the starters were stable in presentation and taste. The surprise was the main. The first main, lobster with Hollandaise sauce and herb, was very nice. The second was the lamb. Whenever we saw sheep on our way to get the hotel, we dreamed them on the dish. The chef Andrew Fairlie didn't betray our dream.    
Slow cooked lamb (in front) wrapped with sheep-stomach was gorgeous!

I usually do not expect modern decorated hotel restaurants to be great atmosphere. Alain Ducasse at Dorchester Hotel was too flashy and un-cozy, Maze (Gordon Ramsay) in Marriott Hotel looked like an extension of the hotel lobby. In comparison, Helene Darroze was advantaged from the depth of history of Connaught Hotel.

As a modern decorated hotel dining, Andrew Fairlie was not so bad. The restaurant was not so spacious and also well-soundproofed from large conference rooms and bars annexed therefore it was somewhat cozy. However, there were no windows. Perhaps it was to be independent from the massive nature surrounds the hotel.

Next morning, we went for clay and rabbit shooting. 
Glenagles Hotel is certainly a top resort hotel. However, I don't think we will return there after the experience of a true, warm hospitality at Prestonfield in Edinburgh. Though the deco wasn't my taste at all, Prestonfield got a caracter of space and people of Scotland.

We drove back to Edinburgh and nicely parked to the City Car Club space. Then an accident occurred. Before checking out, Mr. Husband cleaned the car with wipes. After a while, he started to search the membership card to complete checking out. He was holding it some seconds ago but not anymore. After some useless searches elsewhere, we concluded that he threw it into the street bin together with wipes. The bin was tall with narrow entrance and the lid was nicely locked like posting box. 

A tiny mistake turns out a disaster. Such things often happen to me. Aiming to make meringue and breaking the egg then finding the egg white in the sink-drain and the york in the shell... However, Mr. Husband seems not to be tolerant for that. He was very embarrassed and called to the club, explained and begged the operator "please don't tell anybody about this. My wife is laughing at me.." 

It was really amazing visit! 
Thank you Mr. Husband!!

P.S. Mr. Husband strongly recommends City Car Club. According to him, they are very nice and kind as the club. Also everything is remote controlled, such as locking and turning off the light. 
(even when you lost your membership card, 
they can do it for you.)

Visiting Scotland-1

We departed from London Kings Cross station to Edinburgh. We enjoyed 5 hours train travel with Bento made of previous day's Nikujaga (meaty potato) and Onigiri (rice balls) as well as some readings.

Onigiri with Umeboshi (sour plum),
a very traditional Japanese lunch box 
Just 30 mins walk from the city centre, we got to a cute hotel, Prestonfield House Edinburgh.

We stayed in a room called Benjamin Franklin. Although the deco of the hotel was all too much (as usual for "boutique hotel"), entire atmosphere was very cozy. 
Mr. Husband said "I was treated as a guest but not a customer". It was true. 
Whenever we ordered something or dined, they never asked our room number.
Our living room got a golden curtain wall paper 
Our golden bed with a golden bed cover
In the evening, we dined at the hotel restaurant, Rhubarb
My starter, rabbit with foie gras wasn't so good. However, Mr husbands' soup pistou was very good. I stole most of his portion. Then our tummy was totally content with Chateaubriand. 
The flavour of scottish meat and the perfectly made seasonal veggies were truly wonderful!!

Outside of the hotel, the city Edinburgh was full with nature
and with culture as well.
It was on the last day of Fringe. 
We sniffed around and eventually encountered a cool band

Fried fish salad, Meaty potato, ginger and onion soup (dinner on 26 Aug)

As we are travelling to Edinburgh, I needed to empty the fridge. Remained Meaty potato "nikujaga"  will be a part of tomorrow's bento for our 5-hour train travel.

I seasoned pieces of plaice with salt, ginger, mirin and black pepper. After being dusted with cornflour, they were pan-fried then mixed with salad topped with dill and balsamic vinegar. 
Mr. Husband enormously enjoyed this!
Time to prepare: 50 mins
Total cost: 4 pounds (2 for plaice, 2 for all veggies)

Stir-fried cabbage with pork, moist chicken breast with sesame sauce (Dinner on 25 Aug) 

Moist chicken breast with sesame sauce was introduced before. This was very yummy!!
Cabbage stir fry is the one to consume cabbage remained in the fridge at once. 
This is healthy, economical and tasty!


Cabbage (cut into small bite sized)
Spring onion (sliced)
mushroom (sliced)
carrot (sliced in thin stripe)
Sugar peas
Pork belly (thin sliced and cut into small bite sized) or bacon
Vegetable oil
1/2 tablespoon of soy sauce
1 teaspoon of sesame oil
1 teaspoon of grated ginger
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of oyster sauce
1 teaspoon of chicken born stock (if not, 1/2 cube of chicken stock)
1 tablespoon of corn flour
250cc of cold water


1. Boil water in a large frying pan and add 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil. Put all veggies and cook for 1mins. Drain the water through a net. By boiling veggies briefly before frying, they get tender and minimise the time for frying. This process helps to sustain the flavour and moisture of stir-fried veggies

2. Heat up the frying pan at high temperature and spread vegetable oil. Cook pork until to half done, then add the semi-boiled veggies and keep frying for 2 mins
3. Add the seasoning and stir all well till they get thick and rich for 1 mins.
Time to prepare: 45 mins (20 mins for Cabbage stir fry)
Total cost: 3 pounds 1 for chicken breast, 2 for the rest of veggies 

Sweet and Sour Salmon, Marrow and broad beans soup (Dinner 21 Aug)

Straight after pan-fried, salmon is marinated with other veggies. This is a very summery salad with fish. 

Ingredients for two

<pan-fried salmon>
1-2 slices of Salmon (400g)
1 clove of garlic
1 teaspoon of grated ginger
1 tablespoon of mirin/sake
1 tablespoon of soy/oyster sauce
2 tablespoons of cornflour
2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
<Marinating sauce>
1 tablespoon of sugar
1 tablespoon of white wine vinegar or cider vinegar
1 teaspoon of say sauce
1 teaspoon of sesame oil
1/4 thin sliced round onion
1/4 thin sliced paprila


1. cut salmon into large bite sized pieces and season the pieces with mirin, grated garlic and ginger and soy sauce (or oyster sauce). Leave it for 5-6 mins.
2. Take out the salmon pieces over paper towel to remove extra moisture, dust them with corn flour. 

3. Heat up a large frying pan at midium-high temperature and pour vegetable oil then fry the salmon for 2-3 minutes in both sides
4. Add the deep-fried salmon pieces into the marine sauce. Mix well and top with chopped dill to serve.

Marrow soup


200g of marrow, peeled and cut into small bite sized
1-2 pieces of chicken thigh 
a hand ful of broad beans without skin
400cc of cold water
1/2 teaspoon of salt
2 teaspoon of mirin
2 teaspoon of soy sauce
1 teaspoon of grated ginger
1 tablespoon of cornflour


1. Chop the chicken thigh into pieces and beat it with a knife to make them rough minced

2. Put water, salt, mirin, soy sauce, ginger, chicken, marrow into a deep pan and bring them gently boiled for 5 mins till the marrow gets tender
3. Dissolve cornflour with 2 tablespoons of water and add into the pan. Bring it boil to make the soup thick and add the broad beans. Keep gently boiling for 2-3 mins till the beans are nicely done.

Total time to prepare: 45 minutes
Total cost: 6 pounds (2.50 for salmon, 1.5 for chicken, 2 for all veggies)

Japanese hamburger steak with soy and mushroom sauce

Hamburger steak or Salisbury steak is one of a popular menus in Japan. It is called "Hambagu". Same as curry and omelette (Omu-rice), Hanbagu was introduced after Great Wars and populated thorough the country's Americanisation. 

At home or outside, hanbagu is often served with rice and miso soup


Minced meat (beef and pork)  400g 
Large round onion  1/2
Breadcrumb  1 cup
Milk 1/2 cup
Egg 1
Chicken stock 1/2 cube
Paprika or nutmeg  1/2 teaspoon
Salt and pepper
Vegetable oil
<Mushroom sauce>
Mushrooms (I used shimeji this time)  1 handful
Water 200cc
Soy sauce 1 tablespoon
Sugar 1 teaspoon
Salt 1 pinch


1. Put the breadcrumb and milk into a large bowl
2. Chop the onion as small as possible and fry in a large pan with 1/2 tablespoon of vegetable oil until getting translucent and gold. Allow it cool down
3. Add the onion, minced meat, egg, chicken stock, salt and pepper into the breadcrumb. Knead them well to mix all the contents with a hand
4. Divide the meat mix into 6-8 portions or as large as you wish. Grease both hands and throw a piece from one hand to the other and repeat it several times to remove the air inside. Then make a flat oval shape
I stored some pieces to freeze
5.  Heat up a large frying pan at high temperature and spread 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil and fry hanbagu pieces for 3-4 mins
6. Turn over to the other side and fry them for 3-4 mins and then turn the heat at low temperature. Cook them for about 2-3 mins until translucent juice came out from the middle of the piece
7. Put all the ingredients of mushroom sauce (except cornflour) into a small pan and cook them till the mushroom become tender (about for 4-5 mins)
8. Dissolve cornflour with 3 tablespoons of water and add it into the pan to make the sauce thick
9. Serve hanbagu topped with the sauce and thin sliced spring onion with veggies (tomatoes, lettuce).