Deepfried Brussels Sprouts: a perfect party nibble and a great collagen charge

Crispy-slightly bitter outside and sweet-moist inside, deepfrieng the seasonal Brussels Sprouts is a promising party nibble!

This is referred from a leading Japanese monthly food magazine "Kyo-no-Ryori, December".


  • Brussels sprouts 
  • Vegetable oil
  • Salt and black pepper
  • (I also add some tomatos)


1. Make a small cross line with a knife on the bottom of each sprout

2. Fill vegetable oil in a small frying pan into 1cm depth. Heat up the pan with small flame and add the sprouts to deepfry

3. Occasionally turn each sprout into other side and keep frying for about 8-10 mints

4. Place sprouts over a paper to remove extra oil

5. Top salt and black pepper to serve.

Time to prepare: 20mins
Cost: 0.4 pounds

We had this deepfried sprouts with chicken wings and a salad. 
The vitamin C from sprouts boosts the intake of collagen from chicken wings. Vital menu in the dry weather!!

Grilled courgette and avocado with wasabi-soy-mayo: a perfect party nibble

I made this for a side dish. However, it is more like nibble than side. The richness of avo-mayo combo gains density with grilled courgette and the flavour of soy and wasabi makes it a perfect for party nibble. 
Can be topped on sliced bread or plain crackers!!


  • One large courgette
  • One ripe avocado
  • 1/2 tablespoon of wasabi
  • 1/2 tablespoon of soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise
  • Some seaweed black paper (if available)
  • Thinly sliced spring onion (if available)
  • some olive oil to grease courgette


1. cut courgette into 1cm length. Cut avocado into small bite sized.
2. Grease courgette with olive oil and grill it over 200C in oven for 5-7 mints.
3. Mix soy sauce and wasabi in a bowl then add mayonnaise.

4. Dress the avocado and courgette with the sauce. Top sliced spring onion and shredded black paper to serve.

Grilled courgette can be replaced with cucumber or other salad vegetables. If the raw vegges are involved, better to dress them with sauce just before serving as they might get watery and ruins the rich and dense taste of this dish.

Total time to prepare: 15 mints
Total cost: 1.4+ pounds (0.9 for avocado, 0.5 for courgette and other ingredients) 

Miso-Butter Salmon grilled in a foil

Salmon with skin is essential food in lifting up your face especially in winter as I introduced last year.

One thing to remind is, in this kind of preparation which does not involve direct contact with flame, make sure the salmon skin is scaled thoroughly.

Ingredients for two

  • Two pieces of salmon
  • One large onion
  • Two tablespoons of butter
  • 1 tablespoon of miso
  • 1tablespoon of mirin (if not, 1 tablespoon of water and 1/2 teaspoon of sugar)
  • 1 tablespoon of soysauce
  • Shiitake mushroom (if available)
  • Broccoli (if available)


1. Mix miso, mirin and soy sauce in a bowl.
2. Slice onion as thin as possible. Cut shiitake into 5mm. Cut broccoli into small bite sized.
3. Place two pieces of foil and put onion, shiitake, one piece of salmon, butter and broccoli. Pour the half amount of miso-sauce into each.

4. Close the sides of foil and place two pieces of foiled stuff in a large frying pan.
5. Heat up the pan over high heat. Once the contents sound boiled, turn the heat into lowest and cook them for 10 mins.

I sometimes add chopped parsley and cheese. The juice from salmon and miso-butter caramels onion. This is very very tasty!!

Total cost: 5 pounds (4.5 for salmon, 0.3 for onion, 0.2 for other ingredients)
Total time to prepare: 20 mints

Kabayaki (Japanese style grilled eel) sushi with cucumber and egg

Kabayaki is a Japanese style grilled ell. 

As it is rich and nutritious, Japanese people often eat Unagi in the early summer to boost their energy in coping with humid and dump weather.

Got some nice kabayaki pieces from Japan. Like the image above, people put some pieces over the rice to serve each. We got one pouch left. It wasn't enough for two. Sushi rice with cucumber and egg was a solution.


  • One pouch of Unagi-kabayaki (about 150g)
  • One small cucumber
  • One egg
  • Rice for two people
  • 1.5 table spoons of cider vinegar or rice vinegar
  • 1.5 table spoons of sugar
  • 1/2 tea spoon of salt


1. Cook the rice.
2.Beat the egg and spread thinly over the heated up frying pan. Once the egg gets set, take it aside to cool down.
3. Slice the cucumber and the egg thinly.
4. Mix the vinegar, sugar and salt. Scoop the rice that is just done from the rice pan for two people's portion into a bowl and dress with the sushi vinegar. If you use cooked (cold) rice, heat it up in microwave for 1.5 mins before adding sushi vinegar. The heat from the rice evaporate the extra moisture of vinegar and settles the sharpness of its flavour.
5. Chop the unagi into 1.5 cm pieces. Add all the other ingredients into the rice and mix well.
6. Top with shredded seaweed paper to serve.

Time to prepare: 25 mins
Total cost: 1.4 pound (0.6 for rice, 0.4 for egg, 0.4 for cucumber, the kabayaki was gift)
You can purchase pouched kabayaki at Japanese shops in about 10-11 pounds per a large piece. 

 La Crêperie de Hampstead

is a tiny crêpe stand run in a van parked next to a pub in Hampstead High Street.

This van is very popular as they serve variety of nice crêpes as well as being a part of the landscape of Hampstead.

Got the one with Belgium Dark Chocolate.


Total cost: about 3.4 pounds. Sorry I forgot the exact price.

Ribeye Steak Salad with Soy-Wasabi-Truffle oil sauce, miso soup with winter root veggies and pork

Steak is a luxury and entertaining meal and sufficiently satisfies the male stomach. However, the calorie intake is quite high (though it depends on the meat part or the amount). 

This steak salad is a great main dish. The perfume of truffle oil and sharp hint of wasabi creates rich flavour. Besides, lots of fresh veggies can be taken together.

Rich and heavy but less amount of meat, with lots of veggies therefore, it is healthier and more economical than serving a piece of steak per head.

Ingredients (for two)

  • Ribeye steak 300g
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Soy sauce 2 table spoon
  • Wasabi 1/2 table spoon
  • Truffle oil 1 teaspoon
  • Fresh veggies: lettuce, tomatos, parsley, shredded cucumber, etc. 


1. Season the meat with salt and black pepper. 
2. Heat a thick frying pan at the highest temperature, fry the each side of the steak for 2-3 mints then lower the heat to do the meat as your preference. 
3. Set the meat aside. Do not slice it immediately after cooking as the juice will be gone.
4. Mix soy sauce,  wasabi and truffle oil in a bowl.
 5. Slice the meat into 5-7mm, serve it over lots of salad veggies with soy-sawabi-triffle oil sauce!

I love Tonjiru, a miso soup with root veggies and pork. I tried to add some grated ginger as it keeps our body warm.
Small yams, carrots, turnip, spring onion, konjak (yam potato cake), dried shiitake mushrooms, deepfried tofu and pork


1. Yams and turnips are peeled and cut into small bite sized. Other ingredients are cut into 1-1.5cm length.
 2. Boil root veggies for 4-5 mins. Konjak is torn into pieces and boiled in water for 5 mins to remove the scum. 
3.  Put all the ingredients in a large deep pan. Add water and miso and mirin as you like (3-4 table spoons of miso for 1L). Gently boil until root veggies get tender. If available, add some Japanese stock (dashi, made of dried bonito) in the end.

I enjoyed the tonjiru next day too.
It was very good to start the day with miso soup with lots of veggies!!

Total cost of the dinner: 13.56 pounds (11.06 for ribeye steak, 2.5 for all veggies)

Total time to prepare the ribeye steak salad: 25 mins (exclude seasoning time)  

Baby food from leftover rice

Japanese baby usually start their solid food with rice porridge called Okayu.

Ingredients of Okayu for baby

  • Cooked rice
  • 2-3 times of water from the volume of the rice


1. Add the rice and water in a pan and start to heat them up till they get boiled

2. Make the heat small and keep boiling till the rice gets sticky and starched. This condition is known as Okayu for adults.

3. Turn the heat off and blend the Okayu to smooth

4. Once it gets cool, it's ready to serve for baby.

Time to prepare: 15 mints

As the starch is converted into sugar, it is very tasty and smooth.

Pork Meat Balls with Chinese spice

Got a slice of pork loin in our freezer. 
Meat balls are the great solution for using up this amount of meat if we got other main dish. 

Ingredients of meat balls

  • 1 slice of pork loin (150-200g)
  • 20g of bread (soaked in 30cc of milk) or 2 table spoons of corn flour
  • 1/6 of large round onion or 2 bunches of spring onion
  • 1/2 of beaten egg
  • 1 teaspoon of grated ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of rice wine (Chinese rice wine if available)
  • 1 tablespoon of sesame oil
  • black pepper
  • 400-500cc vegetable oil for deep frying
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Chinese Five Spices


1. Blend pork pieces and soggy bread till they get smooth (when you use minced pork, just blend the bread till it gets smooth)

2. Cut the onion as small as possible and add all the ingredients in a bowl. Knead the dough till it becomes smooth with a hand

3. Separate the dough into 9-10 pieces to make meat balls of 3-4 cm diameter

4. Heat up the oil in a pan over medium heat. Put an wooden stick in the centre bottom of the pan. Once many small bubbles come out from the stick, it is the sign for ready to deep fry

5. Add meatballs slowly and deep fry them over low heat for 2-3 minutes

6. Then heat them up over high temperature till they get nicely brown surface. Once they are done, take them aside over a kitchen paper to remove extra oil

7. Mix the salt and the Chinese five spice in a small bowl to serve with meat balls.

Total time to prepare meat balls: 35 mints
Total cost of meat balls: 2.2 pounds (2 for a slice of pork loin, 0.3 for the rest of ingredients)
Total cost of this dinner: 28.9+ pounds (25.6 for sashimi, 0.7 for salad, 2.2 for meat balls, 0.4 for miso soup ingredients (1 egg, tofu and spring onion), plus rice cost)