Secrets of Pickling

Last Wednesday, June 19, 2013, due to the fact that I was able to cook Siomai (at around 1 am in the morning for my husband’s lunch) for tomorrow, worked 6.5 hours for a side-line and then headed to Edmonds Community School by bus (for the first time) to volunteer for another Burnaby Food First hands-on workshop (Thank you dear path-finder ^^,) I felt very, very productive. IMG_9815
From 6-8pm, we joined the savvy Andrea Potter- a Red Seal chef and a Registered Holistic Nutritionist-and learned how to make pickled foods using fermentation.
I thought it was great!
We talked about how fermentation (more commonly known as “pickling”) traces its roots way way back in time!
From the Korean “Kimchi” to the Japanese miso soup, Greek yogurts and classic Hamburger pickles, it sure has a special place in our palates.
It is also good to know that the “probiotics” in these pickled foods not only are good for your digestive system but they also fight off germs and viruses.
After our mini lecture, we then proceeded to our ‘hands-on session’.

Yup yup yup! We had take home samples!
Thank you for the fresh local kohlrabi, carrots and radishes Urban Digs Farm!
In about 2 weeks or so…
we will see how these “pickled” veggies turn out (=

Diary of a Newbie Patio Gardener

Joseph and I have zero experience in gardening.
(Well, I guess Joseph has about 2% edge-due to his plant-watering skills way back when) but in my case, okay…let me explain…The thing is…I’ve always had an aversion to frogs. The mere thought of them jumping out from a hole whenever I start digging the soil makes me cringe!

First Basil

First Basil

Mr. Alex Mc Naughton patiently answering questions of newbie gardeners

Mr. Alex Mc Naughton patiently answering questions of newbie gardeners

The husband looks really accomplished (=

The husband looks really accomplished planting that zucchini (=

The good thing is… I haven’t seen one here in North America and I doubt if I will ever find one here in our patio! (=





Burnaby Food First sponsored a workshop called Apartment Gardening for Beginners. Plant genius Mr. Alexander McNaughton treats his plants like a “person” with human feelings. (e.g.If you water them regularly, they will be happy; Be careful with the roots because they will get hurt and not make more babies) Who knew that you can go down to your local grocery store for free milk crates and coffee sacks and grow food in small spaces using these containers?! Not me!

But yeah…it did. (=

There is nothing more rewarding that seeing your very first plants grow…

First Harvest! (Snap Peas)

First Harvest! (Snap Peas)

and using them in your recipe at home (=


Homemade Pesto Pizza with patio-grown snap pea leaves

Thank you Mr. Alex Mc Naughton for your passion for plants and of course, thank you Burnaby Food First for another successful Workshop!

Sushi Party: Care for some “Tofu” Sushi?!

It wasn’t until Joseph and I went to an “all-you-can-eat sushi” restaurant called Robson Sushi that I realized “inari” (tofu sushi) and tomagoyaki” (egg sushi) existed.

Inarizushi. Definitely a favorite (=

Inarizushi. Definitely a favorite (=

After a few clicks here and there, I found out that Inarizushi is also known as “stuffed sushi.” It uses tofu instead of vinegar rice on the outside and usually contains the vinegar rice on the inside. The tofu “pouch” is deep fried to create “aburaage,” or fried tofu bags.

At first, I improvised using “tofu puffs”. I found out that you could make more sushi using these kind than to get the real tofu packets from the store. (Tofu puffs are less expensive and they form a solid base after you cut it in half.

These semi-homemade recipe came together quickly and most satisfactorily. Considering that the rice was prepared in a rice cooker and the tofu puffs were sold prefabbed, the only real work was measuring the dressing, toasting some sesame seeds, and assembling the whole package.

  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked sushi rice
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 package tofu puffs (cut in half)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons white sesame seeds
  • scallions (finely chopped)

Tofu Puff Seasoning: 6Tbsp sugar, 6t mirin, 1T soysauce


1. It is crucial to wash the tofu puffs with hot water so as to remove the excess oil in it.

2. Toss the Tofu puff seasoning and let the tofu soak for a bit and until it boils. (2-3 min.)

3. Drain the excess seasoning and lay the pockets on a plate.

4. Take a spoonful of cooked vinegar rice and place it into the pockets, making sure it is snug.

5. Garnish with  scallions and sesame seeds.

6. Okay… now it is time for some Sushi party ^^,

The Plan

The Plan

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Looks like…

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"approved" (=

“approved” (=