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I made Gyoza Chinese dumpling tonight for keeping them in the freezer.

Gyoza Chinese Dumpling

Gyoza Chinese Dumpling

Gyoza Dumpling being Kept in Freezer

Gyoza Dumpling being Kept in Freezer

I prepared raw dumpling wrapped with Gyoza rice sheets so that I can fry them direct from the frozen state in which case I do not need to take much care not to break the Gyoza wrapping while I am frying.

Ingredients of Gyoza for around 25 dumplings :

  • around 250 g of minced pork
  • half of spring green cabbage and 3 Chinese cabbage leaves, finely chopped and remove excess water by squeezing a little harder.
  • 1 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 3 cm of ginger, finely chopped 
  • 1 table spoon of soy sauce
  • 1 table spoon of sesame oil
  • 1 table spoon of sake
  • salt, white pepper
  • Gyoza wrappers – around 25 sheets in a packet
  • some potato starch
Ingredients of Gyoza Chinese Dumpling + Chinese Cabbage

Ingredients of Gyoza Chinese Dumpling + Chinese Cabbage

Chinese Cabbage Leaves

Chinese Cabbage Leaves

Excess Juice of Spring Green Cabbage Squeezed

Excess Juice of Spring Green Cabbage Squeezed

Mix the above ingredients and knead by hands for about 30 times, then wrap with the Gyoza rice wrappers, which are sealed with water.

Gyoza Dumpling being Wrapped

Gyoza Dumpling being Wrapped

Put them on containers with their bottoms covered with thinly scattered potato starch.

Gyoza Dumpling being Wrapped with Folds

Gyoza Dumpling being Wrapped with Folds

As it seemed the high season cabbage contain a lot of water, I put more cabbages today. You may want to adjust to your preferred proportions.

Put lids on or cover the container and the Gyoza can be kept in home freezer for about a month.

Fridge Freezer bought several years ago in the UK.

Fridge Freezer bought several years ago in the UK.

 The frost in the freezer bought in the UK several years ago can be used to cool down in a coming hotter day!

It was only one of the really surprising facts in the UK that when we bought the fridge freezer, there was no information regarding frost developments shown in the displays in electrical products retail shops in London several years ago. The above fridge freezer we bought cost about £400.

I remember that as fully frost free freezers are standard in Japan since more than 20 years ago in Japan, I did not even checked about frost developments.

20 years old! fully frost free freezer in Japan in 2004.

20 years old!!!!! fully frost free freezer in Japan in 2004.

Nevertheless in many houses in London I had visited, I often found rump ice frosts in their freezers, but I only thought they want to use their stuff with extra care to use as long as possible. Some tourist guide books describe this habits with respect in king of a manner that we, Japanese have improved various technologies over the past many years and nowadays we tend not to take sufficient care to our possessions.

Once I have started settled in the UK, started work, started pay energy bills with silly admin issues coming up everywhere, products and services which need not to buy in the past revealed with low quality of products and low level of services at unlawfully expensive prices.

If you imagine that you have experienced the latest high standard technology ever at far reasonable prices, and then suddenly the prices of 20 years and more behind products have been told to be the same for more than several years and we do not know when all the products and services in the UK are adequately priced for the level of the actual quality and levels in global standard.

I eagerly expect to see right pricings for most of products and services in the very near future.

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I have got two high season vegetables in my fridge – green cabbage and broad beans.

Broad Beans Hanging

Broad Beans Hanging

Usually or traditionally, ingredients of Chahan, the egg fried rice are onion, rice left over from last night, cooled steamed rice, green pepper, carrots and ham.

But I fried Chahan egg fried rice with using cabbage and broad beans instead of green pepper and carrots today.

I just named this dish as ‘Spring Chahan’ here for only the purpose to be imaged the recipe better.

The green cabbage in spring high season, I tend to bite the raw cabbage involuntarily as if I was an insect ! The smell, tender leaves and the colour are all rare opportunity to taste in a year, if we do not often check fresh vegetables at supermarkets or local markets.

Broad beans are incredible and fantastically artistic in their nature of appearance, as well as the nutty with green vegetable taste I love them as well.

Ingredients of Spring Chahan for serves 3

  • Cooled rice – 2 cups of Japanese rice are steamed with 2.2 cups of water in low heat, then cooled down for at least hours.
  • 2 leaves of green cabbage,finely chopped
  • 8 to 10 pods of broad beans, shells removed and boiled
  • half onion, finely chopped
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 large slices of ham of your choice
  • salt, white pepper, 2 to table spoons of soy sauce and 4 table spoons of oil
Ingredients of 'Spring Chahan' Egg Fried Rice

Ingredients of 'Spring Chahan' Egg Fried Rice

First of all, all the onion, cabbage and ham are chopped finely and put aside individually for preparation before frying anything. Broad beans are not chopped, but remove the shells and boil them with pinch of salt for 1 minute and drain, then put them aside.

Broad Beans Bedding

Broad Beans Bedding

Chinese dishes including egg fried rice need to be cooked in high heat, quickly be fried within a couple of minutes and the fried vegetables tend to be raw and crunchy which reveal the freshness and quality of the vegetables used in the dish.

Heat a frying pan which is in good quality, with thick sole and non-stick for about 30 seconds to a minute and pour 2 table spoons of oil and heat in high heat until the oil becomes hot enough for frying, but do not heat the oil or pan only too much if you are a novice cook for your safety.

Fry beaten eggs to make scrambled eggs and put fried eggs on a plate for a while.

Heat additional 2 table spoons of oil in high heat and quickly stir fry onions and once the onion becomes in transparent, i.e. cooked enough to make good flavour, add rice and try to fry with brown grilling colour and make them dry as much as possible.

You can toss the pan if possible, however, with the normal size pan, it is too much. Actually egg fried rice has to be cooked with wok in proper wok burner anyway.

When part of the rice has turned with nice brown burning colour, add cabbage from the edge of the frying pan and try to heat the cabbage as well as mixing into the rice quickly on the continued high heat.

Fried Rice with Onion in Non-Stick Pan

Fried Rice with Onion in Non-Stick Pan

Add broad beans and ham and mix them well. Sprinkle salt, pepper and mix them. Pour soy sauce from the edge of the pan so that the soy sauce burns quickly to scent the nice burning flavour around.

Egg Fried Rice just before Seasoning

Egg Fried Rice just before Seasoning

Dish up and enjoy it with more salt, pepper and soy sauce at table if you need to adjust to your preference.

' Spring Chahan ' Egg Fried Rice

' Spring Chahan ' Egg Fried Rice

Here is our current cooker we bought several years ago for £400 and I somehow with above techniques, manage to fry egg fried rice with the cooker. As you can see from the photo, it does not heat around the centre of the pan when we use the highest heat. There was no numerical information available in the popular shops we shopped around, such as kilowatts, kilocalories, etc.

Gas cooker not enough max. min. heats, gas oven does not keep fire on after less than 10 times use over several years.

Gas cooker not max./min. enough heats, gas oven does not keep fire on after less than 10 times use over several years.

I had been shocked a lot of times in the UK that products and services available in the UK are in such a low quality as one of the advanced countries in the world and there have not been even signs of improvements.

In Japan, I remember such lower level of products have not existed since at least 20 years ago, as well as other white electrical products with EU trade restrictions controlled internally.

In consumer point of view, off course they expect latest and highest technologies at reasonably invest-able cost. If consumers are restricted to access such products for such distorted controls, they off course do not want spend even £400 for the new cooker but 20 years behind from the latest technology if the adequate products are available at reasonable prices.

How is it being corrected, I have been very interested in since I started live in the UK several years ago and particularly would like to see products and services available for the UK are at least priced fairly reasonable in global standard in the near future.

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I actually wanted to leave some pesto to decorate plates when I cook meat in the weekend, but one packet of basil produced just enough for two portions of spaghetti sauce.

Basil Pesto Genovese Spaghetti

Basil Pesto Genovese Spaghetti

I will buy a basil pot next time and grow it in my kitchen garden, sadly as it seems the sprouts are about to be eaten all up by insects.

There was another issue that as the basil leaves I had from the packet was only below 30g, even after adding garlic cloves, pine nuts and olive oil, it was hard to chop and mix in the juicer mixer below.

Basil Pesto Ingredients

Basil Pesto Ingredients

I should have used food processor. Somehow I have added extra olive oil and that mixer had managed to chop and mix after operating for more than a couple of minutes.

That mixer above, is UK manufacturer’s product and I remember the chef Jamie Oliver used to used in the commercial of large supermarket in the UK some years ago.

 I bought as it was the toughest model Harrods had in the department several years ago, as I was seeking perfect machine which can crash ice cubics finely with no problems to make smoothy. 

It worked very well, but it makes so much noise like DIY power tools that all the neighbour must be able to recognise the machine every time I use it.

There is one safety issue with this machine that the motor can operate even when the mixer bottle is not in the position.

I have experienced such moments several times, taking the base machine from the cup board and when I plug into the socket, the motor suddenly starts to turn at the normal operating speed.

There is no sensor to check if the mixer bottle is in correct position to be ready for operating or not on this machine.

I think I should contact the manufacturer for this issue.

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Miele UK – Product Demonstration in the Showroom

Miele UK Module Hobs

Miele UK Module Hobs

Last Autumn, I went to Miele showroom located near Oxford.

In the UK, over the recent years Miele home appliance manufacturer has achieved prominent top reviews by customers. As I need to research the best suitable kitchen appliances, I participated the kitchen appliances demonstration called ‘Let’s Do Lunch’. The demonstration last more than a couple of hours for 25 pounds per person, the presenters in turn introduce range of the ovens and hobs as cooking various meals mainly. I understand that in western countries, usage of oven is much higher than in Asian countries. My interests are cast mainly on the modular hobs and hoods.

Thanks to their performance in a practical, informative manner, by the time I had finished the lunch, my interests are extended to other products such as induction hob ( for immediate heating, safer as it heats food, not pans or glass top ), ceramic hob ( for simmer cooking, adjustable more sensitively than gas hobs ), wok gas hob ( with 6kw high burner ), Steam combi-oven, hood with external motor for minimum sound of operation and even the Nespresso espresso machine, totalling more than 5,000 pounds! However, I agree that the quality of Miele is admirable in the UK.

In Miele Japan website, there are only one model in each oven, steam oven and microwave oven ranges, however, there is an exact modular hobs I would like.

Miele JP Module Hobs

Miele JP Module Hobs

The reason why I am keen on product selection is that a lot of services and products in this country are far too expensive for the performance of the products and services, comparing with products such as in Japan. Six years ago I bought a fridge-freezer and a gas range cooker with 4 hobs and 2 gas ovens which cost about 800 pounds in total. It is not enough to reason only overvalued currency, the quality of the product is out of issue, which are firmly protected by trading safe guards. Two decades behind – as frost develops in the freezer and therefore twice a year it needs to be removed, there is not enough difference between highest and lowest heat levels of the gas hobs, the entrance area of the gas oven is rather lower than the inside… for the price, such quality products do not exist in Japan, and probably in other countries either.

The meaning is that if the product quality is acceptable for the money paid, that’s all ok. I would like to  wait until the product prices come down to reasonably standard levels.

P.S. The article is rather in bitter taste, isn’t it? There are other factors which I do love this coutry, though. When I have some time, I will write about them.

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