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Sunday, November 24, 2013

Nature Inspired Recipe #4 : How to make Pandan Pancakes


Ingredients & Cooking Directions for Pandan Pancakes with Mango Syrup

Estimated Servings: 5-6

Pancake Batter:

½ cup boiling water
2 pandan leaves
4 tablespoons melted butter
2 cups self-rising flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pandan extract
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
2 cups milk
2 eggs

Mango Syrup:

½ cup cubed mangos
½ cup golden syrup

Blend pandan leaves and hot water until it turns the water green. Pour everything out into a filter and squeeze out all the juice. Finally set your green pandan juice aside.

In a large bowl add in all the dry ingredients for the pancake batter and stir them up to combine. In another bowl, pour the wet ingredients and mix them until well blended. Then add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir it up until it turns into a smooth batter. Place the batter in the fridge for about 15-30 minutes and in the meantime, let's make some mango syrup!

Warm the syrup on low heat until it thins up just a little bit. Remove it from the heat and add in the mango cubes. Mix it up to combine and then set the syrup aside.

Heat a pan to medium low heat and using a paper towel, wipe a small amount of oil onto the pan. Dollop on the batter into whatever size you'd like using a ladle. Then cook the pancake until you see bubbles form on the surface and the cooked side turns lightly golden brown. Then flip the pancake and cook the other side until golden brown. Repeat this process until you cook all of the batter. Finally pour some mango syrup on top of your pancake stacks and dig in!

***Pandan leaves can be found at the freezer section of an Asian grocery store.


***To make 2 cups of self-rising flour, mix 2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon salt and 3 teaspoons baking powder together.

Nature Inspired Recipe #3 : How to make Lotus Steamed Fried Rice


Ingredients & Cooking Directions for lotus steamed fried rice

Estimated Servings: 4

½ cup cooked lotus seeds
5 diced shiitake mushrooms
½ cup edamame (a.k.a. soybeans)
½ cup diced carrots
4 cups cooked and chilled jasmine rice
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon soy sauce
3 slices cooked lotus roots
2 fresh or dried lotus leaves
Water for steaming

Turn your stove onto medium high heat, add in 1 tablespoon of oil to a wok or frying pan and stir fry the vegetables until slightly softened. Remove the vegetables from pan and set aside to cool.

Add the remaining oil in the same pan that you cooked the vegetables in and stir fry the rice for about 3 minutes while breaking it up. Then season the rice with salt, pepper and soy sauce mixing it all up. Once the vegetables cool off, arrange the lotus root by putting the edamame and carrots into the holes. Next add the remaining vegetables to the rice and combine everything together. Turn off the heat and set the rice aside.

To prepare the lotus leaves, run them through warm water so that they become more pliable. Then place them in a large bowl, laying one lotus leaf inside the bowl followed by the other, putting the rough side of the leaf down first. Now scoop the fried rice into the leaf and fold the 2 lotus leaves to enclose the rice pressing it down firmly until flat. Bring a steamer full of water to a boil, and steam the lotus fried rice on high heat for about 5 minutes. Then remove it from the steamer carefully and allow it to cool down before handling.

With a sharp knife or scissors, carefully make long cuts on the first layer of lotus leaf from corner to corner criss-crossing each other, and then fold the four sections back. Next cut the inner leaf and fold those sections back until it looks like a blooming lotus flower exposing the rice.


****Cooked lotus seeds, edamame, and lotus roots can be found in the freezer section at an Asian grocery store and lotus leaves can be found at the dried foods section or produce section of an Asian grocery store.

Nature Inspired Recipe #2 : How to make Vegan Lettuce Wraps


Ingredients & Cooking Directions for Vegan Lettuce Wraps

Estimated Servings: 4

Filling:

2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 cup chopped yellow onion
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 tablespoon minced lemongrass
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 cup extra firm tofu crumbles
½ cup chopped water chestnuts
4 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons agave syrup
4 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 teaspoon sriracha
16 large lettuce leaves

Garnishes:

½ cup grated carrots
½ cup chopped green onions
½ cup chopped fresh mint
½ cup chopped peanuts

To make the filling, turn your stove on medium heat and pour oil into a large wok or pan. Next add in the onion, ginger, lemongrass, and garlic, and cook until the onions begin to soften and everything gets fragrant. Then pour in the tofu and water chestnuts stir-frying it until heated through. Stir in soy sauce, hoisin sauce, sriracha and syrup and mix it until all the flavors are well distributed throughout the filling. Finally turn off the heat and set up your plate of lettuce leaves.


Arrange the lettuce leaves on a large platter and pour the filling into each lettuce leaf. Garnish the each lettuce leaf with all of the garnishes and serve immediately.

Nature Inspired Recipe #1 : How to make a Durian Smoothie



Ingredients & Directions for Durian Smoothie

Estimated Servings: 1

1 cup durian 
½ cup water
2 tablespoons condensed milk
1 cup ice
Whipped cream 
Cherry

Pour all of the ingredients in a blender except for the whipped cream and cherry and blend until smooth. Pour the smoothie into a glass and top with whipped cream and a cherry on top. 

***Durian can be found at an Asian grocery store either in the freezer section or in the produce section.