Showing posts with label diy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label diy. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

DIY cold soba

I saw a friend's posts on FaceBook about eating healthy and one post was about zaru soba. Cold buckwheat noodles are popular fare in Japan during the summer as it is both healthy and refreshing. It is among my favorites and I usually bought a set for lunches at the lab or dinner at home from the Family Mart or Yamazaki convenience stores near the university and my home. Until only recently, we only ate zaru soba at Japanese restaurants here and usually as a set with tempura (ten zaru soba). And so I decided to prepare zaru soba myself and bought the ingredients during one trip at the supermarket near our home. It's really quite easy...just follow the steps below:

Buckwheat noodles and individually packed dried seaweed from the supermarket.

Descriptions and some instructions at the back have been translated and appears on a sticker posted on the packaging.

Cook the buckwheat noodles (about 6 minutes).

Place the soba on a strainer.

Wash the soba with running water.

Gently wash it with your hands [Make sure hands are clean before you do this. ] to make sure excess starch is washed from the noodles. This is a process that's also recommended for your typical instant noodles.

Transfer to a plate or bowl (if you don't have zaru or the small bamboo mat over a shallow bowl). You have a choice to place the soba on top of ice cubes if you use zaru. Otherwise, you'll end up with soupy soba. If you really want to have cold soba just wash it with cold water.

Add seaweed and other toppings (Bonito flakes are highly recommended for the authentic Japanese taste.).

Zaru soba dashi (dipping sauce) from the supermarket.
An English translation is also found on a sticker at the back of the bottle.

Pour yourself ready made dashi (dipping sauce) in a bowl. You can also mix in some wasabi for that extra kick in the dip.

Voila! Cold soba for lunch or dinner!
Japanese restaurants in the Philippines usually serve zaru soba with quail's egg. I find this quite unusual as the egg is not usually part of the meals I've eaten in restaurants while in Japan (Of course, there are no eggs with the set you can buy at convenience stores there.). Perhaps this is just a variation of the dish so I don't really question its authenticity. Nevertheless, I prefer mine without th quail's egg and so my zaru soba is practically vegetarian fare. Itadakimasu!


Saturday, March 30, 2013

Mango float for Easter

The Clairvoyant made some mango float last Thursday that we could enjoy on Easter weekend. The recipe is not so complicated and the ingredients are easy to get. Fresh mangoes are available throughout the year but are very much in season this March and April so we were able to get good mangoes that are just right in terms of sweetness and sourness. Cream and condensed milk are also readily available from the supermarket or even in convenience stores. Graham crackers, which would serve as the layers for what would look like a cake are also available from the grocery. We have a few Pyrex trays at home that we use for various dishes so we just took a couple out of storage and prepared them for use for the do-it-yourself dessert. I took a few photos of the final product that we sampled today after almost 48 hours in the freezer.

Fresh from the fridge freezer - the mango float was placed in the freezer for best results in integration of the ingredients.
The first slice of mango float for the taste test.
Success! The mango float tastes great and the layers of graham, mangoes and cream/condensed milk mix is seen in the photo.
I can say that the mango float is ready for Easter Sunday and won't probably last beyond Sunday if we let everyone indulge in dessert tomorrow.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Friday pasta

We love eating sea food and pasta so it's only natural that we combine the two. It was quite easy to do so with the variety of canned tuna available in the Philippines that allows one to concoct variations of pasta al tonno. Mix it up with garlic, olives and some pepper and its ready to go. It doesn't spoil easily so you can have the leftovers placed in the refrigerator for another meal the following day. It's perfect for whatever meal during the day including breakfast and more so during Lenten Season when we try to minimize our intake of meat and poultry.

Spaghetti with Spanish Style tuna chunks
Close-up of the plate in the previous photo looks a bit reddish or orange that it reminded me of another variation where we include sun dried tomatoes for the dish to seem like Bolognese


Sunday, November 7, 2010


The sprinkler for the car wipers didn't work one day for some reason. Among the most common if not the most common reasons for sprinklers not working is that the nozzles are clogged. Clogging can be caused by dust especially the fine ones that hit the car while one is driving. Clogging can also be caused by car wax, either the liquid that eventually dries upon application or the gooey kind that's usually popular with car buffs (pun intended). Perhaps in this case it might be wax inadvertently applied to the area or the same material in its dried form as it was being rubbed from the car to produce the desired shine. I would like to believe that there was nothing wrong with the sprinkler's motor because the thing was practically new considering we had the original one replaced after it was damaged when the car went under the flood waters of Ketsana. I also did a quick check and could hear the motor running when I engaged the sprinklers. But I wasn't sure if the sound was a good one as I am admittedly not an expert on these things, especially with regards to the Clairvoyant's car. I also didn't want to try troubleshooting as the outcomes may just be that - trouble. And we all know that a mistake may lead to a more expensive bill when you finally have it fixed by qualified technicians.

I decided to call the casa to schedule a check on the sprinkler and I went to the shop last Saturday, arriving quite early (just as the gate opened) only to find out that the guy who fielded my call didn't take down my details for an appointment that morning. I ended up waiting for my turn after the staff attended to those who had appointments. After about 40 minutes of patiently waiting, a person who looked like the manager or perhaps the owner of the dealership approached me and explained that they may not be able to check the car as all those who had appointments showed up. The guy was accommodating and assisted me in making another appointment. I appreciated this and the customer relations of this dealership was one of the reasons we transferred our car here.

Nevertheless, I was a little disappointed that the sprinkler was not fixed that day. It was quite an important part of the car especially these days when it rains almost everyday. Other times, it can be quite dry and the dust can accumulate on the windshield. The combination of dust and rain is most potent as dust plus rain (and dirty rain at that) turns to what appears like muck on your windshield a while after the rains stopped. You would need a good wiper wash delivered by your sprinkler for this stuff. Otherwise, you would have to pour clean water on the windshield as the wiper is engaged for a quick wash and it is not something you'd want to do almost everyday just before driving home from work.

As I had some time this morning before taking the dorgs to the vet, I decided to tinker with the nozzles and succeeded in detaching the hose in one (it was quite easy). I then engaged the sprinklers to see if the motor was able to pump the wash through the hose. It did and this was confirmation that there was nothing wrong with the sprinkler motor. I did the same for the other hose just to make sure my conclusion was correct and also to determine if both hoses were not clogged. With this initial success, I was encouraged to further troubleshooting, this time succeeding to detach the nozzles from the hood after carefully studying the set-up. With the hypothesis that these were clogged, I proceeded blowing into the nozzle and then jabbing the exit points with the smallest pin I could find in the house. I did this several times and finally decided to re-attach the nozzles and reconnect the hoses. The moment of truth finally arrived as I turned on the sprinklers and voila! The sprinkler worked perfectly. The accomplishment definitely made my day as being able to fix things are surefire ways to boost one's confidence. It might be a male-thing but its something that proves one can definitely "do it yourself" as long as you know what your doing and put some care into the work. Next up...the cabinet hinges!