Pokéball

Now that I’ve grabbed your attention with a misleading title (I know, I’m just SO devious), I will reveal to you that today’s blogpost has nothing to do with Pokemon, rather, with Poke Bowls.

For those of you who don’t know what that is: a Poke Bowl is a Hawaiian-inspired dish with a rice base, topped with greens and raw fish ( usually tuna) which has been marinated in an asian-style sauce. So basically…sushi, but cooler.

One thing you should know about me? If you tag me in a photo of food, I will instantly crave it. My cravings know no boundaries. So yes, after being bombarded with photos of Poke Bowls on social media, I knew I had to have it. However, after multiple google searches, I realised that not a single place in Vienna serves them. If any entrepreneurs are looking to invest in the food industry…here’s your market!

Anyway, seeing as Poke Bowls are not yet a thing over here, I decided to make my own…which was a bad idea. I don’t think there was a problem with the recipe itself, I just happened to succumb to a series of unfortunate events.

Firstly, I went to the store and was quite honestly offended by the price of fresh, sushi-grade salmon. Double the price of sushi from a restaurant, yet half the quantity! So me being me, I thought : Meh, smoked salmon will do. Then, while combining the ingredients, I put in WAY too much soy sauce, obviously forgetting that smoked salmon in itself is pretty salty. In combination with cooking too little rice, my Poke Bowl (though pretty) just ended up tasting like sodium and not much else. So why am I still sharing the recipe with you? Because I feel that if you can follow basic instructions (unlike me) , you’d have a masterpiece…so here it is!



Salmon & Avocado Poke Bowl

Author: justputzing
Recipe type: Lunch/Dinner
Cuisine: Asian, Hawaiian
Prep time:  15 mins
Cook time:  5 mins
Total time:  20 mins
Yields: 4
INGREDIENTS
  • 1 lb sushi-grade salmon
  • 1 avocado, cubed
  • Cooked white rice, to serve
  • ½ red onion, finely diced
  • ½ cup green onions, chopped
  • ⅓ cup soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp white sugar
  • ⅛ cup sesame oil
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • Sesame seeds
DIRECTIONS
  1. In a medium bowl, mix together red onion, green onion, soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, and ginger. Set aside.
  2. Remove bones and skin from your salmon, if any, and cut the fish into ¾″ chunks.
  3. Add fish and avocado to the bowl with the marinade. Toss to coat. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  4. Taste and adjust seasonings.
  5. Serve with extra diced green onions and sesame seeds on top of steamed white rice that has been cooled to room temperature.
  6. Enjoy!

    – A Pearl of the Orient.

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Baking bread.

If you have a true appreciation for food, I recommend that you go and watch the Netflix series Cooked by Michael Pollan. ( Side note: Make sure you’ve eaten before-hand because those beautiful visuals make you incredibly hungry. Slobbering is also a possible side-effect.)

The series explores the human history of cooking in regards to the four elements: Earth, Fire, Air and Water and takes us back to the origins of cooking and how it has helped us evolve as a species. It has become increasingly evident that many of us are no longer  interested in where our food comes from and how it is being made as long as it’s tasty and lands on our plate fast.  I too, am guilty of ordering out multiple times a week instead of putting those hands to work. With the food production industry providing quick and delicious alternatives, what need is there to cook?

“When we learned to cook is when we became truly human. But we’ve lost touch, I think, with how that food got to our plates”. –  Michael Pollan.

One of the most eye opening episodes for me was that of Air which revolved around bread, the basic staple of our diet since prehistoric times. I was shocked to realise that I didn’t even know how to make the most basic thing without having to google a recipe because it had always just been there, sitting in its plastic wrapper. Speaking of which, did you know that home-made bread needs about 5 basic ingredients? Now, look at label on the packaging of manufactured bread. How many ingredients can you count? It’s no wonder we’ve become so sensitive to food allergies.

Not only did I come away from that episode with a new found appreciation, love and respect for cooking but also the incredible urge to bake some bread myself and so that’s what I did.

Saturday morning was spent baking a home-made ciabatta and I’ve got to say it was pretty fun. Kneading the dough brought me back to the good old playdough days and I’ll admit I might have eaten some raw …but it tasted so good! My patience was tested while waiting for the dough to rise but it was all worth it. I’d forgotten how satisfying it is to make something from scratch and then have someone to share it with. It was perfect; fresh and toasty out of the oven and paired with fresh prosciutto, tomatoes, mozzarella and olive oil.
If you’d like to give it a go yourself, here’s the awesome recipe I used!

Easy Homemade Ciabatta

Author: The Crepes of Wrath

Prep time:  2 hours 30 mins
Cook time:  40 mins
Total time:  3 hours 10 mins
Serves: 1 large loaf
Perfectly crusty on the outside, chewy on the inside homemade ciabatta bread.
Ingredients
  • 3¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¾ teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1¾ cup + 2 tablespoons warm (115 degrees F) water
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil, plus more for the bowl
Instructions
  1. Whisk together the flour, yeast, salt, and sugar. Pour in the warm water, and beat for 5 solid minutes, either with a mixer or a wooden spoon. If you have a dough hook, use it and knead the mixture for an additional five minutes, until the dough is well combined, otherwise just keep beating with the wooden spoon.
  2. When the dough is well combined, flour your hands, stick ’em in a bowl, and pull parts of the dough up and slap it back down into the bowl. Do this for another 5 minutes. This will push air bubbles into the dough and create nice holes when it bakes.
  3. Oil a large bowl, then plop the dough into that bowl. Drizzle your olive oil over the top of the dough, then cover the bowl in plastic wrap and cover with at towel. Place the bowl in a warm spot and allow it to rise for 2 hours.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, then sprinkle it with flour. Flour your hands, and shape the dough into a long loaf, about 12 inches long and 4 inches wide. Sprinkle the top of the loaf with a just touch of flour for strictly aesthetic purposes (trust me, it looks pretty), then bake for 35-40 minutes, until the bread is lightly golden. If you tap the bread, you should feel like it’s hollow – that’s how you know it’s ready! Place the bread on a cooling rack and allow it to cool down for a minimum of 20-30 minutes.

Have a lovely week!

– A Pearl of the Orient.

 

Ready to find your prince?

I love my mum and she’s taught me more valuable lessons in my life then I can count.
Granted she didn’t always use the gentlest of means to teach me but I mean … most korean mums don’t. But we’ll get to my hilarious and memorable upbringing another time.

My mum made me aware of the law of attraction at a very young age and always reminded me to clearly visualise and consciously work towards what I wanted in the future- the cosmos would handle the rest. This involved multiple drawings of mansions and future houses i would live in and of the man i would one day marry. But a quickly scribbled drawing of a man in purple crayon can only do so much. So she told me to write a list of all the most important attributes my future prince charming would have to have and keep it safe. Ofcourse I wanted to jot down every positive adjective recorded in the dictionary but after some careful reconsideration and multiple edits, i had done it and was content with the Prince i had conjured on paper.

As obvious as it seems now, it was only a few days ago when i randomly started thinking about my list from all those years ago ( which i still have by the way) that i realised how genius it actually is . I can only recommend you write your own for the following reasons:

1) The Law of attraction. I absolutely believe that the things we truly desire and envision have a way of finding their way to us. Unfortunately, nothing comes without a little elbow grease which leads me to my next point.

2) A list will help you reflect on your own character…yes, i’m talking about all your negative aspects too! Once you’ve acknowledged your own weaknesses , you’re ready to work on them and make sure that YOU are the person your prince would want to be with. Ever heard of the saying: ”Luck happens when preparation meets opportunity”? Well this is that. Increase your chances while you’re ahead.

3)It’s okay to have set standards! You don’t have to waste time kissing every single frog in the pond because you’ll recognise when someone checks the blank boxes. If you’re just looking for fun, that’s ok too but when it really comes down to it,  you’ll be able to distinguish between a summer fling and something that may be leading somewhere ( excuse the vague language).

So what are you waiting for? Grab that pen & paper and let the universe handle the rest. What 3 qualities are at the top of your list?

– A Pearl of the Orient.