Saturday, November 5, 2011

Bethany-proof recipe! "Okonomi-dama" アタシでも出来るレシピ!『お好み玉』

Now, I wouldn't say I'm a BAD cook per se, but I'm not brilliant either. It kinda doesn't really make sense cos I can bake an amazing Apple Crumble that many love and crave, yet I can burn instant noodles.

まぁ、アタシは手料理が苦手って言われないけれど、上手も言えない。 なんかおかしいですよ、アタシのアップルクランブルは世界一番おいしいだけど、他の料理なら出来ない...カップラーメンでも焼ける...アハハハ(汗)

In Secondary 2, I kinda left everything to my partner in Home Economics, much to her chagrin. And I have a history of burning instant noodles, instant pasta, milk, marshmallows, everything. Yet all my whimsical self-recipes come out pretty tasty, as my faithful guinea pig best friend of many years can testify to.


I'm kinda handicapped in the culinary sector mainly because our oven is broken and we don't have a microwave. In fact, I thought we didn't even have a rice cooker until recently. So I basically can't bake anything unless I go to others' houses, which is the only way I make my drool-worthy Apple Crumble.


As a result of this lack of cooking equipment, I am left to my own innovation, and often come up with easy no-bake recipes that don't require equipment, such as chocolate bonbons, soft caramels, cider etc. I may upload my recipes up occasionally, if people want it.


Anyway, today I'm going to share a cooking recipe that is so quick, easy and mess-free that it's Bethany-proof. When it comes to heat-related stuff, I tend to make a mess and burn stuff, and I hate cleaning up (especially scraping off charred gunk). Yet, this heat-involving recipe is so fuss-free that even after I spilled and burned stuff the cleanup was less than a minute!


All you need is pancake mix (I used the one that I burnt before and it turned out fine!), a rice cooker, cupcake cases (preferably silicon or aluminium), and whatever ingredients you want! We're gonna make Bethany-proof steamed cakes! Let's begin~

必要のはただホットケーキミックス、炊飯器 、カップケーキのカップ(シリコンとかアルミ)、そしてお好みの食材。でわでわ、始めましょう〜!☆

First, prepare your pancake mix. I used a pre-mix where all I have to do is add water to the indicated line in the jug and shake it. You can use any kind of pancake mix, and even make one from scratch if you want, but I'm going for ease here so I went for pre-mix.


Chop up whatever condiments you wish to add. Here I have chicken breakfast ham and white chocolate (for separate flavours, of course). Some ideas you can try: chicken pieces (the already-cooked kind you can get in supermarkets), sausages (also already cooked), cheese, bacon, chocolate chips, caramels, nuts, raisins, dried fruit, fresh fruit, M&Ms, gummies, marshmallows etc.


You can also mix various condiments into one cup of cake for a richer taste. You can try experimenting with sauces and seasonings too- I plan to make a batch with caramel sauce drizzled in to create gooey strips when bitten into. Salt and pepper can also enhance savoury flavours.


Next, place the cupcake cases in your rice cooker something like what's pictured above. I used paper cupcake cases, but I highly recommend you don't use those. If you have silicon cupcake cases (the stiff, reusable, sometimes colourful kinds), those would be great as they can be washed and reused so you save money. Alternatively, you can use those disposable aluminium muffin cups for less cleaning up hassle, especially if you want to bring them to school or work. Just make sure you don't use soft cases like I did, because the batter will just spill out all over the place as it can't keep its shape.


You can pour the batter directly into the cooker with the cases inside, or you can fill the cases first then place them into the cooker. I could fit 6 paper cases into the cooker, but if you use stiffer cups you'll probably only manage 4-5, which is already more than enough for one meal. Try not to fill the cups fully- only up to the 2/3 level point.


After you've poured in the batter, just drop your condiments in! I did 3 ham ones and 3 white chocolate ones- main meal and dessert~


Then, just shut your rice cooker and turn it on! No special settings whatsover, just as if you're cooking rice. The cooking time really depends on your rice cooker's setting, but I just checked back every 10 minutes and started eating after half an hour. It probably takes about 20 minutes or less, but if you're unsure if it's ready or not, just stab one with a fork or knife and split it. If the inside isn't goopy and looks spongy, it's ready.


This is what it looks like when done. Mine only looks so messy 'cos the paper cups flattened out from the weight of the batter and everything started spilling out. If you use stiffer cups, it'll definitely be in shape. It looks like a donut 'cos I forgot to take a picture before pulling the center one out, haha.

焼きたてで〜す!アタシのはべちゃべちゃになったですよ...(((( ;°Д°))))紙のカップケーキカップを使ったからね。(涙)中のケーキを食べて前に写真撮るって忘れましたからドーナツ見たい...アハハハァァ(汗)

And this is is! Not the most aesthetically pleasing, but if you use silicon/aluminium cups it'll definitely look great. Also, although you probably won't spill and burn any batter with stiff cups, cleanup would still be easy if you did. Rice-cooker pots are usually anti-stick because it cooks rice in direct contact, so charred bits don't stick to the pot!


The best thing is that if you can't finish it in one sitting, or don't want the rest to cool down and become stale or soggy while you eat, you can just leave the rest in the cooker on "warm" mode or the equivalent on your cooker. It won't burn them, and instead just keep them warm, moist and fresh.


The texture is amazing. Because it's steamed and not fried like regular pancakes, the cake part isn't dry and instead fluffy and moist. Even better, you get to control what you put in and eat!


This recipe is especially great for students. All you have to do is mix up all your pancake mix, store it in an old juice bottle (if yours isn't already in one, like mine), and leave it in the fridge for use anytime. Wake up in the morning, fill the silicon/aluminium cups, dump in whatever condiments you want, place it in the cooker, turn it on, and resume your usual routine. Brush teeth, wash face, bathe, change etc. You don't even have to worry about over-cooking because rice cookers will switch to "warm" mode once it's done anyway. Then just before leaving for school, dump it all in a paperbag or lunchbox and go! No cleaning necessary~


I wish I had discovered this before I graduated, so I have something easy to prepare and bring to school every day! Try this for work too, if you don't wanna wake up to prepare breakfast early in the morning, or as a quick snack when guests come over. And because you don't need to watch the food while it cooks in the rice cooker, you can do whatever else you want while waiting- study, talk to your guests, surf the net etc.!


Good luck, and do let me know how it turns out! I should also come up with a name for this dish because I keep not knowing what to refer to it as. How about "Okonomi-dama"? Haha! 'Cos "okonomi" means "as you like" (like in "Okonomi-yaki", the fried pancake as you like it) and "dama" means a ball/round object (because it's a round lump!). Okay, set~ "Okonomi-dama"! ^V^///



P.S. Yes, yes, this is supposed to be my haul post BUT ROARRRR MY PACKAGES STILL HAVEN'T COME AND IT'S MORE THAN A WEEK ALREADY!!! And since it's the weekend we'll have to wait until Monday. If it doesn't come by Monday, I'm writing in to Singpost, Royal Mail, and the online shops. I was telling T I wanted to slash the postman's neck when he came but she said if I did I wouldn't get my next next package (I got bulk Christmas gifts for some girls when ASOS had their 15% off!) because there'd be no more postman and no other dude would wanna deliver to a place where their colleague got slashed. ( ̄∩ ̄#

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