Monday, 30 April 2012

Hiyashi Soba


Do you know what is Hiyashi Soba (冷やし中華)?

My boyfriend has been crazy about soba ever since when our March trip to Japan neared, and his obsession lasts until now!

He came to my house yesterday with a pack of Uji green tea soba noodles (which smelled so good when cooked!), and his trusty bottle of soba sauce and tube of wasabi.

He was always making the most basic of Hiyashi Soba, which looks like this:

Except his Hiyashi Soba is really plain...just soba and the dipping sauce and wasabi. Hahaha!

The other day I was surfing the net and chanced upon Soba Salad. That recipe was very much like Pasta Salad, but instead of pasta, the author used soba noodles! I couldn't find that recipe after that, but the image of vegetables and soba noodles stayed in my head, and I wanted to make it!

So we prepared some ingredients and we started to make what I thought was Hiyashi Soba. -___-" Actually, I was confused, because I was thinking Salad Soba at the same time.

Ingredients (2 servings):

- 2 carrots
- 1 Japanese cucumber
- 10 sticks of crab meat (imitation is fine too)
- 1 stalk negi (spring onions)
- 2 eggs
- pinch of sugar and salt
- 2 teaspoon oil
- 1 pack of soba noodles
- some nori (seaweed) strips for topping
- wasabi (optional)

Sauce (recipe from here)

- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 4 tablespoons vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 teaspoon ginger powder

1) Wash all your vegetables thoroughly. Peel off the skin of the carrots with a peeler. Cut away the head and roots of the carrots, cucumber and negi. Slice all the carrots, cucumber and crab meat. Chop the spring onion into tiny pieces.

The thinner you can slice them, the better the sweetness, crunch and ease of eating them later.

2) Put some salt on the carrots and cucumber to dry them a bit. Set them aside. 

3) Crack your eggs. Season with salt and sugar. Beat until fluffy.

4) Heat up the oil in your frying pan. Pour the egg mixture in when you hear your the oil sizzling in your pan. 

Turn your heat to medium-low. Leave your omelette like this for about 2 minutes. If you have no idea how to flip your omelette, it's alright. Just leave it like this. It will be cooked soon enough. Turn off the heat. 

5) Slice your omelette. 

6) Make the sauce by combining all the ingredients for the sauce. Transfer half of the sauce into another bowl. Put the sliced cucumbers in one bowl, and the sliced carrots in another.

7) Fill a large pot with half a pot of water. Boil your water in a large pot over high heat. When you see bubbles, it means that the water is boiling. Put in your soba noodles and let it cook for about 4 minutes.

8) When 4 minutes is up, drain your noodles over a large colander over a sink. Be careful of the hot water!! Don't burn yourself!

9) Run your soba noodles under cold water. If your water is not cold enough, you can put in some ice cubes over your soba noodles.

The noodles will have a springy texture to the bite. ^^

10) Take out the carrots and cucumbers from the sauce. Transfer your sauce to 2 dining dishes. Put half of the soba into each dish. Mix your noodles thoroughly with the sauce.

11) Top with all the toppings you have prepared, including the nori strips. 

Here is my confused version of Hiyashi Soba. 

It ended up looking like Bibambap or Hiyashi Chuka. 

This is how(冷やし中華)Hiyashi Chuka looks like:

I asked my Japanese friend, Junko, the difference between Hiyashi Soba and Hiyashi Chuka.

Firstly, Hiyashi Chuka uses egg noodles, and secondly, the sauce used is sesame sauce. I suddenly recalled the taste of Hiyashi Chuka after hearing both of these ingredients. I only tried it once so many years ago, and it was really delicious. I should attempt to create an authentic Hiyashi Chuka next time! T^T

Here's my boyfriend's version of Hiyashi Soba.

His version is so much more popular than mine for some reason. I put both of our soba dishes on Facebook, and more friends preferred his!

Anyway, you can tell that it's a man's version of soba with all the crab meat and egg. All the lovely vegetables are hidden underneath! -___-"

I must say that when he came to the dining table with his version, I was shocked!!! His looked so colourful and enticing! 

Well, we really enjoyed our soba noodles. My mum loved it too. The sauce recipe which I found at Vegetable Gohan was so delicious. It really felt like we were eating at a Japanese Soba House. ^^

This recipe is not difficult to make. It's just a lot of slicing work. Please try it on a hot summer day. The coolness of all the ingredients and the sauce makes it a refreshing and comfortable meal. 

If you like Happy Girls Cute Food's recipes, join us on Facebook for even more fun and more delicious recipes ~! New updates everyday over there!


Some readers have feedbacked that it'll be better if I can tell them where to buy the ingredients and what brands of ingredients I recommend. From my next post onwards, I will do a little section telling you where you can find the ingredients, or any substitutes you can use.

I live in Singapore, so for now, I can only let people living in Singapore know where to get the ingredients...

1. Soba noodles

Nissin brand. My boyfriend bought this and I forgot the price. I believe it's less than S$6 for a pack. You can find it easily in Cold Storage. Try Takashimaya's Cold Storage. I believe you can find similar soba in Liang Court's Meidi-ya and Isetan Supermarket in Orchard.

2. Soy sauce

It'll be so much nicer if you can buy actual soba sauce. It looks like this:

You can find soba sauce in the above mentioned supermarkets too.

3. Negi (spring onions)

This is how spring onions look like. It will cost less about S$1 for this bunch. This is the easiest to find. You can find it in your market and all supermarkets. Look for that purple bulb down there! Don't mistake chives for negi! 

4. Ginger powder

I'm using MasterFoods Ginger Ground Powder. You can find this easily in the spices and seasoning section in Cold Storage. Ginger powder is actually optional in this recipe, so if you can't find it, or you find this too expensive, you can skip it. You can add chilli powder if you still want that spicy taste. Otherwise, just skip it.

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Strawberry Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting!


I made some cupcakes yesterday and I just want to share the recipe with you! It was my first time making it. It was super easy; takes only a short time; and best of all, THE CUPCAKES WERE DELICIOUS!!

You don't need many ingredients too! What a happy thing! I bet you can find all these ingredients easily!! And and!! Vegans, you only have to substitute vegan butter/margarine for butter for the frosting part, and this recipe would then be suitable for your diet~! ^^

Ingredients (makes 6):

- 110g all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 50g brown sugar
- 50g granulated sugar (your pantry sugar)
- 60ml sunflower oil
- 8ml apple cider vinegar (or any kind of vinegar is fine actually!)
- 16 Korean strawberries

Buttercream Frosting

- 60g butter at room temperature
- 75g icing sugar
- 2tbsp water

1) Mix together evenly flour, baking soda and sugar.

Look at this lovely mess! ^^

2) Dice your strawberries!

3) In separate bowl, combine oil and vinegar. 

Look at them reacting! This is like doing an experiment in a science lab. Haha!

4) Add strawberries into your vinegar mixture. Stir to combine.

5) Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the wet ingredients. Stir to combine. Make sure not to over-stir! ^^

How your batter looks a few minutes later~! ^^ Pretty isn't it!

6) Pour batter into prepared cups. Just fill the cups halfway!

7) Bake for 20 minutes at 180℃. When the oven goes 'Ding!', remove your cupcakes from the oven, place them on a wire rack to cool down. Now, let's make your frosting!

Buttercream Frosting

1) Cream the butter until it's smooth. I used low speed on my mixer. 

2) Add sugar and water. Still on low speed!

3) Once you see that they are quite combined together, beat them on high speed until frosting is light and fluffy~! 

4) Cover with plastic wrap and store it in the refrigerator until ready to use~! ^^

When your cupcakes are completely cooled, you can frost them and you can decorate them in any way you want! Have fun!!! ^^

I update Happy Girls Cute Food Facebook page everyday! Have you 'liked' us yet??? ^^ Come on!  Join our current family of 144 lovely people and learn tips, see pretty food, and other incredibly cute and easy recipes I find on the internet! ^^

Monday, 23 April 2012

Lemon cookies with Strawberry Filling!

So the other day I saw these totally cute cookies from another food blog!

After a quick glance at the ingredients needed, I had no hesitation in deciding to try making them! 

The author of the blog made it really clear with step-by-step pictures on how to bake these cuties, so please try this recipe out!

I modified the recipe a little. Less sugar and butter and more lemon! ^^ They still taste so rich and delicious so you may try my modified version if you like! ^^

Ingredients (Makes 30 cookies for me~!):

Lemon Cookies

- 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 7 tablespoons of butter ( I used about 100g of butter) at room temperature
- 3 tablespoons of icing sugar
- 2 teaspoons of vanilla sugar ( if you don't have this, just replace with icing sugar. Add 1 teaspoon of vanilla paste if you still want the vanilla taste! ^^)
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice

Strawberry Filling

- 3 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
- 4 finely diced strawberries
- 1 cup icing sugar

1) Preheat the oven to 175℃.

2) Mix all the dry ingredients in the recipe for Lemon Cookies together. (This means the flour, the cornstarch, the baking powder, icing sugar, vanilla sugar.)

3) After you have mixed them well, cut in the butter and lemon juice. Form a big dough ball! ^^

4) After that, roll out the dough to about 1/8 inch thick! 

Usually I do this: 

I will cut out 2 large pieces of parchment paper, and put my dough ball in between these 2 pieces of parchment paper. 

I will then roll out the dough flat using a rolling pin on the surface of the parchment paper where my dough ball is safely kept under on another piece of parchment paper! 

This ensures that my dough ball won't stick to the table or my rolling pin! It's a very clean way of doing things. 

Of course, you can do it the usual way of flouring your tabletop and rolling pin to ensure the dough won't stick. ^^

5) Using a small round cookie cutter, cut out as many cookies as you can! 

Place the cookies on lined baking sheets about 1/4-inch apart. (You can see the pictures in the blog in detail!) 

For the leftover dough, just roll it into a ball again, and then roll it flat with your rolling pin to cut even more cookies! ^^

6) Put the cookies in your oven! 

My oven tends to burn the bottom of my cookies so easily! So I put my tray of cookies at the uppermost rack! My heating element is at the bottom of the oven, you see. I don't know how your oven works for you, but when my oven is in baking mode, only the bottom heating element heats up. So if you have a similar oven and problem with me, try it my way? 

Once I smell the buttery aroma of my cookies, I take them out! Leaving them in there any longer will only burn them. That's for my situation. haha! Sometimes, when the 5~6 minutes is up, I will just leave them in the oven with the heat off. This is when I can't leave something I'm doing at the moment.

(Edit: I now know that my oven is a convection oven. Haha! I'm slow, I know. Most people now use a conventional oven. So, to clarify:

Conventional oven: bake for 8~10minutes at 175℃.
Convection oven: bake for 5~6 minutes at 150℃.

Since this post, all my other baking recipes I post using conventional oven baking temperatures and time. ^^

If you are using convection oven still, like me, just minus 25℃ of the baking temperature and minus 1/4 of the baking time needed by a conventional oven.)

However, usually, I will take the tray of cookies out, flip the cookies onto a cooling rack and allow them to cool. 

Cookies usually still continue 'baking' when you bring them out to cool, so don't make the mistake I made when I first baked cookies! I baked them till they looked golden brown and the touch of them was a solid, tough one instead of a soft one. After they cooled down, they became as hard as rocks. Impossible to bite through. Your grandmother will not be pleased to be offered one. True story.

Also, the bottom of my cookies were burnt. 

I also double-pan my cookies. I don't lay them directly on the tray. I use another big rectangular baking pan, lining it with parchment paper, and then I put my cookies in this baking pan, on top of the tray instead. Now I have no more problems of cookies being burnt. So if you always have a problem with cookies being burnt, feel free to try out my tips.

7) Make the strawberry filling! Just throw in all the ingredients of the strawberry filling and whip them till they look like a good consistency to you! I'm sure you have eaten sandwich cookies with icing before (think Oreo as a popular example?). So try to make your filling to that kind of Oreo cream filling consistency.

If they are too watery, add in more sugar. Or, if you are not sure, put your bowl of whipped filling into the fridge first. It usually hardens a little and becomes easier to spread on your cookies! ^^

8) Wait for the cookies to completely cool before spreading your filling on them, or the heat from your cookies will melt the filling and it will look like a disaster.

My cookies cooled, but my filling wasn't hard enough, so my cookies looked like this:

A little bit runny. When I put the strawberry filling in the refrigerator overnight, they became so much easier to spread! 

These cookies can be easily made vegan by using vegan butter (Nuttelax, Earth Balance etc) or margarine! ^^

Ok! I hope you enjoy this recipe! They were delicious! They're all gone now in fact!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...