Introducing: Wee Meals! Mixed Mushroom Japanese Curry with Egg and Nori Furikake

Moving to Singapore and learning to survive on my own was one of the best things that happened to me in 2016. I won’t say that I’m a pro at solo living (far from it); there are days when I miss the convenience and comfort of home (not having to pay for rent and utilities are on the top of the list), but there are days when I enjoy tiny victories such as having successfully removed a stubborn stain with baking soda, unplugging a jammed pop-up sink plug with silicone suction disks, or cooking a meal that I enjoy such as this one below.

Mixed Mushroom Japanese Curry with Egg and Nori Furikake

Also, I miss working in the food industry terribly! I used to be a food writer and editor back in Manila, so I wanted to ease my way into food writing again, among other topics, through this blog.

Lately, I’ve been experimenting different ways on how to make just the right portion of food for me to eat on the same day and take to work with me the next day. I thought I’d start by sharing some recipes that I make at home by myself because:

  • I live on my own (with awesome roomies)
  • I live on my own abroad
  • I get tired of eating the same thing over and over and over again
  • I don’t like washing the dishes, so I keep these meals as simple as can be
  • I like exploring different flavours
  • I am picky with my food (I dislike capsicum and carrots)
  • I am always “on a budget”, but end up spending a little over – but will do it for food
  • I’m lazy on most days
  • I love to cook—it’s therapy and stress-relieving for me. “Cooking, to me, is meditation…” – Jeong Kwan

I aim to share a recipe or two each week!

So, for the pilot episode of this series, I’ll share with you a recipe I made for Sunday lunch+dinner (linner? dunch?) – Mixed Mushroom Japanese Curry with Egg and Nori Furikake.

Looks shitty, but it’s tasty. (I promise~!)

This is my quick fix to curb a Coco Ichibanya craving (but I don’t want to spend so much on a plate of curry that I can’t finish). I am faaar from mastering the art of curry—not that I intend to in this lifetime—so I just use S&B Golden Curry in mild because I’m a heat wuss. When the sauce cools down, it turns into this gravy-like slurry that’s punchy and umami-filled. I store this dish in two Tupperware containers, separating the sauce and the mushrooms, in case I want to have just the curry or just the mushrooms. But I’ve never regretted having them both at once.

INGREDIENTS (makes 2-3 portions)

  • 1 packet of S&B Golden Curry
  • 5 cups of water (the instructions on the curry box say 6, but I find 5 to work better)
  • 1 tbsp. EVOO
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • Mushrooms (I used a combination of brown mushrooms, shimeji, and enoki—love that springy bite)
  • S&P
  • Scrambled egg
  • Chopped spring onions
  • Nori furikake (optional but highly recommended)

PREPARATION

  1. Fire up the stove. In a saucepan, add 5 cups of water and bring to a boil.
  2. Add the packet of S&B Golden Curry and lower the heat, lest you want curry sauce splattering over that nice clean shirt. Obviously, it happened to me.
  3. Once the curry has dissolved and thickened, set aside.
  4. In a clean saucepan, heat up some oil and melt the butter. Do not wash the mushrooms before cooking—just brush them with a paper towel. I read somewhere that this allows the mushrooms to absorb the flavour better; contact with water tampers the mushrooms’ flavour-absorbing quality.
  5. Cook and wait for them to brown and soak up all the butter (makes up for the meatless quality of this dish). Add salt and pepper, and then set aside.
  6. To assemble, pile up some rice, then ladle on some curry.
  7. Add a scrambled egg. I like mine Gordon-Ramsay-YouTube-style.
  8. Add the mushrooms.
  9. Add some chopped spring onions.
  10. Sprinkle with nori furikake.
  11. Demolish and keep the leftovers for your office lunch or dinner the next day—or both.

This is Nori Furikake.

A gift from the gods.

Furikake is a type of Japanese seasoning that you can get in any Japanese grocery made with aromatics, dried fish, sesame seeds, salt, sugar—basically, a blend of ingredients that induces this sublime and addictive flavour known as umami. For sure this stuff’s got MSG. But it’s a quick way to make your rice bowl less lonely and more flavourful.

On some days, I just heat some rice in the microwave, crack a raw egg on top, add a bit of soy sauce, sprinkle furikake, and that’s the dish!

It’s one of my pantry staples, and if you’re the type who just needs quick comfort food. Furikake will become your best friend.

Hello on a Lazy Sunday!

It’s nice to be writing online again.

In fact, this blog is actually more than five years old already. I used to have my own “official” website in two versions – a .com and a .net – but things got weird, and I lost both domains. So I just took it as a sign to subscribe to my wordpress.com site again, which I think works better because (1) I am no longer pressured to write just to get the bang out of my buck – a huuuuge relief, I tell you! – and (2) it was also squeamishly nice-ish to reopen the treasure trove entries that I wrote during my early 20s (I’ve kept them private already, haha). Reading about all the angst, issues, anxieties, and adventures that I had seven years ago got me all introspective and it made me reflect on the past few years growing up post-university.

Now, I am turning 30 in a few years, and life has been good.

I went for a short trip back to Manila last week to rest and spend some time with my family, my friends, and my precious little one, Rocket. He turned 6 years old last week, which was also when this photo was taken. And yes, that’s also him tattooed on my arm! That way, he can always be with me wherever I go and wherever I am in this lifetime.

I’ve been living away from the Philippines for almost a year now. Time has been moving increasingly quickly the older I get – or so it seems. I live with two of my friends here in Singapore, and it feels pretty great to live independently and expose myself to these adult-y things such as paying bills, doing the laundry, preparing my meals for the week ahead. This is a great learning experience that I wish for everyone. You’re forced to grow up, and you don’t have a choice because you need to survive.

It’s also a Sunday today, and I was supposed to have a shoot for work, but it got cancelled due to the rainy weather; hence, poor shooting conditions. It freed up my time, so I cooked some monggo (mung beans) with tomatoes and Delimondo chorizo Bilbao that I swiped from the Salcedo Saturday market during last week’s trip. I’ve been craving it for so long!

I also finished my friend Isa’s book, Found, and I’m now starting on a new one: All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven. I’ve stopped reading Y.A. for a while (I don’t even know why I’ve stopped), so this is the first I’m reading in a reeeaaallly loooong tiiiime.

This is just a hodgepodge of stuff that’s been going on today, but the itch to write has been nagging at me since the year started. I thought that it was about time I scratched it, and it feels pretty nice to get the cogs turning once again.

Another lesson I learned was to stop taking my writing too seriously and to stop overthinking my thought process whenever I type. It’s seriously liberating to just let the words flow and treat this as my online journal of sorts, which what it really is meant to be in the first place. So that’s a rule I give myself now – no overthinking; just write mindfully and in the moment.

Hope you are all having a swell evening! Wishing you good vibrations for the week ahead.