How to cook Basmati Rice Flavoured with Saffron

Minoo demonstrated how to cook Basmati Rice Flavoured with Saffron in the Gilmore Church Park Community Kitchen. I had blogged about saffron here. Saffron is a very aromatic spice which also gives a vibrant yellow to a dish.

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People often think that saffron is a very expensive spice. However, Minoo gave us a tip on how to use saffron effectively. When you buy a box of saffron, grind the saffron with two cube sugars using a coffee bean grinder or mortar and pestle. Use the spice sparingly. (more…)

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Tabouleh

Minoo’s second dish is called Tabouleh or Tabbouleh or Tabouli. According to Minoo, Tabouleh is originated from Syria and is very popular in Mediterranean countries.

The primary ingredients of this salad dish are bulgur, finely chopped parsley, mint, tomato, green onions and lemon juice. The key to this salad is to finely chopped the vegetables.

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Bulgur is a cereal made from wheat, often durum wheat. You may find it in some health food stores. Bulgur has higher nutritional value than rice and couscous.

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup bulgur
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
  • 2 large tomatoes, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup chopped scallions (only the green parts)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint leaves (or 1 tablespoon dried one), optional
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon tamari

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Orange Marmalade Chicken

Minoo kicked of the Caring Place Community Kitchen with two dishes. The first dish is Orange Marmalade Chicken. This chicken dish is very easy to make and you can substitute the orange marmalade with apricot or peach jam.

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The sauce from this dish is just great to go along with steamed rice. I’m sure kids will love this dish.

Ingredients

  • 1 whole chicken, cut up or 10 pieces of skinless thigh
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup orange marmalade
  • 1/2 cup light soy sauce or tamari

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Click on the link below for the instructions.

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Chinese Style Baked Chicken with Noodle Soup

The South Arm Community Kitchen started off with Mr. Chung making a Chinese Style Baked Chicken. Mr. Chung is the room mate of Julie who had demonstrated many times in this kitchen. Julie had went back to Taiwan for the summer.

Mr. Chung told us that he learn his cooking from his mother and Julie. Julie, you are very lucky to have a husband who enjoys cooking.

Vanessa, the group leader of the South Arm Community Kitchen made a simple noodle soup to complement Mr. Chung’s chicken dish.

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The chicken is moist and taste great. This is a very homey recipe and it uses the most common ingredients one can in a Chinese home.

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Ingredients

  • 2 chicken legs cut into smaller pieces
  • 2 green onions, cut into one inch length
  • 1/2 bulb of garlic, peeled and rough chopped
  • 2 inch piece of ginger, peeled and rough chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons dark soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper

Mr. Chung emphasized that the most important ingredients in this recipe is the garlic.

Click on the link below for the instructions.

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Kyung Bok Palace in Richmond

The Caring Place Community Kitchen celebrated the end of another great session by dining out. We would love to take a break from laboring in the kitchen.

Minnie was asked to bring us to a Korean Restaurant. Minnie, thank you for being our Korean culinary guide again. She brought us to Kyung Bok Palace which located at the Lansdowne Mall in Richmond. I love this bright red signage on the dark wall of the restaurant because it stands out very clearly although I cant read the Korean language.

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Kyung Bok Palace also has patio seatings and it’s just great for their all you can eat BBQ which is only served in the summer evenings.

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One good thing about Kyung Bok Palace is there is a sample of the dishes served in the restaurant displayed outside the restaurant. These displays are common in the Asian countries. This is a good way to advertise and bring customers in as many will not dare to try new food which they have no idea how the food looks like. The pricing displays along with the model dishes also helps as one can expect how much the food costs.

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All Korean restaurants serve side dishes like these which include soy bean sprouts, braised potatoes, kimchee and other vegetables. You can ask for refill for these side dishes.

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BonQuLa Fusion Restaurant and Cafe in Richmond

Updated: 4th Oct 2010: This restaurant is closed via Vancouver Sushi.

The Gilmore Park Church community kitchen opted to eat out on the last day of our meeting before the summer break. Lorna suggested to eat at BonQuLa Fusion Restaurant and Cafe at the Olympia Centre in Richmond.

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The restaurant is located at #165-8460 Alexandra Road; the strip mall across Toys’R’Us in Lansdowne Mall. This is a very new fusion restaurant, less than a month old. The owner of the restaurant is an ex-member of the Gilmore Park Church community kitchen.

The chef of BonQuLa is the daughter of the owner, her name is Kaori Kuruyama. Chef Kaori was a piano teacher in Japan, but she changed her career after she came to Canada. She studied French cuisine at the Culinary Arts in Vancouver Community College. She is creating her own fusion food with her Japanese inheritage and her French cooking skills.

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The word ‘Bon’ means ‘Ordinary’, the word ‘Qu’ means ‘Eat’ and the word ‘La’ means ‘Enjoy’. The owner named the restaurant BonQuLa because they want the customer to enjoy their food comfortably.

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What stands out to us is the menu which is made of handcrafted paper. A simple but unique menu.

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We did not place specific orders but asked the chef to recommend some of their signature dishes. Like many Japanese restaurants, we were served hot green tea. However, they did not place a teapot on the table for us to help ourselves. They served the tea to us instead.

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First came the bread baskets like most western restaurants. The difference is they served soft and sweet bread instead of crusty bread. The bread basket has a variety of sweet bread like chocolate bread, walnut bread and sweet potato bread. I like these breads. I understand from Kaori that bread baking is her passion and she enjoys seeing her customer enjoying her bread before a meal.

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Next is a Green Field Salad. The salad is accompanied with homemade potato chips. The salad is mainly made of lettuces with fresh blueberries, walnuts and dried cranberries and some other dried fruits.

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Minnie’s Salad

Minnie made a very simple salad with cabbages, fruits and nuts to serve as a side dish along with her sushi. I’m not a big fan of salad but I like Minnie’s salad. It’s colourful, sweet, tangy and crunchy.

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Ingredients

  • 1 red apple
  • 2 kiwi fruit
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 mandarin orange
  • 1 bag of ready cut cabbages
  • dried cranberries
  • raisins
  • mixture of walnuts and pine nuts
  • 3/4 bottle Japanese mayonnaise
  • 1 lemon

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Click on the link below for the instructions.

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Korean Sushi

Upon request from some of the members of the Caring Place community kitchen, Minnie agreed to show us how to make Korean Sushi, also known as Kimbab. Minnie made two types of sushi, one with seaweed on the outside like Maki Roll in Japanese sushi and another with the rice on the outside like the California Roll.

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The difference between Korean Sushi and Japanese Sushi is how the rice is flavoured. The rice for Korean Sushi is flavoured by sesame oil, sugar and salt while the Japanese one is flavoured by vinegar and sugar.

Ingredients

  • Cooked rice, seasoned with salt, sugar and sesame oil
  • Seaweed
  • Bacon
  • Eggs
  • Crab meat
  • Picked radish
  • Spinach, blanched and seasoned with salt
  • Flying fish roe
  • Sesame oil
  • Soy sauce
  • Salt
  • Sugar
  • Toasted sesame seed
  • Avocado
  • Japanese mayonnaise

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Click on the link below for the instructions.

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