Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Mì udon kiểu... Mai's

Hôm nay, tôi muốn chia sẻ cách nấu món mì udon Nhật Bản kiểu Việt Nam, mà tôi đã nấu cho bữa tối hôm qua.
Nguyên liệu: (2 người)
- 300g thịt ba chỉ 
- 2 quả cà chua
- 200g nấm mỡ
- 2 cuộn mì udon ( loại trắng dẹt của Nhật Bản)
- 300g cải chíp
- 3 cây hành lá, thái nhỏ 
- 2 tép hành khô, băm nhỏ 
- 1/2 thìa cà phê gia vị
- ¼ thìa cà phêmuối
- 1 miếng gừng tươi, gjot vỏ, đập dập
- 2 tbs dầu ăn 
- 3 thìa canh xì dầu (light soy sauce)
- 1 thìa canh dầu vừng

Cách làm:
- Luộc mì udon trong 2-3 phút. Kiểm tra khi sợi mì mềm, không bị sật là ăn được. Vớt mì ra rổ. Chần mì udon đã chín trong nước sôi để nguội, tốt nhất là nước lạnh để mì nguội nhanh và không bị dính sợi. Sau đó để ráo.
- Thịt ba chỉ rửa sạch, lọc bỏ bì, cho vào nồi nước luộc, thêm ít muối và gừng đập dập để thịt luộc đậm đà hơn. Bỏ bọt trong nồi đun. Đổ nước đi và rửa miếng thịt cho sạch. Thái thịt ba chỉ thành miếng mỏng.
- Cải chíp cắt bỏ phần già, có thể để nguyên cây hoặc chẻ đôi theo chiều dọc, rửa sạch. Phi hành khô trong dầu ăn nóng, cho cải chip vào đảo đều, nêm gia vị vừa ăn. Xào rau trong 1 phút trên bếp nóng. Sau đó, cho thịt ba chỉ đã thái mỏng vào đảo đều.
- Cho mì vào bát ăn. Cho cải và thịt lên trên mì.. 
- Cà chua gọt vỏ, bỏ hạt, thái hạt lựu. Nấm mỡ bỏ chân đen, rửa sạch, cắt đôi vừa ăn. Làm nóng dầu trên chảo hoặc nồi nhỏ, cho phần hành khô còn lại vào phi thơm. Cho cà chua thái lựu và nấm mỡ vào đảo đều cùng các gia vị còn lại đun vừa lửa trong 1-2 phút. Tắt bếp, rắc thêm ít tiêu và hành lá đã thái nhỏ. Rưới phần nước xốt này đều lên mì, rau và thịt. 

Lưu ý:
Nguyên tắc nấm phải chín kĩ càng tốt. Nấm mềm, ngấm mặn và vị thanh của cà chua, vị vừa ăn. Dùng mì  ngon nhất khi trộn đều rau, thịt và nước sốt đang nóng.
Chúc bạn ngon miệng ^^

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Happiness is when...

I got an email from my ex-classmate in Costa Rica on Monday. She brought me a nice surprise that Jose and her are going to have a baby. I was very happy to receive such great news. Cindy and Jose got married in summer after Jose finished his ME course in Taiwan.Then Cindy came to study with us, when Jose continued his PhD. After 4 years living in Taiwan, now they are back to home country. She once said to us that she preferred to have her baby born in CR rather than in Taiwan. My friend loves kids a lot. She is taking care of her family's primary school business since she was back from Taiwan. She's very friendly and caring to others as the way she is. It's nice of them to share this amazing news. It's special to prepare things for a new family member when a baby is coming. I am sure my dear friend will be very busy in the near future, take care well of herself, read more books on baby caring, decorate step in step her baby's room...  which are so wonderful in any woman's life. Cindy said she always miss me when she sees "fideo".And I miss "hiraffa". Cindy gave me nickname "fideo", while she called Kanal "perro" or Hang "chanchis" due to our preference habits. It was a joke among us long ago, but it's good to remember those wonderful memories ^ ^. Lives are moving on. And even though we are going in different paths of life in different homes over this world, we always think of others and share the happiness we meet in our ways. Happiness is just that simple.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Birthday for Dad

Today, March 25, was my father’s birthday. After work in office, I went home directly to celebrate his birthday. I brought flowers only, as my mom said on phone that seafood, fruits etc. would be ready.

When I was home, my mom was washing the crabs and oysters. That was my dad's favorite food. I steamed the crabs with lemon grass and ginger. And grilled the oysters for medium cook. I cooked simple salad and sauteed the veggies as well. The dinner was ready on table and four of us enjoyed conversation over seafood dinner. Can you guess, five crabs for four people?. I and my bro made joke that the fifth one was for my father, because he had told mom to get extra. It was nice to be able to celebrate his birthday. We enjoyed seafood with Bailey wine. I have no idea if it sounds good to company but actually it worked. Really good with crab meat and a sip of bailey. I have to say my father was the one with most satisfied appetite tonight! He was so enjoyable with the dinner mom and me prepared.
After dinner, we gave him birthday gifts. My mom prepared for him pairs of short and their account of what she just recently earned from selling a piece of land in secret. What a big surprise to him. And my brother got him a new shirt with his honest BD card. Oh dear, this is the first time I saw he had a card to someone but it was really touching to read. My parents had to admit that. Because he wrote out his feeling to my father , a man to a big man in our family. We drank green tea and spent enjoyable conversation in living room later on. It was a nice way to celebrate dad's birthday. Happy Birthday Dad.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Mom's veggie garden

This morning. before going to work, I just checked out my mom's small garden that thanks to her work, my family have fresh clean vegetables quite often. So here are what veggies she's been taking care.
Mustard veggie - I like to cook this type of veggie like soup or roll mustard leave with sauteed beef, so yummy
 Lettuce - very nice to eat together with hot tomato soup
 Sweet potato veggie is tasty to be sauted with garlic & veggie oil
Cải cúc - a popular veggie in cold weather, especially in Vietnamese hotpot or soup. The reason my mom likes to grow these also because of its healthy advantage as a great herbal for preventing cold.ness In part of her garden, many cải cúc have been blossomed too  Just appear in my mind that  maybe I should put these flowers into glass bowl of water. They will look so nice in the living room.
Thanks Mom for your delicious fresh vegetables.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Quake-tsunami in Japan

Since yesterday afternoon, the earthquake of 8.9 magnitude & the tsunami caused a serious damage in northeast Japan. Too bad that after a day up to tonight it has been rising the disaster toll up to 1600 dead or missing.
 Source: USGS
After the earthquake yesterday's afternoon, I emailed and got quick reply right some minutes later from my friend living close to Tokyo. Luckily his family are fine following to his email.  Another friend of mine working in Vietnamese Embassy in Tokyo and his family are doing fine, too which is good news and make me feel better. I do hope & bless that there would be no more explosion in nuclear reactors there. Such a painful disaster ;-(  and reminded me of the first earthquake I met in Taiwan 4 years ago.

My prayers goes with the safety and family reunion of people in these quake-hit prefectures of Japan. And I bless for my friends' family there. Now we might have to consider of postponing the coming trip to Japan in end of this month ;-(

For more updated news of Japan quake-tsunami disaster, you can check online streaming news in NHK's channel and at its website.  or Japan Times

I donated to Japan Embassy in Hanoi,  which made me feel better to do something help Japan. Everywhere, I guess people want to share "Be strong Japan, we are with you". For donations and help for the victims there, you can donate or contribute to those first below international NGOs in yahoo news with on-going updated list.
  • Save The Children: Mobilizing to provide immediate humanitarian relief in the shape of emergency health care and provision of non-food items and shelter. Call 1800 76 00 11 or visit their website
  • Red Cross: Donors can contribute to the relief efforts by calling 800-733-27677 or check at Red Cross homepage. Each text message is a $10 donation to the Red Cross, which will be added to the donors’ next cellphone bill.
  • Mercy Corps: Mercy Corp has not sent its own team to Japan but it set up a donation fund for its partner, Peace Winds Japan, and its emergency assistance on the ground. To make a donation, call 888-747-7440 or its homepage
  • Medical Teams International: Medical Teams International is also on alert and staying closely in touch with its nine partners along the coast and in Japan. To donate to Medical Teams International, visit their website 
  • DFAT: Assistance helpline: +61 2 6261 3305. DFAT hotline for Australians concerned about family and friends: 1300 555 135. Visit at DFAT
So now just some notes of what we should remember & take care ourselves when earthquake happens which I just googled in internet.
Before an Earthquake
  • Make sure you have a fire extinguisher, first aid kit, a battery-powered radio, a flashlight, and extra batteries at home.
  • Learn first aid.
  • Learn how to turn off the gas, water, and electricity.
  • Make up a plan of where to meet your family after an earthquake.
  • Don't leave heavy objects on shelves (they'll fall during a quake).
  • Anchor heavy furniture, cupboards, and appliances to the walls or floor.
  • Learn the earthquake plan at your school or workplace.
 During an Earthquake
  • Stay calm! If you're indoors, stay inside. If you're outside, stay outside.
  • If you're indoors, stand against a wall near the center of the building, stand in a doorway, or crawl under heavy furniture (a desk or table). Stay away from windows and outside doors.
  • If you're outdoors, stay in the open away from power lines or anything that might fall. Stay away from buildings (stuff might fall off the building or the building could fall on you).
  • Don't use matches, candles, or any flame. Broken gas lines and fire don't mix.
  • If you're in a car, stop the car and stay inside the car until the earthquake stops.
  • Don't use elevators (they'll probably get stuck anyway).
 After an Earthquake
  • Check yourself and others for injuries. Provide first aid for anyone who needs it.
  • Check water, gas, and electric lines for damage. If any are damaged, shut off the valves. Check for the smell of gas. If you smell it, open all the windows and doors, leave immediately, and report it to the authorities (use someone else's phone).
  • Turn on the radio. Don't use the phone unless it's an emergency.
  • Stay out of damaged buildings.
  • Be careful around broken glass and debris. Wear boots or sturdy shoes to keep from cutting your feet.
  • Be careful of chimneys (they may fall on you).
  • Stay away from beaches. Tsunamis and seiches sometimes hit after the ground has stopped shaking.
  • Stay away from damaged areas.
  • If you're at school or work, follow the emergency plan or the instructions of the person in charge.
  • Expect aftershocks. 

    Tuesday, March 1, 2011

    Are you a book worm?

    This is my favorite book shop & book cafe in Hanoi. The place has an easily remembered name which is Bookworm. It's located in Chau Long street, behind the back yard of a cooking center and restaurant.
    In order to get to Bookworm, I need to pass a special alley like this, which is fun for me when walking in. It's just small enough for one person to go. If someone wants to go out, she needs to wait until the one in opposite side comes in first. 
    The management staff can speak fluent English. Whenever we come there, we often meet a young man, who I guess is the owner of this cute bookstore. He and his staff are very friendly with their regular smiles to anyone who come visit. They are very helpful to quickly find your needed book and don't mind if we spend long time only reading there in the bookstore.
    Bookworm has a large variety English books for whom loves reading from fiction, nonfiction, cooking, art, architecture and culture... I even see many picture books for kids in the first floor and other interesting travel books upstairs in the second floor, which are well arranged with easy & convenient access for visitors. For me, I like the small room in the second floor in left hand side. Such many English books about Vietnamese culture, cuisine and architecture that I enjoy spending longer time than in other rooms whenever coming.
    With enough space for different types of English books, the 2-storey-Bookworm is just an ideal place to read in a quiet & relaxing place. I came here once in a rainy day. Imagine when it's raining out of the window, you stay in a cozy room reading your book. You just need one thing to get it more than perfect, a cup of coffee. "Can I have a ca phe nau da, iced coffee with condensed milk, please" (That's my favorite order)
    So here's the view from window of 2nd F where I can see the cooking class in the first floor and restaurant in 2nd floor in the opposite house.
    Not only offering new English books, the Bookworm also exchanges books among expat readers, mostly are traveling guide books, with reasonable price for used ones.
    Book worm is also a book cafe. Sometimes we have our drinks in the yard while staying with a book. The simple design & the greenness of bonsais in the yard make me feel comfortable and very convenient.
    If you come to visit Bookworm in noon, just take your book to tables in yard & order your lunch from the restaurant next door. It's easy to order since they have English menu with many Vietnamese meals for your choice. And read your book until returning it back, you  will even be asked how you like the book from the Bookworm's staff. Are you a book worm? Let's come and check it out both Bookworm &  the cooking class restaurant in your own. You will see this place is worth to come.
    Bookworm's address: 44 Chau Long
    Open time: Every day from 9 am ~ 7 pm. 
                       Close in holidays in Christmas and Vietnamese New Year