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Friday, January 15, 2010
It is amazing how the birthdays of my dearest, my best friends, my family all seem to fall in the month of January and February. L, my sister and 2 of my close knit friends' birthdays fall in January. In Februray, including myself, there will be another 4 birthday girls within our close knit circle celebrating birthdays. I am not a person big on birthday celebrations. I am extremely bad at remembering birthdays and refrain from letting people know about mine.
I remember commenting on Zurin's blog once that age is getting increasingly irrelevant in today's world. I sometimes feel that we are entering an ageless era. One cannot avoid turning pages of any fashion magazine today without being besieged by youthful images of men and women (especially women) in their fifties, sixties looking like some immortal sphinx!
Admittedly, science has played a big role in youth preservation, health enhancement and beyond. Some of these solutions overwhelm our expectation and imagination while others yield reports to demonstrate efficacies of certain natural food families e.g. Royal Jelly, Pine Bark Extract, Mushroom Extract, Ginseng.
Whatever they are, the ultimate objectives underlying these solutions strive to achieve the common goal of prolonging live and extending youth.
A Korean colleague of mine once made a comment which floored me but at the same time set me thinking. We were talking about the benefits of taking Korean Ginseng extract - he takes them regularly for general well being - to enhance energy level, boost immunity - all to cope better with the highly demanding tasks we are engaging in both at the work front and family front. He then lapsed into a playfully pensive mood, lamenting that actually he preferred to be free from these 'super supplements' for he feared when it is time for him to go, his nutrient enforced cells will be resisting the siege and cause more suffering to those last few moments on the death bed.
Well, that was a little bit of food for thought. What I really want to post on this blog is actually a dish to celebrate the 2 birthday eventful months. One of the most traditional dishes presented during chinese birthdays would be noodles served with 2 hard boiled eggs. It is ceremonial to dye the shell of the hard boiled eggs in red. Everyone in the family will be expected to partake of one red egg while the birthday gal/guy will need to take 2 of them. As we get more and more exposed to the western world, these noodles and eggs gradually started to disappear during birthday celebrations. They are often deemed old fashioned and unhip. Replacing them are visually appealing western style birthday cakes.
As I was flipping through some old Japanese Food Periodicals a few days back, I saw a picture of poached eggs. Poached to take on the appearance of a snow white pouch, these are drizzled with a mayonnaise dressing. I have never made poached eggs before and all of a sudden I thought the poached eggs paired with the Mentaiko Angel Hair Pasta I made last week would offer a nice modern twist to the traditional birthday noodles and eggs.
Poaching eggs, for those who have never done it before - be warned! It is NOT EASY! I wasted 4 eggs before I got these 2 that look boderline decent. A few points which I will pay attention to when I do this again next time :
1. Water needs to be bubbling but not too vigorously.
2. Once the egg has been poured into the water, leave it - do not be tempted to poke at it, stir it etc.
3. I will use my soup ladle to cradle the egg instead of letting it float and swim in the bubbling water.
The dressings, so easy to make, pair brilliantly with the poached eggs.
Ingredients for Poached Eggs :
Eggs Let there be extras...
Rice vinegar 2 % of the volume of water. (if you use 1l water, add 20ml)
2 Tbsp Mayonnaise
1 Tbsp Tomato Ketchup
1 Tbsp Milk
2 Tbsp Mayonnaise
1 Tbsp Worchester sauce
1. For dressing, simply mix all ingredients together.
2. In a frying pan ( I started using a saucepan but changed to a more shallow wok) add enough water to give a height of 3-4cm of water.
3. Add 2% of vinegar and heat to low boiling.
4. Break an egg in a small bowl. Slowly ease this into soup ladle immersed in the boiling water.
5. Leave this to set and cook.
6. Once egg white is cooked, (yolk should still be liquid, if you prefer this to be harder, boil longer but egg white may become a little tough. I suppose you can reduce the amount vinegar if you prefer to cook the yolk longer but want to prevent the egg white from toughening) drain water carefully from ladle and transfer egg into a bowl of cold water.
7. Use your hand, gently scoop the poached egg from the cold water and pat dry with dish towel.
8. Top with Mayo dressing and garnish with Nori (seaweed powder) powder.
Please refer here for spaghetti recipe.