dimanche 19 janvier 2014

Shiitake Omelette

So, when we came back from Christmas we had little left in our fridge. Thankfully we received our fruits and vegetables the same day but still needed to come up with something nourishing and tasty.

Every Grain of Rice gave us a recipe we slightly transformed… ahem, instead of oysters we put shiitake mushrooms. It’s a very simple recipe but full of flavours and slightly less bland and usual than your average omelette:

Serves 2


8 shiitake mushrooms

3 eggs

1.5 tbsp of corn or potato flour mixed with 1 tsp of cold water

Ground white pepper
tbsp cooking oil
tbsp finely sliced spring onion greens (we added whites in as well)

Beat the eggs, then beat in the flour mixture with salt and white pepper to taste.

Put the mushrooms in a pan with a little bit of oil and cook until tender.
Pour in the eggs and swirl the mixture around the base of the wok.


Scrambled egg version:

Add the spring onions whites and mix the eggs as they cook. When cooked to taste transfer into a dish and serve.


Omelette version:

If you want to do a real omelette, let the eggs settle when you pour them into the pan. When the omelette is golden underneath, scatter over the spring onion greens, then flip to cook the other side. When this side, too is golden, transfer to adish and serve.


Sprinkle with onion greens and enjoy!

Sichuanese sweet and sour fish tiles

It was M’s birthday last Thursday so we decided to cook something special with the fish we bought. My magical book “Every grain of Rice” gave me the answer as usual. Once you have a few of the principle Sichuan Cuisine ingredients (I would say Shaoxing wine, Chinkiang vinegar, garlic, spring onions, soy sauce (light and dark) and ginger), you can cook up a lot of recipes from this book. We have quite a bit of recipes to share with you and they are all straightforward and umamimely delicious.

Serves 2
300g white fish fillet, such as whiting (we used lemon sole and it was delicious, even without removing the skin)
2 spring onion whites, cut into very fine slivers
Good pinch of very fine slivers of fresh red chilli (we omitted the chili) 
500ml cooking oil
tbsp finely chopped garlic
tbsp finely chopped ginger
tbsp finely sliced spring
onion greens
For the marinade/batter
2 tsp Shaoxing wine
a pinch salt
1 small egg, beaten
tbsp potato flour (corn flour works as well)
1/2 tsp cooking oil
For the sauce
tbsp caster sugar
1/2 tbsp light soy sauce
tbsp Chinkiang vinegar
a pinch of salt
2 tsp potato flour
tbsp stock or water

Lay the fish, skin-side down, on a board. Holding your knife at an angle to the board, cut the fillet into slices about 2cm thick(I recommend having a sharp and adequate knife for fish. I ended up using scissors as I did not have one… did not alter the taste of the dish but I’m pretty sure I would make any professional cook’s hair curl!!)

In a bowl, for the marinade, add the Shaoxing wine and salt and mix well. Then mix in the egg and flour. Finally, add the oil. Soak the fish tiles in the marinade.

In a separate bowl, mix together all the ingredients for the sauce. Set the spring onion whites and chilli slivers to soak in cold water (this will make them curl up prettily).

Heat the 500ml oil in a seasoned wok over a high flame to about 180°C. If you don’t have a thermometer, drop a drop of marinade in the oil when you think it’s ready. If it sizzles and fries instantly it’s hot enough. Use chopsticks to drop half the fish slices into the oil. Taking care they don't stick together, deep-fry until lightly golden (This is very fast. As soon as you have finished putting half the fish in, start removing the first bits you put in). Remove from the wok with a slotted spoon and set aside on kitchen paper to drain. Repeat with theremaining slices. Pile up all the fish slices on a serving dish.

Drain off all but 2 tbsp oil. Add the garlic and ginger and stir-fry briefly until they smell wonderful (they should not turn golden so this is also quite quick)

Give the sauce a stir and pour it into the wok stirring as it thickens (about 5-7 minutes). When ready, pour over the waiting fish. 

Sprinkle with the spring onion greens and the drained slivered spring onion whites and chilli, and serve.

We ate this dish with plain white rice and it was absolutely delicious.

How did you like this Sichuanese version of the sweet and sour sauce?

lundi 6 janvier 2014

Smoked Salmon Bagel

This is one of the easiest and tastiest meal you can make. We are presenting one simple version but you can add in virtually anything you love in there.

For 2:

350/400g of smoked Salmon
3 to 4 bagels, depending on how hungry you are. We love the sesame seeds ones.
200g of cream cheese
5 or 6 spring onions

Chop the onions thin. Mix with the cream cheese. Toast the bagels gently. Spread the cream cheese mix. Add the salmon. Enjoy!

You can add:

Slices of red onions; Capers; Salad; Tomatoes…  And much much more, share your ideas with us!


dimanche 5 janvier 2014

The Orange Cake

It’s this time of the year again when the night falls fast, the temperature goes down and Christmas is over. We don’t know about you but we love winter. It’s all about being cosy at home, cooking comfort food and getting plenty of vitamins and minerals from seasonal fruits and veg. 

To keep it entertaining we’ve just used our oranges from this week’s box to make an orange cake. The first time we did it we made a mistake and put salted butter… and it was just delicious. We have now come up with a more balanced version:

·         4 large oranges
·         170 g of butter at room temperature (half salted and half unsalted)
·         130g of sugar
·         3 eggs
·         150g of flour
·         2 tbsp of baking powder (1 sachet)
·         125g of icing sugar

Pre-heat your oven to 160°C (Mark 5).

Grate the zest of two of the oranges; keep for later.

Mix the butter and the sugar until you obtain a homogenous dough. Add in the eggs and mix well.
Mix the yeast and the flour separately and add to the butter mixture slowly while mixing with a whip vigorously.

Include the zest and the juice of 1.5 oranges. You can modify the amount of juice depending on the consistency as the dough should not be too liquid, but you will need the juice of at least one orange.
Butter a cake pan and pour the dough. Put in the oven for 35 to 40 minutes. Check with a knife that it’s dry inside.

Once the cake is cooked and cooling in your kitchen, resit a bit longer!
In a pot, pour the juice from the remaining oranges and the icing sugar. Mix well until the sugar has dissolved in the juice. Bring to a boil and keep boiling for at least 7 minutes, until the mixture becomes a bit syrupy. You can test that by putting a bit of the icing on a spoon and cooling it. If it’s sticky, it’s ready.

With a ladle, pour gently over the entire surface of the cake, ensuring that the cake absorbs the syrup. Decorate with a few orange slices. 

Tuck in and enjoy!

jeudi 2 janvier 2014

What's it all about?

New year, new resolutions, new blog !

You might wonder what the strange name is about… 

Umami… A call to your grandmother’s cooking, Ouh Mamie? A return to ancient French perhaps, Ouh Ma Mie? Umamimamoumi? 

Not at all, we are firmly anchored in modernity but with a cultural twist: Umami is actually a … Japanese word. It means “savoury”. But not just your average savoury tasty food. No. Umami describes the rich and subtle flavours coming from a blend of different ingredients which cooked  together bring about a stronger, richer, tastier and more elegant savoury element. It’s all about a bunch of chemicals from different ingredients which when cooked together create a sumptuous whole. For instance when you add parmesan to a risotto. 

So, mostly we have decided that we want to share our cooking experiences and recipes with you instead of keeping them to ourselves. We receive a wonderful little fruit and veg box every week from Abel and Cole (abelandcole.co.uk) and we have now experienced with delicious food we did not even know existed or better still…we thought we disliked! 

On top of delicious, tested and detailed recipes (also featuring a few classics and unfortunate patisserie elements), we also wanted to share our DIY attempts (furniture, clothes, cosmetics…).

Ok ok this blog is not only full of yummami intentions, there is a hidden message. We are trying to be more environmentally and planet friendly in our daily lives, favouring natural, organic products, a healthy lifestyle and pioneering change with thousands of other internet users and bloggers. We have tried and tested things that we want to share with you and hopefully convince you that a more natural lifestyle does not mean you have to compromise on your comfort and happiness…quite the opposite.

We are open to ideas, comments and suggestions and would love to discuss our recipes and ideas with you, so please share around and don’t hesitate to comment!