Friday, August 10, 2012

Latte Art

Personal Experience:

Hello people !!! It’s been a while since my last post since I’ve been so busy with my work and also personal affairs. I don’t even have time to cook my own meals lately… Anyhow since I’m a big fan of coffee and hot drinks I would like to share this beautiful concept called Latte art. Even though it’s called latte art it’s been used on other drinks like hot chocolate. I am always amazed and mesmerized by the skill of the barista in cafes and coffee shops that produce not only wonderful coffee and drinks but also beautifully done latte arts. 

4 Clover Art Hot Chocolate

Latte art is a method of preparing coffee created by pouring steamed milk into a shot of espresso and resulting in a pattern or design on the surface of the resulting latte. It can also be created or embellished by simply "drawing" in the top layer of foam. Latte art is particularly difficult to create consistently, due to the demanding conditions required of both the espresso shot and milk.This, in turn, is limited by the experience of the barista and quality of the espresso machine. The pour itself, then, becomes the last challenge for the latte artist.
There are two main types of latte art: free pouring (pattern created during the pour) and etching (using a tool to create a pattern after the pour). Free pouring is far more common in American cafes, and requires little additional time in preparing a drink.


Tulip Art Cappucino
The two most common forms of poured latte art are a heart shape and the "rosetta" or "rosette", also known as "fern" which resembles a type of flower or fern. Of these, hearts are simpler and more common in macchiatos, while rosettes are more complex and more common in lattes.
For free pouring, the cup is either kept level or tilted in one direction. As the milk is poured straight into the cup, the foam begins to surface on one side (due to the tilt). The barista then moves the pitcher from side to side as they level the cup, or simply wiggle the spout back and forth, and finishes by making a quick strike through the previously poured pattern. This "strike" creates the stem portion of the flower design, and bends the poured zig-zag into a flower shape.
A more direct pour and less wiggling yields a heart shape, and minor variation (reduced lobes, larger stem) yields an apple shape.
More complex patterns are possible, some requiring multiple pours.

Sprial Art Mochachino

Etched patterns range from simple geometric shapes to complicated drawings, such as crosshatched patterns, animals, and flowers, and are generally performed with a coffee stirrer of some sort. Etched latte art typically has a shorter lifespan than free poured latte art as the foam dissolves into the latte more quickly.

Related Videos:

Sources and References:

(GNU FreeDocumentation License)

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Japanese Menu - Agedashi Tofu

Menu Taste and Personal Experience:

Japanese Menu Agedashi Tofu
Agedasi Tofu
Photo By Nami @
Simple but mesmerizing, that is my first impression on this dish. Why? The preparation is quite simple, but the taste is heavenly. The strong and tasty sauce contrast with the soft and subtle taste of the tofu creates a unique eating experience. Apart from that, this dish is also quite healthy and is suitable if you’re on a diet (use cholesterol free oil when frying and make sure to dry out any excess oil before serving). While this dish is easy to make, you can also find this dish in almost every Japanese restaurants around you.

Menu Description:

Agedashi tofu is a Japanese way deep fried tofu that is served with tentsuyu broth. For the best result, the first step is to remove excess water from the tofu. This can be done by wrapping the tofu with towel and gently press the tofu with weights (eg: plate, cutting board). Agedashi tofu is an old and well-known dish. It was included in a 1782 Japanese all-tofu cookbook entitled Tofu Hyakuchin (literally "One hundred Tofu"). While agedashi tofu is the best-known agedashi dish, some other dishes may be prepared with similar techniques. These include agedashi nasu (eggplant).

Menu Ingredients:

·         Blocks of soft tofu (buy enough for 4 servings)
·         Potato/Corn starch
·         Vegetable oil for frying.
·         1 Tbsp soy sauce
·         1 Tbsp mirin
·         1 cup dashi stock
·         Grated ginger
·         Grated daikon (radish)
·         Sliced Scallion/Spring Onions

Agedashi Tofu
Menu Directions:

  • Wrap the tofu with paper towels and place it on a flat tray. Put a flat weight (eg: plate or cutting board or book) on top the tofu and let it sit for about 10 -15 minutes to remove excess water.
  • While waiting, mix soy sauce, mirin, and dashi in a pan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat
  • Remove used towels from the tofu, grab a new paper towel and dry the tofu
  • Cut tofu into cubes (around 6x4x3cm)
  • Heat oil in in a deep pan/fryer
  • Lightly dust the tofu cubes with potato/corn starch
  • Deep-fry tofu until they turn lightly brown. Remove excess oil on paper towels.
  • Place each fried tofu in a small bowl and pour the mixed sauce over it.
  • Top with grated ginger, grated daikon and sliced scallions.

Menu Related Videos:

Agedashi Tofu by Yukari

How to make agedashi tofu

Menu Sources and References:

    Friday, March 2, 2012

    Japanese Menu - Oden

    Menu Taste and Personal Experience:

    It’s been awhile since my last post. I was so busy with renovating my new house :D.
    Anyway, let’s talk about oden. It is similar to shabu shabu where people usually eat it during winter period. I guess the main difference between oden and shabu shabu is on the ingredients used.

    The hot and delicious soup makes it a perfect choice to make you warm in a chilly weather. It is best enjoyed together with families or friends because we all will be sharing the same pot. This of course will create a closer and relaxing atmosphere while enjoying this beautiful and delightful dish.

    Menu Description:

    Oden is a Japanese stewed dish which usually consists of several ingredients such as boiled eggs, daikon radish, konnyaku, and processed fish cakes. The soup base a soy flavoured dashi (bonito) broth. Ingredients and broth/stocks used may vary according to region and between each household.

    Oden is often sold from food carts, and most Japanese convenience stores have simmering oden pots in winter. Many different kinds of oden are sold, with single-ingredient varieties as cheap as 100 yen.

    Varieties of oden ingredients

    Oden Ingredients
    Varieties of Oden Ingredients
    • Assorted fishcake products
    • Various surimi/grounded meat products, eg: meatball
    • Beef tendons
    • Octopus
    • Boiled eggs
    • Chikuwabu - gluten tubes.
    • Ito konnyaku
    • Konnyaku
    • Tofu
    • Ganmodoki – fried tofu fritter with vegetables fillings
    • Atsuage – deep fried tofu
    • Kinchaku/fukuro – fried tofu pouch/bag with fillings (usually mochi or egg)
    • Daikon - Radish
    • Konbu – seaweed/kelp
    • Carrot
    • Shiitake Mushroom
    • Kabocha - Japanese winter pumpkin/squash
    • Cabbage roll
    • Potato

    Menu Ingredients:


    • 1/2 daikon radish, peeled and sliced into 1/4 inch thick rounds
    • 4 shiitake mushrooms
    • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped roughly
      Dashi Stock
      Dashi Stock
    • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into halves
    • 4 boiled eggs, peeled
    • 1 konnyaku, cut into large triangles
    • 2 atsuage, cut into large triangles
    • 4 ganmodoki
    • 6-10 assorted fishcakes as desired
    • 4-6 surimi products as desired
    Soup base

    ·         3 - 4 Tbsp of soy sauce
    ·         2 Tbsp of mirin or sake
    ·         1 tsp of sugar
    ·         1 tsp of salt
    ·         4 cups dashi soup stock (or 2 dashi pouches and 6 cups of water)
    ·         6-inch konbu,

    Menu Directions:


    • Put 4 cups of dashi soup stock in a large pot.
    • Add konbu, bring to boil and turn down the heat to low.
    • Take out the konbu, cut into 1 inch wide strips and make a knot. Put the knotted konbu back to the soup.
    • Place the main ingredients into the pot
    • Add soy sauce, sake/mirin, salt, and sugar and simmer for 1 hour. You can add more of the soup base ingredients to achieve the desired soup taste.
    • Serve

    Menu Related Videos:


    How to make oden

    Oden Feast

    Menu Sources and References: