Life Hack: Using an electric kettle as an instant noodle-maker

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RocketNews 24 (by Casey Baseel):

Cooking udon, or any other kind of fresh pasta, just got a whole lot easier.

Excluding the pot of leftover curry and can of Ebisu sitting in my fridge, I think my T-fal electric kettle might be the most wonderful thing in my kitchen. All I have to do is fill it from the tap, flip the switch, and in seconds I’ve got a pot of boiling water with which to make tea, coffee, or hot chocolate.

It also comes in handy if I’m craving noodles, since the spout makes it easy to pour into cup ramen. But it turns out an electric kettle can be useful even for making noodles of the non-instant variety, as shown by Japanese Twitter user @aya_royal_1025.

@aya_royal_1025 hails from Kagawa, which is so famous for udon noodles that it’s jokingly called “Udon Prefecture.” As a staple food of the region, Kagawa’s residents of course spend a lot of time every year cooking udon, which would ordinarily entail boiling a pot of water, tossing in the noodles, then stirring them as they cook.

At some point, though, @aya_royal_1025 came up with a quicker way of getting things done: just toss the uncooked noodles into the kettle along with the necessary amount of water and flash cook them with the press of a button.

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Despite the unorthodox cooking method, @aya_royal_1025 says the resulting noodles aren’t soggy or mushy, an also promises that they taste just as good as udon made in the traditional manner.

There are a couple of things to be aware of. For starters, @aya_royal_1025 doesn’t mention one way or another whether using the kettle for a purpose it clearly wasn’t originally designed for has any effect on its longevity. Also, since you’re now using the kettle to cook instead of just boil water, you’ll want to wash the apparatus out when you’re done, so that no udon residue sticks to its inside (just like you would after making noodles in a regular pot). Finally, a normal-sized kettle is only going to have room to make a single-person-sized portion.

But if you’re in the mood for some actual udon (or any other kind of noodle) even though you’re strapped for time, this sounds like an amazingly convenient way to speed things up in the kitchen.

Sharpening master turns rusted blade back into brand new knife

RocketNews 24 (by Scott Wilson):

The Japanese have a knack for doing things in such a way that are just satisfying to watch. Check out this video of a Japanese knife-sharpening master turning a rusted kitchen knife into what could pass for a brand new tool.

Watch how this master craftsman turns something that looks like an object you’d find in a decaying cabin in Fallout 4 into something you’d be happy to see a sushi chef slicing and dicing your dinner with.

Easy-Bake Oven meets its match with the Easy-Make Ramen maker!

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RocketNews 24 (by KK Miller):

A gift that has always been popular is the Easy-Bake Oven, which is one of the coolest presents ever and a great way to get young ones interested in the joy of cooking.

Baking isn’t an especially big pastime in Japan since very few households have a proper oven, but this product from Mega House is the perfect way to get kids interested and involved with cooking. It probably won’t be just kids clamoring for this kitchen aid either; adults are certainly going to want this as well because it teaches us a skill every grownup gourmand will appreciate: how to make homemade ramen noodles!

Officially called the O-Uchi de Ramenya (“Ramen Restaurant in your Home”), this Easy-Make Ramen toy is perfect for those who don’t feel too confident in their kitchen skills. For many of us, the thought of making our own ramen is daunting, but with this kit everything from the assembly to literally cranking out the noodles is really simple!

▼ The noodle cutter, tray and main part

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ramen 6The kit comes with three types of cutters to give your homemade noodles various sizes of thickness. There is also a way to turn your very straight noodles into curly noodles. Additionally, if you’re craving some wonton or gyoza to go with your ramen, you can make the skins for those as well.

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For those who are worried about special ingredients that might be required by this “machine”, you don’t have to fret; it’s already stuff you should have in your kitchen. A video from Mega House details the exact ingredients and provides a step-by-step guide to making delicious ramen noodles.

▼ Hard flour/bread flour (300 grams), soft flour/pastry flour (100 grams), water (about 190 grams), salt (8 grams), eggs (2). Using all-purpose flour (400 grams) would definitely work as well.

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You can buy one of these handy toys online from Amazon for $49.25 to enjoy in your own home with your family. Though this may be marketed as a kids’ toy, we think it’s a product that’ll really get adults excited too.

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Supermodel Jourdan Dunn heads to Thailand for her new cooking series “How It’s Dunn”

Hypebeast:

Supermodel Jourdan Dunn has teamed up with Amuse to create a cooking program titled How It’s Dunn.

The model talks about her experiences with cooking and her taste for spicy food and in the first installment of the new series, Dunn takes to the streets of Thailand to explore the country’s local cuisine and test the boundaries of her own tolerance to spice. From sauntering through fresh-food markets to braving cow’s blood noodle soup, this is only just the beginning of Dunn’s culinary pursuits.

Stay tuned for future episodes as they become available.

Soho House Interview: Chef May Chow and Little Bao (Hong Kong)

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Soho House: 

Chef May Chow pairs traditional ingredients from Hong Kong with Western cooking techniques to create her stuffed, steamed buns – fans queue around the block for the slow-braised pork belly bao, served with leek and shiso red onion salad and hoisin ketchup.

We sat down with Chow to find out more:

Q: Where’s the best place to eat in Hong Kong right now and what is your favorite dish on the menu?

A: I love The Chairman because of my favourite dish, which is steamed crab with aged Shoaxing wine, chicken oil and flat rice noodles.

Q: How did you get to where you are today and who inspired you?

A: I had a very singular vision about the kind of food I wanted to cook and who I wanted to be very early on in my career. I have to thank Matt Abergel (owner of Hong Kong’s Yardbird) because without his guidance during my restaurant development, Little Bao wouldn’t have been possible. He was honest when he believed something wasn’t good enough and I trusted his opinion.

Q: Tell us about Little Bao and the inspiration behind it.

A: Little Bao is my life translated into a restaurant. It takes inspiration from the best of both Chinese and American culture but most importantly it’s a place to have fun – so expect good food; loud, upbeat music and great cocktails.

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Q: How has your background influenced your cooking?

A: I grew up in a traditional Chinese family and I’m influenced by Chinese culture. When I moved to the US, I was influenced by the freedom of speech and, of course, the food. My cooking draws on both cultures and I love taking traditional ingredients and putting an original spin on them.

Q: What made you decide to open your own restaurant and how did you go about launching it, finding funding and finding the perfect venue?

A: I always knew that I wanted to be a restaurant owner because I felt I had a story to tell through food. The opportunity came when I was offered a booth at a market. The response was great and I started to daydream about opening a restaurant.

I developed a business plan and gained financial support from my family and friends. We scouted for a Hong Kong location for over six months and I ended up taking over a space that was occupied by a hideous Thai restaurant. That was the first right decision I made because it was in my favorite neighborhood in Hong Kong.

Q: Have you ever faced any sexism in the industry?

A: I’m such a positive and happy person that I don’t feel that I’ve ever felt discriminated against, especially in a city like Hong Kong. I am quite an empowered woman and I generally see sexism as ignorance but I don’t experience much of it.

Q: What advice would you give to other pop-ups who are looking to launch their own restaurant?

A: I started as a chef working in restaurants, so my story is slightly different because I already had a basic understanding of the DNA needed for a successful restaurant.

The first step is to develop a detailed business plan and have legitimate solutions for all the questions that crop up. How do you make sure there is consistency in your service, food and experience? Have you developed your service manual? How will you make sure food and drink cost is controlled? Where is the best location for your target market? Who is your target market? Who is your competitor? What is your PR and marketing strategy? What music should you play? How much funding do you need?

Most importantly, though, listen to the people who will provide you smart insight.

Q: How do you think the London food scene measures up to Hong Kong?

A: Both Hong Kong and London have great food scenes but I think while Hong Kong offers the best of every type of Chinese cuisine, London has a bigger array, from great modern British food like St. John and Gordon Ramsey to fantastic Middle Eastern and Indian cuisines. London also has a wonderful farmer driven open market that Hong Kong doesn’t have.

Foodbeast: Watch this fhef’s intense method for seasoning a carbon steel wok

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FoodBeast (by Peter Pham):

There have been many suggested ways to season cooking equipment. In order to create a non-stick surface, a proper combination of heat and oil must be incorporated to correctly season a pan, skillet, or even a wok.

Watch this chef’s intense technique when it comes to seasoning a new carbon steel wok. Definitely not something we can do at home, but still fascinating to watch.