Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Cooking Workshop at ONAKA Restaurant & Wine Bar #OMYSBA2013 #PanasonicCookingSG

Have you ever considered what are the essential cooking appliances in your kitchen?

I think most of us have a decent-sized kitchen where we can fit in the microwave oven, convection oven, stove, rice cooker, blender, food processor, thermo pot and maybe throw in a bread machine, ice-cream machine and juicer :P However, when I was living in Japan, my apartment was quite small and my kitchen was even tinier. My mum used to say it was "stamp-sized" {gee thanks! haha}. Space constraints really make you think harder about what you need. There was no way I could even fit in a built-in cooktop or wall oven, so all I had was one portable gas cooker, a small microwave oven, rice cooker, and oh yes, a blender because I liked to make smoothies. I seemed pretty handicapped in whipping up a lot of delicious dishes those days, but in actual fact, that's all anyone ever needs actually to create a wholesome meal.

Over the weekend, as one of the Singapore Blog Awards Best Cooking Blog finalists, I attended a cooking workshop at ONAKA Restaurant & Wine Bar. Head Chef Jason and Sous Chef Benson were there to teach the participants how to create 5 delicious, yet healthy dishes - Onaka Living Green Smoothie,  Yam Cake, Farmer Pie, Apple Pastille, and Hong Kong Style Ginger Egg Pudding using just a Panasonic blender, rice cooker and microwave convection oven.

Yup, these yummy delights were created with just those 3 kitchen appliances!

This is the Onaka Living Green Smoothie... so refreshing! I'm quite surprised that they included this as a workshop recipe since it's one of the restaurant's signature drink ;) It's pretty easy to make and one of the key ingredients is spirulina, which is a 100% natural and a highly nutritious micro salt water plant. It's known to boost the immune system, improve digestion, reduce fatigue, cleanse the body etc. Basically a superfood haha. Chef Jason said you can get it in powder form and use it as a natural green colouring to your dishes as well.

Because it's just so awesome, I'm gonna share the simple recipe with you here too *grinz* You're welcome.

1 x coconut {water + flesh}
1 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil
1 x pear {core removed}
1 tsp spirulina
5 leaves baby spinach

1. Place all ingredients in blender
2. Blend until smooth
3. Serve chilled

In the 3.5 hours workshop, the chefs shared more cooking tips for the different appliances, and also on the origins of each dish, and how they adapted it to suit ONAKA's philoshophy of making healthy food tasty, and tasty food healthy.

No frying required to make the shallots nice and crispy! All done in a microwave oven with just a dash of oil ;P

Pouring the yam mixture into a plate to be steamed in the microwave oven. It's amazing how technology has advanced so that a microwave is no longer just to "heat things up", but you can grill, steam, bake and prepare varied styles of dishes with it. Even a rice cooker is not just for "cooking rice", but you can cook soup, congee and even bake in one now!

I'm always happy to eat yummy food, and learn more cooking tips and recipes heehee ^^V

The Hong Kong Style Ginger Egg Pudding was so smooth and reminded me of the one we at in Macau.

Farmer's Pie made with chicken, edamame beans {first time I've eaten it in a pie!}, vegetables and seasoned with konbu shio.

Yam cake with chicken, chinese mushroom and dried prawns. I'm not really a fan of yam cake, but this was really nice especially when served hot. Some yam cakes are pan-fried, so steaming is really a healthier option.

Apple Pastilles used green apples, sultanas, brown sugar, cinnamon powder and lemon juice. And oh yes, spring roll skin! Didn't expect that now, did ya? :) Susu made something similar before with banana, cinnamon sugar and popiah skin... definitely something I want to try at home.

I'd be posting the recipes for the rest of the dishes on my Facebook page later. Do check it out there!

What are the must-have appliances in your kitchen?

I Blog on Tues with Essentially Jess

* Disclosure: The event coverage of Cooking Workshop at ONAKA Restaurant & Wine Bar was due to an invitation from Panasonic Singapore, thanks to omy.sg. No monetary compensation was received, and all opinions are my own.


{Best Family Blog vote here | Best Cooking Blog vote here}

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tahlia @ the parenting files said...

Looks like lots of fun and yummy food. My must have is my thermomix :) the best! x

Theresa Mahoney said...

Oooh, it all looks so yummy! We used to live in a stamp sized apartment too. The one requirement when we bought a house was a large kitchen for me. I HAVE to have 500 different appliances lol.

♥.Trish.♥ Drumboys said...

Looks delicious Ai - lucky you.
I won an all in one cooker and I can't wait to try it out.

Stacy said...

Aiya my tummy just rumbled... looking at your pics!

Grace said...

The green smoothie looks absolutely delish! I can't live without my mixer and my blender. And now that it's getting cooler - my slow cooker!
Good luck in the awards!!! Go, Ai! x

Unknown said...

Would be great to be able to use the microwave for cooking, I have always wondered if it was possible to get a good chef type meal from one. Id like to try the green smoothie!

Rhianna said...

Gosh they all look super yummy. Sounds like a great experience.

Leaving some fairy wishes and butterfly kisses from #teamIBOT

Ai Sakura said...

tahlia: I've heard so much about the thermomix! Got to check it out soon

Theresa: hahaha lucky you have such a big one now!

Trish: look forward to your recipes on those

Stacy: ;p

Grace: thanks Grace. The slow cooker is so useful for soups and stews!

Sophie: I think it's possible especially if it can bake and steam too ;p

Rhianna: yup I learnt a lot from the workshop!

Emily @ Have a laugh on me said...

I actually wish I had a thermomix! But I can't live without my whiz! I must try get in to those green smoothies! Em x