Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Writer's block and caramel chicken

There's not much to this post, unfortunately, because I have a painful case of writer's block.
It's the weather, I think, that's got me a bit bleah, and it's affecting everything I do. For example, it's taking me ages in the morning to decide what to wear, and as a result, I'm always late for work (hmmm, this could, however, be due to my very extensive, online-bought clothing options - too much choice, too little time).
Never mind, sunny days will soon be here and bloggy things will hopefully be back to their bright and breezy self. There, I'm feeling better already! Hope you are, too...!

Caramel chicken
Serves 2

½ tblsp vegetable oil
½ tsp sesame oil
1 cloves garlic, finely sliced
1 small red chilli, seeded and finely sliced
2 large or 3 medium chicken thigh fillets, sliced, seasoned with salt and pepper
¼ cup Japanese rice wine vinegar
¼ cup mirin
1 ½ tblsp caster sugar
1/8 tsp dashi granules
1 tsp soy sauce

1. Heat the vegetable and sesame oils in a large frying pan over low heat. Add the chicken pieces and cook for 5 minutes, then turn and cook for another 5 minutes on the other side, or until just cooked through. Remove from the pan and set aside.
2. Combine the vinegar, mirin, sugar, dashi and soy sauce with ¼ cup water and slowly add to the pan. Stir to dissolve the sugar, then scrape up any cooked bits on the bottom of the pan. Bring to the boil and cook for 3-5 minutes or until slightly glazey.
3. Return chicken to the pan and turn the chicken to coat in the sauce. Remove from the heat.
4. Serve with rice or noodles and steamed vegetables.

Recipe adapted from yoshoku by Jane Lawson

Do you know this cool way of deseeding a capsicum?
1. Push in the stem  2. Pull out the stem  3.  Seeds are removed!

This caramel chicken was served with the cleverly deseeded capsicum, some snow pea shoots and vermicelli

The dish has a caramelly, sour and hot taste that is brilliant with the chicken

Phew! I'm exhausted. Hope writer's block is curable...


  1. I sympathise with the writers block. A glass or three of wine tends to help me, and if that fails I crack the shits and walk away. Lovin' the chook!

  2. Push, pull, plop! Love it! Hope the writters block clears soon...I know how you feel - I'm struggling to even get out of bed at the moment.

  3. Well, the weather is just peachy here and I've got writer's block what's wrong with me? I love love love that caramel sauce! I'd be licking it off the plate.

  4. woah neat trick with the capsicum!

  5. Push, Pull, it!! I know what you mean by bleah writers must be contagious.

  6. I'm glad you haven't lost your cooking mojo! That would be bad! :)

  7. Totally gonna use the capsicum trick! I feel your pain about getting up in the mornings. Its becoming increasingly hard and hence I dont think I've been on time for around 2 weeks. Eek! Hope it doesnt last long

  8. i know- i'm hating the weather too :( And I also take forever to decide what to wear- though this probably doesn't have too much to do with the weather....I'm just indecisive! I love the way you deseeded the capsicum- so cute! This looks so yummy and colourful :D

  9. looks gr8 and thanks for the capsicum tip :O)

  10. Awesome capsicum de-seeding technique :D

  11. You may have just changed my life with your capsicum tip. Love your blog.

  12. I think you have changed my capsicum life too. I mean, you've changed my life with the cool capsicum trick. I wonder who was the first person to work this out? Why isn't it common knowledge?

  13. Love the caramelized chicken bites! That's a speedy and practical way to remove capsicum seeds.

  14. yummm caramelly chicken must be super tasty..

    not only do i have writers block, i have photographer's block too. dun even know how to properly hold a camera these days :( let's hope they're all curable! ;)

  15. Hope this post has cured your writer's block. I like your method for deseeding capsicum – I'll have to try it out. Had a good laugh about the agony of clothing decisions too.

  16. I remember when I was working for a corpn., I had moments staring my clothes and cant decide what to wear. Now I pass that. I work from home. About this writers' block thingy, when I am face with it, I go pour myself a glass of wine, eat my favorite snacks and play with my dog, Ruby. For me, that helps. Your photos are very nice as always.

  17. I am a little like that as well.... can't seem to write much and there is so much to write about.
    Online shopping I go ;)

  18. Goodness! I still can't get over how fabulous your food looks and probably tastes over the top delish! You amaze me! Hope your blues go away soon! I am the same way if the weather is not sunny, then I am not 'sunny' either! Wishing you well!

  19. Love dish with all those delicious Japanese flavours!

  20. You need that clothing program thing on Clueless!!

    Yes, you need it just like I need this chicken. And how all of us need the capsicum hint.

  21. Thanks for visual tips on how to easily deseed a capsicum! I'll definitely try it out in future, but assume it only works with ripe ones?

  22. Oh yum, I love anything caramel and didn't have a caramel chicken recipe - thanks!

    Btw I think it's great you were still able to write even with a writer's block :) takes great effort!