Sunday, January 15, 2012

Miso fried rice and a resolution

I know I`ve been MIAing for a while and that because for the whole last week, my mind was fully occupied with job-related things. I wanted to say that that`s a good thing with being busy, but sadly, it was not. My current job contract is about to end and a while ago, I applied for a job for the errrth time and I finally got myself an interview. The irony was, I wanted that job so much and I really felt that I had a good shot, but the second I finished my interview, I knew I blew it away just like that. That day, it seemed clearer than ever to me that my greatest weakness is being interviewed. So, I just went home feeling uneasy and regretting the way I responded to the questions. It`s all about "I should have explained this and that" in my mind. And despite my fear of the result, I still had the excitement thinking of a tiny possibility for me to get it until a letter came two days later saying that I don`t get the job. Then, I crashed down, pretty badly. I always knew that I`m more a writer than a speaker, but I never thought that it would cost me this bad. And to make things gloomier, my paper got rejected too earlier that day. But I quickly resubmitted it to a different journal in the same day and I`m glad I did. So, one rejection to start my day and another rejection to welcome me home. Now how about that?
Anyway, I`m glad to say that I`ve finished with the sad part, so let me continue with the good part. Or at least I think it`s good for me. I thought it would take days for me to get over it, but to my surprise, I was already fine the next day and even better, I`m ready to move on. It occurred to me that now I knew the root of my problem, I have to work on  my communication/speaking skill for interviews, or in a broader term, my self-selling skill in job hunting. Otherwise, I will spend the rest of my time just whining about why I fail again, or worse, blaming the universe.So here I am, with new battery, which I hope will last very long, and new homework to do. Failing should make me better instead of merely feeling defeated. And please remind me about all this speech when I start whining again, alright?

OK, now I`m done with sharing about my life. I don`t mean to drag you into my gloominess, but I hope the lesson works not only for me, but for people out there too who are probably in the same situation.

Now, please come to my kitchen because I`m going to share my quick and easy meal, which happens to be a vegan recipe too.  I just hope that this fried rice doesn`t represent my story above because really, they don`t relate at all. In fact, this post has helped me getting back on my feet before the Monday comes.
Cooking time!

Start with chopping a spring onion.

In a frying pan with a bit of oil, stir-fry the spring onion with chilli. 
You can remove the chilli seed before slice/chop it up for a milder heat. For me, I`ve never removed any chili seed in my life. Maybe having a baby would be my only reason to do that in the future.

Next, throw in sliced shiitake mushrooms. 

And toss in shimeji mushrooms.
Speaking of mushrooms, I remembered my recent conversation with my dearly cousin who lives in Netherland. She said that it`s difficult to copy my recipe because she rarely/never see the ingredients I use here at her place. I`m sure that she`s not alone in having this opinion because I too have some difficulties in finding some ingredients listed in recipes from outside Japan. But even so, I think the basic idea of sharing recipes, at least for me and especially for non-baking ones, is to inspire people to cook. And more importantly, with whatever we have or like. Other than that, don`t you think it`s fun to learn about new or foreign food we never see before?

Aaaand....back to the frying pan before I burn everything. 
Add a tbs (or more, or less) of miso paste and stir up.

Then, to give it a red effect, add 1 tbs of red chili powder or flakes.

Season with salt (go easy with it because miso is already salty), ginger, and pepper. Stir until everything combined.

Dump in cooked rice and good luck with the stirring.

This fried rice has a pretty good resemblance with Indonesian fried rice. Just add a fried egg on top and shrimp rice crackers on the side and no one will sue you from calling it Indonesian fried rice. Although, one will quickly notice a difference because of the dominant miso flavor in the dish. And before I forget, this dish is not only quick and easy to prepare, but also comforting.  After all, what`s not comforting from miso and mushrooms?
Makes about 2 plates

1 spring onion
2-3 chili
Shiitake mushrooms
Shimeji mushrooms
1 tbs miso paste
1 tbs chili powder/flakes
2 plates cooked rice
Tomato (optional)
Parsley (optional)

1. Saute chopped spring onion and chili in a frying pan with a bit of olive oil.
2. Stir in  shiitake mushrooms and cook until it wilted.
3. Stir in shimeji mushrooms and cook until it wilted.
4. Add 1 tbs of miso paste and 1 tbs of chili powder/flakes.
5. Season with ginger, salt, and pepper and stir up.
6. Add 2 plates of cooked rice and stir until everything combined.
7. Optional: garnish with chopped tomato and parsley to serve.


  1. Life can be tough from time to time, but as we say in Greece if a door closes, perhaps a window will open for you. To me a rejection is nothing more than a change in my life course. I hope this rejection will bring something good in your life eventually! The miso rice looks delicious!

    1. Thank you, Katerina! Yes, I know that I need to knock on a hundred more doors to find which one will open for me. And hopefully I`ll be lucky enough to get some of the windows opened too :)

  2. Arudhi, I'm so sorry for your interview. I hope you will have many more opportunities this year and, you know what, I'm sure this job only appeared great but in reality was not as pink as it looked :-)
    Fried rice is a magic, comforting dish and yours looks excellent. I totally agree! Actually it's funny because I have made one tonight! (not vegan though!) I also didn't take out chili seeds. I do it only with extremely hot chilies.
    I love your making-of photos. (I think I'm repeating myself ;-) )
    I think there are many online shops delivering within the UE, so your friend should be available to buy most Japanese products (of course not fresh vegetables or mushrooms...).
    I cross my fingers for your future interviews and job opportunities!

    1. Hi Sissi, thanks a lot, but please don`t be sorry because I`m doing alright now. Things probably had been too easy for me before, so this "down" time should be my chance to get better and better.
      About the photos, I`m sure you`ll make great ones if you try! It`s quite a tedious work, but I love watching food being cooked :)
      And thanks for your tips on ordering food online. I hope my cousin will read this too.

  3. Wow, this looks amazing - keep meaning to get some miso paste from the nearby Japanese supermarket in Paris. I love the look of the shimeji mushrooms too! My wife would love this, I just know it. Must make it for her sometime :)

    1. I`m glad you like this recipe, Charles. Miso is so versatile that you can practically add it in almost any kind of dish. Is your wife a vegan/vegetarian? Have fun with preparing the surprise dish for her!

  4. that's life sometimes it happen...actually it happened to me also but I never lose hope, one thing that I still go on is to think positive that you there is a right place for you. The recipe you prepared is terrific and can't wait to taste it.

    1. Hi Raquel, thank you for your support! You`re totally right, being positive is what we should do, especially in this kind of situation.
      Hope you like the fried rice!

  5. hey dear... sorry to hear what happened. i'm sure there will be other (better) opportunities coming your way. let's skype sometimes.
    good news: i got the matcha package!! thank youuuuuu :) that was a great surprise! love it. you're the best hehehehe... i'm leaving to copenhagen today and will be in sweden for the week. i'll see if i find an interesting swedish kitchen item for you :)


    1. Always a globe traveler, aren`t you? :D Nice!! Bring home some pictures with you, please, because I`d love to see the world (and food!) out there. Enjoy the package and have a safe trip!