Fais-moi du couscous chéri !

In the middle of the night, I wake up and wearing very few clothes I stand against the wall : I want couscous…Fais-moi du couscous chéri ! Fais-moi du couscous chéri !

No, I’m not that crazy, I’m singing in my head… It’s a hit from a time when French pop was digging very deep and would beat all records of dumbness. At least, that would make people laugh.

Deliciously steamed couscous, fluffed by hand…
Normally, you need a couscoussier with a second level that contain a steaming basket for the grain.
cc image source, if you want to order one for me.

I don’t have that. And my steaming baskets were too small to stay on my broth top. So I installed one this way : tied to a cake grill, it was hanging inside the pot.

Well that works ! A little while ago… that was yesterday no ? I had a couscoussier and that was the only pot I owned in my student room with a mini-kitchenette. I was far from home, and I had to move by train, so I took only my clothes and books. I had to buy stuff for the kitchen, and in France, you can get a very cheap couscoussier in a discount store. It’s very convenient as you can cook in the bottom and reheat stuff in the basket.

So the couscous was steamed in the rules of the art.

Okra and doukan (Winter squash) found their way in the veggie dish.

I wonder how many back legs those chickens have now.

How much harissa do you want ?

Convenient bamboo steamer menu : chicken, noodles with Korean sauce

A whole many around fragrant steamed chicken. That takes 4 minutes to prepare in a Chinese bamboo basket (or any steamer you improvise).

-Steam on medium heat the chicken breast with a few chunks of ginger. That takes about 30 minutes.
-Grate some cabbage, cut shiso leaves.
-Prepare the sauce by mixing : gochujang Korean sauce, rice vinegar, ground sesame and a little sesame oil. You can add sugar if you like it sweeter.
-In the second basket, add the noodles and the cabbage to steam them briefly.

The steamed chicken on top of the cabbage, with shiso, and the sauce. The meat stays very tender.

Nothing is lost. The chunks of ginger, the little juice from the saucer where the chicken was steamed, the stalks of shiso, sesame seeds and fresh wakame seaweed make a little soup.

The hot noodles with shiso leaves, kimchi and aonori seaweed.

Navidad experiment : tamales

It’s a grey and dark outside, the shortest day of the year… So let’s cook colorful. Tamales improvisation. I have no idea how they should be. I had fun making them and I found them delicious. The beef flavor in the masa was really great.

Some ingredients are from the freezer like the avocado and beans :

Avocado, red onion (salted, let 30 minutes, rinsed), sudachi lemon (with 1/3 of its peel) meli-melo.

Chocolaty black (soy) beans. These 2 side dishes are refreshing and sweet. The red salsa (tomato, red chili) is fierce.


Corn cob husks and colorful hot chiles.

The meaty flavor : carnitas and “lard”.
Well, it’s slow-cooked sliced pork with onion and sudachi lemon, and beef fat. They give the cubes of fat in supermarkets here, as it’s a necessary ingredient for the sukiyaki. At that price of zero yen, I sometimes take a few. That’s not so “sinfully fat” as you may think. I used 1/2 cube (4 grams) for the whole, the flavor is powerful.

The masa… I don’t have real masa powder. It’s a mix of polenta (grits) and corn flour, plus spices, salt, the melted beef fat, olive oil, water.

2 flavors, carnitas or green chili ‘n cheese.


After about 30 minutes of steaming.

Cal 721.8 F29.2g C95.2g P25.8g


That’s a savory rice cake or dumpling. Nira is “Chinese chive”.
About yellow nira
About green nira

About nira blossoms

Filling :
The filling base is same as for gyoza.

Filling Base :

For 2 dozens unflavored, 3 dozens flavored
(that depends on size/type of dumpling)

(to mix together and let a while in the fridge)
100 g ground pork (actually I used ground chicken)
1/2 onion, minced
1/2 ts pasted garlic
1/2 ts pasted ginger
2 cs soy sauce
4 cs sake
pepper, chili flakes

Flavoring : I added same volume of nira, next time I’ll add double or triple of nira as that melts…

Dough, for 8 pieces :
mochiko 30 g
rice flour with gluten 30 g
a glass of hot water
A little more rice flour for the table

-Mix the flours, add progressively water and kneed a little till you get a very soft paste (not very solid).
Cut in 3, then each in 3. That makes 9 because it’s nice to keep a little more dough to use as patch.
-Take a ball of dough in your hand, make it flat and sligthly pull on sides to make them wider. Keep a thicker center of circle. Add a small amount of filling, close the dough to make a ball.
-Steam about 20 minutes. I used a Chinese steam basket and oil cooking sheet in the bottom. Steaming can be done in a micro-wave.

These mochis can be served just after steaming, in a soup or a hotpot, or pan-fried. But you need to steam them before.

Note : with 50% of gluten-enriched rice flour, I took the easy way, they are easy to shape. To have a more “mochi” (or chewing-gum) texture and taste. You can use a bigger proportion of mochiko 2/3 and plain rice flour. With 100% mochiko… good luck to shape them “raw” but you can cook the mochiko like for daifuku mochi.

Daifuku mochi recipe + explanation about mochiko

Just steamed.

Pan fried.