The weather in Paris last week was so lovely shining sun, blue sky, not too hot, not too cold. This lovely weather, together with the fact that the cherry trees at Parc de Sceaux, a very big park just outside of Paris, have blossomed made it impossible to stay inside, and that was why Tutu’s organized a picnic with her friends on a day where the weather was exceptionally nice. I was the one in charge of making the main dishes and desserts, since I’m the one with the most free time on my hands
The park is pretty far from my house, so I chose dishes that satisfy the following criteria: can be eaten cold but still fill the stomach, and it must be easy to transport since I will have to sit on a bus the whole way, and I was alone as well.
The first dish was seaweed (nori) glutinous rice balls. My friends really enjoyed this dish, the fragrance of the seaweed helps reduce the heaviness of glutinous rice, and it still tastes good even after it’s been cooled down on the way. I made the rice ball the night before, then used cling film to tightly wrap them all up, and before I went to the park, I stuck them in the microwave for a good 3 minutes so they become warm and soft. I think this dish is very suitable for a quick breakfast, or to bring with you as lunch, and you can serve it with fried egg, sausage, etc
This is a very simple recipe, and I want to introduce the method of cooking rice in a rice cooker for Asian study-abroaders, who usually don’t have a lot of time on hands nor a steamer to steam the glutinous rice.
Công thức bằng tiếng Việt: Picnic & Xôi rong biển (nấu xôi bằng chõ hấp & bằng nồi cơm điện)
* Ingredients: (enough for 10 palm-size rice balls)
- 500g glutinous rice
- 1tsp salt
- 7-9 seaweed sheets, chopped
Method 1: Steaming
1. Rinse the rice under water 1-2 times. Soak it overnight in cold water, or in hot water for 3-4 hours.
2. Drain the rice well and mix with salt.
3. Pour into steaming basket/steamer. Heat on medium high heat, open the steamer occasionally and use chopsticks or a fork to stir so the heat can distribute more evenly. It usually takes me 20-30’ for 500g of rice.
Method 2: Using a rice cooker
1. Rinse the rice under water 1-2 times, mix well with salt.
2. Put the rice in the rice cooker, pour the water in, the water level should not be higher than 5mm from the surface of the rice.
3. Turn on the “cook” button. When it turns to “Keep warm”, open the rice cooker and use chopsticks or a wooden spoon to stir the rice. Close the lid and let it cooked for another 20 minutes (glutinous rice cooked by using the steam) and the rice will be done.
Finally you just have to add the chopped seaweed and mix well with a wooden spoon.
Beside glutinous rice, sandwich is also a very ‘traditional’ choice of picnic food. The sandwich in the photo is bacon meatloaf sandwich. The recipe for the meatloaf will be introduced in a later post.
For dessert, I made a batch of Oreo cupcake. I will have a series on baking coming soon ^^
Some photos of Parc de Sceaux and the cherry garden. This cherry garden is very big, and the cherry flowers have blossomed to their fullest. It’s so beautiful and breath-taking, that I sometime feel shivers down my spine taking the photos.
And I managed to catch these cute moments of these two little kids. The little girl with her shirt matching the colour of the flower really made me feel like she’s a cheeky cherry flower that is running around playing