Black Bean Sauce Recipe (JP + EN translation)

Hi all!

It has been a while! I wanted to share with you something I made for my Japanese module coursework, a recipe for black bean sauce from my mum. The images are all in Japanese but I will write the translation below 🙂 I have separated it into parts corresponding with each page.

Just a disclaimer, I’m not an expert recipe writer, and my mum is notorious for avoiding specifying ingredient amounts, so you may wish to tweak this if for example you want your sauce gloopier (more cornstarch) or less gloopy (less cornstarch), etc. I am open to questions if you have any, and if I can’t answer I can ask my mum!

Ingredients

  1. Meat (suggestion: 3-4 chicken thighs or 450g of beef)
    Vegetarian options: 1 block of firm tofu or quorn etc.
  2. 5cm ginger
  3. 4 cloves garlic
  4. 3 spring onions for paste and 2 thinly sliced for topping
  5. 25g fermented black soy beans
  6. Fresh chillis (or as many or few as you wish)
  7. 10g cornstarch
  8. 1 bell pepper (mum’s suggestion – red – I prefer green though!)
  9. Soy sauce
  10. Oil for frying

Side Note 1: you should be able to find fermented black soy beans in a Chinese supermarket or online (1, 2).

Part 1

  1. First off, although not mentioned in my JP recipe (because brevity was important and I was also on a deadline), my mum recommended marinating the meat/tofu with a bit of corn starch (‘maybe a heaped teaspoon – depending on quantity’), rice wine, light soy sauce and a bit of sesame oil.
  2. Very roughly chop the ginger, garlic and spring onions, put them into a blender. Add the black beans (don’t need to chop these). If you like spicy food feel free to add chillis. Blend everything!
  3. If you want rice, now’s the time to put the rice cooker on, or prepare your rice. If you don’t have a rice cooker I recommend making it in the microwave with a steamer like this.
  4. Turn on the stove and heat up your frying pan to medium heat.

Part 2

  1. Put ~30ml oil or so in the pan. First of all, put the meat/tofu etc. in and fry. We want to seal the edges of the meat and for the tofu/veg option we want to make the surface nice and crispy. If frying tofu it could take around 10 mins and you need to be turning it over to fry the different edges. For meat it could take about 5 mins.
  2. When the meat’s sealed or tofu is nice and crispy, take it out of the frying pan. Next, add the pepper and fry it for a few mins, then take out and set aside for later.

Part 3

  1. Take the paste from the blender and fry it. After a few minutes when it is fragrant, you can add in the meat/tofu and fry for a few more mins.
  2. Mix 10g cornstarch and 100ml water in a separate bowl and then add it to the pan. Continue to stir 🙂 you can now add light soy sauce to taste.
  3. Add the pepper back into the pan and continue to stir.
  4. When it becomes goopy then you know it’s almost ready. Keep cooking until the meat is cooked (you can cut it open to see).
  5. Serve it on top of a bed of rice and sprinkle with more thinly chopped spring onions.

Aaaaand here I got round to taking a couple photos of a version of this dish I did today… I added mushrooms, onions and courgette. I didn’t use any peppers, and I also used fried gluten instead of tofu! Go ahead and substitute whatever you feel like 🙂

November begins

commission

Dear all,

Yesterday I got back from a short stay in another town, and today I have been getting back into creating artwork… I haven’t drawn much as of late, but since returning and looking through tumblr, pinterest and various blogs, I remembered that oh yes, I want to be an artist…

So I thought I’d make a blog post today with a few images of what I have been working on. Above is the family portrait commission which I mentioned in my previous posts… I think I’ve almost finished it, I’m just waiting for the person to reply to my message and let me know whether they are happy with it.

comic

And here is  little comic book page that I started, it’s for the computer game that my friends and I made for the competition. We have agreed to work on completing the original game, and decided that it would be cool to have each diary page drawn out as a sort of comic. This is page one of the diary… there are perhaps about six or seven pages, so I’ll be working on those next. I think I’ll shade this picture a little bit more too, and then it’ll be coloured in photoshop.

It’s good to be back and actually working on active projects once again; also I’m glad to have the commission as I need to raise money for transport for the Leeds Thought Bubble convention on 23rd – 24th November (it’s on for longer but my friend and I are only doing two days). I’ll have to make some new work as well for the convention… time is running out and I’m scared that I’ll end up bringing our team down with sub par goods… thankfully from the previous exhibition I have some stickers and zines which would probably fit in at the con. Just need to get even more stuff done! Today I ordered some felt squares from etsy and some safety pins too, so that I can create some felt brooches.

While I’ve been working I have been watching a couple of different anime series, including K-On, which was recommended to me by a friend, and another new one called Kyoukai no Kanata. I also downloaded the first season of BBC’s Merlin – an extremely cheesy series about the wizard Merlin and his daily struggles in trying to keep Prince Arthur safe from harm – think bad jokes, funny CGI and so on.

I think that’s everything for this update. Tonight I’ll be shading the afore mentioned comic book page, fretting about the convention and whether my brooches will look awful or not, and watching more Merlin. I will finish up this blog post with an updated to do list; I hope you don’t mind.

Oh – also – I applied for a job as a graphic designer and unsurprisingly I did not get it. I think I would do okay although my portfolio is in dire need of a renovation and I need to learn more about Adobe Illustrator. It was kind of the guy to consider me though!

To Do List

  • Finish up family portrait commission
  • Comic strips for the game
  • Contact friend about poetry/art book collaboration
  • Illustration for friend’s tabletop RPG campaign
  • Thought Bubble convention preparation
  • Arrange driving lessons – or – study theory first

Anyway, thanks again for reading. Hope you are all doing well. Feel free to share your recent art or link to your blogs or whatever =)

postpost exhibition (summer begins)

Dear all,

so the exhibition has taken down. As I said, I did have a leisurely wander around to look more at the work, but I didn’t do the whole photo taking thing… luckily for those who are interested, there are loads of photos of students’ exhibition work on Vera’s blog, here and here. And again there’s some reviews and stuff on Siobhan’s blog too. Thanks for writing such kind and encouraging things about my work, Sivy!

Since my last post I’ve been doing extra hours at the supermarket and have also been feeling quite tired. I didn’t draw for a few days because I didn’t feel so inspired, but I have started drawing again and feel refreshed.

zines

While doing my extra hours at work, I attempted to be semi productive by drawing mini zines from a4  paper which I borrowed. I made one a day… I’m trying to make this a more regular thing as I think that it helps me to manage my mood swings during the shifts. Usually around late afternoon I start to feel bad – probably because it’s the middle of my shift and also I think it’s when I start to get hungry again. So drawing these helps me to stop thinking sad thoughts and focus on drawing, which probably means that I am less gloomy looking for customers. Below is one I did yesterday.

Today while I was at work, I forgot to pick up an a4 sheet of paper, so I found an old envelope under the till which I used to draw.

Now I won’t have work until a small 5 hour shift on Wednesday evening. For Monday and Tuesday, I’m not sure how to occupy myself. Since many people from my course have left university and I don’t have specific lessons to attend, I feel a bit lost. Fortunately there are still some of us left in this town so hopefully I won’t feel lonely. The next thing to do on my list is probably working out what I will do for the September exhibition. As you may know already, I don’t really enjoy planning art projects; I just like to do them and see what happens… but I suppose I will need at least a little bit of a plan, so I don’t drift off into obscurity. At the moment I am looking at the work of Cy Twombly and also rediscovering Jean Michel Basquiat…

I always feel awkward with words when talking about other artists, but I feel like in a way my recent exhibition piece was in a similar vein to Basquiat’s work (probably just because it contained really colloquial text scrawled as part of the image)…

I was about to say “I’m not sure how to end this blog post, so…” but I just remembered to write that at the end of last week I put loads of old work out on a table in the school of art and tried to sell some of it… I expected to make only £5 but made £101.50! So that makes me feel a bit positive about the future, even though it’s not really going to be a regular, consistent business.

photo of shop

Here’s a photo of my work in my shop! It was simple, not flashy at all, just little paper placards denoting the price. I liked having the shop. Artist Claes Oldenburg made his own ‘shop’ in 1961 Manhattan, which was a piece of art in itself… and it’s something I really would like to do. Creating a DIY style artists’ shop – possibly in a collective. Anyway, now I’m probably rambling a little. I’m going to end this now and read some blogs which I’ve not had a chance to read for a while!

Thank you for reading,

Elysia

PS: I forgot to make my to do list here.

  1. work on my Ladyquest zine submission, deadline late July.
  2. enter the Sheffield International Artist’s Book Prize (wow, long name), deadline July 31st.
  3. enter the Rabley Drawing Centre’s sketchbook exhibition, deadline June 21st.
  4. maybe enter Jerwood Drawing Prize, deadline 17th June.
  5. Make work to sell in the CCS charity shop (a local thing).
  6. Make a print to enter Hong Kong exhibition, deadline 10th June.
  7. Apply for CAC residency.

post-exhibition

Hi all…

… so I thought I’d just borrow the photos off my instagram (let’s follow each other on instagram!) to show a little of the exhibition pieces I made. I will probably take a day next week to walk around the whole of the exhibition, taking photos, and then talk about some of my friends’ work and also some favourites too from people I don’t know so well.

If you’ve read my previous posts, you’ll probably know that I worked on a project which involved drawing on lots of sheets of paper as well as completing two bigger drawings.

 So here are the two big drawings… I painted the frames white for the exhibition. The week before the exhibition, when I was framing the portrait drawing, I was putting the glass in and it got caught on part of the frame and shattered! That was very frustrating. I had to run to the framing shop in town to buy some more glass for £10 and run back to the school of art carrying the whole frame (heavy for me)… I’m very glad that the people at the framing shop were able to help me so quickly. In the end I was mostly quite happy with the way these pictures turned out, although one of them was mounted slightly to one side! It’s not noticeable to other people unless I point it out, fortunately. If you want, you can find better resolution images in my deviantART gallery.

As for the forty sheets of drawings, my friend helped me nail each sheet to the wall. Here’s some photos of me awkwardly sitting next to my work, hanging in progress, and complete. I thought it would take a LOT longer to put all my work up, but thanks to the help of friends it was all completed in one day.

So altogether for my exhibition I had forty pieces of paper with drawings on, two big framed drawings, and also a plinth with my digitally printed book. I had originally hoped to be able to sell my book at the exhibition, but as it was printed in full colour the production costs meant that it was unlikely to sell very much and also I did not have enough money to pre-order any! But anyway I suppose I am reasonably satisfied with having put up the exhibition. All the exhibitors, both undergraduate and post-graduate, are being assessed this week. Tomorrow I have my assessment at 10am, and several of us need to come in again on Thursday to be assessed by an external examiner.

Oh, I also wanted to share this photograph of a cute puppy who was present at the exhibition opening afternoon – I got to hold him!

 I’m not really sure why there was a puppy at the event but most people were pretty delighted to see this malamute-husky cross.

So, hopefully this week or next week I will be posting again with more photos of the exhibition – of other peoples’ artwork! I hope you all don’t mind my recent slack with posting. I realise that I have only done nine posts altogether since moving my blog over to wordpress. The infrequent posting is due to having been quite stressed out with the exhibition work, as well as working at the supermarket and maintaining a slightly pathetic social life along with that. After these two assessments on Wednesday and Thursday, plus having to print ten more etchings for a print exchange, my main focus over the three summer months will be to prepare for the final exhibition in September. I would like to say that, since we will not have any written assignments, I will be able to post more over summer, but we will see! I will try my best.

I also hope you all don’t mind the flat tone in which I write. I would really like to write with more emotion and flair but I am quite tired at the moment and you probably also know (from my work and writing) that I am prone to feeling bad for little reason at all, so that probably adds to it. Also I get a bit scared about revealing how I am actually feeling sometimes because family read my posts and I don’t want to worry them.

I suppose a good way to end this would be to briefly mention a few interesting and/or nice things that have happened over the past weeks.

  • Two people whom I lived with during the last academic year came to visit and see the exhibition. It was really nice to be reunited with them and I’m so glad that they liked my recent art too.
  • I met some new people while out celebrating the exhibition with my friends. One of them I had met briefly before. My good friend (one who visited) and I talked to this person for perhaps an hour or so and he was funny and we were amazed at how well he was able to talk about academic subjects while he seemed to be super inebriated.
  • My Japanese textbook arrived from white rabbit press in Japan. I’m looking forward to studying from it and I want to improve a whole lot more, because I still feel like a beginner!

I hope I can study lots over the summer and eventually progress to studying at roughly N3 level, a middle level of the Japanese language proficiency test. I don’t think I want to take any of the JLPT levels for a long time but I like to use it as a way for gauging what kind of grammar I should be learning.

I think it’s probably time to go now; I will likely walk home from the school of art after this, cook some food, maybe study, maybe play computer games (skyrim!) and plan for the next two weeks. As for plans for the next exhibition, I have a few but I’m not sure.

So, next time – photos of my friends’ work!

Good bye from Elysia