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 =)

Art Update

Hi world,

I thought it’s time to update on all the different bits of art I have been doing in the run up to the exhibition. I have already written vaguely on what I planned for the exhibition, but I think I’ll post some more actual examples of my work.

The first part of my work involved making my own versions of magazines which we sold at the supermarket where I worked (up until Sunday 18th August). I drew my magazines in order to poke fun at and also expose some of the quite misogynistic attitudes encouraged in things like gossip magazines, where women’s bodies are examined for sweat patches, cellulite or extra body fat; general women’s magazines, which do about the same and reinforce gender stereotyping; lads mags (need I say more) and so on. Although I have to add a disclaimer here that I just made the car magazine for fun and actually have never opened a magazine about cars. Sometimes I exaggerated the text found in the various magazines, copied it outright (there are some ridiculous headlines in The Sun, for example) or gender swapped the photos in the magazines. For me, a part of this was a way for me to disarm the more unsavoury magazines, which make me feel uncomfortable in a normal newsagent/shop situation.

I also made some other zines which feature some drawings, advice, book reviews and so on.

tumblr_ms54vqXz8f1s4l6c1o1_500

I bought a couple of display stands from eBay and will be putting them up on a table for my exhibition. Also you may remember I drew a load of portraits of female role models, fictional characters, etc. I made these into stickers, which you can see in the most recent post. They have now been put into little coloured packets which will be displayed on the wall.

I cut them out again and left some of the waxy stuff on the edges so they would be easy to peel off.

There are also some miscellaneous sticker designs too, some of which I drew, others were cut out from the Japanese magazine, Zipper.

I’ve also been drawing on found bits of cardboard and old boxes, and I’m not entirely sure about how this will all fit in, so I will have to give more information about that soon! Since we have to explain how our work all fits together at our assessment, I’m planning on drawing out a diagram which explains the various influences and interests which have converged in order for me to create my current work. I suppose I could photograph it and put it on here. I know it might seem like something a teenage girl would do (doesn’t all my work seem like that, hoho?) but I get really nervous in my assessments, because the head of the department usually attends, so it would do me well to have some sort of prompt to explain myself.

Lastly, since I quit my job in order to focus on my art work, I’ve had a little bit more time to work on other things. Here are two commissions I’ve been lucky enough to work on. I also have a collaborative project to work on with my friend, but I am really nervous about my ability to create something that goes with her work, so I haven’t yet attempted it. Once I’ve dusted off the tattoo commission perhaps I will get myself into gear and start on the collaboration. Also, having been reading lots of comic books lately I am considering continuing where I left off on my previous comics projects. Perhaps after finishing university I can create a sort of autobio comic which focuses on the journey to becoming a paid artist. This is what I originally envisaged for my first comic book project but I ended up staying in education another year!

Other stuff on my post-uni to do list includes: a website, sorting out a shop (which is in progress), reading loads of books and learning to use Adobe Illustrator…

Anyway, I hope you all didn’t mind such a long post, I just wanted to make sure everything was up to date. Also my parents keep asking me to put more work up, so hopefully this will satisfy them. Perhaps after the exhibition I can make some posts featuring my friends’ art work in order to promote them, too.

Thank you as always for reading.

page disappearance

33

Okay, today I realised that I may have missed page 27 of the project. I only realised this about an hour ago, so tomorrow when I get into the school of art for the day, I will look through all the pages to double check. I’ve drawn a pencil page which is number 34 for the second time (and it says about missing a page)… because I thought that would probably be better than sneakily adding a 27th page. I think that might look a bit out of synchronisation.

Anyway, the image above is page 33, which I spent a long time on today, just  shading. I got a big watercolour brush as well today which I used to make the page a bit blue. This project is coming to a conclusion I suppose… since I will likely stop at 40 pages. After that, I have a collaborative printmaking exchange thing to get going. I have to print 20 copies of one of my copper plates. Not really looking forward to that as I will probably feel quite bored after a while! Maybe I can listen to French or Japanese radio to practise my listening skills.

Today I tried to have a day dedicated to my own work only, although of course I got a little distracted and probably spent a bit too much on the art supplies (I also bought some watercolours as mine are diminishing in quantity. Probably didn’t need to buy them though…). Tomorrow is going to be a little bit busy as I will be attending a friend’s talk and then giving a friend a tutorial as part of one of my modules. That’s not a lot of stuff I guess, I could probably have enough time to do another couple of pages/check where page 27 has gone.

Tonight I should relax! I’ve done some drawing for a friend’s birthday and drawn that double page. I am going to take a look at some follow up sheet that I’ll need to write for my workshop (the photography one I mentioned previously). I’ll make some notes. I’m anxious about this class because I feel like I won’t be able to get a good grade in it as time is running out and I find it difficult to do some of the things that are in the syllabus. We’ll see. I think I’m just comparing myself to my classmates too much, perhaps.

I’ll do those notes now…

Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoy the drawing. It’s one of my favourite pages. All of the pages are available to view on my tumblr, by the way! I’ll update my deviantART with them soon too.