A fine savour on simple pleasures

My aim is to reduce the tension in my mind by sharing my thoughts and experiences in the things that I love; which I could not express openly due to circumstances. Be it in doing stupid things, experimenting on new recipes, failings in research work, writings..just some doodle ranting stuff

Monday, April 29, 2013

Manga review: Psyren

A great shounen manga for all those peepz out there!

 Title: Psyren
Status: Completed
Nationality: Japanese
Genre: Shounen, adventure, fantasy, psychological, comedy, sci-fi, supernatural, romance, mystery
Online reading source: mangafox

Written by Iwashiro Toshiaki-sensei, during the ongoing of this manga, it has stayed for quite some time on the top 10 chart in mangafox. I love how complicated and shrewd the storyline has been; it has a simple yet smooth start, how mind baffling at each and every turn of the development of the storyline. Simply put, psyren offers an original setting, gorgeous backdrop, complicated yet a smooth deliverance of storyline, ample character building, satisfying believable power-ups, with a sprinkle of romance to spice things up. Even the ending was good, which is rare in a lot of mangas. Its a very good manga which I believe could cater for the 18 and above.

Ageha Yoshina (black hair) and Sakurako Amamiya (white hair)

 The story involves (initially) of a couple of highschool students; Ageha Yoshina as the male main protagonist and Sakurako Amamiya as the lead female protagonist. At later stages, the plot develops further and introduces a variety of many other characters.

Other additional characters. There's so many more after that as well.

Yoshina is a guy who'll do anything with a fee of 10 000 yen, as he usually beats up bullies and stuff. Through a single phone call from a payphone, he received a call card which connects him to a world known as Psyren, through a conduit known as Nemesis Q. With the will to help out his old friend, Amamiya, he connected to Psyren and realized later in order to return to his world, he needs to finish up assignments given by Nemesis Q, which usually involves staying alive while being attacked by monsters known as Taboo, and to be able to move from one point to another. After being exposed to the environment of Psyren, all of the participants develop specialized abilities known as PSI with the expense of having brain damage.

Well, you know how shounen mangas always levels up nonstop in a short time? Yeah, its the same here. Nonetheless, the fighting scenes in Psyren are very creative, unique and exciting ! Always it is worth the time.

 Later on, the plot develops further where they don't just have to stay alive, but have to find the root cause of Psyren which was initiated by an organization known as W.I.S.E. And Psyren is actually the future of earth after destruction to boot !

 So do find the connection between high school kids, an idol, an orphanage center, a meteor, a payphone and aliens after reading this. Its worth it every single second of your time.

Some awesome fighting scenes;

 For more info, you can read up great insight on the characters of psyren at Psyren Wiki.

Rating: 8.5/10

Monday, April 22, 2013

Recipe: How tos: Easy Sambal Belacan a.k.a. pounded chillies with shrimp block

Yue's Homemade Sambal Belacan

What is a sambal belacan? Sambal belacan is a dip sauce for us to eat usually with grilled fish, plain rice and raw vegetables (as in salads). It is comprised mainly of chillies and belacan (shrimp paste block) and ofcoz there are other additional ingredients to vary it over. Always being prepared fresh, it's a very popular must have dip sauce in Malaysia and comes in various forms. If you visit the normal malay stalls or restaurants selling rice with varieties of dishes displays on a rack or table, the sides will always be sambal belacan. Because we can't live without it. Truthfully speaking. We can't go on without this hot and spicy paste/sauce. I usually can't eat rice if I don't have this.

Hence, I'm gonna teach a simple way to make sambal belacan.

4 servings (If you don't eat too much of it) = 1 small saucer

Belacan - 1 inch or so
2 Cayenne chilli pepper
5 Bird's eye chilli pepper/ thai chilli pepper
1/4 big onion/yellow onion
1 lime (deseeded)
1/4 tomatoes *optional
a pinch of salt

Don't know the differences between the chillies? Have a look here. In Malaysia, we usually used these 3 kinds of chillies for our cooking;

photo credits to google
Cayenne chilli pepper (about 2 1/2 to 3 inch long, usually long and slender)

  photo credits to google
Bird's eye chilli pepper (usually light green, around 1/2 to 1 inch long)

 photo credits to google   
Thai chilli pepper (around 1 - 1 1/2 inch long, slender and green)

Anyway, I usually used this kind of belacan for my cooking;

Any kind of it will do, but try not to get the ones with high red intensity coz it usually got colouring. Very dangerous. The darker version of these are way much better coz they are naturally made from fermented krill paste with salt and sundried. But the smell..aiyoo..it'll make u get a headache. Keep them in tight lid container n pop in the fridge. You can actually left them outside as well, no problem. Belacan won't expires. You can read some more infos about belacan here and here, though its in Malay..


Pop in all the ingredients inside a dry blender except for the lime. Pulse it to the desired consistency. Some people likes it course, some likes it fine. In the olden days, people usually pound it with mortar and pastel. It actually tasted better. I only do that if I got time hehe

Remove from blender and squeeze a lime. Give it a taste with ur pinky. If the taste is not right, adjust it. It should taste hot and a lil salty with a hint of sourness. Can be kept in the fridge for 2-3 days in an air tight container. Eat with grilled seafood..yum !

Monday, April 15, 2013

Easy Caramelized Nuts, an alternative to unhealthy snacks: How to make them

 Homemade caramelized nuts :)

Have you ever crave for nuts during traveling just to find those nuts were outrageously priced? Especially when you bought them in petrol station haha.

It happens to me alot. As well as my hubby.

We are the type of couple who travels around with a basketful of goodies. On the day of traveling, I will always wake up early to cook food. A one main meal dish, some finger food like nuggets and sausages, or even onigiri, and of course, 1 bottle of drinking bottle with a thermos of green or oolong tea. We truly dig in. While  acting as a co-pilot when he's driving, I will talk (a lot) to my love, feed him food, and sing together.

What I always fail to anticipate is in preparing crackers and nuts of the like. He truly loves them..just name it! macadamia, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, almonds and those lots.

It's so dem expensive..(sigh)

So then, this is how to save some cash while having it good!

Servings : err..not sure..yields 1 big bottle (we ate with my family..still got alot..already 2 months now)

Whatever seeds and nuts you have (I bought mine from the bakery)
This is what I used;
   - Pumpkin seeds
   - Sunflower seeds
   - Almonds
3 tbs butter/margarine (dollopful)
1 c sugar
1/4 c refined sugar (you can use castor sugar or simply blend normal sugar to fine bits)
a pinch of salt


1. Dry fry each seeds/nut separately at low fire with a skillet (Do not put oil). Keep on stirring to homogenize the heat to the seeds/nut. An indication when the seeds are done is when they starts to pop (I think after 10 mins or so of stirring). You just have to stir about 5 mins more and test the texture. It should be crunchy. For the almond nuts, silvered them first to make them thin so that they will be easier to cook. Use similar method for the seeds although they won't pop this time. You just have to taste them to make sure.

2. Remove all seeds/nut out before adding the butter into the same skillet. At medium low fire, melt the butter before adding the sugar. Keep cooking and stirring until the sugar dissolve and turns golden brown. Do let it brown too much.

3. Add a hint of the sugar browning, reduce heat and add all the seeds/nut mixture in the liquid solution and keep of stirring to coat as much as possible.

4. Immediately spread the seeds/nut mixture on a wax paper or parchment paper in a flat tray. Try to separate them as much as possible before the mixture cools down. Spread some honey on top during cooling.

5. When thoroughly cooled, they will turn hard. Use the back of a spoon or ladle to knock and separate them. At this moment, use a sieve and add in the refine sugar and salt. Coat well and mix.

6. Keep in an air tight container lined with wax paper!


Well, although I said it is an alternative to unhealthy snacks, you'll think this is a no-good diabetic proned junkfood. Haha. Sure is, if you put in so much sugar. The trick to it is to adjust the sugar to your liking. You can actually use other less process sugar..you can try..

My hubby ate so much until he got sorethroat =________=||| That's not good also..


Monday, April 8, 2013

Manga review: Oresama Teacher

Hi, long time didn't update the place haha..In real life, the last post was when I was at home, then, later on I stayed in my mother's house for more than 3 months..and do this do that..aiya! already 6 months! :P I'm truly happy to share a great news..I'm going to have my first baby soon..it'll be about 3-4 months away..sooooo happy.. :)

 Let's get to the next manga review!

Another good shoujo-based manga to be introduced. Don't be fool. It's not an everyday typical romance-dripping manga which follows the masses. What I like the most about Oresama Teacher is how a rather 'plain' starting storyline worked its way into something really fun and engaging. I'd say the best you can get out of this manga is a truly hearty laugh. As an extra bonus, the fighting scenes (there are quite some) are decent (for a shoujo based manga). The flow was not so serious, but at times, the plot can be touching (juzz a wee bit there haha). So in summary, its a good light read for any kind of age out there. Especially with people who's so tensed with real life.

Title: Oresama Teacher
Status: Ongoing
Nationality: Japanese
Genre: Shoujo, action, gender bender, comedy, school life
Online reading source: mangafox

Written and illustrated by Izumi Tsubaki sensei, this manga is serialized in Hana To Yume magazine. The scanlation was done by a one-man-standing-do-it-all, Andy, from Panda scans, and yet the quality as a whole is great. (Salute!!!) Truly appreciates what you did for us! This manga works its plot around three main characters; before it gradually expands. It's the teacher, Takaomi Saeki, and two other students, Mafuyu Kurosaki with Hayasaka. Saeki sensei convinced his childhood friend turned student, Mafuyu, into forming the Disciplinary club with her new found buddy, Hayasaka. Sounded lame? Catch this. The aim for the Disciplinary club is ultimately to reform the school by increasing the headcount while their arch-nemesis, the Student Council, aims to destroy that, and close the school. Which is rather odd right? Well, you gotta read it to understand the plot.

From top: Saeki sensei, Mafuyu Kurosaki and Hayabusa

What makes this story funny is that, Mafuyu-chan is actually a banchou is her previous school (its like a boss gangster lah), and she transfers in order to turn in a new leaf as a more 'tame' and girly school girl. Nontheless, the task given by Saeki sensei is rather rough, making her forces herself to sometimes disguise as a guy known as Natsuo and sometimes as Usa-chan Man (a not so funny rabbit looking mask..like a justice enforcer) which added to the gender bender genre (sweats big time). The reason Mafuyu becomes so strong and violent is because during the olden days, Saeki was the one who incite and taught her, out of self amusement, since he himself is a delinquent during his schooling days.

By the way..for the ladies, this manga has lotsa eye candy..the bishounens are numerous. While no  dirty scenes can be detected (so far), and the qualities of values implemented are present, it is a good read for the ladies, the younger generations, and even for the working people who'd like to blow off some steam from stress. The plot expands well, but lately it has gotten quite repetitive..but I'll wager that its a start for something way better :)

Saeki sensei
Another bishounen who later enters the disciplinary club, Aki Shibuya.

Some of the 4 koma short story comedy that came with the main one..and some of my favourite scenes..lol..I don't know weahter it is considered funny or not..Maybe its just me..I'm a person who's easily laugh at all simple things..shrug..

Click to enlarge and try sample-read them out!

The plight of Hayasaka (who's really good with embroidery):

Mafuyu's penpal:

Well..all in all, I'd give a decent 6.5/10 for this manga. Really nice to read and quite heart warming :)
I usually won't go for the generic shoujo..my love has always been hardcore seinen, martial arts or historical..nonetheless, a simple and sweet light-heartening manga like this is not a bad choice as well.

Rating : 6.5/10

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