Sweet Potato and Pumpkin Salad [Enter now!! Guess the top post and win!]

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Sweet Potato and Pumpkin Salad recipe was featured in Y3K Recipes (issue no. 77), along with three other recipes. This salad is one of the popular side dishes in bento especially during late summer when pumpkin and sweet potato are abundant.

Even though it is called salad but it tasted more like a dessert dish to me, natural sweetness from both sweet potato and pumpkin makes it a healthy dessert that satisfy my craving for something sweet. Steamed sweet potato is low in GI and a cup of boiled pumpkin contains only 49 calories but packed with numerous essential nutrients. Why not?

Sweet Potato and Pumpkin Salad

150g pumpkin
150g sweet potato
1 hard-boiled egg
1 tbsp cheese powder
2 tbsp Japanese mayonnaise
Pinch of salt
2-3 leaves lettuce

  1. Clean sweet potato and pumpkin, peel briefly then cut into chunks. Steamed until well cooked. Let it cool down to room temperature. 
  2. In a large bowl, mash the egg then mix in (1).
  3. Mix in cheese, mayonnaise and salt. Mash a little if it is too chunky, ready to serve. It can be served either at room temperature or chilled.
  4. To serve, transfer salad onto a dish lined with lettuce, garnish with tomato and cheese powder.


Bitter-gourd with Mackerel [Health • Slimming]


Mackerel diet is not a new thing anymore, yet I only learned about it last month from a TV program. The program was about eating canned mackerel in brine, effect of EPA and GLP-1 level in the body. Canned mackerel > EPA > GLP-1 > SLIMMING! Yes, slimming down by just consuming mackerel like three times in a week. I had never pay much attention at the canned food section prior to this, it made me stopped-by and look for it seriously. It was out of stock, not only at the supermarket nearby but also at a few supermarkets further from my place. Finally, I managed to get a few cans almost a month later. For more information about GLP-1 and its health benefits, please consult Dr Google as I am not a health professional.

It was my first time to taste mackerel in brine, surprisingly delicious all of us loved it. Now, I am trying to incorporate it in our diet. Of course, it can be eaten straight from the can just like canned tuna. However, it will be boring to have the same taste three times a day. Hence, I am substituting canned tuna with mackerel, and creating new home-cook recipes using canned mackerel too. Japanese like to plant bitter-gourd in summer, to create a green curtain for their home and provide shade during hot summer days. Bitter-gourd is too bitter for you? To get a less-bitter bitter-gourd choose the one with light green colour. The darker the colour is, the more bitter it will be. Remember this.

In this recipe, I used an onion for its sweetness to reduce the bitterness a little bit. Simple ingredients, easy too cook, and a nutritious dish. Let's start cooking!

1 bitter-gourd (about 30cm in length)
1 medium size onion
1 canned mackerel
1/2 cup water
1 tbsp cooking sake
1 tbsp mirin
Salt to taste


  1. Cut bitter-gourd lengthwise, discard seeds then cut into bite size.
  2. Peel and cut onion into similar size and shape bitter-gourd. [Tips: Similar size and shape for better presentation.]
  3. Fill a pot with water, bring to a boil. Add in liquid from the canned mackerel, sake and mirin.
  4. Add in onion and bitter-gourd, put the lid on and cook with low-medium heat until bitter-gourd is cooked but still in shape.
  5. Add in mackerel, and salt to taste. Cook for a minute or two.
  6. Transfer to serving plate, serve warm.


Rolled Pork with Cabbage & Obento [お弁当 • 肉の野菜巻き]


I just realized that there is not many post about bento (lunchbox) on my blog, although I need to prepare bento at least three times in a week during school term. In Japan, bento can be found in all convenient stores and supermarkets, but hubby prefers homemade version. Homemade bentos coming with surprises as it contains something different from the store-bought version which is quite standardized and expectable. Of course, homemade version is prepared with love but not always his favorite food though, I am trying to get (tricking) him to eat wider variety of vegetables.

最近才发觉“我的厨房”里就只有那几个便当而已,可我一直都有在做便当。 上课期间,一个星期至少有三天是便当日。在日本,便当到处都可以买得到似乎每家便利店和超市都有卖可是老爷偏喜欢住家饭。住家便当是比市贩的多了点惊喜因为市贩的菜式都千篇一律,但这也不代表我每次都会准备他喜欢的菜式。便当,是让老爷尝试(骗他吃)不同蔬菜的机会!

Bento day = busy morning. Hence, bento dishes are something easy to prepare and easy to eat. Usually, I will plan what to cook the night before and cook the main dish first thing in the morning. Meanwhile, I will prepare breakfast. While they are having breakfast I will get other dishes (if any) done and the bento packed. It is a requirement for students to bring tea to school it means I have more jobs in the morning with three water (tea) bottles to be filled.

In this post, I will share the rolled pork with vegetable recipe only. For the tamago-yaki (rolled omelet) recipe, please check out my previous post "Tamago-yaki with Okra" with I made for another bento. The red colour stuff are mini tomato and preserved radish, beans on toothpick is edamame, and halved umeboshi on the rice.


Ingredients (makes 2):
a: 2 leaves Chinese cabbage

b: 6 slices pork belly (20cm x 5cm)

c: Sesame salad dressing for serving (optional)


  1. Bring a pot of water (just enough to boil the Chinese cabbage) to a boil,  add pinch of sugar and salt. Blanch Chinese cabbage, remove from pot and rinse to cool it down. Squeeze out excess water then roll each leaf up (10-12 cm in length).   
  2. Line 3 slices of pork together, sprinkle with salt and pepper then place a roll of Chinese cabbage over it and roll it up. 
  3. Heat a non-stick pan, grease with tinny bit of oil then arrange in rolled pork. Seal side down.
  4. Cook on low-medium heat until whole surface is browned nicely and well cooked.
  5. Remove from pan, cut into serving size and serve warm.

Feel free to check out the collection of obento on my facebook page.


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