Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Bagel with warm herbed salad and egg

Oh my gosh! I've been gone for so long. Hope everyone's had a fantastic festive christmas and a wonderful new year! I definitely had plans to fill this site with amazing food for those two occasions but these plans were dissolved into thin air by a big ship and a plane to Melbourne. I do apologise for my long absence but this trip has been amazing, despite having a cold/flu/hayfever for the most part of it. 

I've never been on a cruise ship before, so I didn't know what to expect. The first few days were really relaxed as we settled in to the rocky rhythm. As aforementioned, food was of abundance. However due to my sickness and being bed-ridden, I actually lost weight on board! The journey took a positive turn on about day six when we met several other people around our age. Each night was filled with loads of card games and we got everyone hooked onto Mafia. Who knew playing Mafia with kids would be so fun haha. I only wished my cold didn't hit me then, I could've spent more time doing more productive things than watching movies in bed. 

All journeys come to an end. Of course, it was right when friendships were forged we had to say goodbye. Though it was awesome that our new friends in Sydney took us to karaoke and on a semi tour of Sydney city on our one night stay there. My trip to Melbourne was significant too. We visited our auntie, uncle and cousins whom we haven't seen in more than 10 years! Sydney has a big city edge to it while Melbourne is more mellow and suburban. I really love Melbourne's vibe, the colourful Chinatown, picturesque Yarra River, hipster cafes, the malls!, the countless restaurants and eateries and not to mention the presence of extended family. It's a vibrant city and I have many many many photos to showcase it! Please be patient though... I haven't had a chance to edit any yet *gasp!* as my brother's been occupying the computer with Lightroom ever since we got back. 

This trip to Melbourne has opened up my heart and I can feel the city's magnetic pull. It's definitely a city I would strongly consider to live in. Though I did feel strange being in such a flat city. The view of Melbourne from the plane was just like a vast stretch of quilt, so different from the hilliness of Auckland. After spending new year's eve with cousins counting down at Federation Square and watching the spectacular fireworks that went on for about 20 minutes, the family and I flew back to our big little city called home. Yet again it felt strange that we didn't have to travel hours to get to places. The single lane roads, the miniature city skyline, the empty streets welcomed us home in its gentle embrace. 

Anywho, as promised, here's the second post on bagels! It's perfect for brunch. It's healthy. It's filling. It's delicious. It's colourful. Enjoy it while I let my thoughts float between the to do lists of reality and dreaminess of the trip. 


Bagel with warm herbed aubergine, fungus and tomato salad, topped with fried egg

Serves 4

Handful of wood-ear fungus
Handful of oyster mushrooms
Half a medium aubergine, diced
1 tomato, diced
zest of 1 lemon
About 1/2 tbsp of cumin seeds, toasted
About 1/2 tsp ginger, finely chopped
Oregano leaves, about half a handful, finely chopped
Olive oil
Soy sauce
Salt and pepper

4 eggs
4 halves of bagels

In a pot, bring about half a cup of water to a boil. Drop in the wood-ear and oyster mushrooms. Pour about 1 tbsp of soy sauce in. Turn down to medium heat and let it cook until all water is evaporated and the fungus has softened. Set aside.
In a hot saucepan, pour in some olive oil and throw in the ginger. On medium heat, stir until it begins to brown. Drop in the aubergine and cook until softened (still has a slight bite to it), tossing occasionally. Add some more olive oil if aubergine sticks to the pan. Stir in the tomato, fungus, cumin seeds and oregano leaves. Cook until the tomato has softened. Season with soy sauce, salt and pepper. You'll need quite a bit of soy sauce. Add in the lemon zest and stir. Cook for about 1 minute. 
Plate up and serve with bagels. 
For each serving, fry (or poach) an egg and place atop the bagels. Season with soy sauce and pepper.

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