昆布鰹魚乾湯包 1 包(9克)
清水 2 杯
新鮮無糖濃厚豆乳 2 杯
- 昆布鰹魚乾湯包放在水中煮沸，煮沸以中火煮 5 分鐘， 夾起湯包。
- 水菜洗淨瀝乾，切成1cm 長。
- 酌量加鹽，保持味道清淡。 備用。
- 重覆步驟 9 至 11，直至用光材料，得湯 3 至 4 碗。
It was a halo; black at the centre, while the rim was illuminated, just like a solar eclipse.
My early memory was distant; there is not much I can remember about my childhood. The memory of the first half of my life is mostly buried that no trace could be found. The reason why I started to remember the bits and pieces in life was because of that ring of light, I guess. I saw it when I closed my eyes since the day I lived with consciousness. Insomnia hasn’t been a stranger since I was a little girl, and only by “gazing” at the light, I could gradually fall asleep. The distance between the light and me was like that between me and the sun, the moon, clouds and the horizon above the sea – visible but not accessible. That halo hanging in the dark space was a pathway to my sleep and rest for many years.
The black shadow receded one day before I was aware of the change, leaving a round form of pure white light. I saw it whenever I closed my eyes. The light had life. Like how our chests move up and down when breathing, it radiated outwards and inwards gently at a comforting rhythm. Staring at the light, I forgot about living and slowly fell asleep.
Light of different forms had been there from the beginning of my memory, and so I thought it’s something as natural as breathing. It however wasn’t the case I later found out.
One night, when I lay in bed, prepared to see the light when I closed my eyes, a stream of golden beam poured like a waterfall, from my crown to the edge my sight could reach. I knew the golden beam kept running down beyond my seeing with a force larger than gravity, and I felt so warm as if I was bathing in an onsen in winter. If the white light on usual days was a light show by the harbourfront at night, the golden beam was the fireworks over a castle in the theme park; it was magnificent, glaring and short-lived. The golden beam vanished into the dark in a mere few minutes. I didn’t understand, and still don’t, what that was about. All I knew was that the light I used to see vanished altogether, leaving my mind wandering in insomnia.
I have tried to figure out what that was all about and retrieved the light.
I took a stroll in the woods behind my home one afternoon. At my favourite turn I stood. A shaft of sunlight cast over the tall and slender trees I couldn’t name, a picture of ethereal beauty. I turned around to continue my walk after spending some time appreciating the trees, the sunbeam that shone on the trees and my back then fell on my face, leaving me dazzled on the spot. The sunlight shone through the woods, and all lives and land embraced by the light were dusted with a light lustre of halo. The sunlight shone through the tiny holes on leaves and shone through me.
It’s always there – behind dark clouds, in the dark nights without the moon or stars, and in the quietness among loud disturbance. However, as long as we are willing to let go of what we persistently hold onto, the light will eventually find its way in.
I then understood that if the light isn’t there when eyes are closed, open your eyes.
Tofu skin in mizuna broth
Dashi packet 1 pack (9g)
Water 2 cups
Salt To taste
For tofu skin
Unsweetened, heavy fresh Japanese soy milk 2 cups
- Put the dashi packet into a pot of water. Bring it to boil and let it simmer over medium heat for 5 minutes. Remove the dashi packet.
- Wash and drain the mizuna. Cut it into 1cm long.
- Add the vegetable to the dashi broth. Turn off the heat once it starts bubbling.
- Add salt to the broth sparingly to keep the soup light. Set aside.
- Add the soy milk into another pot. Bring it to boil over medium-low heat.
- When it starts bubbling, turn the heat further down.
- Use a fine-mesh strainer to gently scoop away the bubbles on the surface.
- Keep the liquid heated over low heat so that the soy milk is barely simmering.
- When you see there is a skin formed on the surface, gently slip a chopstick under the skin from the edge and slowly, carefully lift it up.
- Slip the tofu skin into a bowl, repeat the above step until you have a few pieces of tofu skin.
- Add a ladle of warm dashi broth into the bowl with tofu skin. Ready to serve.
- Repeat steps 9 to 11 until the soup and soy milk are used up, yielding 3 to 4 bowls of the soup.
It’s raining outside, crisp and bleak. Three chubby sparrows took shelter on my balcony and I gave them the baguette bits left on my breakfast plate but they flew away. I stayed in, played Damien Rice on vinyl and made apple crumble. Repeat.