I Don't Have an Oven

There are a lot of nice, posh recipe books out there for people who live alone, but many of them involve grilling and roasting. Most normal apartments and houses can at least accomodate a stove-top oven/ grill, but my flat is too small to store such a thing, let alone use it in my tiny kitchen. I can't roast because I don't have an oven, but I can simulate baking by steaming.


One of my favorite desserts that requires an oven is baked apples, but I still manage to enjoy them by simply steaming them instead!


1.Choose a kogyoku apple if you are in Japan, or a Granny Smith in the UK. Tart apples are best for this.

2.Core the apple. Be sure not to puncture the bottom of the apple.


3.Stuff the apple with raisins (any dried berry you have on hand will do). Layer the raisins with cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, powdered ginger, vanilla extract if you're feeling fancy, and more raisins, etc. Repeat.


4.Put about 1cm of water into a pot, add the apples, and put the lid on.


5.Steam on medium heat.


The finished product looks as if it was baked!



I have tried many times to make cakes and pies this way, but with questionable results. Eventually I'll get it right...


I also make that Turkish favorite, stuffed paprikas, in the same way.


1.First make the pilaf stuffing. Add cooked rice (cooked with an ordinary rice cooker), tomatoes, miced onions and garlic, raisins, pine nuts, celery, chicken stock (I often use dashi fish stock), oregano, marjoram, thyme, sage, bay leaves, cooking sake, olive oil, and black pepper to a skillet and stir fry the mixture.


2.Remove the parlsey leaves from the stems and add last. (I snack on the stems at this point. Yum yum! Not really.)


3.Carve out the top of the paprika and remove the seeds.


4.We are going to use the top as a lid, so trim off the part that has seeds on it.


5.When the pilaf is ready, stuff it into the paprika.


6.Put the lids on the paprikas, and then put them into a pot with about 1cm of water.


7.Steam on medium heat.



Whether you are steaming apples or paprikas, they're ready when they're soft.


See, you can make fancy meals even without all that snazzy equipment! Your friends will be impressed by your resourcefulness (at least mine were, heh heh).