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Tuesday 13 August 2013

Quick Reference: Rice, Quinoa, Couscous, Sugar Stages, Sushi...

I'm often needing to look up conversions for temperature or ratios, little handy things that I can't remember so I've compiled a personal reference of the ones I find most useful! So I've gone through all my recipes and spec sheets and started compiling a quick reference guide, this is the first draft . . . . it can also be found on the quick reference tab!

Oven Temperature Chart - Centigrade - Farenheit
Gas Mark Conversion Table

Fahrenheit Celcius Gas Mark ~°C
212°F 100°C - 100°C
230°F 110°C 1/4 110°C
250°F 120°C 1/2 120°C
275°F 135°C 1 135°C
300°F 149°C 2 150°C
325°F 162°C 3 160°C
350°F 176°C 4 175°C
375°F 190°C 5 190°C
400°F 204°C 6 205°C
425°F 218°C 7 220°C
450°F 232°C 8 230°C
475°F 246°C 9 245°C
500°F 260°C 10 260°C

Meat Doneness Temperatures - How well done is my steak / joint? 

bleu rare med-rare medium med-well well
Beef 45°C 50°C 55°C 60°C 65°C 70°C
Rose Veal - - 55°C 60°C 65°C 70°C
Venison 45°C 50°C 55°C 60°C 65°C 70°C
Duck - - 55°C 60°C 65°C 70°C
Lamb - 50°C 55°C 60°C 65°C 70°C
Pork - - - 60-65°C 65-70°C 72°C
Poultry breast - - - - - 72°C
Poultry thigh - - - - - 77°C

The simplest way to tell how well done a steak or a chicken breast is to press it with your finger. The more it resists your prod, the more cooked it is. If it feels pretty solid it's cooked through. A rare steak shouldn't offer much more resistance than a raw steak!

More here!

Rice / Grain vs Liquid - Ratios for Cooking

Ratio(D:W) Dry Weight (D) Water / Juice (W) Vinegar Sugar Salt Cooked(g)
(grainular finish)
1:1.25 250g ~315g - - 2g -
Couscous 1:1.25 250g ~315g - - 2g -
Barley Couscous 1:1.75 250g ~440g - - 2g -
Rice Jasmin 1:1.6 250g 400g - - 2g -
Rice Sticky 1:1 250g 250g - - 2g -
Rice Long 1:1.7 250g 425g - - 2g -
Rice Basmati 1:1.7 250g 400g - - 2g -
Rice Arborio 1:1.65 250g 375g - - 2g 570g
Rice Paella 1:1.5 250g 375g - - 2g -
Rice Sushi White Harder 1:1.25 250g ~315g 50g 25g 1.5g ~625g
Rice Sushi White Softer 1:1.35 250g ~340g 50g 25g 1.5g ~625g
Rice Sushi Brown H (Genmai) 1:1.7 250g 425g 38g 19g 1g -
Rice Sushi Brown S (Genmai) 1:1.9 250g 475g 38g 19g 1g -
Rice Black 1:2 250g 500g -
2g -
Rice Pudding 1:6 250g 3L (milk) - 250g 3g -
Quinoa 1:2 (vol) 250g - - - - -
(smooth finish)
1:6 250g 3L (milk) - 250g 1g -
Polenta (to add) - 250g - - - - -

Note: the vinegar in sushi rice isn't included in the ratio since it's added after cooking the rice.

Rice Quantities for Different Sushi Types
Format Name Pieces Nori Rice
Half Size Roll Hosomaki-zushi 6 1/2 75g
Full Size Roll Futomaki-zushi 6-8 1 150g
Inside Out Roll Uramaki-zushi 6 1/2 125g
Battleship Gunkan 
1 2x13cm
Topped Rice Nigiri-zushi 1 - 25g
Tofu Pouch Inari-zushi 1 - 50g
Cones Temaki-zushi 1 1/2 or 1/4 30g/15g

Nori sheets measure 19x20cm (7.5x8 inch)
NB: For half size cut across the length, leaving 2x 19x10 (instead of 20x9.5cm)

When handling rice, have a bowl of handling liquid - a mix of 50/50 water/sushi vinegar at hand:
  • This will keep your hands from getting covered in rice - messy business!!
  • It also has an anti bacterial effect - very important when handling rice.

Rice Cooker Table - Generic

Rice in cups Rice in g Water Lev + rice Serves ~Cook time Final Weight
2 300g 2 cup mark 3-4 42 min 750g
4 600g 4 cup mark 5-6 46 min 1.5kg
6 900g 6 cup mark 8-10 50 min 2.25kg
8 1200g 8 cup mark 13-14 55 min 3kg
10 1500g 10 cup mark 16-18 60 min 3.75kg

Sugar Cooking Stages - Candy Making & Jam - 
Sugar Work
Black Caramel - - 205°C
Dark Caramel - - 188-190°C
Spun Sugar - - 180-182°C
Caramel 174°C - 170°C
Hard Crack 154°C 150°C 149-154°C
Soft Crack 138°C 134°C 132-143°C
Hard Ball 122°C 125°C 121-130°C
Firm Ball - - 118-121°C
Soft Ball 116°C 116-118°C 113-116°C
Jam 104°C - -
Sterilise 82-85°C - -

Thermo LCB McGee

When we make paraline sugar spears, we take the caramel up to 170°C then it drop to 150-155°C before dipping the nut in the caramel and hanging it.

Stock Syrup Viscosity / Thickness

Light 250g sugar 500g water
Medium 250g sugar 250g water
Heavy 250g sugar 225g water

More to come . . .
Find this page on tab here!

Friday 2 August 2013

Video Recipe: Orange Couscous - Perfect Summer BBQ Accompaniment

by Simon Fernandez of ferdiesfoodlab

This recipe is simple and fast to make and with its fresh orange flavour it is a nice surprise on the plate. The most complex step is the almonds, and you can skip the egg coating. Simply roast them add a touch of salt and oil and they'll work perfectly with this recipe:

video post

This is the first recipe video I was ever in please forgive the green : )

ingredients (serves 4)

for the couscous
Rather than pause and copy things down you can get a list of ingredients from a previous post here.

We all learn as we go - life would be pretty boring otherwise - and since this video was made I've adapted this recipe a little to make it lighter. Instead of adding the O.J. to the onion and fruit mix, put it in a large, shallow pan that has a lid, then add the couscous, making sure it's evenly spread, then cover with a lid or cling film. Leave to soak 15mins. Mix everything together once the couscous is ready. The ratio of OJ to couscous should be 1.25 : 1 NOT 2 : 1

My version . . . .   : )
Mum's looks a lot nicer!!! (of course)

in the lab
How much water do I need to use to cook a cup of dry couscous?

Test done with 2 types of couscous: Belazu barley and Sainsburies semolina

So what's the ratio required to avoid sloppy couscous! 
Short answer 1:1.25 - semolina 1:1.75 - barley (by weight)

I know what you might think but I don't care - this kind of thing bugs me, and it really does make a difference to the final result!
After a couple of tests these are the conclusions that I came to:

RATIO grain : liquid1:11:1.51:2
Barley   Too DryPassable DryPassable Wet
Semolina   Passable DryPassable Wet Too Wet

general rules to remember . . .
Ratio of couscous to liquid should be  1 couscous : 1.25  boiling stock/juice.
If using a barley couscous 1:1.75.
When leaving the couscous to absorb the stock, favour a wide shallow vessel to a tall narrow one. This will give you more even absorption and texture.

apparatus / equipment
Kettle or saucepan,
Frying pan

Scibblings in the lab . . . 

thinking ahead
You can eat this hot or at room temp. Once made, store in the fridge covered with cling film. Remove from the fridge and let it warm up to room temp for an hour before you need it, then remove the cling film and serve to the delight of you guests!

what could go wrong? 
Why is my couscous rather dry and hard in places, and soggy in others? Mix the couscous gently half way through he soaking period at about 7mins!

Given the absorbing nature of couscous it's open to being flavoured in all sorts of ways, roast veg in the winter, to fruit, tomatoes, basil and mint in the summer!!

Behind the scenes!!

The set @ferdiesfoodlab

How To Book / Attend

How To Book / Attend
Fancy getting stuck in? Click on the image above and to see how : ) . . . hope to see you soon.

More Techniques, Basics and Corker Recipes

More Techniques, Basics and Corker Recipes
If there's something you've tried at ferdiesfoodlab or a technique you want to know about drop us a line at and I'll put up a post about it!!


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