What’s for Dinner?

Chicken Tempura Rice Bowl Set Dinner at Tenya Tendon in Asakusa, Japan

The Menu

  • Chicken Tempura
  • Corn and Potato Salad Tempura
  • Pumpkin and Okra Tempura
  • Half-boiled Egg
  • Miso Soup
  • Cooked Rice

The price of the set is 740 yen (tax included).

Slow-cooked Chicken with Brown Bread Sauce


2 whole chickens, about 4 1b each
sea salt and black pepper
2-1/4 1b butter (or 4 cups/1 liter olive oil)
small bunch of thyme
1 garlic bulb, halved horizontally

Baby Vegetables

8 baby turnips
8 baby leeks
8 baby carrots
splash of chicken stock
2 tbsp butter, diced

Brown Bread Sauce

4 tsp olive oil
2 shallots, peeled and minced
generous 1/3 cup dry white wine
2 cups chicken stock
1 slice of brown bread, crusts removed and torn
1/3 cup whipping cream
2 smoked mussels


  1. Remove the legs and wings from the chickens, leaving you with the chicken crowns. Save the wings for the sauce and use the legs for another dish (such as coq au vin).
  2. Rub the chicken crowns all over with salt and pepper.
  3. Melt the butter in a large heavy pan and add the thyme and garlic. Lower the heat to just below simmering. The butter should barely move.
  4. Add the chicken crowns and lay a piece of crumpled waxed paper on the surface of the butter. Poach gently for about 30 to 40 minutes until the chickens are firm and just cooked through.
  5. Remove and let cool slightly, then take off the skins and reserve for the crispy chicken skins.
  6. Carve out the chicken breasts and return them to the warm butter to keep them moist.
  7. To make the sauce, heat the olive oil in a large pan. Add the chicken wings and pan-fry for 3 to 4 minutes until golden brown all over. Remove and set aside.
  8. Add the shallots to the pan and pan-fry, stirring, for 4 to 6 minutes until soft and golden brown. Deglaze the pan with the white wine and let it bubble until reduced by half.
  9. Pour in the chicken stock and return the chicken wings to the pan. Bring to a simmer and cook for 35 to 40 minutes until the liquor has reduced by two-thirds.
  10. Meanwhile, blanch the baby vegetables in boiling salted water for 3 to 4 minutes each until just tender when pierced with a skewer. Refresh in a bowl of iced water, then drain.
  11. To finish the sauce, whiz the bread in a blender or food processor to fine crumbs.
  12. Strain the sauce through a fine strainer into the blender and add the cream and smoked mussels. Season well with salt and pepper and blitz for a few minutes.
  13. When ready to serve, remove the chickens from the warm butter. Heat the baby vegetables through in a pan with the stock and butter. Gently reheat the brown bread sauce and froth it up using a hand-held stick blender.
  14. Place a chicken breast on each warm serving plate with a little tarragon emulsion. Halve the baby vegetables and divide between the plates. Garnish with watercress sprigs and crispy chicken skins, then pour over the brown bread sauce and serve.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Gordon Ramsay’s maze

In Pictures: Food of Nadodi in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Modern Southern Indian Cuisine

The Restaurant

Why Do I Confuse Left and Right?

Sebastian Ocklenburg wrote . . . . . . . . .

Left, right, what?

Almost anyone who has ever gone to a yoga class knows the situation: everyone eagerly follows the instructions of the yoga master, but in the end there are usually one or two people in class who stretch out the opposite arm or leg than everyone else – this has been me more than once!

Left-right confusions are actually quite frequent in everyday life and happen to lots of people whenever a task requires them to differentiate between the two sides, and particularly under time pressure, e.g., when giving someone directions to turn left or right while sitting in the passenger seat of a fast moving car.

So why do we confuse left and right all the time, while we have absolutely no problems to distinguish up from down or front from back? Turns out there might be two reasons for this!

On the one hand, differentiating between left and right is more complicated than differentiating between up and down, as what is left and what is right changes depending on the vantage point. Most of the time we distinguish left and right from our own perspective, but if we have to distinguish them from the perspective of a person facing us, the side of our left arm is the side of their right arm – confusing, isn’t it?

On the other hand, differentiating between left and right is more complicated than differentiating between up and down, as the distinction is completely arbitrary and there are no physical laws underlying it. You want to know what is up and what is down? Pick up an apple and then drop it. Where it lands is usually down. Left and right? Not so easy.

How many people confuse left and right more or less regularly?

A surprising number of people experience issues with telling left from right in their daily lives, so if this ever happens to you, you are in good company. The first larger study on the topic was published in the 1970s and investigated a sample of doctors and their spouses (Wolf, 1973). The result? About 8.8% of men and 17.5% of women stated that they frequently experienced left-right confusion in their daily lives. Some more recent studies estimate the numbers to be even higher. For example, an Australian study from 1990 found that about one third of people at least sometimes experienced frustration with everyday situations that involved the discrimination of left and right (McMonnies, 1990).

Aren’t left-right confusions mostly harmless? Why do scientists need to research them?

While most left-right confusions in everyday life are harmless, there are certain jobs in which you really do not want to confuse left and right – surgeon probably comes to mind first. Disturbingly, left-right confusions in a medical setting still happen more often than one might think. For example, in January 2000 two doctors at a hospital in South Wales accidentally removed the functioning left kidney instead of the right kidney, which in the end led to the patient’s death (Dyer, 2004).

While left-right differentiation in itself is not necessarily a complicated task, medical professionals are often under enormous time pressure, which could enhance the chance of left-right confusions and other errors. Indeed, medical students often report insecurities in telling left from right (Gormley et al., 2019).

Therefore, it has been advised to use side marking before surgery, identifying clearly for the surgeon whether the left or the right limb or organ should be removed. How important of a measure this is was shown by a 2014 study in eye surgeons from Israel (Pikkel et al., 2014). In this study, surgeons where asked to recognize the side of the operation by the patient’s name and by looking at the patient’s face from a 2-meter distance. Surgeons were able to correctly identify the side of the eye that was to be operated in only 73% of cases based on the patient’s name and in 83% of cases by looking at the patient’s face. The number or errors increased the longer the time between pre-operative examination and surgery was. Thus, if the doctors had indeed performed the surgery without the information from side markings on the patients, the probability for surgery on the wrong eye in at least in few patients was quite high.

What happens in the brain when we confuse left and right?

So why do we confuse left and right? Patient studies have shown that in particular the angular gyrus in the parietal lobe of the brain is highly important for discriminating between left and right. Damage in this brain area can lead to the so-called Gerstmann Syndrome (Gold et al., 1995), a rare neurological condition in which patients show four key syndromes:

  1. finger agnosia (inability to name or distinguish the fingers)
  2. agraphia (inability to write)
  3. acalculia (difficulties in performing even simple mathematical tasks)
  4. right-left confusion

Neuroscientists have used different techniques to investigate whether the angular gyrus also affects left-right confusion in healthy people and not only in patients with Gerstmann syndrome. For example, a group of scientists from the University of Durham in the UK used a technique called repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) to investigate the role of the angular gyrus for left-right confusion (Hirnstein et al., 2011). rTMS uses a magnetic coil to induce a small electric current that stimulates specific brain areas which can either inhibit or excite their function. The researchers found that after rTMS of the left angular gyrus, participants performed worse in left-right discrimination than in a control condition without rTMS. Thus, disturbing proper functioning of this brain area leads to more left-right confusion.

Some years later, a group of Norwegian scientists used a technique called functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate left-right discrimination (Hjelmervik et al., 2015). fMRI uses magnetic resonance to identify brain areas that are active and therefore receive lots of oxygen from the blood during a given task. Participants had to lay in an fMRI scanner in a hospital and were looking at pictures of hands that pointed into various directions. Their task was to identify whether a hand was a left or a right hand. Analysis of the data revealed that there was indeed activation in the right angular gyrus and surrounding regions in the parietal lobe during this left-right discrimination task.

So what does the angular gyrus actually do? Turns out it seems to be quite the all-rounder. Studies have shown that is involved in language-related processes like sematic processing and word reading, but also in memory and spatial cognition (Seghier, 2013). It seems to work like a cross-modal hub that integrates these different processes to guide our actions. This also explains why it is so relevant for left-right confusion: differentiating left and right requires verbal processes (the words left and right need to be applied to objects in the environment), memory (you have to remember which is left and which is right), and spatial processing (you have to process whether objects around you are on the left or the right side). If the integration of these different processes fails, a left-right confusion might happen.

What can I do against left-right confusions?

Left-right confusions seem to be happen more often when we are under stress or time pressure, so slowing down a bit is probably a good idea in order to avoid making left-right confusions. Also, when you are in doubt which side is which, an old trick is to make an L shape with the thumb and the index finger of each hand. The one that actually looks like the letter L is the left hand!

Source : Psychology Today

Which Type of Exercise Might Lower Your Diabetes Risk?

Boosting your muscle strength could help ward off type 2 diabetes, a new study suggests.

Even moderate amounts of resistance exercise may help prevent type 2 diabetes, said the study’s corresponding author, Duck-chul Lee. He’s an associate professor of kinesiology at Iowa State University.

For the study, Lee’s team tracked more than 4,500 adults, aged 20 to 100. The investigators found that moderate muscle mass was associated with a 32 percent reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, regardless of problems such as smoking, drinking, obesity or high blood pressure.

The reduced diabetes risk associated with moderate muscle mass was also independent of heart/lung fitness, the findings showed.

Higher levels of muscle strength did not provide additional protection against diabetes. And Lee said there are no standardized measurements for muscle strength, so it’s difficult to recommend the ideal amount of resistance exercise.

“Naturally, people will want to know how often to lift weights or how much muscle mass they need, but it’s not that simple,” Lee said in a university news release.

“As researchers, we have several ways to measure muscle strength, such as grip strength or bench press. More work is needed to determine the proper dose of resistance exercise, which may vary for different health outcomes and populations,” he explained.

Getting started with resistance training doesn’t require a gym membership or expensive equipment. You can begin at home by doing body-weight exercises, said lead author Angelique Brellenthin, a postdoctoral researcher in kinesiology at Iowa State.

“We want to encourage small amounts of resistance training and it doesn’t need to be complicated,” Brellenthin said. “You can get a good resistance workout with squats, planks or lunges. Then, as you build strength, you can consider adding free weights or weight machines.”

Thirty million Americans have diabetes, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The overwhelming majority suffer from type 2, which is linked to being overweight and sedentary.

The study was published in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

Source: HealthDay

Today’s Comic