Tuesday, 24 January 2017


Normally served hot with Japanese meals, a basic bowl of this savoury soup generally consists of small pieces of seaweed, a few small cubes of tofu and some sliced green onions. Of course there are adventurous people who love to add all kinds of fancy stuff to make it more appetizing!

What is Miso?
Its fermented paste made from mashed soybeans, rice or barley, salt, water & a filamentous fungus called Aspergillus oryzae (also known as “Koji”).

 Aspergillus oryzae

Do you know?  
A. oryzae has been safely used in industrial production for thousands of years & has a pleasant aroma similar to chestnuts.  
It is an ingredient in the production of Japanese beverages (sake & shuchu) as well as common table top items such as soy sauce & rice vinegar. 

By the way…
There are a few types of miso paste - from white, yellow, dark brown, to red.  Its flavour depends on the region it was made:

Salty & dark-coloured - colder areas

Clear, light & a little sweet - warmer areas 

How is miso paste made?

Preparing miso takes some patience, since the flavours of the soy beans need time to mature. Whichever way we choose to make it, the preparation basically involves the following:

Dried soybeans
Koji fermented rice
Natural salt
Boiled soybean soup (saved from boiling dried Soybeans above)
Plastic container for miso with a lid
Plastic bag to line plastic container & one to cover container

Heavy weight or stone 

1. Wash & soak beans overnight in water 
2. Prepare container
3. Prepare beans. Drain beans and rinse 
4. Mash beans
5. Form paste 
6. Store Paste

 Methods (Online)
·         Miso Recipe - Japanese Cooking 101. https://youtu.be/OTq5QbOGFME
·         How to make miso paste at home. https://youtu.be/Whr58wj-65A

The paste you just made can’t be consumed immediately, you have to wait for it to ferment for about 6 – 8 months.  Sometimes for 1 – 2 years!

Shared by Azni Zainal Abidin
Guest Blogger

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Bagaimana Kolam Air Panas Terjadi?

Baru- baru ini saya dan keluarga ke kolam air panas yang terletak di Ulu Legong, Baling di Kedah. Saya melihat ramai orang merendam kaki di sana. Terdapat tiga jenis kolam air panas yang disediakan mengikut suhu yang berbeza. Lalu saya pun terfikir, bagaimana air panas tu terjadi? Adakah ianya berlaku secara semulajadi atau buatan manusia?

Tahukah anda dari mana datangnya air panas ini? Sumber air panas (mata air panas) adalah mata air yang dihasilkan akibat keluarnya air tanah dari kerak bumi setelah dipanaskan secara geoterma (panas bumi). Air ini bersuhu 37 °C dan ke atas. Tetapi, ada sebahagian mata air panas mengeluarkan air bersuhu hingga melebihi 100℃ (di atas takat didih). 

Berdasarkan rajah di atas, air yang keluar dari mata air panas dipanaskan oleh proses geoterma atau (panas bumi). 

Tahukah anda! Semakin dalam letaknya batu-batuan di dalam perut bumi, semakin meningkat pula suhu batu-batuan tersebut! 

Air merembes ke dalam kerak bumi, dan dipanaskan oleh permukaan batu yang panas. Air yang sudah dipanaskan keluar di mata air panas yang lokasinya jauh dari gunung berapi. Di kawasan gunung berapi pula, air dipanaskan oleh magma hingga menjadi sangat panas.

Pernahkah anda terfikir sejauh mana sumber kolam air panas akan sentiasa ada?

Oh ya! Selamat   meneroka tempat – tempat yang mempunyai kolam air panas di Malaysia!

Shared by Norhidayah Alias
Guest Blogger

Friday, 13 January 2017

Jumping Cup

There are many ways to explore elastic potential energy. My favourite method, especially for young children, is by playing with rubber bands. In principal, the hands-on activity that I’m going to share will enable us to investigate the relationship between the height reached by a cup and the amount of “stretch” in a rubber band.

How straight forward could it be? (I’m trying to avoid from using the word simple here. Here are the items you need to collect, and usually it’s pretty easy to gather from the kitchen and your bedroom (may be)! 

What you need:

1. Paper cups – hint: if you would like to test how high it could jump based on weight, you may want to gather different sizes and types of cups.
2. Rubber bands
3. Scissors 
4. Pencil
5. Craft items for decoration, in order for you to turn your jumping cup into jumping frog, or a blast off rocket. 

What to do:

Divide the mouth of the cup into 4 equal parts. Mark it with a pencil or a felt pen.

Cut about 0.5cm at the marked points. Young children might need help with the marking and the scissors.

Take 2 rubber bands and tie them together. At this point, there are couple of ways to hone young children’s skills. First, we could show a visual guide as above, so that children can copy from the pictures. Secondly, we can also demonstrate the steps to them. Practice may help!

Insert rubber band to all 4 small cuts at the cup’s edge.

Decorate or paint it. Let it dry. 

It’s time to launch and have some fun. How? Place the cup with rubber bands on top of another cup, press it firmly and let it go! Watch how high it will jump. Try to make few other pairs using different sized cups. What will happen if you launch from a taller cup?

What is actually happening? The moment we “press” the cup with the tied rubber band, we’re giving elastic potential energy to the cup. When it is released, the potential energy is converted to kinetic energy which makes the rocket shoot up. The stretchier the rubber bands, the higher potential energy the rocket gets.

Extension for older children (or even us, adults):

Can you make the rocket go higher? Explore with different type of rubber bands.
What will happen if we put weight on top of the rocket? Observe what happens when a marble size of clay is placed on top of the rocket.
Besides the amount of stretch, what other variables might affect the height to which the cup rocket rises? Have you been able to control these variables in your experiment? Explain why or why not.

More to Explore (science never stops!)
Use your launcher to investigate launches at angles other than straight up. Instead of manipulating the amount of stretch, hold that variable constant and manipulate the angle of launch. Measure both the heights and distances of the rocket.

CAUTION: Be careful not to aim the rocket near any of your classmates.

Shared by Izhana
Guest Blogger