Cabbage Rice

Cabbage Rice and Miso Soup
I wanted to eat something healthy, simple and cheap.

I don't use rice cooker ( I used to have one.  When the old one was broken, I was looking for new one.  Nowadays Japanese rice cookers are so high-tech and also expensive.   Additionally they are too big for my small apartment.  I decided to go with donabe --- earthen pot.  You can use regular pot.  ) .   Used earthen pot.

Spring cabbage is sweet and juicy.   I wouldn't say it is super delicious, but it was savory.  

Ingredients: ( for two servings or one donabe )
Cabbage   two three big leaves  chopped
Carrot       1/2 or one small carrot   chopped
Parsley      Just to decorate, so a pinch ( chopped )
Deep fried tofu    1/2 cut  chopped
Maggi Soup Stock ( Consomme )    1 tea spoon   ( Granulated or 1 cube )   Any brand is fine.
Salt            a pinch
Pepper       To your taste
Butter       1 table spoon
Rice         1 cup
Water       3/4 cup  ( usually 1 cup.  But because of the water from cabbage, it's less )

How to make:
Wash rice and soak the rice in water for over 30 min.
Drain the water, add all the ingredients except parsley and 3/4 cup of water ( fresh water ).
Cover the lid, start cooking.   Bring it to boil.

When boiled, reduce heat to low. keep cooking.  Soon you will hear the spit-spat sound.   Till the sound stops, keep cooking, then turn off the heat.  Leave it for 20 min. or so to steam.    It will be ready.



Tofu and Cherry Blossoms

Restaurant Shonan Club

Near Shibuya Station

Cherry Blossom Flavored Tofu
I realized I hadn't uploaded cherry blossoms this year.

Didn't go to any "hanami" party, but still enjoyed them in town.

This tofu is from a Japanese restaurant located in Shibuya.   A Canadian friend living in the U.S. was staying in Japan for a while, so we enjoyed this tofu restaurant's Japanese food together.
Catching up with each other was fun.    Now somei yoshino ( the most popular cherry blossom) is over, the season is now for fresh greenery and double-petalled cherry blossoms whose pink stands out in green color.      Next time if you plan to come visit Tokyo, the end of March through 2nd week of April would be the best.

If you haven't seen  seen this beautiful pink flowers.   Of course, if you go up north, you can still enjoy cherry blossoms since the blooming timing starts from south to north.   I' ve probably written many times, but you can also enjoy various kinds of cherry blossom flavored foods and sweets during this season.

Tofu Restaurant Sorano
Double Petalled Cherry Blossoms


Kaisen Misakiko ----- Conveyer Belt Sushi Restaurant

Conveyer-Belt Sushi 
While there are luxurious, expensive sushi restaurants, you can also enjoy reasonable, easy to walk in places like this.

This shop is operated by Kyodaru, a company who operates wide range of sushi shops and restaurants.

This one is one of the most casual, reasonable ones.    They used to have workers, but now those workers, cooks are working in the kitchen which is hidden in the back.   There are seats around this counter and you order sushi by choosing your orders on the display located in front of your seats.

The prices, seasonal recommendations are all written there.   English Chinese and some other languages are available, if my memory is correct.

I was behind my schedule and wanted to have quick lunch.  So ordered only two plates each of which has two sushi pieces, that makes total 4 pieces.  I think I paid only 301 yen including tax.   One of the plate ( bonito sushi ) was discounted yesterday, so I was lucky!

After ordering, it took perhaps 7, 8 minutes, then the bullet train ( shaped carrier ) came and stopped in front of me.  How convenient!    Take the plates and eat.
Powdered green tea pot is also there, so you put the powder into your cop.
There is a hot water tap, you pour the hot water into the cop.  Self-made green tea.  

Often expensive, authentic places are scary to order because you don't know how much total it will costs. ( Some authentic places cost $200 or more per person. )

This is easy way to enjoy sushi PLUS it is casual and quick.  Are you alone?  No problem.     After eating, you ask for the check ( also on display ), the staff will come to your seat and make the bill.   Go to cashier and pay.


Ise Udon Noodle ---- Unique Texture will dance in your mouth

Ise Udon Noodle @ Ushitora

The other day, I had this lunch set.  Ise Udon, salad, two quail eggs, pickled cucumber and dessert.

I am from Tokyo and had never tried Ise Udon before this.   Very different other Udon noodles.
Sanuki ( Kagawa Prefecture ) Udon has more al dente like texture.  Usually I like Sanuki style better.

Ise Udon is fluffier and it doesn't have soup.  It has thick, slightly sweet sauce and chopped green onion only.  I googled it and it seems like in old days, it was very special dish in the region.  The origin is Ise city, Mie Prefecture.  It takes time to make this noodle ( imagine, if you try to make pasta from scratch and everything is handmade.)   It is now, quick easy meal, but it was served as a part of their celebration.     Ushitora, a Shimokitazawa restaurant serves this for lunch.  If you are interested, visit the restaurant and ask for it.  The set was less than 1,000 yen.

Direction to Ushitora:
Come out of West Exit (Nishiguchi ) of Shimokitazawa Station.  Take a right and go up to ground level.   Then go along the street ( between Hakuyosha, a cleaner and Seven Eleven ).   Ushitora will be on your left in 30 sec.  


Konoha Don

Konoha Don 
Konoha means foliage.
Looks like leafy rice bowl, doesn't it?

Sounds like this is popular in Kansai area. ( Western Japan )

Since I am from Tokyo, I didn't know.

Found the recipe and tried it.

The ingredients are something we can find in our fridge, cheap, daily things.
Kamaboko ( fish sausage ) is most common ingredient for this, but I only had Cihkuwa ( also fish sausage, but the shape is like cylinder ), so used it instead.

Other ingredients are green onion, egg, seasonings.   Easy to make, healthy enough and tasty.   Good for quick lunch.

It is almost Cherry Blossom season here.   The weather bureau announced that Tokyo's Sakura ( Cherry blossoms)  have just started blooming officially ( This official announcement is important for us. )We feel " Spring has come" when we hear this.

Hope I can upload some pics of fully bloomed cherry blossoms within a week or so.

Ingredients for Konoha Don ( Don or Donburi means  Rice Bowl ) :
Serving for One

Steamed white rice    1 Bowl

Fish Sausage ( Japanese Kamaboko or Chikuwa ) sliced.   I used about about
10 to 15 very thin slices.

Green Onion   1 to 2 stalks   Chopped

One Egg ( beaten in a bowl )

Soy Sauce  1 table spoon
Dashi ( Japanese Soup Stock or you can use powder)  50 cc or 1/2 cup
Sugar  1 table spoon
Mirin ( Sweet Rice Wine ) 2 tea spoons

Bring Dashi to boil.   Add Fish sausage.   Add soy sauce, sugar and mirin.
Add green onion.    Then, pour egg.   When the egg is half cooked, it's done.

Put the above onto the rice.  Enjoy!


R.I.P. to those deceased in Tohoku

3.11 came again.

R.I.P. to those people in affected regions.

Have not done much to you, but will try to do what I can do.

Sorry, they didn't have sake from your region today.

Thinking of you.