5/19/2007

German Asparagus

Last night I visited Tania's place. She is half German.
The gathering was to enjoy German Asparagus !
I've never seen such a huge asparagus in my life.


It was full of Spring smell. According to her, this asparagus is a symbol of Spring. The season of asparagus is strictly determined.
After the end of the determined season, you wouldn't see it at the market. ( It sounded very German to me ! )


She prepared with ham and taragon.
After dinner, mango sorbet was served. We enjoyed German wines
( a few bottles including sparkling wine. )

Thank you , Tania !

Dashi no Moto --- Soup stock powder or instant bouillon

If you are not sure what to buy regarding Dashi no moto,
( Dashi means soup. No is like " of ". Moto means base. )
ask for it at the store. The picture is the one I am using right now.
" Dashi no moto " from Yamaki. There are about 63 small packets in this one box. Each packet could make about 3 bowls of miso soup. Of course, you can use it as base for various kinds of food.

I think I paid for it about 1,000 yen, which is probably around
US 8 dollars. ( As of May, 2007 )

Misoshiru --- Miso Soup with Wakame

Easy miso soup.

Ingredients:

Wakame (Seaweed--- I used dried one. You can find cut Wakame which you can sprinkle over cooked miso soup. ) little.

Miso ( Fermented Soybean Paste ) 1 table spoon for two bowls.

Dashi no moto ( or instant bouillon -- of course, Japanese one. Not chiken bouillon )

1) Pour 2 - 3 cups of water into the ( deep ) pan. Bring to boil.

2) Put Dashi no moto ( instant bouillon such as Hondashi from Ajinomoto ) into the hot water.

3) Put out the fire. Scoup 1 table spoon of miso. Dissolve miso into the water.

4) The soup itself is done now. Sprinkle dried seaweed into the miso soup. Stir.

5) Enjoy your miso soup. When you heat it up again. Never bring it to boil since it will kill
good flavor of miso.

If you could not finish it with today's dinner. You can cook Zosui ( Japanese Porridge ) tomorrow morning. ( with egg, green onions etc. )

Tamagokake Gohan --- Raw Egg with White Steamed Rice


This is one of the simplest meals. Rice, Egg and Soy Sauce.
That is all you need. If you would like variation, you can also put
Yuzukosho, Nori ( dried lavor seaweed ), sesame etc.
Today I used Shimatogarashi ( hot chili pepper from Ishigakai ).
Simple ,but nutritious.

Shimatogarashi---Island's Chili Pepper

This is a souvenir given by a friend. She traveled to Ishigaki-Island. A part of Okinawa Prefecture. It is made of Ishigaki chili pepper, awamori ( Okinawa Shochu---local distilled spirit made of Thai rice ) , salt and vinegar. I think I can use it as hot pepper sauce for anything.

Today I put a little over Tamago Gohan ( raw egg on white rice )
with soy sauce. Very hot ! It wakes me up. It also has mellow sweetness slightly. Worth to try.

Grapeseed Oil


Currently, I am using this oil for pasta and dressing. I think it was given me at some food show. It consists of grapeseed oil, ricebran oil, corn oil and sesame oil. The flavor is quite natural and it doesn't kill the taste of the ingredients. I use it like olive oil.

Pasta---Bacon and Green Onion

For light lunch, this is easy and tasty.

Ingredients:

Garlic 1 clove
Green Onion 5 to 6 stalks
Bacon 3 - 4 slices
Olive Oil 1 table spoon

Recipe:

1) Mince the garlic. Cut green onion into 2 inches.
Cut the bacon into 0.5 inch.

2) Put the minced garlic and olive oil into the pan. ( Don't heat before you put the garlic because
it sometimes gets burned. ) Cook over low heat.

3) Put cut bacon . Cook. Then add green onion. Cook for a few minutes and put out the fire.

4) While cooking 2) and 3), boil the water ( add little salt ) and bring it to boil.

5) Put your pasta ( For this I used regular spaghetti, but you can use any pasta. ) into the boiling
water. Wait for the required minutes.

6) When the past is done, add to the pan of bacon and green onion. Stir pasta and ingredients
slightly.

7) Enjoy your pasta ! Bacon is salty enough for me. So I would not put any salt. Instead, if I need any more salt or flavour, I would use Parmesan Cheese.

Tuna Salad, My Style



This is Tuna Salad with Wakame ( seaweed ) , Baby Leaves, Tomato and Lomaine Lettuce.

Dressing Ingredients:

Yuzupon, Olive Oil, Lemon Juice ( over tuna).

Healthy light meal. Yummy !

You can use any veggies you like.

Yuzupon ( Yuzu lemon vinegar sauce )

This is Yuzupon produced by Mitzkan, a vinegar company.
Yuzupon is a kind of vinegar sauce which has Yuzu lemon flavour.
Fresh, Japanese lemon ( or lime ? ) flavoured vinegar soy sauce.
It can be used for various meals. Dressing, Nabe, Sahimi etc.
I love it ! There are various other producers of this. Mitzkan is one of the easy brand that you can find at stores. Prices are reasonable--- I think I paid about 200 yen for this.

5/18/2007

Curry Rice with Pork and Veggies


Curry Rice:
If you go to Japanese ingredients store, easy to find this kind of curry sauce in solid form.
You can adjust the volume of the ingredients
depending on your taste. At the moment,
my favorite is Jave Curry ( midum-spicy ) of
House Food Corp.
1) Ingredients: for five dishes
Jave Curry ( House Brand ) half box
Pork ( cut in cubes ) 0.5 lb
Zucchini 1
Potato 2 - 3 pieces ( cut in small pieces )
Mini Tomato 5 - 10 pieces ( cut in halves)
Onion 1 ( shredded )
Some salad oil for frying
2) Cook the ingredients
Cook all the ingredients in the pan.
Fry till the onion turns translucent.
3) Add Water
Add about 4 cups of water.
4) Bring to boil
Bring to boil and remove scum.
Cook it on medium heat for 15 min.
5) Put out the fire
Put out the fire and break the curry sauce
into pieces. Put them into the pan over the ingredients.
Cook it over low heat for another 10 min.
If you like tomatoes with fresh flavor, wait till this moment
to put them into the pan.
6) Enjoy with steamed white rice !

5/15/2007

Yuzukosho---Japanese Citron Pepper

This is one of my favorite. Put some into miso soup, soy sauce, dressing etc.
It is like a magic ! It adds freshness to the food.

Home cooking & Everyday Food Life

In this blog, I will introduce what I cook and eat. Sometimes you can see what I eat at restaurants. We are not eating Sushi or Sukiyaki everyday. My cooking is simple and healthy. Nowadays, everybody is busy and doesn't have much time to take for cooking. Still, I'd like to enjoy food and eat healthy food.

I try to cook at home when I can and sure, sometimes eat at restaurants. I try to eat good food, organic food if possible. However, quality food is sometimes pricey, so I am trying to find good reasonable food. Still, I wouldn't refuse eating fried potatoes or unhealthy food once in a while. I can't be too strict about it. If it gets too strict, eating is not fun anymore .

If it gives you a hint to get to know how Japanese working women
are living everyday life and what we think, that would be nice and I am happy to share my knowledge and information I have. If you haven't come to Japan, please enjoy the photos and information I upload. Hope it helps you someday in the future. If you are in Japan, I know many foreigners don't know what to buy or sometimes feel lonely from difficulties in living.
I hope I can be of some help for those people. Please feel free to leave comments.

Thanks !