6/16/2007

Working Weekend --- Once in a While

mmm, I worked so hard today. This is precious weekend that I can concentrate to work.
Don't get me wrong, I usually go out for parties, visiting friends, movies.....do fun things. During weekdays, I am often out for meetings etc. That is why this weekend is precious that I can work on documents and stuff piled up. Actually, I wanted to write about foods, but am tooooo tired. ( feels good though )

In this tired head, I'm still thinking what I should eat tomorrow..... not much in the fridge...so,
maybe bread and something light for breakfast, will go out for lunch. Some fish for dinner.....
Then realized that I was originally going to do " detox " this weekend... Oh, well. I did eat today already. Next weekend, I have plans.... so maybe in July.

Will write about last weekend and this week tomorrow. ( Last weekend, I had great Ayu ( sweet fish ) after playing golf in Ibaraki Prefecture. )

6/13/2007

" Sleepless in Seattle" --- Tiramisu

That was another cute love story with the combination of Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks. ( " You've Got Mail " is played by the same combination . )

This movie was produced in 1993. I think Japanese magazine " Hanako " introduced Tiramisu before this movie and then it became popular in Japan. As you know, Tiramisu is Italian dessert, made of mascarpone cheese and espresso and biscotti.

Anyways, there was a scene set at Pikes Place Market. Tom Hanks is discussing how to find girlfriend with his friend. What he also learned from the friend there was Tiramisu. mmm, I have to get it somewhere on this weekend. I have to think and check it on the net first. Tiramisu is still out there, but our trend goes away so fast. I wonder who makes good one now.

"No Mercy" --- Craw Fish

Somehow, I am in love with Southern culture in U.S. I don't know what attracts me so much.
Of course, I like many other countries , regions and culture, but South has something very different.

This is one of the movies that shows some of the mysterious charm of the South. Deep forest, swamps, French influenced atomoshpere, etc... I still remember the scene that Kim Basinger grabs craw fish out of the basket and starts munching.

Since then I waited to have the chance to try craw fish in that area. When I visited New Orleans after a while for business, I ordered craw fish without any hesitation. That was great. The texture was like prawn and that small bite size red shell looked so cute to me. ( It looks like mini lobster . )

I am forgetting the exact taste now, since I haven't been there for a while. The other day, I saw a little restaurant which serves Southern cuisine in Shimokitazawa , Tokyo. I hope it's still there. I have to go try their food soon before I completely forget the smell of craw fish......

Myoga --- Japanese Ginger


This is Summary vegetable. This fresh, bit bitter, sweet, grassy flavor is hard to describe. Please imagine as it is like a herb.
Could be used for topping of Hiyayakko ( cold tofu ) , good for Miso soup ( especially with eggplant ) and sometimes for salad.
If pickled in sugared vinegar, the vinegar turns to beautiful pink.

6/12/2007

Vinegard Cucumber and Wakame ( seaweed )


In restaurants, this is called " kyuuri ( cucumber ) to ( and ) wakame ( seaweed ) no ( of ) sunomono ( vinegar). "
Ingredients: 1 table spoon of sugar. 2 table spoons of rice vinegar.
1) Mix sugar and vinegar well in a bowl. 2) Pour over sliced cucumber and wakame.

Miso Soup with Spinach and Aburaage ( deep fried bean curd )


Ingredients:
Some spinach, 1 Aburaage ( deep fried tofu) , Miso and Dashi powder ( as usual )
1) Before cutting aburaage ( deep fried tofu ), souse boiled water over it to remove excess oil. Cut it into small rectangles.
2) Bring 1 or 2 bowls of water ( in the pan ) to boil. Add 1 table spoon of dashi powder into it.
3) Add chopped spinach into 2). When the spinach is cooked ( don't overcook. please keep the flavour and nutrition of it.) as you like, stop the fire. 4 ) Dissolve miso into the water. Stir well.
5) Heat it one more time avoiding to bring it to boil. Serve.

Miso Soup with Cabbage


Ingredients:
Miso 1 table spoon , Dashi powder ( Japanese bouillon )
Water
1) Bring 1 or 2 bowls of water to boil.
2) Add dashi powder into it. Stir.
3) Shred the cabbage. For one serving, cupful of cabbage should be enough. Add the cabbage.
4) When the cabbage is cooked ( see how much you'd like to cook.) , put out the fire. 5) Add miso and dissolve it. 6) Heat the pan one more time,but don't bring it to boil. It will loose the good flavour of miso.

Cooked HIjiki, Carrot and Deep Fried Beancurd


Aburaage is translated into " Deep Fried Beancurd", yet it doesn't look like Tofu. It's thinner, golden color. Before using it, boil some water and pour the hot water over the aburaage.
It removes extra oil coated over it.
Ingredients:
Hijiki 1 cup( usually comes in a plastic package. black long ones. Try dry foods and seaweed section. Usually it needs to be soaked for about 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from the soaked water. ) , vegetable oil 1 table spoon
Carrot 1 , aburaage ( deep fried bean curd ) 1.
Soy sauce 1 table spoon, Sweet rice wine ( mirin) 1 table spoon, sugar and sake 1 tea spoon each. Dashi powder ( Japanese soup stock powder ) 1 tea spoon.
1) Put the oiled pan over medium heat. Cook hijiki and shredded carrot first.
2) Add sugar, sake, dashi and 1 cup of water. Stir well.
3) Add sweet rice wine and soy sauce. Cook for a while. When the soup in the pan ( made from the added water ) is almost dried up, it is done. Leave it for 10 minutes or so, it tastes better
that way.

Boiled Spinach with Yuzupon ( Yuzu flavoured soy sauce )


Ingredients:
Some spinach, 1 table spoon of Yuzu flavoured soy sauce, dried bonito flake.

1) microwave the spinach( cut into bite size ) . Cool it with running water. Squeeze.
2) arrange on the plate as shown and sprinkle bonito flake.
3) Pour Yusu flavoured soy sauce. Grated sesame seeds are also good with this.

Easiest Bowl of Substitute Eel and Rice 2/2


So, this is Bowl of Sanma ( Mackerel Pike ) and Rice, substitute bowl of eel and rice ! I usually keep frozen white rice in the freezer and just microwave it. ( Usually I cook rice once a week and make several small packs and freeze them for the coming week's dishes. ) Just microwaved the rice and put the half of the canned Sanma ( mackerel pike ) on the rice. 1 minute meal.

Easiest Bowl of Substitute Eel and Rice 1/2


I wanted to have some bowl of eel and rice today, but I don't have much time to go to a restaurant. ( Usually, we go to eel specialized restaurant to have it. ) There are some package sold at stores, but they are bit expensive. ( My budget is pretty tight this month). Then I found 98 yen ( less than US$1) canned and seasoned mackerel pike. After seasoned it should taste like eel. I said to myself " This is it !!! ". Sanma no Kabayaki ( broiled mackerel pike). by Maruha Corporation.

Today's Dinner


I have some more work to do. I decided to cook and eat dinner first.
Today's dinner is easy version: bowl of mackerel pike and rice, fried hijiki ( kind of seaweed ) , carrot & aburaage ( deep fried tofu ) and boiled spinach with Yuzupon.
The recipe will follow in the next blog.

6/11/2007

Green Tea and Kudzuzakura --- Arrowroot Sweet


The left is Kudzuzakura. To me, it sounds beautiful. Kudzuzakura is made of arrowroot powder. The inside is sweet bean paste. The leaf wrapping the dessert is cherry leaf. When I see it came out,
I feel summer is almost there, since this is Summery dessert.
The outer shell is plump and translucent, this color brings us cooling image. If you buy this, put in the fridge first to chill.

Rainy Season is Coming Shortly


It has been rainy lately. It seems our rainy season is coming soon. According to weather forecast, it will start around this weekend.
Usually rainy season lasts until Mid July.
The photo is hydrangea from my neighbour's' garden.